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Road cycling
  1. S Locke

    Statistics from

    Edited by Robert J Gregor, Francesco Conconi. Published by Blackwell Publishing, London, 2000, pp 132, £20.95 (softcover). ISBN 086542912X

    Road cycling is an IOC Medical Commission publication that is part of a well recognised series of sport science and sports medicine publications produced by this organisation. The book is also supported by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

    It was first published in the year 2000 and was available for review in 2006. This fact alone accounts for most of the errors and inaccuracies contained within its pages. Sports science and sports medicine are rapidly evolving fields, and the delay between publication and review simply means that some material that was pertinent at the time of publication is now either inaccurate or in doubt.

    The book has been “designed specifically for the use of team coaches who have academic preparation in the basic sciences, medical doctors, physical therapists, competitors and other related health professionals”. In my opinion, the book has been well prepared and appropriately targeted. This book will sit well in the libraries and bookshelves of community based coaches and health professionals, but it is not a book for specialists in sports medicine or science.

    Generally, the book is well presented and is an enjoyable read with appropriate diagrams. The sequence of chapters from the basic sciences of road cycling through to testing and training of physiological characteristics is good and makes the understanding of the progression from basic science to applied science easier. Chapter 6 deals with “medical problems in road cycling” and offers sensible advice in point form. However, it has descriptive terms and inaccuracies that are not appropriate in 2006. Inaccuracies such as “tendinitis” when dealing with “tendinosis”, the role of NSAIDs in injury and tendinitis, orthoses and the role of bike position with respect to injury management are inconsistent with today’s information. Many of these issues are simply explained by the publication date (2000).

    Despite this, much of the advice in this section is appropriate and useful for the targeted audience of coaches and generalists.

    Unfortunately many of the photos of equipment are simply outdated, and photos showing cyclists without helmets are inappropriate in a publication from a medical commission. Helmets are an important aspect of injury prevention, with the professional cyclists wearing helmets in 2006 as confirmation of this fact.


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