Why is cycling the most exposed sport to coronavirus?



The Covid-19 pandemic has already forced to postpone the UAE Tour and threatens for the first time since 1945 the Milan-San Remo

Several cyclists during the Arab Emirates Tour.

The Milan-San Remo, the test of a more important day of world cycling, has only been suspended three times since its birth in 1907. The first was in 1916 by the First World War; the other two, in 1944 and 1945, for the Second. The fourth could be that of 2020, without any warlike conflict as an impediment. «We are very worried», they have recognized in recent days responsible for the company organizing The Classicissima. The threat is called coronavirus and so real is that last week already forced to cancel the United Arab Emirates Tour (UAE Tour) when two positives were detected by Covid-19. After five stages, and in the absence of two, the test was given, giving Adam Yates, leader until that moment, as winner.

There are still almost three weeks left for the celebration of the classic that takes place in Lombardy, Piedmont and Liguria, so caution prevails at the moment. Closer, however, are other top-level events that are also held in Italy during the month of March. Next Saturday the Strade Bianche and on sunday the GP Industry and Artigianato, both in the Lombardy region. Next Wednesday should start the Tyrrhenian-Adriatic, one of the most prestigious one-week races on the international calendar, which also runs through the center of the Italian peninsula. And, looking a little further, May and the Italy spin They are not so far away. These tests are now at the expense of how the situation evolves.

Because the drama of cycling on a stage like this lies in its own nature. You can play football or basketball games behind closed doors, as it is happening, but it is impossible to celebrate a cycling race that takes place without an audience: you can not throw thousands of people out of the door of their homes. Nor in any other discipline do 200 athletes coexist for four or five hours side by side and in full effort. And only cycling moves dozens of athletes, technicians and assistants daily throughout the planet. Only among the first and second division teams there are about 900 runners and hundreds of people working around them, all in close contact.. To which we must add journalists, organizers, police, health …

The chaos of Abu Dhabi

A chaos, as is still seen in Abu Dhabi, where there are still several of the teams that played the UAE Tour, as well as journalists and others displaced for that race. A crisis that started on Thursday, when two UAE Team mechanics tested positive for coronavirus. Part of the teams, including Movistar de Valverde or Ineos de Froome, have left the country after giving negative, but others remain awaiting events. This is the case of the French Cofidis and FDJ and the Russian Gazprom. The UAE Team, meanwhile, has decided to remain in quarantine.

«We've been here for five days, locked in the room. I can't even open the window because it's broken. It is a confusing situation, it seemed that we were going out on Saturday night and in the end we have to stay here, we don't know how long, ”explains Nacho Labarga, special envoy of Brand to the test The isolation also affects the fitness status of cyclists who have been retained, since they have not been able to comply with their training programs for upcoming appointments, an important circumstance.

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