Saturday, 2 January 2010

Living in the past.

The stake in your shorts is medium-rare !

This months Cycle Sport Mag highlights what the Italians have in their musettes.
Of course as part of the Cycling Weekly stable articles on food are no surprise, I firmly believe that the nations favourite weekly cycling magazine is positioning itself for a tilt at the slimming market, but I digress.
It seems that the Italians are pretty much old school, ride for an Italian team and you mid race feed will consist of a couple of cream cakes, a Mars bar and a bottle of water, occasionally there is a gel thrown in, but I suspect only if the swannies have found a few laying on the floor after the first feed.
The big question is why, I mean the benefits of Gels / Card/Protein mix drinks, energy bars etc etc are all out there for everyone to read, so why do supposidly 'professional' teams remain routed in the dark ages?
Well OK, maybe things aren't as bad as they used to be, I used to ride with a guy who grew up in Italy, his father told me that it was 'correct' for riders to have a little bottle of brandy in their back pockets and at the end of the race, knock it back to get a little extra gas for the sprint and you think modern sprints are crazy? Just imagine being in the middle of 50 pissed Italians all going full gas for the line. Apparently this was quite common across mainland Europe where each weekend thousands of bottles of cheap locally distilled fire water would be necked in an effort to emulate Darrigade and his chums.

As a coach poor mid race nutrition annoys me, but as a track coach poor race prep makes me apoplectic.
Turn up at any round of the world cup and indeed the world champs and you will see riders making their 200m efforts with a bog standard road helmet on their heads, WHY?
Which is more aero dynamic, a solid helmet, say a Casco Wrap, of a nice road helmet with plenty of nice head cooling slots that can trap the air and slow you down? The average road helmet can lose you 30 - 50 watts in your effort, so why not just start making your effort at 210 meters instead of 200, the effect will be the same, i.e. a complete waste of time.
All you need to do is look at who's currently using Casco Wraps on the track - GB, Aus, French & German sprinters. Now need I say any more, surely if you looked at that lot you might get the general idea that sticking a Wrap on your head could be worth while.

It seems that some teams are just being wilfully stupid here, why, when the research is out there, when the best in the world are doing it, would you continue to do what you've been doing for the last 120 years?

Time to stick a steak down your shorts for the race and have it medium rare at the dinner table that night.


Friday, 1 January 2010

At last - a way to stop dopers.

Pump up the juice.

You may or may not have caught up with the John Harty interview over on the mighty Bike Pure (and if you haven't - ).
But well worth a read, it really is.

In it Harty says
'The two main side effects of EPO are clotting (thrombosis) and high blood pressure. Of these the one we worry about daily is thrombosis. This happens as you administer EPO to the system, the number of red blood cells rise in the blood, and your blood effectively becomes thicker and more viscous, thus creating the conditions where the blood is likely to form clots.'

In other words take EPO and your blood turns to gloop. So surely that's the way to combat doping? Ditch all this 2 years bollox and make sure that caught dopes have a few months of extra EPO pumped into their systems - problem solved and what's more in these times of high unemployment it'll mean extra work for undertakers and grave diggers.

I will not use 'The Sky's the limit' as a headline, I will......

Oh dear, that young Wiggo Wiggins has left Garmin and moved over to the all new singin' n' dancin' team Sky.
Apparently there are bods out there who are outraged! Apparently the fact that Sky had money to burn and used it to buy one of the counties best bike races has been seen in some quarters a a terrible thing.
For God sakes, this cycling, since when has money not hold sway? Professional cycling was one of the first, if not the first, sports to sell it arse to the highest bidder?
As a sport we have NEVER had any qualms about buying and selling races for money. How many times has a potential traded a certain victory to a lesser rider on the promise of cold hard cash? Hundreds and bloody hundreds I can tell you.
How many times has one team bought the services of another in order to win a major stage race - plenty, or not, if you happen to be Peugeot and had Robert Millar in the lead of the Vuelta.

Suddenly there's supposed to be a shiny idealised past where races were won on pure athletic ability and nothing else - dream on.

A waste of newsprint.

This week I caught up with a couple of weeks of top quality cycling mags, well I caught up with Procycling, & Cycle sport, plent of time then over the holidasy to catch up with the doings of dopers.
Of course I read the interviews, I mean I enjoy getting myself worked up into a right old state when I could be doing something useful, like hitting myself over the head with a brick.
It was as I anticipated a total waste of time, it just confirmed the following:
Bernhard Kohl is a git
Basso is a twat
And Ricco just needs the living shite kicked out of him, on a regular basis, by a big crowd, all wearing steel caped boots.

Although out of all of this the mighty Cav became even more Mighty - Cav confessed that he want's to hit Ricco and who are we to disagree with the great Cavster? More power to his right hook I say.