The organisers of the 2020 Herald Sun Tour say that the ongoing bushfire crisis in Australia is currently not set to affect the stage-race route, which takes place in Victoria from February 5-9, but that the situation is being closely monitored, and any necessary changes will be made as the race approaches.
In recent weeks, the organisers of the now completed Australian Road Championships, the upcoming Tour Down Under (January 16-26) and the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race (January 1-2) have all made statements to a similar effect: that the events would continue, but that the organisers were ready to change or cancel any aspect of the event that was deemed necessary by the emergency services.
"The Herald Sun Tour event organisers are currently monitoring Victoria's bushfire emergency situation and any potential impact to those participating in or attending the Jayco Herald Sun Tour on February 5-9, 2020," read a statement released on Tuesday.
"The safety of riders, staff, volunteers, stakeholders and spectators is absolutely paramount. At present, there are no plans to modify or cancel any components of the event. However, it may become necessary to make changes."
Australia's bushfires continue to burn in large parts of the states of Victoria and New South Wales, and to a lesser extent in other states, including South Australia, where the Women's Tour Down Under runs from January 16-19 and the men's race from January 19-26. Both races pass through areas that have experienced major fires in recent weeks, including Cudlee Creek and Woodside in the Adelaide Hills, and the situation continues to be monitored by the race organisers and emergency services.
The areas close to the route of the Women's Herald Sun Tour (February 5-6) and the men's event (February 5-9), which both start in Nagambie, 130km north of Melbourne, remain unaffected, but the organisers and authorities remain on high alert.
"The event organisers are currently working with emergency services agencies and local government stakeholders to access the most current and accurate information," continued the Herald Sun Tour statement.
"Any and all decisions regarding the event will be guided by the advice and information obtained from these agencies, and participants and stakeholders will be provided with updates as soon as possible."