Peloton stop stage of Spanish race due to extreme weather

O Gran Camiño stage one was cut short with 20km to go due to inclement weather

O Gran Camiño
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The opening stage of O Gran Camiño, a Spanish 2.1 stage race, was cancelled on Thursday afternoon amid heavy snowfall, with riders forcing the event to stop

With 20km to go the peloton was stopped by race organisers, with the three riders up the road halted shortly later, as precipitation fell in Galicia, northwest Spain.

While the race was paused, conversations were had between the riders and officials; shortly after the decision was made to not just neutralise the stage but call it off altogether. 

As a result, there was no stage winner for stage one, and it is unclear if there will be a race leader going into the second day. There were four stages scheduled for the race, which is in its second year, all in Galicia, with the race finishing in Santiago del Compostela on Sunday.

Riders at O Gran Camiño include Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) for whom the event is his first of the season, and Ruben Gurreiro (Movistar), already a winner at the Saudi Tour this year.

On Thursday's stage one, Gianni Moscon (Astana Qazaqstan) and Sebastian Schönberger (Human Powered Health) were the last men still out up the road from the seven-man break, after others had fallen away from the move, as the snow started to fall. 

O Gran Camiño

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The pair were looking as if they would be caught on the last climb of the day, the Alto de Moltán, which was to be followed by an 8km descent into Sarria, the finishing town.

Vincente Hernaiz (Radio Popular-Paredes-Boavista) bridged the gap as the time between the peloton and the leaders was descending, perhaps hoping that the race would go on and the move would stick.

However, despite the snow not laying, the peloton paused as the debate over the continuation of the stage happened; there might have been fears about the final descent and slippery conditions.

While the riders in the peloton stopped and put on their thickest clothes, the break continued riding almost to the top of the Alto de Moltán, despite race organisers telling them of the situation behind. However, they eventually stopped, turned around, and headed back to Sarria.

Stage two begins near the coast at Tui, and heads even closer to the sea at A Guarda, so snowfall is unlikely, but rain is on the menu - the riders in the peloton might be looking fearfully at clouds in the morning.

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Adam Becket
Senior news and features writer

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.