The Spokesmen 31 – June 2, 2008

The 31st episode of The Spokesmen Cycling Podcast included David Bernstein from The FredCast Cycling Podcast, Carlton Reid from Bike Biz and, Tim Grahl from The Crooked Cog Network, and Tim Jackson from Masi Bicycles.

Among the topics we discussed:

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  1. June 2, 2008

    My asthma is exercise induced. I had a cross country scholarship in University and lost it because I could no longer compete effectively because my asthma got really bad in my second year of competition. I also hung up my pro cycling ambitions in that time period because I couldn’t breath, and my poor management of the disease over the past two decades means that my lung capacity is probably about 80% of what it was 20 years ago, which really stinks for hammering on road rides — I’m seriously limited because I just can’t get the oxygen to my muscles.

    There are specific diagnosis criteria to diagnose asthma, but I’m certain team doctors can be persuaded to fudge the results a little. Still, the number of people diagnosed with asthma has increased dramatically over the past decade.

    You’re probably aware of this, but Pettachi’s ban is because the level of albuterol found in his blood was way beyond the therapeutic level of the drug.

  2. June 2, 2008


    When I lived in L.A. (for over 40 years) and regularly rode my mountain bike in the Santa Monica Mountains, I too had exercise-induced asthma. I would have to take an inhaler with me on my rides. What’s interesting is that over the past 6 or 7 years I have had absolutely no symptoms and haven’t owned an inhaler in all that time. I can go on long road rides and mountain bike rides (whether in Southern California or now that I’ve been in Utah for a year) with no symptoms. It baffles me why the asthma has gone away, but I am pleased that it has.

    I hope we didn’t indicate in the show that we didn’t believe that exercise-induced asthma exists or that we don’t think it is a serious medical issue for many people. What I did mean to say is that I find it troubling that so many in the pro peloton are using salbutamol, especially since it has obvious performance-enhancing effects.

    I was discussing this with my coach this afternoon and he agrees that doctors can be persuaded to fudge the results and write a prescription to allow a racer to use Salbutamol. Like me, he thinks (although neither of us have any evidence to support this) that there are indeed some in the pro ranks who are using without a real need. He admits, however, that he advises his clients in urban areas to avoid riding in the afternoons unless they have consulted the appropriate web sites that indicate real time levels of pollution in their areas.


  3. I feel like a dork (bigger dork?); when I was talking about Astana, I said that Matt White was the DS during the Giro. Whitey was the DS for Slipstream. I meant Sean Yates for Astana. Yates is also a master tactician and would’ve been quite a help to Contador.

    I’m so embarrassed…

  4. Jeremy
    June 6, 2008

    Hey guys, just FYI for whoever posts the podcast, the publication date for episode 31 was exactly the same as for episode 30 which was preventing my RSS software from showing episode 31. The problem tag is:

    Mon, 19 May 2008 12:01:00 -0600

  5. Jeremy
    June 6, 2008

    Ahhh, WordPress didn’t escape the tags. Hopefully this will look right:

    <pubDate>Mon, 19 May 2008 12:01:00 -0600</pubDate>

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