First week without cycling races
We decided not to publish daily the current situation on our Baltic Chain Cycling website as there is not much of the sports involved, only fight against COVID-19. As there is a lot of doubt about the future, there is no point to create panic daily without knowing 100% what will happen next. The best we can do, is to listen the authorities and keep our selves and people around us safe.
As we know by now, most of the races ment to be organised before June, are already canceled due to the current situation of the COVID-19 epidemic spread. UCI also announced suspension of all classifications for all events on the UCI International Calendar, across all disciplines, from 15 March 2020 and until further notice but at least until 3 April 2020. Probably these dates will change and we won't see any racing before June, but we can't be certain of anything. There are corncerns that even Tour de France and Olympics might be postponed or even canceled, depending of the situation.
Coronavirus hit Europe in a speed nobody expected and many cyclist had to take a fast decision, to stay abroad for better training conditions or flee back to home. Most of the Baltic and Finnish riders traveled back to their home countries before the borders were closed, only few guys stayed in the southern part of the Europe. For example, Lithuania's Evaldas Šiškevičius (Nippo Delko Provence One) stayed in France, he told that he feels well in his home close to Marseille. Latvian Toms Skujins (Treks Segafredo) stayed in the Spanish town of Girona as he feels comfortable over there and didn't see any problem doing so. By now, we know that Spanish and French authorities have forbidden cycling outdoors, as there isn't much space anymore in the hospitals and it would be only extra trouble to take care of a crashed and injured cyclists. Luckily in Baltics and Finland the number of serious cases of coronavirus isn't that big and people are couraged to go out and do some activity. That is a good news as many cycling enthousiasts had planned their cycling holidays to this period of the year and now in Baltics the roads are full of cyclists. All local races, starting in April, will be probably canceled as the authorities have asked at the moment not to organise any events.
We have already read some commentaries by disillusional people, who say that cycling should be forbidden everywhere. "As we can't parctice it out on the roads in France, nobody should be able to practice it outside". It shows how egoistic people can be and remembers us how important it is to support each other.
About the future, we can only wait and see what happens. It is also a economical catastrophe and nobody can say yet exactly how hard it will hit the business of cycling. One thing is for sure, many companies will have problems surviving these quarantine days and the days after it. Allmost all businesses will loose a part of their income, some more, some all of it. It means that they will have less capacity to invest into marketing and charity. Most of the sporting events and teams will suffer financily beacause of it.
Let's at the moment hope that the people them selves care about each other and work together in these hard times and that such incidents like in Italy or Belgium, where car drivers and pedestrians have attacked cyclists, won't happen anymore. Let's hope that the governments of our countries find the common ways to fight coronovirus and won't block and fight each other, taking care only about their private interests like did Poland by blocking Baltic people on their way back to home.