Riders appealed to race officials after high temperatures caused dangerous conditions for the riders on stage four of the Tour of Oman. Photos by Graham Watson

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Stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman drew to an early conclusion on Saturday after extreme weather conditions led to the riders appealing to the race organisers to cancel the stage.

The day started with a sandstorm, and when that cleared temperatures in the open were in the mid- to high-forties. Not only was that extremely uncomfortable for the riders, but it also caused punctures and the tubs to become unglued from some riders’ rims.

After sheltering under a road bridge, a delegation of riders including Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali talked to race officials, including Eddy Merckx, about what could be done.



Although the organisers did not fully agree with the position taken by some of the riders, the upshot was that the stage was shortened and eventually cancelled – with no change in the general classification.

Calls were made for the UCI to introduce rules to govern racing in extreme weather conditions to protect the welfare of the riders.

Astana riders in a sandstorm.

Astana riders in a sandstorm

Francisco Ventoso thinks of a riders strike on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Francisco Ventoso makes a humorous point at the start

Sky riders discuss conditions before stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Sky riders discuss conditions before stage five

Tinkoff riders discuss conditions before stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Tinkoff-Saxo riders take some shelter from the sandstorm before the start

Two Bardiani cyclists await new wheels after their tires exploded on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Two Bardiani cyclists await new wheels after their tires exploded

Fabian Cancellara discuss a riders strike on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

Fabian Cancellara talks to fellow riders under the shelter of a road bridge

MTN riders  discuss a riders strike on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

MTN-Qhubeka riders await a decision

Cyclists at a riders strike on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

A decision is made to neutralise the stage

A cyclist's computer shows 49 C on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman

A cyclist’s computer shows 49 C on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman