February 5, 2018 No comments exist

Climbing in Adelaide

By Liam Lawlor

Adelaide is well known for its great training roads. The Adelaide Hills offer many challenging climbs while the beach roads are almost perfectly flat. Being more suited to climbing, I find myself riding in the hills more often. With an endless amount of climbs within 15km of the city, it’s sometimes hard to choose. However, I have managed to pick some of my favourite climbs, which are listed below.

Corkscrew Road

Distance: 2.3km

Average Gradient: 8%

Current KOM: 6:30

Corkscrew Road is one of the most famous climbs in Adelaide thanks to its inclusion in previous Tour Down Unders. The brutal climb begins at a small bridge and finishes at the intersection of Montacute Road. The climb begins with a steady gradient before you hit the steepest part of the climb, which leads to the switchbacks. The four switchbacks averaging 11% in the middle of the climb make you feel as if you are in Europe climbing up the steepest of cols. After the switchbacks, the gradient eases to an average of 6% for the rest of the climb, allowing you to recover slightly or continue to push hard for the strava segment.

Mt Osmond (Beaumont side)

Distance: 2.2km

Average Gradient: 10%

Current KOM: 7:03

Like Corkscrew, Mt Osmond is full of steep switchbacks and good views. However, unlike Corkscrew the gradient remains consistently steep, making it impossible to recover until you reach the top. The climb begins in the Suburb of Beaumont and finishes at the Mt Osmond golf course, overlooking all of Adelaide. Once you finish the climb you can keep following the road to the freeway bike track.

Torrens Hill Road

Distance: 1.2km

Average Gradient: 9%

Current KOM: 3:09

Torrens Hill Road was the climb that saw Richie Porte take victory in last year’s Tour Down Under. The climb begins at Gorge Road and finishes in Paracombe. Lacking switchbacks, Torrens Hill road is almost completely straight, making it seem to take longer to reach the top than it actually does. Although the climb is short, it isn’t an easy climb to power over due to the consistently steep gradient.

Kensington Road

Distance: 1.2km

Average Gradient: 12%

Current KOM: 4:34

Being completely in the suburbs Kensington road is easy to get to, however, it is hard to make it to the top. It begins at the roundabout on Penfold’s road and finishes at the Kensington lookout. Being a dead-end road and having an average gradient of 12%, Kensington road isn’t a very popular climb, but the view at the summit makes the pain worthwhile.

Basket Range to Forest Range

Distance: 1.9km

Average Gradient: 8%

Current KOM: 5:08

Located on Lobethal Road, the steady climb begins after a fast twisting descent from Ashton and finishes at Deviation Road. Being in the hills, it’s likely that this climb is attempted after climbing a hill such as Norton Summit, meaning the legs are usually already fatigued. For the whole 1.9 kilometres of the climb, the gradient stays at roughly 8%, leaving little time for recovery.

Knotts Hill and Pound Road

Distance: 2.6km

Average Gradient: 8%

Current KOM: 7:58

Like the Basket Range to Forest Range climb, this climb has a very consistent gradient. In my opinion this climb is one of the hardest in Adelaide. The road begins at an intersection giving you the option of choosing to climb Hunters road or Burdetts road (Little Italy). The climb begins on Knotts Hill road where it then changes to Pound road. The climb finishes once you reach Marble Hill road.


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