Video: Cycling in group

Check this amazing video, from the 5th stage of tour d Swiss, taken from a bike camera during the last sprint:


Cycling: Video from our training

Alexandros brought his camera during our Sunday ride:

Giro 2014 Stage 1 TTT Team Garmin Dan Martin CRASH!

It had seemed April was the cruellest month for Daniel Martin but May held an even more vicious twist. Twelve days after the Irish rider lost victory in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège Classic with a crash on the final corner, his assault on the Giro d’Italia ended on Friday night before it had properly begun, when a pile-up in the team time trial on the streets of Belfast put him out with a broken collarbone. “So sad. Nothing to be done. Professional bike racing is cruel,” was the immediate verdict of his team manager, Jonathan Vaughters.

The crash came as his Garmin-Sharp team approached the final technical part of the course; in the slippery conditions caused by intermittent showers one of their number appeared to lose control of his front wheel on a manhole cover. Three more piled into the first faller and each other, sliding and rolling down the tarmac.

Nathan Haas, André Cardoso and Koldo Fernández picked themselves up in dribs and drabs but their team leader, Martin, was left sitting in the left-hand gutter clutching his right arm, a classic symptom of a broken collarbone. The team later said Fernández had suffered the same injury even though he finished.

The four who stayed upright had to slow down considerably to regroup into a pack of five — the time on the finish line being taken on the fifth man — waiting for Fabian Wegmann who had not fallen but had been tailed off, and the delay meant that they rode in last, 3min 25sec behind the stage winners, the Australian squad Orica-GreenEdge. It was a multiple whammy, because not only was Martin out and three others injured, but the upshot was a massive time loss for the team’s co-leader Ryder Hesjedal, the 2012 winner. “It was a nightmare,” said Hesjedal, who was in front of the pile-up. “It was pretty scary because you don’t know what’s going on.”

Orica had started as the overwhelming favourites for this stage, having won the equivalent leg in last year’s Tour de France and their Canadian, Svein Tuft, who finished last in the 2013 Tour de France, was permitted to be the first rider across the line in Donegall Square on his 37th birthday. He will wear the first pink leader’s jersey of the race for Saturday’s 219km stage out of Belfast and back via the Antrim coast road, Bushmills and Ballymena. “They gave me the gift, it was a birthday present,” he said. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a guy like me.”

With Orica lacking a serious contender for the overall standings, the two favourites who took most from this 22km opening stage were Rigoberto Uran of Colombia and Cadel Evans of Australia, last year’s second and third finishers. Only two seconds separated Uran’s Omega-Pharma Quickstep and Evans’s BMC but both gained time on the two strongest climbers, Nairo Quintana of Colombia and Joaquim Rodríguez of Spain. Quintana’s Movistar ended up eighth, 55sec behind Orica, losing 50sec and 48sec to Uran and Evans, while Rodríguez’s Katyusha squad dropped a further 28sec in a lowly 19th place. These are relatively small margins given the climbing yet to come but momentum matters, and for the moment it is on the side of Evans and Uran.

This was a deceptively hard test, sufficiently long that it needed to be taken seriously and with a strong breeze blowing from the very beginning, where the riders set off down the start ramp in front of the 126ft-high silver aluminium shard-clad walls of the Titanic centre, with the colossal yellow cranes of the Harland and Wolff shipyard to one side, and the river Lagan to the other. The crowds on the 21.7km course were immense, particularly on the lengthy section out and home down the Newtonards road, and up the short climb to the first time check after 7.9km, outside the Stormont assembly building.

Given the windy conditions, it was no surprise to see teams losing riders as early as the opening few minutes on the climb to Stormont. There were nervous mutterings and glances at the lowering skies throughout the evening, because a sudden downpour would mean that tyre pressures would have to be rapidly lowered. Shortly after the fifth of the 22 teams, Katyusha, set off, the breeze began swirling, the temperature dropped and the heavens opened, making every corner and white line on the road a potential pitfall.

To add to the difficulty, on the sequence of bends between the Ormeau Road and Stranmills Road, the crowds spilling on to the tarmac created a narrow corridor for the riders and made the corners and traffic islands nightmarish to read.

The conditions improved slightly for the later finishers, which worked in favour of Team Sky, who eventually placed fifth, Evans’s BMC and Uran’s Omega-Pharma Quickstep. For Martin, however, it was game over on day one.

Nutrition During Endurance Competition

Glycogen is the form in which carbohydrates are stored in our bodies and can be found in the liver and muscles.

Since the muscles have a greater overall surface area than the liver, a larger amount of glycogen (referred to as muscle cell glycogen) is stored there. Specifically, adults have about 2.6-3.5 ounces (75-100 grams) of carbohydrates stored in their liver glycogen and 10.6-14 ounces (300-400 grams) in their muscle cell glycogen. One of the processes taking place in the body of an athlete during an endurance race is that the stored amount of muscle cell glycogen can become twice as high as that of people who do not do sports.

In competitions that last over an hour, such as a marathon or triathlon, the glycogen reserve becomes exhausted, making nutrition during the competition an important factor. The stored glycogen (polysaccharides) is constantly broken down and converted into glucose (monosaccharides), which enters the bloodstream to produce energy.

For endurance competitions, the preservation of glucose levels in the blood is of the utmost importance. It is worth mentioning that the brain exclusively uses glucose as fuel, whereas the rest of the body can also count on fatty ac-ids and even proteins. Any kind of disturbance of these levels in the blood results in a decrease in brain function, with symptoms such as dizziness, moving difficulties, reeling, concentration problems, and even collapsing.

Remember the shocking finish of the supreme Swiss ATHLETE (the use of capital letters is for emphasis) Gabrielle Andersen in the marathon for women at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which is a characteristic example of hypoglycemia.

I will not go further into the field of biology and the processes that take place in the human body during workouts.

However, there are a couple of basic things that every endurance athlete should know and put into practice, in order to avoid hypoglycemia and, by extension, speed reduction or failure to finish an event.

1. Apart from the glucose that originates from the muscle cell glycogen and liver glycogen, isotonic drinks should be another important source of energy during endurance competitions of over one hour. These drinks contain not only carbohydrates in a fluid form, but also electrolytes, which the body loses upon sweating and which therefore have to be replenished. The ideal amount of carbohydrates in these drinks is 6-8%. Less than that is insufficient, while in a higher concentration they are absorbed more slowly, which can lead to stomach trouble. By means of training and participating in competitions of little importance, each athlete should experiment with these drinks and find the one that makes him tick. In my case, for example, during triathlons and half marathons, it works to drink half a glass of isotonic drinks every 20 minutes and one glass 15-20 minutes before the beginning of the competition.

2. Moreover, as I already mentioned, during long-distance com-petitions, the human body does not only use glycogen, but also fat and proteins for the production of energy; albeit in smaller amounts, especially towards the end of the race. Our bodies prefer the energy production from carbohydrates, since it is more efficient than that from fat (which is stored in our bodies more plentifully than carbohydrates). Apart from storing more glycogen, an endurance athlete’s body should be able to mobilize and utilize fat reserves more efficiently. In order to train your body to burn fat, you should add a weekly long-duration and low-intensity run (over 1:30 h) to your training schedule. This kind of training makes the energy production process more reliant on fat than on carbohydrates.

3. Another important factor is: as a rule, endurance athletes should have determined their tactic and the speed at which they will per-form during each race, based on their training experience. They should stick to their plan, and under no circumstances should they get carried away by faster athletes or a sense of overconfidence and increase their speed. Generally, you pay a big price for that kind of cockiness during a race, since he glycogen reserve is exhausted much faster that way. It is better to finish a race according to plan; there will be many other competitions in the future where you can go faster, if you plan it.

4. Endurance athletes have to make sure that their glycogen levels are at maximum levels on the day of he race. In order to do so, they should not tap into these reserves
during the last three days before the competition by training for hours. Their nutrition should have an increased amount of carbohydrates.

This article is a chapter of the book I have written: Triathlon: Loving it is easy.


What Parents Should Say as Their Kids Perform

By Tim Elmore

In my work at Growing Leaders, we enjoy the privilege of serving numerous NCAA and professional sports teams each year. After meeting with hundreds of coaches and athletes, I noticed an issue kept surfacing in our conversations. Both the student-athlete and the coach were trying to solve the same problem.  What was that problem?

The parents of the student-athletes.

kids perform

You may or may not believe this, but even in Division One athletics, parents stay engaged with their child’s sport, often at the same level they did through their growing up years. Moms will call coaches and advise them on how to encourage their daughter or son. Dads will call coaches and ask why their kid isn’t getting more playing time. Parents will call strength and conditioning coaches and inquire what they’re doing about their child’s torn ligament. Each of these calls is understandable. After all, no one has more at stake than the parent of a performer. They love their child, they’ve invested in their child and they want to see a “return on their investment.” Some athletes refer to their mom as their P.A. (personal assistant) or their agent. I know a mother who watches her collegiate daughter’s gymnastics practice behind the glass, all the while, calling and leaving voicemails for the coach on what should be done for her little girl. I even know sets of parents who moved into a condo across the street from their freshman athlete’s university. They didn’t want to miss a thing, and they certainly didn’t want to neglect to provide direction. I understand this. I am a father of two kids myself.

What we parents may not recognize is the pressure and angst this kind of involvement applies. May I tell you what student-athletes are telling me?

  1. I love my mom, but when she does this, I get the feeling she doesn’t trust me.
  2. My parents are great, but I feel like I have multiple coaches telling me what to do and I get stressed out over it.
  3. I’m getting blackballed by my teammates because my mother keeps texting me and my coach, to give suggestions. I wish she would chill.
  4. I feel like I’m never quite good enough; I can never fully please my parents.

Moving From Supervisor to Consultant

According to years of research on athletes, I believe parents have a more productive impact on their kids by making a change in their style. When our kids were younger, we played the role of supervisor. We were right there on top of the issues. And we should be—they were young and needed our support. As they age, parents must move to the role of consultant. We’re still involved, still supportive, but we allow our kids to grow up and self-regulate. When we fail to do this—we can actually stunt their growth. It’s a bit like teaching our kids to ride a bike. Remember this process?  First, we gave them a tricycle. The three wheels made it almost impossible for them to fall off, and they got used to peddling a vehicle. Then, they moved to a bicycle. It was bigger and had only two wheels. A little more scary. So we initiated them on that bike with training wheels. That prevented bad accidents. Eventually, however, we took the training wheels off, and our involvement became a tender balance of two ingredients: support and letting go. Did you catch that? Support and letting go.

What We Should Say When Our Kids Perform

The most liberating words parents can speak to their student-athletes are quite simple. Based on psychological research, the three healthiest statements moms and dads can make as they perform are:

Before the Competition:                                    After the competition:

  1. Have fun.                                                    1. Did you have fun?
  2. Play hard.                                                    2. I’m proud of you.
  3. I love you.                                                    3. I love you.

Six Simple Words…

For years, I wondered what the student-athlete would say about this issue. After decades of work with athletes, Bruce E. Brown and Rob Miller found out. They suggest six simple words parents can express that produce the most positive results in their performing children. After interacting with students, they report:

College athletes were asked what their parents said that made them feel great, that amplified their joy during and after a ballgame. Their overwhelming response:

“I love to watch you play.”

That’s it. Those six words. How interesting. How liberating to the parent. How empowering to the student-athlete. No pressure. No correction. No judgment. (That’s the coach’s job). Just pure love of their child using their gift in competition.

When I learned this, I reflected on the years my own kids competed in sports, recitals, theatrical plays, and practices. Far too often, I wanted to play a role that added more stress to their life. Instead, I now realize—I just need to love them. And to love watching them play.

From a parent’s view—this is the best way to cultivate an emotionally healthy kid

– See more at:

Video: Is this the greatest overtaking manoeuvre in the history of cycling?

During the craziest fourcross race ever at JBC 4X Revelations Michal Marosi did something unbelievable! Crashed hard on a pro section, got back on his bike and passed rest of the riders on wallride!

When a triathlete is pregnant

Our friend Emesse, member of Cyprus Triathlon National Team is pregnant. This is her echo:

Emesse Meszaros echo