With a total elevation gain of 1,946 metres the Willunga Hill stage is not the hardest race on the Tour Down Under. But since the last 3 kilometres are that tough time gaps are inevitable and possibly decisive in terms of GC. Richie Porte is imperious on this stage and has dominated Willunga Hill in the last six years, although it was enough for the GC victory on only one occasion – in 2017. The win mostly eludes the Tasmanian by seconds, sometimes even on countback.
Starting in McLaren Vale the route 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 on 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.
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.
Another interesting read: results 6th stage Tour Down Under 2020.
Tour Down Under 2020 stage 6: route, profile, more
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