In a statement on their website, organisers of the Swartberg100 Gran Fondo announced the cancellation of this year’s event due to flash floods causing extensive damage to the course.
According to the statement, race director John Swanepoel said the town of Prince Albert and its surrounds experienced a massive flood on Sunday evening, causing damage to the Swartberg Pass.
Meiringspoort, he said, had also been closed to traffic.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce the cancellation of the 2017 Swartberg100 Gran Fondo as it is not possible to repair the pass before April 29.
“I have considered and researched other options during the course of the day, but the race route with the iconic Meiringspoort and Swartberg Pass and all the scenic connecting gravel is impossible to replicate.
“A great thank you to all of you who have worked tirelessly so far in the run-up to the event.”
Gran Fondos are run on courses that are usually between 120km and 200km and have up to 4 000m of vertical climbing.
The Swartberg100 Gran Fondo starts and ends in Prince Albert and covers 170km, including three gravel sectors covering 79km.
The final climb is over the gravel Swartberg Pass, which features gradients of 13 per cent in places.
Swanepoel said he would be organising a social ride on the 29th that would take participants on a circular route through farmlands that they have permission to ride on.