Ahead of Stage 2, Women’s Tour Down Under Race Director Kimberly Conte said the real test for riders will be the road less-travelled – Christmas Tree Ridge at Forreston, which involves a debut climb with a maximum 11% grade occurring late in the race.
“Murray Bridge has been part of the women’s race in the past but this is the first time it will host the race for us," Conte said.
"The race then crosses over the Murray River and back into town under race-neutral before it heads to the Adelaide Hills via Nairne and Balhannah.
“Birdwood will see a sprint and finish in today’s opportunistic race, with the peloton passing through Birdwood with 35 kilometres to go and returning in the other direction on approach to the finish.
“The final gruelling climb comes only 8 kilometres from the finish, so again anything could happen and we’ll see whether it becomes a sprinters’ stage or whether we have a breakaway rider who decides that it’s her day.”
Meanwhile, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said daily 'Best Dressed Town' honours were awarded to Echunga Community Association for their outstanding display of colour and decoration.
“Today’s stage will see Murray Bridge hosting a start of the Women’s Tour Down Under for the first time in race history, heading east to cross the Murray River before heading back into town and to the Adelaide Hills via Nairne and Balhannah,” Marshall said.
“We look forward to seeing the towns dressed to impress today and we expect strong community support from the regions. We know that they will use the opportunity to welcome the riders and teams from around the world and country to showcase the best their towns have to offer.”
The Santos Tour Down Under will be held 16 – 26 January 2020, with today the second day of racing with Stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.