Cancelled: COVID-19 Halts the World Cup Downhill in Portugal

words :: Ben Osborne photo :: Courtesy of Lousa World Cup

Coronavirus has officially hit the outdoor industry. For the first time since the COVID-19 virus  began to spread, we’re seeing the virus directly affecting the outdoor industry. The first World Cup Race of the season, the Lousa Portugal, has been cancelled.

The race, scheduled to be run March 21-22, has apparently been deemed too risky to take place. Along with cancelling the World Cup race in Portugal, the virus has had countless other effects on sporting events, global economies, and of course all the individuals who have been diagnosed.

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For the health of the global population, we can only hope a solution is figured out as soon as possible. Mountain Life sends out condolences to everyone affected by the sickness. —ML

From the UCI:

“Following a meeting held today with representatives of different members of the cycling family – teams, riders and organisers -, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) specifies the following on the subject of the next events on its calendar given the current pneumonia epidemic (Covid-19) linked to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

The decision has been taken not to proceed with the cancellation of any events at this stage. Any possible decision to cancel will be taken by the health authorities in the concerned regions depending on the evolution of the local situation and different risk factors identified. The organisers and all members of the cycling family will be obliged to comply to any such decision.

For the events still taking place, it has been decided that each organiser must take a certain number of measures with the aim of limiting to a maximum the risk of the coronavirus spreading further. These include increasing the distance between the public and riders, particularly in the start and finish zones; respecting a strict medical protocol, variable depending on the country, but in any case including a process for dealing with suspected cases and the provision of a detailed map of establishments capable of carrying out diagnostic tests for the coronavirus; limiting the number of teams staying in each hotel; respecting certain hygiene measures, for example avoiding the use of the same pen by riders signing in at the beginning of the race.

If the organisers are required, on decision by their authorities, to refuse the participation of certain teams or if teams find themselves unable to take part in an event for a valid reason, the UCI will need to be informed rapidly. In such a situation, it will take necessary measures, on a case-by-case basis, to ensure that no team is penalised, either financially or when their sporting results are considered, in particular when it comes to evaluating their UCI WorldTeam or UCI ProTeam status.

If the evolution of the situation were to justify other measures, the UCI, which is permanently following the situation and remains in contact with all stakeholders via an ad hoc group, will rapidly take the necessary decisions.

The UCI reiterates that the measures undertaken aim to reduce the risk of infection among riders, team staff, the public and any other person involved in cycling, in order to avoid contributing to the spread of the coronavirus worldwide.

The UCI will write to each of cycling’s different groups – teams, riders, organisers and National Federations – with details of measures taken and the procedure to follow.

The UCI would like to thank the members of the cycling family for their contribution to this fight against the spreading of the coronavirus and calls for the unity of all parties, necessary in this context.

The same principles will be applied for all events on the UCI International Calendar, and for all disciplines.”