Be it doping in sport, hot topics like Caster Semenya or Oscar Pistorius, or the dehydration myth, we try to translate the science behind sports and sports performance. Consider a donation if you like what you see here!
The French newspaper Le Monde asked me to write an Op-Ed on the 2018 Tour de France, specifically addressing the question "Can we trust Chris Froome and Team Sky". This is the original, unedited piece that was submitted. It details the history of the Tour, which makes up the canvas onto which the words "Trust me" are written, and explains why that appeal must be accompanied by extraordinary actions to break a cycle that is now decades long. Froome and Sky fall well short of it.
The 2016 Tour de France is three stages down, and it's 3 to the sprinters. This article, a republish from 2014, looks at the power output, aerodynamics and tactics of a pro sprint, with a little help from a guest contributor expert, Paolo Menaspa
"With great power comes great responsibility", quoted Sky as they released Froome's power data from the Pyrenees. Only problem is that with less power than some rivals, he achieved greater speeds. Physics reared its head, and created impossible scenarios.
There's been much talk of how physiological data - a VO2max - would validate or refute cycling performance. The reality is, as usual, a little more complex than this. My take, some illustrative examples of the concept, and suggestions for how performance, physiology & biology can work together to tell the story
As rest day #2 of the Tour arrives, more and more talk of transparency, with a vague commitment of average cadence from a stage from Sky. I say keep it, and share more thoughts on transparency, including the case of Pinot to illustrate the value
A neanderthal took to urine throwing in the Tour. Patriotism sure does inspire stupid actions sometimes. The preoccupation with the performance and physiological data inspires similar passions. But what would an alien visitor make of it, if the context was added to the debate?
I gave an interview to Off the Ball radio today. Here's that interview, plus some extra thoughts on context.
Chris Froome produced a dominant display to win the first mountain finish of the 2015 Tour de France. As always, doubts exist around the performance. One single performance does not a doper identify, but pixel-by-pixel, it's becoming harder to sit on the fence. I jump off it here.
The first rest day of the 2015 Tour de France provided a video linked to data of Chris Froome's 2013 Mont Ventoux domination. It was hurriedly removed. Long-live transparency and skepticism.