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Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of Global Cycling Network. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.
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A report recently issued by an independent agency working on behalf of Cycling Canada found that there is no overarching doping program in the country, but that the nation should increase its efforts to build a better educational platform to discourage the use of performance-enhancing drugs regardless.
The report, entitled “National Consultation on Doping Activity in the Sport of Cycling,” looked at several areas of sporting ethics, such as the culture of cycling and PEDs, decision making, and testing. Ultimately it found that though there were isolated cases of PED use, those decisions were not part of a national culture of PED use in elite cycling.
“We are pleased to hear that the report confirms that there is no ‘culture of doping’ in Canadian Cycling,” said Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer of Cycling Canada, in a release. “We have been very clear in the past that Cycling Canada does not tolerate any athletes who try to cheat on their way to better performances. … We believe that it is possible to win at Olympic Games, world championships, or any other international or national events without the use of any doping agents.”
The findings come after a high frequency of confessions from riders from North America to using PEDs, via the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s (USADA) “reasoned decision.” The USADA report and investigation centered around Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service team.
Canadians Ryder Hesjedal, Michael Barry, Seamus McGrath, and Chris Sheppard admitted to using PEDs. In an excerpt from his autobiography, “Yellow Fever,” Dane Michael Rasmussen said he taught Hesjedal, McGrath, and Sheppard how to use EPO before the 2003 world mountain bike championships. Barry admitted to using PEDs in his time on Postal.
“I thought to keep competing and be ‘professional,’ I had to do it. Looking back, of course I know it was wrong — it was stupid and wrong. I had the best results of my career well after I stopped doping. When I was doping, I was trying to show I was professional, to ‘be professional.’ At the time I thought it was just something I had to do. I was wrong,” Hesjedal wrote in an email.
Of the 64 people contacted to give information to the Canadian report, 32 interviews were conducted, largely with riders. Twenty-one people did not respond, seven declined, and four were unreachable. The consultants also note that one “important” subject has recently agreed to an interview; that information shall be released later.
The report does not included names and largely serves as an anecdotal, however thorough, examination. While it isn’t groundbreaking by any means, it does shed light on the prevailing culture of silence. As an example, an “interviewee testified to having been approached by an American teammate who was pushing tramadol, a prohibited substance. This interviewee also witnessed a suspicious situation involving another American teammate. In 2012, the interviewee found a syringe in this person’s shoe. Upon making this discovery, the interviewee confronted the teammate, who admitted to using EPO. As far as the interviewee knows, this athlete never tested positive.”
Interviewees also said suspicious situations should see immediate investigation by anti-doping authorities once reported. “However, the interviewees never reported their concerns to the sporting authorities,” the report reads, also noting it’s “easier” to acquire PEDs in Europe than North America.
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Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling) set a new world hour record in Aigle, Switzerland at the UCI’s 200-meter track, riding 51.852 kilometers.
Jens Voigt set the previous record on September 18, riding 51.11 kilometers at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland. However, it only took 42 days for Brändle to ride his way into the record books ahead of the now-retired German veteran.
“Now I feel really great, but during the race it was so hard,” said Brändle. “I knew after 30 minutes that I was going to succeed. The first minutes were easy and then I wanted to go a lot faster. Halfway through, things became more complicated and I started to feel pain.”
“I’m 43 years old — there had to be one young rider who could take me on!” said Voigt.
Though he has minimal track experience, Brändle pushed through a difficult final 10 minutes to set a new best mark.
“It started in September with tests in the wind tunnel, and we made the first tests on the track before the Tour of Lombardy,” said Brändle. “Of course I’m optimistic. If you say you don’t have a good chance, you will not do it.”
Interest in the hour record was revived after the UCI revised hour record rules to allow pursuit-style bikes
“It’s been absolutely wonderful,” said UCI president Brian Cookson. “It sounds easy enough riding for one hour as hard as possible around a track, but once you get beyond 30 or 35 minutes, you’re riding through a sea of lactic acid. … [Today's ride] is another notch a bit further, but it’s not out of reach. We’ve seen a really worthy record tonight, a world-class performance.
“It’s exactly what we hoped would happen when we modernized the rules and allowed a modern pursuit-type bike. It’s exactly what we wanted to happen. We have a great older rider at the end of his career [Voigt], and now we have a younger rider very much at the beginning of his career.”
Early in the ride, the Austrian was already ahead, reaching the 5km mark after 5:49.
After 10km, the 24-year-old’s time was 11:32.027, ahead of Jens’ 12:01.336 split.
Brändle continued to extend his advantage, clocking 17:16.636 at 15km.
He had a 28-second advantage over Voigt at the at 20km mark.
Halfway through the ride, he’d gone 26km just short of 30-minute mark, on target for his goal of 52 kilometers at the end of an hour.
Brändle’s 30km split was 34:31.782, which was 1:01 ahead of Voigt’s split.
The young Austrian’s performance was steady, and when he reached the 40km mark, his average was still over 52kph, and his split was 46:07.930, 1:08 faster than Voigt at that point.
About 50 minutes in, he started to waver, and his average went below 52kph. His cadence dropped, and he began to struggle to hold the black line at the base of the track.
“I had a difficult period in the middle of the race,” he said. “But, it’s like as close as the [end of the] hour comes, the easier it goes.”
He fought through the dark final minutes and beat Voigt’s mark, but just barely, with about 42 seconds remaining in the hour.
“I’m really happy about it,” said the new world champion. “It’s really hard, and I was really on my limit.”
“I know what it’s like to be out there for one hour and it’s an achievement in itself! Bravo!” Voigt said to VeloNews via email. “He beat my record by quite a lot, actually. … You need to go through a wall of pain, and lactate, and he did great.
“I’m absolutely happy that I had the record for a while. It felt great. I was the first to re-launch the event, so I’m proud of that too. What happened today, as painful as it is, is normal. It was clear that my record wouldn’t stand. Our event was a great success and we knew we would inspire other riders and technical sponsors to give it a try. I was hoping to keep my record until Christmas maybe, but this is fine. I’m happy for him! Onwards now.”
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- WTT: 10-speed X9 rear der for modern cranks
Great condition X9 10 speed non-clutch rear der I got from someone on the board. I need cranks more than an upgrade to 10 speed. Let me know what you have. Outboard bearing Double preferred,