Zwift or on road GVC are ready to go

CYCLING again looks set to lead the return to live sport – with special measures – and quite possibly by early next month.

Happy to get going in 2021: Velo Club president Mark Smith is confident of a full season being completed.
(Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29261444)
Happy to get going in 2021: Velo Club president Mark Smith is confident of a full season being completed. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 29261444)

Guernsey Velo Club have gained permission to proceed cautiously with socially-distanced time-trials from the start of lockdown exit stage two.

They have called off their season-opening road race due Sunday 7 March, but once the situation permits, they will echo last year’s approach of hosting consecutive Saturday and Sunday time-trials capped at 30 riders each.

GVC hope that same weekend, 6-7 March, will be possible.

Such events will tide riders over for the start of the race season, which club president Mark Smith still hopes can be run in full.

‘We built plenty of gaps into the calendar this year to take into account any possible lockdowns we could have,’ Smith said.

‘We are planning on still having a full season and we can easily adjust to whatever the restrictions of lockdown are.’

The early return of cycling matches the impressive precedent set after Guernsey’s first lockdown.

Last May it swiftly followed the start of phase four to become the first terrestrial sport to resume competition, implementing special measures that have since been picked up by Jersey and the UK.

Enforced social distancing joined various other measures such as limiting entries and seeding to avoid overtaking.

New to the list this time around will be the requirement that spectators or officials wear face coverings.

‘It’s quite a rigid process, but the process we have got has been approved by the Sports Commission,’ Smith added while noting that riders can bypass rules of face-covering, in line with official guidance.

‘We tried it last lockdown with no issues and that’s what we are looking at now.’

Of course, the Velo Club will be moving with the situation.

They will stage a virtual race on Zwift instead if, as is distinctly possible, Guernsey is still in stage one on 6 March.

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