Another fun-filled, action packed Santos Tour Down Under has been and gone, and we’ve headed home exhausted, but immensely satisfied, following the delivery of two very successful tours (8 and 4 days) and an additional corporate one-day experience.
Take a look back…
We kicked things off on Schwalbe Classic day, perfectly timed to enjoy a cruisy warm-up spin out to the beach, in far but balmy conditions and drizzle. Not the hot, sunny Adelaide we were expecting, but the weather certainly didn’t dampen the mood, as excitement flooded the air, our guests well and truly ready to get amongst the action.
From there, we were off to see the pro women go head-to-head in a valiant battle for overall honours as the criterium marked the final stage of the women’s edition. An incredible display of fast, fiery, aggressive racing followed that saw eventual winner - American National road champion, Ruth Winder maintain her lead by the slimmest of margins to take the GC victory.
Next up, the men took to the streets in cool, windy and wet conditions…caution the priority for most, with the official tour to commence Tuesday. The battle against the sprinters, however still came in full force, despite the slick roads - Caleb Ewan a few bike lengths too quick for competitors, proving he’s bought his flying form from last season right back into 2020.
The following morning, we were up and at em’ fairly early to get some k’s and exploring in before meeting Team Sunweb pre recovery ride.
We woke up once more to blustery conditions and wet roads, so our plans to tackle the Adelaide famous Norton Summit shifted to a safer, sheltered ride led out by local guide, Darren O’Grady and former pro - Tour de France Green jersey winner, Baden Cooke.
The sun showed its face just in time for the pros to venture out for their ride as we made our way in to the City of Adelaide Tour Village to meet them. While we waited for the team to kit up, our own Stuart O’Grady, now official Race Director of the event popped down for a visit with none other than his old mate from the pro peloton, Fabian Cancellara - fresh off the plane having just arrived to Australia that morning. An incredible surprise for our guests, that understandably left them feeling a little speechless!
Team Sunweb then graciously took the time to chat and grab a photo, before rolling out in pursuit of the beach. We hopped on the train for roll-out to get an idea as to what their ‘recovery pace’ is…Verdict - NOT easy.
From there, we were back to the hotel to freshen up, before departing to enjoy the remnants of the tour ‘rest day’ at McLaren Vale’s world-famous winery, d’Arenberg.
Here, we enjoyed a walk through the abstract building ‘the cube’ before retreating to the top floor to enjoy a wine tasting and the stunning panoramic views on display. By then, our stomach’s were rumbling and well and truly ready for the decadent three course lunch that followed. An afternoon well spent, doing the rest day 'just right'.
The next day, we were up early, ready for action as the games were well and truly about to begin, with Stage One kicking off from the heart of Adelaide's other world-renowned wine region, the Barossa. The mood was high, from start to finish as we enjoyed the stunning, scenic route out over the iconic Gorge road. Joined by the Factor Bikes Australia team, we had plenty of support out on the road and an excited group of guests to match, cheerily anticipating the race action to come.
We rolled in to Tanunda just in the knick of time to see the Stage start as the pros set out on their first lap of five. We then settled in to our marquee roadside, setup a mere 75m from the line, where we enjoyed a delicious gourmet picnic spread by the incredible ‘Everyday Gourmet’. Not a bad way to replenish our efforts post ride and await the race action, that eventually saw a furious sprint battle against the peloton’s fastest men - Irishman, Sam Bennett, this time stealing the show.
The following morning, we whipped our climbing legs out of the bag to set out in pursuit of Stirling, where the Stage Two finishing circuits would take place around a testing, undulating course. Our own first hurdle came up the slopes of the mighty Montacute ascent…cruelly tough in its final stages, reaching some punishingly steep gradients. Nonetheless, everyone made it up, albeit through gritted teeth. A cool coke and a handful of lollies later, the grins were back and we were off again - Stirling bound to tackle a lap of the circuit.
Safe to say, on arrival back to the finish there were a few weary faces, more than ready for their afternoon, wining and dining over incredible pizza and local wine as we watched the stage action unfold right before us from a prime viewing location. Big screen entertainment, atmosphere on point and air-conditioning made for a day very well spent at the Santos Tour Down Under. Excitement levels at their peak when we saw the sensational Caleb Ewan prove his strengths once more in an exhilarating uphill sprint to the line.
Meanwhile, the Mummu team were also busy delivering a Corporate Tour Down Under day experience with Piper Alderman.
Their morning started right with coffee and baked goods before setting out into the Adelaide Hills, led by Baden Cooke. Mount Lofty, their first test of the day as they made their way out to Stirling and deeper into the daring hills. They then contested not one, but two laps of the final circuit to well and truly work up an appetite for a huge afternoon of indulging in incredible food, wine and race viewing. Three courses later, paired with a drop or two of stunning local vino, and they were well and truly prepared for the spectacular finish that came!
Find out more on our Corporate and Bespoke travel experiences, here...
The next day, it was time to get the cameras out as we set off to the Stage Three Start in Unley. As an official tour operator of the race, we were granted special access to the pre-stage rider prep area that had us wandering by the teams and riders within very close proximity. Literally, as close as you can get! We were lucky enough to then meet, chat and grab photos with some of the sports biggest stars along the way. Most, incredibly relaxed and friendly ahead of go-time, leaving our guests feeling a little starry-eyed!
Following the Stage start, we were back to the hotel to prepare for the arrival of our 4 day guests and get set for an afternoon welcome ride as the weather took a turn for the better. Thank you to Factor Bikes Australia for once again doing a fantastic job assisting in bike setup and dialling ahead of go-time.
Concluding a relaxed spin out to the beach, we were back to refresh and doll up ahead of the evening’s Mummu Cycling cocktail function at the Hilton. Several drinks and canapés later and we were joined by a number of very special guests from the pro peloton...
A BIG thank you to; Luke Durbridge, Jens Voigt, André Greipel, Stuey O’Grady and Baden Cooke who took the time to join us for the evening, sharing fantastic insight into the race, as well as some memorable moments from their impressive professional careers.
The next morning, we were up before the birds to contest the Westpac Challenge Tour, presented by the Advertiser - a sportive event that runs along the same Stage Four route as the pros - from Norwood through to Murray Bridge, with several shorter ride options from different start points also available.
A huge day out for many battling over testing terrain - some even lucky enough to cruise along with Fabian Cancellara!
Challenge ✔️- All arriving to the finish in Murray Bridge weary yet satisfied and ready for an afternoon kicking back watching the race action and preparing for the quick sprint battle that came. The man to beat, Caleb Ewan once again proving all too strong…
Meanwhile, our spectators were off on their own adventures, enjoying a touristy morning scoping out the Adelaide famous German town of Hahndorf, followed by wine tasting and a delicious meal at The Lane Vineyard before joining the rest of the group at the finish.
At Mummu Cycling we strive to create spectator and rider friendly itineraries run simultaneously to ensure an all-inclusive group dynamic. The only differing activities are when rides take place and spectators head out not their own guided adventures with our support team. Find out more, here.
The following day’s adventures included a cruisy spin to the Stage Five start in Glenelg where we enjoyed the buzzing pre-race festivities and met some big names of the pro peloton.
It was then back on the bikes and into the hills...a little leg weary for most, but still game for some k’s! Concluding a beautiful beach to hills ride, we arrived to the City of Adelaide Tour Village in time to enjoy the Stage action, while enjoying a delicious picnic lunch by the always impressive Everyday Gourmet.
It was then time to put the feet up ahead of the evening’s ‘Legend’s Dinner’ hosted by Fabian Cancellara and joined by the inspirational Kristina Vogel, as well as the voice of cycling, Phil Liggett.
Last but not far from least, the thrilling final showdown up Willunga Hill awaited…
Our day started bright and early as the Mummu peloton hit the streets on route to McLaren Vale, along Adelaide's impressive vineyard-dotted cycle ways.
Following a challenging summit or two (for the keen) up the leg zapping Willunga Hill, it was time to settle in for an incredible afternoon replenishing our efforts over great food and wine, while watching the excitement of the closing stage unfold from big screen entertainment, to witnessing the action live, roadside.
We then made our way over to our marquee’s set up 75m from the finish to join the madness and get our cheer on as the pros hit the base of the climb for the final time. As expected, an epic fight to the line that saw the legendary Richie Porte come out on top of the GC ranks....Truly surreal to witness it all live!
Thank you Santos Tour Down Under for putting on another seamless event, to our amazing, easygoing guests and to our dedicated, positive team of staff. We’ll be back...
Interested in joining us for the ride Down Under in 2021? You can now reserve your spot on tour, HERE with a Prerelease Guarantee. This will ensure your receive all 2021 tour itinerary information before we go LIVE on our website and social channels, as well as securing your place on the tour of your choice. Hope to see you there!