Next weekend’s UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships are reportedly at risk of cancellation due to a surge in cases of COVID-19 in Belgium, where the event is due to take place in the port city of Ostend.
On Friday, the Belgian government announced that it was tightening up restrictions on travel abroad for Belgian citizens in a bid to contain the spread of new variants of the coronavirus.
From tomorrow, the country will also require visitors from the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America will have to quarantine for 10 days under the new measures.
They will also have to provide a negative test for COVID-19 on the first and seventh day of their quarantine.
Sporza reports that Mayor of Ostende Bart Tommelein told weekly TV show De Zevende Dag (The Seventh Day): “I am in consultation with the various organisers, Belgian Cycling, the UCI and Minister of Sport Ben Weyts.”
“We asked the virologists for advice and we are looking into whether the measures should be further tightened.
“No-one will be on the World Championships course without a negative corona test,” he added.
“If the World Championships go ahead, we have to strictly limit the number of people anyway.”
The Great Britain Cycling Team will be represented by 12 riders at the slimmed down championships, which this year lack the junior races.
Tom Pidcock, a past world champion in the discipline at junior and under-23 level, rides in the men’s elite category, where he finished second to Mathieu van der Poel 12 months ago, while the country is represented in the women’s elite race by Evie Richards, twice under-23 world champion.
We have asked British Cycling whether members of the team and support staff will be affected by the new restrictions in Belgium.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.