Cyclocross

2020 Chicago Cyclocross Cup Series Canceled, 2020 Nationals in Question? – Cyclocross Magazine

Many cyclocross racers are holding onto hopes of racing this fall, but as the cancelations pile up, it’s not looking good in many parts of the U.S.

As the country suffers from the highest COVID-19 case numbers and the highest death rate among the most populated countries, bike racing plans in general, and cyclocross plans specifically, are suffering accordingly.

While Europe eyes a return to professional cycling and has already held made-for-TV cyclocross time trials, the largely amateur sport of cyclocross in the States may fall victim to greater, and justified, community health concerns.

Organizers of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup, one of the larger cyclocross series in the country, have announced that they have canceled the 2020 series entirely.

Sure, people might think the cyclocross season is a long ways away, but events take planning and permits to happen, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for promoters to move forward. “…we would need to be putting the finishing touches on lots of details right now in order to ensure the series is kept up to the standards you all have come to know, expect, and deserve,” the announcement said.

Rory Jack and Josh Fitzgerald lead the field out up the uphill holeshot. 2019 Sunrise Park Cyclocross, Chicago Cross Cup. © Z. Schuster / Cyclocross Magazine

The Illinois Public Health Department’s Restore Illinois guidelines have listed out five phases of COVID-19 restrictions, with the final phase that allows outdoor gatherings the size of a cyclocross race being contingent upon a vaccine being widely-available.

The fifth and final phase, as defined by the state, is defined as:

Testing, tracing and treatment are widely available throughout the state. Either a vaccine is developed to prevent additional spread of COVID-19, a treatment option is readily available that ensures health care capacity is no longer a concern, or there are no new cases over a sustained period. All sectors of the economy reopen with new health and hygiene practices permanently in place. Large gatherings of all sizes can resume. Public health experts focus on lessons learned and building out the public health infrastructure needed to meet and overcome future challenges. Health care equity is made a priority to improve health outcomes and ensure vulnerable communities receive the quality care they deserve.

WHAT’S OPEN:

    • All sectors of the economy reopen with businesses, schools, and recreation resuming normal operations with
      new safety guidance and procedures.
    • Conventions, festivals, and large events can take place.

The organizers stated:

“So with all that in mind, as of today we are cancelling the 2020 Chicago Cyclocross Cup series. Without a vaccine or widely available highly effective treatment there’s just no way we could guarantee everyone’s safety. And we would need to be putting the finishing touches on lots of details right now in order to ensure the series is kept up to the standards you all have come to know, expect, and deserve. So postponing any longer would not allow us enough time to effectively organize the series.”

The Ohio OVCX series also followed suit in canceling its series.

The series cancelation and state regulations also call into question the viability of the 2020 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships happening in Cantigny Park outside Chicago in December.

Without a vaccine, elimination of new cases or a revision of the state regulations, it may be impossible to hold an event that typically attracts more than a thousand participants, let alone family, friends, mechanics, officials, exhibitors and media.

While a lot can change between now and then, it seems unlikely that a vaccine will be widely available or the virus will disappear by December.

Stay tuned.