It is 8:30am and I’m sitting in front of my computer, waiting for it to come up with something for me to do today. Usually I’d be getting some coffee in me for a morning pow-wow with John, but other than tour cancellations, there’s not a lot of that going on these days.
And so my attention turns to Tiesj Benoot’s legs.
Tiesj is a tall, lanky (1.9 m, 72 kg – let that sink in) Belgian classics rider with a great little palmares going for his young age (26). He notably won Strade Bianche two years ago and this year he won the points classification in Paris-Nice and even held his own with the climbers on Stage 7, nearly winning it in the process.
At the end of the stage he was interviewed and said that it was a shame cycling was going to be stopped because he would love to have entered classics season with the legs he had at the moment.
It made me feel a bit for all the athletes who will have their season wiped out this year – a season that is precious in the short career of a cyclist. But Tiesj is young, so he’s got plenty of more chances. Nairo Quintana was perhaps on the verge of a major comeback this season and is 30. Cavendish (34), who wasn’t really doing much at the top level anyway, perhaps could end up just hanging up the cleats this year. Philippe Gilbert (37) is another one, but in his case he still has a shot at his Milan – Sanremo later this year if it runs in the fall. Nibali (35) is no spring chicken and guys like Froome (34) and Valverde (39) must be wondering about that ‘one last shot’.
Or maybe not, who knows? I’m just trying to find something to do with my morning. I hope that for all of us, Tiesj and all the rest are staying at home, Zwifting the hell out of their legs, and looking forward to the rest of the season, whenever that comes.
March 25 Update: France is about to impose up to 4 more weeks of isolation on us, bringing it to the end of April. I’m so glad I had a haircut just before the virus hit.