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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 28, 2021

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

The audiobook version of The Story of the Tour de France, Volume 1 is available.

If it's the Psychic Network why do they need a phone number? - Robin Williams

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:

Ag2r Citroën headed to GP Cycliste la Marseillaise

The team sent me this note:

The Ag2r Citroën riders headed to the Jan 31 race are:

“After two months of training during which my condition has improved over the weeks, I can’t wait to pin on a number. The camp in Spain went perfectly. We had very good weather conditions for two weeks. It was also a great opportunity to meet all the new teammates. This coming Sunday, for my second participation in the Grand Prix de la Marseillaise, we will have a homogeneous group mixed with climbers and puncheurs. Last year, Benoît Cosnefroy won, and I hope that we will now get the opportunity to take control of the final and decide the race, with hopefully a good result at the finish.” - AURELIEN PARET-PEINTRE

Ben Gastauer

Ben Gastauer. Sirotti photo

The number: 13
At 33, Ben Gastauer from Luxembourg is about to start his thirteenth professional season in the jersey of our team. Of all the riders on our team, he is currently the one who has been a member longest.

The news: Prodhomme’s premiere
Nicolas Prodhomme (23 years old) is the first neo-professional from our team to start in a race this year: "After a good training camp in Spain, I am happy to start my career at this opening race of the French calendar. I hope that I will be able to help the team.” For his part, Andrea Vendrame (professional since 2017) will also race the Bouches-du-Rhône event for the first time.

MPCC - Movement for Credible Cycling reports on 2020

The organization sent me this report:


The pandemic and its negative effects on the organization of doping controls this year make it more complex to interpret our credibility barometer, which we are presenting for the 7th consecutive year.

The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as many international federations confessed that they had not been able to carry out as many anti-doping tests as in previous years, especially regarding the “out-of-competition” tests. As a large number of events were cancelled or postponed (such as the Tokyo Olympics), the number of “in-competition” tests logically decreased as well. Therefore, it is no surprise to notice a significant drop in the number of publicly disclosed cases in 2020 compared to previous years: it went down by 18.6% compared to last year and by almost 30% compared to 2018 (all sports combined).

In such circumstances, the 113 cases revealed in athletics come as a surprise since this is the most doping cases ever recorded for the sport according to our barometer. Inversely, only 19 cases were sanctioned in baseball in 2020 compared to between 60 and 108 cases in other recent years for the US Sport. However, due to the pandemic, only 60 of the 162 scheduled MLB games have taken place, which may arguably be the main explanation.

Nonetheless, the United States still remains at the top of our ranking (for the 5th consecutive year), ahead of Russia, whose ban from all major events for the next two years was confirmed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in December. In Europe, Italy and the United Kingdom remain the two countries most affected by doping cases for the year 2020.

Generally, in large part due to the global pandemic, the sports that are usually the most affected by doping have seen fewer cases in 2020. This is notably true for cycling, which experienced a brutal year back in 2019, with a record of 32 revealed cases (more than double the previous year’s number).

In 2020, 18 procedures have been opened in cycling for high-level athletes (all disciplines and genres combined). Although this is far less than the previous season, the number remains significant given the context of a season shortened by several months and with a significantly lower number of tests.

Let us conclude this 2020 report with an encouraging figure: among the suspected doping cases, only 3 riders (men) belong to worldteams or proteams (there were 8 last year). Not since the creation of the WorldTour 15 years ago has this number been so low.

Supersapiens and Team Qhubeka ASSOS announce partnership

The team sent me this press release:

Supersapiens and Team Qhubeka ASSOS, Africa’s only UCI-registered WorldTour cycling team, are proud to announce they will be partnering for the 2021 race season.

Supersapiens, the first direct-to-consumer energy management ecosystem, utilizes the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, the first glucose sport biosensor designed specifically for athletic performance, to help the team manage their fueling strategies in training, racing, and recovery.

“Beyond the team’s incredible success over the last decade, we are inspired by their core mission — the Qhubeka organization’s vision to change lives through bicycles is in line with our own purpose,” said Phil Southerland, CEO and Founder of Supersapiens. “We’re thrilled to work with this team to incorporate feedback from these incredibly talented riders who will be utilizing our product at the highest level of the sport.”

For any athlete, energy management is key to success. With the Supersapiens app paired to the Abbott Libre Sense Glucose Sport Biosensor, Team Qhubeka ASSOS riders and staff will learn and train with real-time fueling data and powerful retrospective analysis tools. Continuous glucose monitoring will allow team riders to better understand their body’s individual fueling requirements, discover stable and sustainable fuel sources, dial in their pre-race glucose loading strategy, and maintain their optimal fuel ranges during races — allowing their body to put out it’s maximum effort without concern for running out of energy.

“Our team name Qhubeka means ‘to progress’ or ‘to move forward’ in Nguni,” said Doug Ryder, team founder and principal. “Not only will our team be focused on raising funds to purchase bicycles that will be used to improve lives, our partnership with Supersapiens also gives us new insight to better glucose management. This information and what we learn, will be shared with the company and improve performance for athletes around the world. All of this is true progression.”

Team Qhubeka ASSOS will also kick off an affiliate program with Supersapiens. Using this link, athletes in the eight countries where Supersapiens is available can purchase the ecosystems and a portion of the sales will support the team and their mission to improve lives via bicycles.

“We all know the consequences of poor fueling. Low or unstable glucose levels can cause an array of physiological and performance degradations, ranging from impaired judgment, to loss of power or speed, all the way down to completely depleted energy stores,” said Team Qhubeka ASSOS team sport scientist Elliot Lipski. “Working with Supersapiens will help us to train and race better as well as empower more athletes around the world to do the same.”

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