British Cycling has today announced the next step in its plan to resume all sanctioned cycling activities in England, with coaching and group activity beginning to return from today. The national governing body has also announced that planning is underway to resume certain competitive events – such as time trials and downhill mountain biking – at the next stage of the process.
The current suspension of sanctioned club and coaching activity was due to lift on 4 July, however with the support of new guidance published today on safe delivery, certain activities are now permitted to return with immediate effect.
Further details in the ‘British Cycling: The Way Forward’ update include that:
- Club activities and coaching sessions can resume today, providing they are delivered in line with Government guidance on group sizes and social distancing.
- The suspension of recreation programmes – such as HSBC UK Breeze and Guided Rides – will remain in place until 4 July, to enable Breeze Champions and Ride Leaders to access new training materials on safely leading group rides at the end of this month.
- While it is still not yet possible to reintroduce racing, the organisation, with its seven Discipline Commissions, is currently working on plans to reintroduce certain racing formats at the next stage of the process.
- Today’s announcement moves us to Stage 3 of a six-stage plan, with Stage 6 being a return of all sanctioned activity.
British Cycling’s Cycling Delivery Director, Dani Every, said:
“Today’s announcement is an important next step in our plan to safely reintroduce activities, and I want to thank all of the riders, clubs, coaches and other stakeholders for their patience as we have developed our planning over recent weeks.
“We know that many will have concerns about how and when to resume activities, and through today’s update we want to empower people and equip them with the necessary tools to deliver their activities with confidence. We will continue to develop this as the wider landscape evolves, and I’d encourage anybody with questions to get in contact with our team for further support.
“The nationwide enthusiasm for cycling we have seen develop over recent months should give us cause for optimism and excitement, and we are keen to ensure that our incredibly popular recreation programmes are able to provide invaluable support to riders as they continue their personal journeys.”
As announced in our previous update on 27 May, the suspension on regional racing and non-competitive events (such as sportives) is currently due to run until 1 August 2020, and then to 1 September 2020 for international and national level races. These suspensions are being reviewed on a fortnightly basis. We will give four weeks’ notice of any extension or curtailment of the suspension of regional-level racing and non-competitive events. We will give six weeks’ notice of any extension or curtailment of the suspension of international and national level races. British Cycling is also updating its guidance to support operators of cycling facilities today.
Today’s announcement will be followed by a series of webinars aimed at supporting clubs, groups and coaches with the new guidance.
“I am pleased to say that our plans to reintroduce certain racing disciplines are now being developed with the support of our Discipline Commissions, to establish how we can safely deliver events while complying with Government guidance.
“I know that this is something our riders, teams and officials are keen to hear more about and we will be announcing further details on this next month.”
The Great Britain Cycling Team will be resuming group activity but following different protocols to clubs as they follow the Government’s Return to Elite Training Stage 2 guidance, which allows training to resume in ‘clusters’ or small groups. They have permission within this guidance to train closer to each other than the general social distancing rules permit. As part of this process, a return to group road riding will begin for the Great Britain Cycling Team squads from this week. Riders will be completing any group training within their cluster to ensure that should a COVID-19 case be discovered the minimum number of riders and staff will be required to isolate for a 14 day period, and the track and trace process to identify contacts within training sessions and group rides can be completed.
British Cycling remains in close contact with colleagues at Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling regarding the current differences in guidance on sport, social distancing and gatherings across England, Scotland and Wales – and how this will impact upon the return to activities.