Postponing a cyclocross event–a fall/winter sport that’s all about inclement weather and toughing it out–is far from typical. Yet that’s exactly what happened to this weekend’s British National Championships in Sutton Park, Birmingham, UK.
Winter weather has again swept through Europe, blanketing much of the northern parts of the continent in a blanket of snow just in time for the National Championships taking place in most of the countries there this weekend. The snow cover was enough to shut down much of the town surrounding the Birmingham course.
“It was agreed by all parties that, whilst the course itself may well be capable of holding the racing events, the access roads into the park present some very serious problems due to ice and snow,” says a statement on the British Cycling website. “Guaranteeing access for essential services such as ambulance cover, event vehicles, temporary toilets, gantries and crowd barriers has proved impossible. Further forecasts for sub zero temperatures and heavy snow on Sunday mean that it has therefore been agreed that the race will be postponed.”
Four time and reigning British champion Helen Wyman’s solution? After making the trek from continental Europe, where she’s been racing on the world’s biggest cyclocross stage, including in the World Cups, she decided to head out and ride anyhow. Wyman posted a group ride via Twitter. Here’s her post ride tweet: “400 people turned up to ride with me this morning…it’s like being Lance. HAHA.”
Gabriella Day, who looked to challenge Wyman’s stranglehold on the title said, “Disappointed nationals has been canceled…the snow just brings this country to a standstill. The UK should check out Belgium copes with it. Didn’t effect the Kalmthout World Cup!”
The British National Championships have been rescheduled at the same venue for February 6th and 7th, the weekend after the World Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic.