British Cycling postpones National Track Championships due to Covid-19 restrictions
January track championships have been rescheduled for March in 2022
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British Cycling has postponed the National Track Championships, stating that Covid-19 restrictions in Wales - where the event was due to be held - would mean "strict controls on rider movements and significant changes to the event schedule."
The Geraint Thomas National Velodrome in Newport was due to host the races, between January 27 and 30.
The British stripes have not been contested outside of Manchester since 1994, but the velodrome at the HSBC UK National Cycling Centre undergoing a refurbishment.
The event has been rescheduled for March 3 to 6, to avoid "severely diminishing the event experience for all."
Whilst this could create some season planning headaches for riders planning to complete their track season, before focusing on the road in spring, the good news is that the first of the National Series road races take place in May at the Lincoln Grand Prix.
Data released in January showed that cases in Wales rose by 95%, between December 26 and January 7, compared to a 34% increase in England.
Last week, Welsh government ministers decided to maintain their 'level two' measures, meaning that face coverings remain mandatory indoors, and people are not allowed to meet in indoor public places in groups of larger than six.
Indoor events comprising of over 30 people are not allowed. There is not yet a set date for when these restrictions will be lifted.
British Cycling released a statement on Monday, outlining its plan to reschedule the National Track Cycling Championships.
"Following discussions with event stakeholders in Wales regarding current Covid-19 restrictions introduced by the Welsh Government, the decision has been taken to reschedule the 2022 HSBC UK National Track Championships in Newport, which was due to take place from 27 - 30 January," British Cycling noted.
"While British Cycling understands that this news will be disappointing for riders, the current restrictions – which are now expected to remain in place for the foreseeable future – mean that delivering the event would have required strict controls on rider movements and significant changes to the event schedule, severely diminishing the event experience for all."
The governing body concluded: "Thanks to the support of event stakeholders, we have been able to quickly confirm a rescheduled date of Thursday 3 – Sunday 6 March 2022, with further details to be announced in due course."
The change in date does mean that participants who had been unable to race in January may wish to enter themselves for the March event, British Cycling said: "The entry window for riders will also now be re-opened, to enable those who were unavailable for the January date to participate in the rescheduled event."
National Championship events have been disrupted for some time, the 2021 National Track Championships did not go ahead due to the pandemic. On the road, the 2020 National Championships were cancelled, with the 2021 events moved to October instead of their usual June date. In cyclocross, the 2021 race did not go ahead, but new champions were crowned for 2022 on Sunday.
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Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Michelle is on maternity leave from July 8 2022, until April 2023.
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