These are strange days for the day-to-day life of society as we know it. And therefore for the world of sport that is intrinsically part of it. The spread of the coronavirus, which has already reached the status of pandemic by the World Health Organization, has been preventively slowing down many activities of all kinds in many geographical locations. Cycling has been no exception and in recent weeks the dispute over the number of tests has been drastically reduced, substantially in Europe.
A spiral of postponements that has affected Monuments, Grand Tours or appointments of the most prestigious of the calendar. It is an abnormal, though necessary, situation. In matters of public health there can be no half measures. From the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team we want to thank publicly the support and understanding shown by all the sponsors and collaborators with this project due to the singularities derived from this absolutely unforeseen and supervening situation.
Within the universe of cycling, the coronavirus pandemic has stopped all competitive activity at a global level and the progressive increase in the number of infections in recent days and the implementation of strict measures by the authorities both Spanish and Italian, with both countries in a state of alarm, has also created a new scenario in terms of preparation and training. The runners, who are absolutely committed to the authorities’ guidelines, cannot go out and exercise on the roads as they have done up to now.
And from the continental structure of the Alberto Contador Foundation, as well as its U23, junior and cycling academy teams, we want to extend this demand from the authorities to the whole population and defend, today more than ever: #YoMeQuedoEnCasa, #RimaniACasa. The new circumstances have forced the implementation of domestic work plans where the roller will have a capital importance. Carlos Barredo, the team’s coach, sums it up perfectly in a context of intense work to adjust the training plans of all the cyclists: “It’s time to be together, to show great responsibility and the greatest of civility. It’s a situation that will come out of it and will come out of it even more strongly”.
The staff of the Kometa-Xstra Cycling Team is composed of up to five nationalities, being Spain and Italy the two with more representatives. More than 66% of the riders come from these countries. Hungary, Portugal and Denmark make up the whole team. In all countries, however, there have been positive cases of coronavirus and their respective health authorities remain alert and have taken various control and containment measures. In Denmark, for example, the borders have been temporarily closed to foreigners since Friday 13th. In Hungary the situation is similar, although with a border closure that only directly affects travellers coming from Italy, China, Iran and South Korea.
At present it is impossible to indicate on what exact date the competition will be possible again. That day will come, however, and its advent will be the reflection of the return of a normality that is longed for and missed, not because of the cycling competitions, but because of the total absence of sick and affected people. Cycling sport is just one more small manifestation, among many within many areas, of our society. Health is the most important thing. And these lines cannot be concluded without a thank you, the greatest of all thanks, to all the health personnel who have been fighting in the front line against this disease for weeks.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)