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.
Sandstorm and high temperatures make it impossible for riders to continue Tour of Oman stage five
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
Francisco Ventoso makes a humorous point at the start
Sky riders discuss conditions before stage five
Tinkoff-Saxo riders take some shelter from the sandstorm before the start
Two Bardiani cyclists await new wheels after their tires exploded
Fabian Cancellara talks to fellow riders under the shelter of a road bridge
MTN-Qhubeka riders await a decision
A decision is made to neutralise the stage
A cyclist’s computer shows 49 C on stage five of the 2015 Tour of Oman