By Neto Baptiste
The Antigua and Barbuda Cycling Federation (ABCF) has cancelled its National Championships slated for August 22 and 23 and by extension, the remainder of its 2020 calendar of events.
President of the cycling federation, St Clair Williams, said the body was forced to take the drastic measure after having to twice suspend the annual event owing to the coronavirus.
“We could not continue to push back the national championships, we had already done that from the original date of June 21st to the 22nd and we then put it to the August date. We would have to register it once again with the UCI if that is the case but we cannot continue to push the date further out,” he said.
“We normally end our season at the end of October and it is approaching that time now and in light of the state of emergency where they now have moved it to the end of October and there is no word coming from the two ministries, we just had to make a decision and had to cancel the national championships and by extension, the rest of the cycling season,” he added.
In a press statement, the federation highlighted that an announcement by government informing that the State of Emergency has been extended until the end of October does not lend to their latest plans of hosting the nationals this coming weekend.
Williams said the cyclists are disappointed by the news but are in support of the body’s decision.
“They realise they have been putting in a lot of training and with no competition in sight they are in agreement and are saying that it is time we make a move either to have races or we call the season off so they are on board with us and the decision we have made. They are now just looking to regroup and are looking forward to a more interested and exciting season in 2021,” he said.
The federation, until its most recent press release, had not cancelled its 2020 domestic season despite restrictions placed on all local competitions by the government since March this year. The body was hoping to host some races on its calendar too included the now canceled National Championships. The government is however yet to clear any sports for competitive resumption but have allowed for training and social events.