Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Performance Enhancers

Being a good descendant of the mudflats along the North Sea, my favored energy boost comes from Ostfriesland. I’ve got others in my arsenal: Clif Bars, various high-carb sport drinks, Pop Tarts (my brother turned me onto those), and Fritos and salted soy nuts to restore my sodium balance after a good run.

No blood samples in my fridge, I regret to say.

Although the folks who break the rules are sad and a little comical, it’s also important to remember not to jump too fast to judgment. A single blood test needs to be confirmed by backups. Part of a lab’s credibility lies in its ability to keep test results anonymous and confidential; when we hear about test results so quickly (and the first reports don’t come through Tour management or team spokesmen), it calls a lab’s impartiality into question. It doesn’t mean the test results are wrong, but hard-working riders deserve more reliable and professional testing if the Tour is going to be using provisional results to toss whole teams out of the race. Extreme punishment calls for extreme caution in coming to judgment. The folks who use illegal enhancers are despicable, but even the ones who ride in good faith have to live with a lab’s sloppy test results.

Should be a heck of a ride today in the Pyrenees. On the flat, it’s the same as the distance from Portland to Tacoma. But it includes a couple of rises, each greater than the climb you’d have from the shores of San Francisco Bay to the top of Mount Diablo. Then there are the smaller hills along the way . . .

1 comment:

CaliforniaGirl said...

I am glad to see that you use organic performance enhancers. The ones with funny chemicals in them are too scary.