Just when cyclists thought they were out of harm’s way, a new worldwide COVID-19 omicron wave has surged forward to wreak havoc.
Two major Canadian cycling championship events have been cancelled this week due to the new omicron variant.
The 2021 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships and the 2021 Canadian Track Championships have been cancelled. The country’s cycling body, Cycling Canada, announced the changes on Tuesday in conjunction with the event venues in the City of Langford and the Town of Milton.
“As has been the case since the beginning of this pandemic, Cycling Canada and our national event organizers will continue to operate our events calendar in a manner that supports first and foremost the health and safety of our members and the general public,” Cycling Canada said in a press release.
The 2021 Canadian Cyclo-cross Championships in Langford had already been postponed from 27 November to 8 January 2022, due to the state of emergency in British Columbia. The government has ordered all bars, nightclubs, gyms, fitness centers and dance studios to lockdown and close, while all seated events are reduced to 50% capacity with indoor gatherings, including weddings, cancelled.
Further east in Ontario, the 2021 Canadian Track Championships were scheduled to take place 7 January at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre velodrome in Milton, just outside Toronto. On Tuesday, Ontario reported 3,453 new cases of COVID-19, up 143 per cent from just one week ago.
Europe is also not immune from omicron cancellations, with pro cyclocross racing in Europe calling off some events, including the Amsterdam World Cup in early December.
It is likely Scotland’s Strathpuffer 24-hour MTB in the UK will be cancelled due to new government restrictions. The event, which is due to take place on 15 January, is sold out with 1000 riders signed up to race the tough woodland course in winter temperatures.
Down under, the Australian National Road Championships, including a gran fondo on 15 January in Ballarat, are now at risk of cancellation. Although Australian Prime Minister Morrison vows to hold firm on “No Lockdown,” new cases across Australia (including Ballarat) are soaring higher, setting records daily, fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.