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Heatwave forces Tour Down Under to be shortened

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Adelaide (Australia) (AFP)

South Australia's extreme heatwave conditions have forced Tour Down Under organisers to shorten Thursday's third stage from Glenelg to Victor Harbor.

With temperatures forecast to climb above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), race director Mike Turtur said the distance of the stage had been reduced by 26 kilometres, or two laps of the final circuit.

"The safety and welfare of the riders, spectators and everyone involved with the race is always our primary concern," Turtur said in a statement.

"We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) and with our Chief Commissaire, and both agreed it would be sensible to shorten the stage distance."

Australian Caleb Ewan leads the race and he is expected to be one of the favourites to win the third stage.

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