Wednesday – Food, Fun and Fitness

For those of you who have not seen it yet – Crossfit Factory Square is proudly celebrating another year and what better way to do it than with all of the Factory Square community! Join us for some Food, Fun and Fitness. This year’s celebration with include a 2 or 4 person partner WOD (your choice) followed by a potluck brunch around 11 AM. We hope that everyone can join us for both but please feel free to come to one or the other.

Now that you know about the event, how about some of those important details . . . .

WHEN: Saturday, April 1st – Doors open at 9:30 AM, WOD at 10:00 AM

WHO: All are invited!

WOD: 4 Person Team WOD

40 Handstand Push Ups (mod:pike)

60 Burpees

800 meter Run

100 Kettlebell Swings 53/35

120 Hand Release Push Ups

140 Abmat Situps

160 Wall Balls 20/14

180 Hurdle Hops

All movements must be completed in order and only one athlete working at a time. Team must also complete a 2 mile run (sub will be a 4k row). This can be broken up however you wish with one working at a time and can be done at any time while other team members are working on the reps of each exercise. The run can also be done as a buy in or cash out (if done as a two person team the reps/mileage will be cut in half).

Hope to see everyone there!

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Injured Serena Williams out of Indian Wells

Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam at this year's Australian Open - an Open era record

World number one Serena Williams says a knee injury has forced her to pull out of this week’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Williams, 35, said she will also miss the Miami Open later this month.

The American, who won an Open era record 23rd Grand Slam at the Australian Open earlier this year, said: “I have not been able to train due to my knees.”

She added she would return “as soon as I can”.

Indian Wells organisers said a revised draw would be issued later.

Williams only returned to the Californian tournament in 2015 after a 14-year boycott following claims she had suffered racist abuse at the venue.

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NSPF Recommends Bathroom Breaks Every 30-40 Minutes During Practice

Photo Courtesy: National Swimming Pool Foundation

The National Swimming Pool Foundation® (NSPF® ), has recommendations to improve water and air quality by reducing urine in pools. A few small changes by coaches, parents, and facility managers can prevent pee in the pool. After all, the swimmers, parents, and coaches have the most to gain since they are the ones who are exposed to the water and breathing the air.

Just because one report suggests we should fear urine in the pool, people of all ages should continue to enjoy the wonder of water. Immersion and water activity can reduce lower-back pain, blood pressure, and arthritis symptoms, and improve mental and physical health. Recent science has shown that even the sight of water can improve one’s mood.

First, everyone from swim coaches to parents should encourage showers and bathroom breaks before entering the water. It is important to recognize that being submerged in water stimulates the body to create more urine. There are other simple solutions that coaches, parents, and facility managers can incorporate that reduce pee in the pool.

Swim Coaches should require a bathroom break 30-60 minutes into the practice. For example, it takes about 40 minutes in the water for a person to feel the need to urinate. A short break that borders this time frame will reduce peeing in the pool.

Parents who frequent water parks, public pools, or backyard pools should schedule an “out of pool” time for a snack, sunscreen, and a bathroom break every 30-60 minutes.

Facility Managers should consider two ways to prevent pee in the pool. First, schedule short breaks to encourage people to exit the water. For example, a 10-minute “adult only” swim time or an out-of-pool activity every hour encourages people to exit the pool and use the bathroom. Second, post signage that suggests using the bathroom and showering before getting into the pool.

Air quality can also be improved upon for indoor facilities when we keep urine out of the water. What’s more, everyone from children to masters can gain the benefits of one of the most fun and healthy activities. When coaches, parents, and facility managers make small changes, the water we enjoy and air we breathe is healthier, safer, and better.

About the National Swimming Pool Foundation®

We believe everything we do helps people live healthier lives. Whether it’s encouraging more aquatic activity, making pools safer, or keeping pools open, we believe we can make a difference. NSPF® offers products and programs that are technically sound, convenient, and beautifully designed. In 2012, we launched the Step Into Swim™ Campaign, a 10-year initiative to create one million more swimmers. In 2016, to further their mission, NSPF combined forces with Genesis, an educational leader for builders of residential pools and spas. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Colorado Springs, CO., proceeds go to fund research and to help create swimmers. The National Swimming Pool Foundation has been keeping pools safe and open since 1965. Visit nspf.org, genesis3.com, or call 719-540-9119 to learn more.

Press release courtesy of National Swimming Pool Foundation 

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Thurman outpoints Garcia in welterweight unification clash

05/03/2017 07:44

WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman (28-0, 22 KOs) outpointed WBC titleholder Danny Garcia (33-1, 19 KOs) by a 12 round split decision in a unification bout on Saturday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

Thurman won the clash of two undefeated, prime, 28-year-old champions by scores of 116-112 and 115-113, while the third judge had it 115-113 for Garcia.

Both fighters had their moments but Thurman got the better of fellow American Garcia in most of the rounds, connecting with jabs and right hands.

Thurman rocked Garcia with a right-left combination in the opener and continued to land hard shots in the following rounds.

Garcia jabbed and countered well as the fight progressed but Thurman remained the busier.

In the later rounds, Garcia become the aggressor and had some success landing to head and body, but he could not land the knockout blow he needed as Thurman circled the ring and avoided many of Garcia’s punches.

“The judges are judges,” said Thurman. “I thought I out-boxed him. I thought it was a clear victory, but Danny came to fight.

“My defence was effective. He wasn’t landing.”

With the win, Thurman adds the WBC 147lb belt to his WBA title.

“I came up short tonight,” said Garcia. “I thought I was the aggressor. I thought I pushed the pace. But it didn’t go my way.

“I thought I won and I was pushing the fight. But it is what it is. He was trying to counter. I had to wait to find my spots.”

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Australian Water Polo Player Bridgette Gusterson Named 14th ISHOF Class of 2017 Inductee

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced that Bridgette Gusterson will join 17 others as honorees who will enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Bridgette Gusterson Ireland (AUS) is the fourteenth member of the class to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale.

Previously, Open water swimmer Maarten Van Der Weijden, swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN) and Takeshi “Halo” Hirose (USA) Georges Vallerey, Jr. (FRA), Alain Bernard (FRA), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN) and Laura Wilkinson (USA), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA), water polo players Osvaldo Codaro (ARG) and András Bodnár (HUN), coach Dick Jochums (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier have been announced.

Bridgette Gusterson was born on February 7, 1973, in Perth, Western Australia. As a ten-year-old she had a clear and precise goal. She wanted to be an Olympian. The only problem was, she didn’t have a sport. Her first choice was gymnastics but she knew she was going to be too tall.

The Bicton pool just two minutes from her home and her older sister, Danielle, played water polo, so the choice became clear. Even though women’s water polo was not yet on the Olympic program, there were hopes it would be added to the 1984 Olympic program for Los Angeles. And so began a career that that set the standard for female water polo players around the world.

As she grew, Gusterson’s tall, athletic frame (180 cm / 5’11”) lent itself to the demanding center forward position. But her physical attributes were matched by her fierce determination to master all technical aspects of the game. As a feared centre forward, accurate passer and outside shooter, Bridgette was regarded as the best all-rounder in the world in the latter parts of the 1990s. She made her first Australian National Team appearance in 1992 and subsequently represented her country in 212 international matches, scoring more than 400 goals. In 1995, she scored a hat-trick in leading Australia to the World Cup gold medal over the Netherlands and she was the first Australian woman to receive a professional contract to play in Europe, representing the Italian club, Orrizonte from 1995 to 1997.

It had always been her dream, from when she first started playing, that one day women’s water polo would be in the Olympics. As she grew older the dream became more defined. She would be captain of the team that won the gold medal in the first women’s Olympic tournament.

Amazingly her dream came true. It started when she assumed captaincy of the Australian team in 1998. A short time later the Australian Olympic Organizing Committee announced women’s water polo was being added, for the first time, to the Olympic program in 2000. In the semi-final game against Russia, she scored the winning goal with a clever flick shot over the goal keeper’s shoulder. The final against the United States was even more dramatic she made the assist that led to the winning goal to break a tie and clinch the gold medal with just 1.3 seconds on the clock. When the final tallies were made, she had led her team in scoring and to add icing to the top of dream cake, she shared the Olympic triumph with her sister and teammate, Danielle.

Gusterson retired after the 2000 Olympic Games, but continues to be involved in the sport as a coach. She resides in Perth with her husband Gary Ireland (former World Champion swimmer/ surf lifesaver) and their son Kalani.

About ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for- profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org.

Press release courtesy of ISHOF. 

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Are marginal gains for everybody?

Is the concept of ‘marginal gains’ still relevant to amateur cyclists, or has it been unmasked as a fancy term for pointless perfectionism and pro-team secretiveness?

Is your chainring the right shape? Have you touched one too many grubby door handles? Did you lose a critical 40 minutes of sleep last night?

The questions fitness-seeking cyclists ask themselves have changed a lot in the last decade or so.

Whereas riders used to be hung up simply on having the lightest bike, the heartiest serving of pasta and the most training miles in the bank, an altogether more nuanced, complex approach has come to the fore.

>>> Seven best ways to make your bike lighter for free

Nowadays cyclists obsess about marginal gains, striving to finesse every conceivable aspect of body and bike, no matter how small the potential benefit — but is such fine-tuning really worthwhile, or is it just hankering after an illusory ideal?

Of course, tiny changes to position, sleekness and geometry can significantly improve aerodynamics; marginal gains of this type will always be critical in time trialling.

In certain other areas of cycling, too, the rise of the marginal gain has worked wonders, greatly reducing overeating and overtraining while unearthing numerous benefits that no one had previously thought to look for.

On the other hand, it’s led cyclists — and not just the pros — down any number of hilarious blind alleys; pretty much every stripe of road cyclist has spent years inflating their tyres to steel-hard pressures in pursuit of a rolling resistance reduction so fractional it’s practically undetectable.


Watch now: How to set the perfect tyre pressure


Likewise, many have necked food supplements up to and beyond the limits of their digestive systems, with little or no benefit.

Turn back the clock a bit further and you’ll remember cyclists ‘drilling out’ their frames and components in pursuit of a saved gram here or there, a practice that left bikes at best ugly and, at worst, dangerous.

The only real difference between the amateur and professional errors is that most amateurs don’t hang the name ‘marginal gains’ on their experiments and later embark on corporate speaking tours.

There have been many attempted marginal gains, from the left-hand-drive track bikes tried out by Team USA at the Rio Olympics (taking advantage of the lower airflow on the inside of the bike) to the bike with high-pressure tyres that Alberto Contador swapped onto before climbing Mount Etna in the 2011 Giro.

Left hand cranks couldn’t help the USA to gold in the women’s team pursuit (Photo: Watson)

All cyclists are looking for an edge, but “the aggregation of marginal gains” is a buzz-phrase most commonly associated with British Cycling, Team Sky and Sir Dave Brailsford.

Because of Sky’s success, marginal gains have been imbued with a sort of mysticism. But according to sportswriter Matthew Syed, it is just a new term for an age-old practice.

“Marginal gains is just the idea of applying the scientific method to continual improvement,” he says.

>>> Dave Brailsford: ‘I’m uncompromising, and some people can’t cope with that’

Syed, who won a Commonwealth Games gold medal in table tennis, spent months researching marginal gains for his latest book Black Box Thinking.

He believes the success of marginal gains culture has its roots in a change in coaching attitudes.

“There was a lot of conventional wisdom when I was an athlete, and a lot of coaches who thought that, because they’d produced good players, their methods were as good as they could get.

If your ego is bound up with the status quo, then change is a threat.

“My sense from meeting Sir Dave Brailsford is that he’s bound up in ‘What is it that we currently don’t know?’ not ‘What do we already know and how can we proclaim our knowledge?’ The psychology of that is at the heart of the scientific revolution.

“The psychology turns out to be very important, and that’s what marginal gains expresses.”

>>> The hidden motor in your head: How mind training can make you ride faster

It’s a perfectly tidy description, and one that can be very useful.

After all, British Cycling’s chains are cleaned using an ultrasonic cleaner and lubed with a nanotube formula, a marginal gain apparently worth six watts.

But every cyclist has felt the benefit of a clean drivetrain, even if all they’ve done is shake their chain in a bottle of white spirit and flossed their sprockets with old newspaper.

The distinction between general good practice and marginal gain is as much about mindset as outcome.

In truth, many attempted marginal gains don’t actually lead to performance improvement — the ice bath that was so trendy a few years ago, for example, might actually be counter-productive.

The important thing with a marginal gains approach is to explore these possibilities.

“Whenever you attempt a marginal gain that doesn’t work, you improve your understanding of the problem,” says Syed.

“If a cycling race is made up of parameters — the aerodynamics of the bike, the efficiency of the training and so on, and they can all be broken down into smaller elements — when you find something that doesn’t work, that’s very useful information.

“Finding marginal gains that don’t work makes it easier to focus on the ones that do work.

The 2011 road world championship set the standard for marginal gains when Mark Cavendish won wearing an aerodynamic helmet cover and skinsuit.

“The crucial thing is a mindset that’s willing to say ‘Whatever we’re doing, however good, we can get better’… Instead of saying ‘Are you saying I don’t know what I’m doing?’ you say: ‘That’s interesting,’ and start looking for improvement.”

The word psychology comes up almost as often as science when discussing marginal gains, and for good reason.

According to sports psychologist Andrew Barton, a marginal gains culture can have a huge influence on performance even if the changes being experimented with don’t turn out to have any measurable physical outcome:

“From a psychological perspective, each member of a team buys into the vision of marginal gains, and therefore puts immense faith in the people around them.

“Belief plays a huge role in an athlete’s ability to perform to the highest level: their motivation to train, their confidence, their energy levels and their willingness to constantly push themselves.

>>> ‘Cyclists, be cautious with caffeine’

“Although some of the marginal gains may be dubious in terms of real effect, the placebo effect is a very real one.”

Leaving aside the placebo effect for now, it’s important to stress that while a marginal gains culture might value change as a means to progress, that’s not to say that changes shouldn’t be managed.

Change for change’s sake, or simply shaking things up in pursuit of a ‘dead cat bounce’ can introduce as much uncertainty as confidence.

“Learning the various factors that contribute to the marginal gains has to be drip-fed in the same way as learning a new skill.

“If you are given too many new things to take on board too quickly, it creates an overload, and riders become stressed or unfocused, and take their attention away from the more crucial areas of their performance.”

An extra edge

Pursuing fractional advantages makes sense in the professional sphere, where athletes are already trained to the limits of their potential, and need to find an extra competitive edge, but are marginal gains applicable to amateur cyclists?

The club-mate’s knowing smirk at your post-Christmas belly when you’ve just unwrapped your first carbon frame is almost a rite of passage in cycling, an unspoken acknowledgement that those of us who don’t get to ride for a living invariably have more room to make maximal, not merely marginal, gains.

>>> Bike of the year 2017: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8.0

But many coaches think a marginal gains approach is perfectly valid in amateur cyclists too.

Marginal gains can make any cyclist faster

Amid the headlines about teams being taught how to wash their hands by surgeons to minimise illness, or sleeping in motorhomes to avoid the hubbub of hotels, it’s easy to forget that Sky’s marginal gains approach has always involved a lot of data-wrangling.

>>> How to combat a cold

Extrapolating a rider’s future performances by crunching numbers, or factoring in historical wind data to the analysis of a time trial course is a tough sell to a daily newspaper or a large business looking for a motivational speaker, so it often gets forgotten — but the data analysis side of marginal gains is accessible to any cyclist with a power meter.

Rob Kitching, a part-time British Cycling accredited coach and software engineer, runs Cyclingpowerlab.com, a website that provides data analysis for cyclists tailored to specific events, and he believes that a marginal gains approach can be as beneficial for amateurs as it is for professionals.

“There are two reasons to apply marginal gains:

1) because your returns from training time are diminishing, which explains why a lot of highly trained pro athletes who are close to their genetic potential would start to give the idea time and attention.

2) because certain things can be seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ or ‘quick wins’.

“The latter are definitely of interest to lesser-trained amateur athletes who, instead of bumping up against genetic potential, may be bumping up against the maximum time they can dedicate to training and who therefore look for ways to think or buy themselves faster.”

There’s no shame in having a demanding job, a busy family life or even other interests that compete with cycling, and finding ways to improve your performances on the bike without sacrificing your bike/life balance is fundamental part of being cyclist.

Who hasn’t attempted to buy a bit of speed with better wheels, or up their game with a few gallons of beetroot juice? According to Kitching, data analysis is the first step in figuring out which marginal gains could be made effectively.

Gains in the most unlikely of places

“The initial value of sports analytics or performance modelling is in measuring what you already do, then revealing what you could do better.

That lets you prioritise where any time or money put into marginal gains could best be invested… We can run a computer model to simulate performance [under different variables].

“As a concrete example, the data might reveal that a rider is significantly less aero than competitors at the same height and weight — so the rider would work on aerodynamic optimisation as a priority, starting with the quick wins and working through the smaller stuff, until the limit of time or money is reached.”

Balancing financial and time cost is where a marginal gains approach can be even more important for amateurs than professionals.

Whereas almost all top-flight professional teams have the budget to explore a wide variety of potential gains, amateurs have to be more focused, and there are times when it’s worth pitting some of the more technical-sounding marginal gains against the more gimmicky ones.

“Most riders lose at least two per cent of their power in the drivetrain, and there is good evidence to suggest that drivetrain optimisation is worth a few watts,” says Kitching.

>>> How to clean your road bike in seven minutes (video)

“But optimised chains don’t last long, so they’re a really expensive choice, whereas hand sanitisers are just a low-cost extension of the decades-old advice to wash you hands a lot [to prevent illness].

“If something is evidence-based, justified by time and money, and reasonably likely to help the athlete, then it’s on the right side of the line.”

Even coaches who aren’t entirely convinced by marginal gains tend to quibble less over their effectiveness and more over the term ‘marginal’.

According to Paul Hough, lead physiologist at St Mary’s University, there are physiological thresholds that need to be reached before it’s worth looking elsewhere for gains:

“If the athlete hasn’t got a long, consistent training history, then minor tweaks probably won’t make much difference. A [male] cyclist with a VO2 max of 50 or body fat higher than about 13 per cent won’t notice a significant improvement by, say, changing to ceramic bearings.

“Speaking as an insomniac, though, improving sleep benefits all athletes. [Two or more] consecutive nights of poor sleep have been shown to reduce cognitive and physical performance.”

Aside from the reduction of fatigue and improvement in reaction and recovery times, good sleeping habits reduce stress hormones and increase the availability of human growth hormone, a potent performance-enhancer.

Perhaps Sky’s motorhome and mattresses aren’t just a sideshow for the press. Nor, according to Hough, is the hand-washing.

Team Sky’s motorhome ended up for sale on eBay

“Illness is a major concern for athletes as even minor infections can impair performance. In general you’re OK to exercise with a mild cold [but you should avoid] exercising in group environments to prevent spreading the virus to others.”

It’s interesting that though some of the more high-tech pursuits of marginal gains provoke debate among our experts, many of the simpler ones — good sleep, good hygiene, clean drivetrains — are unanimously regarded as worthwhile.

It may turn out that the core of a marginal gains philosophy is, as CW’s own Dr Hutch once termed it, “the ruthless pursuit of the fairly obvious”.

>>> Dr Hutch: Remember marginal gains? They used to be big

Hanging a media-friendly name on it and treating it as something new is what invites cynicism and scrutiny, but the practice of leaving nothing to chance and taking nothing for granted isn’t new or suspicious, it has always been a fundamental part of sport.

In fact, the only thing up for debate is the point at which the effort exceeds the returns, and that’s something that will depend entirely on the time, money and headspace you have available.


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Track Olympic Medalist Frankie Fredericks Steps Down From IOC Commission During Rio Bribery Investigation

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Frankie Fredericks, a three-time Olympic medalist in track for Namibia and, until now, a commission chair with the International Olympic Committee, has come under fire in recent weeks amid allegations that he accepted a bribe from a Brazilian businessman right around the time the 2016 Olympics were awarded to Rio.

Currently under investigation, Fredericks has resigned from roles with both the IOC and IAAF (International Athletics Federation), according to a report from BusinessDay.

Fredericks has been in charge of a commission that monitored the cities involved in the bidding for the 2024 Olympic Games (since Rome and Budapest have pulled out, this currently includes only Paris and Los Angeles), and had served on an IAAF task force seeking to help Russia be compliant with anti-doping standards after the country was suspended after the release of the McLaren Report.

Fredericks denies the allegations of bribery but said he believed it to be in the best interests of the IOC if he step down.

“I personally decided that it is in the best interests of a good functioning of the International Olympic Committee candidature process that I step aside as chairperson of the 2024 evaluation commission, because it is essential that the important work my colleagues are doing is seen as being carried out in a truthful and fair manner,” he said, according to BusinessDay.

“I categorically deny any direct or indirect involvement in any untoward conduct and confirm that I have never breached any law, regulation or rule of ethics in respect of any IOC election process.”

The IOC then released a statement praising Fredericks’s decision to step down. Said the IOC Executive Board in a statement:

  • In line with the recommendation of the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB accepts his resignation from the Evaluation Commission for the Olympic Games 2024.

  • In line with the recommendation of the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB accepts his provisional self-suspension from the IOC Coordination Commission for the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

  • The IOC EB accepts Mr Fredericks’ non-participation in the Candidate City Briefing 2024 for IOC Members and Summer Olympic International Federations in July 2017 in Lausanne and the IOC Session in Lima, Peru, in September 2017.

  • In line with the IOC Ethics Commission, the IOC EB recalls the importance of respecting the principle of the presumption of innocence. It also notes Mr Fredericks’ categorical rejection of the allegations made against him.

Additionally, the IOC announced that taking over the commission will be Patrick Baumann, the Secretary General of FIBA, the International Basketball Federation.

Fredericks received about $300,000 from Pamodzi Sports Consulting in 2009, shortly before the IOC announced Rio as the host for the 2016 Games, shortly after a Brazilian businessman paid $2 million between two separate payments to Papa Massata Diack, Pamodzi’s owner.

Read more from Business Day here, and find the full IOC statement here.

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Paris-Nice stage 3 highlights – Video

Stage 3 at Paris-Nice provided another chance for the sprinters, and Bora-Hansgrohe’s Sam Bennett made the most of his opportunity on Wednesday, out-kicking a world-class field to win the stage in Chalon-sur-Saône ahead of Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) and Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors).

The day got underway with a three-rider break that included Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Ben King (Dimension Data) and Romain Combaud (Delko-Marseille) sneaking away within the first couple of kilometres. The trio cooperated well and stretched their advantage to seven minutes before the FDJ team of race leader Arnaud Demare came to the fore and started taking back large chunks of time.

The lead trio’s gap was down to just 1:30 with 30km remaining, and King was jettisoned from the group on the category 2 climb of Côte de Charrecey. Latour and Combaud combined their strengths to put up a fierce battle for survival in the lead, but their efforts succumbed to the chase as they passed under the flamme rouge. From there, it was a mad dash to the line, with Kittel jumping first and Bennett coming around the big German before the line.

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Team Sky chair backs Dave Brailsford as team hits back at ‘inaccurate’ and ‘untrue’ assumptions

Team Sky issues a statement refuting its critics

Chairman of Team Sky Graham McWilliam has publicly come out in support of embattled team principal Dave Brailsford as the team put out a lengthy statement challenging its critics.

Scrutiny of Sky and Brailsford in particular has intensified since UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) gave an update on its investigation into the team including a series of eyebrow raising revelations about lost medical records and large volumes of a controlled substance being ordered.

McWilliam took to Twitter to say: “For record, TS [Team Sky] Board & Sky are 100% behind team and Sir Dave Brailsford as its leader. We look forward to many more years of success.”

>>> Everything you need to know about the British Cycling/Sky mystery package saga

He also congratulated the team for “challenging some of the inaccurate commentary of recent days” as it released an eight-page document (which you can read in full here) outlining a series of “clarifications” on the UKAD investigation and how the team’s anti-doping practice has improved since 2011.

In a covering letter to that document Brailsford said: “While I obviously respect the fact that people will have their view on issues related to this investigation, I do believe that some of the comments made about Team Sky have been unreasonable and incorrect.”

Brailsford has come under pressure in recent days after the chair of UKAD, Nicole Sapstead, told MPs that it had been unable to verify what was in a package shipped to the team at the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011.

Sapstead revealed it had been alleged it contained the controlled substance triamcinolone and was administered to Bradley Wiggins that evening, a procedure for which he would have required a therapeutic use exemption [TUE] when he did not have one.

Sapstead said the agency had yet to reach a conclusion because there were no available records kept by then Sky doctor Richard Freeman, who had failed to upload them to a shared Dropbox folder.

Sky said that Freeman’s lack of records was a “failure to comply with team policy on this occasion”, however, the team added “that does not mean that he kept no medical records at all”.

>>> Geraint Thomas ‘frustrated’ and ‘annoyed’ by Team Sky press coverage

Sapstead also told MPs that there had been a large amount of triamcinolone ordered into BC and Sky’s then shared medical room in Manchester. She said there was either “excessive amount being ordered for one person or quite a few people had a similar problem”. The Sunday Times later reported that 70 ampoules were ordered.

But now Sky has revealed that only 55 ampoules of the drug were ordered over a four-year period between 2010 and 2013.

It added: “Only a small proportion of this was administered to Team Sky riders. According to Dr Freeman, the majority was used in his private practice and to treat Team Sky and British Cycling staff.” Freeman, the team said, is a musculoskeletal specialist and the drug was quite commonly used to treat inflammation in that area of medicine.

The team added: “While it is not possible for Team Sky to confirm why and when triamcinolone was administered to non-riders (as we would, rightly, not have access to those private medical records), with regard to riders we would only ever allow triamcinolone to be provided as a legitimate and justified medical treatment in accordance with the applicable anti-doping rules.”

Freeman has claimed the package contained fluimucil and Wiggins told investigators that he was given fluimucil on the day in question but he did not know what was in the package.

>>> Team Sky riders rally to show support for Dave Brailsford

However, since that explanation emerged in December there has been persistent questions over why the drug was couriered from Manchester to a mountain in the French Alps when it was available in local pharmacies.

Sky’s statement said: “This is a misunderstanding… As the Select Committee was told by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Fluimucil is not licensed for sale in the United Kingdom, in any of its forms. It is our understanding that while Fluimucil is licensed for sale in France, the particular form used by the team (i.e. 3ml, 10% ampoule form for use in a nebulizer) is not available for sale in France, nor to our knowledge was it available for sale in 2011.”

The team also said that Freeman had said he did not have prescription rights in France that would be required to get the drug.

Team Sky’s statement went on to outline ways in which its medical record keeping and anti-doping practice has improved since 2011.

It said it had introduced standardized ordering processes for medical supplies complete with oversight by a second doctor and he team’s financial controller; introduced an annual review of medical policies; appointed a full-time compliance officer, who reports to the board; more extensive rider background checks; greater rider education; and setting up a anti-doping working group of senior management, performance and medical staff.


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