Dan Martin’s 2020 season got off to a great start. The Irishman proved he still had it, finishing fourth in Valencia, and 11th in Algarve, with four top four finishes along the way. But now, like everyone else in pro cycling, he has “no idea when we will race next.”
He had the advantage of not having to travel back home to another country, but simply to stay at his home in Andorra.
“I had just finished a really big training block when we got the announcement that the population in Andorra needed to self isolate. It’s been pretty strict but incredibly well adhered to by the whole population so far so hopefully we can train outside again soon,” he said.
Having his wife and 18-month-old twin daughters there help him cope. “Have to look at the positives that we have our health and I get to spend more time with the family. We are lucky to have a nice back garden for the girls to play out in.”
He has, of course, not hung his bike up in the garage and forgotten about it. “Of course I’ve taken to my trainer like much of the pro peloton but as I finished a big block, I had an easy week meaning the laps hasn’t been big yet and it’s obviously very tricky to plan ahead now when we have no idea when we will race next.”
“My initial reaction to the race cancellations was one of disappointment, as I had worked so hard to get into fantastic shape. This had been a three to four month process of hard work and then just before my objectives, my chance to win a first WorldTour race for the team it was taken away from me.
“But that was before I understood full the gravity of the situation and suddenly I found perspective. Nobody had any idea that this virus would take hold on a global scale, never mind how quickly things would progress so we also do not have much idea on the future. I am just taking it day by day, focusing on each ride and not thinking too far ahead. Technology such as Powerwatt and Zwift with my Elite home trainer are invaluable these days and make riding indoors much less taxing mentally, plus there is a useful social aspect to the rides.”
“Together we can beat this”
Will there even be a 2020 season?
“I don’t think anybody in the sport wants to even consider that we may not race till 2021 but that could be a possibility. Obviously I’m not getting any younger, so to miss a whole season would be tough, especially as I was feeling sooo good, not just physically but with this team.
“But if that is the case, I have it in perspective. Health is more important during these times and there is not much I can do personally to change the situation other than self-isolate. I’ve given up trying to predict what will happen and when we will start racing again. We just all need to stay strong, isolate, support each other through the difficult times and together we can beat this. And the sooner it’s in the past we can get back to racing.”