We don’t know about you, but we’re still buzzing from this year’s Santos Tour Down Under. With a week of exhilarating racing through the stunning South Australian countryside and the emergence of some bright new talents, it’s certainly an exciting time for Australian cycling.
We were so excited in fact, that we decided to give away a 3-day luxury car hire to five of our favourite photographers so they could set off on their own Tour Down Under – hopefully taking some more great snaps on the way.
From scenic shots to creative compositions and even the odd selfie, our #TDUView photography competition received over 300 entries, showing some of the best sights that South Australia has to offer. Read on to see the best of the best in our round-up of the Santos Tour Down Under 2015.
People’s Choice Classic
The cycling action kicked off in Adelaide with the People’s Choice Classic – the traditional precursor to the Santos Tour Down Under. A pure sprinter’s race, it was the ever-present Marcel Kittel (Giant-Alpecin) who triumphed again this year, despite frantic challenges from several teams in the final sprint. The race circuit surrounded eastern Adelaide’s picturesque Rymill Park, with thousands of cycling enthusiasts turning out to see the early-evening spectacle.
We received some stunning shots of the stage – including this photo of Marcel Kittel leading the peloton from Instagram user @caitlin_johno:
Stage 1 – Tanunda to Campbelltown
Stage 1 of the Santos Tour Down Under 2015 began in Tanunda, in the beautiful surrounds of the famous Barossa Valley. In what was meant to be a sprinter’s stage, it was local favourite Jack Bobridge’s time to shine. Leading a four-man breakaway, the youngster outlasted the advancing peloton to take the ochre jersey.
Instagram user @fasian76 uploaded a snap of Giant-Alpecin rider Lawson Craddock amidst the stunning scenery of the Barossa.
The riders also encountered the first classified climb of the Tour at Checker Hill – an area not so long ago ravaged by bushfire. This snap from one of our #TDUView winners, Instagram user @jason_lyle, shows the spirit of Aussie Luke Durbridge, as he fights his way over the peak.
Stage 2 – Unley to Stirling
After finishing runner-up to Marcel Kittel in the People’s Choice Classic, Juan Jose Lobato (Movistar) rode to victory in a sprint finish in Stage 2 of the Santos Tour Down Under. In a bunch sprint, Lobato managed to overtake Orica-GreenEDGE rider Daryl Impey meters from the line, while Jack Bobridge maintained contact with the group to retain the ochre jersey. This stage was a treat for spectators as the tour travelled through the stunning sights of the Adelaide Hills, with the iconic Mount Barker overlooking passes through Hahndorf and Littlehampton.
Instagram user @shirkas_traveller uploaded this #TDUView of the peloton pushing through scenic Hahndorf to bag one of our 3-day luxury car hire prizes:
While another Instagram winner, @colby05, snapped this gem of the Beat Cancer Tour passing through Windy Point towards Upper Sturt and Stirling:
Stage 3 – Norwood to Paracombe
Another stage, and another challenging ride through the otherwise charming Adelaide Hills. It was the first stand-out GC stage on the Tour, and it didn’t disappoint. While the peloton stayed together for most of the race, teams clamoured for position for the final climb at Paracombe, with BMC leading the way. Local youngster Rohan Dennis’ final push 1 kilometre from the finish was enough to give him the ochre jersey, while Aussie Cadel Evans rode in close second.
Our entrants caught some magic moments as BMC asserted control over the race. Instagram user @tardiscat uploaded this happy snap of Rohan Dennis.
Stage 4 – Glenelg to Mount Barker
Kicking off in the scenic beach-side suburb of Glenelg, Stage 4 was another stage suited to the GC riders. An early breakaway featuring former race leader Jack Bobridge provided some concern for team BMC, but as the race proceeded towards Mount Barker, the peloton regained control of the race. Victorian, Steele von Hoff (UniSA), sprinted to his first professional victory, surviving a crash in the peloton just 300m from the finish. Rohan Dennis finished in the main group to maintain the ochre jersey.
Adelaide again offered up some stunning sights. Instagram competition winner @beardmcbeardy snapped this beautiful shot overlooking Aldinga Bay on Sellicks Hill.
Meanwhile, Instagram user @drivesloe took a wonderful photo of the sun setting over Glenelg.
Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Willunga Hill
Another day and another difficult stage on the Tour Down Under. The riders encountered a procession of tough climbs, and it was Team Sky’s Richie Porte who broke from the lead group to claim victory. Rohan Dennis came in nine seconds behind to retain the ochre jersey, while Cadel Evans finished a further five seconds back.
Instagram user @peter_piper_24 captured some of the region’s soaring scenery with this beautiful snap of the peloton weaving their way up Willunga Hill:
This was a fantastic stage for supporters of the race, with the circuit providing a great opportunity to get close to the action. Fans also had the chance to take a detour to the internationally-renowned wine region of McLaren Vale, the starting point of the day’s racing.
Instagram user @beardmcbeardy sent in another wonderful shot, this time of Richie Porte and a patriotic fan supporting the tour.
Stage 6 – King William Road, Adelaide
The final stage of the Santos Tour Down Under 2015 was also the 100th stage of the race since its inception in 1999. Supporters turned out en masse to cheer the riders home, and it was Dutch sprinter Wouter Wippert’s (Drapac) time to shine, crossing the line first. Despite a crash in the second last lap, the GC riders remained unaffected and Rohan Dennis (BMC) took the ochre jersey. Riche Porte (Team Sky) came in a close second, with Aussie cycling legend Cadel Evans (BMC) finishing third overall.
It was a fitting way to finish this year’s Tour Down Under, with spectators treated to world-class racing in Adelaide’s CBD near Elder Park and the pristine River Torrens. It was also time to bid farewell to Cadel Evans. Instagram competition winner @nickminge uploaded this snap of Cadel at his final WorldTour race.
Thanks to all our #TDUView entrants and congratulations to all our winners – we hope you enjoy your luxury car hires, and look forward to hearing about your Europcar detours!
Reckon you took an even better shot? Show us your #TDUView on Instagram or Facebook!