Road

2012 Tour Down Under to feature hilltop finish

SYDNEY (AFP) — Australia's Tour Down Under will feature a hilltop finish for the first time in its 14-year history, organizers said on Monday.

Cadel Evans attacks on Old Willunga in the 2010 Tour Down Under. AFP Photo

The second-to-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 following the usual descent to the nearby town of Willunga.

“What we have done by creating a hilltop finish on the penultimate stage 5 is really taking away the insurance policy that existed for the sprinters,” race director Mike Turtur told reporters on Monday.

“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 organizers were trying to lure all the world’s best riders to the January 15-22 Tour Down Under and would be talking to them after next month’s Tour de France.