Road

Race organizers urge fans to stay home

Organizers of the Vuelta a Burgos ask fans to watch on television in bid to ease COVID risks.

Racing is back this week – but event organizers would rather you watch it on the television.

The world is closely watching this week’s Vuelta a Burgos for indications as to how the rest of the season will play out, how well the UCI’s COVID guidelines function, and whether the ambitious rearranged calendar has the legs to last through the fall.

With as much pre-race attention on COVID protocols and rider safety as on the action due to unfold in northern Spain, organizers of the Burgos tour are urging fans to stay home and minimize the risk of health scares.

The race published its “stay home” message via video Monday, with the likes of Alejandro Valverde, Matteo Trentin and defending champion Ivan Sosa asking fans to watch the race on television rather than at the roadside, promoting the message “Vuelta a Burgos – public at home.”

The Critérium du Dauphiné, the key warm-up race to the Tour de France, posted a similar though less drastic plea to fans planning to watch the race from the roadside in France next month. The race, managed by Tour organizers ASO, posted a tweet stating “In 2020, protect yourself and protect the riders!”

The Dauphiné’s post reminded fans that autographs and pictures with riders were off-limits, and that social distancing, hand washing, and facemasks were essential. It’s a message that will run through the season to come.