The 2023 Santos Tour Down Under is back after a two-year absence and so professional cycling’s WorldTour series will once again begin in Adelaide in January, with many of professional cycling’s best riders starting the new season in the warmth of the Australian summer.
This year’s Tour Down Under is the 23rd edition of the men’s race, with the women’s race also part of the WorldTour for the first time.
The racing begins on Saturday January 14 but riders will arrive in Australia early, creating a unique pre-race atmosphere as the 2023 season begins.
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The 2023 Santos Tour Down Under
Cyclingnews was created in 1995 and we have covered every edition of the Tour Down Under since it was first held in 1999 when now race director Stuart O’Grady won the inaugural edition.
The Tour Down Under has traditionally marked the start of the WorldTour, with only the COVID-19 pandemic and travelling restrictions cancelling the race in 2021 and 2022. Smaller national level events were held in the last years but the biggest teams and many of the sport’s biggest riders will return for the 2023 race in January.
Grand Tour winners Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Simon Yates have all confirmed they will ride this year’s Tour Down Under, each with strong squads from their respective Israel Premier Tech, Ineos Grenadiers and BikeExchange-Jayco teams.
More big-name riders will be announced soon, with WorldTour status ensuring the 18 best men’s teams and the 15 best women’s teams will be on the start line.
There will also be a strong Australian presence, with Caleb Ewan hoping to win his tenth stage at the Tour Down Under while riding for an Australia national team selection.
The 2023 Tour Down Under begins with a warm-up evening criterium on Saturday January 14, putting on a show for the crowds in central Adelaide and helping riders test their form and shake out their legs before the stage racing begins.
The women’s Tour Down Under includes three stages between January 17-19, while the men’s Tour Down Under includes a prologue time trial and five stages.
The women’s race starts with a 110.4km stage from Glenelg to Aldinga near Willunga. Stage 2 climbs into the Adelaide hills between Birdwood and Uraidla, while stage 3 is for the climbers and will surely decide the overall winner. The 93.2km stage includes 1773m of ascending, including Corkscrew Road, one of Adelaide’s toughest and iconic ascents.
A stage finish atop Willunga Hill has traditionally decided the overall winner of the men’s Tour Down Under but in 2023, the race will finish on Mount Lofty, a new summit finish in the Adelaide Hills.
The race begins with another innovation, a 5.5km prologue time around Adelaide’s Riverbank. Every second won or lost against the clock could be vital later in the race.
The road race stages visit the Barossa vineyards of South Australia, visit the spectacular coast roads near Brighton and Victor Harbor, and climb into the hills via Norton Summit, Checkers Hill and Corkscrew Road on stage 3.
Stage 4 visits Port Willunga, with a spring finish likely, before the final stage climbs the stunning backroads yet again, with four loops of a 25km circuit with Mount Lofty as the centrepiece. The overall race winners will be crowned on the peak, with the Adelaide city skyline offering the backdrop.
The Cyclingnews coverage of the 2023 Tour Down Under
Cyclingnews’ Simone Giuliani and Stephen Farrand will be in Adelaide to cover both the men’s and women’s Tour Down Under.
We will have live coverage of each stage with detailed updates, full race reports, photo galleries, exclusive interviews, race analysis and all the new 2023 bike tech, as teams show off their new equipment and racing colours.
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