The Cyclists’ Alliance Official Medical Statement on Vuelta Navarra

Dear riders,

We all have been looking forward to racing resuming tomorrow in Spain. We know many of you are at the race already and, as always, your safety is our priority. We have consulted with the TCA’s medical advisors and reviewed the UCI Covid Procedures (the “Covid Protocol”). 

We are of the view that the risk assessment of the race tomorrow may result in a ‘high’ rating and this, together with the below, has given the TCA cause for concern.  

We understand that:

  1. there is insufficient evidence that the Covid Protocol has been followed, and teams have not received details of the risk assessment from the race organizers. As the UCI platform specified in the Covid Protocol is not yet available, neither we, nor teams, have visibility on what, if any, risk mitigation steps have been taken;
  2. not all teams have done the RT PCR test (as required by III(B)(1) of the Covid Protocol); and
  3. the local region is in WHO phase 4*: 53 new cases of Covid-19 on 100.000 in the past week. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of reaching pandemic status.

Given this, the TCA suggests that there are significant risks which may not have been adequately mitigated and we ask the governing  body (UCI) ensure it has reviewed the risks of the race, as at today’s date, and takes a decision on whether this race should go ahead. 

The TCA remains available to discuss with any rider member if you have any concerns about racing and if you want to understand your rights in this unprecedented situation. We have come to this decision on consultation with medical advisors, riders and team doctors and we believe rider safety is critical. It is very important, to ensure the safety of the remainder of the race calendar that the right decisions are taken when races are scheduled to take place with high risk factors in place. 

The Cyclists’ Alliance

* WHO definition of phase 4: Phase 4 is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission to cause “community-level outbreaks.” The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Any country that suspects or has verified such an event should urgently consult with WHO so that the situation can be jointly assessed and a decision made by the affected country if implementation of a rapid pandemic containment operation is warranted. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion.

UCI Covid-guidance states that:

This phase is characterized by confirmed human-to-human transmission of an animal-
borne coronavirus, which can cause "outbreaks of epidemics". Phase 4 does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is inevitable. It can be characterized by:
* confirmed clinical cases occurring in only one country in a WHO region.
* a regular but moderate increase in the daily rate of confirmed clinical cases. This phase is characterized by clinical cases present in the form of large clusters which tend to evolve towards a community transmission.
* 20 to 50 new cases of COVID-19 declared per week, per 100,000 people.
* R0 values higher than 1.5.

It's worth noting that whilst Spain's overall new case numbers is only 18/100,000/week, the Navarra region is up at 53/100,000/week. 

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