The organisers of the Tour Down Under have cut a portion of stage 1 due to concerns over the strong winds athletes are set to face. Race director Mike Turtur – in consultation with team and rider representatives – has decided to cut a short finishing circuit from the first stage.
The peloton were set to race a 3.4km loop after crossing the finishing line in Port Adelaide. That section has been removed, with the stage now finishing on the first crossing of the line.
"The reason for this decision is the collective opinion of all representatives taking into consideration that the extreme weather conditions may result in a major peloton break-up, which would be problematic on the finishing circuit," Turtur said in a press release issued by the race organisation.
"We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal), team director representative Matthew White (Mitchelton-Scott) and with our Chief Commissaire, and all parties have agreed that this is the sensible approach."
The first stage from North Adelaide to Port Adelaide will now be 129km in length.