“Rider safety” was the main reason for Cycling South Africa withdrawing their sanctioning of the L’Etape du Tour South Africa cycling race, the governing body said in a statement today.
According to Cycling SA it was not an easy decision to make but they felt, in view of riders’ travel and accommodation commitments, the risk of rider injury was too high.
The statement read that both parties agreed that the safety of riders was of utmost importance and could not be compromised and they therefore came to a mutual agreement to postpone the event to a future date.
Having met with L’Etape organisers, Buyu Sport & Entertainment, and having assessed the roads to be used for the proposed route, Cycling SA concluded that the road surface would not be in a satisfactory state for the race on April 2.
They said the roads, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, had been under a road rehabilitation programme.
Apart from the safety issue, there were some “other compliance issues” as well, the statement read.
Cycling SA, along with KwaZulu-Natal Cycling, have endeavoured to work closely with the organisers and local authorities to “develop this exciting event” in the near future.
L’Etape du Tour (French for a stage of the tour) was established in 1993 by ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation) to allow cyclists to experience a stage of Le Tour de France first-hand and the organisers said they were committed to “ensuring that the race meets all of the cycling standards”.