The third stage of the Volta a la Marina cycling race off the eastern coast of Spain had just gotten underway Sunday when cyclists were suddenly faced with hurricane-force winds that stopped them in their tracks, Cycling Weekly reported.
The 153 riders were heading toward the Terra Mitica circuit in Benidorm when they found themselves struggling to pedal forward.
The Guardian provided a shortened version of the bizarre start — and ultimately end — of the race:
Ciclismo provided the video from a cameraman on a motorcycle. It posted a longer version on YouTube in HD.
The race began along a coastal road before turning inland. The riders passed through a short tunnel and began a gentle incline that quickly turned into a steep mountain because of the strong winds.
Riders were unable to move forward, forcing them to unclip and put their feet on the ground. Some were knocked off their bikes. Others held their bikes tightly as the bikes went airborne. A group near the front ducked headfirst into the wind, but nothing helped.
Among the cyclists battling the winds was British Olympian and London 2012 triathlon bronze medalist Jonathan Brownlee.
It soon became evident that the cycling race could not continue.
After deliberations between the Technical Jury and the Civil Guard (aka police), the race was suspended. Officials told riders they will be informed when the race will be rescheduled, adding that the classification jerseys will remain unchanged.
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