A large portion of the nearly nine thousand cycling amateurs in the Netherlands has been severely over trained. According to a pilot study, of a Dutch Olympic Sports Organization, to the health, the use of supplements and doping among amateur riders. According to the researchers is over-training in cycling a bigger problem than doping.

The researchers found even an overloaded amateur rider with cardiac arrhythmias for which treatment with a pace maker was necessary. A third of the riders in the study had to do with physical and mental exhaustion. “Cycling is a physically demanding sport ‘, in preparation for the race season they train sometimes twenty-five hours per week. In addition, they make an average of seventy, and sometimes even hundreds, race days a year. “

Riders succumb to the training if their coaches do not work together. To prevent this, the cycling federation has at the beginning of the season, created a platform where all the parties determine the annual program (training camps and races). But in practice, this system does not work always.

Enough rest is essential

By disagreements and quarrels the national coach and personal trainers of the riders do not cooperate with each other. Riders who perform poorly by overtraining be put under pressure by their coach. “A coach says, if you do not drive that race, you’re out,”. With all its consequences. There are coaches who have a bad reputation for badly dealing with the health of their riders. Because the pressure to perform is high, riders looking for ways to improve the health and recovery.

All riders in the report were using dietary supplements. For that they spent each year about maximum 15.000 THB. Doping among the amateurs is not as common, if you can believe the report. Only one rider admitted he was using illegal drugs. That was the hormone ACTH.

Half of the surveyed amateurs said they never would use illegal drugs in the future. They fear for their health or they think doping is unfair. The rest doubts. They think they will have to use drugs once they are a professional cyclist. The respondents estimate the percentage of drug users in their own environment in five to ten percent. They base themselves on their own observations.

In addition to the guidance of coach and trainer many riders make use of the services of doctors, masseurs, iridologists *, mesmerism, physiotherapists, sports doctors, club doctors and soigneurs.

* Iridology: alternative medicine which by examining the iris (of the eye), the diagnosis of disease elsewhere in the body is made.

It is not uncommon a rider has five or more different coaches. The researcher concludes that the cycling federation should provide mental coaching of riders for more self-confident and greater independence.

“Riders also wish to address the last five percent of their potential before they start using drugs. This can be possible through mental coaching. “


Another recommendation of the report is to provide medical information to young riders and their parents. “There cling more dangers to cycling than just doping. Doctors should also tell about the dangers of overtraining, and riders must learn how to recognize the signs of it.”