The young South African boarded the plane to Valencia shortly after winning The Herald Cycle Tour in February, but soon found himself confined to his lodgings amid one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns.
A mere two races in the Spanish Cup and a training camp with his Gsport-Velofutur teammates accounted for the total number of his outdoor riding hours before the coronavirus drove the country indoors.
“That’s where things started going south. It was the Monday after the training camp when we were put into full lockdown, only being allowed out of the house to buy essentials.”
But, after 70 mind-numbing days of solitude, things were finally looking up for the 21-year-old when the restrictions were lifted somewhat about two weeks ago. Better news followed soon afterwards.
“We are now able to ride within the border of our province and recently they have taken away the time restrictions so now we can ride whenever we want.”
His agent, Jordi Quintana, brokered the deal with his current team, making sure it would be an environment in which he would thrive, and he is now (finally) enjoying his second stint in the Spanish city.
The lockdown was not all bad as it has allowed him to stick to a very structured training routine with very few distractions.
“Without early season races you really have to put in the training so that you are prepared for when the season starts again,” says Munton, who has been able to get in quality training on and off the bike.
“Although I made sure not to waste time while stuck indoors and did a lot of work on my indoor trainer, I’m thankful we are allowed to ride outside again.”
He is also grateful for the chance to press the reset button after a less than perfect start in Spain.
“In my first race I had some mechanicals and in the second I wasn’t feeling my best so I didn’t perform well. Luckily now I get to start with a ‘new season’ in a way.”
The initial plan was to return to Cape Town at the end of September but, with the revised calendar possibly making some racing possible from July, late November is now far more likely.
“The times and dates have changed but the plan is the same,” says, Munton, who is fortunate enough to have a Belgian passport.
And that plan, of course, is to catch the eye of a pro team.