Excessive snowfall forces mid-race stoppage at Old Man Winter Rally

Blowing snow forced the cancellation of the Old Man Winter Rally gravel race in Colorado.

LYONS, Colorado (VN) Mother Nature defeated Old Man Winter on Sunday.

White-out conditions and blowing snow forced the cancellation of the 100-kilometer gravel race at the Old Man Winter Rally, a multi-sport festival held just north of Boulder, Colorado. Approximately 30 minutes after riders left the starting line in Lyons, they were stopped by officials with the Boulder County Sheriffs office at the intersection of Nelson Road and North 51st street (above photo)

There was plenty of snow at the Old Man Winter Rally start line. Photo: Fred Dreier

Riders had completed just 15kms of the full 100-kilometer course.

“The Colorado Highway Patrol sent us back home about 30 minutes after we started,” said Peter Stetina on his Instagram feed. “It was a full-on power day race. I think that Nordic skis would have been the winning choice.”

Indeed, the race released a statement about the cancellation, stating it was the Colorado Department of Transportation that ultimately made the decision to cancel the race.

Riders depart Lyons, Colorado for the Old Man Winter Rally. Photo: Fred Dreier

“We are really sorry for the inconvenience but [Colorado Department of Transportation] want to make sure everybody is safe and off the roads,” the race posted on its Facebook page. “Please be safe out there.”

Snow started falling two hours before the race started, and more than two inches had accumulated on the roadway by the time the race began. The course sends riders on a rolling tour of Boulder County’s flatlands before climbing into the foothills, reaching a maximum elevation of 7,500 feet above sea level.

Ben Delaney of VeloNews was in the peloton for the first 30 minutes of the event, and said that there were numerous crashes and slip outs during the first few miles of the event. Delaney said he agreed with the decision to stop the event.

“We will live to play again another day,” Delaney said.