Race organizers for the Leadville 100 Trail MTB and Steamboat Gravel (SBT GRVL) have announced that the 2020 races, scheduled for the weekend of August 15, will be canceled because of COVID-19 concerns.
The decision to cancel this summer’s Leadville Race Series came after the Lake County Board of County Commissioners voted to cancel all special events through the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. The other Leadville-based events in the race series—including the Leadville 100 Trail MTB Training Camp, the Leadville Stage Race, and the Silver Rush 50 MTB—have been canceled, as well.
A spokesperson for both events told Bicycling that organizers are working on ways to give back to the Leadville community and help with the economic impact of this decision. They also understand this is disappointing news to the athletes who were looking forward to participating.
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“The Leadville Race Series is near and dear to us at Life Time, as it is to our athletes and the family and friends that support them, but we have to do what’s ultimately best for the Leadville community and our participants,” stated the press release.
This has been an incredibly tough week for all of us at the Leadville Race Series. We're devastated for all of our participants, staff members, and the Community of Leadville. The Leadville Family will make it through this, and we'll be there in 2021 to see you across the finish line. For additional details, please check out our FAQ page on our website, link in bio.
A post shared by Leadville Race Series (@ltraceseries) on May 13, 2020 at 11:29am PDT
Likewise, discussions with local authorities—along with federal, state and CDC recommendations—prompted SBT GRVL to come to a similar decision.
“It became clear to us that the required changes needed to keep every rider, spectator, volunteer, sponsor, vendor and members of our local community safe would result in a significantly compromised version of the SBT GRVL experience,” Mark Satkiewicz, co-founder and race director of SBT GRVL, stated in the press release.
In the absence of the original races, organizers will offer some kind of virtual edition of each. The virtual Leadville 100 is still in the works, and further details on what that will look like will be disclosed at a later date. Some details for the virtual SBT GRVL—called SBT VRTL—have already been announced.
After examining what a realistic version of SBT GRVL might look like during Covid-19, it’s become clear that the required changes would result in a significantly compromised version of the SBT GRVL experience that we were all looking forward to this year. With this we have decided to cancel SBT GRVL in 2020. Participants of the four distances have the option to defer to 2021 or receive a race refund. We are still committed to keeping our gravel community connected and provide an experience for you to look forward to on August 16th. We invite you to join us for SBT VRTL. #sbtgrvl #sbtvrtl
A post shared by SBTGRVL p/b Canyon (@sbtgrvl) on May 13, 2020 at 7:49am PDT
SBT VRTL will be “a localized plan to connect people all over the world and ride one of the four distances of SBT GRVL together, while apart,” the press release stated. “Regional routes will be created for all four distances, easy to find and follow using Ride with GPS.” SBT VRTL will also be free and open to all participants. More information on how to sign up will be announced soon.
Leadville 100 participants can defer their entry fee toward next year’s race; donate it to the Life Time Foundation, the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation, or your local NICA chapter; or receive a refund.
Registration for this year’s SBT GRVL will automatically carry over to next year’s race. Alternatively, participants can request a refund.
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