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Sportives given green light to return in England from September

Events will be limited to 600 riders and forced to follow new Covid-19 guidelines

Joe Robinson
20 Aug 2020

Sportives and other non-competitive cycling events will be able to return to England from Saturday 5th September, British Cycling has confirmed.

New guidance approved by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will allow mass-start cycling events to return in England under new Covid-19 rules. Notably, all events will be capped to 600 riders.

The announcement from British Cycling will see the first sportives return to UK roads since March. The Great Exmoor Ride will be among the initial events to take place on the opening weekend of 5th and 6th September, just over two weeks away.

Further guidelines will ask all participants to ride in groups of six or less at all times, in line with Government guidance. All riders will be released in waves of six or less at 45-second intervals, with strict start times to prevent the mass gathering of riders at the beginning of an event.

Feed stations, as well as event HQs, will have to be large enough to adhere to social distancing, while refreshments, goody bags and medals will need to be collected in a 'self-service' system.

Events will only return to England with restrictions on group riding and events still in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Dani Every of British Cycling confirmed that after the 'incredibly successful re-introduction' of events earlier this month, all parties involved were ready to take the next steps.

'Due to the greater number of participants involved we have been cautious in our approach and worked closely with event organisers, colleagues in Government and representatives from other sports,' Every explained.

'Our first priority is always to ensure that events are delivered safely and in a Covid-secure manner, and through this guidance we believe we have achieved that while also retaining the features which make these events so popular for participants and volunteers alike.

'We have a number of great events set to take place on the first weekend of September and I’m sure that thousands of our members and cyclists generally are already gearing up to show their support for local organisers, and tackle what for many will be their first big cycling challenge of the year.

'There’s so much more to these events than just a bike ride – they promote community cohesion, support local causes and support many to achieve goals that they never thought possible – and after the wave of enthusiasm we have seen for cycling this year we hope to see them go from strength to strength in the months and years ahead.'