Tour Down Under 2023: routes, participation and how to watch it
Although the spectacular cyclo-cross season we are enjoying has eased these transitional months, cycling fans are already eager to enjoy racing again. As has been the norm in recent years, the professional peloton will look to the austral summer for its first pedal strokes in a Tour Down Under that will once again start an exciting 2023 season.
The season begins
In a couple of days, the peloton will be back on track in South Australia, around Adelaide, with the Tour Down Under, a stage race that is also the first World Tour event and where the early riders will see if the work done during the last few months has been successful.
The Tour Down Under will take place over 7 days between January 14 and 22. In reality there are 6, since the first day is dedicated to a small criterium on a street circuit and three days later the Tour Down Under proper will start.
The most remarkable aspect of this Tour Down Under 2023 is precisely its celebration after its absence from the calendar in 2021 and 2022 due to the strict restrictions set in Australia because of the pandemic.
Tour Down Under 2023 Route
As usual at the beginning of the season, the routes and distances are not particularly demanding. In the case of the Tour Down Under, the competition begins with an urban race in the streets of Adelaide, on a short circuit that mimics the format of cyclocross, with a duration of 1 hour plus an extra lap of the 1.35 km course.
Three days later, on Tuesday 17th, the actual competition will start with a 5.5 km prologue time trial, also with Adelaide as the venue.
The first stage takes the peloton to the town of Tanunda, offering a flat course of 150 kilometers with just a couple of small climbs that should not cause any difficulty. Although it is a day favorable for sprinters, in the last edition, Luke Dubridge surprised the whole peloton when he managed to win an 80-kilometer solo breakaway.
154 kilometers will connect the towns of Brighton and Victor Harbor on the third day, with a more broken profile, typical of the coastal area through which the race will pass, although it should not offer difficulties for a mass finish.
The next stage moves to a hilly area between Norwood and Campbelltown, to offer a winding route of 116 km with several climbs in a day favorable for breakaways. It is only the prelude to the traditional queen stage with the finish at Willunga, although this time neither the finish is on the hill where this stage traditionally ended, nor in the peloton will be Richie Porte, retired at the end of last season, the great dominator of this climb that he had made his particular territory.
The outcome of the race will take place the following day with the ascent of Mount Lofty on a circuit to which the peloton will ride 5 laps and which promises an exciting finish.
Usually, the Tour Down Under is a test for those riders who want to be strong in the first European races of the season, although nowadays the concept of a preparation race no longer exists and, as a World Tour race, it is a true battle.
One of the first teams to confirm its participation was Movistar Team, which will send Oscar Rodriguez, Gorka Izagirre, Johan Jacobs, Lluís Mas, Imanol Erviti, Ivan Romeo and Sergio Samitier to Australia.
Little by little the line-ups of other squads are being confirmed, such as INEOS Grenadiers, which will go to the Australian event with a powerful and young squad captained by Geraint Thomas, who will be supported by Ethan and Leo Hayter, Kim Heiduk, Magnus Sheffield, Ben Swift and Luke Plapp, who a few days ago brilliantly revalidated his title as Australian champion.
Interesting team also presented by UAE Team Emirates, which will have the incentive to see the performance that Jay Vine is able to offer, who a couple of days ago won surprisingly in the Australian Championship against the clock, a discipline in which he had not shone so far and confirms its evolution as a serious contender for leading cyclist after the show he gave us in the last Vuelta a España.
However, the squad to beat will surely be Jayco-AlUla, with Michael Matthews as the favorite for the final victory in all the pools and who will be supported by riders like Durbridge, Hamilton or Simon Yates who returns to the GreenEdge Cycling structure after his years with INEOS Grenadiers.
Other notable names that we have been knowing throughout these days are some like the current winner of the Giro d'Italia Jai Hindley, Ben O'Connor from AG2R or Caleb Ewan, who this time will take part under the colors of the Australian team because Lotto-Dstny will not attend the season-opening event.
Taking the place of the Belgian team is Israel-PremierTech, which starts here its long road to regain its World Tour squad status and comes to Australia with riders such as Simon Clarke, Chris Froome or Daryl Impey.
How to watch the Tour Down Under 2023
Once again, to follow cycling, the option will be Eurosport channel, or as they call themselves: "The House of Cycling", although the time difference will force us to stay up late as the races will take place at 1 am.
As usual, the channel will offer rebroadcasting at more reasonable times, in addition to the option of on-demand viewing through the Eurosport Player and GCN+ applications.