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by Shane Stokes
September 8, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Armee wins stage 18 of Vuelta a España, Froome pads lead; Boom blasts to stage 5 TT win at Tour of Britain; D’Hoore back in gold after stage 2 Lotto Belgium Tour win; Sponsor found for Cannondale-Drapac?; Brammeier: Cycling teams should sign up to a code of practice regarding concussions; Ben King speaks out about teenage eating disorder; Crowdfunding campaign launched for a new cleat-based powermeter; Video: Lotto Belgium Tour Stage 2 Highlights; Video: Rás na mBan stage one highlights; Video: Rás na mBan stage two highlights; Video: Red Hook Crit Barcelona 2017
Team Dimension Data rider Ben King has opened up about an eating disorder he suffered during his teenage years, saying that he would make himself vomit to experience a feeling of control during what was a highly-demanding period.
The 2010 US national champion and 2016 Tour of California stage winner spoke frankly during a video interview for the I Am Second website. “Cycling is one of the most demanding sports in the world. You’re bumping elbows, bumping handlebars and you don’t get to determine the pace, the pace is set,” he said. “The training, overreaching, overcompensating, constant ups and downs, burn[ing] 6,000 calories…you come back and you have to have self-control.
“The things that you’re trying to control, they end up controlling you. That really starts to wear you down and break you. When I was 16, 17, I did my first trip to Europe. We just got hammered. We got thrashed. I’ve never suffered like that just to finish races.” He said he returned to the US determined to work harder, but that combining training with schoolwork and swim practice pushed him to the point of exhaustion.
“One night, on my way back from swim practice, I pulled over on the road and opened the door and made myself throw up,” he continued. “In this twisted way it gave this sense of control. It became a habitual thing. I began to wear down physically and emotionally and mentally and spiritually. I remember, one night throwing up in the toilet and then brushing my teeth, spitting in the sink and there was just blood all in the sink.”
King goes on to explain how he reached a crisis moment and, from that, was able to bring about the change he needed to turn things around. Watch the video above for the full story.