ADELAIDE, Australia, (AFP) — Tour Down Under organizers on Friday made good on a threat to sanction cyclists for urinating in public, handing fines to a dozen riders for “unseemly behavior.”
With the mercury regularly rising above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in the Adelaide Hills this week, riders have been forewarned by their respective teams to drink plenty before, during and after each day’s stage.
But that advice has often led to some being caught short, feeling the need to relieve themselves at the side of the road during the race despite the presence of spectators.
The peloton was reminded Friday morning by organizers of the season’s opening WorldTour event that such behavior, which is fairly common in pro cycling, was not acceptable and they would be fined accordingly.
Under an International Cycling Union (UCI) rule with the heading “Insults, threats, unseemly behavior”, Australia’s Robbie McEwen, Jens Voigt of Germany, New Zealand’s Hayden Roulston and race leader Martin Kohler of Switzerland were among 12 riders handed fines of 50 Swiss francs ($54).
The race continues Saturday with a potentially decisive stage five which finishes on Old Willunga Hill. It finishes Sunday with a 90-kilometer (56-mile) street race in Adelaide.