Among those watching this week’s weather forecast most keenly were the organisers of the Dutch National Headwind Championships – now in its sixth year, the event is a moveable feast and takes place when wind conditions are just right, with the date announced a couple of days in advance.
But even the hardy cyclists who took to the course on sit-up-and-beg bikes supplied by Gazelle were eventually forced to give way to Storm Ciara with the event abandoned while it was in progress because conditions were too dangerous to ride in.
This year’s edition of the event, which is sponsored by the energy provider Eneco and is held on the Eastern Scheldt Storm Surge Barrier built as part of the Delta Works project to protect the country from flooding from the North Sea, sold out pretty much the moment it was announced on Thursday.
The first cyclists heading out on the course at 10am this morning, with the start time brought forward to noon due to the storm being forecast to worsen as the day went on, with gusts of up to 100 kilometres an hour predicted.
Some 250 riders managed to complete the course before the event was called off, and organisers said on Twitter that it was a “bitter pill to swallow” for the 15 teams who still had to start when the decision was taken to call off what they said was the “toughest edition ever” of the event.
We haven’t seen any results yet, but they will be posted on the event’s Facebook page in due course.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.