Violent protests have broken out in Hermanus and the emergency authorities in the area have instructed the FNB Wines2Whales to stay away from the town.
This means that the race’s third stage from Oak Valley to Hermanus cannot take place as scheduled. Instead, the route team will be working through the night to set up a third stage starting and finishing at Oak Valley. As far as possible, the route will not use trails that have already been included in the event.
Race director Hendrico Burger said the FNB Wines2Whales regretted the development, but some of the protests were on the route to Hermanus “and we obviously cannot jeopardise the safety of our riders”.
Race managing director Michael Flinn added: “The route tomorrow will be an excellent and fun one and we are looking forward to greeting all the riders in style at Oak Valley at the finish of their 2018 FNB Wines2Whales.”
This afternoon the Head of Overberg disaster management, Reinhart Geldenhuys, advised the race against finishing in Hermanus.
A section of the R43 near Hermanus has been closed by burning tyres and rocks in the road. Anybody driving in the area has been advised to follow instructions from traffic officials.
The route team began working immediately on the new route, which will be approximately 55km. The stage will start at 8:30am.
Vehicles that have been taken to Hermanus by the Rotary shuttle service will be brought back via a safe route tomorrow. Burger appealed to riders to be patient if vehicles were not back early.