Concept: Road cycling
This investigation examined the impact of Montmorency tart cherry concentrate (MC) on physiological indices of oxidative stress, inflammation and muscle damage across 3 days simulated road cycle racing. Trained cyclists (n = 16) were divided into equal groups and consumed 30 mL of MC or placebo (PLA), twice per day for seven consecutive days. A simulated, high-intensity, stochastic road cycling trial, lasting 109 min, was completed on days 5, 6 and 7. Oxidative stress and inflammation were measured from blood samples collected at baseline and immediately pre- and post-trial on days 5, 6 and 7. Analyses for lipid hydroperoxides (LOOH), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-8 (IL-8), interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-β), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and creatine kinase (CK) were conducted. LOOH (p < 0.01), IL-6 (p < 0.05) and hsCRP (p < 0.05) responses to trials were lower in the MC group versus PLA. No group or interaction effects were found for the other markers. The attenuated oxidative and inflammatory responses suggest MC may be efficacious in combating post-exercise oxidative and inflammatory cascades that can contribute to cellular disruption. Additionally, we demonstrate direct application for MC in repeated days cycling and conceivably other sporting scenario's where back-to-back performances are required.
Requests for medical assistance during an amateur road cycling race, which included 56,700 cyclists over 6 consecutive races between 2006 and 2011, were analysed with the aim of improving injury prevention and medical coverage. Medical assistance was requested by a small percentage of participants (1.7±1.0%), but the actual number seeking assistance was quite high due to the large total number of participants (162±51). 0.17% of all participants did not finish the race for medical reasons. No fatal injuries were recorded. The incidence rate of requests for medical assistance was 0.108/1000km, and the incidence of withdrawal was 0.011/1000km of the race. Of all medical requests, those due to direct trauma caused by falls accounted for 63%, requests for overload injuries accounted for 4% and requests for non-traumatic complaints accounted for 22% of the total; 11% of requests were not classified. Weather conditions may affect the type and the incidence of requests: requests for traumatic injuries increase if raining; requests for heat-related illnesses if hot. Prevention techniques are aimed at guaranteeing and promoting health and safety and should be implemented by both the race organisers and the cyclists.