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Fact or Fiction in Cycling Media?

Sometimes it’s a little hard to discern fact from fiction in professional cycling.  According to recent reports, Oliver Naesen caught severe bronchitis after Gent-Wevelgem as a result of being sprayed with champagne on the podium by winner Alexander Kristoff. Naesen and his team later said  that he was on a course of antibiotics, but that he would probably be ready for the Tour of Flanders a week later.  Apparently, he was then able to overcome what is considered to be a very contagious illness with the help of antibiotics and went on to net his best-ever result at Flanders and later a career second-best 13th place at Paris-Roubaix. There are several obvious things to unpack about this event – both in terms of the story itself, and the way it was shared by the sport’s media outlets.  First, bronchitis is typically caused by a virus. As seems fairly obvious, and as UAE Team Emirates...

Emergence of a New American Cycling Destination

Northwest Arkansas sits in a section of the Ozarks known as the Boston Mountains. These mountains are most dramatic at the southern end of the region, around Fayetteville, home of the University of Arkansas and one of the longest-running stage races in the U.S., the Joe Martin Stage Race. This stage race celebrated its 40th running last year and has grown to become an integral part of the USA Cycling pro tour and longest continuously accredited UCI pro race on U.S. soil. Head north through Springdale and Rogers towards the other major communities in the region and the landscape levels into an unexpectedly flat plateau. On the northern end of this plateau is Bentonville, and heading further north into Bella Vista is a range of rolling hills similar to the Ardennes in southern Belgium. The area offers a little bit of everything in terms of cycling conditions and challenges, and so it is...

Zwift’s eSports Play Could Win Big

The 2019 professional road racing season is well underway around the world, from the elite women’s and men’s UCI WorldTours, to national calendar pro racing, right down to local events. Races seem to start earlier and earlier each calendar year, especially with many events taking place in the southern hemisphere and Middle East – and the pace is as fast as ever. One reason for the fast start is the growing number of riders who live and train in warm weather climes during the off-season. But another facilitator could be the explosive growth of indoor stationary training platforms. Most time-stressed or weather-shuttered riders dread riding indoors, but a rapid evolution in technology and new products has transformed the indoor training landscape in just a few years. Zwift, in particular, has made a big push to expand the popularity of its platform and online racing products, and this...

Your Pre-season Heart Check-up List

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) in athletes is a rare but devastating event, often affecting apparently healthy competitors with previously undiagnosed cardiovascular disease. The typical victim has no suspicion that they are at risk, and prior to the event may have even felt that they were in peak form. Sports medical screening programs are designed to attempt to identify potential cardiac risks in individuals who exhibit no outward symptoms of heart problems. The goal of such screening is to encourage participation in sports but to do it with a reasonable level of caution so as to ensure the safety of the participant. Certain individuals, who may be at higher risk, can be identified, and specific treatment plans can usually be recommended to allow their safe participation in athletics. But unfortunately, the screening will also identify a small number of cases where competitive activity...

The All-Time Greatest Female Cyclists

Naming the greatest women in the history of competitive cycling seems like a tall order, because women’s cycling appears, at first glance, not to have much history. But in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Women have raced on bicycles since the 1800s, just like men, and each new generation has produced a fresh crop of legends. Unfortunately, and in contrast to men’s racing, the history of women’s cycling has a scattershot narrative, populated with important races that arrived, flourished for a few years and then vanished into the mists. (Remember the Ore-Ida Women’s Challenge? Le Tour de la Drôme?) Women’s cycling lacks the comforting continuity of men’s cycling, whose signature events — the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix, the world championship and Olympic road races — seem to have endured since the beginning of time. The women’s Tour de France debuted in 1984, the year of...