Covid restrictions force Extreme XL Lagares to use alternative race format
Due to a regional Covid hot spot, and the subsequent ruling by Portugal’s General Health Directorate on Thursday, May 6 that requires all international sporting events to now be held behind closed doors, Extreme XL Lagares has been forced to make significant changes to the planned event format.
Despite the overall number of covid infections in Portugal being very low, this hot spot is in an area through which a large section of the planned Extreme XL Lagares course passes. As such, the decision affects both the prologue planned for Saturday and the Main Race, both of which have been cancelled.
However, the Extreme XL Lagares organiser, the series promoter WESS Promotion GmbH, and the FIM have together designed an alternative event schedule, ensuring all 350 competitors, including the 56 entries into the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship, will be able to race in Portugal as planned, within a Covid-safe bubble.
All amateur competitors will be allowed to roll their entry over to the 2022 running of Extreme XL Lagares and compete this year for free.
This is possible due to the fact the event’s paddock and planned Endurocross track are located within a closed military area with independent administration and based on the fact that all riders and assistance personal have been tested for Covid when entering the facility.
The event’s new format will start, as originally planned, with Endurocross qualifying for amateurs today, Friday, May 7, and for pro class riders tomorrow, Saturday, May 8. On Sunday, May 9, the event organisers will create a Hard Enduro loop within the military compound and around the paddock area, using sections of the Endurocross track, which will then be used for Sunday’s main race. Sunday will see three finals for the 20 top qualified pro Riders. The rider with the best combined results will be the winner of round one of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship.
WESS Promotion GmbH acknowledges that the alternative event schedule is significantly different to that originally planned by the event organisers but is fully supportive of the new schedule.
Confirmation of the revised, final event schedule will be published on the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship website and social media channels.
Winfried Kerschhaggl – FIM Hard Enduro World Championship Series Manager: “It goes without saying that this eleventh hour decision has a significant impact on Extreme XL Lagares and all those involved, none more so than on the organisers. Having gone above and beyond all that was required of them to ensure a safe, covid compliant event, they remain 100% focused on ensuring Extreme XL Lagares 2021 will run, albeit in a very different way to that which was planned. With our full support, and together with the FIM, the organising team have done all they can to ensure a worthy alternative, faced with the restricted options available to them. We fully recognise that the new event schedule is an alternative schedule, but it is one that ensures all competitors can race.”