Bad luck has struck the Hincapie Gran Fondo Series for the third time in a row with the forced cancellation of their Merced, California gravel gran fondo scheduled 18 March due to recent storms and unprecedented flooding.

“We are saddened to make this decision, but we stand with Merced and the surrounding communities as they work to rebuild and recover. During a recent planning visit to Merced, we determined the gravel route designed for our March 18th event will not be rideable for our event. It is our responsibility to ensure the safety of not just our riders but also the supporting emergency services and volunteers that help make our events possible,” organizer Rich Hincapie said in a press release.

While the rain has let up for now, the road to recovery is just beginning for thousands of local residents dealing with life-changing issues resulting from an insane amount of flooding. Preliminary estimates indicate 5000 homes and 26 businesses were evacuated or damaged and 1600 Merced residents remain displaced.

Hincapie’s entry into the USA gravel scene has been long and challenging, with multiple false starts and event cancellations. Though, they are undeterred and along with the City of Merced and local event organizers Hincapie is now planning to hold the two day Merced Ultimate Gravel Cycling Experience on 16 March 2024.

Photos: KVPR