Temperatures that soared into the low 40s on Tuesday caused organisers to shorten stage 1 of the 2017 Tour Down Under from 145km to 118km. Race director Mike Turtur and CPA representative Adam Hansen, along with the UCI commissaries, decided to trim the third and final lap of the finishing circuit in Lyndoch.
The Barossa suburb of Lyndoch was the host last year’s stage 1 and was likewise raced in repressive heat, but there was no change to the parcours.
"The safety and welfare of the riders, spectators and everyone involved with the race is always our primary concern," said Mike Turtur in a statement from the race. "We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) and with our Chief Commissaire Alexander Donike, and both agreed it would be sensible to shorten the stage distance."
Speaking to Cyclingnews ahead of the race, Hansen explained that he was confident Turtur and the commissaries would make the right decision and enact the UCI Extreme Weather protocol.
"With the weather at this race, Mike Turtur is very good. If you speak with him, he already has alternative courses planned and everything if it gets too hot to make it shorter and also stay away from the fire hazard areas, because there are quite a lot of those areas around here. We are in good hands with race organisers who are very willing to make changes," Hansen said.
With temperature expected to remain in the high-30s this week, there could be further shortening of stages to ensure the health and safety of the riders.