Lucy Kennedy Rider Diary #1: A racing life when there’s no racing

Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) pens her first rider diary, a feature that we’re hoping to make a regular one on Australian Cycling Insider.

It certainly hasn’t been the start to the European Spring season that we were all expecting. When the team all left Australia, the Covid-19 outbreak had begun, but was largely still contained in China and we didn’t yet know what an impact it was going to have.

Opening weekend in Belgium was unaffected, but since then many races have been cancelled as the virus spread throughout the world. Regardless of the status of the races themselves, my team, Mitchelton-Scott, was one of the first to announce that they would be withdrawing from our first block of racing in a move to protect the safety of riders and staff and to help with the worldwide attempts to slow the spread of the virus.

While difficult to accept that we wouldn’t be lining up at some key races (Strade Bianche is my personal favourite of the season), I completely understand the decision and particularly respect the team’s early and definitive action.

We are in somewhat of a holding pattern currently, focusing on training, but with still a lot of uncertainty around when we will race and what the season will look like. Thankfully I enjoy training and plan to capitalise on an unusually large training block at this time of the year to come into my next planned racing block, the Ardennes, at a really high level.

I’m also living in a really nice environment in Girona with good weather, lots of teammates and friends around and amazing training roads. The team is being proactive in finding other ways to remain active in the cycling world and interact with our fan base, such as a series of virtual rides and races on the Zwift platform.

Ignoring the current situation, I’ve been really excited about the 2020 season. At the beginning of last season, I felt like I was starting again after a 2018 that had been very disrupted by a series of serious crashes. As well as missed training and races I was lacking confidence and was quite apprehensive.

In contrast, my 2019 was uninterrupted, consistently solid while generally not spectacular, and with a few good wins. Having spent a lot of time over the 2019-20 summer at home working on my skills with the help of Dylan Cooper from Ride Technics, I was enjoying racing and feeling more confident than ever before.

I have been really looking forward to continuing that momentum and building on it in the European peloton. Hopefully the opportunity to do that is not far away!

Written by Lucy Kennedy