See the 2013 Tour Down Under stage maps
The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under, launched today, will for the first time have an even number of stages that favour both sprinters and all-rounders.
A completely new stage route and a grass start are just two additional new components to the 2013 Tour Down Under.
The stage routes revealed Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills will host a start for the first time while Rostrevor will host a stage finish also for the first time.
The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under will be held from 20 to 27 January, 2013.
Race director, Mike Turtur, said the event would be turning 15 next year and competitors and spectators alike would notice some differences.
"We've built the Santos Tour Down Under successfully over 15 years and it now brings in more than $42 million of economic activity, which is quite an achievement, but we're always looking at ways to keep the event dynamic and constantly evolving," Turtur said.
Furthermore, the 2013 UCI WorldTour race will include a brand new SKODA King of the Mountain climb at Corkscrew Hill.
After successfully hosting stages last year, Prospect, Lobethal, Unley, Stirling, Tanunda, McLaren Vale and Old Willunga Hill will again host stage starts or finishes.
"Stage Two from Mount Barker to Rostrevor will be the shortest open road stage in the race's history at 116 kilometres and also includes a gruelling new SKODA King of the Mountain climb on Corkscrew Hill," Turtur said.
"Riders will set off from Modbury in Bupa Stage Four, which will be a grass start – the first grass start in this event's history and, as far as I'm aware, in any other road racing event too.
"As the largest cycling race in the southern hemisphere and the first stop on the world cycling calendar, the Santos Tour Down Under will again attract an extremely high calibre of cyclists.
"Always a festival, the Santos Tour Down Under will be in full-party mode when we officially celebrate its 15th birthday on Saturday 19 January in Victoria Square with the team presentations followed by various entertainment.
"Last year's event was soaked up by more than 760,000 spectators, which included more than 36,000 interstate and international visitors.
"With the race route travelling through South Australia's spectacular regions, it's a great opportunity for visitors to explore the state's diverse attractions and scenery and enjoy the warm January weather.
"I look forward to seeing the exciting new components of next year's event unfold and to again welcoming some of the world's best cyclists to South Australia."
Santos Chief Executive David Knox said the company was proud to be the naming rights sponsor for a major event that was so capable of attracting elite cyclists and visitors from around the world.
"Our announcement in January to extend our naming rights sponsorship until 2016 demonstrates our dedication to an event that provides the state with so much energy and showcases South Australia’s beautiful and vibrant regions to a global audience," Knox said.
"We look forward to again working with Events South Australia and other sponsors to grow the popularity of the event and increase the economic benefits for the state."
2013 Santos Tour Down Under race routes:
Sunday 20 January – People's Choice Classic – Rymill Park, Adelaide (51km)
Monday 21 January – Rest day
Tuesday 22 January – Stage 1 – Prospect to Lobethal (135km)
Wednesday 23 January – Stage 2 – Mt Barker to Rostrevor (116.5km)
Thursday 24 January – Stage 3 – Unley to Stirling (139km)
Friday 25 January – Bupa Stage 4 – Modbury to Tanunda (126.5km)
Saturday 26 January – Jayco Stage 5 – McLaren Vale to Old Willunga Hill (151.5km)
Sunday 27 January – Stage 6 – Elder Park, Adelaide (90km)
Channel Nine will broadcast live stages and highlights of the 2013 Tour Down Under.
The 2013 Santos Tour Down Under will be held in Adelaide and regional South Australia from 20 to 27 January 2013. For more information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au