Cape Town Cycling Tour race ruined by gale-force windMonday March 13, 2017 - 15:18 EDT
Cycling was rendered impossible by gale-force winds at one of the world's largest bike races, in Cape Town.
The Cape Town Cycle Tour, which is the biggest timed bicycle race in the world with about 35,000 people set to ride, was called off as gusts of wind picked up bikes and knocked many cyclists and spectators to the ground.
The decision to cancel the event was made as organisers considered "the risk of injury and potential fatality at the start, at the finish and on Chapman's Peak" was too high.
"Furthermore, we only made the decision after endeavouring to mitigate all risks to keep the event open," a statement read.
On the eve of the event, a weather advisory was released, saying the conditions were not expected to be as bad as they were eight years ago.
"We strongly urge Cape Town Cycle Tour participants who are either not comfortable or do not have experience riding in strong winds, to carefully consider their decision to participate tomorrow," it read.
"We believe wind conditions will not be as strong as in 2009, but they will nevertheless be severe."
A fire in nearby Hout Bay and the risk of protests along the route also contributed to the cancellation of the race.
"We are humbled by the outpouring of offers to assist and donate food, product and resources to those in need as a result of us stopping this Cycle Tour," organisers said.
"We are in the process of coordinating efforts to ensure that goods reach those in need in the fire-affected areas in Hout Bay."
The tour started in 1978 and this year was supposed to mark the 40th run in its history.
© ABC 2017
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