Another Spanish gran fondo has been cancelled at the last minute, actually the last second, when L’Etape Madrid cancelled the entire event on Sunday with 2000 riders standing on the start line waiting to rollout.

Doubts began to arise as riders lined up and the scheduled departure time came and went at 07:30 in Villanueva del Pardillo. As minutes went by and the peloton became more impatience, race director Andrés Novo confirmed everyone’s worst fears, L’Etape Madrid was cancelled.

Civil authorities said L’Etape failed to get the proper safety approvals and permits and they had no choice but to shut down the event. L’Etape’s official announcement simply stated there was a, “problem in administrative management” and they deeply “regretted the damage that this may cause to the participants.”

Participants quickly flooded social media with comments highlighting their frustration. José Luis Perez’s comments captured how most riders felt, “You are real scoundrels…a week ago you said everything was ok. I don’t believe anything !!!! I will sue you!!!!“

It is not been the best year for Spanish gran fondos. A few weeks ago we reported the country’s largest event, Quebrantahuesos, was cancelled 48 hours before its scheduled date due to dangerous high temperature weather conditions.

L’Etape Madrid announced it will not reimburse riders for travel costs associated with the cancelled 3 July event, but they have set a new tentative date of 11 September 2022 to hold the event. Registered participants have several options: 1) received a full refund, 2) move registration to 11 September, 3) move registration to 2023 or 4) move registration to L’Etape Granada on 23 October.

Of course, options 2, 3 & 4 assume L’Etape gets all the proper approvals from civil authorities prior to the event.

Photos: L’Etape