Stronger Sam has debut put on hold
SAM CULVERWELL anticipates a lengthy wait before he can finally get his Trinity Racing show on the road.
Amid the evolving Covid-19 pandemic and as per the instructions of his newly-adopted elite U23 outfit, outstanding teenage cyclist Culverwell has returned home to focus on training.
British Cycling has suspended all organised activity until at least 30 April, although racing on the Continent carries a more positive outlook through the Union Cycliste International’s initial date of 3 April.
But the 19-year-old is not fully convinced by either date.
‘It’s very unlikely that racing will resume then,’ said Culverwell.
‘I can’t see us racing until more like end of May/June with how it’s going to go.
‘It’s infuriating when you have worked so hard over the winter.
‘The only thing I’ve got planned at the moment is training, just training, and it’s not like I can travel to a nice warm-weather location to do a training camp.’
Thankfully, Culverwell feels he is already reaping the benefits of this focused training.
All the more reason to make an impression in the summer – if racing resumes by then – with focal events such as the ‘Baby Giro’ not entirely out of the question yet.
‘It’s progressing nicely and I am getting better and better, fitter and stronger,’ added Culverwell.
‘It’s just a shame I can’t test it in a race and find out what to work on and see how I would get on.
‘I am still determined to make the most of whatever season we have left.
‘There’s going to be even fewer chances to get results and get experience, so we have to keep training really hard now and make the most of those opportunities at the end, or in the second half, of the season.’
The ‘Baby Giro’, a particularly prestigious U23 stage race associated with the Giro d’Italia, is currently set to begin on 4 June.
The UK National Road Race Championships are also due to unfold that month and Culverwell will be intent to build on the dazzling precedent he set last year, finishing 12th overall at the age of 18.
But with Italy suffering a greater prevalence of Covid-19 cases and deaths than any country except China, and Britain also under heavy threat, much remains uncertain.