It’s been a good month since I’ve posted any updates on this blog, mainly because there hasn’t been a great deal to talk about. Storms and high winds have restricted time spent outside on the bike meaning my Zwift usage has increased dramatically, while elsewhere the whole world is watching and waiting to see what direction the current Coronavirus situation will take.
Certainly the latter has the potential to disrupt some pretty major events in 2020, not least the Tokyo Olympics which would be a great shame. Even closer to my heart is the threat to some major cycling races, with northern Italy experiencing a huge outbreak it looks unlikely that Strade Bianche, Milan Sanremo and Tirreno Adriatico will take place. EF Education First have already requested to be allowed to withdraw from the three races mentioned and there have been whispers that the Italian Government have decided that these races will not go ahead……but we shall see!
Strade Bianche is one of my favourite races to watch and the climb to Piazza del Campo in Siena is an absolutely beautiful finish to a race, one of the best anywhere in the world. To lose that from the calendar would be a real shame, but this year would be more disappointing as for us as Mike Teunissen is due to ride the white roads for the first time since 2017 and I know he was/is looking forward to it. Mike had a great start to the season, finishing 6th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on ‘opening weekend’. He did brilliantly to get in the move that would go on to contest the final but his legs tired on the climb over the cobbles of the Muur van Geraardsbergen and he fell away from the front. Considering it was his first actual race day of 2020 it was an incredibly strong performance and he will take a lot of heart from that, his form looks good and bigger targets await.
Strade Bianche, if it goes ahead, will probably see Mike return to a support role for Wout Van Aert who will be dreaming of a win in a race where he has finished 3rd in the last two years. However, never say never, situations can change in a race and Mike will be feeling confident of taking any opportunities that may come his way…… if the race goes ahead.
For me, the potential impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak are still on a watching brief. Obviously the situation in Italy puts the Giro (and therefore our trip to the Stelvio) under serious threat, but also the Etape and the Ride London could be impacted further down the line. A cancellation of the Etape would be a huge disappointment for me personally so we wait and hope that the situation changes for the better over the next few weeks.
I’ve not let the Coronavirus and the related unknowns hinder my training though, I’ve continued to utilise the Zwift workouts and I’ve started to go back to the gym purely for leg work. The weight loss has slowed right down, as I expected it would, but I’m now down to 73.8kg which is an overall loss of 11.3kg (24.9lbs). The slow down has definitely coincided with the lack of outdoor bike time, fingers crossed the wet and windy weather gives way to some lovely Spring days soon!