Racing is back, and it’s going to take me a while to come to terms with its new look. On TV it all looks the same as before, but dig around for more pictures and stories from the races and it’s all very different.
Podium shots with face masks, socially distanced interviews and reduced or no access to the team buses at the starts and finishes (where journalists usually have to battle past fans to ask a few questions) all bring home just how much things have changed.
Masks especially bring mixed emotions. It looks plain weird to see riders wearing them on podiums or doing interviews, but then look at the picture over the page of Wout van Aert attacking in Strade Bianche and it’s worrying to see spectators without masks, or with masks around their chins, cheering him on from just inches away.
While the UCI, teams and race organisers are being extremely cautious – as proved by riders pulling out of the Vuelta a Burgos just for coming into contact with people who had tested positive – it’s the roadside fans that perhaps pose the greatest threat.
While the specifics of this threat are new, that it comes from the side of the road is something the sport has always had to deal with. But more than ever, the racing needs to continue, and more than ever the sport needs the fans to play their part.
Cycling Weekly magazine editor
Inside the magazine this week
The world watches as pro racing returns
Preview: Milan-San Remo
CW5000 August Challenges
Opinion: Charlie Quarterman dealing with racing uncertainty
Riding it out: Life in lockdown
Classic races revisited: the Grand Prix of Essex
April Tacey: Winning the virtual Tour de France
Clash of the climbs: Ballon d’Alsace v La Planche des Belles Filles
Merida builds more compliance into its rocketship aero Reacto
Giant Defy Advanced 1
The psychology behind facing down your cycling fears
My fitness challenge: Back on the TT beat
Club 10 TT Results
Ask the osteo
Dr Hutch: How to…. deliver compliments
From the archive: Tour de France stage 20
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