ASK RIDE… Where to ride at the Tour Down Under in Adelaide?

Where should I go riding when I head to the Tour Down Under in Adelaide?

Mal (address unknown)

Riding in Adelaide starts with one decision: whether you head to the beach or the hills. I recommend that the hills be your primary riding area because if you’re from Melbourne or Sydney, it will be an entirely new riding experience. So what are the best climbs then? From Adelaide there are four ways I advise to head on your way East.

1.  Head to Gorge Rd. It is the easiest way to access the hills without facing a tough starting ascent. To get there, head North-East of the city through Campbelltown and Athelstone. This is the road to choose if you want to get to Cudlee Creek or do an extended loop to Lobethal and back to Adelaide. If you want a test though, turn right onto Corkscrew Rd and test yourself on the climb up to Montacute Rd – to really feel it, throw some repeats in!

2. Norton Summit. There are two ways to choose here: Norton Summit Rd or Old Norton Summit Rd (My pick is Norton Summit Rd). Great views and a nice introduction to climbing in Adelaide and also provides plenty of options to go from there: down Marble Hill Rd towards Corkscrew and down to Gorge Rd; straight over and into some nice country riding; or right and up to Mt Lofty.

3. Greenhill Rd. A good test if you are in a group, this is a longer climb and can be where the KOM is decided! Same goes for Norton Summit as for options.

4. Mt Barker. This rounds out my favourite climbs in Adelaide and is definitely my favourite descent. The views are great and the road quiet. It starts on a bike track that runs parallel to the Freeway then turns into Mt Barker Rd and heads down into Crafers. Head up Mt Lofty Scenic Route and get another great climb in quickly for a more testing start to a ride!

Look out for some more advice closer to the race. I hope this helps your planning! – John

John Dawson works in admin and subscriptions for RIDE Media. He loves visiting Adelaide in January and will be there in 2011 to watch the race up close.

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