Velo South 2018 has been cancelled due to ‘unsafe’ weather conditions, the organisers have confirmed.
In a notice on the event website, CSM Active explained the ‘difficult decision’ to call off the event after a weather warning for Sunday.
Winds of up to 40mph are forecast and the safety of participants and marshals can no longer be guaranteed, the notice said.
The post also states that participants will be fully refunded and the company’s ‘determination to re-schedule the event for 2019’.
It read: “The Met Office Yellow Weather Warning for strong winds in the area during the hours of the event remains in place as more storms cross the UK this weekend.
“In addition to the Met Office, we consult several other weather platforms and the following summarises Sunday’s outlook across those sources:
– Constant wind speeds as high as 38mph
– Wind gusts as high as 53mph
– Heavy rain throughout the event
“All these sources agree that the wind will be gusting to at least 40mph across several hours during the event – this is ‘gale force’ and at these wind levels, the following is possible:
– Gusts blowing cyclists over or causing collisions
– Trees/branches/infrastructure damaged or falling
– Key event infrastructure (eg, safety barriers, feed stations, etc) compromised or unable to be constructed
– Increased pressure on medical and blue light services supporting the event
– Greatly increased risk of participants not being able to complete the event
– Exposure of stewards/volunteers/event staff to adverse conditions for long periods
“Many of these risks are further exacerbated by the heavy rain forecast throughout the day.
“Based on the advice of our third party health & safety company and our medical team, we have concluded that it would be unsafe for us to attempt to deliver an event of this scale in the forecasted conditions.
“We would be unable to guarantee the safety of our participants, spectators, volunteers, contractors and event staff across the 100 mile route and that is not a risk we are prepared to take.
“All the advice tells us that with less than 60 hours to go until the event starts, the forecast is unlikely to change significantly and so we have opted to make the decision to cancel the event now in order to prevent cyclists travelling to West Sussex and incurring further costs, and to start the process of informing the vast number of people affected by this decision.
“We are determined to re-schedule the event for 2019 and we will work with our local authority and agency partners to try and identify an alternative date as quickly as we can.
“In the meantime, all participants will be entitled to a full refund of their event entry fees & car-parking fees. Please bear with us and we will be in touch very soon to communicate the exact process for this.
“The entire Vélo South team are devastated that the event will not take place on Sunday and we know this is extremely disappointing news for all of our cyclists, stakeholders and supporters but we hope you understand that the good old British weather has in reality left us with no alternatives.
“We thank you for the amazing support you have given to Vélo South over recent months and we very much hope we will see you all on the start line next year!”