“The confinement” has affected us all. Months of work, planning, dreaming...suddenly it’s all for nothing. Such a heavy blow forces us to look ahead. The first step: knowing how to adapt in order to deal with it. We chatted with some of the riders from Caja Rural- Seguros RGA and Burgos-BH to see how they are making the most of “their isolation”.
They all agree that the most important thing is discipline, being organised and setting up a daily routine. The daily schedule for each is practically the same: get up, have breakfast and train. The main part is on the roller and the rest is dedicated to exercises. Then it’s eat, rest and in the afternoon, there’s time to read, study, play videogames, watch films or spend time with friends on the social media.
The cyclists from Caja Rural- Seguros RGA, Aritz Bagües, Jon Irisarri, Joel Nicolau, Xavi Cañellas and Carmelo Urbano have opened up their “place of confinement” and their hearts. All 5 have been at home with their parents, except for Aritz, who has been with his girlfriend. Jon Irisarri admits that “I need to get back to normal life, without the uncertainty of what might happen. I can’t shake the fear of maybe catching the virus or that someone around me has it.”
Carmelo Urbano remembers fondly “those coffee breaks while training and the days I could go out to dinner and chat with friends. I didn’t think I could value those little things so much.”Joel Nicolau also talks about his family and friends. “I had been away for two months and now that I planned to be at home for a bit, I find this mess. I was very happy with how I started the year, now I have to get in shape all over again.”
Cycling will return to its natural environment, the road, because without contact with the outside world, it loses all meaning. So what will be the first thing they do on the day the confinement ends?
Jon Irisarri can’t wait to go out to eat with his family at a restaurant. Xavi Cañellas also has it clear what he will do. “The first thing I’ll do is get up at 7 am and head out for a long-distance training session with the people I usually ride with. Enjoy it and ride a ton of kilometres. Of course, with the mandatory stops that I now value a lot more.”
Aritz Bagües doesn’t even want to imagine “the joy of giving up the bike on a roller and feeling the wind on my face”. Carmelo Urbano is also one who dreams of a long ride, but also that visit to his grandparents that he’s so looking forward to, and even giving into that craving for a good hamburger. Joel Nicolau says the same, and confesses that he has an entire list of friends and family he wants to see.
A common denominator: routine and discipline
The “isolation” of Burgos-BH is quite similar. This season was key for them, and their great dream was, and still is, to repeat their performance at La Vuelta, where last year they managed to win the final stage at Pico del Buitre with Angel Madrazo.
The routines of Oscar Cabedo, Ricardo Vilela, Jesús Ezquerra and Pablo Guerrero are almost photocopies of one another, and they have one clear objective: to be in the best shape possible when the road once again is what puts everyone in their place. The wait is long and the more time passes, the list of things they miss grows longer.
Once again, almost unanimously, accepting all the circumstances, and hoping to get back to training as soon as possible, “on the other side” of the front door. Jesús and Pablo are spending the confinement with their parents. The same is true for Oscar, who also lives with his twin brother David and his parents. Ricardo is also at home, but in Portugal, with his wife.
A normal day for them, like most people, is characterised by a routine. To stay in shape and be competitive as soon as this all ends.
Ricardo Vilela is the only one who is experiencing a confinement that is a little different. “In Portugal, for the moment we’ve been “better off” in some ways than in Spain. Professional cyclists can still go out to train, staying close to where we live. All of this in agreement with the government and the federation.”
The breeze on your face, pedalling and...a cup of coffee
It’s a tough situation, but once you accept it, it is not unbearable, in spite of the urge to spread our wings.
Oscar Cabedo has realised that “I loved my daily routine and I wouldn't change it for anything, even though having time to spend with my family and my girlfriend is what I miss the most.” This is practically the same thing mentioned by Ricardo Vilela and Pablo Guerrero. Jesús Ezquerra goes a little deeper, saying that “what I miss might be a little selfish: a simple cup of coffee on a terrace, dressed in cycling gear.”
They’re all looking out of the corner of their eye at that day when they’ll head back out on the road. Oscar imagines himself in Cantabria, with his girlfriend. Jesús Ezquerra says it clearly, “I’ll pedal until my legs give out.” Ricardo Vilela and Pablo Guerrero will also ride, but they’re also sure to enjoy themselves going out for a walk, dining out…with his wife and partner, respectively.
Improving your physical condition in a state of confinement is impossible, and even maintaining it is a difficult task. Once you’ve adapted, the goal is none other than to get back as soon as possible. That’s why any effort and sacrifice will be worth it, in order to enjoy once again that wonderful world that awaits us on the outside. The end of the mountain pass is almost here.
Jon, Xavi, Aritz, Carmelo, Joel, Oscar, Jesús, Ricardo and Pablo were, and will continue to be, cyclists and we’ll once again cheer them on. Good luck, friends and enjoy your return!