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‘A dire state’ – Racing in Britain at only 60% of pre-pandemic levels

'A dire state' - Racing in Britain at only 60% of pre-pandemic levels

The number of regional bike races across the country has recovered to just 60% of pre-pandemic levels, according to British Cycling’s annual report . The…

Friday, Oct 21

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The number of regional bike races across the country has recovered to just 60% of pre-pandemic levels, according to British Cycling’s annual report .

The report, which was published on Monday, outlines that regional racing was “hit hardest” by the pandemic, with event numbers reaching 50% by March 2022, and rising to 60% by July 2022.

"At the moment, we’re just stuck," said Marc Etches, race organiser and vice chair of British Cycling Yorkshire. "It’s not just the youth [events] or the adults, it’s across all of them.

"When we ran the Regional Championships this year, we held a joint one for the women between northwest, northeast and Yorkshire, and we still really struggled. I think we only had 20-odd riders.

"Years ago, you’d be turning riders away."

CiCLE Classic race organiser Colin Clews told Cycling Weekly he has noticed fewer events on the calendar since racing returned.

"The domestic scene is really in a bit of a dire state at the moment," Clews said, "right the way from the top to the bottom."Asked when, if at all, he expects the scene to make a full recovery, Clews said: "I think it’s going to take a good few years and a change in the economic situation."Clews explained that race organisers have had to account for rising costs since the pandemic, such as additional health and safety measures, risk assessments and Covid-related insurance. Clews believes that this, combined with riders preferring to save money during the cost-of-living crisis, has led to more and more events being […]

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