Gigante wins virtual Tour of the Gila


Depending on where you are in the world, COVID-19 restrictions are slowly relaxing. Businesses are re-opening, and outdoor exercise is encouraged while maintaining social distance. Most of our riders on Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank can now train outside in small groups, based on their location. With the race season still on hold, the team has taken up eRacing, and they're dominating the scene from inside their homes. This weekend, Team TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank swept the Virtual Tour of the Gila podium, with Sarah Gigante taking the overall win, Lauren Stephen second and Kristen Faulkner third.

In between stages, we caught up with the riders to see what life's been like for them after seven weeks in lockdown.

Erica Clevenger (USA-CO) - Here in Colorado, we are under a new "Safer at Home" order in which some businesses have been allowed to re-open gradually. We are allowed to go out for essentials and visit some stores while maintaining the social distance standards and wearing a mask.

Jenelle Crooks (NZL/AUS) - We have just had restrictions lifted here. We are now able to ride in groups of 10 if we maintain 1.5m apart. We can have up to five visitors in our homes as well. I live very close to the New South Wales state border, it's currently closed to those wanting to come into Queensland unless you have a state crossing permit.

Leah Dixon (GBR) - In Derby, we are still on a phased lockdown. As of mid-May, we are allowed outside for unlimited exercise. We can cycle with household members or one other person from another household but would need to keep a 2m gap as a social distance rule.

Kristen Faulkner (USA-Northern California) - I can ride outside alone or with members of my household. In certain nearby towns, I can only ride within 5 miles of my residence.

Sarah Gigante (AUS) - We are allowed to have five visitors at home and meet up to ten people outside. Social distancing is still encouraged. However, bunch rides, what I'm looking forward to most, aren't back on yet. We can travel for exercise, so if we like, we can drive somewhere nice to ride, as long as it's just a day trip.

Nina Kessler (NED) - The good thing is that there was no lockdown in the Netherlands, we were advised to stay inside as much as possible, but I have ridden outside the last few weeks. For sure, I took some measurements and wasn't allowed to train in groups and meet friends. On May 11, schools re-opened, and on June 1, restaurants and cultural places will open with 30 people to one room limit.

The only time I could see my teammates and ride with them was on Zwift so, I did a lot of these rides. When the team did Zwift Tour For All, it was good to race with my teamies again! Next week, I'm going to do some hard training in Southern Netherlands, the region of the Amstel Gold Race.

Sharlotte Lucas (NZL) - New Zealand has come out of lockdown and looks to have overcome the virus. We are allowed to do most things as long as we stay 2m from each other, so no large gatherings at the current time.

Shannon Malseed (AUS) - I live in Victoria, so my situation is the same as Sarah's (Gigante). So no group bunch rides, or things like that. We can still ride outside. Cafes and restaurants are still allowing takeaways only, and essential businesses and retail shops are still open. Even though the rules haven't changed a lot, there are more shops open now I think by choice, and the streets are getting busier.

Emily Newsom (USA-TX) - Businesses are opening back up, provided they keep a 25 percent occupancy. It will change soon to 50 percent. Mask and gloves are advised, but not required. Social distancing is suggested as well as being in groups of 5 or less. I ride outside often but have kept to myself other than riding with my husband. The trails around us are very busy, though folks do seem to be aware of social distancing. Because of the high pedestrian traffic, I have kept to rural roads. Initially, car traffic was lessened, but it is gradually picking back up.

Diana Peñuela (COL) - In Colombia, we have low rates of infections because measures are still high to prevent the pandemic's catastrophic effects. But little by little, the economy is reactivating, and people's mental health is taken into account. We are allowed to go out one day a week, from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. to do sports and aerobic activities.

In my case, I am authorized to go out on Tuesdays. Without any objection, I get up at 4:30 a.m. and enjoy every kilometer, the fresh air, and the first rays of the morning sun on my bike.

Kendall Ryan (USA- Southern California) - I live in Ventura, so the lockdown here was never super strict compared to many other places in the world. Now things are starting to relax further around here as summer approaches. Restaurants are opening back up in downtown Ventura. Most are open for takeaway. The beaches are open for physical activities, surfing or working out on the beach. The authorities want people to keep moving and not congregate in groups. The amount of people wearing masks in the area is about 50/50. The grocery stores still request people to wear masks, but they're not required.

The COVID-19 case count for Ventura County is low compared to our surrounding counties like LA. There never were any restrictions on people riding their bikes outside. I can still ride wherever I want. It seems people have gotten so crazy from being inside that they have all turned into bike riders now.

Lauren Stephens (USA-Texas) - To my understanding, you are allowed to exercise in groups of four as long as you are social distancing. Restaurants and retail are open at 25 percent capacity.

I'm choosing to complete the majority of my training indoors. I only ride outside once or twice a week. My thought is, why expose my self when I don't have to? I limit myself to one trip to the grocery store a week, and I wear a mask while in the store.

We have an area at our front door taped off, and we clean everything that comes from outside the house in that area before taking it into the rest of the house. Occasionally, I see my extended family outdoors while keeping a safe distance.

Published: 05/25/2020

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