Hilltop finish for 2012 Tour Down Under stage

Gael Monfils

SYDNEY: Australia’s Tour Down Under will feature a hilltop finish for the first time in its 14-year history, organisers said yesterday.

The second-last stage of the six-day UCI WorldTour event in and around the South Australian city of Adelaide will again feature the draining climb up Old Willunga Hill.

But for the first time, the stage will finish on top of the hill, rather than the usual descent to the nearby town of Willunga.

“What we have done by creating a hilltop finish on the penultimate stage five is really taking away the insurance policy that existed for the sprinters,” race director Mike Turtur told reporters yesterday.

“It now means a rider who is 30 seconds down can win the race if they go hard and fast up Old Willunga.”

Turtur said organisers were trying to lure all the world’s best riders to the Jan 15-22 Tour Down Under and would be talking to them after next month’s Tour de France. — AFP

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