Former TDU Winner and local Adelaidian, Pat Jonker gives us his top recommendations for places to visit, cafes to indulge in and the best spots to watch the races from at this years Santos Festival of Cycling;
Hit the Barossa hard. It’s an amazing place to cycle and taste some world class local produce and wines. Think Maggie Beer’s farm shop. While you're here to watch the racing take some time out to visit Maggie’s farm shop but before you head over to Maggie’s, sink your teeth into food that is hand-baked, handmade and hand grown. Red Door Espresso - Kitchen & Pantry welcomes you with a seasonal menu, coffee, cake and raw vegan treats, Barossa wines and craft beers, for the perfect morning or afternoon delight.
The first stage; Ziptrack Stage 1: Seppeltsfield to Tanunda sees both the men and women attack the infamous Mengler Hill just outside Angaston. A great place to watch the action. You can watch both the men’s and women's start in Seppeltsfield Winery then ride to Menglers Hill and watch them suffer up the climb to then descend back down and watch the finish in Tanunda. While in Tanunda, why not grab a barista brew? Tanunda Bakery & Cafe is a family owned business with a splash of German influence, this place is sure to tickle your taste buds. They're passionate about authentic, German sourdough. A perfect place to stop for a quick bite of lunch, or to stock up for that afternoon picnic!
BikeExchange Stage 2: Birdwood to Lobethal Check out the Birdwood motor museum you will find some gems of days gone by such as Bathurst V8 race cars but also a Bugatti veyron EB 16.4 Worlds most expensive motor vehicle. Both men and women start in Birdwood so hang around and take in the atmosphere of this typical South Aussie town. If your on a bike you can either ride to the Fox Creek climb and ride the KOM of the day or ride to the finish in the historic town of Lobethal which is not too far away. Whilst in Loby check out the famous Lobethal Bakery! A destination spot for many recreational cyclists. An institution, this bakery has been running since 1975 and offers a mouth watering selection of authentic breads, house made pastries and barista coffee. This stage promises to be a thriller, so in my opinion if you're not quick on the bike then it’s worth missing the KOM at Fox Creek and heading straight to Loby for the finish.
Willunga Hill - Not to be missed!
Willunga Hill has become the Alpe D Huez of Australian cycling. It has become the deciding factor in the overall classification of many TDU finishes. This short but furious climb is also very picturesque so it’s worth climbing then descending back down to grab a brew in the Main Street of Willunga before you head off to d'Arenberg Cube which will host the start of Stage 3. Once the riders set off I would ride to Willunga and find a café to hang out for the day. Watch both the men’s and women’s racing as they battle for overall victory on the steep slopes of Willunga Hill. Who can beat Ritchie? Is he even beatable on his favourite climb on the world tour circuit? Watch out for some local talent who will give their all to challenge Ritchie!
Lastly: The final day of racing is on the Victoria Park race course. Just outside the CBD. The race will start late afternoon so an opportunity to ride along Adelaide's picturesque beaches, is a must. Head to Glenelg and follow the coast line to Semaphore, chuck a U turn and ride back to Glenelg and make sure you grab a coffee at the legendary Orange Spot bakery. You will have plenty of time to check out Glenelg and it’s many retail outlets and beautiful beach!
For more information visit the Santos Festival of Cycling website.
Enjoy the Santos Festival of Cycling - See you there!