The Velo South organisers have issued this statement:
Due to the continued worsening of this weekend’s weather forecast, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel Vélo South. To confirm, Vélo South will not be taking place this Sunday September 23.
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 and local people, 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 start the process of informing people.
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 support you have given to Vélo South over recent months.
In the short term our focus is on ensuring all local businesses and residents are informed. We will therefore be communicating an update to all those who we have been in touch with throughout the planning process for the event.
As part of this process, please can we ask you to kindly share the below information and statement on all of your local circulation lists and web pages.
Thank you in advance for your help and support in communicating this, and we will be in touch as soon as possible to share next steps for Velo South.
The Vélo South Route Team