The winds have already had an impact on the Vuelta a Burgos 2020, with echelons splitting the bunch and stage three winner Remco Evenepoel having to overcome a brutal headwind to win the day.
But it was after the finish of day three, on the summit of Picón Blanco, that the gusts really ramped up as riders were filmed battling the elements as they tried to ride back down the mountain.
Video footage from after the race shows two Gazprom-RusVelo riders trying to make their way off the mountain but being brought to a complete standstill by the headwinds.
The riders, wearing their protective masks, needed help from race volunteers to stop them being blown off the road.
Crosswinds had already sparked off some exciting racing in the first major stage race of the reset season, as Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s Evenepoel took control of the race on day three.
The gusts hit the peloton around two hours into the day and spread the bunch into several groups.
In his analysis of the stage, the 20-year-old said: “The pace was very high, but when an attack came with two kilometers to go, I decided to jump as I noticed that many riders were on their limit. It wasn’t easy, but if you don’t try, you don’t win, so today I tried.
“When I saw the gap kept growing, I pushed and pushed and went flat out, even though there was a really strong headwind in the last kilometer. To take both the stage and the leader’s jersey is amazing and we’ll try and keep it until the end, but we won’t rest on our laurels.
“The race isn’t in the pocket yet, as there are still two stages left, including a hard mountain one, but we’ll continue to give everything. We are in good form after our Val di Fassa training camp, which really helped us gear up for the restart of the season, and hopefully we’ll rack up some more nice results in Spain.”