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  #11  
Old 2017-03-13 , 11:06
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beetle bailey beetle bailey is offline
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Sympathies to all who wanted to participate in this year's Argus Cycle Tour but were unable to do so due to various circumstances. Especially to those who lived outside of the Cape and had to travel by plane or car. Remember that this was the first time in forty years that the event was cancelled so maybe better luck next year?

Reason's for the cancellation were a fire at one of the informal settlements on the route and the necessity of opening the roads to Emergency Services. Understandable and because of this the route was shortened to avoid this area.

Then there was a threat of protest action at another point along the route. What these protesters would have been protesting about, should they have done so, I have no idea.

Finally we come to the wind which was the final straw for the race organizers. Most, if not all of the videos that I've seen showing this strong wind were taken at the start of the race. For those of you who don't know the start takes place at the Cape Town Civic Centre. This building is a twelve story(?) high building which is side ways on to the strong south easterly wind and has a road running beneath it. This road and area under the building is where all the video footage is coming from. The wind here is very bad because the building creates a sort of funnel effect. Cannot think of a better description. All the wind battling to go through a small opening and in doing so increases in wind speed. So, the start was terrible for the cyclists. Although if in a bunch only those towards the front or on the sides would really have been badly affected.

The video footage I'd like to have been able to see would have been from further out on the course. How strongly was it blowing on the coastal road between say Muizenberg and Simonstown? Or beyond Simonstown towards Chapman's Peak? I've not seen any footage of the wind in those areas. Remember Cape Town is renowned for it's "Cape Doctor" which is the South Easter and cyclists from Cape Town often cycle in strong winds. Maybe not as strong as yesterday's though?

Not saying the organizers were wrong to cancel the race based on the number of disruptive situations that arose on the day just wondering if blaming the wind as one of them is really the right call. Remember this is a world famous event amongst cyclists and a number of people came from overseas, and upcountry, to ride it.

However, IF it really was unsafe out on the course, for whatever reason, then they were right to call it off.

PS, I've also seen video footage of trucks being blown over on a bridge. Please be advised that this often happens on this bridge. However, the bridge in question is just outside the Huguenot Tunnel and the wind here also comes down the mountain in a funnel like way causing the type of scenes that you may have seen. However, this bridge is over 50km away from the Argus Cycle Tour route.
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  #12  
Old 2017-03-13 , 12:50
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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No, the same happened in 2009, where the race was cancelled after the initial start groups had left. For the exact same reason. High wind velocities at the start. The organisers have to really re-think the foreshore start. The terrible wind gust and velocities in the tunnels and funnels created by the foreshore building have to be experienced to be believed.

In 2009, we were at the start of the race and tried to help many cyclists. It was chaos.

The race was also shortened. Those that tried to complete the race before it was called off, had hell on the last sections with one cyclist that was blown completely off the road somewhere near Chapman's Peak if I remember correctly.
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  #13  
Old 2017-03-13 , 13:29
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beetle bailey beetle bailey is offline
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Would definitely agree that the organizers need to relook at where to start the race. Outside the Civic Centre isn't the best of places for the start.
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  #14  
Old 2017-03-14 , 14:05
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The winds at the start were insane. But as has been said before here, that's mostly because of the Civic Centre design. 2km away at the finish, while the wind was definitely blowing, it was nothing even remotely dangerous (energy sapping it probably would have been though, if the wind was like that throughout the course).

I do have some concerns about the future though. This isn't the first time the start has experienced this kind of wind (as you correctly state, 2009 was just as bad). Surely it is time for the organisers to acknowledge that however nice a place it is to start, it is not worth the risk to such a huge event to start at the worst place for wind in the City? Also, without wishing to get into the politics of the matter, now that protesters know they can create such chaos on such a large stage, what are the odds on it not happening again next year? And for the second time in 3 years the race route was disrupted because of fires. Holding the race in peak fire period is perhaps also risky and could be reconsidered?

I have little doubt that the right decision was made on Sunday. Apparently, if you rode along Chappies you would go from almost no wind to gale force cross winds in milliseconds. That is dangerous by any definition. So, together with the protests and the fire, I don't see that any other call could've been made at such short notice.

What did disappoint me from the race organisers was how little regard their initial statement had for the riders. We warranted a whole one sentence, right towards the end. Surely, a BIKE race has the cyclists as their major stakeholder, and it is to them you apologise and provide explanations? Yet it was to the City and the Sponsors that the bulk of the statement was directed. It also took until late on Monday night for race organisers to communicate directly with the riders, offering the small bone of a preferential entry to the 2018 event (at full price of course).

I was also mildly amused at the wording of the terms and conditions relative to the wording of the press release. The terms and conditions specifically state that the race will not be cancelled because of bad weather (since when is wind not weather?), but only on safety grounds. By saying it was cancelled on safety grounds the organisers are not obligated to pay back the entry fee, yet if they'd cancelled because of poor weather they would have had to.

Also, they now state that the 2018 event will now be the 40th anniversary event, effectively meaning that they get to sell the ludicrously over-priced memorabilia for a second year, and consigning the 2017 event to "it never happened" status, except for all the money they pocketed...
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  #15  
Old 2017-03-14 , 15:37
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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I will have to wait for my daughter to get back home. I know she attended a meeting of the riding club about the "Argus" in Cape Town. Many of her clubs members are not in the least bit impressed with how easy it is for the organisers to duck and dive when it comes to refunds.

Something has to be done about the risks to the race now becoming all too common place, as well as finding a new start for the race, not affected by the wind issues on the foreshore.

Some are even looking into the idea of insurance on the race taking place. the idea is you take out insurance against the race being cancelled/called off which refunds the total cost of attending if the race is cancelled by the organisers.
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  #16  
Old 2017-03-15 , 08:40
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So when is cancellation due to bad weather safe (refund) or not safe (no refund) ?
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  #17  
Old 2017-03-15 , 17:34
Geoff D Geoff D is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luke7777 View Post
So when is cancellation due to bad weather safe (refund) or not safe (no refund) ?
That is the question.
And the other one is why is the vent not insured against these things?
Generally I think cyclists are very unhappy that the sponsors' interests take precedence over their interests.
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