[close]

Cycling tour likely to use heat protocol

The temperature is forecast to hit 40-plus in the first couple of days of next week's Tour Down Under.

Cycling tour likely to use heat protocol

The temperature is forecast to hit 40-plus in the first couple of days of next week's Tour Down Under.

The Tour Down Under faces another blast furnace as the World Tour cycling race prepares to enact its heat policy.

Race director Mike Turtur predicts one of the early stages next week will be shortened because of the forecast temperatures.


Adelaide scorchers have been a recurring theme through the Tour's 21-year history, with the January temperature regularly climbing into the 40s.

That is the forecast for next Tuesday's opening stage and also on Wednesday, before a cool change drops the temperature into the more-manageable low 30s.

Last year, stage four started an hour early as the heat hit the mid-40s.

The Tour's annual community ride, held on the same route at the race stage, was cancelled.

Turtur said the final decision would be made on Monday about any race changes because of the forecast heat.

"It's fair enough to say there will be a modification of a stage," he said.

"But that will be agreed on and announced on Monday."

Turtur is talking with riders' representative Adam Hansen and team directors' representative Matt White over the weekend, ahead of a meeting on Monday with all the teams.

Turtur also warned that if there are extreme bushire warnings, those will also impact the Tour.

"Everyone needs to understand - if there was a catastrophic rating for any region, then the race cannot enter that region," he said.

"We need to also bear that in mind, but that will be considered when and if that happens - it's one of those things we can't control

"But certainly we have all the necessary protocols in place to deal with it."

Australian star Richie Porte said the weather could determine how much stage three on Thursday impacts the race.

The 146.2km stage from Lobethal to Uraidla in the Adelaide Hills features six loops of a challenging circuit and it could be pivotal.

"It just depends how it's ridden ... it's a pretty tricky, hard stage," Porte said.

"If it's a hot day and the peloton doesn't feell like riding hard, then it could also mean nothing.

"But looking at the course, if the proverbial hits the fan there, it's going to be a good fight"

Just as the Uraidla loop is a new addition to the Tour route, there has been a big shake-up for the end of the six-day race.

Rather than the traditional Adelaide street race, it will end with the Tour's famous Queen Stage at Willunga.

Porte has won the last five Willunga stages, but finished second overall last year on countback to Mitchelton-Scott's South African ace Daryl Impey.

Porte has joined Trek-Segafredo and will be their main rider at the Tour de France.

"It's a good, challenging course and it's just nice to come to Adelaide in January," the Tasmanian said of the Tour Down Under.

"This race is fantastic, it's so well-organised and it's just a great way to start the year."

AAP


AAP




Latest Stories