By Gregor Brown in Al Khor, Qatar
Kirsty Broun raced with her Australian teammates in the Tour of Qatar Tuesday in support of their family and friends at home affected by the bush fires.
"We are racing with black armbands for Australia. The country has been devastated and around 200 people have lost their lives. People have lost their houses – it is devastating," said Broun to Cyclingnews.
Australia's southern state of Victoria continues to deal with the fires that police believe arsonists caused.
"Some of my friends have lost their houses and one of my teammate's sisters has lost her house. We are here to race for them today."
Broun finished ninth in stage three, 109 kilometers from Al Shahaniyah to Al Khor. She placed third overall in the inaugural Ladies' Tour of Qatar.
"The Qatar people have really put on a good show for use and they have treated us like royalty. Out in some of the desert areas of Australia it is similar to here, with the dryness."
Broun, from the city of Brisbane, will return to Australia on Wednesday. She will race Oceania in Geelong and then travel to New Zealand for the Tour of Wellington.