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British riders may be unable to race in Europe under new Brexit rules

The visa rules mean that non EU citizens can only spend 90 days in Europe.

British riders are petitioning the government to get visa-free permits so they can race in Europe this season.

Under the new Brexit agreement British nationals can only travel on the continent for 90 in 180 days. 

The petition, which currently has 2,300 signatures,  is being supported by a number of pro riders.

They are campaigning to get a new visa-free permit which will allow them to continue racing. 

The petition states:  "The UK has a huge number of sporting professionals, young and training athletes that travel year-round to Europe to train and compete.

"Wintersports, for example, can have athletes training and competing over 8 months of the year.

"Now, with many athletes self-funded and potentially each country asking for its own visa per trip, this will become impossible due to cost if there is this limit of 90 in 180 days travel.

"Please negotiate a visa-free permit for athletes and sporting professionals."

Many riders have also taken to social media to voice their concerns about how they are going to be able to continue competing in Europe next year. 

One rider, Anna Henderson, a 22-year-old who currently rides for Team Jumbo-Visma, said she fears it will be 'impossible' to continue competing if the rules are not changed.

Writing on Twitter, she said: "Sport requires athletes to spend long periods of time in the Schengen area, and without easy options for this it becomes impossible.

"Britain’s sporting success [re]lies on athletes being able to do their job properly and 90 days within 180 days simply does not allow this to happen...

"I understand covid-19 is an issue, but long stay visas allow us to stay in one place for a long time.

"Having to travel to and from the Schengen area due to the 90 day rule is increasing travel and putting more people at risk.

"Elite sports events continue to happen, and British athletes will struggle to attend such events and train properly for them if this does not change."

The petition requires at least 10,000 signatures for the appeal to receive a response from the government. 

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