British Cycling has suspended all activity until at least April 30 due to the coronavirus pandemic. All forthcoming races, sportives and coaching courses in Great Britain are thus postponed or cancelled, including the UCI BMX Supercross World Cup in Manchester on April 18-19.
The British Cycling announcement comes after the British government announced on Monday evening that it was advising against unnecessary contact and travel to alleviate the spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 that causes the flu-like illness Covid-19. There are over 1,500 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the United Kingdom according to the latest data.
“The decision has been taken based on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s caution against unnecessary travel and contact with others, to take the necessary steps to protect the health and wellbeing of riders, officials, volunteers and spectators, and alleviate the risk of an additional burden on the emergency services at what is a hugely testing time,” said British Cycling chief executive Julie Harrington.
“We fully understand and appreciate the financial, social and community impact that this suspension could have, and we are working now to ensure that cycling is in the best possible health once the suspension can be lifted.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to the postponement and cancellation of races around the world. The Giro d’Italia, Milan-San Remo, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Tour of the Basque Country, the Tour de Romandie and Gent-Wevelgem are among the events to have been postponed or cancelled, and it is expected that the remainder of the Spring Classics will also fall by the wayside.
In Spain, the current state of emergency means that all outdoor sports activities, including cycling, are prohibited, while in Italy, only professional riders are permitted to train outside.
In its statement on Tuesday, British Cycling stated that its “guidance to professional riders and those on the World Class Programme is that they can continue to train, including group activity.”