The McLaren Vale-Willunga Hill stage is a regular in the race, but the Tour Down Under has never featured Willunga Hill as the climax to the six-day stage race. This edition eschews the traditional circuit-race in Adelaide though in favour of the Queen Stage on the final day of action to keep things exciting right to the very end.
As far as the route is concerned, the Queen Stage is unchanged from previous years. Starting in McLaren Vale it winds its way through enchanting seaside locales of Port Willunga and Aldinga. This section is part of the first of two circuits. The first one is raced three times and takes in an 8 kilometres section along the coast. There’s always a threat of teams blowing the race apart in the cross winds, although it never happened.
The second circuit is om the menu twice. It is centered around Willunga Hill, a 3 kilometres climb at 7%. The summit is crested for the first time with 22.4 kilometres left before it’s all systems go in the puncher’s dream of a finale. Richie Porte is imperious on this stage and has dominated Willunga Hill the last five years.
The first three riders on the line take time bonuses of 10, 6 and 4 seconds, while the intermediate sprints (at kilometre 63.4 and at kilometre 103.4) come with 3, 2 and 1 seconds.
The final stage of the 2019 Tour Down Under starts at 11:10 and the finish is expected around 14:58 – both local times.
Tour Down Under 2019 stage 6: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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Route and profile 6th stage
Route 6th stage
Profile 6th stage
McLaren Vale and Willunga Hill at Google maps