Riders in the 2011 Tour of Britain took a neutralised ‘parade’ circuit of Kendal in Cumbria on Monday morning after the second stage of the race was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
Earlier in the morning race organisers had made the decision to cancel the stage after high winds and heavy rain had rendered parts of the day’s route from Kendal to Blackpool unsafe for racing.
“In my thirty years of organising cycling events I have never once had to cancel a stage before it even started, so this is not a decision that has been taken lightly,” said race director Mick Bennett.
“However today has presented as with a set of extreme circumstances. The safety of competitors, officials, staff and of course spectators is of more importance than the spectacle of the event. We cannot, and will not take the slightest risk when it comes to safety, hence today’s decision.
“Pockets of the route, including the start at Kendal were more sheltered but still experienced extremely blustery conditions. In the main though there were large sections of the stage on exposed hillsides, including the three Skoda King of the Mountains locations, plus the final five kilometres of the stage along Blackpool Promenade, where conditions were deemed unsafe by ourselves as organisers, hence the regrettable decision to cancel the stage.
“I would like to thank the teams and riders for their assistance today, and apologise to the many spectators out on the route who have missed out on the opportunity to see The Tour of Britain, but we hope that they will understand the reasons behind our decision.”
The sizeable crowd that had turned out in Kendal had a longer-than-expected chance to see the riders and grab some photographs and autographs.
World Champion Thor Hushovd turns his nose up at the weather
Although they didn’t get to see any racing the fans did get a chance to see the riders
A moment of sunshine on a windy, wet morning as the riders line up for a parade lap of Kendal
Stage one winner Mark Cavendish out front
Peloton’s parade lap of Kendal
Soggy doggies: Ruff weather
Geraint Thomas stays wrapped up
Pieter Ghyllebert’s lucky charm
Mark McNally enjoys a moment in the dry
Johnny McEvoy, Matt Brammeier and Mark McNally
Hugh Roberts, race organiser, explains cancellation of stage to ITV4’s Ned Boulting
Mark Cavendish’s bike
Tour of Britain 2011: Latest news
Tour of Britain 2011: Stage reports
Tour of Britain 2011: Photo galleries
By Andy Jones
Stage one photo gallery
Tour of Britain 2011: Press conference photo gallery
Tour of Britain 2011: Riders warm up photo gallery
Tour of Britain 2011: Start list
Tour of Britain 2011: TV guide