Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

August 4, 2016

In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Veloso wins Portugal stage, Vinhas keeps lead; Carpenter rides break to Utah win; Astana wins Vuelta a Burgos TTT; In her own words: Armitstead explains whereabouts case; Doping control officer: It’s right that Armitstead was cleared in her whereabouts case; Vincenzo Nibali confirms leadership of Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team; The difference one year makes: Peter Stetina’s incredible comeback; Caleb Ewan extends with ORICA-BikeExchange; USA Pro Challenge will not return in 2017; Wiggins talks frankly about doping, Armstrong; A lesson to learn: Silber’s approaching cycling the right way; Adam Phelan’s Video Diary: A guide among the chaos; Brain Injuries in Mountain Biking – Are we Doing Enough?; Former Pakistani Olympic cyclist reduced to rickshaw driver; Getting Team Canada dressed for Rio; Getting vehicles dressed for a race

Brain Injuries in Mountain Biking – Are we Doing Enough?

by CyclingTips

An interesting article focusing on concussions in mountain biking, specifically downhill racing, uncovers a surprising lack of data on injuries to the brain. This is becoming an increasingly important topic across a range of sports, from American football to hockey, as former players are diagnosed with CTE, or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

Paris - Roubaix 2014

While less common, road cyclists are certainly susceptible to head injuries from crashing. Here is an excerpt from the feature:

At the top of global cycling and hence mountain biking, sits the UCI. They are indeed aware of the issues that concussion can present. I spoke to Ton Zasada, the UCI medical officer. Ton is not on site at World Cup races but has prepared some documentation for the Local Organising Committees (LOC), which reads like a plan that makes sense.

”For appropriate clinical evaluation for suspected concussion, for concussion management and return to training and competition, doctors should refer to the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 3 (SCAT 3). However, the SCAT 3 should not be used solely to make, or exclude the diagnosis of concussion in the absence of clinical judgement. A rider may have a concussion even if their SCAT 3 is “normal.” I want to emphasise that when there is any doubt, then the rider should stop training or competition immediately “

Ton is a decorated GP and has been around the scene for a long time. “Every experienced race doctor will have had at least once a discussion with teams and will remember the pressure they tried to put on us to let the rider compete. Never there should be an emotional or commercial argument that affects the medical decision.”

It is clear there are many strands to the web here, not least the commercial interests of teams and sponsors, as Ton continues.

“I think it would be a great step forwards, if the people who are living next to the rider would be paying more attention to the signals of a concussion and undertake action when there is a suspicion. And, like I mentioned in my document, the drive to achieve sport results should not make people blind to this. So an appeal to all the people who are living close to the rider and all the stakeholders may be helpful.”

Click through to read more at Descent World.