Parts of Australian World Championship course underwater following heavy rains
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Parts of Australian World Championship course underwater following heavy rains

by Jered Gruber at 11:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Race organizers hoping that spring rains subside in time for Worlds, if not, an alternative route will be necessary
The Geelong Advertiser reports that this year's World Championship road race course is under a bit of stress from Mother Nature at the moment. A wet springtime in Australia has left parts of the upcoming World Championship course underwater, with only three weeks to go before the World Championships kick off on September 28th.

The current high waters are not too much of an issue, but if a repeat of the recent rains comes at the time of the World Championships at the end of the month, some changes will likely need to be made.

A temporary bridge, constructed just for the World Championships to cross over the Barwon River, was nearly underwater following the recent rainfall, while another section of the course was in fact underwater.

The high waters in the Barwon River have come as an unwelcome guest to a well planned event - "…We're surprised that the water level was so high," says Melbourne 2010 general manager Michael Palmer. The uncommonly high waters are are necessitating some creative thinking to make sure that nothing goes awry come the critical five day period around the turn of the month.

Continued high water would demand some change to the course, and Palmer has a number of ideas in the case that a situation similar to this arises at the end of the month.

"One possibility would be to slow the race down and use the existing [road] bridge, although that's not really our intention. Or, we could look to modify other parts of the course and in a worst case, miss that part completely."

When queried on why the temporary bridge was built at a lower level than the normal bridge, Palmer replied: "It could have been built higher, but then it's a whole different project that I think would have been less palatable for everybody."

Whether there was some oversight in the construction of the Queens Park bridge is irrelevant, however, as the only thing left to do now is either hope the rains subside or find another way around the low lying areas.

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