There is no stage more exciting on the Santos Tour Down Under than the infamous Willunga Hill.
The 151.5km route starts in the McLaren Vale and winds its way rapidly along some of South Australia's most stunning coastal scenery, but it's without question that heck of a climb up Willunga that really sorts the day out.
It's the penultimate and Queen stage event that year-in-year-out has the ability to upset the GC apple cart.
It's also the stage that gives Australia a taste of just how epic spectator support can be - literally thousands upon thousands of cycling fans line the roads, with the most concentrated numbers packing every spare metre up the notorious Willunga. It's impossible not to be affected by the buzz that boils over on this hill - characters dress up, fans camp out, banners go up, music pumps; there is an unmistakable electricity.
BikeExchange not only sponsored this stage, but we got out there in full force (as we've done each year), handing out thousands of free t-shirts, "letshurtalittle" support 'clappers', plenty of cold beers, water, sunscreen and a live telecast of the day's racing.
As the chopper hovered above, parade cars and police vehicles whizzed by followed soon after by the riders in full-battle, this was a day to remember!
Many of us were secretly - and not at all so secretly - hoping for Cadel to take top of the podium on BikeExchange Stage 5. It would have topped off an incredible end to his Tour Down Under racing. But it wasn't to be - Sky's Richie Porte defended his previous Willunga win, but not without a memorable battle to the end. What a day of racing! Enjoy the buzz relived...
Images courtesy of Regallo.