There will be no champagne celebrations in Oudtshoorn this September as the 12th Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike race became the latest casualty of the coronavirus.
“The decision to postpone was particularly tough, as we’re all too aware of the role it plays in the financial planning of our local partners,” organiser Henco Rademeyer said this week.
“While the money the event brings in for the schools in particular is very important, the completion of the academic year is clearly more so.
“Above and beyond the health and financial issues at stake, we had to keep in mind the disruption that setting up for and hosting stages of the race would cause the schools.”
He said they had been optimistic to present the event this year.
“But little by little the reality of the situation has eroded that optimism. Like all our entrants, we have been eagerly watching the news for any positive signs or clarity to cling to.
“The uncertainty created by the pandemic has made planning for the near future nearly impossible, especially in an events space.”
Rademeyer said they understood how stressful the uncertainty had been for international riders.
“Making an announcement now, 11 weeks out from the scheduled start, provides them with time to make the necessary arrangements.
“We trust that riders who were planning on visiting South Africa for the race will be able to cancel or defer their flight and accommodation bookings to 2021.”
He added that they would continue to work on providing as much certainty as possible.
“We will be in touch with each entrant individually over the coming days to discuss the best solution.”