Planning for the difficult year ahead
With 2020 behind us and light beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel in regards to the COVID19 pandemic, we are hopeful 2021 will be a better year for the sport and events we all love.
The return to sport and especially mass-participation events will be a challenge, one that we’ve been preparing for, ever since we were forced to cancel last year’s Tour of Cambridgeshire. In our end of year letter in December we promised to share with you the details around our planning for this year’s event and the contingency plans we have in place if the June date cannot be met.
The key factor we must consider is the pressure on the NHS and associated government restrictions on mass-participation events and when we anticipate these to be lifted. As much as we’d wish to be extremely flexible in our decision-making and see how things look in the summer, an event of the size of the Tour of Cambridgeshire, with its thousands of participants and hundreds of suppliers, requires substantial long-term planning. This means we are forced to make key decisions several months in advance of the actual event date. Therefore we must use our best judgement to anticipate the situation in June based on the best available information at the moment.
We all watch on in horror as the pandemic puts extreme pressure on the NHS, but are inspired by the dedicated and selfless healthcare workers keeping the system afloat. The Tour of Cambridgeshire has the upmost duty to avoid putting any additional pressure on the healthcare system, however small that additional pressure may be. Whilst we work with private contractors to deliver first-aid and medical service at the event, the ultimate point of care for significant injuries is always the NHS.
As one of the UK’s largest closed-road events, we need to temporarily close hundreds of miles of Cambridgeshire roads at various points in time throughout the event weekend. We are required to submit the application for a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO) to the Cambridgeshire Country Council at least 12 weeks prior to the event. For the current event date in June, this deadline is at the beginning of March. This means a decision on the Tour of Cambridgeshire going ahead in June will need to be made in the next few weeks, to allow for timely submission of the required applications for a TTRO.
We are continuing to work with Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, the local Safety Advisory Group, emergency services and our event partners, to develop ‘Covid-secure’ event plans that will allow a delivery of the Tour of Cambridgeshire in 2021. This may include a range of measures and alterations in place at the event, including social distancing, staggered arrival times, staggered start-times, pre-event health questionnaires and other safety precautions.
Furthermore we are in the final phase of securing an additional event date later in 2021, which would allow the Tour of Cambridgeshire to take place this year even if the June date cannot be met. We are working closely with all authorities, suppliers, the UCI, the 2021 Gran Fondo World Championship organisers and our event partners to finalise the event plans for this fallback date. We are doing our best to ensure you get the chance to ride the Tour of Cambridgeshire this year.
If we are required to change the event date your entry will be automatically deferred to the new event date, free of charge. If you are unable to attend the proposed alternative event date, we will also give you the option to defer your entry an additional time, to the event in 2022 (deadlines may apply). Anyone who has tested positive for COVID19 in the 14 days prior to the event will not be allowed to attend the event and is entitled to a full-refund of their entry (proof may be required). Furthermore, you will receive complimentary entry to any virtual events that may take place in the interim. This COVID guarantee will be added to our terms and conditions.
We will be keeping you posted on further developments and a decision on the June date for the Tour of Cambridgeshire will be made in the next few weeks.