The predicted heavy rain was supposed to hit the Umkomaas valley later in the day and when it unexpectedly arrived overnight 'Farmer' Glen Haw's hand was forced as there could be a number of safety concerns on what is inherently a tough stage.

"With such tight tracks down into the valley there isn't a lot of space off the track before the drop off," Haw explained.

"Riders will be using the grass to ride on which will make the track even closer to the edge so we had to make the decision to make the stage a non-racing one.

"Another issue would be the extraction of riders from the valley should something have happened."

The stage will take riders along the R612 to Highflats, where they will go under the main road at the Highflats Church. Then riders will cover 15km of the original route to the finish at Jolivet.

"We have been in meetings with the Municipality and the RTI since about 3am trying to make an alternative arrangement.

"There will be no road closures but riders will need to ride to Jolivet should they want to remain in the race.

"Riders are more than welcome to skip Friday's stage and ride tomorrow, however they will not be in the final results.

"It wasn't a decision we took lightly but ultimately we needed to take all possibilities into consideration and we will look forward to another exciting stage tomorrow," Haw added.

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