With five weeks to go until the planned date for New Zealand's largest cycling event, organisers have made the tough decision to put it on hold until 2022.
BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge organisers said, in a media release: "After much deliberation and consultation with riders, stakeholders, event partners, and others, we have made the decision to postpone this year's BDO Lake Taupō Cycle Challenge and move the 44th running of the event to its reserve date of February 19, 2022."
About 5000 riders, 7500 supporters and spectators, along with more than 800 personnel and volunteers attend the event each year.
"With this in mind, the decision has been reached with everyone's health and wellbeing at the forefront, along with the current uncertainty around the ability to host large-scale events and engage in nationwide travel in the immediate future," the release said.
"We have not reached our decision to postpone the event lightly. However, after much careful consideration, we have concluded that hosting a February event is in the best interests of our cycling community given the challenging and uncertain environment facing the event industry in the near term."
The decision also provides some certainty and clarity to be able to rearrange accommodation and travel plans, revise training regimes, and be ready to ride again this summer.
"We also believe that by moving the date out by three months, we should all have more certainty in relation to Covid-19 with respect to gathering sizes, alert levels, border restrictions and vaccinations, and what they mean in order to be able to run and deliver a large scale event of our nature.
"We totally understand that the change of date may not be ideal for some people's own personal circumstances. For all those already entered, you are automatically transferred to the February 19, 2022 date."
The event is owned by a charitable trust, and organisers will honour their commitments to the community they support.
Given the significant non-recoupable costs that the event has incurred during the last 18 months, no refunds or transfers to future event dates are available, however anyone unable to make the postponement date will be able to transfer their entry to another rider at no charge right up until January 31.
"For anyone not already entered, we'd love to have your support to help keep both us and the events industry alive and kicking by making the commitment to enter one of our many event categories on offer and help celebrate this special occasion on the events calendar in February."
Check out everything on offer and enter at: www.cyclechallenge.com