The future of cycling is no doubt now shrouded in mystery, with races postponed and a very small window at the end of the season to fit them all in. This element leaves room for little debate beyond if races will go ahead. The more important question to discuss is how the cycling dynamic will change, if at all, with certain riders not allowed to ride outside if following the rules of their nation.
Before I get into this, I’d like to add that the most important thing in this time is, of course, everyone’s safety, and this article does not mean to overlook this in any way.
Starting with the riders most affected, I believe it is very possible we could see a drastic drop in performance in riders living in countries that have had large bans on outdoor riding. Whilst we may have indoor training methods and other ways to train, they don’t quite provide the same training as being out on the road, with core strength and bike handling playing a minimal role indoors.
For these riders, it is possible they will end up struggling in the peloton, as one DS warned a few weeks ago, that the cycling world is in danger of a drastic divide between those training on the road and those who are unable to. Using this, we see the chance is fairly high that we may see a completely new dynamic at the top of our sport, with riders residing in Italy, Spain or any other country with tight restrictions, potentially falling largely behind. If this is to happen, would it provide a huge opportunity for riders from lesser affected nations, such as those in Africa?
Shining through this awful situation could, therefore, be the new opportunity for riders to make their break, and see continents yet to hit the top of cycling come to the fore.
Alongside this, we also have the first time in living memory that cyclists will not race potentially for a season, meaning the riders heading towards the end of their career have potential to see a drastic fall-off in their performance levels, and as such could add to a huge shakeup in the peloton we saw racing last season.
However, all of this is simply speculation, and we will never truly know until it happens. For now, the most important thing is to keep each other safe, ride alone and follow government advice.
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