Lotto-Soudal rider Adam Hansen, who also acts as a representative for riders’ union the CPA, has hit out at some of his fellow riders for “screaming” and “yelling” at him as they were unhappy with having to race in the scorching temperatures that have affected the Tour Down Under this week.
Hansen has been representing his fellow riders in negotiations with organisers of the Tour Down Under, seeing stage three reduced in distance by 26km and stage four started an hour earlier to avoid the worst of the afternoon heat, as temperatures soared as high as 48ºC in South Australia.
Writing on Twitter, Hansen said that he had been on the receiving end of hostility from his fellow riders, with some complaining that he should have done more to stop the race being run in such hot conditions.
“I had mixed reactions about the heat today,” Hansen wrote after the finish on stage four, which was won by Peter Sagan. “Yes there were many riders who wanted to stop the race. But there were also riders who wanted to continue.
“There was even one Spanish rider who I asked if it was too hot said, ‘If it’s too hot for some people then tell them not to start their season at the TDU.’
“What I really don’t appreciate is after the last climb a rider yelling at me and saying that everyone wanted to stop. Screaming at me and saying that I am the only one who wants to race in this heat.
“You are wrong. The ones who complained wanted to stop. The quiet ones were OK to continue. Get you facts right, not everyone shares your opinion.”
Under the UCI’s extreme weather protocol, race organisers, riders, teams, and commissaires can agree to amend races in the face of extreme temperatures, strong winds, heavy rain, snow on the road, low visibility, or air pollution.
This protocol was used most recently at the Tour of Denmark in September, with the race lashed by heavy rain and high winds, but has also been used in areas with typically better climate, with stages of the Dubai Tour and the Tour of Oman both having been cancelled in the past due to high winds and soaring temperatures.
The Tour Down Under continues on Saturday with stage five to Willunga Hill, where temperatures are expected to be cooler than in the past few days.