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InCycle Video: Tour de France success for Astana thanks to acupuncture?

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Team Astana presented

Team Astana presented (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on his way to winning stage 18 atop Hautacam

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on his way to winning stage 18 atop Hautacam (Image credit: Tim de Waele/
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Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the podium

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) on the podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

One of the secrets to Astana Pro Cycling’s success is their acupuncture regimen, according to the team’s physiotherapist Eddy De Smedt, a former nurse who designed a treatment protocol for the team to promote relaxation and recovery, two factors that he believes were important to Vincenzo Nibali's overall victory at the 2014 Tour de France.

Acupuncture is a key component to traditional Chinese medicine and used by modern practitioners to treat pain in a complimentary and alternative form of treatment. “Pain was something that I wanted to know more about and so I came into the section of acupuncture,” De Smedt said.

De Smedt says that Astana’s riders were more familiar with other forms of treatment options such as sport therapy, physiotherapy and chiropractics but that he introduced acupuncture to them as a complimentary form of recovery treatment.

“The two goals that we are trying to integrate in one treatment are recuperation and relaxation. They tried it and the reactions have been positive,” De Smedt said with regard to building a program that would help his riders with their recovery and rehabilitation after tough stages in races like the Tour de France.

In our latest InCycle video, find out more about Astana Pro Cycling’s acupuncture regimen.

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