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  • 2wheelsandme

    As far as I am concerned there have’nt seen any lines crossed. Keep it coming!

    • winkybiker

      Yes, keep it coming. I personally disagree with TSP’s views on quite a few things, but that’s absolutely NOT the same as saying that TSP shouldn’t publish their views.

  • Anon N + 1

    The only line I have seen crossed at CyclingTips is taking The Secret Pro behind a paywall.

    • It’s still free for all to read! We just publish 24hrs in advance to VeloClub members and then release to everyone else. The only exception is that we’re doing a couple more per year to members (and they pay for that content).

      • Speaking of The Secret Pro (and not The SHEcret Pro) … will we be seeing columns from him in 2017 as well?

        • We’re working on it!

        • David9482

          I had a thought – I wonder if the Secret Pro has either retired or found himself without a team for 2017?!? That might explain his disappearance! I think the male Secret Pro has been in the peloton for nearly 10 years, so it is a possibility!

          Perhaps Wade is looking for a replacement…. I’m just speculating of course

      • Anon N + 1

        The latest Secret Pro that appears among the tumbnails when one clicks on the Secret Pro thumbnail on the top CyclingTips page is dated Oct 4, 2016. A few weeks back a Secret Pro item appeared on the top page (or in the Daily News Digest – I forget which) but when I clicked on it, I was able to read about half a paragraph before it fadded out and the “Want to read more?” notice appeared.

        As far as I have been able to determine, that column, which should be dated late March or early April 2017, is still behind a pay wall.

        If anyone can read it now, were is it?

        • This was one extra that was done. We’ll be doing many more this year that will be available to the public. Hopefully in the next few weeks.

          • Liam Taylor

            Any current plans?

      • Marc

        It’s still free for all to read! Sentence. It’s not free for all to read!

      • tumbleweed

        Right, so it isn’t really released to everyone else…

      • ummm…

        Wade, I just made a comment re: this article above – a bit late albeit. If you dont read it, at least read this; the SHEcret pro is great. The fact that the SHEcret pro gets equal billing as the ?Hecret? pro bothers me none, and Id much rather this than some separate but equal arrangemnt, although the increased popularity of womens cycling may call for it. What i want to say is dont edit your SHEcret pro. Let her talk about issues. Let us contemplate her words. Those that want to get bogged down in crisis’ or triggers do so at their own peril. They shouldnt bring toxic attitudes/language/criticism from other realms (where they are not working so well and are contradictory) and impose them here.

  • De Mac

    Very soon, the day will come when people cannot discuss anything at all, fearing that they may upset someone…….. It seems candour and the willingness to discuss issues – supported by facts – is no longer acceptable to many – shame really, as that is not reality. Keep up the good work CT & Ella CT.

    • Leonardo Nascimento

      Agreed! I watch women’s cycling mostly due to their bodies: the insane amount of power they can push and for so long… Anything beyond that I’ll reserve for people I actually know.

      I hope one day Ella Cycling will be irrelevant, the whole gay/straight talk, also irrelevant.

      Meanwhile, kudos to Cycling Tips for covering a, so far much more interesting season of pure cycling.

  • Craig

    Well done! :-)

  • What irritates me the most is that you don’t see the same type of conversations regarding the men’s peloton. Men also can have eating disorders. Men can also be in same-sex relationships. Why is this latter concept never a topic of discussion? While I know there can still be a stigma attached to same-sex relationships, why is it more acceptable to many for women to be gay than it is for men to be gay?

    It would be so nice to get to a place in society where there’s no discussion of “is he/isn’t he/is she/isn’t she”, not because it’s bad to talk about it, but because it’s accepted and no longer strange or alien or evil or dirty.

    • I guess with dudes it’s “whatever it takes to perform” and “being a dedicated professional” whereas the same thing is an eating disorder for women.

  • cyclemtn1234

    If you stand by your decision to publish the article, shouldn’t you also admit that you have gone back and significantly changed the original text – particularly in the section about Mara – to make it less abrasive?
    That doesn’t seem like standing by your decision to me. At the very least you should admit that in this article instead of pretending for anyone who hadn’t read it yet that that was the original text. That’s completely cowardly. You can’t have it both ways.

    • cyclemtn1234

      You cannot change your article and simultaneously stand by what you wrote.

      • Jason de Puit

        Well that’s not true. As per this article it is pretty clear that they stand by the content of the article but admit that the way some of the statements were written was not ideal, or well thought-out.

        • cyclemtn1234

          The original article was changed to the version that is now up. For instance:
          “While she was devastated not to win in Rio last year” (original)
          “While it was devastating to watch her not win the Olympics after such an effort in Rio last year”

          Fairly different from my perspective.

          • Jason de Puit

            Fair point.

            I can only assume that this is an example of the editing issues talked about this follow-up article whereby they don’t want to speak on behalf of someone.

            Anyhow, I see your point.

  • Cruz er

    Love Mara Abbott and her eating disorder is not a secret, and I agree it could have been worded better but it is a valid point.
    I could care less about athletes sexual orientation but obviously it’s a topic.

    I also agree with the comment below that says if you stand by it, stand by it. If you change it, you have to state it here and print a retraction/apology/explaination of the change. That’s just journalistic integrity.

    As for other things to dish on, I want to know what the rest of peloton thinks of Lizzie Armistead and her almost-doping/avoiding testing drama?
    Her husband is with Sky, not exactly the most ethical team. She was part of GB cycling, not exactly the most ethical team.
    Is she adopting a “clean, grey area” stance?
    I personally question her past results and do not really trust her as a cyclist.
    The peloton is a fraternity but there were a lot of vocal women at the time stating that her avoidance of testing was hitting some b.s. meter red zone.

    • Todd!

      Lizzie was covered in a previous edition…

  • Sorry. Not sorry.

  • H.E. Pennypacker

    Keep crossing lines until they’re dots. Discomfort is healthy. All I’d say is just proofread and edit a little more carefully while you do it. Beyond that, keep up the good work.

    • David9482

      Exactly, discomfort on these issues is healthy… because people suffering from eating disorders are in a lot of “discomfort” to say the least and need help! Unless we support people suffering from these issues, then they’ll be severly handicapped when trying to recover.

      All the best to Mara Abbot and other girls suffering from this

  • RacingCondor

    The problem I had with the Mara Abbott section was that she’s been public about it, and her retirement statement post Olympics was dignified and mature. I think the article failed to achieve the same.

    Sure she’s not the ideal of healthy sportsperson you’d want to see gracing magazine covers afterwards but I’d bet she would have made good use of the opportunity to talk about her problems in the press had she won.

    I also thought the relationship section came across as click bait (mentioned in tweets, weak on content although I’m not sure what you could have said).

    Totally agree that you shouldn’t shy away from these conversations but they are hard to write.

    Please keep them coming, I like the idea just thought this one fell short.

  • Mike Breeze

    It was a great story and refreshing in tone and candour. We only get problems when issues aren’t discussed.

  • Moa Dib

    There was nothing at all wrong with the article as written. It covered come delicate topics which were very considerately worded. Looking forward to more such insights – raising awareness of such issues really helps.

  • Martin Pennington

    Good read for all I think the reading could have been much better and eating disorders etc. is obviously something for the sport (and sport in general) to address properly not just via the medium of an anonymous column online. Editing it would take away the authenticity and it’s certainly sparked debate.

    • Martin Pennington

      *wording not reading

    • David9482

      Exactly, maybe some of the wording could have been “better”, but the whole point of the Shecret Pro pieces is authenticity and saying what people should hear….

      Just as the Secret Pro barely holds back when bringing up people’s viewpoints on unspoken past doping, his female counterpart must be free to express herself. As long as she can back up what she says of course…

  • Mark

    The article did not cross any lines, people are just far to sensitive these days. What is the point of ‘The secret/shesecret pro’ if it does not include inside goss/talk and atmosphere of the peloton.

    The world of professional cycling is not a healthy or pretty place, the weight loss diets are nothing short of scary, but if that’s what you want to read about I’m sure there are plenty of pretty puff pieces to read elsewhere.


    I thought that was the best SHEcret Pro that you’ve published to this point. Open and honest. More of the same please.

  • Duncan Lally

    It was an excellent article!

  • David9482

    Thanks for tackling these issues head-on! As a father to a young daughter, I DEFINITELY don’t want my daughter’s future ambitions to lead her to unhealthy diets, insecurity about her future partners (whether they be girls or boys, either way – it’s important she is secure in her decisions), etc.

    I never realised how big these issues were until I started thinking about my daughter’s future interest in sports (including cycling, hopefully!).

    Further, no other sporting site on the planet appears to tackle these issues in the way that Cycling Tips does, and the Shecret Pro is a perfect medium for it. If her writing appears blunt and straight to the point, then GREAT! As Anne-Marie points out, the worst thing to do is dance around or ignore these topics because that just furthers the stigma/awkwardness around them.

    As well, Anne-Marie mentioned, the Shecret Pro is only confirming issues that are widely discussed, assumed to be true or that were admitted by Mara Abbot. And obviously, nobody wants Mara Abbot to fail, but at the same time, and I have zero solution to how to address this, Mara Abbot’s body at the Olympics really appeared she went to great lengths to be on the razor edge. I know there appears to be a double standard in this – eg. for men we applaud the lengths Froome et al. take to be on the razor edge, but with women we criticise, but alas once again it appears that with women this appears to be a more detrimental issue.

    I really have no idea how to address the unfairness of this issue in how it is slanted towards women, BUT I do know that if the Shecret Pro and Cycling Tips didn’t discuss this issue, then myself and many other men who read this might not think about it with regards to their own daughters… and isn’t that the point?!? Awareness of these issues so that young girls can have as much support as they need???

    So once again, thank you thank you thank you for all of the Women’s coverage on Cycling Tips.

    • cyclemtn1234

      I seriously doubt it is a more detrimental issue for women.
      If you have a son, you should have the same concerns for him, or greater, because he will lack the support and visibility of the issue

      • zosim

        Exactly. Men suffer as badly as women from psychological disorders and, due to the nature of “toughen up” attitudes, those same issues produce a far higher incidence of suicide in young men than young women. Gone are the days when we should be telling a boy/man to “man up” when they’re having a hard time. Society’s definition of masculinity is as damaging mentally as its definition of femininity but men, overall, have less support from that same society. I’d recommend anyone to watch The Mask You Live In, a documentary about this subject; its hard watching but most men I know who’ve seen it all agree that they have experienced it to a greater or lesser extent.

        Shining a light on this sort of issue is fine, but as @disqus_Ik8E0lpfSp:disqus said, don’t pretend that because it’s not something discussed by men it doesn’t happen.

      • Cruz er

        The bullying and degrading culture of GB racing and in the face of it, other athletes defending the actions… that’s the most detrimental issue for women in cycling.
        A culture of male dominated bullying and disrespect of women across the board. That is what must change.

  • Paulo Maratonas

    I do not see any major issue … it’s her view and her space, everybody should respect it ! even if do not agree . kudos for being that open !

  • Simon Wile

    Keep it coming CT. There are way too many wowsers and sooks taking the fun and interest out of cycling. Opinion pieces give great insight and I appreciated the honesty of the article.

  • Amelia Lewis

    THIS should have been the original article. A thoughtful, considered, well-written piece of quality journalism. Not the poorly-phrased, confusing, gossip-column-esque attempt published by the SHEcret Pro, something clearly under-edited which undermined the standard many of us have come to expect from this site. As other posters note, insights into the women’s peloton are sorely needed but CT is highly regarded and the editors should be careful not to allow something apparently hurriedly typed on an iPhone to be the voice of women’s racing, undermining the professionalism and integrity of the female peloton as a whole.

    • Cruz er

      They aren’t adding to the scriptures of the Nag Hamadi Library. They are writing entertaining insights that are, and have always been, written in a casual format.

  • Steve S

    Don’t know what’s worst tbh, the overly sensitive PC brigade having hysterics because something isn’t perfectly right-on, or the organisations that immediately feel the need to apologise because they think this screaming is coming from everyone.

    It was an excellent, interesting article. No lines were crossed.

  • mittNYC

    To have an anonymously written column be informative, interesting and give readers a fresh angle on pro riding, while at the same time not sink into gossip column territory – very tricky.

    When these columns (both secret and shecret) work well, it’s because they give you the inside perspective on something topical, or on a major aspect of bike racing where the public has a general view that’s actually not shared on the inside. TUE data gets hacked and released? We get to hear what the view from the inside is on rubbing up against that line. Rider supposedly injured by a disc brake? We find out what the peloton (are at least a component of) thinks about the new technology. Riding shoulder to shoulder in a group of 200 at 30mph is presumably second nature for these guys/girls right? Nah actually half of them lose sleep over it. Etc

    Personally I thought the most recent shecret pro was fairly lame. For example the part about lesbians – how was that useful or constructive? If a big name rider had just publicly come out and spoken openly about the challenges of being a female gay pro rider, then by all means that would be a great time to make it a topic. But this felt more like “oooh and for all you bloke readers who’ve wondered if there are lezzers in the peloton – well guess what? You’re right!”

    And then when it comes down to naming individuals – obviously when it’s complimentary that’s one thing – it’s always fun to hear that that bloke who seems like a total legend, is one. But on the other end of the spectrum it should be generally avoided. Unless she crashed needlessly in the most recent race, injuring several other riders – why is Leah Thorvilson and her bike handling skills a point of discussion?

    Someone in the comments section of the most recent Shecret Pro said they thought the Secret/Shecret pro columns should happen more frequently – maybe so. But while they’re happening at their current rate, surely there are a lot more interesting points to cover over a three month span.

  • Bones

    I enjoyed the article. I would like future articles to discuss subjects that are important to the peloton, issues that they struggle with, aspects that they love and what they want changed.

  • Joe Crawford

    I enjoyed the column and the interesting insight into a world that I know very little about. It was eye opening to read that so many professional athletes are still asked about their personal sexual preferences. I cannot imagine having to explain or even be asked about my relationship on a constant basis.

    The eating disorder is also something I had very little knowledge of and I am glad that it is being discussed. I was a high school wrestler is the states and many young men developed eating disorders to make weight before a match. The only way people learn about this disease is to remove the stigma around it have open discussions about it and how damaging it is to your body and mental wellbeing.

    Keep up the great work, discomfort makes us grow and this was done in a very tasteful manner.

  • Rowena

    I didn’t see any lines of anything being crossed, it’s nothing different to what we talk about at the end of the ride with some of the girls I ride with or even my partner at home or my mother. Perhaps people should broaden their horizons and use some of the topics covered in the SHEcret Pro to expand their knowledge and understanding of things and stuff.

  • kamil krulis

    Mara Abbot is the Shecret pro.

  • Arnav Kapur

    Thanks for this post, I thought it was a brave and much needed addition to the discussion of procycling. One thing I am curious about regarding women’s procycling is that, and I am by no means an expert, there seems to be more breakaway victories in the men’s side than the women’s. This is not for lack of trying, there are loads of solo and long-range attacks on both sides, it just seems to be more successful on the men’s – any thoughts?

    Potentially the fewer races make each race in the women’s world tour calendar more valuable and so whereas with long stage races each day is not of huge importance to teams, perhaps it is for women?

    Just curious and would love to hear your thoughts on this!

  • ummm…

    I was one of the people very critical of the “Seperate but equal” stance re: ella. i made my voice heard and got kind, curious, and well thought out responses. I didnt have to read very far on this point to know where it was going. the secret pro is great man or woman. granted i may not get as much enjoyment out of the SHEcret pro, but that is possibly because i dont follow womens cycling very closely.

    With that being said, we shouldnt have any more sensitivity to eating disorders in the female peloton than the male. We dont see people in a furor when the issue is discussed in relation to men, and that is probably because there is some sort of male disposability – or ethic that men need to watch out for themselves and only have themselves to blame if things go pear shaped.

    With that being said, I dont think that bogging down women in the world with all these hyper sensitivities – or bogging down their expression of themselves in the world – serves the larger goal of integrating men and women into a common work and cultural environment – where sex is not the most important marker.

    Let the SHEcret pro write when and what she wants. Stop with this hypersensitivity towards womans issues when it only serves to BOG DOWN OR MUFFLE WOMENS VOICES. life is hard for men and women. let them speak about it without turning everything into a crisis or trigger.


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December 12, 2017
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