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Santos Tour Down Under Classic 2015

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by Steve Hudson (subscribe)
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Let's give the riders lots of encouragement, 30 times over
People's Choice Classic

The People's Choice Classic is the opening event of the Santos Tour Down Under program (TDU), and this year it returns to its traditional home at Rymill Park. Starting at 7pm, riders will do 30 laps of the 1.7km circuit in a fraction over an hour. Up for grabs is a trophy, and some bragging rights, but no points towards the TDU as the classic is a separate event to the TDU.

Peoples Choice Classic
Rymill Park Start

To help everybody through the TDU, and in particular the spectators, visitors, riders, cyclists, foodies and anyone in between, this guide to surviving this stage of the Santos Tour Down Under is offered.

The Race for Foodies

In 2014 we saw the Fork on the Road crew present Tour De Fork at the Classic. Rumours abound that they will be back again in 2015 following the hugely successful 2014. If they are, then there will be more than enough food choices for everyone.

Santos Tour Down Under
Tour De Fork 2014

Notwithstanding the above, there are always good food and drink vendors at Rymill Park, with plenty of offerings for all.

But for those looking for something else, then Rundle Street will be alive with some great meals expected at all locations including The Stag, Sosta, Café Brunelli, Daniels, San Giorgio Pizzeria and the Oyster Bar.

The Race for Spectators

This race provides spectators with the most viewings of the riders (30 times) albeit with riders travelling at circa 50kmh, it takes talent to pick the individuals. The slowest parts of the race circuit are the (near) hairpin from Bartels Road on to Dequetteville Terrace, and the left hander just after the start / finish line near the Stag Hotel. These two spots offer you vision that would be slightly better than a blur.

Santos Tour Down Under
Stag Corner

There will also be some video screens set up around the circuit. Make sure you get there early though, as these are popular. Aside from a tree or helicopter, some of the other "higher" viewing spots include the balcony of the Stag Hotel (get there early) or from the rooftop of the Kent Town Brewery Apartments.

Peoples Choice Classic
Corners cause crashes

Before The Race

Of course this is Adelaide in January, so the list of things to do before the race is endless.

For those who want to start the weekend in style, then there is the Ride Like Crazy Dinner on Friday 16th January. Put aside the lycra, and get yourself frocked up for what is sure to be a great night raising funds for a great cause.

On Saturday morning, why not head on down to the Bay, and join in the Big Red Ride and Run. This slow paced ride, with Australian icon Bradley McGee is sure to be the ideal recovery for those who travelled the extra mile on the night before. As an alternative, for those with the stronger legs, why not take a spin with the Cobwebs group on a slightly faster ride to Outer Harbour and back. On your return, drop in to the Watermark Hotel, and enjoy a coffee and some Rocky Road as part of your recovery.

Later on Saturday, the four stage Santos Womens Cup commences with a ride through the Adelaide Hills to Murray Bridge. The Womens Cup is now part of the Subaru National Road Series for 2015, so come on out and support the women riders. Saturday night sees a presentation of the teams and their riders from 5pm followed by a free concert in Victoria Square.

Santos Tour Down Under
Orica Greenedge Team Presentation

Sunday sees the annual Ride Like Crazy event through the Adelaide Hills. Join the thousands of riders in this event as they seek to raise over $1m in funds since the inception of this event in 2009.

And of course, the Adelaide City Council Tour Village and Bike Expo will be open all weekend to see all the latest and greatest bike pieces, while enjoying a cup of coffee or grabbing a glass of your favourite beverage.

Santos Tour Down Under
Tour Village

And at the track itself, the People's Choice Undies Run gives you a chance to run around the cycling track in your undies, before the boys in lycra get there. There is also a host of other pre-event races including the second stage of the Santos Womens Cup, and the Subaru Tour Parade with lots of giveaways for the entire crowd.

Getting there

With Rymill Park being located in the City Parklands, getting there is not a difficult issue. However finding a park just might be. But if you have come in on your bike, then there are over 550 bike parks around the City that you may find useful, including a number of new ones that have been installed as part of the Bike Art Trail. Why not come to town early, and give all 11 of these interesting bike parks a go ?

Santos Tour Down Under
Rundle Street Bike Art

Notes for Riders

And in the event that any of the professional TDU riders read this article, the following hints are offered :

The speed limit on city streets is a maximum of 50kmh
The race goes for 30 laps. Getting multiple flat tyres and sitting out many laps is technically allowed by the rules, but .....
Fork on the Road does not mean that there are hazards on the track
The fake tree at Brewery Corner is actually a sculpture by Craige Andrae and not some strange sort of Australian native
Don't ride down Rundle Street to get to the race - the smell of the freshly brewed lattes will stop you in your tracks and cause you to be late
If you smell methane, don't worry. The Rymill Park lake and rose gardens were created in the 1960s by excavating what was then the Bartels Road rubbish tip.

Santos Tour Down Under
Tree : Craige Andrae (fb)

After The Race

And after the race has finished at 8:05pm, why not head on down to either Rundle Street for a drink or some dessert at San Churro Chocolateria, Birdcage or Cocolat..

Alternatively, if you head to Gouger Street, then there is a good chance you will bump in to some of the riders as they look to devour a bowl or two of pasta after their ride.
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Why? Best chance to see the riders many time
When: 18 January 2015
Where: Rymill Park, Adelaide
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Can't wait. I do hope the Fork on the Road guys are there for the opening night. It made for a perfect night last year.
by Stefano (score: 2|215) 2324 days ago
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