Tour de France affects Australian sleep patterns

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CANBERRA, Australia (AP) -- Forget about the competitors -- the head of the Australian Medical Association says the Tour de France is tiring for Australia's work force because of the late-night and early-morning television coverage Down Under.

The race is broadcast live in Australia from 10 p.m. to about 1.30 a.m. on the east coast. The event, featuring defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia and this year's leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain, concludes Sunday.

AMA president Dr. Steve Hambleton, making a reference to good "sleep hygiene," said on Wednesday that while some people can get by on five or six hours of sleep a night, "the majority of us should not ... your concentration levels are really, really important."

Television coverage of the race in Australia has attracted a high of about 500,000 viewers a night.