The Oceania Cycling Confederation (OCC) has cancelled the 2021 Oceania Cycling Championships road, track, BMX and mountain bike disciplines until further notice because of the ongoing pandemic.
Meanwhile, OCC President Tracey Gaudry has announced she will not be standing for a third consecutive term at the continental governing body's annual Congress that is due to be held virtually for the time on March 26, incorporating the four-yearly elections for President and the Executive Committee.
Gaudry, who became the first female elected as President of any World Cycling Federation (UCI) Continental Confederation, announced at the most recent OCC General Meeting that she would not be standing for re-election for a position she first took up in November 2012.
She was subsequently elected by the UCI Management Committee to serve as UCI vice-president from 2013 until 2017 while concurrently serving as the inaugural President of the UCI Advocacy and Women’s Commissions.
The 51-year-old Gaudry, who represented Australia as a cyclist in two Olympic Games at Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, has presided over a significant period of reform in her region.
Oceania is now represented by two members on the UCI Management Committee and enjoys representation on numerous commissions and advisory bodies.
The Oceania region has enjoyed a strong resurgence in the number and status of UCI Championships and UCI sanctioned events across all disciplines, including UCI World Championships, UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour events.
Since 2013 the Confederation more than doubled in terms of Federation membership, growing from four to 10.
It currently comprises seven full members - Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Guam, New Zealand, Samoa and Vanuatu and three associate members - New Caledonia, Northern Mariana Islands and Tahiti.
The OCC Championships were due to have gone ahead in the early months of this year.
But following consultation with all stakeholders, advice from Federal and State Governments and health authorities in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and the absence of a Pacific travel bubble, the OCC Executive Board has resolved that the Oceania Championships cannot be held under current circumstances.
An OCC release said: "The OCC’s priority is the safety of all participants and communities involved in the championships as well as ensuring athletes from across the Oceania region have equal and fair access to compete.
"The OCC continues to work with AusCycling, Cycling New Zealand, pacific region Member Federations and all stakeholders on options for the Championships to be held later in the year."
Unfortunately the 2021 Oceania Cycling Championships road, track, BMX and mountain bike disciplines will not be proceeding during the early months of 2021 as originally anticipated. Virtual Congress and elections to be held in March. https://t.co/VtgvV2qA7j pic.twitter.com/YIOpJ0Qzep— Oceania Cycling Confederation (@OceaniaCycling) February 2, 2021
Gaudry commented: "While the Oceania Cycling Confederation is disappointed not to be announcing and holding the Oceania Championships series over the coming months it was a necessary decision based about the opportunity for athletes to participate, and the health and safety of all Championship participants.
"We express our thanks to AusCycling, Cycling New Zealand, Pacific Members, governments and partner organisations for exploring every possible option to hold the Championships across road, track, BMX and mountain bike disciplines and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future."