Robbie McEwen’s superb cycling career earns him Queensland hall of fame status

Robbie McEwen AM always strove to “get better” during his stellar cycling career. And if he couldn’t do that, he was satisfied that his hard work ensured he wasn’t getting any worse.

One of six 2020 inductees into the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame, McEwen is one of just eight riders to win the Tour de France green jersey – awarded to the race’s best sprinter – more than twice and the only one of the eight from the southern hemisphere.

“There’s a lot of people with talent, but I think the key is determination and perseverance because you get knocked down a lot, you lose more than you win, and it’s about being able to come back from any setbacks and keep moving forward,” Brisbane-born, Gold Coast-based McEwen said.

“It’s about never stopping learning about your own sport and never stop trying to improve on every little aspect of it.

“That was what I always tried to do – just always try to keep getting better.

“You’re obviously not going to always keep getting better, but if you’re trying to, you can at least stay where you are.

“There’s that old cliche … it’s one thing getting to the top, it’s even harder staying there.”

In cycling’s most famous race, McEwen “stayed there”, riding the TDF 12 times for 12 individual stage wins and green jersey triumphs in 2002, 2004 and 2006.

“If I had to pick one performance as a highlight it would be winning in the green jersey on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, my first green jersey,” he said.

“For a sprinter, that’s the holy grail.

“It’s one thing getting to Paris, but winning on the Champs-Élysées and getting it in the green jersey, for me, it couldn’t get any bigger or better than that.

“That’s one I’m super proud of. That was the ultimate. I had some big moments after that, but that’s the one that tops the rest.”

Other achievements the BMX champion-turned-road cyclist accomplished included a 2002 world championship road race silver medal and representing Australia at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics.

“During your sporting career you’re not thinking of things like hall of fames, but post career, eight-and-a-half years after retiring, it’s a really huge honour to be inducted into the Queensland sporting hall of fame,” said McEwen, already in the Sport Australia and Cycling Australia hall of fames.

“This really nice recognition of my career and also for everyone else that’s been involved in my career and helped get me to where I got in this sport.”

Now 48, McEwen remains involved with the sport by organising a mass participation recreational ride on the Gold Coast and training juniors.

Among his messages to young riders is to have fun and never give up.

“It’s so easy to get down and get discouraged, but just back yourself and keep working hard,” McEwen said.

The other 2020 Queensland Sport Hall of Fame inductees are Roy Fowler (Paralympics), Barry Dancer (hockey), Pam O’Neill (horse racing), Dick Marks (rugby union) and Brooke Wilkins (softball).

Fowler, a professional boxer at 14, a drover during the Great Depression, a gunner in the Australian Army and a professional wrestler, was 42 in 1963 when he suffered a brain haemorrhage that left him a quadriplegic.

But a year later, he won three Paralympic gold medals in swimming and a silver in archery.

Overall, Fowler won 10 Paralympic medals, including three more gold medals – in lawn bowls.

He won more than 100 medals in national and international competition before his death in 2002, aged 82.

Ipswich product Dancer coached the Kookaburras, Australia’s men’s hockey team, to their first Olympic gold medal in 2004, two Commonwealth Games gold medals, two Champions Trophy triumphs and Olympic bronze in 2008.

O’Neill had racing in her blood but had to wait until she was 34 to be granted a jockey’s licence in May, 1979 after a long struggle for women to be accepted as hoops.

In her maiden meet against men, she produced a winning treble – a world record

for any first-time jockey.

Marks played 51 matches for the Wallabies, captained them in 1967 and was also Queensland’s skipper in the 1960s.

He was appointed inaugural national coaching director in 1974 and remained in the role until 1995.

Pitcher Wilkins represented Australia 197 times and, from 1994 to 2004, played at three world championships and three Olympic Games for a haul of two silver and three bronze medals.

Wilkins was inducted into softball’s international hall of fame in 2013.

Source link

4 Common Questions About Carb Cycling

If you didn’t know, carb cycling is an effective way to burn off fat and build lean muscle while using an intermittent diet approach that focuses on high and low carb switching. The reason for this switching is to keep the metabolism up-regulated. Being on a low carb diet, although very effective, can end up down-regulating the body’s metabolic responses, especially if the diet is low in calories, too! In a previous post, I discussed the “how-to” in this post, and now I’m answering four common questions about carb cycling.

1. Should High Carb Days Be On Heavy Lifting Days?

Although most people will choose to have their high carbohydrate days on the days they perform their most heaviest lifting, it’s not necessary. In fact, you might get better results if you perform your high days on the day prior to your workout.

Why? Well for one, if you want to make the most benefit out of the carbs your eating, you will want to make sure you have the most glycogen loaded in your muscles available. If you’re ingesting a high amount of carbs on the same day you lift heavy, depending on when you lift you may not get in all those carbs. Allow for proper digestion for glycogen replenishment to occur.

Tip: Depending on how depleted you are, consider having a few high carb meals prior to your training to allow for a steady supply of glucose to your muscles. Remember, nutrient timing is not as important as once thought; eating majority of your carbs prior to your workout will be sufficient enough to maintain an anabolic response even after your workout! So load up, and choose to perform your workout later in the day, or the day after your load first thing in the morning.

2. Should High Carb Loading Be Completed With Simple Carbs?

Traditional carb cycling diets recommended eating simple carbs like white potato and white rice on those days where you perform a high carb day. If you want to guarantee that you’ll feel hungrier and have increased cravings on high carb days, this is a good way to do it! Simple carbs are digested quickly and easily by the body, giving rise to a quick rise in blood glucose, while also stimulating insulin release. This insulin surge quickly clears the blood from sugar and re-adjusts blood glucose back to normal. This can result in an energy crash, fatigue and an insatiable desire to eat more sugar.

In one study on trained cyclists, it was found that a low-glycemic carbohydrate meal of lentils was shown to significantly improve endurance and time to fatigue versus a high-glycemic meal of potatoes eaten one hour prior to exercise. The lentil meal produced less hyperglycemic and less hyperinsulinemic response before exercise and maintained blood glucose and maintained higher free fatty acid levels during exercise. This means that less glucose was being oxidized and more fat was being burned, allowing for longer, more intense workouts!

Tip: Simple carbs may provide a quick hit of energy, but that energy is short-lived and can result in feelings of hunger, but also fatigue that can cut your workouts short. Opt for complex carbs on both low and high days to provide you with more sustained energy, more intensity for your training and even greater fat burning! Use whole grains, beans, legumes, squashes, sweet potato, fruit and vegetables with stalks like kale, broccoli and cauliflower!

3. Should My Calories Remain the Same on Both High and Low Days?

If your goal is weight loss, you must create a calorie deficit in order to lose weight and burn off fat. So whether you’re on a high or low carb day, you’re calories will remain the same. Cycling of carbs is a focus on macronutrient ratios. not calories. A calorie deficit of at least 500 calories per day is necessary in order to have weight loss; this is 3,500 calories over the course of one week. Your macronutrient ratios on low carb days should be in the range of 50 percent protein, 20 percent or fewer carbs, and about 30 percent or more fat. On high carb days, this range can switch to 50 percent or more carbs, about 30 percent protein, and about 20 percent or less fat depending on your food choices.

Cycling calories is possible as well during a carb cycle, but it might be challenging— consider that on a fat loss diet, your calories will already be at a minimum. Lowering them more to give rise for more calories on a high day could result in a diet meltdown if you’re not careful. Also, too little calories can have the reverse effect on your fat burning!

Tip: Instead of cycling both calories and carbs, choose to do one or the other. If it gets too much to be so strict with your calories and your carbs, instead of cycling, consider doing one re-feed day per week that uploads both calories and carbs. Opt for a calorie increase of about 10 percent, and use the high carb day macro-ratios above. This will give you some satisfaction one day per week, while still being an effective diet for fat burning.

4. What Should I Eat On High and Low Days?

What you eat on either day shouldn’t change that much or be that much different from any other fat-loss diet focused on building or maintaining muscle. On low and high carbohydrate days, consider using some of the following:

Natural Whey Protein
Extra Lean Ground Beef
Whole Eggs
Non Fat Greek Yoghurt
Non Fat Cottage Cheese
Sweet Potato
Brown Rice
Green Vegetables
Sweet Potatoes
Green Apples
Natural Nuts
Natural Nut Butters
Olive Oil
Coconut Oil
Flaxseed Oil

Tip: Any diet you use needs to be full of the good stuff— the fresh wholesome, natural foods and free from the processed foods. Being on a carb cycle should not be an excuse to have a high carb day filled with junky carbs! Instead focus on the ratios of the food you’re eating.

Thomas DE, et al. Carbohydrate feeding before exercise: effect of glycemic index. Int J Sports Med. 1991. 12(2): 180-6.

Source link

Marne Fechner leaves netball for cycling

Marne Fechner has quit as Netball Australia CEO to take up a similar role with cycling’s new national body.

Fechner will leave her NA post at the end of the year to become inaugural CEO of AusCycling, the new national organisation representing all cycling disciplines.

“Australian cycling has a proud tradition, but has also taken brave and future-facing steps to streamline its governance,” Fechner said.

“I’m honoured to lead a team that will drive evolutionary change for this sport.”

AusCycling chairman Duncan Murray said Fechner – who was NA boss for three and a half years – was an “ideal leader” for Australia’s biggest participation sport.

“During her tenure at Netball Australia, Marne more than doubled revenue, grew the professional league, and led substantial organisational redesign and cultural change,” Murray said.

“In Marne, we have found a world-class operator to unlock cycling’s potential. She will be fabulous, and we are very excited.”

Fechner was proud of her NA achievements, which included the recent commitment to increase the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander athletes at netball’s elite levels.

“Our work in partnership with netball’s member organisations, Suncorp Super Netball clubs, our amazing athletes and passionate broadcasters and sponsors is at the core of what we do,” she said.

“Netball’s heartbeat lives in the thousands of volunteers and participants in communities around the country and I’ve been privileged to meet and work alongside so many wonderful people through a shared passion for the sport.”

Fechner’s interim replacement at NA will be Ron Steiner, who has previously had leadership roles in cricket and rugby union.

Steiner does not want the CEO role long-term, with NA to next year start searching for a permanent replacement for Fechner.

Source link

Cycling: Groenewegen gets nine-month suspension for crash with Jakobsen

FILE PHOTO: Cycling – Tour de France – The 230-km Stage 7 from Belfort to Chalon-sur-Saone – July 12, 2019 – Team Jumbo-Visma rider Dylan Groenewegen of the Netherlands celebrates winning the stage. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

November 11, 2020

(Reuters) – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) on Wednesday suspended Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen for nine months for causing a crash that resulted in compatriot Fabio Jakobsen being placed in a medically induced coma in August.

Groenewegen, who rides for the Jumbo–Visma team, was jostling for position with Jakobsen in the final metres of the first stage of the Tour of Poland when the pair came together.

Jakobsen, 24, crashed into the barriers and collided with a race official. He was taken to hospital and underwent facial surgery while Groenewegen was disqualified.

“The UCI referred (to its disciplinary commission) the case against the rider, who acknowledged that he deviated from his line and committed a violation of UCI regulations,” cycling’s governing body said in a statement.

“The rider collaborated with the investigation and accepted to serve a period of suspension until May 7, 2021, corresponding to a period of nine months from the date of the incident.”

Jumbo–Visma said they were relieved that there is now perspective and clarity.

“It was a crash where the severity of the consequences was unfathomable. Now that the disciplinary case has been concluded, we can start looking forward again. We will do that together with Dylan,” the team said in a statement.

Groenewegen said the crash would “forever be a black page in my career.”

“During the sprint I deviated from my line. I’m sorry, because I want to be a fair sprinter,” he said.

“The consequences were very unfortunate and serious. I’m very aware of that and I hope this has been a wise lesson for every sprinter. I follow the news of Fabio’s recovery closely. I can only hope that one day he’ll return completely.”

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra)

Source link

Cycling: UCI announces 2021 Track Champions League

FILE PHOTO: Cycling – 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships – Men’s Keirin Semifinals – Berlin, Germany – February 27, 2020. Malaysia’s Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, Japan’s Yudai Nitta, France’s Rayan Helal, Great Britain’s Jack Carlin, Matthijs Buchli of the Netherlands and Germany’s Stefan Botticher in action. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

November 5, 2020

LONDON (Reuters) – Six iconic velodromes will host the inaugural UCI Track Champions League next year as part of cycling’s governing body the UCI’s revamp of the season.

First announced in March as a World League taking place in 2021 and 2022, the new format will instead be staged over six successive weekends at the end of next year.

The UCI, in partnership with broadcaster Eurosport, hope the Champions League featuring the world’s best sprint and endurance riders will help expand track cycling’s global TV fanbase outside of its traditional following.

“From November to December 2021, the UCI Track Champions League will bring together the world’s best sprinters and endurance specialists over six closely spaced weekends in short formats,” UCI President David Lappartient said in a statement.

“The new track competition promises to bring a breath of fresh air to a historic discipline of our sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Each of the six events at as yet unspecified venues will last around two hours and feature four disciplines for men and women — individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and scratch race.

The nine best-placed riders in individual sprint and keirin, as well as all medallists of bunch races at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Turkmenistan in October will gain selection for the UCI Champions League.

Athletes will be kitted out in jerseys inspired by their national flags, while the reigning world champions for the events will wear rainbow jerseys.

British sprint king Chris Hoy and German track great Kristina Vogel will act as ambassadors for the new event.

“The vision is an exciting one: to create a race that is not only going to be an amazing sporting spectacle, but that will draw track cyclists from across over the world to take on the ultimate high stakes challenge,” two-time Olympic champion Vogel said.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)

Source link

Safer cycling paths ‘desperately’ needed on the Tasman Bridge, advocates say

Safer cycling paths are “desperately” needed on Hobart’s Tasman Bridge, Tasmania’s Bicycle Network says.

A woman in her mid-40s, who was cycling from the western shore to the eastern shore on the bridge on Thursday morning, came off her bicycle and was taken to hospital with what police described as significant head injuries.

The cause of the accident is still being investigated, but it has led to renewed calls for safety improvements.

“Those paths on the bridge are extremely narrow … we desperately need safer paths.”

Alison Hetherington from Bicycle Network Tasmania says safer cycling paths are “desperately” needed on the Tasman Bridge.(ABC News: Mitch Woolnough)

The State and Federal governments last month announced $65 million for safety improvements to the Tasman Bridge, including widening the paths for pedestrians and cyclists.

Ms Hetherington said the announcement was welcome, but the widening of the paths “needs to be a priority”.

“What we really need are wider paths, and we need protection from the traffic lane.

She said the height of the barrier between the path and the traffic lane was about handlebar height.

“[That’s] very nerve-racking when you’re riding a bike because your handlebar could easily clip the railing and make you fall off your bike.

“I’m not saying that’s what happened this morning, but it’s a fear that a lot of bike riders have,” Ms Hetherington said on Thursday.

She said obstacles, such as maintenance gantries which jut into the path, also need to be removed.

Tasmania Police Inspector Brett Berry said the woman came off her bicycle on the eastern end of the bridge just before 10:00am on Thursday.

“The lady was travelling from the western shore to the eastern shore and the entire incident occurred on the footpath or the cycling pathway on the downhill slope towards Montagu Bay,” Inspector Berry said.

Inspector Berry said critical care paramedics and police arrived on the scene quickly, and the woman was taken to the Royal Hobart Hospital for treatment.

“It’s my understanding that she has significant head injuries,” he said.

Police officers examining the scene of a crash involving a bicycle on the Tasman bridge
Police officers at the scene of a crash involving a bicycle on the Tasman Bridge.(ABC News Joanne Enno)

Inspector Berry said it was too early to speculate on the cause of the accident.

“There’s no suggestion also of any other cyclist being involved in this; it’s a single person accident, it’s very unfortunate, and our thoughts are with the family and the cyclist,” he said.

“The helmet that the lady was wearing today did appear to be of good quality and she was wearing it so there’s nothing to suggest that there’s any issues there in terms of her wearing appropriate safety equipment.”

While the cause of this accident remains under investigation, Inspector Berry issued a general warning to cyclists using the Tasman Bridge.

“I would remind cyclists to be vigilant on the bridge … it’s an exposed location, the bridge is elevated, we all know that it’s subject to high winds on occasion, so people just need to be careful when they’re using the bridge as a cyclist.”

Two eastbound lanes were closed for more than two hours while the scene was cleared and police investigated.

Traffic jam on the approach to the Tasman Bridge on the Tasman Highway in Hobart
Traffic delays on the Tasman Highway after a crash involving a bicycle.(ABC News: Naomi Jackson)

Source link

South Australia’s Tour Down Under cycling race cancelled because of coronavirus pandemic

The Tour Down Under has become the latest South Australian event to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organisers blamed uncertainty around international border conditions and quarantine requirements when they announced last night that the cycling event, which was scheduled for January, would not go ahead.

They said those measures were a major challenge in bringing international cycling teams to South Australia.

SA Health and SA Police had both been in talks with organisers to allow international riders to quarantine and continue training, but were unable to reach a suitable compromise.


“The complexities and risks involved with quarantining and international border closures have ultimately proved too much to ask of some of the teams, who have endured a stressful, challenging and compressed 2020 season that will run later than normal.

“Accordingly, the Santos Tour Down Under with international races will not run in 2021, but we assure everyone it will return to South Australia and the start of the UCI’s world cycling calendars in January 2022, with the full support of the UCI.”

The Women’s Tour Down Under has also been cancelled.

Women’s Town Under cyclists ride through Echunga in the Adelaide Hills.(ABC News: Dean Faulkner)

A smaller domestic cycling festival is planned in January instead.

It comes after the Adelaide 500 Supercars race was cancelled last week, although that was blamed on falling crowd numbers and corporate sponsorship.

Tour Down Under race director Stuart O’Grady said it was a disappointing outcome in his first year in the role.

“I believe that for one year we can put delivering an international event aside, and keep our South Australian heart beating by delivering a new, re-imagined event for cyclists and for communities across the nation,” O’Grady said.

The organisers of Victoria’s Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race also confirmed last night the event would not be held in January.

“I would like to thank our volunteers, local workforce and incredible partners for their unwavering support,” race director Scott Sunderland said.

“We can’t wait to join with them and come back bigger and better in 2022.”

Source link

Tour Down Under in doubt as cycling champion calls for rethink amid coronavirus

A former winner of the Tour Down Under says organisers should consider cancelling next year’s event, amid fresh doubt over whether the cycling race will go ahead because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Race organisers announced in August that the 2021 event would go ahead in January, but have now put contingency plans in place.

The men’s Tour Down Under (TDU) was scheduled to start on January 19 while the women’s tour was scheduled for January 14.

The main issue is whether international riders will have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival, which may not be feasible as they would be unable to train for two weeks leading up to the race.

Crowd control is also a potential issue, with thousands of local and interstate spectators packing the roads each year to watch the event.

Adelaide cyclist Patrick Jonker, who won the men’s TDU in 2004, said it would be a major blow for the state if the event was cancelled but it should be considered.

Cycling champion Patrick Jonker won the Tour Down Under in 2004.(Facebook: Pat Jonker)

“With what’s going on this year with COVID I think the same rules should apply for everyone.

“If you can’t see your loved ones be buried then I don’t think elite professional athletes should be exempt.”

Training ‘bubble’ suggested

Events South Australia executive director Hitaf Rasheed said organisers are considering all options before deciding whether the event can go ahead.

“There are a lot of moving parts in making a decision like this,” Ms Rasheed said.

“There are many stakeholders, and we have been working closely with them to ensure we arrive at the best possible outcome for all concerned.

“It is important, and its importance is why we have worked so hard to consider if and how this event can be successfully delivered.”

A group of cyclists competing in the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
The women’s event was scheduled to start on January 14 next year.(Supplied: Santos Tour Down Under)

All three of cycling’s grand tours — Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana — have gone ahead this year, albeit with revised schedules and routes.

Those events are all held in Europe, and Jonker said a two-week quarantine requirement for elite cyclists would not work in Australia.

But he said setting up a training “bubble” for cyclists away from the Adelaide metro area was an alternative worthy of consideration.

“It would be very difficult for an elite professional rider to maintain their fitness being indoors for two weeks,” he said.

“The Government has a big decision to make next week but the main priority will be our health.”

Police to determine exemptions

Health Minister Stephen Wade today said SA Health would continue to work with event organisers to try to find a way for the event to go ahead safely.

Jessica Pratt races in the Tour Down Under
Professional cyclist Jessica Pratt racing in last year’s Tour Down Under.(Supplied)

However, he said it was ultimately up to the state coordinator, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, to decide on any exemptions for international cyclists.

“It is really important for the ongoing success of the TDU that South Australia appropriately deals with the COVID situation,” he said.

“It would be an absolute disaster for TDU if we didn’t have safe plans in place and there was an outbreak associated with it.”

Ms Rasheed said organisers would consider alternate options if the men’s and women’s races did not go ahead, but a final decision would be made in the next week.

Source link

Cycling: Ganna takes third stage win as Almeida extends Giro lead

October 17, 2020

VALDOBBIADENE, Italy (Reuters) – Italian Filippo Ganna claimed his third victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia when he won the 14th stage on Saturday, a 34.1km individual time trial from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene, as Joao Almeida extended his overall lead.

The time trial world champion powered through the undulating course in 42 minutes 40 seconds to beat his Ineos-Grenadiers team mate Rohan Dennis by 26 seconds and American Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) by 1:09.

Ganna won the opening time trial in Palermo and the fifth stage in Camigliatello Silano.

Portugal’s Almeida of Deceuninck-Quick Step clocked the best time of the overall contenders in 44:11 to stretch his lead over Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands to 56 seconds.

Spain’s Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-McLaren) stayed third, 2:11 off the pace, with McNulty breaking into the top five in fourth position, 2:23 behind Almeida.

Double Giro champion Vincenzo Nibali (Trek Segafredo) is fifth, 2:30 off the pace.

This year’s race is still wide open with four summit finishes to come before the final time trial in Milan on Oct. 25.

Organisers said all riders and staff members had tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday and Friday after two teams left the race this week following positive cases, raising hopes that the three-week grand tour will be completed.

The top guns are expected to battle it out on Sunday when the 15th stage takes the peloton to a mountain-top finish in Piancavallo.

The final climb is a 14.5km effort at an average gradient of 7.8%.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

Source link

Cycling: Froome confirmed in Ineos-Grenadiers’s Vuelta roster, Roglic on for Jumbo-Visma

FILE PHOTO: Cycling – UAE Tour – Dubai, United Arab Emirates – February 23, 2020 Team Ineos’ Chris Froome before the race REUTERS/Satish Kumar Subramani

October 15, 2020

PARIS (Reuters) – The Vuelta a Espana looks set to turn into a Jumbo-Visma v Ineos-Grenadiers battle as Chris Froome was confirmed in the squad for his last race with the British outfit on Thursday.

The four-time Tour de France champion, who has been struggling to hit top form since returning from a career-threatening crash last year, will lead Ineos-Grenadiers alongside 2019 Giro d’Italia winner Richard Carapaz.

Froome will leave the team at the end of the season to join Israel-Start Up Nation.

Jumbo-Visma will go with former Giro champion Tom Dumoulin and this year’s Tour de France runner-up Primoz Roglic after the Slovenian lost the overall lead in the world’s greatest race on the last competitive day.

Other challengers include France’s Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who lost all hope of winning the Tour after sustaining a back injury during the opening stage, but also Spaniard Enric Mas (Movistar), who finished the Vuelta in second place in 2018.

The Vuelta starts from Irun on Tuesday.

The race will only feature 18 stages after organisers scraped the start from the Netherlands amid the COVID-19 crisis.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source link