New Belair Road
Avg Gradient: 5.5%
Metres Climbed: 205m
Road Surface: Pretty good
I’m not going to post photos of this one. Instead, I’ll direct you to this video that Team Sky made after the TDU, in which they climb it.
Belair Road runs straight out from south of the city as Unley road and due to other faster routes, isn’t too busy. The climb starts at the intersection with Springbank Road, although you’ll find that you have to go uphill for a little while before you reach it. Just keep following the road up, and the houses will melt away, and you’ll soon find yourself overlooking parklands with a view to the ocean. The first part of this climb is the steepest (at around 8%) after which it levels out to about 4-5% for the rest of the climb.
For the first half of the climb, you’ll wind your way around both sides of a valley, with two switchbacks – one to the right, by which point the gradient has evened out, and one to the left, after which the road surface improves, and you can start to pick up the pace.
The second half runs just on one side of a ridge, and cuts back and forwards quite a bit. I always expect the finish to be just around the next right hand corner, only to find that there are two more to go. The climb finishes at the intersection with Sheoak Road. From here you can descend Old Belair, ride through to the Beautiful Belair National Park, continue through the southern hills, or for a real pain party, follow Sheoak road right up to Crafers.
A quick note on the traffic: Whilst it’s often pretty quiet, it’s best to avoid this one during peak hour and school pickup times. The traffic comes in waves as they’re released by the lights at the bottom, and it’s far more pleasant to ride when it’s calm.