Why has cycling had such a big problem with illnesses this spring?

Is it just the seasonal flu and Covid, or is something else going on?

Peloton at the Tour of the Basque Country
(Image credit: Getty)

The recurring story of the first few months of the cycling season that is not going away is the continued absence of riders owing to illnesses that are decimating teams and keeping riders bed-bound.

But why? 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.