That’s blown it: high winds cause chaos at Cape Town cycling race

Winds outstripping 100 kph blew riders off their motorcycles and sent portable toilets careening across the road before organisers cancelled the event

Winds of up to 100 kph that blew challengers off their motorcycles have forced organisers to cancel an international road race in South Africa.

The havoc on the Cape Town Cycle Tour began at the start of the race close to the citys foreshore when cyclists encountered gusts so strong that they struggled to hang onto their motorcycles and stop them from being blown away.

Footage positioned on social media shows other riders being knocked off their bikes by the wind and some unable even to walk upright.

Jamal Shaikh (@ JamalShaikh)

Here’s a video a friend sent from Cape Town. Look at all those bicycles flying !!! @waldimar @CTCycleTour pPmV8 600 Ij

March 12, 2017

Garth Breytenbach (@ GBreyts)

How crazy is this wind in Cape Town – cycle tour cancelled #CycleTour2017 #southeaster #windymuch kNpkcoe9Ev

March 12, 2017

At one point a portable toilet was blown across the street. Some participants were powerless to stop themselves sliding across the street and being blown into other competitors.

Arrive Alive (@ _ArriveAlive)

Cape Town 40 th Cycle Tour cancelled due to extreme gusts. #CapeTown #CapeArgus mVRhzvXNwA

March 12, 2017

The 109 km race, in which 35,000 people were taking part, was cancelled at 21 km after organisers deemed the conditions too dangerous.

Cape Town Cycle Tour (@ CTCycleTour)

URGENT UPDATE. Due to extreme weather conditions, #CycleTour2017 has regrettably been cancelled. Please do NOT approach the start line.

March 12, 2017

Race directors told a nearby flame and street protests contributed to the decision.

David Bellairs, the races marketing director, said the bellow was made to avoid potential fatality.

This morning presented a number of challenges not least of which were wind speeds considerably higher than predicted yesterday he said, according to The Times.

It was the first time in the events 40 -year history that is has been called off due to high wind.

Cape Town is buffeted by strong winds that blow in from the Atlantic Ocean. The south-easter, or Cape Doctor, is well-known locally for knocking people off their feet and is often at its strongest in the city centre, where the race began.

Organisers have said they will consider moving the start of the race next year.

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