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Riders go to Spain early in the season for some good weather, but there was no such thing Thursday as snow halted the opening stage of O Gran Camiño.
There was just 20 kilometers remaining with three breakaway riders holding a minimal gap when the riders were told to stop.
The weather had been poor from the start of the day and riders had all of their wet weather gear on. However, snow began falling on the race inside the final 30 kilometers and it came to a head as the clock ticked down to 20km to go.
Snow was pummelling the riders’ faces and TV pictures showed snow plows out on adjacent roads.
It’s not clear who made the call to pull the race but the peloton pulled up en masse and riders swarmed to the race organization car. Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard quickly assumed the role of rider spokesperson and held a brief summit with the race director.
As this went on, the three escapees continued to ride up the road, perhaps unaware that the chasers were no longer following behind. They were eventually pulled over by a race vehicle, after riding on for several kilometers, as the riders behind climbed into team vehicles.
By this point, the snow had abated, but it was too late for the race. The day was done.
With no winner declared for the stage, it’s not clear yet if there will be a race leader on stage 2. The second day of racing will take the riders from Tui to Monte Trega.