Oh no! Not another drugs article! Yes, but this one is positive – ah, no, not that kind of a ‘positive!’ Dan Fleeman texted me the other day to tell me that he’ll be getting a bit of an airing on the Bike Pure site, due to his decision to continue with UCI Biological Passport level blood testing with Raleigh – at his own expense.
Why do you want to do that? I asked.
His answer was enlightening:
“1) If I start flying again what will people think ? He went well at AN Post then sucked when on the passport with Cervélo then well again when off it at Raleigh.
“2) If I ever want to be selected for the Worlds or the Olympics then it’s essential that I have my blood values for British Cycling to check.
“3) No Pro Tour team in the future would consider taking a rider who has no blood data; the first thing a big team does when signing a new rider is ask to see this data.
As if to illustrate this point, VeloNation reports that new BMC Racing signing 22-year-old Norwegian: Alexander Kristoff will be prevented from taking the start of his first ever ProTour race by the UCI because of having no data on his biological passport.
“4) The info you get is really useful for my own feedback for training etc, you can see if you are low on iron or anything like that.
“It’s not like I’m ‘holier than thou’ about it – there is the aspect of being ‘clean’ but as you can see, it’s for totally practical purposes.”
So what’s with Bike Pure, Dan?
“It was two Irish guys, Myles McCrorry and Andy Layhe.
“It’s to promote clean cycling among fans, riders, officials.
“Dan Lloyd joined then I did, there’s a list of riders on their site – John Lee Augustyn, Chris Froome, Marco Pinotti, Dan Martin…
“I think they are working on a new website and there will be a fully updated list on there.”
What’s your take on ‘supplement contamination?’ It looks like Zirbel will take that route.
“I’m pretty comfortable about it, I only take Zipvit products and I know that’s a brand I can trust.
“But I know that it can happen; some of the companies who make supplements produce them for body builders.
“In Body Building, there’s the ‘clean’ federation and the ‘take what you want’ federations.
“The thing is that the products are made in the same machines and if they don’t clean properly between batches, then contamination is possible.”
What do the teams say to you about the ‘dark side?’
“They tell you to be careful, they all have an anti doping policy but it’s not something that get’s talked about a lot.”
You were DFL 2007, AN Post 2008, and Cervélo 2009. In those three seasons did you see much evidence of kitting up?
“I think I was lucky; when I was a young pro with DFL, I was able to come in at a time when things were beginning to get cleaned up and be reasonably competitive right away – I don’t think I could have done that in 1997!”
Are you on the ‘whereabouts’ programme?
“Yeah,: when Dan Lloyd and I joined Cervélo they said that they’d have to put us on it – but we told them that British Cycling had already had us on it for a couple of seasons.
“You have to log on and enter where you are going to be for a certain hour each day; but you can go in and edit it at any time.”
One other thing the UCI should be doing?
“I think they’re doing a good job, the thing I would do would be to bring the biological passport down to Pro Continental.
“Fact is that a lot of races won’t take Pro Conti teams that aren’t on the biological passport anyway, but they should formalise and eventually insist that continental teams are on it too.”
OK, that’s it, no more drugs articles – now, wouldn’t that be a good thought?