• Aussie Nathan Haas tries to stay cool at last year's Tour Down Under (Getty)Source: Getty
Tour Down Under organisers days out from the official 2019 race start have shortened the route in anticipation of extreme heat.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
14 Jan 2019 - 11:17 AM 

Race director Mike Turtur on Sunday confirmed adjustments had been made to stage two on Wednesday when the mercury is tipped to exceed 40C.

“The safety and welfare of the riders, spectators and everyone involved with the race is always our primary concern,” Turtur said.

“We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal), team director representative Matt White (Mitchelton-Scott), with our chief commissaire, and all parties have agreed it would be sensible to shorten the stage.”

The second stage – from Norwood to Angaston – has been cut by 26.9km. Organisers said no other race route changes are planned for now.

Extreme heat played a factor at last year’s race where similar precautions were made but did not abate boiling point. Hansen as rider representative spoke out on Twitter after the fourth stage, which despite starting earlier than planned saw the peloton divide.

“I had mixed reactions from riders about the heat today,” he wrote then.

“Yes, there were many riders who wanted to stop the race. But there were also other riders who wanted to race. Even one Spanish rider who I asked if it was too hot said, ‘if it’s too hot for some people, tell them not to start their season at the TDU.’”

The 2019 Tour Down Under begins in Adelaide on Tuesday. The weather forecast is currently for mid to high 30s.

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