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Pros in Spain see reprieve with restrictions lifted on training

Expats and Spanish pros will be allowed to train alone within their home region starting Monday as restrictions begin to ease in Spain.

The long wait is over. Pros living in Spain will finally be able to train outside.

After being locked down since March 15, professional riders in Spain will be allowed to return to training on open roads starting Monday. That’s good news for nearly 100 expatriate pros living in and around Girona, Spain, as well as the other hundreds of Spanish pros who’ve been kept inside as part of Spain’s lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain’s prime minister confirmed Saturday a series of new rules as part of the first steps at easing what’s among Europe’s strictest quarantine rules. Included in a wave of new regulations is the exception for professional athletes, including runners, triathletes, paddlers, and other endurance professionals who need to be able to train on roads and trails in Spain. The only limitations are that athletes must train alone and cannot travel outside of their home province.

As of Saturday, Spanish residents were allowed out of their homes for the first time since mid-March, with restrictions of staying within one kilometer of their homes. Jogging and recreational cycling is now allowed in the mornings and evenings, but only within city limits and always alone.

Other pros living in France, Italy and Andorra who have been kept locked inside their homes since mid-March should also see an easing of restrictions in the coming days.

In contrast, in other parts of Europe, pros in Belgium, Germany and Switzerland have been able to train under certain conditions through the unprecedented racing stoppage.

With racing postponed until at least early August, the opening of training possibilities will at least give cooped-up riders a chance to prepare if and when racing resumes later this summer.

Like the rest of the racing calendar, Spanish cycling remains postponed through the end of July. Officials hope to release a revised racing calendar, but many of Spain’s top races have decided not to reschedule their events this year. The Clásica San Sebastián, Itzulia Basque Country, and the Volta a Catalunya have all been delayed until 2021.

The Vuelta a España, reduced to 18 stages and two rest days after the opening weekend in the Netherlands has been canceled, is expected to start in Spain’s Basque Country, most likely in November.

There won’t be any altitude training camps on the Teide volcano just yet, but at least now the pros can train outside.