The Old Man Winter Rally gravel race in Colorado has been abandoned due to freezing temperatures and heavy snow. Cyclingnews understands that the decision was made by the state highway patrol. All competitors have been instructed to report back to the start and finish line.
The organisers posted a message on Instagram to confirm the news, along with images of competitors, including US national road champion Alex Howes, at a stop near the side of the road.
"Due to the winter weather – the bike race is cancelled. All bike racers please report back to the start/finish," read the race organisers' message.
Peter Stetina came into the race looking for his first gravel win of the season after placing second in the Grasshopper opener at Low Gap in late January.
"Well we started, we raced but Old Man Winter won this one," he said in a video posted on Instagram.
"The Colorado Highway patrol were closing all the roads and not letting cars up the canyon, so they sent us all back home around 30 minutes after we started. It was just a full-on day and I think that Nordic skis would have probably been the winning choice. Now we're going to eat some chili."
Riders had set out earlier in the day with persistent snow falling. Before the race was abandoned a front group had formed with Howes among the leaders.
This story is still developing and Cyclingnews will have further updates.
Oops....race got cancelled once we were about 12km into it. Definitely tough conditions, but I was loving it. I wanted to continue on, but totally understand the call. pic.twitter.com/IqocNff8JSFebruary 9, 2020