GasGas Factory rider Glenn Coldenhoff, like all of us, isn’t enjoying the current situation with the coronavirus. For sportsmen, who suddenly don’t have that adrenaline of doing their chosen sport, it is tough. Unlike many of us that just have a regular job, athletes are wired completely different, even like an addiction, missing their sport so badly that it becomes unbearable.
Having started the season a little out of sorts, the Dutchman was looking forward to getting in some good races as we flew to Argentina and then headed to rounds four and five. However, with no racing until June, or maybe even July, Coldenhoff is trying to find ways to keep himself occupied and stay in sharp. We talked to him today about the whole situation.
Obviously what is happening is shocking for the World as far as a standstill and lockouts and of course all the deaths. Our sport is also on its knees. For a motocross rider, how has it been?
Coldenhoff: It is actually pretty tough. We started the season, had a very good winter, no injuries. I came into the season feeling good, strong and confident, and now all of a sudden after two races, we wait. You know, I think it isn’t only for me, but for everyone. We have never been in this type of situation before, so it is all new for everybody. For us, it looks like we don’t have any races for the next two months, so what is smart to do. It is difficult. I had a crash in Valkenswaard and burnt my leg and I felt sore from all the crashes that weekend, so for me it was nice to recover for one and a half weeks. For now, making a plan isn’t easy, because I am scared more races will be postponed or canceled.
I guess you guys start the season maybe 70% or 80% and want to build up to 100% for maybe round four or five. What do you do now as far as training goes when you know you won’t race for at least two months?
Like I said, I felt good, came in prepared and I wasn’t 100%, but like you said, you want to build on it, and what I did, I took a little bit off, around 10 days and I usually do two trainings a day, but at the moment I just do one a day. I keep moving, keep some training so you don’t need to start from zero again.
Obviously you live in the Brabant area, and that is the region toughest hit by the coronavirus. I wondered if maybe that has to do with the annual Carnival, which happens in Brabant and Limburg and was held about a month ago, so right when the virus started to grow in Holland?
I don’t know really. I was actually in Italy the last weeks before it was closed, and both myself and my girlfriend have had the symptoms for it. Maybe I brought it back to Holland. I felt sick, a little bit of pain in my throat and my girlfriend also had it. It gets worse in Holland, but not as bad compared to Spain or Italy. They do complete lockdown and here you are still allowed to move around a little bit so something outside or go to your work, at least some of them.
It is actually amazing how many people I have spoken to who also had the symptoms for it, I had a headache, cold sweats and a sore throat. I think millions have probably had it mildly and not been to the doctor and then recovered from it.
Yes, I think I had it too, because I was there the last day and the last day it was difficult to find tracks because they were all closed and I flew home from the north of Italy and I heard once you got it, you can’t get it again.
Obviously the calendar is now completely different, with a lot of races in October and November. I think we will have even more, as some of the races in June might not go ahead. It is difficult, because you guys are addicted to your sport and it is like a drug and then get it taken away must be tough. For me, my life doesn’t change too much, but do you think people understand what a sportsman goes through in these moments?
All tracks need to be closed, that is what the federation told us, all the tracks will close, and it was announced a few days ago. I try and look for some private tracks, where the owner can open his track for just me and try and ride that way. I am really missing it; it is my life and I love it most. On the other side, I am spending more time with family and that type of thing. I will try and find something that I can ride a little. At least ride once or twice a week, to keep the feeling and I love it so much.
Motocross of Nations will now be in the middle of the season, which will obviously change a lot of people’s attitude to the event, the mindset of racing at 100%. What is your feeling about it, or is it too far in the future to even think about?
No, not yet. For me it is too far away. Also, contract wise, my contract ends on November 1 and first let’s start back racing and make a plan for the future. For me, it isn’t worth starting to think about those things already.
I can imagine that the teams will just have to let the contracts roll over until the end of the season?
Yes, I don’t know how they will solve this problem. I spoke to my team and they will wait until answers from the contract, but we will find a good way to solve this.
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