Thursday 1 April, 5.00pm

Hello Tour de Brisbanites,

Today is a sobering day as I unfortunately have to advise you that the 2021 Tour de Brisbane will not be going ahead as scheduled on the weekend of April 9-11.

The present and evolving COVID situation is serious and we cannot prioritise the risks associated with our mass gatherings as less important than riding our bikes.

We had held off making this decision in the hope that the situation would improve; and though this morning there was positive news regarding the lifting of lockdown in Brisbane City, the Tour de Brisbane still faces several significant risks.

Today, the eleven person Safety Committee (which includes NX Sports, Queensland Police, Race Directors, Chief Commissaires, Medical, the UCI, AusCycling, Department of Health and athlete/team representatives) unanimously recommended that the event cannot proceed after completing a thorough risk assessment.

The key outcomes from the Safety Committee which influenced their recommendation and ultimately my decision were:

  1. As a result of the recent clusters and tracing issues in Queensland and Northern New South Wales the community at large is nervous, with many large events including the ‘Bluesfest’ Festival cancelled. To conduct our event with 6,500+ participants and an expected 2,500+ supporters was considered too high risk for the community.
  2. The extended restrictions, particularly those related to physical distancing and masks, are a logistical challenge to implement, requiring 22,000 square metres at the start for riders alone. Additionally, we would struggle to achieve spacing on your ride particularly at recovery stations which would not adhere to the UCI Gran Fondo standard. We could overcome this challenge, but the Community Ride and shorter distance rides would need to be cancelled. I strongly feel this to be an unfair scenario.
  3. Interstate riders and teams potentially face a mandatory two (2) weeks in quarantine on their return home and many New South Wales riders are also unable to cross the border into Queensland due to COVID outbreaks in the Northern Rivers.
  4. And finally, if by some unfortunate means we had a COVID case amongst our attendees next weekend, the consequences would be significant and given the present environment I simply cannot accept this risk. 

So, what comes next besides a Ballistic Pale Ale?

As part our planning we have dates previously reserved, and through this week have been meeting with the whole Government and are currently in the last round of negotiations for the finalised new date. Originally, we were planning our alternate date for May but remain nervous about COVID, and instead are looking at dates around July.

I will write to you once this is endorsed by the stakeholders.  Once our new date is set the start list will be automatically transferred to the new event, from which we can process any further credits and withdrawals should you be unable to attend.

It has been a tough year for our community and our sport. We remain committed to riding and racing on the only inner-city closed course in the world soon.

Lastly, as Robbie McEwen reminded me today, recreational, commuting and racing cyclists cannot afford to jeopardize our sport or our pastime during these times.

I look forward to seeing you on the bike again soon.

Mike Crawley
Event Director
07 3124 6099

 

Update from the Brisbane Cycling Festival – 1 April 3.00pm

BRISBANE CYCLING FESTIVAL POSTPONEMENT
 
Public health and safety is the number one priority for the Brisbane Cycling Festival.
In the best interests of the health and safety of our valued participants, visitors, athletes, staff and volunteers, a difficult decision has been made to postpone the remainder of the Brisbane Cycling Festival for 2021.
 
The 3-day lockdown has caused significant disruptions to the Festival’s planning, including interstate border restrictions affecting events, exhibitors, suppliers and participants. As a result, and with some restrictions continuing in Queensland over the next two-weeks, Brisbane Cycling Festival is operationally unable to deliver the event in the current environment.
 
While this postponement is disappointing for many, Brisbane Cycling Festival remains committed to delivering all elements of the event including the Track National Championships for Juniors and Masters and the Tour De Brisbane, offering opportunities to ride, race and experience Brisbane in a different way.
 
The 2021 Brisbane Cycling Festival postponement includes:
  • AusCycling Masters Track National Championships (postponed until 26 – 29 June, 2021)
  • AusCycling Junior Track National Championships (postponed until 1 – 4 July 2021)
  • Tour De Brisbane (new date to be advised)
  • Brisbane Cycling Festival’s Festival Village (new dates to be advised)
Festival management has identified the nominated postponement dates for the Tour De Brisbane and Festival Village weekend events including the Active Lifestyle Expo. Brisbane Cycling Festival is currently working through finalisation of this plan with more than 70 stakeholders, and is confident it can replicate the event schedule at a later date. Our focus is to promptly announce once the required endorsements have been secured.
 
AusCycling will release information to participants of the AusCycling Track National Championships for Juniors and Masters. Tour De Brisbane entrants will receive an email from NX Sports advising of the event’s postponement, with further details and new event dates coming soon.
 
Further details including ticketing and refunds will be found on https://tourdebrisbane.org/
Brisbane Cycling Festival remains the biggest multidiscipline cycling festival in Australia and aims to bring together major national and international events, and combine them with riding, racing and spectating opportunities for people of all ages, fitness categories and experience levels.
Brisbane Cycling Festival thanks those who were planning to attend this year’s event for their understanding and patience. We are also grateful for the ongoing support of our partners, Queensland Government via Tourism & Events Queensland and Brisbane City Council via Brisbane Economic Development Agency. We look forward to sharing the new dates with you in the very near future.
 
FAQs:
I am a participant in the Tour de Brisbane but haven’t received an email with next steps?
When will a date for the Tour de Brisbane and Brisbane Cycling Festival’s Festival Village be announced?
  • Brisbane Cycling Festival is already working with key stakeholders on options to reschedule these highly-anticipated and hugely popular events. We understand that riders will need time to train and re-organise their travel, and we will endeavour to confirm over the coming weeks, as we work closely with the significant number of stakeholders involved in the delivery of these major events.
Stay up to date with news on Tour de Brisbane and Brisbane Cycling Festival’s Festival Village https://www.brisbanecyclingfestival.com/.
 
Why has this decision been made when an extended Lockdown has not been announced by Queensland Health?
  • Whilst the outlook is looking positive, there is uncertainty as to what the Brisbane outbreak could bring over the coming days and weeks and so after extensive consultation with stakeholders the risk of hosting a mass participation event in the current environment has been deemed too high, public health and safety is the number one priority for Brisbane Cycling Festival.
  • As a result of the recent Greater Brisbane COVID-19 lockdown, new restrictions and ongoing contact tracing efforts, Queensland Health has advised that the Brisbane Cycling Festival COVID Safe Plan cannot be re-assessed before Tuesday 6th April, due to the 4-day Easter long weekend.
  • With riders travelling from all over Australia to be part of Brisbane Cycling Festival, ongoing border and travel restrictions mean riders, racers, coaches, officials and spectators are unable to attend.
The Brisbane Cycling Festival has a responsibility to make decisions which provide as much lead time to those travelling, and as a result, chose to make a decision on postponement at present.
 
 

Monday 29 March – 9.00am

Hi friends of the Tour de Brisbane,

I am sure we have all seen the news that Brisbane will go into a COVID lockdown at 5.00pm today until this Thursday 1 April.

Our plans for the Tour de Brisbane will not change at this point in time, with the event operating under an Approved Industry Plan for Outdoor Sports unless otherwise instructed by the Queensland Department of Health.  However, our reassessment dates will be Good Friday and again on Easter Monday if the event needs to be reshaped.

We have a Command Structure and emergency response planning meeting today at 2.00pm which will consider the emerging matters in accordance with our scenario planning.

Tomorrow, Tuesday 30 March, we have our final strategic planning group meeting of nearly 50 State and Local Government Departments and agencies and our scenario planning will be reviewed at this time.

We have included some frequently asked questions below.

I understand this is an uncertain time, especially for those traveling to Brisbane for the event.

We will continue to communicate regularly and be in touch should our status change.

Yours in cycling,

Mike Crawley
Event Director
07 3124 6099

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the Tour de Brisbane go ahead on Sunday 11 April?

At the time of writing this email, we are planning to proceed on Sunday 11 April.

How will the Tour de Brisbane manage COVID safety?

Tour de Brisbane operates under an Approved Industry Plan for Outdoor Sports.

At the time of writing, this plan requires all attendees to answer COVID questions and socially distance. You will also be required to supply your full address and our team will be in touch should any information be missing.

We will continue to follow the advice of the Department of Health.

What happens to my entry to the Tour de Brisbane?

Existing entries are preserved until further advice from the Department of Health.

Can I obtain a refund of my entry to the Tour de Brisbane?

Given at the time of writing the event will proceed, if a participant requests a refund the usual terms and conditions will apply.

We will be in touch should this status change.

Who makes decisions about the status of the event?

The Department of Health will advise Queensland Police and other Government Departments. Tour de Brisbane will follow their advice.

What is the chance the Tour de Brisbane will proceed?

As of today, if the lockdown ceases after three days, and unless the Department of Health changes their approval, we believe the Tour de Brisbane will occur.

Subject to advice on Thursday, it is likely we will be modifying the program to improve social distancing.

Measures are being put in place now to improve hygiene and safety of our attendees.

Other Questions
Feel free to give our team a call on 07 3124 6099 or hit reply to this email to discuss.