Ararat cycling sensation Lucas Hamilton is stuck in lockdown in Andorra and is unable to train outdoors as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Hamilton was in Italy when the coronavirus outbreak worsened worldwide, with Italy one of the most affected countries.
Hamilton quickly returned to Andorra, a small eastern European country between France and Spain, where he frequently spends time training at high altitude amidst his schedule as a professional cyclist.
"He was in Sicily when this all started," Lucas's father Bruce Hamilton told the Ararat Advertiser.
"He was training at Mount Etna, getting ready for a one day race and of course ultimately the tour of Italy (Giro d'Italia) this year.
"He was in really good form, training really hard and the whole team was there having a great old time.
"Then things went from bad to worse in Italy, so he went straight from Sicily back to Andorra."
Lucas lives at roughly 3,500 metres altitude in the mountains of Andorra, and often trains there for several months a year.
However the alps have provided little assistance during the pandemic, as the country enforces strict isolation and lockdown laws.
"He's not even allowed to go outside for training," Bruce said.
"He's up in the Alps, he said there's nobody there, but you have to have a letter from the government to even get on the street.
"So it's just a little bit of wind training and ergonomic and that sort of thing at the moment."
Bruce said Lucas had considered returning to Australia prior to the country banning international travel, but decided to stay in Andorra, with the hope of competition and training returning sooner than expected.
"Because they are sort of further down the track with it, he's hedging his bets that they'll come out of it sooner," Bruce said.
"Ideally for him would be if they let him back out training. At least he'd be able to train and at the moment that's most important for his mental health during all this."
Bruce said it was a shame for Lucas, 24, to miss out on a portion of his professional career due to the virus. Bruce however said it was important to keep things in perspective.
"Sportspeople in their prime are going to miss out on a year of their career," Bruce said. "It's a shame ... but missing a bit of sport for one year isn't the worst thing that can happen.
"There's always an upside everything has a silver lining, and that's the way Lucas is thinking anyway. We just have to get through it and I'm guessing that when we get out the other side, people are really going to appreciate the little things a lot more."
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