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British Cycling cancels 2021 National Cyclo-cross Championships

Tighter coronavirus restrictions and ongoing uncertainty make it impossible to stage event, says governing body

British Cycling has announced the cancellation of next year’s HSBC UK | National Cyclo-cross Championships, saying that today’s extension of Tier 4 measures to further parts of southern and eastern England and the ongoing uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, as well as restrictions on travel made it impossible to plan for the event.

The national governing body announced last month that it had postponed the championships, as well as the 2021 HSBC UK | National Track Championships, and while it still hopes to stage the latter event at some point next year, the cyclo-cross event will not take place.

It said today: “The decision has been taken at this time following conversations with the Cyclo-cross Commission, event organisers and British Cycling staff, and with the intention of providing certainty to riders, teams and volunteers heading into the new year.”

It added: “Despite the cancellation, British Cycling is encouraging riders to continue to get involved in local and regional racing opportunities, which can be found through its online Event Finder, and support the event organisers who are continuing to deliver events and leagues throughout the remainder of the season.”

Due to the rapidly changing situation, road.cc would strongly advise potential entrants to check with the relevant race organisers (and not just rely on their websites – for instance, one of the events shown on the British Cycling Event Finder is the Challenge Tires London and South East CX League meeting on 27 December, even though the governing body said at the weekend that it had suspended all sanctioned activities for adults in Tier 4 areas in England.

> London and Southeast England move into Tier 4 – How does it affect cycling?

Separate restrictions have been put in place by the devolved governments in Scotland and Wales, and specific coronavirus guidance from Scottish Cycling can be found here, and for Welsh Cycling here. Northern Ireland falls under Cycling Ireland, whose latest guidance for the country is here.

Dani Every, British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, said: “We understand that today’s announcement will come as a huge disappointment to the cyclo-cross community, especially those riders who have been preparing for this event over recent months. We share this disappointment and frustration, however I hope that the decision at least provides riders, parents and teams with some certainty as we move into 2021.

“While we are confident in our ability to safely run large-scale events – as demonstrated at the first round of the HSBC UK | Cyclo-cross National Trophy in Cumbria – the fact that we now have millions of people in England in Tier 3 and Tier 4 areas and tight restrictions on travel in Scotland and Wales has made planning a national-level event at this stage impossible.

“Though many will have been training and racing with this event in the forefront of their mind, a number of event organisers and leagues are continuing to plan local and regional events across the country and need your support. While we understand that the uncertainty and cancellations are difficult we are encouraged by the prospects for racing in 2021 and we’re sure that riders will be keen to make up for lost time.

“With that in mind, we look forward to soon announcing the dates and venues for the 2021/22 Cyclo-cross National Trophy Series and 2022 Cyclo-cross National Championships, as we begin a process of recovery for all cycle sport activity across the disciplines in 2021 and present our comprehensive, long-term plans to support them at all levels,” she added.

British Cycling added that talks on rescheduling next year’s HSBC UK | National Track Championships to a later date are ongoing and that it will issue an update in due course.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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