British Cycling have cancelled the National Series and National Championships in road, mountain biking, BMX and cycle speedway due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
With racing at National Series and National Championships level currently suspended until September 1, the governing body say it’s not feasible to hold any events that would have taken place in the spring or summer following consultation with teams and event organisers.
The UCI has confirmed current national champions will therefore be allowed to continue wearing their national champion’s jerseys until the next editions are held.
As for regional-level racing, which is currently suspended until August 1, British Cycling do not currently believe there is a case to extend this suspension, and will be looking to re-introduce certain discipline’s competitions at the earliest opportunity.
These disciplines include BMX, cycle speedway, track, circuit racing, road time trials, cyclo-cross and cross-country and gravity mountain biking. Crucially, this list doesn’t include road racing.
“We are keenly aware that road racing is the passion of a great number of our members,” British Cycling said in a statement. “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 concerns include the impact on the communities where races were supposed to take place, as well as the size of fields taking part as well as the support required by emergency services. British Cycling says they believe that when mass start road events do return, they will do so on closed circuits, to begin with.
British Cycling Integrity and Compliance Director, Rod Findlay, says these are decision that have not been made lightly: “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.
“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.”