Christchurch event planner Astrid Andersen was f' />

Riders in this year's Tour of Southland will face strict guidelines after a recent court decision.

Christchurch event planner Astrid Andersen was fined $10,000 last month after pregnant cyclist Vanessa Caldwell was killed in a head-on collision during the 2001 Le Race from Akaroa to Christchurch.

Southland tour manager Bruce Ross said a legal opinion from Cycling New Zealand was proving valuable in planning this year's PowerNet-sponsored event.

"What you tell the riders has to be clear and concise," Ross said.

"What we tell them will be written down. When they sign on each morning they will be acknowledging that they are aware of the conditions of the race for that day."

Ross said he would seek another legal opinion on the instructions being given to the riders before the start of this year's tour in November.

Traffic marshals were now required to have a briefing before the race, something which happened on the tour last year.

"One of the things that has come through is that you have to avoid ambiguity ... "

In the 2001 accident, confusion over whether a section of the race was under full road closure arose from Andersen's pre-race instructions. Caldwell was riding on the wrong side of the road when she was struck by an oncoming car.

This year's tour will feature a number of course changes, but none had come as a direct result of the Andersen case, Ross said.

The opening stage criterium around Invercargill's central business district has been scrapped in favour of a team time trial around Queens Park.

Shutting down the central city in the middle of the day involved a great deal of disruption, Ross said.

Other changes include alterations to the stage two section from Queens Park to Bluff, Invercargill to Tuatapere and Tuatapere to Winton.

The individual time trial between Balfour and Riversdale has been retained, along with the tour's longest stage - the 184km grind from Winton to Te Anau via Blackmount - but the stage ending at the Crown Range lookout will not pass through Arrowtown this year, again because of traffic problems.

A full field of 90 cyclists are expected to ride in the 47th tour.

- NZPA