Skip to main content

The Cyclists' Alliance concerned over COVID protocols at upcoming Spanish races

Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) wins Durango-Durango
Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) en route to winning the 2019 Durango-Durango (Image credit: Mitchelton-Scott)

Many of the top riders in the women's peloton are planning to resume racing at a trio of one-day UCI 1.1-ranked races in Spain this week, with the Emakumeen Nafarroako Klasikoa, the Clasica Femenina Navarra and the Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria taking place on July 23, 24 and 26, respectively. But riders' assocation The Cyclists' Alliance (TCA) warns the events may not be following all of the recommendations for safety from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

In an announcement on their website on Wednesday, TCA said they have consulted with their medical advisors and warned that "there are significant risks which may not have been adequately mitigated and we ask the governing body (UCI) ensure it has reviewed the risks of the race, as at today's date, and takes a decision on whether this race should go ahead".

While Spain's overall COVID-19 daily new case count has averaged only 18 new infections per 100,000 people per week, the TCA says the Navarra region's counts are up to 53 per 100,000 per week. According to the World Health Organisation, that would classify the outbreak in the region as phase 4 or 'sustained human-to-human transmission' – a status with increased risk, one step below phase 5/pandemic.

"We are of the view that the risk assessment of the race tomorrow may result in a 'high' rating and this, together with the below, has given the [sic] TCA cause for concern," they wrote.

TCA says it understands that "there is insufficient evidence that the Covid Protocol has been followed, and teams have not received details of the risk assessment from the race organizers" and "not all teams have done the [COVID-19] RT-PCR test", as required under UCI protocols.

"We all have been looking forward to racing resuming tomorrow [Thursday] in Spain. We know many of you are at the race already and, as always, your safety is our priority," The Cyclists' Alliance wrote.

"It is very important, to ensure the safety of the remainder of the race calendar that the right decisions are taken when races are scheduled to take place with high risk factors in place."

TCA offered to discuss riders' rights "in this unprecedented situation" with any concerned member.