25 Years Of World Class Cycling History

South Australian Tourism Commission

In celebration of the 25th edition, Adelaide’s CBD will provide the backdrop for the final day of men’s racing, as the Santos Tour Down Under race routes are revealed for 2025.

Paying homage to the event’s rich history as Australia’s greatest cycling race, the men’s fast-paced final city stage returns to the lineup after a seven-year hiatus. Willunga Hill will feature once again with the women’s peloton to tackle two climbs up the iconic hill for the first time and in another first, the men will descend its steep slopes.

All stages for the 2025 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) WorldTour and Women’s WorldTour races were launched in Adelaide today, featuring new start and finish locations, picturesque routes and nostalgic nods to 25 years of South Australia’s beloved cycling race.

Cycling fans can enjoy a combined 1,198 kilometres of action across 10 days, with the women’s race headlining the opening weekend, kick-starting on Friday 17 January with a fast-paced sprinters stage from Brighton to Aldinga.

Adelaide’s East End holds a special place in Santos Tour Down Under history and will also make a return to the 25th edition routes. A men’s circuit race through East End streets featured when the race made its debut in 1999. Hopes were high that up to 15,000 people would enjoy the action live, with expectations smashed when more than 40,000 came out to welcome world cycling to South Australia.

The race routes are revealed as independent analysis shows the 2024 Santos Tour Down Under generated $87.2 million in attendee spend, adding $54.5 million in economic value to the South Australia economy. It attracted an estimated total attendance of 770,600, while creating 490 full-time equivalent jobs.

Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison said The Santos Tour Down Under has been a staple on South Australia’s Calendar since it began 25 years ago.

“This event means so much to South Australians. It showcases our state’s regions, bring communities together, and boosts our local economy.”

“It’s an incredible opportunity to put South Australia on the global stage and attract visitors from all over the world.”

“The longevity of this event is testament to the passion and creativity that goes into it each year.”

“The economic benefits this iconic race has brought to the state across its 25 years is outstanding. This year’s race injected more than $87 million into our state’s economy, attracting a total attendance of 770,600 while showcasing South Australia’s regions to millions more around the world through the broadcast.”

Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Stuart O’Grady OAM said he and Assistant Race Directors Annette Edmondson and Carlee Taylor were proud to present the 2025 race routes.

“We nod to the incredible history that this event holds, but we’ve also managed to find new elements that will test the elite international cyclists,” Mr O’Grady said.

“We saw incredible vulnerability and emotion in so many of the athletes this year, in particular Sarah Gigante as she won up Willunga Hill – a climb that we will see women tackle twice for the first time in 2025.”

“We’ve designed the routes to both challenge the riders and give fans the best possible opportunities to enjoy all the racing action up close.”

“Some of the exciting new elements in the men’s race will see them ride down the face of Willunga for the first time followed by two ascensions and a brand-new climb up Knotts Hill, Pound Road. Smart team tactics will be crucial for success in this edition of the Santos Tour Down Under.”

2025 Santos Tour Down Under women’s stages:

Friday 17 January

Ziptrak Stage 1 – Brighton to Aldinga, 101.9km

Beachside Brighton will host its first women’s start before the peloton heads to the Fleurieu Peninsula. Expect coastal vistas, a warm welcome from local communities and a sprint finish at Aldinga’s Snapper Point – already the scene of so much Santos Tour Down Under action.

Saturday 18 January

Stage 2 – Unley to Willunga, 115km

Climbing comes early in this second women’s stage. Riders will roll out from Unley – a first for our women’s race – and head straight to Windy Point at Belair. From there the ascents continue, with two punishing passes of Willunga Hill set to challenge the peloton like never before.

Sunday 19 January

Stage 3 – Stirling to Stirling, 105.9km

It all comes down to the Adelaide Hills in our closing women’s stage. Fans can settle in at any point across an undulating circuit designed to keep even the most tenacious riders on their toes. A change in overall leader is possible; world-class racing is certain.

2025 Santos Tour Down Under men’s stages:

Saturday 18 January

Down Under Classic – Adelaide East End – 55kms

Ready to party like it’s 1999? Us too! We’re flashing back to the first Santos Down Under and taking our curtain-raising criterium back to the East End of Adelaide. Gather your family and friends, settle in and cheer on the world’s best around a circuit of almost two kilometres.

Tuesday 21 January

Ziptrak Stage 1 – Prospect to Gumeracha, 150.7km

A stage for the sprinters is up first. From Prospect riders will head north to Williamstown, tackling Gorge Road at Paracombe as their opening climb of the day before turning back towards the Adelaide Hills. It’s the first men’s stage finish in Santos Tour Down Under history for Gumeracha, with the peloton to pass through the town twice and return for a furious push to the line.

Wednesday 22 January

Health Partners Stage 2 – Tanunda to Tanunda, 128.8km

Mengler Hill is back in the mix as action moves to the Barossa. Riders will approach from its steeper west side and navigate this gruelling 2.7-kilometre climb three times. It’s a route tipped to put sprinters under serious pressure ahead of a fast finish into historic Tanunda.

Thursday 23 January

efex Stage 3 – Norwood to Uraidla, 147.5km

A new climb makes its debut on this third day of racing – and word is it’s even tougher than Willunga Hill. Pound Road near Ashton reaches a maximum gradient of 22 per cent and will be contested twice, with the third pass coming just four kilometres from a technical descent to the Uraidla finish. Expect fireworks.

Friday 24 January

Hahn Stage 4 – Glenelg to Victor Harbor, 157.2km

Team tactics are set to come into play as cyclists head south to the Fleurieu Peninsula. Highlights include a journey across the Myponga Reservoir wall and a return to the Nettle Hill climb at Hindmarsh Valley that prompted plenty of drama when it featured in the 2023 race. Longtime stage finish location Victor Harbor will host another beauty.

Saturday 25 January

THINK! Road Safety Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill, 145.7km

Willunga Hill has been a crucial part of the Santos Tour Down Under for decades, but always as a climb. On this stage the men will descend its steep slopes before heading out on a picturesque loop through McLaren Vale vineyards, then changing direction to ascend Willunga Hill twice. Who will attack when it counts?

Sunday 26 January

Schwalbe Stage 6 – Adelaide to Adelaide, 90km

Twenty-five years as Australia’s greatest cycling race calls for a celebration. Ours will happen in the heart of Adelaide on this closing stage, a circuit sure to set up a thrilling sprint finish. It’s the same route used from 2015 to 2018, another nod to our history and one with ample vantage points of all the action.

The Santos Tour Down Under is taking place in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 17-26 January 2025. It will feature nine days of elite racing for men and women. Further elements of the Santos Festival of Cycling will be announced in the coming months.

Please visit tourdownunder.com.au

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