Sports Eye

Covid-19 spares cyclists?

By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.



THE Covid-19 pandemic already killed 670,200 inhabitants of the earth and the Philippines has 1,962 casualties, and ranks 27th among the countries infected by the dreaded disease. As many say, this is predicted to reach a million fatalities until the vaccine is produced. According to Pres. Duterte, the medicine against this virus is now around the corner. I hope so.

COVID-19 disease doesn’t spare anybody, not even the athletes known to have strong immune system. Indeed, while professional athletes may seem invincible, they also suffer from serious conditions anytime, particularly if they don’t follow the mandated protocols. But hold your breath fellas and believe it or not, exclude the cyclists particularly the professionals because as of this writing, no cyclist has been reported to have died or even officially infected by COVID-19 here or overseas.

Here is an update on infected professional athletes.  In NBA which was the first domino to fall in the world’s professional sports, the Brooklyn Nets power-forward Kevin Durant was COVID-19’s biggest catch, followed by Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell, Marcus Smart of Boston Celtics, Christian Wood of Detroit Pistons. In European basketball, the lone victim was power-forward Trey Hopkins of Real Madrid team.

The famous PGA Tour champ Victor Lange and the former multi-titled world tennis champ the septuagenarian John Patrick McEnroe were not spared as well. Famous South African Olympian swimmer Cameron Van der Burg and Major League Baseball (MLB) outfielder Jim Edmonds were also among the world’s sports celebrities that caught the virus. Luckily, these pro players survived after their respective quarantines.

In cycling, we already knew that the world’s three grand slam multi-stage races, Tour de France, Tour of Italy and Tour of Spain were postponed because of the disease. But the seven-day of this year’s Tour of U.A.E (United Arab Emirates) brushed aside the risks of the pandemic and pushed through with its bikefest until the world cycling governing sanctioning body Union Cycliste International (UCI) stopped and postponed the event indefinitely, five days after finding out that two of the race staffs (not the competing cyclists) tested positive of the coronavirus.

Like the five-day Tour of Burgos in Spain where four of the Emirates squad Fernando Gaviria, Sebastian Molano, Christian Muñoz and Camelo Ardilta all from Colombia were suspected to  have contracted the virus outside the race and encountered slight fever. As a precautionary measure, the event management did not allow the quartet to continue the race but luckily the four tested negative after the race.

According to our local cycling netizens, sale of bicycles skyrocketed during this pandemic not only because of scarce transportation in Metro Manila but in the strong belief that cycling improves their immune system to fight the unseen enemy that is ruining the globe.
And my question now is: Do you honestly believe that cycling is one of the best sports and one of the best preparations to counter the entry of this deadly disease to your body? I’m neither a scientist nor a doctor and my answer is, yes. That’s my view of it.

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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past. For behold, the Lord comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will never cover her slain. ISAIAH

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