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Italy and Spain set to lift bans on recreational cycling

Joe Robinson
27 Apr 2020

Easing of coronavirus lockdowns allows individuals to resume physical activity outside of the home

Professional cyclists in Italy will be able to resume training as normal from 4th May after coronavirus it was announced that lockdown measures are to be eased. Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte announced in a public address on Sunday that Italy would be entering 'Phase Two' of easing the current lockdown.

Within this, Conte announced that 'individual athletes can resume training, and people can do sports not only in the vicinity of their homes but in wider areas' as of Monday 4th May.

This easing of the lockdown encompasses not only professional athletes but amateur cyclists, too.

Conducting physical exercise, including recreational cycling, had been banned in Italy since 9th March when the government issued a stay at home order as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic. These bans also prevented professional cyclists from training outside.

Italy has been one of the worst affected countries in the world with the coronavirus with almost 200,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 26,384 deaths as of Sunday 26th April.

Conte also announced that sports teams would be able to hold group training sessions from 18th May but stopped short of commenting on when we could expect a return for sporting events.

Rumours have suggested that the professional cycling season will resume in Italy on Saturday 1st August with the rearranged Strade Bianche men's and women's races in Tuscany.

It has then been suggested that Milan-San Remo would take place a week later on Saturday 8th August while the Giro d'Italia would run from the 3rd to 25th October.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that adults could be allowed to exercise outside from next weekend, Saturday 2nd May. Fernando Simon, the head of Spain’s centre for health emergencies, said recent figures showed a 'clear descending trend' which would allow for the easing of restrictions as the number of coronavirus deaths in Spain dropped below 300 for the first times in weeks.

Like Italy, Spain placed heavy restrictions on physical exercising which included a ban on people cycling for recreational purposes. Authorities were also handing out fines of up to €3,000 for anybody caught riding.

As for France, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe confirmed he will be announcing the country's exit strategy from lockdown in parliament on Tuesday, yet did not comment on whether bans on recreational cycling would be lifted yet.

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