• Astana pro cyclist Davide Martinelli is delivering supplies to the vulnerable including the elderly in his home town of Lodetto during lockdown (Davide Martinelli/Instagram)Source: Davide Martinelli/Instagram
Astana pro cyclist Davide Martinelli is putting his cycling skills to good use in his small Italian home town, delivering vital food and pharmacy supplies by bike to the vulnerable, including the elderly.
Cycling Central

3 Apr 2020 - 11:29 AM  UPDATED 24 Apr 2020 - 3:57 PM

At around 1,500 people, the village of Lodetto - in the hard coronavirus-hit Lombardy region - has no pharmacy or grocery store. For vital supplies, residents must journey to nearby Rovato.

But this is just not possible for many of Lodetto's vulnerable citizens, especially the elderly during the coronavirus induced lockdown. 

Enter Astana cyclist Davide Martinelli. Armed with a backpack and a face mask, Martinelli is riding around town delivering pharmacy and food supplies to the people who can't leave Lodetto.  

Organised by his cousin Stefano and a group of other "Lodettesi boys," the Italian jumped at the chance to help out.  

"Over the years I have received so much from my community," Martinelli posted on Instagram. "But I have hardly had the opportunity to repay it because of the life that often leads me to be away from home.

"Inside me I think: it is my chance to make myself useful and repay the many people who have always supported me over the years, and to help those who need it right now."

Martinelli said it was his "honour" to collect and deliver medicines for the elderly and to see first hand the difference it makes to their lives when he hands over the supplies.   

"I am the happiest man in the world, cycling is beautiful, everything is beautiful, but being useful to others is priceless."

Teams ask pro cyclists to take pay cuts  

The joy Martinelli feels from making a valuable contribution like this to the fight against the coronavirus will hopefully go some way to cushion the blow of Astana's reported pay cuts. On top of reportedly not paying wages  in January and February, Spanish news outlet AS says Astana management is also asking riders to accept a pay cut of around 30 per cent over the next three months in order to survive the pandemic. 

Lotto Soudal lose 25 staff, riders take pay cut
The cancellation of racing due to the coronavirus pandemic has left 25 Lotto Soudal staff members unemployed and the team's riders and other staff with a pay cut.

This echoes the arrangements made by Lotto Soudal, Bahrain-McLaren and possibly soon, the CCC pro team.

Cyclingnews reports Bahrain-McLaren asked their riders to take a 70 per cent pay cut and Greg Van Avermaet has expressed his willingness to do something similar after his team's Polish title sponsor CCC revealed their financial struggles amid the coronavirus pandemic.