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I am missing the cobbles and the headwind on my face - Matteo Trentin's lockdown

Cycling, like the rest of the world, is going through a time of complete uncertainty about the future and, for an athlete used to meticulously preparing for his season’s competitions, it isn’t easy not to have any set date when he’ll be back to racing. Matteo Trentin of the Sidi squad, one of the strongest riders on the pavé, tells us how he’s living what would normally be the most important weeks of his calendar, surrealistically far away from Belgium. 

It isn’t easy to think of being at home during the Northern Campaign. The Classics have always been my first goal of the season and not being able to go out and ride amplifies the feeling of missing the headwind on my face! 

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It’s natural that these are difficult days for an athlete, but I’ve tried to be consistent in my new routine. Since I cannot train outdoors, I spend my time riding the rollers, doing floor exercises and running up and down the staircase in front of my house. As far as the mind is concerned, the situation is undoubtly more complicated, because not having a specific date to return to competitions requires me to be conservative in the training sessions, but not too conservative, so as not to gain weight or lose my form too much. Similarly, you need to be careful not to push yourself too hard and risk getting burnt out for nothing. Luckily, my family keeps me busy!

After the training sessions, I set aside some time to read. I’ve just finished a biography of Amazon founder Jezz Bezos and found it really very interesting. As far as movies and tv series are concerned, I am pretty one-note. Here we just watch kids programs: needless to say, at home the kids are the ones who decide!
Maybe the only thing that hasn’t changed much is my diet. I eat pretty much everything, though I like low-fat food better. Still, once in a while I savour a tasty dish and a good glass of wine. Even in hard times, the body should not suffer.

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The quarantine has inspired a kind of novel idea that the press and the social media have seemed to like. I think it would be nice to combine the Giro-Tour-Vuelta in one single big tour, to kick the racing season off again in the name of unity. I would set the finish in Paris, because the Tour de France is the most important stage race, and the start in Italy – since the start of the grand tour season in Italy is another fundamental value – and I would design a route including Spain, Italy and France equally. It would be terrific, but I’m afraid it will just remain a dream.

Still, dreaming, in these times, is a good way of escaping.


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