‘Please take this thing seriously’: the cycling doctor who lost 90W from his FTP due to Covid-19

Sports medicine specialist Dr Laurence Gant understands better than most why cyclists should be cautious about Covid-19

Laurence Gant (Daniel Gould)

Having spent 20 years caring for the critically unwell, Dr Laurence Gant now specialises in looking after the obscenely fit. Team Sky riders were his main professional focus in 2018, before he transferred his talents to football as head of medical for Tottenham Hotspur’s youth academy. When Covid-19 arrived, it presented little threat to the teenage prodigies under Gant’s care. Besides, all games were off.

“When football shut down in March, I went back to work in the NHS,” he tells me by video call from his home in Woodford Green, London, recounting how he was tasked to care for a subset of seriously unwell patients for whom mechanical ventilation had been ruled out. For these patients, in the early days of the pandemic, there were no proven therapies. “It was horrible,” he says bluntly. “Everybody I looked after died.” 

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