Archive for October, 2015

An interesting (and well written) article republished by RIDE Mag this morning on social media discussing the eating habits (disorders) of professional riders and whether this is healthy or a good example for younger riders.

When Sky implemented it’s liquid diet in the lead-up to Bradley Wiggins history breaking tour win some eyes were raised but it wasn’t really spoken about.  It was one of Sky’s famous 1%’ers and besides, methods of weight management/loss have been a part of the sport for decades, but generally kept as part of the omertà.  What are those wafers that some riders put under their tongue to suppress their hunger?

How skinny is too skinny for pros and juniors alike?

Speaking with a number of pros and ex-pros at the time, no one was shocked with Sky’s methods of managing their riders weight, with most suggesting it was probably just more ‘scientific’ than other teams/riders methods.  But one look at Wiggins (whom some people dubbed ‘Twiggo’) and Froome and Porte and it was plan to see they were walking a delicate tightrope of weight loss versus staying healthy.

I guess my question is what impact/influence does this look/regime have on young growing bodies?  When kids see their heroes doing it, do they also try and get skinny… and if they do, is it being monitored by professionals?  Unlikely.

I’m not saying it’s prevalent in junior cycling in Australia.  I can’t even think of an anecdotal example of seeing a kid get too skinny.  But weight is definitely something that young riders are aware of and discuss, especially in the lead-up to road season.  It’s ok to put weight on for track season, but the moment road season comes around it’s about losing those extra track kilos.

I guess this isn’t meant to be a scare mongering post, just a reminder for parents to be aware and to discuss weight and what your kids are eating and to make sure you get advice if you need it.  Here’s to happy and healthy cycling…

Another interesting article on this topic was published on CyclingTips a few years back.

Just a bit of an inconsistency that’s has been brought to my attention… an issue not so relevant to a lot of junior parents… yet; but it’s likely will be.

When does one age-category finish and another begin?  Is it the 1st of October for ALL disciplines or is that just for track?  I was of the opinion (after seven years in the sport) that come the 1st of October riders moved up a year – either to the next age-category or to the second-year of their existing category.  This is one of the confusing things about the sport for those new to it!  At any rate, seems I was wrong… at least in Victoria.

If I was in South Australia, Tasmania or even Queensland I would have been right… In NSW I would have been mainly right… but Cycling Victoria claim that the CA policy is that you only move up for track on the 1st of October and for road you don’t move up until the 1st of January of the following year.

And guess what… CV is right!  Although the policy is hard to find, it’s not in the Tech Regs but in the By-Laws (wait for the language, it’s hysterical!):

2.18.11  For summer track season competition, all members who are due to change category at the new membership year commencing 1 January of that respective season will compete in that track season in that higher age category from the commencement of that season, being 1 October.

So if that is the CA policy, why is CV the only state enforcing it?  Why are all the other states ignoring/disregarding this policy?  Can I opine that the way the other states are doing it… just makes more sense!  Perhaps they are using this CA by-law as justification:  A cyclist may compete in an event of a different age category, older category in the case of junior and younger category in the case of masters, provided such events are approved by CA or a Constituent Association.

The way this is written is even harder to interrupt: aren’t all events approved by CA or a Constituent Association (State Federation)?  Is it the cyclist who needs to ask for approval or does the event seek it on behalf of the cyclist wanting to ride up or down?   I know Cycling SA wrote to CA to seek approval for it’s graduating junior riders to be allowed to ride ‘up’ a year or so back – but that was for a specific group of strong under-17 riders requested back in 2012.

Personally, I’m ambivalent about what the policy is… AS LONG IT IS WELL COMMUNICATED AND CONSISTENT FROM STATE-TO-STATE.  Is that too much to ask?

I actually can’t see any justifiable reason for the age category not to change on the 1st of October for all disciplines.  Someone please come up with a good argument, I’d love to hear it.  It would avoid the confusion and play to the blurring of the line between road and track season.

No one can tell me it’s a health and safety issue – these riders are already pushing the big gears on the track (which has no gear limits).  Most of them are also already riding against the ‘big boys’ and have been for a number of years at the local criteriums – with a lot of the first-year 19’s (or top-year 17’s or whatever you want to call them?) already racing in A-grade.

This is such a ridiculous policy that while a graduating under-19 can’t race in C-grade at the Tour of Bright, on the same weekend they can fly down to Tassie and race shoulder-to-shoulder with Caleb Ewan and Michael Matthews in two criteriums.  That while they can race the MS Wollongong Crit as under-19 on the 1st of November, a few weeks later they’ll have to put their under-17 gear back on for the St Kilda Super Crit.  Madness!

Chris Froome racing in Tassie last year with a couple of first-year under-19's in the background! What an experience!

Chris Froome and Richie Porte racing in Tassie last year with a couple of first-year under-19’s in the background! What an experience for them!

Now I realise CA has had a bit going on over the past year or so and that reviewing this policy probably sits below sock-height in priority, but it should be an easy fix… or maybe it doesn’t need to be fixed, only interrupted consistently by state federations?

The only reason CyclingDad got involved in this was because other cycling parents asked the same question last year and were simply told: that’s the way it is… and that’s not a good enough answer IMO.  Love to hear your thoughts?