Welwyn Garden Petit Tour postponed as WGC100 celebrations hit by coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 10:07 26 March 2020 | UPDATED: 10:07 26 March 2020

The Welwyn Garden Petit Tours was scheduled to be one of the highlights of the WGC100 programme. Picture: KARYN HADDON

The Welwyn Garden Petit Tours was scheduled to be one of the highlights of the WGC100 programme. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Archant

One of the major events of the Welwyn Garden City centenary celebrations has been postponed in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The Welwyn Garden Petit Tour cycle races formed one of the centrepieces of sports week, a key part of the WGC100 programme and was set to take place on Sunday, June 28.

However, in light of guidance from British Cycling, the event which would have seen Howardsgate and parts of Parkway a blaze of activity as stalls and activities ran side by side with the racing will now be held in 2021.

Organisers Welwyn Wheelers Cycling Club said: “Following the latest announcement by British Cycling to extend the suspension of sanctioned cycling activities to June 30, this sadly means that the Welwyn Garden Petit Tour will not be going ahead this year.

“We intend to reschedule the event during the summer of 2021 and are grateful that all parties connected with the event have expressed a wish to stay involved.

“Thank you to all those in the community and beyond that have provided so much support. We will be in touch to organise refunds for those that had already entered.”

The statement from British Cycling said: “With all government guidance pointing towards a period during which the nation is being urged to come together to fight the spread of the virus and the unprecedented burden currently on our emergency and public services, we felt that this is the most responsible and only course of action we could take at this moment.

“We are acutely aware of the impact that this situation has had on individuals, communities and businesses within cycling and beyond.

“We’d like to take this opportunity to reinforce that while we share in the disappointment of those affected by this extended suspension, we will do absolutely everything within our power to ensure that cycling can return with strength and as soon as possible.”

The statement went on to stress the importance cycling can play in these times but urged that guidance is followed.

They said: “Riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health, provided that guidance on social distancing is followed.

“British Cycling would urge all cyclists to only ride on routes you know well, that are close to home and that are well within your ability level. This is a time for calm recreation, not for challenging yourself.

“Now, more than ever, we must ride our bikes responsibly. That means only going out once a day, on our own, or with people we live with, and keeping two metres apart from anyone we meet, stopping and waiting for people to pass when necessary.

“We’re doing this to protect ourselves and others, and to make it safe for everyone to ride.

“If the cycling community continues to behave responsibly then we all hope to keep the roads and trails open for use so that we can all manage our health during the coming weeks and months.”

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