Circuit in Australia: race through the crisis region

The Tour Down Under leads the professional cyclists in Australia across from forest fires ravaged swathes of land. The disaster is omnipresent. Scorched lands

Circuit in Australia: race through the crisis region

The Tour Down Under leads the professional cyclists in Australia across from forest fires ravaged swathes of land. The disaster is omnipresent.

Scorched landscape around Adelaide: the Peloton in the disaster area photo: reuters

Black and colorful – these are the contrasts that the Santos Tour Down Under delivers currently. The first world tour race of the season, leads the way through the fire ravaged Region of Adelaide. The tree trunks were still black from the fire that had raged in December. Brown Foliage hung above the trees. Below, however, the colourful Peloton of professional cyclists pushed through the cleared streets. "We still have a bit of the smell of burnt stuff in the nose. The man has smelled both today and yesterday,“ said Sprinter André Greipel after the third out of a total of six stages.

Greipel tried in Jersey for the new in the elite category of the ascended team Israel Start-up Nation to get success. In the bunch sprints, he won so far, the courts four and five.

the race is Overshadowed by the devastation. "Of course, it is nice to see how much Land is burned and how much property was also destroyed. Many houses are burned down, many were saved,“ said Greipel continues his impressions. "Of course, the issue here is, it was before the race issue. Since it was asked, how much one knows of it,“ said Roger Wise, a professional cyclist at Team Lotto Soudal and lead-out riders of the two times stage winner Caleb Ewan. Even to him the smell of fire rose in the Training and on each of the stages in the nose.

The tour will keep the professionals and their carers but, in principle, feasible. "Impairment does not exist for us. You can't say a hundred percent that it's dangerous,“ said Greipel via WhatsApp. "Where we are, it's rather cool, and it has also rained. We saw no fire, the air is normally clean. Since the athletes are not compromised,“ said Enrico Poitschke, sport Director of Team Bora hansgrohe, by phone.

Here's the Situation at the world tour race of the under-class race is different. At the Tour of Siak in Indonesia in September 2019, the driver had to create because of the acute dangers of the mouth protection and particle filter, as in the time of Robert Müller, the only German participant, described: "The main fires were located about a hundred kilometers, but this bad smoke was everywhere. The visibility was quite low, between 50 and 100 meters only. The face was burning because of the smoke, the clothes smelled afterwards. You felt it in the eyes, some of getränt.“ The race was however, pulled through, despite the protests of individual drivers. Only some of the stages were shortened.

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In Australia, the trail herds would appear to be further away from the current Fire. Local media welcomed the race as a moral and economic stimulus for the communities on the edge of the track. This impression Poitschke shares, "We are through towns, in which there a few weeks ago still burned. The organizer of the race has given us, that these towns have extra asked to leave the race there along, so the people find their way back to a normal life, return to enjoying other things and not only to the terrible events think back,“ he told the taz. The Teams and individual riders, initiated a donation campaign, and the full price donated money to the criterion, which was directly in front of the Tour Down played.

Via such a worthy fundraising campaigns, in addition to the road Cycling but also develop new strategies if tours are not to mutate into disaster accompanying events.

First approaches there is. The Belgian team is Deceuninck Quick Step wants to be climate neutral and therefore less plastic, consume, more recycle and more ways with the bike instead of the car. Other Teams and race organizers should follow.

This will not, of itself, not directly to forest - and Bush fires, such as the present in Australia, or in the last autumn, in Indonesia prevent. It would help overall, but a discharge, and could be, given the prominence of the teams also set an example for spectators and other sports. The outside event is road Cycling because of climate change finally, even ahead of the large challenges.

Updated Date: 24 January 2020, 19:00

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