Many pro riders may be finding themselves lost in the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic, with all racing called off for the foreseeable future.
But for one Swiss pro rider, the next step was obvious.
Elise Chabbey, a 26-year-old Bigla-Katusha rider, recently qualified as a doctor and after her spring Classics schedule was derailed by coronavirus, she has now begun work treating those suffering from the virus.
Just a week after the cancellation of Strade Bianche, Chabbey was thrust into the front lines at Geneva University Hospital, where she is charged with monitoring and treating patients, including those with Covid-19.
Chabbey said: “What’s happening now is unprecedented, and given the severity of the situation, I feel like I have to do something.
“This week I had nine patients and we anticipate there will be larger numbers coming to us over the next few days.”
Switzerland currently has 3,438 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 33 people dying from the virus, while the Swiss government has put a ban on all public and private events including closing bars and restaurants.
While treating patients Chabbey, who finished fifth overall in the Women’s Tour of Scotland last year, is still training for her goals later in the season, which are resulting in long days split between hospital and the bike.
With the World Championships set to be held in Martigny, Switzerland later this year, Chabbey said she is still motivated to ride through the crisis.
She added: “When this crisis has abated, I’ll know that I tried to do my part and I hope I’ll be proud of that. I think that doing this now will actually help me mentally.
“When racing eventually commences again, I’ll be more than ready and completely motivated to join my team-mates back on the road.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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