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The coronavirus crisis: Where do cycling and global sports go next? – Podcast

SANREMO ITALY MARCH 23 Landscape Peloton Mediterranean Sea Helicopter Fans Public during the 110th MilanoSanremo 2019 a 291km race from Milano to Sanremo MilanoSanremo on March 23 2019 in Sanremo Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
The 2019 Milan-San Remo peloton (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Last week, when we recorded an episode entirely devoted to the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, the hope was that by now we’d be back to some semblance of normality and racing would at least be back on the agenda. 

Seven days later, though, and that scenario is far bleaker than many of us could have imagined. Granted, as we recorded this episode, Paris-Nice is somehow still on, but around the world bike races are being pulled left, right and centre. It looks as though the entire season is at risk.

Coming up we’ll hear from our European Editor Stephen Farrand, who is based in Italy, one of the most heavily hit countries, and we talk to Italy’s Matteo Trentin from CCC Team, who gives us riders’ perspective. 

But we start this episode by talking to Rob Harris, AP’s global sports correspondent. In this interview, we step away from cycling and look at the wider problems that sport is now facing. We ask who decides which sports go ahead, whether, as Lewis Hamilton recently said ‘cash is king’ and just how damaging the possible loss of marquee events such as the Olympics, European Championships and a host of other events could be for sport on a global stage.

Closer to home, Stephen Farrand has been with Cyclingnews for almost a decade. He is based in Italy and has covered the Giro since 1994. These are unprecedented times for Italian cycling and its society as a whole. We caught up with Stephen on Thursday afternoon, just after the conclusion of stage 5 at Paris-Nice. He gives his insight into how Italy is coping and where racing could go from here.

For our final interview, we stick with an Italian theme. Matteo Trentin is the vice president of the Italian riders association and one of the most respected riders in the peloton. The CCC rider is currently in Spain for a short training camp but we spoke with him about his thoughts on racing and the coronavirus and what the riders and teams should be doing under the difficult circumstances. 

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