Medical examinations with Tinkoff Saxo - gallery

Sagan and teammates undergo routine checks during Croatian team camp

The Tinkoff-Saxo team's last training camp of 2015 or first of the 2016 campaign – depending on interpretation – took place in Porec, Croatia, this week.

Along with welcoming new riders and team staff to the squad, and enjoying a few short end-of-season spins, the riders went through a series of health checks and medical examinations as the state-of-art Thalassotherapia Opatija clinic.

Alberto Contador, Peter Sagan, Michael Rogers and Daniele Bennati were part of the final wave of riders who visited the clinic on Wednesday with Cyclingnews also in attendance.

The riders went through what the medical staff termed as, "preventive examination, which consists of testing the vital capacity, and lung and cardio-respiratory function using stress tests on a bike, ergometer, combined with spirometry; isokinetic which is used for screening of all possible injuries and an ultrasound of the heart."

The group of athletes were first ushered into a medical waiting room and asked to fill out questionnaires surrounding their health and consent. Then the local medical team entered the fray and called a register.

"Contador, Alberto?"
"Rogers, Michael?"

Each rider, starting with Peter Sagan, was brought through a series of medical suites and put through the series of tests. Sagan, just in bib-shorts, was made to carry out a stress test while readings from his heart were taken and then measured while he rode a static bike that incrementally upped the resistance.

"It is interesting that, even out of the competing season, when they are not in a top shape, these top cyclists are achieving 40 to 50 per cent better results than the average person who does recreational sports," said prof. Dr. Vedran Buršić, Head of Diagnostic Department of Thalassotherapia Opatija.

Cyclists and representatives of the clinic were accompanied by Vladimir Miholjević, the sports and technical director of Tour of Croatia and Top Sports Events, Irena Peršić Živadinov, Head of the Tourist Board Kvarner, Valerij Jurešić, Head of the Department for Culture, Sports and Technical Culture of Kvarner County and Fernando Kirigin, deputy mayor of Opatija.

All of the riders were given a full bill of health and even team manager Stefano Feltrin went through the health checks with his riders. The team will now disband for the next few weeks before their December training camp.

"The visit of Tinkoff-Saxo team and their trust is an honour, privilege, obligation, and confirmation of our expertise and quality in the field of sports medicine," said the clinic’s CEO professor Dr. Viktor Persic.

"We are extremely proud that this world-famous, the most powerful to ever set foot in Croatia, opted for our clinic and now we can say without any doubt that the Thalassotherapia Opatija became the genuine international clinic. The index lights on our equipment are as intensive as ever, because these guys are achieving truly extraordinary results. We are proud that we fulfilled all the tasks that were given to us and are happy to have had the opportunity to exchange experiences with team doctors of Tinkoff-Saxo."

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