How to Stay in the Pink

Injury prevention is in your hands.

If you’re a cycling fan then you’ll have been tickled pink with excitement as May marked the first Grand Tour of the year. The 101st Giro d’Italia historically started in Israel and wove its way up and down the length and breadth of Italy. After three weeks, the winner gets to don the coveted maglia rosa, the pink jersey. 

In this month’s pink-themed issue we’ll explore ways for you to stay in the pink. Cycling can take its toll on bodies as we push ourselves to ride further, longer or faster. This month, we’ll be breaking down the top causes of cycling injuries and how riders can use the latest tech-driven strategies to avoid them. Hear what head Trek-Segafredo soigneur, Elvio Barcella, has to say about injury prevention.

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Practice Cycling Prevention

It’s important to differentiate impact injuries and overuse injuries. Impact injuries generally come from critical falls off your bike. Overuse injuries stem from repetitive muscle use, bad form and poor bike fits. However, numerous common cycling injuries and pains can be treated simply by getting into the habit of having a routine before, during, and after your ride.

Before. A proper stretching pre-workout for even 5-10 minutes can greatly reduce the muscle strain that comes with cycling. Doing dynamic stretches such as leg swings and inchworms and targeting impact-prone areas can help reduce muscle imbalance and overuse injury. Cycling Weekly has a quick five-minute routine for the time-conscious.

During. The key to reducing injury while riding is to not overwork your muscles. Typically, pedaling in a high cadence (90—120 rpm) can prevent many of the common muscle injuries that come from overusing your muscles. In addition, making sure your bike is well-fitted and properly calibrated to your physiology can help you avoid unnecessary muscle pain.

After. After a long ride, it’s important to take a few minutes to cool down and ride easy. Cooling down ensures that nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood is circulating properly through your body and aiding muscle repair and recovery. Additionally, stretching and rolling areas such as the quads, hamstrings, calves, and shoulders will reduce muscle ache.


Who’s Behind the Riders

The soigneurs or “swannies” on a professional cycle team have to be ready for anything. They are the team ninjas as their role requires them to assist with almost everything and anything a rider needs. The long list of responsibilities includes taking riders to and from airports, grocery shopping, making breakfast, washing kits, filling the bidons and musettes for races, handing them out in the feed zone and waiting for the riders at the race finish line, washing the team cars, driving, pinning on numbers and repairing broken kits. It looks like a glamourous job from outside the peloton, but the hours are long and the pressure is great. Head soigneur Elvio Barcella shares why the team has to be like a family.

Race Round-up from Italy and California

Team logistics are being tested to the max as Trek-Segafredo had concurrent teams riding through the challenging terrain of Italy and up the coast of California.

2018 marks the 101st edition of the Giro d’Italia. To celebrate the heritage of this phenomenal race, the Giro started for the first time in its history outside of Europe. Israel hosted the first three stages of this year’s Corsa Rosa, beginning with an Individual Time Trial in Jerusalem. New joiner to Trek-Segafredo, current Irish champion and time trial specialist, Ryan Mullen would have been first in line for this kick-off stage.

The Giro then headed back to Italy for some classic stages. Italian and new to Trek-Segafredo Gianluca Brambilla was Trek-Segafredo’s main GC contender for this year’s Giro. Colombia’s Jarlinson Pantano was also among the headliners on the squad to support Brambilla and to try to bring a stage victory to the team. Luxembourgish domestique Laurent Didier, young Danish climber Niklas Eg, experienced and selfless rider Markel Irizar, bunch sprinting lead-out Boy van Poppel and Danish dynamite Mads Pedersen formed the rest of the squad.

As Luca Guercileña puts it: “We are bringing a mixture of experience and young riders to the start, with the main goal to support Gianluca Brambilla in his chase for a great result. I am confident our eight riders will make each other stronger and motivate one another to perform well as we also hunt for stage wins. I think we can be proud of our line-up for the first Grand Tour of the season."

Over in California, the guys were just pipped to the post for the team classification thanks to Toms Skuljins’ great win on Stage 3, some strong sprinting from Kiel Reijnen on Stage 1 and a top-10 finish by the young Portuguese champion Ruben Guerreiro up the notoriously difficult Gilbratar climb on Stage 2. Team leader and local favorite Peter Stetina along with Nicola Conci rounded off the top 15. You can follow all the team’s race news on Trek-Segfredo’s   Twitter feed.