Borrego Sun - Since 1949

Bike Race Canceled

 

Last updated 10/20/2020 at 9:44am



Amid the ongoing uncertainty of public health and safety due to the coronavirus, the 2020 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships in Borrego Springs has been canceled.

In ongoing communications, the WTTC Race Management stated to the participating racers that a decision would be made based on information received by Sept. 25 regarding the issuance of the permit from San Diego County.

The Management was later informed the county could not issue the permit, despite similar events moving forward in other parts of the country, such as the Texas Time Trials this month, the State of California has taken a much more cautious approach in dealing with COVID-19. While ultra-cycling is a social distancing activity by nature, the State applied their restrictions on events as a blanket policy.

(In the June 25 issue of the Borrego Sun, it was reported that the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships held in Borrego Springs would begin right on schedule from Oct. 9 to Oct. 11, beginning at Christmas Circle. The date was changed to Oct. 29 to Nov. 1 after print of that issue).

The 6-12-24 Hour WTTC is still scheduled for 2021, according to Race Management. This race has become one of the most popular and highly attended events on the ultra-cycling calendar, having sold out the past three years.

The time trials are qualifying events for the Race Across America event when riders come through the first timing station in Borrego Springs. Race Across America and Race Across the West were canceled back in June. Both are also still scheduled to take place in 2021. This was the first time it’s not taking place since its inception in 1982.

The following is an excerpt of the notice posted on the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships website (www.24hrworlds.com):

“Between May and September, we made numerous modifications to the event, worked with County staff to satisfy all of the requirements for a safe and healthy event, re-filed the permits several times, and pursued every possible avenue to secure the required permits. We believe the County supported our position. But in the end, the State guidelines prevailed.

Our understanding is the Belgian Waffle Ride, the most popular bicycle race in Southern California suffered the same fate. Many of the BWR participants have also raced RAAM, RAW and the WTTC. The race organizers are well respected. They too postponed their event and pursued every viable option to conduct this year’s race. They learned of their fate and announced the cancellation of this year’s BWR about the same time we did.

We could continue to hope that the event will be given a last minute reprieve and the required permits will be issued. However, we feel that it would be unfair to the racers to be kept in limbo, especially those who may be traveling from out of state, or if allowed, from outside the United States. We also do not want to be in the position of moving forward with planning the event, only to be forced to cancel in the days leading up to the race.

After delaying opening registration and moving the date of the race to later in October, we had high hopes that it would happen. Cancelling it now is not a decision that came easily or lightly.

We are fully committed to holding the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships in 2021 in Borrego Springs. We expect the 2021 edition to be the biggest yet. With the expanded format, we can increase the size of the race field to be even larger.”

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