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  • DaveRides

    Sounds good, I might join you for a couple of the morning rides.

    You should probably reroute your ride to Willunga, or at least make people aware that it has about 6km of gravel roads and a trek along a rather unkempt walking trail! I’m talking about the bottom end of Scott Creek Road, through Scott Creek Recreation Park and then along Frith Road.

    If you want a fully sealed route, I can recommend the route from Stirling to Clarendon via Sturt Valley Road (brand new smooth tarmac going downhill, yes please!), Ironbank Road, Cherry Gardens Road and Main Road down to Clarendon from there. Essentially the reverse direction of part of last year’s stage 3 race route.

    • Don_A

      Beat me to it Dave. Although i was considering camping at the bottom of the Almanda Track to see who would stick to their Garmin route!

      Agree with the route selection via Sturt Valley Road and then onto Ironbank Road, Cherry Gardens Road and Main Road down to Clarendon, that would the better choice.

      • DaveRides

        We could sit there and offer navigational advice, maybe $5 a head? Anyone who didn’t want to pay would be told to backtrack and climb Morgan Road as punishment.

        Another good option would be downhill from Crafers on Upper Sturt Rd, then Pole Rd and the last bit of Ironbank Rd before Cherry Gardens. The downhill bits would be far more interesting than the Sturt Valley Rd, although a marshal would be needed to give a warning just before the Pole Rd turn as it is quite easily missed.

        These are the roads I grew up on in terms of ‘real’ road cycling, living in Aberfoyle Park and Blackwood.

        • AndyVB

          Thanks guys! We jumped the gun a little with that Strava route – the exact route is still to be released. We’ll have it up on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1623548277954444

          It will contain dirt, but it’s completely optional (but recommended!).

          Unrelated: help me settle an argument. Is Greenhill the best descent in Adelaide?

          • DaveRides

            Montacute Road is #1, hands down.

            But during the six weeks of reconstruction after a massive storm trashed it in September, I guess some other road would have been first. I personally prefer Belair Road (local bias) and Old Norton Summit Road to Greenhill.

            • AndyVB

              So many fond memories of rolling turns on that Montacute descent. Good point. Glad to hear it’s back – I saw some of the pics after it was trashed in the floods!

              • DaveRides

                Adelaide Hills Council (one of the most pro-cycling councils in SA) did a really good job with it, the reconstructed segment is silky smooth and has already survived another couple of storms that dumped heavy rain on the eastern suburbs.

                They originally said they were hoping to have one lane open by the end of October, then said nothing for a while until they announced on 30 October that both lanes would be open the following day.

                Hopefully the heavy rain forecast for tomorrow night and Friday morning (bad luck for anyone wanting to join Katusha-Alpecin’s ride with the fans) won’t damage any of the great cycling roads, that would be poor timing.

            • M M B

              Ill second that! Greenhill road does descend a little quicker but the surface is rougher and theres more traffic. Montecute has little traffic, nice technical section in the first half and a great 2nd half to allow everyone to draft for a sprint finish.

          • Don_A

            Thought you were just mixing things up and showing diversity in the route choice.

            Is Greenhill road the best descent? depends if you mean down Greenhill Road towards the city (not bad but tighter car filled road towards the bottom). Going from the “summit” of Greenhill towards Uraidla and then to Balhanna is much better though.

            Montacute is also good (as Dave says below) as is Algate Valley Road down to Mylor.

            • AndyVB

              I’m trying to remember the name, but I have ‘Toops road(?)’ in my head as the really fun gravel climb up to the ridge?

              • Don_A

                Haven’t done Toops Hill Road before, its on the to-do list. It looks like a great climb. And then along the ridge up Range Road, classic SA road racing location. Sounds like a great route Andy.

          • Ben Pilot

            I find it amusing that people would be upset with that original route?? Its perfectly fine on any road bike, what’s the fuss????

            Best descent in ADL? greenhill would be up there if it got some new surface – currently Montecute wins with Gorge second Belair Rd 3rd also in need of some fresh grip

            • easytiger

              Have to disagree about Belair Rd – quite boring, and Old Belair Rd is treacherous, and descending the Gorge after Corkscrew is horrible.

              Greenhill Rd with hotmix would be insane (fast), but a bit smoother in parts would be nice.

              Have to agree that Montecute from Marble Hill is probably the best of the bunch – but beware the “Widow-maker” kangaroo early morning near the cemetery!

              Other minor contenders – Ashton towards Basket Range is a great Col d’Roll (consistently steep enough not to have to pedal), Forest Range is also fast and technical, the 2 Basket Range descents going west have some nice flip-flop corners, Mt Osmond towards the City is terrifyingly fast with spectacular views.

              Best gravel descents – Gully Rd (Carey Gully), Debneys Rd (Norton Summit), Sprigg Rd (Piccadilly). Really any gravel road in the Adelaide Hills is amazing.

              Having said that, Best gravel ascent – Blockers Rd (Forest Range). IMO it has no peers.

              • Ben Pilot

                I guess Belair can be good or bad depending on the mood / speed – Also of mention is Greenhill the other way from Deviation…. now that can get some hustle on !!

                Anstey also a mention plus Humpty from Cherry Gardens to Blacks Rd – also needing fresh surface wahhhhhh

                • DaveRides

                  Belair Road is as good a descent as you make it. I’d love to see the TDU head down that way at some point and race it properly.

                  Sturt Valley Road from Upper Sturt Road down to the turn is good, with a number of corners providing excellent visibility out the other end so you can use all the road.

                  A bit of a joker in the pack for sheer terror value is the Lynton-Belair bike path with its 23% gradient going down into a very awkward corner, courtesy of the local council deciding to save a party $160,000 by not building the planned switchbacks.

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeqBb61vsL4

        • Don_A

          haha, you could make some coin there. Morgans a tough little climb as well, might surprise a few folks that early on the way out.

          its great cycling around there, the climb up Iron Bank (great descent) from Sturt Valley is nice.

          The other neat option would be after Clarendon, right turn down Chapel Hill Road, then Blewit Springs Road. Great country roads, less traffic than McLaren Flat Road

          • DaveRides

            Certainly agree on Blewitt Springs Rd being great, it’s the prettiest road in the area.

            Once at the bottom of Blewitt Springs Rd in McLaren Flat, they could then offer the options of climbing up to Range Rd on Thomas Hill Rd (gravel) or McMurtrie Rd (sealed and steep, the fastest point of the TDU each year).

            • AndyVB

              I’ll have to check out Blewitt Springs Road..

              • DaveRides

                I’ll see if I still have a video of it sitting on my hard drive somewhere. It was added to the Amy’s Ride course three years ago when the McLaren Vale finish was shifted to the Serafino winery.

                Wickhams Hill Road is better downhill than up, because you’re not facing away from the view over the Willunga Basin. On a clear day you can even see as far as Yorke Peninsula!

                • snappydon

                  I enjoy all 3 of the descents off the Western side of Willunga Range. Old Willunga, Penny’s Hill and Wickham Hill each offer fast open curves and pretty a good surface.

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