Stormy weather and Omicron influence cycling events


The Double Siècle route is linked to several mountain passes. What are the high-risk roads after a powerful storm (Photo: Tobias Ginsberg)

  • Arguably the best road cycling event in South Africa, was canceled by an unusual storm.
  • As the toughest off-road rider prepares for the Munga, one of the race favorites has pulled out.
  • The problems surrounding Omicron deprived the Munga of its star pilot.

After a successful October, with the two the epic of Cape Town and
Wines2Whales ATV races, the disruption returned to local cycling events.

Heavy storms across Cape South and Overberg forced the cancellation of one of the country’s most famous road racing events on Saturday.

The organizers of the Former Double Century Mutual (DC) were forced to disappoint the nearly 2,500 runners who had ventured into the Swellendam area for the 202km classic.

A tough call – but the right one

The soggy road and running surface left the organizers with little choice.

It was a bitter result for the riders and teams who view the DC as the pinnacle of local road driving. Yet, on the preponderance of evidence, DC organizers had to factor the risk into their decision and made the right decision.

Road cyclists ride at much higher average speeds than mountain bikers.

And in wet conditions, not all road bikes are equally capable of decelerating safely when emergency braking is required.

Wet roads and rocks

While many road cyclists have switched to disc brakes, this is not the case for everyone. Disc brakes have a notable advantage in wet conditions, providing more powerful and consistent stopping power.

Tire tread patterns and widths have a significant impact on braking performance. It is doubtful that an entire field brought rain tires to Swellendam, for DC.

The Tradouw Pass is a crucial part of the DC route and the rockfall made it impossible to guarantee a safe passage.

Fan favorite forced house

Beyond the annoyance of a canceled DC, fans of the Munga’s brutal stamina race – between Bloemfontein and Wellington – saw the stardom of the race dwindle, a bit.

An extreme ordeal of off road cycling endurance, some of Munga’s international riders, were mostly defeated, by the Omicron variant and its influence on travel.

gravel bike

Lachlan Morton was clearly disappointed to have to leave the country ahead of the Munga event (Photo: Instagram)

He will be back

One of the most popular runners in the world, Australian road and gravel pro Lachlan Morton, was desperate to finish the Munga.

After having lived a great epic of the cape, Morton enlisted in the Munga, but left the country shortly after arriving for the extreme endurance event.

The charismatic and popular Australian cycling icon has vowed to return in the future.

For the other Munga runners it will be business as usual as they prepare for a very personal ‘Karoo Hell’ on December 1st.

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