Met Office yellow weather warning predicts gale force winds and heavy rain – organisers promise full refunds of entry and car parking fees

Vélo South the much anticipated closed road sportive which was scheduled to take place in Sussex this weekend has been cancelled on safety grounds with a Met Office yellow weather warning of gale force winds and heavy rain still in effect for West Sussex and surrounding parts of South East England for the duration of the time the event was scheduled to take place on Sunday. 

In a statement on the Vélo South website the organisers, CSM Events, say that the summary of all the different wether forecasts they consulted was:

“– Constant wind speeds as high as 38mph

– Wind gusts as high as 53mph

– Heavy rain throughout the event”

In addition they say that the sources they have consulted conclude that winds are like to be blowing at a constant 40mph for the duration of the event which will pose a significant risk not only to those taking part but to the volunteers, marshals, and staff helping to run the event. The statement summarises the main risks as:

“– 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”

Given the severe nature of the weather conditions forecast Vélo South say they have taken the decision to cancel now so as to save people making the journey to West Sussex and incurring further costs. the event had attracted 15,000 entries for the 100 mile closed road ride. 

Vélo South say they hope to reschedule the event for some time in 2019 and will be working with the local authority to identify an alternative date as quickly as possible. CSM then went on to address the issue of refunds in a sentence highlighted in their statement: “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 the weather forecasts have left us with no alternative.”

Participants with any queries are encouraged to email hello [at] velosouth.com

No word yet as to whether the threatened walking protest against the event will still take place or if protesters will instead focus their attention on marching against the disruption to travel for local residents and drivers caused by the adverse weather instead.

We will update this story with any further developments as and when we get them in the coming days.

Plucked from the obscurity of his London commute back in the mid-Nineties to live in Bath and edit bike mags our man made the jump to the interweb back in 2006 as launch editor of a large cycling website somewhat confusingly named after a piece of navigational equipment. He came up with the idea for road.cc mainly to avoid being told what to do… Oh dear, issues there then. Tony tries to ride his bike every day and if he doesn't he gets grumpy, he likes carbon, but owns steel, and wants titanium. When not on his bike or eating cake Tony spends his time looking for new ways to annoy the road.cc team. He's remarkably good at it.