By Anthony Tan in Burnie
As riders awoke to the pitter patter, pitter patter of rain on their windows the morning of New Year's Day, management of the Burnie Athletic Club - host of the 119th annual Tasmanian Christmas Carnival in Burnie - made the decision to postpone the day's racing until tomorrow, Monday January 2.
Burnie Athletic Club president, Mr Joe Vascocz, standing in a wet and windy West Park, said he was left with no alternative but to postpone the carnival. "It's disappointing for all concerned, but we have to keep in mind people who are travelling a lot of distance throughout the state to be here, so we hade to make a decision early," he said.
Cyclingnews confirmed the postponement with S.C.A.T. president Grant Atkins, who said the decision was made at 9:00am Sunday morning by the Burnie Athletic Club: "It's their decision, their event. It'll be exactly the same program tomorrow," said Atkins.
More than 50mm of rain had fallen overnight and more was forecast throughout the day, although easing. It's not the first time the Burnie Carnival has been put off; bad weather has dogged the event on at least six occasions with the last time in 2002, also occuring on New Year's Day.
"Some interstate riders, including some from the Victorian Institute of Sport have to go back and we understand that," Atkins said. "But we've been in contact with riders like Ben Kersten and Christian Lademann, who have indicated they'd like to stay and are in the process of trying to change their flights."
Rain had already eased early Sunday afternoon, and according to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, tomorrow's weather should be fine with moderate to fresh westerly winds and a forecast maximum of 21, although there is the chance of a late shower.
Racing is due to commence at 10:00am. Burnie Athletic Club president Mr Joe Vascocz has urged all competitors to be at the ground early for advice on possible heat and handicap changes.
Yesterday, the weather held out long enough in Burnie for a series of street criteriums to be held on New Year's Eve - see full results, report & photos.