CAPE TOWN – For the first time in the history of the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the event has been cancelled due to severe weather conditions.
The Cape Doctor showed its sharp teeth to the 35000 keen cyclists coming from around the world to take part in this iconic event.
Having waited in the starting chute myself, alongside my very keen neighbour, I shared the disappointment when the news came at 6:32, 30 minutes before we were due to start our race.
Naturally, everyone first questioned the decision by the organisers, though having tried to get back to our car via the start line, it very quickly became apparent that this was indeed the correct decision.
Read more: Cape Town Cycle Tour cancelled
Despite my huge disappointment, I could not help to feel the pain for those that came from afar and even abroad.
I believe that there were around 5000 international entrants and in fact 2 fellow riders next to us in the chute were from Namibia and naturally, very disappointed.
All of us at the start line would have weathered to storm to get to the finish line, despite the adverse conditions, though with safety in mind, we all have to respect the decision and accept that this year was not to be.
The 40th tour seem to have been doomed from the start. Firstly, the organisers sent a notification to all entrants on Saturday, that in view of the expected severe weather conditions, inexperienced riders should carefully consider their participation in the event.
Then, at 5:38 this morning there was an urgent route update due to protest action on the route. This change would have reduced the race distance from the usual 109km down to 78km.
Much as this was a tough decision (and definitely the correct one) for the organisers, this does beg the question regarding the future of the race at this time of the year – especially given that the cancellation comes only 2 years after the race was shortened severely due to veld fires on the mountain.
We also had similar windy conditions only 5 or 6 years ago that some might argue were even worse.
One thing is for sure: we will all be back next year to see if Mother Nature will allow us a 40th tour then Safe Cycling.