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2017 Tour Down Under: Stage 4 preview

Caleb Ewan wins ahead of Peter Sagan. (Team Sky)
Roar Guru
19th January, 2017
0

Stage 4 from Norwood to Campbelltown will be a lumpy affair, with the road consistently going up and down all day, before finishing in what should be another bunch sprint.

The day starts out of Norwood onto the early slopes of the uncategorised Anstey Hill climb, which hits the riders for five kilometres at just over five per cent.

Expect a large group of riders to go up the road here, as the course suits a break with its consistently undulating nature.

It is then a series of short climbs and fast descents, before the only classified climb on the route: Checker Hill Road. The Category 2 climb is three kilometres at 4.8 per cent, with sections of above 15 per cent in the middle.

So much climbing so far on the stage, as the King of the Mountain points at Checker Hill are completed only 25 kilometres into the stage.

It is then only 12 kilometres down the road in Birdwood that we get the first intermediate sprint.

More lumpy roads greet the peloton as they head towards Williamstown, close to the route of Stage 1, before heading east towards Springton, and then finally south to the second intermediate sprint of the day, in Mount Pleasant, after 90 kilometres.

Sharp, rolling roads follow, before the start of Cuddle Creek Road with around 30 kilometres left. After a short climb, it is then a long descent onto Gorge Road, which the riders tackled on Stage 2, towards Paracombe.

There’s a turn onto Gorge Road with around 20 kilometres to go, with what should be a fast pace down to the outskirts of Adelaide and the eventual finish in Campbeltown, where positioning will be key.

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The final kilometre is fairly simple, with a sweeping left-hand bend, before a wide, straight, open finish for the sprinters to crank up the pace.

Due to the hilly nature, we could see the punchy riders – including Nathan Haas, Jay McCarthy and Simon Gerrans – contest the sprint, however, Caleb Ewan and Peter Sagan will likely be looking for the win in the bunch.

Other riders to look out for include Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Danny Van Poppel (Sky), Niccolo Bonafazio (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling), Mark Renshaw (Dimension-Data), Sean De Bie (Lotto-Soudal), Baptiste Planckaert (Katusha-Alpecin), Patrick Bevin (Cannondale Drapac), Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb), Ben Swift and Marko Kump (UAE Abu Dhabi), and Tom van Asbroeck (Cannondale Drapac).