A public protest against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has caused a change to the Rio 2016 cycling test event on Sunday (August 16), with the finish line moved away from Copacabana Beach.
The decision, announced by the City Department of Transportation, means it will start in Copacabana at 8.30am local time instead of 9.30am, while the finish line will be moved west to São Conrado to avoid a demonstration planned on Copacabana.
With the alternative having been postponing the event completely, these changes have been designed to only minimally alter what was agreed, officials claimed, adding that they do not want to disrupt the "free expression of the people".
“If we finish the event at the site of the demonstrations it would not be convenient,” said Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes.
“It would not be good for the demonstrations or for the event.”
The protest, which has no direct relation to the Olympics itself, is one of a number of social media-organised events taking place across Brazil campaigning against Rousseff, whose popularity has plummeted in recent months following a series of corruption allegations, as well as an ongoing recession and declining value of the currency.
With several other protests like these set to continue over coming months, there are concerns that it could overshadow the build-up to the Games, however.
Rio 2016 communications director Mario Andrada has told Bloomberg how the event is a "double test event" for cycling and protests.
Cyclists from 20 countries are expected to compete in the men's event, which will be 165 kilometres long.
It is due to pass through Ipanema, Leblon, Vidigal, Barra da Tijuca, Recreio, Prainha, Grumari and Guaratiba.
A sailing test event is also set to begin on the Marina da Glória on nearby Guanabara Bay on Saturday (August 14) as concerns deepen over high levels of water pollution in the area.
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