Every year in January, the cycling world shifts its focus to Adelaide for the Tour Down Under. The first WorldTour race of the season is in its 18th edition and continues to grow in popularity with pros and spectators alike.
In recent years, the Tour Down Under has incorporated some famous climbs around Adelaide that are now bucket list items for cyclists to tick off while they are in town.
We've profiled a few key climbs of the Tour Down Under that you have to ride if you are in town. Here is everything you need to know about Norton Summit.
Norton Summit Profile
Distance - 3.5 mile
Gradient - 5.3%
Getting to the Norton Summit climb is very easy, a short 6 mile ride from the heart of the Adelaide CBD. There is a gentle rise all the way to the base that provides a more than adequate warm-up, and best of all, there is a bike lane available the whole way. The climb starts just after you turn into Norton Summit Rd, but be sure not to climb up Old Norton Summit Rd. Old Norton Summit Rd is a good climb but not the one we are focusing on here.
The Norton Summit climb is a relatively consistent climb with a few pinches around 10%, but mostly true to its 5% average gradient. The climb has lots to keep you interested: amazing views, some steep switchbacks, and a stacked leaderboard of pro riders to test yourself against.
Orica-GreenEDGE rider, Damien Howson, currently sits on top of the leaderboard with the best time of 11:29 for the 53.5 mile ascent. Damien is the only rider to crack the 12-minute barrier, which isn't surprising when you consider he had to average 477 watts and 17.6 mph to get that time.
For those not racing up the climb, Norton Summit offers spectacular views across the Adelaide CBD and out into the ocean, so make sure you slow down and take in the magical vistas.
Once you are at the top of the climb (and have caught your breath), you can either spin around and enjoy the descent back down, or continue to Old Norton Summit Rd for a different option back to base.
The Norton Summit climb is extremely popular with almost 140,000 attempts and is a climb that any rider in Adelaide needs to have a go at.