Blood is thicker than Coffee


There is a drug that pervades the peloton like no other. Almost every single rider administers it to themselves, usually several times a day. Cyclists are totally addicted to the extent that they can’t even fathom going for a training ride without taking it – sometimes a double dose, maybe even a triple.

But this drug has no need for omertà. This drug is legal. This drug is caffeine.

Caffeine can reduce fatigue, improve muscle contractibility and increase the time it takes to reach an exhausted state. It provides enough performance enhancement that it is currently being monitored by WADA as a substance which might be subject to abuse. We once saw a rider revolt during the 1998 Tour de France because of the indignities suffered by dopers being investigated. That protest largely consisted of the peloton sitting in the middle of a road. If WADA decided to ban caffeine, then we’d really see what a rider revolt looks like.

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So the 2011 cycling season is over and inevitably, the countdown has begun to the 2012 Tour Down Under in January.

Well, actually the 2011 season isn’t quite done yet. There’s a race called the Tour of Hainan currently taking place in China, where Ireland’s David McCann finished in 12th place on yesterday’s opening stage riding for the Giant Kenda cycling team. McCann actually finished second overall in this nine-stage race back in 2008.

There’s also the Japan Cup which takes place this coming Sunday. This is a hilly one-day race which has been won in the past by prominent riders such as Claudio Chiappucci, Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego.

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