Coronavirus has altered the plans of practically every athlete in the world with competitions cancelled and outdoor sports banned.
With the conclusion of the X-Trial championship officially confirmed, it gave Toni Bou a 27th title, after the rider won every one of the season’s points-paying events.
With the current lockdown conditions, we find out what the world champion has been up to…
Toni, we have all seen the viral video that you posted at the beginning of the lockdown, riding your motorcycle around the house… but… how has Toni Bou been spending the seclusion?
Toni Bou: A little like everyone else, as best I possibly can. It is a tough situation for everyone. And we are fortunate to stay home, while others get the job of putting an end to it all. I want to encourage and thank all of those who are making such an enormous effort.
For my part, I’m trying not to lose my fitness and I am acting as if it were pre-season training, even if I’m at home… which is quite tricky, but with the change of pace, I will try to lose as little fitness as possible and hopefully make it through to the end of the lockdown in the best physical shape. That’s what’s keeping me motivated these days.
What are the rules for citizens in the area that you live in? Is going out restricted?
TB: Yes, there is a decree which restricts everything and people are confined to their homes. You can only go out to buy what is really essential.
What exercises do you do?
TB: Walking the dog is the only thing we can do to go outside. Only one person can go out and until now my partner has not been out.
What sports do you do?
TB: The exercise bike. Cardio basically. I can’t do anything else. Core exercises and a lot of stretching…
Do you take care of the diet?
TB: Our normal diet is supervised. So, I don’t think it needs to be changed right now. If we see something happen, maybe then we’ll change it, but for now just paying attention to what we eat is enough.
What have you done with the bike?
TB: The video and nothing else. Anything else is a risk. I made the video without taking risks; it is fun for everyone and it was fun for me too. Until all this is finished, there’ll be no motorcycle.
In my case, this break will do me good. I’ve had some nagging injuries and now it will be good to fully get over the vertebrae injury and recover from the lumbar area injury that I never completely got over. You have to be positive and take advantage of it to heal those weaker parts.
The 2020 X-Trial World Championship has finished earlier than expected. What’s your final assessment after having won all five events held?
TB: It’s a shame to have finished the championship in the way that we did. We set a very high standard, with some very close trials with Adam (Raga). Having won all five trials, the final assessment couldn’t have been more positive.
It was a really good year for us, against an opponent who always makes it very difficult. I had to fight hard and battle it out in all the finals, with the team always giving 100 per cent.
This is a title that I will always remember – winning Barcelona again was an incredible moment for me. It’s a pity not having been able to celebrate it in Andorra with my friends, but I understand perfectly, given the current situation.
What do you expect for 2021?
TB: We hope to have an X-Trial calendar with many events that we will be able to finish! The start of the next season is a long way away, but it seems that all the trials will be closely-fought in the Outdoor World Championship and there will be no rest possible. I think it will be a championship with many trials, just the way we like it.
So, the start of the Outdoor World Championship has been delayed. Are you confident that you’ll be able to compete in all the dates?
TB: Right now it is super-difficult to know what will happen. It is an unusual situation for everyone and for sport in general. At least we will be able to recover the Saturday and Sunday two-day format. Doing the whole calendar will be complicated. If you do five double-date GP’s, that’s ten trials already. Let’s hope it turns out that way. There are not many other options…
Do you think that all the riders will make it to the first event on equal terms?
TB: It is hard to know. It will be difficult for everyone. We are all experiencing a difficult situation and depending on how the Coronavirus affects the country that you live in, you may have more or less options. When the curve begins to flatten, that will be something else.
What does your daily routine involve?
TB: I get up, walk the dog, have breakfast and my sports routine is 1h 30 of exercise bike, gym and stretching. I prepare the meal, perhaps a little later than usual, a little television and social networks to try and stay up-to-date and find out what I should do. Gym in the afternoon, a little easier, for about an hour. Shower, dinner, TV and sleep…
And the motorcycle?
TB: I haven’t touched the bike again since the last video. I haven’t had to do any maintenance or anything. It is clean and dust-free. Ready for when everything is over.
What precautions are you taking against Coronavirus?
TB: I don’t have a mask. If I have to go out for something urgent, I try to go to the gas station nearby, first thing in the morning, when there is hardly anyone about. I wash my hands very well – that is also important. I buy food online and they deliver it to my home. I don’t go to any supermarket in order to avoid contact with people.
Finally… do you want to send a message to the fans?
TB: I especially want to thank the health workers and other professionals who are working so hard and battling for all of us. We have the easiest job and all we have to do is to stay at home to get through this difficult time.
Good luck and my best wishes to all those who have family and friends affected. Everything will return to normal soon.