TOUR Down Under organisers have radically revamped the route of Australia’s biggest road event, introducing more climbs, new terrain and what’s believed to be the first grass start in an elite road race.
Over the South Australian event’s 14-year history the predominantly flat stages have been criticised as too predictable and overly favourable to sprinters.
After some experimentation – a hilltop finish at Old Willunga Hill proved a hit this year on the penultimate stage – race bosses yesterday announced considerable change for the 15th race and said there would be more in it for all-rounders.
A new arduous climb up Corkscrew Hill will be the feature in the second stage from Mount Barker, in the Adelaide Hills, to Rostrevor.
Stage four will begin with a grass start at Modbury, which organisers believe has never happened in a top-level professional bike race.
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