Somewhat related to the comments on the previous post…

 stolen from cyclingnews.com:  

MTB league bans caffeine for High School athletes

The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League, which recently released a new rule book for its 2008 racing season, is banning the consumption of caffeine at their competitions. The stance is motivated by concerns for high school athletes’ health, as well as in response to a tremendous surge of new caffeinated energy products and related marketing seen thus far in the 2000’s.

Over the past few years, the League has seen an increase in caffeine usage amongst its athletes; some even strategising with timed consumption of caffeinated products on the final lap of a race. This is a “performance-enhancement-based mentality” the League would like to nip in the bud.

There are also health-related concerns associated with teenagers’ caffeine consumption. Dr. Richard Stein, director of preventative cardiology at New York’s Beth Israel Medical Center and a representative for the American Heart Association said, “What five years ago was considered outrageous doses of caffeine is now well within the range of expected doses. We will soon find out the effects of prolonged usage in high doses starting at an early age. In the past, that’s always been a formula for poor health and mental outcomes.” The bottom line is that research has yet to demonstrate that a high amount of caffeine intake is safe for young people.

For Matt Fritzinger, League founder and director, “the conversation began when I was approached for the second time by ‘Brand X’. ‘Brand X’ said themselves that youth, originally, were not in their marketing plan – but that ‘Brand Y’ (a leading coffee shop franchise) changed their minds. The marketing representative made it clear, they wanted ‘product in hand.’ I realized this is a lot like the cigarette industry was; they get the free samples out there, and then they can count on a percentage of life-long addicts. Though less harmful than cigarettes, the strategy is the same.”

Fritzinger’ concerns were fuelled by a changing attitude within the racing scene. “Over the next couple years I spoke with many high school athletes and coaches,” he continued. “Some athletes admitted they were already ‘addicted’ to certain energy drinks, and I found that coaches were supportive of the ban.”

Although there cannot be a test for caffeine consumption in races, Fritzinger trusts the proper guidance of the athletes will ultimately bear fruit. “There have been questions about enforcement. It’s true that we do not have a test, but nor can we afford a test for steroids or EPO. However, we have a 3-to-1 ratio of dedicated adults working with the athletes, and with good coaching and education kids usually make the right decisions. On the other hand, those who try to get a boost, might get penalized if we find the wrong products during our random pocket-checks.”

Guarana Root, Taurine and Creatine have also been banned. The text of the entire rule book is available at www.norcalmtb.org/race/rules.htm

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I reckon this is a good call as some of the “energy” drinks out there are one small step from a caffeine enema.

DiLusional Goes Down

The readership has spoken and apparently I am not hating on dopers enough.  I stole the following from velonews.com.  You’ll have to go there to see his “cornholio” pose. 

I heard a story (from an eye witness) of him dropping to the back at 20k to go and polishing his shoes while his teammates pushed him so he would look good in the finish photos at the Giro a couple years back.  It turns out you CAN buy that kind of arrogance.

CONI seeks further ban of Di Luca

Di Luca faces an additional two-year ban, but has not tested positive.
Di Luca faces an additional two-year ban, but has not tested positive.
Officials at the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) requested Wednesday that Giro d’Italia champion Danilo Di Luca be banned for two years for an abnormal hormone test.The abnormal result – not a direct doping positive – was returned after the 17th stage of the Giro from Lienz in Austria to Monte Zoncolan on May 30.

“Anti-doping prosecutors have requested that the cyclist Danilo Di Luca be brought before a judge to answer accusations of doping, with reference to an abnormal result,” said a CONI statement.

CONI officials asked for the two-year ban in referring to article 2.2 of the World Anti-doping Code concerning the use or attempted use of banned substances or methods.

In Di Luca received a three-month suspension for alleged links to controversial Italian doctor Carlo Santuccione, who is the center of an ongoing investigation dubbed “Oils for Drugs,” which dates back to 2003. In December, Di Luca took his appeal against that suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Wednesday’s recommendation is not connected with the earlier suspension. Instead, CONI has recommended a two year ban, not for a positive drug test, but for abnormal hormone readings which are an indication of – but not direct proof of – the use of performance-enhancing substances.

As well as the 32-year-old Di Luca, Eddy Mazzoleni, Riccardo Ricco and former two-time Giro winner Gilberto Simoni were also tested that day.

According press reports, Di Luca’s results indicated an abnormally low level of hormones, akin to a child, suggesting that the cyclist was injected with water or saline solution after the stage.

Di Luca’s lawyer Federico Cecconi told Italian press agency Ansa that it was wrong to ask for the rider to be banned.

“This situation is not clear and the scientific results are not homogeneous: other than Danilo’s complete innocence, without wanting to turn this into an issue, how can you ask for a ban in a case such as this,” complained Cecconi.

Di Luca, who rode for Liquigas last season but has since joined the Swiss LPR team, has denied having been injected with anything at all.

Rocking and a Rolling and a What Not

“Truthfulness, Charity, Humility, Fearlessness, and Aversion to Fault Finding.  These are universal principles that can be tested by the observer to have enduring permanent worth”.

From the Ray Cappo Spoken Word CD

So, yeah, I’ve been a bit lax with the postings of late.  And again, I am trying to avoid whiny posts, so I am looking for light at the end of chunnel.

Some thoughts on Tour of California:

As much as it pains me to do so, I gotta say I am digging the Rock Racing kit.  It stands out.  Yes, I am giving it up to the “King of Pants”.  And yes, I stole that line.

On the other hand, the only way team Wide Load (High Road) could get any more plain looking is if they were BMC. 

At least BMC is attacking, however.  On that note, here’s hoping that today is the day that local superhero Louder gets to ride away by himself and get a 15 minute gap as that seems to be the BMC way thus far.

Cipo popping off a podium after two years in retirement and being 40+ is pretty sweet too.  His other option would have been to stay un-pro and race in socal.  He could win the 40+, 30+, and procrits (hahaha) all in one day and pay off his tax debts just the same.

-Sent via my crappy desktop at work.

My V.D.

So, I am a pretty lucky type dude.  Kelly went all out for Valentine’s Day.  I did nothing and she was not mad.  She understands that after working 10 hours, and having the 45 minute drive home, my priority is getting home and not stopping to buy flowers that will wilt and die in a few days.  Not that she doesn’t like flowers from time to time, but I think she would prefer having me home sooner for not having stopped.  Don’t get me wrong, there have been other years where I have done something and she has done nothing, and I have not been mad.  There have been years where neither of us have done anything and neither of us has been mad.  And there are lots of days that are not made up Hallmark holidays where one of us does something nice for the other without expecting anything in return.  That is how a relationship should work.

In any case, it was steak for dinner followed by “lava cake”.  If you don’t know what “lava cake” is, picture an individual size cake.  Looks pretty good already, right?  Okay, now poke it with your fork and notice that chocolate erupts forth like “liquid hot mag-ma”.  That is pretty much the key to my heart.

Hope You Have a Great V.D.

It’s good to see that my sense of humor has not changed a bit since middle school.

In local news, another huge snowstorm hit us last night into this morning.  Took me 2 hours to get home last night and 1.5 to get in today.  Trucks jackknifed everywhere.  Two days in a row that I have been over 12 hours door-to-door.  I’m no math major, but I believe that leaves me with very little “awake time” at home.  Boo f-ing hoo, as they say.

In world news, Asstana will not be making benefit glorious nation of Kazakstahn at the Tour this year.  I can see both sides.  I definitely feel for the riders who don’t have anything to do with what went on in the past and yet…If you want to see change, you can keep bringing back the old guard.

On that note, something tells me cyclingews.com may need to change the title of this story.

Anyway, keep an eye out for Cupid.  I find the whole imagery a little creepy to be honest.

cupid1.jpg         deadcupid.jpg

Thanks Sandy

Sandrosian just sent me this shot of me ripping it back in the day.  I am pretty sure it’s from the McLane Pacific Crit (RIP) in 2002.  I could be wrong about that, but the semi in the background makes me think I may be correct.  You can tell it’s early season as I’m on the infamous non-team matching NetZero bike, wearing NetZero socks, and NetZero helmet.  How come no one else is making a hurting face?

Also, notice the Jerker on the front.  We were teammates a month or so later.  Take note of the angle of his brake hoods!

merced.jpg