British Cycling has issued a roadmap setting out its timetable for a phased return to group cycling and events as Covid-19 restrictions are eased in the UK.
The roadmap allows for formally organised group rides including sportives to resume from 29 March, subject to certain precautions, with competitive cycling resuming from 12 April.
British Cycling's Cycling Delivery Director, Dani Every, said:
"We are working hard now, as we have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, to enable a safe and responsible return to sanctioned activities as soon as we are able, while also looking after the health and wellbeing of all involved.
"Like everybody in the cycling community, we are excited to get back to racing, riding with friends, coaching sessions and challenging ourselves, and fortunately the firm foundations we laid in developing The Way Forward guidance and practical experience of delivering events and activities last year means that we are in a strong position looking ahead to the spring and summer.
"While we know that certain challenges remain, particularly in securing local permissions for road racing and Covid-secure uplift facilities in downhill mountain biking, we are working hard alongside our discipline commissions and other key stakeholder groups to find solutions. We remain confident that we can reintroduce these events over the coming months, and hope to deliver test events at Steps 2 and 3 of the roadmap, planning for which is currently well underway.
"We thank the Government for their support in enabling certain cycling activities to continue during the pandemic, by maintaining the elite sport exemption and enabling individuals, households and pairs to ride together, and now look forward to beginning the process of rebuilding the grassroots of our sport."
While British Cycling say they are still waiting on "definitive guidance" from Sport England and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the roadmap provides sportive organisers with some much-needed clarity ahead of a season already disrupted by uncertainty.
The roadmap outlines a return to normal activities in four steps:
Step 1 - From March 8
- Under-18 and school sport as part of education provision and wraparound care.
- People can leave their house to cycle alone, within their household bubble or with one other person.
From March 29
- British Cycling-affiliated Club rides or recreation programme rides for up to 15 participants (or limited to relevant leader/rider ratios), on highways, trails and tracks.
- Outdoor coach-led club training and coaching for all ages. Numbers to be determined by a coach's qualification.
- Indoor coaching for under-18s and disabled people, subject to facility access.
- Outdoor club, local and regional competition and challenge events, such as sportives, across a range of disciplines. This will be subject to guidance set out in The Way Forward.
- Indoor regional competition for under-18s and disabled people, subject to facility access.
- Private provision of education courses limited to six people, delivered outdoors.
Step 2 - From 12 April at the earliest:
- Outdoor regional and some national competition and challenge events across a range of disciplines, including pilots for road racing and downhill mountain bike events with uplift.
- British Cycling education course delivery, subject to facility access
Step 3 - From 17 May at the earliest:
- Recreational group and club riding in any number (or limited to relevant leader/rider ratios), on highways, trails and tracks.
- Indoor and outdoor coach-led club training and coaching for all ages.
- Indoor regional and national competition all ages.
Step 4 - From 21 June at the earliest:
- All activity to resume.
- Restrictions at this stage TBC.