Ludvig Anton Wacker at the Antwerp Port Epic.

Former Danish prospect denounces the prevalence of pills in cycling

Ludvig Anton Wacker, who is retiring from racing at age 21, addressed the topic of pills in cycling.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Ludvig Anton Wacker, who spent 2019 and 2020 at the Continental level with Development Team Sunweb before racing on a Danish club team this year, denounced the use of pills in cycling in an interview with Feltet.dk.

“I’m tired of pills in the sport. It may be legal pills, but I’m tired of having pills in cycling, and I think it’s grotesque, it should be so clear,” Wacker said, according to Feltet.dk.

The 21-year-old Dane, who won the Gent-Wevelgem juniors race in 2017, touched on the subject while explaining his decision to retire at such a young age after a number of setbacks.

In the interview, Wacker expressed his disapproval for the prevalence of finish line pill containers, regardless of the legality of substances riders are taking, adding his voice to a growing number of critics of pills in the sport. The use of pills is nothing new in cycling, but the practice has been under increased scrutiny in recent years, particularly as questions arose around the use of tramadol, which was ultimately banned in 2019.

Other painkillers remain legal for use by professional cyclists, and Wacker denounced their presence at major events.

“In the big races, people drive around with small containers in their pockets with pills and so on. I have never wanted to take something myself, and then you know that in all the finals, the others take something you do not take yourself. These include painkillers and caffeine, among other things. It’s completely ridiculous the amount of people taking. Because you do not know what it can mean for the rider’s body in 20 years,” he said.

“I often think it is the young riders who do it themselves. It is not necessarily the team that is responsible for it. The riders can get it themselves. It is very easy to access.”