One of the things I’ve really enjoyed over the past few months is how well the Aussie female pro cyclists who I follow on social media have handled the COVID-19 pandemic. They’ve shared positive messages about the pandemic and how they are getting through it. It’s pretty tough when you race a bike for a living and suddenly you can’t ride your bike outside, let alone race it. Most of them have spent countless hours on their indoor trainers and they will return to racing with the Strade Bianche in Italy at the beginning of August.
I’ve compiled some quotes from a number of them, many of who I’ve met and interviewed over the past years. I recommend you follow them on social media if you don’t already. I’ve included Instagram links for each of them.
“And just like that, there will be no 2020 Olympic Games for me nor the rest of Australia.……This has certainly thrown a spanner in the works, but I stand by the @ausolympicteam and their decision. A Games cannot be held in 4 months’ time. We are fortunate to still be able to train, but other sports and other countries are far less fortunate. The Olympics is supposed to be fair and equal for all.
At the end of the day, this is just sport. COVID-19 won’t wait. Lives are at risk and this crisis needs to be dealt with….. for now, listen to those in charge, make good decisions, and think of those less fortunate and more vulnerable than you. We will get through this.. but we need to do it together.”
“Spain is in lockdown for 15 days minimum. I am staying home. From what they say, people like me can have the virus without knowing. If I leave my potentially infected germs somewhere (with another person or on a communal space) and a vulnerable person such as the elderly come across them, there’s a high chance they will need intensive care. If I ride my bike or go jogging outside and have an accident requiring ambulance or hospital treatment I am putting those vulnerable at risk of not being treated which will significantly increase their chance of dying. It’s not really about me. It’s for the best to stay at home. Let’s take all the precautions when out doing the necessities (groceries etc). As a cyclist I am extremely lucky to be able to continue to train indoors at the same level I would outside.”
“Crying on the inside. Sad to get the official news that Strade Bianche is cancelled this coming weekend. Can only hope it’s postponed to another date as it’s easily one of the most exciting and beautiful races on the calendar.
While disappointing for me as the race was due to be my one and only Olympic qualification race in Europe I’m mindful to keep things in perspective. In the end the cycling bubble is just that, a bubble, and it pales into insignificance when compared to the risks more vulnerable members of society are currently facing. Unlike certain team directors I will not be going on hunger strike and instead will continue to respect and follow any and all recommendations made around COVID-19.”
“Settling back in to the Italian office, I’ve got nothing but sheer admiration for how this country has tackled COVID head on and endured the destruction on many fronts. It’s far from over but one thing is for sure, resilience and comradery is palpable here. Extremely grateful to have been able to get back to Aus for a few months, some very precious time with family and friends while racing has been on hold… Was time however to get back to the EU office with our amended UCI race calendar scheduled to start August 1st. For certain it’s going to be a continued few months of uncertainty and uncontrollables but one thing is for sure – goals, beliefs and dreams remain the same!”
“It’s day 15 since flying home but my routines won’t be changing much for a while longer. I’m exercising outside alone, staying home a lot, and minimizing my social interactions. I have family members who are more at risk of serious illness, and I just want to do the right thing for everyone so Australia and the world can get through this pandemic as fast as possible. Big thanks…. to friends and family who did food drops for us….I’m grateful for my family and friends, a supportive team, a place to stay, in lockdown. I hope those in less fortunate situations will be ok with the help of the government and generous citizens. Can’t wait to see you all more soon but for now #stayathome”
“Feeling very fortunate to have such a beautiful, quiet and isolate place to spend this ‘lockdown’ time together with Valtteri Bottas in far North Finland. We spent 2 weeks in self quarantine up here when we arrived in Finland, keeping to ourselves in our little bubble. It’s a very safe and remote place to still be able to train, keep fit in alternative ways to normal and stay mentally healthy whilst barely seeing anyone else except a few reindeer.
Hope everyone is staying positive, finding creative ways to keep busy and keeping healthy.”
“New dates same goal – onto Tokyo 2020ne – 480 days to go! For now though, some rest, some time with my family and time to do what’s best for the whole community #stayhome.”
“Tokyo 2020 becomes Tokyo 2021. Absolutely the right decision. The health and safety of everyone around the world will always be more important than any bike race or sporting event. Whilst there is disappointment that the Olympics won’t take place this year the fire is still burning and the dreams are still there. I know whenever we can race again I will be ready and motivated as ever to smash it. For now though- stay safe + healthy, look out for each other and follow the guidelines wherever you may be. Together we will get through this tough time.”