COVID-19 and the 2020 Cycling Season
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it. The threat is far greater and more important than race cancellations, as thousands of people around the world have tested positive for the virus. Among those directly affected are Fernando Gaviria and Max Richeze of UAE Team Emirates who remain quarantined in an Abu Dhabi hospital. Both riders were part of the UAE Tour which was cancelled for the suspected presence of coronavirus some three weeks ago.
Races and have been cancelled worldwide, with USA Cycling putting a hold on any of their events through the beginning of May. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are rumored to be postponed, or even cancelled, but these rumors have not yet been confirmed. Nevertheless, Canada and Australia have already pulled out of these Olympic Games.
Classics season has been cancelled – we will have to wait another year to see again the iconic Monuments of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. The Giro d’Italia has been postponed, but especially with Italy experiencing the worst breakout of any country, Italy is on lockdown and no prospective date has understandably been given.
Pro Riders Training
Riders in Italy and Spain – which includes a large swath of the WorldTour peloton – are on complete lockdown. That means no outdoor riding, solo or in a group. While many may struggle to keep up with their 25+ hour per week training programs, a select few have already been putting in some massive trainer “miles.”
Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) “rode” 250 kilometers in seven hours on Zwift aboard his Tacx Magnum treadmill trainer. While those numbers might be impressive, they are clearly outdone by Laurens De Vreese (Astana) who stayed in the saddle for over 11 hours to log 370 kilometers in a single Zwift ride.
Upcoming Race Schedule
There is no expected timeline for a global pandemic. The modern world has never before experienced a situation like this, and thus, we do not know when society may return to normal. The latest news coming out of Italy is a stabilization in the number of coronavirus cases, suggesting perhaps that the measures taken are working. A small hint of positive news amidst this surreal period in time.