"Every athlete has a right to clean sport." (WADA)
Yes I have indeed been ignoring the blog. Things have been pretty quiet on the doping front, except for Astana of course, but who gives a crap about third world country cycling teams anyways.
As I was recently trying to dissuade another rider from using his power meter recently, a thought came to mind about numbers, and cycling gadgets in general. I was thinking about the changes that cycling coaches have had to make over the last decade or so in regards to training high level athletes.
I've never had a coach, but I can assume there is a pretty tight relationship between a high level cyclist and his/her coach. More to the point, I would be inclined to think that the coach of a rider that started an "Enhancement" program would be one of the first people to see the red flags flying that something was amiss.
Just imagine the coach watching the athletes' power numbers over a given period of intense training and waiting to see that rider tire out and need some rest, only that day never comes. Imagine going back in time, say to the early 90's. A coach gives out what he thinks is a rigorous training regimen, only to have the doped up rider say that he needs more.
Hopefully we have reached an age where most coaches have had to scale back the programs, to a more human level. I really wish I could believe this, but as you know I am far more skeptical than most. Unfortunately my skepticism has been validated over and over again in this area.
Its no secret that the masters racing in the US is problem. Guys my age just shouldn't be stomping on guys in their 20's on a regular basis. What I have learned about myself is that I can have a few good races a year where I still feel competitive, and when I have a day like that it is a precious gift. But the era of feeling good from April till October is long gone for me. I need far too much recovery time now.
Despite this, I have decided to do some road racing this year. Yes, that is correct, I said road racing. I figure I will have to be traveling with Gillian anyways so I might as well mix it up a little bit too. I've got the 1986 Paisley frame built up again, and she is a svelte sub 21 pounder now. The only decisions now is to which class should be slower for me, the Cat 3s or the masters?