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Stage one confirmed to start with threat of bushfires downgraded
On Monday afternoon race director Mike Turtur announced that Stage 1 from Nuriootpa to Angaston will be raced as planned with dangerous winds and fires no longer deemed a threat to the safety of riders and spectators. "We've had confirmation today from the Country Fire Service that the race can go ahead as planned.
"There's a fire in the region, but not directly around the race route. It's still being monitored, but at this stage we're right to go," Turtur said. "Obviously this advice might change subject to the conditions and we'll continue to be guided by the advice we receive from the Country Fire Service and South Australian Police."
In discussion with the race Doctor, Turtur was assured that the air quality would not negatively impact on the health of riders. "Our belief is that the air in and around the race circuit is pretty-well clear, so it shouldn't be an issue."
Turtur explained that race organisers had based their decision on expert opinion and that the race situation will be monitored constantly. "It was a decision based on information from the experts and the concern of the riders too about racing in the region," he said.
"They were a bit concerned that it might be taken the wrong way, but we've assured them that this is the best thing we can go - bring activity into the region, economic benefit.
"It's hopefully going to be a good day and we can in our way help out what's happened in the area. "We will monitor the thing as we go [as the fire is] a fair way from the actual circuit."
Reiterating that the decision had been made in consultation with experts, Turtur added that communities of the Barossa and Eden Valley would be bolstered by the appearance of the race.
"It's good for the area from an economic point of view, but also there's a feel-good factor. It's a community event, it embraces the community."
Turtur also provided an update on Giovanni Visconti who broke his right leg in the People’s Choice Classic. "It's a serious break. I will take a lot of time to recover and get back, " he said.