It seems that professional cycling in Europe and quite possibly the Olympics in Japan are about to take a massive ‘haircut’. Unless you have have been living a cave in the Tarkine wilderness in Tasmania, you would know that a global pandemic is taking place. The so-called coronavirus Covid-19 is cutting a swath through China, Iran, South Korea and weirdly Italy.
Of these, its Italy that MMT is most disheartened by. The classics season was just about to start in Italy and country’s government has hit the ‘panic’ button. It has started implementing drastic measures to slow the spread of the virus. According to cyclingnews.com, it appears almost certain that men’s and women’s Strade Bianche (March 7), Tirreno-Adriatico (March 11-17), Milan-San Remo (March 8) and the Tour of Sicily (April 1-4), will all be cancelled.
This would be an unmitigated disaster for the races’ organiser, RCS Sport. MMT wonders whether RCS will survive these loss of high profile events this year. Closer to home, Australia’s Mitchelton-Scott team have announced that they were withdrawing from all races until the 22 March. A number of teams are already quarantined in Abu Dhabi UAE after four riders tested positive for the virus.
Here in Melbourne, there have been 6 reported cases and, fortunately to this time, no fatalities. As MMT has cycled and driven about Melbourne it does seem to be significantly quieter than usual. Overall, Australia has been relatively unscathed with 52 confirmed cases and 2 deaths. Quite frankly this is becoming quite grim, lets hope that this virus doesn’t get completely off the chain like Swine flu did in 2009/10.
So with that in mind MMT was delighted to see a little levity about this horrible situation by Will Dyson in today’s Age. Whilst its amusing it has a serious message, that all Melburians need to take to heart.
So until next time, ride safe and exercise good hand hygiene