Words and Images Nick Bentley (Man Down Media)
British Cycling has announced the inevitable news that there would be a delay to National level racing in the UK this year. This news came within their announcement outlining the way forward for cycling events in the UK based around the UK governments planned removal of lockdown restrictions.
British Cyclings 4 step plan is:Step 1From March 8
- Under-18 and school sport as part of education provision and wraparound care.
- People can leave their house to cycle alone, within their household bubble or with one other person.From March 29 at the earliest:
- British Cycling-affiliated Club rides or recreation programme rides for up to 15 participants (or limited to relevant leader/rider ratios), on highways, trails and tracks.
- Outdoor coach-led club training and coaching for all ages. Numbers to be determined by a coach’s qualification.
- Indoor coaching for under-18s and disabled people, subject to facility access.
- Outdoor club, local and regional competition and challenge events, such as sportives, across a range of disciplines. This will be subject to the guidance set out in The Way Forward.
- Indoor regional competition for under-18s and disabled people, subject to facility access.
- Private provision of education courses limited to six people delivered outdoors.Step 2From 12 April at the earliest:
- Outdoor regional and some national competition and challenge events across a range of disciplines, including pilots for road racing and downhill mountain bike events with uplift.
- British Cycling education course delivery, subject to facility access.Step 3From 17 May at the earliest:
- Recreational group and club riding in any number (or limited to relevant leader/rider ratios), on highways, trails and tracks.
- Indoor and outdoor coach-led club training and coaching for all ages.
- Indoor regional and national competition for all ages.Step 4From 21 June at the earliest:
- All activity to resume.
- Restrictions at this stage TBC.
The plans cover more than just MTB disciplines. However, there is some good news within it for Downhill, events and riders with the statement that from April 12 at the earliest being the target for "downhill mountain bike events with uplift" to restart.
The announcement does come with some bad news, with the following events postponed with a view to rescheduling :
HSBC UK | National Downhill Series Round 1, Antur Stiniog, 17-18 April
HSBC UK | National Cross-Country Series Round 1, 17-18 April
HSBC UK | National Downhill Series Round 2, Fort William, 8-9 May
If and when these events are rescheduled, this will be after step 4 from June 21 at the earliest. More updates will follow, the full British Cycling announcement can be found here
It goes without saying that all of the above is dependent on the UK government's removal of lockdown restrictions happening on the current proposed dates.