An international cycling event in South Africa had to be cancelled after extreme winds made riding a bicycle impossible. Cape Town Cycle Tour (CTCT) riders were pushed and pulled across the streets by 100kph gusts.

Video footage of the event shows riders battling to stay on their feet and hold onto bikes that are hovering horizontally in extreme winds at the 40th CTCT event on Sunday (12 March).

Event organisers said they were left with no choice but to cancel the event – for the first time in its history – because conditions were so dangerous they posed a serious risk of fatality.

CTCT representative David Bellairs said: "This morning presented a number of challenges' not least of which were wind speeds considerably higher than predicted yesterday.

"This combined with a large fire that broke out in Hout Bay in the early hours of this morning, and the added risk of protest action en route were all contributing factors to the decision made in our Joint Operation Centre VOC commander to stop the event" Bellairs told the Times of South Africa.

Cyclist Greg Anderson from Cape Town told the Times he understood the organiser's decision and that he would be eager to return next year to take part in the race again.

"I'm from Cape Town so it's not a major train smash that it was cancelled. I just feel for all the guys and girls that have come from far away. The sad thing is the expenses and man hours that have gone into it already – setting it all up' the tents' the registration'" he said.

He added: "They cancelled the New York Marathon a few years ago because of the hurricane and that was devastation' this was a bit of wind. I think there's going to be a lot of pissed-off people but I'm not one of them."

Cyclists try to control of their bikes after Cape Town Cycle Tour cancelled due to strong winds
riders were pushed and pulled across the streets by 100kph gusts