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Worlds organisers plan for flooding

World championships organisers in Australia are making contingency plans should flooding disrupt the route of the race, according to the Geelong Independent. A section of the 15.9km-long circuit in Geelong passes along the Barwon River and crosses it shortly before the finish line.

Geelong councillor Brian Harwood was quoted as saying that organisers are preparing an alternative route in the event of heavy rainfall in the lead-up to the race.

“They’ve suggested that if the Barwon River floods, Mount Pleasant Road will come further into play,” Harwood said. “If there is extreme flooding and the Breakwater Bridge is affected they may have to look at turning the course back onto itself.”

Harwood went on to say that the possibility of a change to the route is remote. “These contingencies are being discussed by the committee and they will have more information in the future. While it’s unlikely, you do have to plan for these things,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Geelong Environment Council president Joan Lindros welcomed the organisers’ initiative in coming up with an alternative route, remembering that September had been the city’s wettest month in 2009.

“Organisers need to work out a fall-back plan and inform residents before the race because that (riverside) section of the track may be unusable,” she said.

The world championships take place from September 29 to October 3 in Geelong. The men’s road race starts in Melbourne, before covering 11 laps of the 15.9km Geelong circuit.

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.