Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under has been shortened by 26km due to forecasted temperatures of 40 degrees and above. The stage was due to finish with three circuits in Victor Habor but will instead only feature one. The adjusted stage length will be 120.5 kilometres.
The decision was made by race director Mike Turtur in consultation with Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) representative Adam Hansen and UCI race commissaires. Stage 1 of the 2017 Tour Down Under was also shortened due to extreme heat with Turtur enacting the UCI Extreme Weather protocol.
The planned Bupa Family Ride has also been cancelled due to the expected challenging conditions.
"The safety and welfare of the riders, spectators and everyone involved with the race is always our primary concern," said Turtur. "We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) and with our Chief Commissaire, and both agreed it would be sensible to shorten the stage distance."
There is also extreme fire danger warnings for tomorrow around Victor Harbor and severe danger ratings across the state.
Stage 3 of the race will still start in the seaside suburb of Glenelg and travel south to Victor Harbor. The stage was won last year by Caleb Ewan in cold, windy and wet conditions. Ewan will be wearing the ochre jersey as race leader for Thursday's stage.
Speaking after collecting his ochre jersey and visiting the podium as the stage 2 winner in Stirling, Ewan explained that the weather conditions are tough for all the riders in the peloton.
"I don't think many of the guys, even the Australians, have adjusted to degrees over 40. It is going to be tough for everyone," he said.
While extreme weather has seen stages of the Tour Down Under reduced in length to protect rider safety, a stage has never been cancelled since in 1999 debut on the calendar.