After previously announcing that the Fort William downhill World Cup would go on without spectators, the organizers have now canceled the event, with a decision on a potential future date to be announced in the coming weeks.
Despite support from the Scottish Government and EventScotland, the organizers of the race said that COVID-19 restrictions would likely still be in place in May, which complicated plans for the event.
“Whilst the easing of restrictions is moving in the right direction, there are still a number of challenges with the delivery of an event of this size that, even without public attendance, make it difficult to deliver a safe World Cup in May," the organizers said in a press release.
The race at the Nevis Range ski area has been a regular stop on the World Cup calendar for years and is popular with both riders and fans. The track is long and rough, challenging riders and producing exciting racing. Plus, it's considered a home race for riders throughout the United Kingdom.
This will be the second year in a row that World Cup mountain bike racing has not returned to Fort William. Last month, the organizers of the World Cup round in Maribor, Slovenia moved their race from its original date in April to August.
As the world races to vaccinate its population and return to normality that would allow international sporting events, there's still a possibility that the mountain bike World Cup calendar could be further impacted.
As it stands, the first cross-country World Cup is slated for 8-9 May in Albstadt, Germany, while the first downhill race is scheduled for 12-13 June, in Leogang, Austria.