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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
07 3124 6099
Update from the Brisbane Cycling Festival – 1 April 3.00pm
- 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)
- A copy of the entrant email is available on the Tour De Brisbane website at www.tourdebrisbane.org.
- 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.
- 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.
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,
07 3124 6099
|Frequently Asked Questions|