Big news late last week was that the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Lenzerheide, which has already been postponed from August to September due to the COVID 19 pandemic, cannot take.

On the one hand the lack of planning and implementation security for major events from September and on the other hand the currently given protective measures, which could not have been guaranteed at an event such as the 2020 Mercedes-Benz UCI Mountain Bike World Cup.

Lenzerheide is within the canton of Graubuenden, and they have been unable to issue the permission required under the current regulations for major events in Switzerland. Part of the difficulty for event planning is that as the event will not take place until September, the regulations applicable at that time are not yet known.

The cancellation of thte World Cup form 4-6 September affects all disciplines: Cross-Country Olympic (XCO) with CrossCountry Short Track (XCC) and Downhill (DHI).

"We have waited until the last possible moment and have worked hard every day to make it possible. It is all the more painful that we too will not be able to hold the planned World Cup", says OC President Christoph Müller. Even without spectators more than 1000 people Lenzerheide as a venue without spectators would have been an option. "But if you just add up all athletes, coaches, officials, organisers, volunteers, media representatives and other people who would have been at the venue, we would already be at 1500 to 1800 people, which is well over the permitted 1000 people", notes Müller.

There is no guarantee that more people will be permitted at events from September onwards. The organisers are also concerned about the current safety measures. "We realised that the currently valid protective measures, with sectors, for an outdoor event of our size are not consistently applicable. In addition to that, many more security measures remain unclear," Müller points out. The problem is, the cannot guarantee the safety of everyone attending, inline with the current guidelines.

Without knowing what requirements September might have in terms of event safety and governance regarding COVID-19, the event organisers had to make a decision now. A reliable basis for decision-making is essential at this stage for an event of this size, also taking into account the time needed to prepare a comprehensive protection concept. The next decision of the federal council of Switzerland is not expected before mid-August, so organisers have to cancel the event.