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“Particular challenges” when it comes to bringing back sportives – British Cycling

Governing body also announces that 2020 British National Road Championships has been cancelled

British Cycling has said there are “particular challenges” to reintroducing mass-start cycling events as the country emerges from lockdown. The governing body has not seen fit to extend the suspension of racing – which is due to run until August 1 – but says some disciplines will come back before others, with sportives seemingly last in the queue.

On June 18, British Cycling lifted a suspension on club and group activity in England and published a six-step programme to resume all activities.

Regional racing and non-competitive events such as sportives were suspended until August 1 with international and national level races suspended until September 1.

In an update today, a spokesperson said the organisation did not believe there was a case to extend the suspension of regional-level racing as there are certain disciplines which may be in a position to return sooner than others.

The spokesperson said that future restrictions would still be expected to apply to group size, hygiene controls and social distancing, as well as on additional elements, such as travel.

“The disciplines and formats we believe could make the earliest return include BMX, cycle speedway, track, circuit racing, road time trials, cyclo-cross, and cross-country and gravity mountain biking.

“British Cycling staff are currently working with the respective discipline commissions and colleagues at Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling to produce a framework including guidelines and tools for the safe return of each discipline.”

Commenting specifically on road racing and sportives, they said: “We are keenly aware that road racing is the passion of a great number of our members.

“While we were able to reintroduce small club rides on June 18, we believe there are particular challenges when it comes to reintroducing this discipline as well as other mass-start events on the public highway, including sportives.

“These challenges include the impact on the communities whose roads we use, field sizes and the support required from emergency services. Therefore, it is likely that when mass start road events do return, they will do so first on closed circuits.”

It has also been announced that the British national championships in road, mountain biking, BMX and cycle speedway have all been cancelled for 2020.

British Cycling Integrity and Compliance Director, Rod Findlay, commented: “After several months of exploring alternatives and discussions with the relevant authorities, today we have made the difficult decision to formally cancel all national series and national championship events in the disciplines of road, cross country, downhill and 4X mountain biking, BMX and cycle speedway.

“This is not a decision we ever wanted to make however in the interests of providing clarity and certainty to our teams, riders and event organisers we believe it is the correct one. I’m pleased to say that the organisers who were to host events in 2020, will retain them for 2021.”

Current national champions will be permitted to continue wearing their respective national champions’ jerseys for another season.

Findlay added: “Our team is now working hard to lay the groundwork for resuming regional-level activity, and we remain hopeful that we will see some competitive racing next month.

“Plans for our winter programme are progressing well and though the past three months have been frustrating for all of us, I want to thank everybody involved in our sport for their patience and understanding in challenging circumstances. We can also now look forward to our national championships returning with strength in 2021.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

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4 comments

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lio | 3 years ago
1 like

I'm put off paying for another UK based closed road sportive after loosing so much money on my Velo Essex entry.

At Velo Essex they were insisting that you either visit the day before to pick up your entry pack or pay massive premium for them to send it to you via a priority entry.

Later they just cancelled the event without refunnding that priority entry charge.  They might have some costs they couldn't recover but they obviously didn't incure any costs for postage they did use or for parking on the day they didn't provide.

It's just a scam.  They pulled the same trick at Velo North last year.

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Organon replied to lio | 3 years ago
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Yes, I entered Velo Birm this year and when it was cancelled I though it would just be my sacrifice to the Virus. However the more I hear about it the more I became annoyed. First they gave a 45% refund to Essex but none to Brum, then Ride London gave full refunds. Then I heard how it is unlikely to ever run Birmingham again. I lodged a claim with my bank, but haven't heard back yet because of all the holiday cases.

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Organon | 3 years ago
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This was the final straw; the golden age of the closed road sportive is over. We will be lucky to get Ride London back.

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jova54 replied to Organon | 3 years ago
1 like

Organon wrote:

This was the final straw; the golden age of the closed road sportive is over. We will be lucky to get Ride London back.

Given the written commitment from Ride London, all monies will be repaid because Prudential have agreed to underwrite it. But I agree with your point about it being the end of a golden age.

The basic business model of paying to ride on roads you should be able to ride any day and then to get your friends/family/work colleagues to give you money to give to charity has seen its day.

It became the acceptable face of cycling which was tolerated by the 'road-owning' motorists and gave them the right to bully cyclists the other 365 days a year. Let them ride to raise money to subsidise services that should be paid for by central funding, but can't because so much is splurged on an inefficient transport model.

Provided the government and councils grasp the opportunity to shift the balance away from the tin-boxes and towards more efficient and healthy travel. RIP the 'Sportive' and welcome to cycling safely on our roads when we want to not just when we are permitted to.

Utopia is just over that horizon -> -> ->

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