The 2020 season was a total disaster for competition trials, that’s something most of us can agree on. With a new year on the calendar, new hopes for a more normal season arrives, but still a lot of questions remain unanswered. So we spoke to UCI’s trials consultant, Dani Parramon, about the difficulties of 2020, and how they anticipate 2021 to look like.
How did 2020 turn out for UCI and trials? How many C1 and national championship races ended up being organized?
Well, the situation last year was really complicated and I hope it will turn for 2021.
Several World Championships and World Cup events were cancelled across different disciplines. For trials the whole calendar fell down. It wasn’t the UCI who cancelled the events, the organizers requested the cancellation. Road and MTB, the biggest UCI disciplines, were also touched by the storm, but fortunately both had their World Championships organized.
Early 2020 we had scheduled a total of 12 international events (C1 and HC), compared to 14 in 2019, and 15 national championships. In March 2020, some federations had still not sent their events to the UCI calendar, and we actually hoped to reach a total av 23 national championships on the calendar. But, when corona came, everything blew up.
We finished the season with two C1 events, Poprad (SVK) and Belfort (FRA), and I have to say that both did an excellent job with the organizing, riders deserved it.
At the end a total of 14 national championships were held, so at it was not so bad concerning these events and the situation.
Also the World Youth Games due to take place in Cordon (FRA) was cancelled, but the organizer has applied to organize the event in the 2021 season.
With 2020 in mind, how do you think 2021 will turn out?
The plan is go back to the competitions as planned in 2020, taking special care on the health protocols. The UCI is working to set different protocols across the different UCI cycling disciplines led by UCI Medical Director Professor, Xavier Bigard. The protocol for Road, MTB and CX are already published. Now they are working on the other disciplines.
We must be optimistic, but at same time realistic, we won’t have an easy year. We have to be ready to see some possible changes in the calendar due to the situation that we can have in some countries. We’ll see in due time how the evolution of the pandemic is. I hope the situation becomes more stable in the summer, when more or less the entire international calendar will be held.
For me the hardest part is to see the situation of the riders, one year in the blank is really long. Especially for the juniors, some of them have lost the opportunity to become champions. And for the older riders too, we have a lot of riders with a lot of talent, and loosing one year of their career, with a new generations pushing hard, is difficult. Fortunately the masters are strong minded! Anyways, when surfing the social medias, nobody is stopping and I think the motivation is high
Is 2020 going to give the trials discipline in the UCI any consequences?
As we are a small discipline, the impact is minor, seeing this side we are lucky.
When asking Dani about the upcoming races and the UCI Urban Games in 2021, he’s unfortunately not able to give any exact answers.
For now, I’m not able to provide any of this information. We have several World Cup events scheduled, although these can only be published once we have the signed contracts in place. Sorry, this is new instruction from direction across all disciplines.
Regarding the World Championships we are in the same situation.
The upcoming UCI Management Committee meeting. where calendars and rules changes are approved, is first week of February. I hope I can unveil more of this informations afterwards.
Bashguardian will come back with new informations once it’s available. Until then, stay tuned and ride hard!