Vicious cycle: Climate change, extreme heat and the Tour Down Under

Commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation, this report examines the impact that climate change and extreme heat are having on Australian cycling and the Tour Down Under.

Bringing together sports, health and climate research, Vicious Cycle: Climate change, extreme heat and the Tour Down Under found that Australian cycling is already experiencing the impact of climate change and extreme heat which are increasing the risk of heat stress on participants and increasing the likelihood of race disruptions.

The research also found that under current emissions scenarios, Adelaide will see a significant increase in the number of extreme heat days in January over the next 40–60 years. Based on these findings, and without effective climate mitigation action, the report recommended consideration to be given to permanent race adaptations that could reduce heat stress risk and provide greater certainty to participants. Viable options include moving the Tour Down Under to November or March, or shifting the start time of each race to earlier in the day.