All 2,500 plus riders left the Newton Abbot race headquarters in the dry but very soon afterward the rain fell in torrents. Organised by Mid Devon Cycling Club traditionally there are three routes that participants can enter – The Grande (107 miles/ 173 kilometres), the Medio (67 miles/ 109 km) or the Piccolo (38 miles/2 km).
Ken Robertson of the MDCC, said: ‘Many riders seemed unprepared for the conditions despite being warned in the event manual that ‘the weather conditions on Dartmoor can change from benign to evil in minutes. It forced many to abandon their ride or cut the distance back from the 107 miles to 68 miles or even 38 miles. The well stocked food station at Princetown proved the last stop for many of the riders. The medical staff there, aided by the Dartmoor Search and Rescue, Ashburton group, saw that the riders were suitably warmed up and sent back to HQ by bus and car.
‘Despite the conditions the elements eased and for some the final miles were in the dry. All who completed their chosen distance were able to look back on a day’s riding with a great deal of satisfaction. This included a party of 30 plus Dutch riders who had crossed to Devon.
‘One of their lady riders said she was soaking up the atmosphere and remembering the scenes as painted in the Honda of the Baskervilles!’