The Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive today has been called off following extremely wet weather.
The sportive, now in its fifth year, has been controversial, with complaints from locals and organisers saying that that riders spotted breaching the Highway Code will not be allowed to take part in other events its arranges, following a call from an MP for these types of events to be licenced.
The two-day event was halted halfway through after the hosting marquee and field were submerged following heavy rain.
The organisers, UK Cycling Events, wrote on theie Twitter page: "The Wiggle New Forest Spring Sportive has been POSTPONED due to extreme weather flooding the event center & parts of the course."
It followed one rider saying on Saturday: "that car park is only good for planting crops now. Took me 30 mins and four men to push my car out."
UK Cyling Events responded, saying: "The rain has caused major problems with the car park, we will have more information about tomorrow's event asap. Thanks." Later there was confirmation of the cancellation of the ride.
The event is tentatively rescheduled for June 1.
Road.cc has contacted UK Cycling Events for comment but they are yet to respond.
Around 4,000 riders were due to take part in the event this weekend, and as we reported earlier this week, local MP Dr Julian Lewis has called for a licensing system to be introduced for organised mass rides within the New Forest.
Dr Lewis claimed that cyclists posed a risk to livestock in the New Forest, and also accused some of breaking the Highway Code.
However, a Code of Conduct for cyclists in the New Forest already exists, drawn up jointly by Sustrans, New Forest District Council, Hampshire County Council and the Forestry Commission – the latter three, along with bodies such as the Verderers’ Court and the NPA, all being responsible to a greater or lesser degree for aspects of the New Forest, depending on the specific issue in question.
<p>After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.</p>