‘Like the first day of school’: Pros react as they’re allowed to ride outside for first time in seven weeks

As Monaco has eased its coronavirus lockdown, many pros are allowed outside for the first time in almost two months

Peter Sagan (Photo by Maximiliano Blanco/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While riders in the UK have been able to ride outside, plenty of pros have been trapped inside their homes over the last few weeks due to coronavirus lockdown rules in European countries.

But now after around six weeks of restrictions France, Spain and Italy are all beginning to ease the lockdown.

Monaco, city-state on the French Riviera and home to dozens of professional cyclists, ended its quarantine on Friday (May 4) and riders are now free to train outside again, if only inside the narrow borders of the city.

Former three-time world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) is among those now allowed to venture outside.

He said: “Today is the first time I can go ride on the bicycle, but just in Monaco. I hope everything is going to be fine. I can’t wait to pedal for the first time in seven weeks outside.

“See you soon, I hope.”

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Sagan managed two stage races before coronavirus lockdown put a stop to the cycling season, the Vuelta a San Juan and Paris-Nice, but like the rest of the cycling world is facing an uncertain season.

Irish rider Nicolas Roche had mixed feelings about being allowed out on the road however.

The Sunweb pro said: “So from today we can go out on the road. Unfortunately only within the principality. I guess I might stick to the ergo one more week. Been seven weeks, can survive eight."

“Although might go for a stroll or two just to get a bit of fresh air and learn to brake again.”

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Elsewhere in the world, Astana’s Davide Martinelli is excitedly preparing to be able to ride out on the road in his home country, Italy.

Martinelli has been putting his fitness to good use, as he has been using the bike to courier essential goods to elderly people in his home village.

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He said: Everything is ready. It’s like the first day of school! For all those who will resume exercising outdoors, I recommend that you respect the various safety measures.”

While pros can now train outside once again, there is still no clear indication when racing might return.

Rumours have suggested WorldTour racing may resume on August 1 with Strade Bianche, as the Tour de France is currently scheduled to take place from August 29.

Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex is the 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 and now as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output.

Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) and joining CW in 2018, Alex has 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 journalism, Alex is a national level time triallist, avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.