Minor road repairs caused by bushfires needed before Tour Down Under begins

Further work to cut down dangerous or at-risk trees will also take place next week

Tour Down Under 2019 (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Minor road repairs will take place next week before the Tour Down Under opens the WorldTour season on January 21, with the women's race beginning on January 16.

The ongoing bushfire crisis has affected Adelaide, South Australia, but the majority of the destruction has been felt by neighbouring states.

Earlier reports said the Cudlee Creek fire destroyed more than 80 homes in the Adelaide Hills region, located just outside the city, with a third of the vines used by the area's wine industry also ruined.

The race is expected to go ahead as planned, with only minor works needed next week to repair the limited damage caused by the fires.

Some sections of road need resurfacing, while dangerous and at-risk trees that could fall onto the course will also be removed next week, race organisers told Cycling Weekly.

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In a full statement, the Tour Down Under said: "The Santos Tour Down Under have been working closely with Council and DPTI over the last few weeks to assess the areas affected by the bushfires.

"We would like to acknowledge the work that both organisations have done and the efforts they have gone to, to ensure that the roads and the cycling routes are safe for spectators and for the cyclists.

"There is some minor resurfacing of patches of road required, and this will be completed this week. Arborists are working through the trees and cutting and clearing our dangerous or at-risk trees, shrubs and bushes.

"We are fortunate to have such a motivated group of people, both from Council, Government, corporates and our fans who love the Santos Tour Down Under so much."

As the first WorldTour event of the year, a number of teams will be debuting their new signings, with Deceuninck - Quick-Step's Sam Bennett set to compete for stage wins, while Ineos' Rohan Dennis will look to secure his second overall victory at the Australian stage race.

Jonny Long

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