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News shorts: Cyclingnews readers think Tramadol should be banned

A visit to doping controls for stage 17 runner-up Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff)

A visit to doping controls for stage 17 runner-up Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Cyclingnews readers think Tramadol should be banned

In our new series of Twitter polls, we asked readers whether they thought Tramadol should be banned in competition, and the general feeling was clear: 74 per cent of those who voted believe that riders should not be allowed to use the powerful painkiller, with a smaller but not inconsiderable portion of 26 per cent feeling that a ban would be unnecessary. 

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The issue came under the spotlight earlier this week when Francesca Rossi, the director of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), claimed there was "clear abuse" of the drug and called on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to ban it in competition for 2016. WADA, however, has opted to keep the substance on its monitoring list for the coming year.

Tramadol is an opioid that can mask the pain caused by injury, but it can also numb riders to the pain of extreme physical effort, which sees it slot into a grey area in terms of ethics and performance enhancement. It is also associated with dizziness and drowsiness, thereby heightening the danger of crashes in the peloton. 

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No broken bones for Vanthourenhout after Koksijde crash

Michael Vanthourenhout managed to avoid any broken bones after a frightening crash at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup event in Koksijde, Belgium, on Sunday. 

The Belgian crashed heavily on the sandy course and was on the ground receiving medical attention for some time before being carried away on a stretcher. He was taken to a nearby hospital for an evaluation, with his hip and knee the most painful areas, and his Sunweb-NapoleonGames team communicated that the checks revealed that nothing is broken. 

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The full extent of his injuries are still unknown and it is not certain if he'll have to miss any upcoming races. 

Lord Sugar acquires Union Jack Pinarello Dogma

Lord Alan Sugar, a British businessman, has made a new acquisition in the form of a customised Pinarello Dogma K8-S, the bike used by Team Sky riders at Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France.

The star of television show The Apprentice was presented with the bike, which has been given a Union Jack pain-job, by The Bike Rooms at the Rouleur Classic show in London. It is the model, co-engineered by Pinarello and Jaguar, that incorporates a suspension system in the rear triangle, which is designed to cope with cobblestones and other rough terrain and is claimed to increase comfort by 50 per cent and overall performance by 4.6 per cent.

“The Pinarello DOGMA K8-S looks stunning, especially in my new colours, and I’m looking forward to experiencing the new suspension system which will make for a smoother ride on rough roads.

Fausto Pinarello, CEO of Pinarello, said: “The DOGMA K8-S can reshape the world of road racing. The bike absorbs only the necessary shocks of the road to allow you to keep pedalling regularly with optimum power and precision. It is the perfect bike. We’re delighted that Lord Sugar with his exacting standards has chosen the K8-S to enjoy his passion for cycling.”


Serry hoping first victory will come in 2016

Pieter Serry has endured several setbacks this year, the latest crash coming just a couple of weeks ago, but is refusing to relinquish his sense of optimism. The recently-turned 27-year-old crashed on his mountain bike a couple of weeks ago, suffering a basal skull fracture, a broken tooth and several superficial wounds. 

"I'm really happy, because I have my family and friends with me, but the best present is that I can go out with my bike," said Serry in a message on the Etixx-QuickStep team's website. "The recovery is going well, I began riding a couple of days ago and I enjoyed every moment spent with my Specialized. Today I'm celebrating with the family, but I can't wait to go to the December training camp and start building-up for 2016."

Serry suffered a string of crashes on the road this season but hopes his bad luck will come to an end next season, allowing him to clinch a first-ever professional win. 

"It wasn't an easy year, I crashed a lot, but I still got good results, like the team time trial win in the Czech Tour and my second place in a stage of the Tour de Wallonie. Despite the fact I didn't notch a victory, I was happy every time the team got a success. When somebody wins, is the win of the entire team and that gives me joy," he added.

"It was my dream to turn pro and race with a big team, which I did. Now I'm prepared and very motivated to make a new step. I'm still young and the future lies ahead of me, so I hope that one day I'll raise my arms to the sky and feel that beautiful emotion of getting a win."