The Cape Town Cycle Tour (formerly known as the Cape Argus Cycle Tour) was cancelled on Sunday as a result of high winds blowing on parts of the route.

It is the first time in history that the race was cancelled.

Just over 35,000 riders entered this year’s 40th Cycle Tour.

Earlier on Sunday, the route was shortened due to protest action unrelated to the event.

The 109km distance was shortened to 78km.

The Cape Town Cycle Tour statement reads:

Based on consultation with all the emergency services, the Joint Operations Centre of the Cape Town Cycle Tour 2017 regrets to announce that they have had to take the unprecedented step of cancelling this year’s 40th Cycle Tour.

This is due to winds in excess of 100km/hour on parts of the route, and the need to urgently clear the roads for emergency vehicles to attend to fires.

All riders who have started on the route will be stopped at the end of the M3. They will be contained there and traffic authorities will escort them back on the M3. – African News Agency (ANA)