Coronavirus: how riders are coping with the lockdown

Robert Gesink turbo trainer Andorra Jumbo-Visma coronavirus isolation
Jumbo-Visma rider Robert Gesink rides his turbo trainer at home in Andorra (Image credit: Robert Gesink /

As the majority of the pro peloton remain indoors as the worldwide Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic worsens, a number of them have gotten creative with their turbo training.

Some riders are still able to get out for rides in countries where outdoor activities are less restricted, while four-time Tour de France champion is exploring South Africa with Ineos teammate Dylan Van Baarle.

Other riders, including Wout van Aert and Egan Bernal, have taken to social media to spread messages of hope and vigilance in the face of the pandemic.

Read on for a rundown of how the pro peloton are coping with being on lockdown.

Wout van Aert

Jumbo-Visma rider Wout van Aert posted a message to Instagram, optimistically stating that he wants to start building up to racing in May and the summer, but would be fixing odd jobs around the house until then.

"I hope that all of you stay safe and keep some positive vibes in this special period," he added. "Better days will come."

Chris Froome and Dylan Van Baarle

The Team Ineos duo of Chris Froome and Dylan Van Baarle are training in South Africa at the moment. The country has suffered 116 coronavirus cases so far, and has enforced similar restrictions to European nations – closed down schools, and is blocking foreign visitors and banning gatherings of more than 100 people.

We did our own @strade_bianche in Africa 😁 (I won 😉) #cycling Chris Froome (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @chrisfroome on Mar 19, 2020 at 10:17am PDT

Thomas De Gendt

Lotto Soudal rider Thomas De Gendt and family are still in lockdown at home. Meanwhile, his son and daughter have been holding bike races of their own, doing laps of family home.

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Adam Hansen

De Gendt's teammate Adam Hansen gave an update from the Czech Republic, where he lives. The country's government is handing out fines if citizens are caught outside without wearing a face mask.

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Egan Bernal

After posting a video of himself training at home earlier in the week, Tour de France champion Egan Bernal posted a message from Colombia stating that he had tested negative for Covid-19 coronavirus.

"A few days ago, I arrived from Europe and isolated myself in my house as the authorities said. After a few days I contacted the Ministry of Health as I had come from a high risk area. Yesterday, they came to my house to check me and the result is NEGATIVE to Covid-19.

"In the same way I will continue to be at home, I will continue to comply with the quarantine and support my country. I want to invite my fellow Colombians to not go out on the streets if it is not necessary. Not everyone has the same benefits and comforts (that is clear), but as much as possible to stay at home.

"And to the Ministry of Health and all the people who at this moment are working day and night to control this situation, I want to thank you enormously on behalf of all Colombia, this is braver than winning a Tour and you at this moment are national heroes."

Lucinda Brand

Trek-Segafredo's Lucinda Brand found a new way to exercise at home, featuring an oversized bottle of Kwaremont beer.

Taylor Wiles

Brand's Trek-Segafredo teammate Tayler Wiles has a pretty nice setup at home in Girona, Spain, though cycling outside in the country is seriously restricted due to government measures at the moment.

What life looks like these days. But I can’t complain and I am happy to follow the rules and do my part to try and stop the spread and protect those most vulnerable. . . . This is a scary time in history and I have to admit it has been difficult on many levels, and I know in this I am not alone. It is hard to be in a country that is in full lockdown doing their very best to contain this horrible virus and see other countries (my home country the US included) being so behind in their actions to prevent the continued spread. I worry about all the vulnerable people in my family and community in the US. I worry about how the crumbling economy will affect my family, friends, community, and countless people across the world. I worry that life is going to be very different for a very long time. . . . What we can do is this, act out of selflessness. You may not be in the category of those most vulnerable but with every action you take throughout a day, do so with them in mind. Act now in the ways that you personally can and do so with kindness, compassion, and empathy for others. . . . There is no doubt that we are all affected in someway by this crisis, it connects us, and we can get through it together. I put a link in my bio to a video that i found quite good at explaining what we are up against and what we can do to slow the spread. . . . My sport psych taught me a really great Buddhist practice to use during times like these, when stress and anxiety boil up daily. Take one deep breath in and out to allow yourself to feel everything you are feeling. Take another deep breath in and out to acknowledge that there are solutions. And take one last deep breath in and as you breath out send all your energy, love, and compassion to help sooth someone in the world who is feeling those same anxieties as you ❤️ taylerwiles (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @taylerwiles on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:35pm PDT

Robert Gesink

Jumbo-Visma's Robert Gesink has a better view than most as he trains at home in Andorra.

Quinn Simmons

Trek-Segafredo neo-pro and junior road world champion Quinn Simmons is spending his time doing something entirely different to his pro colleagues – he's out climbing mountains in Colorado 

Mountain Quarantine, Day 3 🏔🇺🇸 Quinn Simmons (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by @skin.quimmons on Mar 16, 2020 at 6:14pm PDT

Pierre Rolland

B&B Hotels-Vital Concept rider Pierre Rolland was keeping his core strength up at home, with a helping hand from his two children.

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Alberto Bettiol

Tour of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol is shaping up to race the Virtual Milan-San Remo on Saturday. There he'll join Vincenzo Nibali, Filippo Pozzato, Alessandro Ballan and others, including fans, in riding the final 50km of the route over the virtual Capi, Cipressa and Poggio.

On Thursday, he was working out at home in Lugano, Switzerland.

Rigoberto Urán

Bettiol's EF teammate Rigoberto Urán is also getting some fresh air, albeit in his own garden. "Working from home," he said on Twitter.

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Tiago Machado

Ex-RadioShack and Katusha man Tiago Machado, who now races for Portuguese Continental team Efapel, is doing the same as most other riders around Europe – training indoors. 

"State of emergency + rain = rollers," he wrote.

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Willie Smit

Burgos-BH man Willie Smit was waiting to ride with Simon Yates on Zwift, adopting a more relaxed position ahead of the virtual ride.

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Astana Pro Team

A number of Astana riders are stuck inside on the turbo trainer too, Miguel Ángel López and Omar Fraile among them.

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Laurens De Vreese

Finally, Astana rider Laurens De Vreese undertook a frankly ridiculous ride (opens in new tab) on Zwift, naming his ride the 'Oliver Naesen Challenge'. As you might guess, given Naesen's herculean ride around Flanders recently, it was a big one. De Vreese covered 368.94km in 11 hours and six minutes. On a turbo trainer...

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