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TransRockies Gravel Royale cancelled due to new COVID-19 restrictions in British Columbia

TransRockies Gravel Royale 2021 - Gravel road riding near Fernie, B.C., Canada.
Gravel road riding near Fernie, B.C., Canada where TransRockies Gravel Royale was to take place (Image credit: Courtesy of TransRockies Gravel Royale)

Organisers announced Monday that the TransRockies Gravel Royale has been cancelled due to new COVID-19 restrictions limiting the capacity of outdoor gatherings to a maximum of 100 people across British Columbia. The four-day off-road race was due to begin on August 23 and run through August 26.

"The TransRockies organization did everything to try to make the events happen and assured athletes that the best decision was made around this sudden change," organisers wrote in a press release.

"The Public Health orders won’t allow events and small communities are once again being impacted by COVID-19. TransRockies main priority is to  protect the safety of athletes, staff, volunteers and local communities."

The event was set to welcome a strong field for the men's and women's categories that included LeadBoat Challenge winner Peter Stetina, three-time Canadian cyclo-cross champion Michael van den Ham, and former Unbound Gravel winner Amity Rockwell.

"Unfortunate news. After successfully arriving in Canada, the BC gov’t instituted a new health mandate limiting outdoor groups to 100. That means TransRockies Gravel Royale can’t take place. I’m dismayed and I feel even worse for the organizers as they are forced to pull the pin only 48hrs out," Stetina wrote in a post on Twitter.

The government in British Columbia announced new COVID-19 health restrictions that came into effect on Monday, August 23 at 8 a.m. local time and remain in effect until the end of September.

The heightened restrictions require that indoor personal gatherings be limited to one other household or five guests, and organized indoor events will have a 50 person limit and must have a COVID-19 safety plan in place. 

A safety plan is also required for organized outdoor events, which will be capped at 100 people, according to a report published on the CBC

The TransRockies organization has been forced to cancel three events; TransRockies Gravel Royale from August 23-26 in Panorama, Canal Flats and Fernie, along with its Singletrack 6 from September 7-12 in Fernie, Kimberley and Rossland, and its Golden Ultra from September 17-19 in Golden and Kicking Horse Resort.

"Athletes will soon be receiving information on the 2022 events, which all 2021 athletes will be deferred to with no penalty," the organisation confirmed in a press release.