Ian Garrison‘s debut season in the WorldTour may not be panning out as he expected, but for now, he’s taking solace in the simple things.
The 21-year-old American, riding his first season with Deceuninck-Quick-Step, is back home in Georgia, having just begun to find his groove in a run of early-season races in France and Europe. Like the rest of the peloton, Garrison is stuck in a holding pattern waiting for a race season ripped apart by coronavirus to resume. However, unlike so many other riders stuck in lockdown across Europe and the U.S., Garrison is still able to ride outside and train as he would like.
“Everything is well here in Georgia, where the restrictions aren’t as bad as in parts of Europe and we are still able to spend time outdoors,” Garrison said. “Life is pretty much normal for now, in a way. The roads are really quiet, although people are out walking in the nice weather we are having, but the shops are closed and it is quiet.”
Garrison was on a team training camp in Greece when a wave of travel restrictions between North America and Europe begun to take hold. Like so many other Americans, Garrison was swift in jumping on the first flight home, and it’s now business as usual.
“Now that I am home I am having some fairly normal days, doing the rides and workouts that are part of my program,” Garrison said in a post on his team’s website.
Garrison, reigning U.S. national time trial champion, now faces the challenge of training without a clear goal as the state of the race season remains uncertain. Some riders have expressed frustration at the prospect of endless hours on the trainer with no end in sight, and no certain idea of how to structure their training. Mindful of that, Garrison is making the most of the relative ‘luxury’ of riding on the open road.
“It’s quite strange to work without a goal in mind, because we just don’t know when racing will begin again, or what our program will be,” Garrison said. “I am just grateful that I can enjoy being out on the bike, as I am aware that some people don’t even have that and are stuck inside.
“I can work without specific targets – when I am racing, I like to have certain goals, but I also really like riding my bike – so I don’t need a reason to ride or train,” he said. “I am able to switch my brain and just enjoy it.”
For now, Garrison is biding his time and looking forward to being reunited with his ‘wolfpack’ teammates.
“The future is hard to predict right now, as we don’t know when racing will begin again,” Garrison said. “It is a little frustrating, having just got started. But stuff happens and this is much bigger than us or just me… it is kind of stupid to say that I am frustrated, but I am looking forward to joining my teammates and racing again, whenever that will be.”