Jesus Herrada: It would be sad to race without public, but it is about saving cycling
May 15 2020 04:34 am CET

Jesus Herrada: It would be sad to race without public, but it is about saving cycling
Jesus Herrada: It would be sad to race without public, but it is about saving cycling
Cofidis © Mary Cárdenas /

Cofidis' Jesus Herrada has been quarantined in two different countries and after living through both he's ready to face the rest of the season.

Herrada was part of the team that took part of the UAE Tour -which was cancelled with two stages to go due to a coronavirus outbreak that affected members of the staff and riders like Fernando Gaviria and Max Richeze- and had to be quarantined in Abu Dhabi with his team.

The French team was one of the formations that stayed the longest confined in the hotel at the Emirates and when that was over, the former Spanish champion returned to his home, where the quarantine started in mid-March. "The first quarantine was a big novelty, everything was unexpected, but it prepared me for what was awaiting me back home," said the rider to Spanish news agency EFE.

"When you see what is happening in the world and in Spain, what happened in Abu Dhabi wasn't strange, but at the time we lived and interpreted it in a different way. I was 14 days in lockdown but now I see a reason that before I didn't. Our main complaint was the lack of clarity and information. Maybe it would have been more convenient for the entire peloton to remain in the hotel and not only a few teams. Everything happened so fast and it didn't make sense that some could leave and others couldn't. Then, when I arrived to Spain I understood better the situation."

Just like many other voices from the sport, Herrada hopes that the season can be resumed and finished. "Cycling is going through a difficult moment," he explained. "I mainly hope that the virus will be gone soon, and we can do the new calendar, for the sake of the sport, the teams, the riders..."

"The economic news are worrying, in the world and in cycling. The sport is going through a rough moment but in our team, thankfully, we have a great sponsor. They considered the possibility of reducing the salaries, but at the end they maintained them as they were. It is a big company. We are very lucky to have a strong sponsor. This year and the ones to come it will remain with us."

The rider is already hitting the road after the Spanish government allowed limited training, and he's already thinking of the season and the challenges the Covid-19 can put on the way. "The original idea was to do Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, but now I think it will be more convenient to do Tour and Vuelta, but I have to discuss it with the team," Herrada affirmed. "I would also like to do the World Championships, I always feel proud to be selected and it is a reward for the good work. I also think about the classics, the Fleche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

"Racing without public is difficult to imagine, although we have already had races with little public, for example in the Emirates. In Europe, it would be sad to see the races with empty start and finish lines and the sides of the road. But it would be better to have them without public than not having them at all, this is about saving cycling, but it would be sad."