October extension possible
MASS start bicycle racing returns on Guernsey roads next weekend following the early arrival of phase five of lockdown easing.
The lifting of nearly all coronavirus-related restrictions on Saturday 20 June will give the Velo Club, which has lost numerous fixtures to almost three months of lockdown, the green light for a L’Eree road race the following morning.
GVC has hosted several socially-distanced time trials in the last three weeks and this has made them the first cycling club in the British Isles to resume ‘live’ competition of any type.
But club president Mark Smith is ever so pleased that the more shoulder-to-shoulder road and mountain-bike fixtures can now resume safely.
‘It will be great to just get back to proper racing again – everybody is so excited about it,’ said Smith.
‘We are planning the calendar for the rest of the year and we are still hoping to hold the events that we have already got on the calendar.
‘We are hoping to do pretty much all of the calendar, in a condensed amount of time, but we might extend it until October if we need to for the road events.’
It is therefore largely business as usual as the GVC ploughs on with the numerous time-trials, criteriums, and road and cross-country races that constitute a typical season.
This early return to action has also reignited the prospect of handing out championship trophies – something Smith had dismissed altogether a month ago.
‘It will be nice to have those back, as it’s always nice to have something to race for,’ added Smith ahead of an important discussion with the committee.
One confirmed change sees the week-long Tour of Guernsey being pushed back to 26 July to allow additional planning time.