Women’s Tour udsat på grund af usikkerhed omkring pandemien

Women’s Tour udsat på grund af usikkerhed omkring pandemien


Race arrangør af Women’s Tour har meddelt, at 2021-udgaven udsættes fra de oprindelige juni-datoer. Den seks-dages begivenhed var planlagt til at begynde i Oxfordshire den 7. juni, men arrangør Sweetspot har besluttet at udsætte begivenheden for at reducere kompleksiteten ved at afholde en Covid-sikker begivenhed.

Sweetspot har i forbindelse med British Cycling ansøgt UCI om en ny dato og håber, det kan finde sted mellem 4.-9. Oktober, en måned efter en anden af ​​dens begivenheder, Rundvisning i Storbritannien. De blev for nylig tvunget til at udskyde deres Tour Series af kriterier.

”Vi er åbenlyst skuffede over at udskyde Women’s Tour i juni, men håber, at vi ved at sigte på at afslutte løbet i oktober kan give holdene og offentligheden noget at se frem til i slutningen af ​​sommeren,” sagde race birector Mick Bennett i en pressemeddelelse.

Siden starten i 2014 er Women’s Tour blevet et af de førende kvindeløb på kalenderen og er højt anset for sin organisation, skue og sportslige udfordring. Men med den igangværende pandemi, der forårsager usikkerhed i alle aspekter af livet, endsige sport, var beslutningen om at omlægge måske uundgåelig.

”Der er flere grunde [for the postponement,” Sweetspot’s chairman Hugh Roberts told Cycling Weekly. “The most important is our relationships with stake holders, those being the various venues around the country with whom we work so closely.

“They are being drawn in all sorts of different directions trying to cope with the situation and are nervous about being seen to be putting an event on that, as it stands right now, goes against the guidance which is the received wisdom.

“Even then we need to spend at least four months preparing for the event to make sure they get the crowds they need to justify being involved in the first place. It’s far better to make the decision now and move to when we could reliably put the event on in October, then continue to have that sword of Damocles hanging over us.”

Though no one can know where the fight against Covid-19 will be in October, Roberts is confident the race can go ahead in it’s rescheduled slot: “If I was a betting man I would say that it is 75/25 in favour of it happening.

“Let’s hope the government and the sports authorities treat the races as a celebration of the fact we are back to normal,” adding he would be interested in ideas of how the races can celebrate health and key workers who have worked so hard.

The 2021 women’s calendar has already been hit by cancellations, with the usual Australian races going the same way as their men’s equivalents, and there has been no European racing yet after two Spanish races were cancelled.

However, the traditional Classics opener at Omloop Het Nieuwsbald is set to go ahead on February 27, though Omloop Het van Hageland, normally run the following day will not take place. 

Dutch one-dayer Ronde van Drenthe would normally happen in March but has requested an alternative date in late October. New Spanish Women’s WorldTour stage race Itzulia is also seeking another date after postponing last month, and with few available dates in summer all three could come together to make an intense end to the year.

“It makes October a little more interesting,” Canyon-SRAM team manager Ronnny Lauke told CW. “At the moment you have two race days at the beginning of October and then Chrono des Nations in the middle and Drenthe at the very end so having a stage race in October is actually a good thing.”

The uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has caused teams to reassess how they operate, with travel causing a particular headache for Lauke.

“In a normal season I sometimes book with low cost carriers in January for [races in] Juli, august og september, fordi billetpriserne er så lave på det tidspunkt. Dette er ikke muligt, nu booker jeg maksimalt en uge i forvejen, sandsynligvis senere, fordi du har nul planlægningssikkerhed.

“Kvindesturen er et af højdepunkterne i kvindekalenderen, så det er en skam, men så længe der er en chance for, at det vil ske i 2021, er dette et godt tegn.”



Source link