Archive for April 13th, 2021

Surviving Allergy Attacks For Cyclists!

04/13/2021 12:03

Toolbox: Ahhhhh – it’s spring-time once again. Especially for those living in northern climates, the weather is warming up, the snow is off the roads and it’s time to enjoy riding outside. But it’s also time for local flora to come out of their winter hibernation and re-activate seasonal allergies – here’s some help.

Pau - France - wielrennen - cycling - cyclisme - radsport - llustration picture of the peloton passing a sunflowers field with FROOME Christopher (GBR) Rider of Team SKY in the yellow leader jersey  pictured during the 104th Tour de France 2017 - stage 11 from Eymet to Pau, 203.50 km  - foto  VK/PN/Cor Vos © 2017
Allergies can bring on asthma

Seasonal allergy, which is also commonly called “hayfever”, is mainly caused by pollen released from trees, grasses and weeds. Those who suffer year-round allergy symptoms probably also have allergies to insects, pets, and mold spores.

When pollen and other allergens contact the outer surface of the eye (conjunctiva) and the lining of the nose, there is a cellular release of inflammatory chemicals including histamines, which then causes the typical seasonal allergy symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis and rhinitis, including: itchy, tearful and red eyes, stuffy and running nose, sneezing, itchy/scratchy roof of the mouth and throat, post-nasal drip (mucous running down the back of throat) and coughing. These symptoms can often interrupt one’s sleep, which then causes day-time tiredness.

While allergy testing can be performed to identify specific allergenic types of flora, the treatment of seasonal allergy is generally the same, regardless of what one is found to be allergic to.

Unfortunately, short of staying completely indoors with air conditioning, it is difficult to avoid being exposed to airborne allergens. However, one can try to minimize the exposure to allergens by: taking a shower to rinse off pollen from one’s hair and skin, wearing a mask to filter out pollens from the inspired air, and, when exercising outdoors, exercise at times of the day when air-borne pollen concentrations are the lowest.

Treatment of allergic conjunctivitis and rhinitis symptoms consists of rinses, sprays, drops and oral medications.

Nasal rinsing/irrigation: Using salt water (saline) spray bottles can help to rinse off pollen from the nasal passages, sinuses, and upper throat

Nose sprays: Corticosteroid medications, in general, act to reduce inflammation. With respect to seasonal allergies, intra-nasal corticosteroid sprays (beclomethasone, flunisolide, budesonide, mometasone, fluticasone, and ciclesonide) reduce inflammation and mucous secretion of nasal passage lining. It can take days to weeks for the sprays to take full effect and should be use on a daily basis for maximal effectiveness. For those with more mild symptoms, intra-nasal antihistamine and decongestant sprays could be tried before using a corticosteroid nose spray.

Eye drops: Vasoconstrictor, antihistamine and mast-cell stabilizer eye drops (olopatadine, ketotifen, and cromolyn sodium, etc.) can be used to control eye symptoms. The frequency of using the eye drops each day varies and some eye-drops can be purchased without a prescription.

While using sprays and drops are preferred since they are usually faster acting and less likely to cause systemic effects, if ones symptoms are not well controlled with topical medications, then oral medications can be used.

Anti-histamines: Non-sedating long acting oral antihistamine medications (desloratadine, loratidine, fexofenadine, and cetirizine) are the mainstay of seasonal allergy treatment. Theses medications have minimal side effects and are taken once or twice daily.

Decongestant medications: Decongestant medications (pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine) reduce mucous secretion of the nasal passages. These medications are taken every 4 to 6 hours.

If one’s symptoms are difficult to control despite the combination of topical and oral medications, then immunotherapy in the form of subcutaneous injections or sublingual/oral medications could be considered. The use of these treatments usually requires allergy testing and is usually overseen by allergy/immunology specialist physicians.

Year-Round Allergies
If the symptoms of those who have year-round allergies become worse during seasonal allergy season, then the dosage and/or frequency of ones medication(s) may need to be increased (if possible) or adding a new type of medication may need to be considered.

Belfast  - Ireland - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  illustration peloton - flowers pictured during Giro-D’Itaia 2014 stage 2 from Belfast  to Belfast 218km - photo RB/RB/Cor Vos © 2014
Spring can make for some beautiful pictures but can also cause many problems for certain cyclists

Up to 50% of asthma suffers will also have seasonal allergies. The medical treatment of one’s asthma should be reviewed if one’s asthma symptoms worsen at the same time as when seasonal allergies become aggravated. Adding or increasing the use of inhaled corticosteroids may need to be considered.

The medications discussed in this article are generally not on the 2014 World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) Prohibited List. The main exceptions are decongestant medications, which are forms of oral stimulants: pseudoephedrine is prohibited in-competition when its urine concentration is greater than 150 micrograms/mL and ephedrine and methylephedrine are prohibited in-competition when their urine concentration is greater than 10 micrograms/mL. Phenylephrine is in WADA’s Monitoring Program and is not considered prohibited. Corticosteroids are only prohibited when administered in oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal forms. If you are competing at level requiring anti-doping testing, have all your medications (prescribed and over-the-counter) reviewed by a sport medicine physician or your national and/or international sport federation.

Medications can also be reviewed on-line:


Medical Advice Disclaimer
The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult their healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information in this article does not create a physician-patient relationship.

The post Surviving Allergy Attacks For Cyclists! appeared first on PezCycling News.

Categories:PezCycling News

Acer Enduro N3 review: Thin and light, for a rugged laptop

04/13/2021 12:03
If you need to work outdoors in challenging environments where water, dust and debris threaten the safety of your laptop, then the Enduro N3 should earn its keep.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Jelly crimps

04/13/2021 12:03
They’re dead easy to use. You cut the cable, poke the ends in all the way (no need to strip the insulation), and squeeze the button to snap them down and bite through the cable.

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Must-have for your toolbox: Jelly crimps

04/13/2021 12:03
Great for making quick, weatherproof connections with telephone or alarm wiring. But don’t use them for networks!

Categories:Latest topics for ZDNet in Hardware

Tour of Turkey: Mark Cavendish wins stage 3

04/13/2021 12:03
More to follow…

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

La Passione launches new women’s collection for 2021

04/13/2021 12:03
Grace is the Italian brand’s new stylish and high-performing range for women

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Assos launches tribal-patterned Qhubeka jersey

04/13/2021 12:03
Inspired by the patterns and fabrics of the South African Ndebele tribe, the jersey sales will contribute towards making bikes more accessible in poverty-stricken regions of Africa

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Jungels reveals back injury has hindered start of season

04/13/2021 12:02
AG2R Citroën rider hopes to race at the front at Brabantse Pijl

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

Amstel Gold Race 2021 – Preview

04/13/2021 12:02
No van der Poel but Van Aert and Alaphilippe clash as spring Classics head towards the Ardennes

Categories:LIFE AS A HUMAN

BASQUE COUNTRY Breakdown: What It Tells Us About The Ardennes & The Tour

04/13/2021 0:02

Race Breakdown: The Itzulia Basque Country was won on the final stage, which sounds familiar, by Primoz Roglič. The Slovenian champion pulled the victory away from Brandon McNulty in what was a nightmare stage for the UAE Team Emirates. Spencer Martin breaks the Spanish race down and looks at the implications for the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France.

– This article is an excerpt from the Beyond the Peloton newsletter. Sign up here for full access. –

Gaudu took the stage, but Roglič the overall honors

Primoz Roglič won the overall at the Tour of the Basque Country on Saturday with a thrilling long-range attack on the final stage, while David Gaudu, the only rider able to hang with the man-on-a-mission, took stage honors after a short, but extremely explosive and mountainous, 112-kilometer stage.

Basque stage 6 start – Before it all went wrong for UAE

UAE Team Emirates went into the stage with Brandon McNulty in the race leader by 23-seconds over Roglič and 24-seconds over his Jumbo teammate Jonas Vingegaard, while McNulty’s teammate, Tadej Pogačar, was 43-seconds back. On stage 4, it appeared as though they had thoroughly outsmarted and outmuscled Jumbo by sending McNulty up the road to take the race lead, but with 68km-to-go on the final stage, Astana attacked over the top of a climb and pulled out a gap on the descent that launched Roglič’s attack on the following climb.

Astana and Jumbo split the race

McNulty taking the race lead on stage 4 meant there was initially indecision from Pogačar as to whether he should stay with McNulty or go all-in to chase Roglič, and this hesitation due to the overall position of his teammates ended up costing him a shot at overall victory. While he did eventually abandon McNulty to forge on, it was simply too late to catch Roglič. The confusion around team hierarchy not only cost Pogačar a chance to win the overall classification but has also potentially severely damaged intra-team relationships.

McNulty making his move on stage 4

Considering how sideways things had seemed to have gone for Jumbo on Thursday’s stage 4 when McNulty grabbed the race lead from Roglič, it was fascinating to watch events unfold that drastically turned their respective fortunes around by the end of Saturday’s final stage.

It was UAE and McNulty’s race to lose


Where the Race Was Won

  • The race was won with 66km-to-go on stage 6 when Astana attacked and split the peloton on a descent. Roglic was right on their wheels and was able to catch on while Pogačar and McNulty weren’t aware enough and caught too far back.
  • The Basque roads are perfect for these short, exciting stages. The climbs are short enough that they reward attacking riding and the descents fast and technical enough to reward daredevil descenders.
  • Beyond his better positioning on the decisive descent, Roglič won this race by simply out-riding Pogačar between 43km-to-go and the finish line. At 43km-to-go, the gap was 30-seconds. Compare this to the 35-second gap to Roglič at the finish, and we can see Roglic rode just a slightly better pursuit race for the final 1.5 hours of racing.

The winning move from Pogačar

Where the Race was Lost

  • UAE seemed so concerned about an attack on the climb between 74km-68km-to-go that they let their foot off the gas as soon as that climb crested, which is exactly where they were ambushed and in turn, lost the race.
    Pogačar essentially pulled the chase group from 60km out to the finish with varying levels of dedication and still only finished 35-seconds back. If he had solely focused on closing the gap after the descent where the split was made, it is very likely he could have closed it down.
  • However, it is unlikely that he could have dropped both Roglič and Vingegaard on the final climb after doing this.
  • In the end, the weak point in Pogačar’s armor was his teammate, and this will continue to be true for the foreseeable future. I’m almost certain there was a conversation in the Astana team bus pre-stage regarding how McNulty would struggle to descend as fast as them at full gas. An American in the leader’s jersey at one of the most technically demanding races on the calendar is essentially an open invitation to attack.
  • And things have to be a little frosty between McNulty and Pogacar, especially after today’s fiasco. Oddly, in the end, McNulty’s strength ended up being Pogačar’s weak point and this shows the major flaw in the ‘let the road decide’ strategy. They got stuck between two leaders and the indecisiveness after the gap to Roglič formed cost them dearly.
  • If UAE would have made a firm commitment pre-stage to Pogačar as a leader and McNulty would have worked to pull him back to the lead group, they certainly would have gotten within a few seconds by the base of the final climb and then Pogačar could have attacked to bridge the gap on the early slopes of the climb and then possibly even drop most, if not all, of the lead group.

McNulty in trouble

In Hindsight

  • While Astana and Movistar made the race, they eventually dropped themselves and missed the winning move. This begs the question of why? What were they thinking? Did they really need to work in the valley after splitting the race? Probably not, and it wasn’t smart to pull Roglič to the base of the following climb, but they had to try something, and if Valverde wanted to win the stage, he needed to distance Pogačar before the final climb, and if Ion Izagirre wanted to podium, he had to take big risks.
  • But from a pure optics perspective, they launched Roglič’s long-range attack and then he systematically dropped them one-by-one. In fact, Astana’s leader, Ion Izagirre was dropped with around 46km-to-go. They had to try something, but getting so thoroughly worked over by Roglič after splitting the race and pulling him really wasn’t a great look.
  • Pogacar got within 30-seconds of the leaders on the final climb, even though he spent large portions of the valley before yelling at the others for not working. If he had simply focused on riding as hard as possible and forgot about the others, he could possibly have closed the gap before the climb.
  • By putting Hirschi in the break and pacing behind, UAE was essentially using two riders at once, which ended up really costing them later on. If they had a “fresh” Hirschi to chase back to Roglic, they could have probably closed down that gap.
  • What is odd is that if they were going to use this strategy, why not attempt to put Pogačar in the early break to put pressure on Jumbo?
  • It is important to remember that just because Jumbo took first and second in the overall and absolutely destroyed UAE on the final stage, it doesn’t mean their overall strategy was necessarily good. Also, they still seem to be having extreme variance in their team performance from day-to-day that they will need to sort out in the coming months.
  • On this note, Roglič was isolated at key points in the finale of stages 2, 3, 4 & 6. At some points, it was due to his team simply not being strong enough, but on others, it was due to them being up ahead of him. This isolation at key moments shows the flip-side of keeping multiple riders high up on GC throughout a stage race.
  • Ineos went from looking dominant at Volta Catalunya to pedestrian all week here. Adam Yates was the only rider putting in a consistently respectable performance, while. Carapaz, their supposed leader at the Tour, looked to be off-the-pace. With Yates outperforming Carapaz at every race this season, it will get harder and harder to keep him out of a Tour leadership position.

Roglič in Liège

Looking Forwards

The Ardennes

  • Roglič certainly has to be feeling good about defending his Liège-Bastogne-Liège title in two weeks’ time.
  • Additionally, outside of his team’s tactical boondoggle, Pogačar looked incredible all week and also has to be considered a favorite at Liege. Remember, he could have won last year if not for Alaphilippe’s errant sprint.
  • However, it is debatable if it is a good idea for them to be this fit for the Ardennes Classics. Nobody has won Liege and the Tour in the same year since Eddy Merckx in 1975.
  • Marc Hirschi was supposed to lead UAE at the Ardennes, but he hasn’t looked the same after the contentious and shocking exit from his old DSM team, so Pogačar will likely have to carry the team whether he wants to or not.

Roglič/Pogačar 2021 Tour battle

The Tour

  • Jonas Vingegaard gets the best result of his career and is looking like a great replacement for Dumoulin, for this year’s Tour as well as the future.
  • It is becoming increasingly clear that this summer’s Tour de France is shaping up to be a two-man race. Adam Yates destroyed the competition at the recent Volta Catalunya, but finished a distant 4th place here and was never in a position to seriously challenge a stage or overall win.
  • Also, Jumbo finally has a clear roadmap for beating Pogačar. His team has always been his greatest weakness, but the tempo riding clinic they displayed at the 2020 edition did nothing to exploit this. However, the ‘satellite rider’ strategy they deployed on Saturday shows that to beat Pogačar, they have to race aggressively and from behind, even if they are technically in the lead. Also, if instead of Tolhoek and Oomen up the road, it was a high-up-in-the-GC Wout van Aert, the strategy would be even more potent.
  • Roglic hadn’t beat Pogačar yet in the 2021 season but really saved the first win for quite the moment. This has to give him a lot of confidence going into the Ardennes.
  • Shockingly, this is only Roglič’s second-ever GC win over Pogačar and first since the 2019 Vuelta, so this is a much-needed confidence boost at last year’s crushing Tour defeat to his younger countryman.

Pogačar and McNulty – Still friends?

# Spencer Martin is the author of the cycling-analysis newsletter Beyond the Peloton that breaks down the nuances of each race and answers big picture questions surrounding team and rider performance. Sign up now to get full access to all the available content and race breakdowns. #

The post BASQUE COUNTRY Breakdown: What It Tells Us About The Ardennes & The Tour appeared first on PezCycling News.

Categories:PezCycling News

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