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Tour Down Under start to go ahead

Marcel Kittel wins

Marcel Kittel wins
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

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."

"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.