Organizers of the Bear Mountain Canada Cup announced Thursday that the event would be postponed for 2020. The announcement comes following the rapid expansion of cancellations and postponements caused by the COVID-19 pandemic over the course of the preceding week.
Bear Mountain Bike Festival was originally scheduled to take place from March 28-29, 2020.
Vancouver Island only reported its first presumptive case of coronavirus on Wednesday. Organizers, though, are concerned about the future development of the outbreak. Concerns over requiring athletes to travel were also considered.
“This was not an easy decision as the situation has been moving very fast,” said Event Director Jon Watkin. “We have been closely monitoring information from the City of Langford, Vancouver Island Health Authority, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. We have also been paying very close attention to the status of other major cycling events, sports gatherings and conferences in our area and abroad.”
“Overall, the situation appears to be accelerating, which raises serious concerns as to what the situation may look like in 17 days in the Greater Victoria Area when we were scheduled to host our Bear Mountain Bike Festival,” continued Watkin. “In recognition of the seriousness of the situation, we feel that this is the most prudent course of action to take to ensure the safety and health of participants, spectators, volunteers, and to maintain the integrity of all partners and stakeholders.”
Event organizers are in the process of trying to find a new date for the Bear Mountain Bike Festival. They are working with the venue, City of Langford and relevant sport organizations on a new date. A decision is expected to be announced no later than April 6, 2020.
Bear Mountain Bike Festival is a weekend-long event including racing as well as Westshore Kids Bike Day and bike demos. The headline event is the Bear Mountain Canada Cup, a UCI C1 level event. It also includes the Rocky Mountain Enduro.
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