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The ultimate guide to Stage Four of the Tour Down Under
Stage Four is the busiest day of the tour with an estimated 6000 riders making their way along a route from Glenelg to (almost) Victor Harbor North before heading back through the Fleurieu Peninsula to finish at Mount Barker. Stage Four is the day the recreational cyclists can pretend to be professional riders, and can beat them to that finish line, albeit with a 5 hour head 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
Today's stage is a tough stage for foodies. There are plenty of good food outlets, but most of them are slightly off the route taken by the riders. Strathalbyn has some nice cafes to supplement their second hand shops, while the Meadows Bakery is difficult to pass without stopping.
In addition to the above, and cognisant of the 6000 cyclists riding to Mt Barker, the TDU organising crew have given us a few hints as to where to go on their list of ten places to gorge yourself after the ride. While the list is primarily designed for those cyclists who have completed the challenge ride, I am sure that each of the venues won't mind a few other visitors on the way through.
The Race for Spectators
Stage Four through the Fleurieu Peninsula starts along the Southern Expressway before heading south to Sellicks Hill, and then along numerous country roads before finishing at Mt Barker.
The best spots for good rider views include :
At or just after the sprint line near the Ashbourne Hotel
South Terrace and West Terrace in Strathalbyn as riders slow to negotiate the town
The long hill out of Strathalbyn on the way to Macclesfield
The Return to Jetty Road Street Party occurs on the night before the race with fun, festivities and food lasting until 9pm or so. Jetty Road will then remain closed (and possibly still in party mode) as the estimated 6000 cyclists make their way to the start line from 5am onwards before their departure at 6am for their grand depart.
Activities will continue along Jetty Road as the Subaru Tour Parade gathers and the professional riders ready themselves for the slightly later start of their stage at 1130am.
For cyclists not participating in the Challenge Ride, but wanting to still see some of the action, this
Notes for Riders
Today's stage takes riders down the coast before heading inland to the hills. My suggestions for riders today are :
You can stop laughing at Adelaidean's now - the Southern Expressway goes both ways
The KOM today is on a hill (Sellicks), yet the ride goes through the towns of Mt Compass and Mt Barker.
If you are looking for some spare parts for your bike, try one of the second hand shops in Strathalbyn
Try to avoid being tempted with some of Adelaide's nicest donuts from the Meadows Bakery
Watch the road signs
After The Race
Why not slip the cocktail dresses on, and head on down to Port Willunga Beach and join in the Love Velo Seaside Dinner. At a cost of $59 per head, slip off the shoes and put on the thongs, and get down to enjoy a spectacular sunset while enjoying some real beachside dining. With some great jazz, fire jugglers, delicious food, sensational wines, South Australia's longest silver service style dinner on a beach is at an iconic South Australian location watching a magical January sunset.