In the Bunch: In light of the current coronavirus situation, how has your season been affected?
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio: My season has been hugely affected. I haven’t raced since the national championships [in early February]. I was supposed to race Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, but I fell sick. The next race was Strade Bianche and that was cancelled. Since then all the other races that I’ve been bound to race have been cancelled and the season is pretty much on hold, definitely until the end of April but we don’t know if it’s going to resume in May.
So right now we have no idea when the next race will be and now the Olympics have been postponed to next year. Right now we just don’t know when we’re going to race.
ITB: Where are you currently based?
AMP: I’m in Spain at the moment, so I’m in full lockdown. SA has also announced a lockdown, so in a way I’m relieved I didn’t come back to SA because there was a period I felt “should I leave Spain to come to SA or go to another part of the world where I could potentially train outdoors?” But the uncertainty was just too big.
There was a lot of doubt around it at the time, but something in my gut told me I need to stay at home, which is Spain at this point in time. I didn’t want to leave my husband or puppy for an unknown time.
I do have quite a good indoor set-up also. It has taken some time to adjust, but I think pro athletes are the best at adjusting and adapting to circumstances because that’s a big part of our career. I’m proud of the way I’ve managed to adapt, to keep my motivation high.
ITB: How has your training been affected since the outbreak? Did you have to change your goals?
AMP: I’m still thinking of the world champs, which is in September. It’s a long way down the road, but I’m hoping I can be quite certain that that at least will take place.
That’s my longer-term vision I’m looking at. I also had a really good off-season base period of training from November to February, so that is also a bit of motivation for me because I don’t want to lose all that hard work that I’ve done.
At some point I do need to realign goals. When we have a better idea when racing might start that will be easier to do. For now I’m just doing my best to maintain my fitness and the form I’ve built over the past months.