News shorts: No route changes for Tour Down Under after bushfire in the Adelaide Hills

Etixx-QuickStep to present team in Gent, Nuyens retires

No route changes for Tour Down Under after bushfire in the Adelaide Hills

Organisers of the Tour Down Under have confirmed that there will be no changes to the route after last week’s bushfire in the Adelaide Hills. The WorldTour event will continue as scheduled starting on January 20 in Tanunda and finishing on January 25 in Adelaide.

"Mike Turtur and his Tour Down Under team have been working closely with the emergency services, as well as the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure and the Adelaide Hills Council, to assess the impacts of the bushfire," said Tourism Minister Leon Bignell.

Race organisers consulted with with the Country Fire Service, South Australia Polic and other agencies about how safe the route is for riders and spectators following the brushfires. "The safety of the riders and spectators was the highest priority during the discussions, and the organising team has taken the advice of the emergency services, with Hostworks Stage 1 and Thomas Foods Stage 3 to go ahead as planned."

Race Director Mike Turtur was pleased with the outcome of the meetings. "We’re very happy the race is able to continue as planned and hope that the communities that have been affected by the recent fires will be able to enjoy the spectacle the race will bring to their towns."

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No Lion King Down Under

Mario Cipollini was due to travel to Australia this week for the Tour Down Under to showcase his Cipollini bikes in the tour's village but has been a last minute cancellation for the first WorldTour event of 2015.

"Unfortunately due to unforeseen personal reasons Mario has had to postpone his visit and will not be coming to the Santos Tour Down Under as originally planned," said Glen Matulich, Director at Bespoke Imports. "Whilst naturally we are disappointed we understand and we hope to see him visit next year."

Etixx-QuickStep to showcase 2015 team at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx in Gent

Etixx-QuickStep will officially present their 2015 team at the Vlaams Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx in Gent, Belgium on January 14. Team Manager Patrick Lefevere will give a speech before the riders are presented on the track one-by-one.

The Belgian WorldTour team will provide a live streaming of the event on their website, as well as sell tickets to the public to watch the presentation in person at the velodrome. "For our fans who bought venue tickets of course the show will be longer by a couple of hours," Lefevere said.

"The fans who have tickets for the Tribune will have a great time, as they have in the first years. But for us it was also important to give our fans that are not based in Belgium the possibility to follow at least their favorite riders for the first hour online. We’d like to give our international supporters the feeling they are there with us as we introduce our team for the upcoming season."

The 2015 riders recently attended a team training camp in Calpe, Spain. The team will make its debut at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (January 19-25) and at the Tour Down Under in Australia (January 20-25).

Volta ao Algarve route announced for 2015

The 41st edition of the Volta ao Algarve has been announced with the UCI 2.1 race taking place from February 18-22 with four stages and one time trial. Last year's race was won by world champion Michał Kwiatkowski ahead of Alberto Contador and Rui Costa.

The opening stage of the race, is on paper, one that favours the sprinters while the second stage suits the characteristics of a rider such as Kwiatkowski. The time trial is increased for 2015 with a parcours that features several hills that will disrupt the rhythm of the chrono specialists.

The peloton then face the longest stage of the race, at 216km, which is suited for the climbers. The race will conclude with a sprint friendly stage from Almodôvar to Vilamoura.

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