Feature – Raleigh Riders Health Checked


In a world class facility, Raleigh-GAC riders are tested by team sponsor Perform of Spire Healthcare

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Feature – Raleigh Riders Health Checked

The season for the British teams is only days away and whilst the UCI Raleigh-GAC squad are not expected to be racing until March, there is plenty going on behind the scenes.


Liam Stones is put through the mill by the staff at Perform.

All the team apart, from Morgan Kniesky (preparing for the Track World Championships) and Evan Oliphant who’s wife is expecting their second child, were at the St Georges Park Football Associations building near Burton on Trent to be tested.

The team has lots of new faces from around the World to race in the iconic colours of Raleigh and they were all put through the mill by the team from Perform, part of Spire Healthcare. The facility is quite outstanding and the sports scientists there gave each of the Raleigh-GAC riders a thorough testing including a gruelling hour and half on the Wattbike in a various on the bike tests from which they emerged in quite a state!

Who said riding a bike is always fun!


Liam Stones undergoes a VO2 max test ….

Along with riders from 2014 such as Ian Wilkinson and Liam Stones, all the new faces in the team were present to be tested at this facility which the team riders can use during the season should they need to.

South African Calvin Beneke and Britain’s Sam Lowe, both new riders to the team, spent some time in the heated ‘altitude’ room with its appropriate painted backdrop of a snow covered mountain.

Poland’s Karol Domagalski who has ridden for Caja Rural for four seasons, spoke about how he is looking forward to being given the opportunity to go for some results in his new team. Karol, who has ridden the Vuelta reminds me of Marcin Białobłocki and will be one of the teams power houses.

The team have also signed up Steve Lampier who had such a good Tour of Britain and has been training hard abroad for the season ahead. Matti Manninen, 5th in the European Under 23 Road Champs, was there too and as if by magic, Eurosport, which had been showing the Tour of Dubai, then showed highlights of the Prems held in 2014, giving the newcomers a glimpse of the racing that lies ahead.


George Pym, Steve Lampier and Sam Lowe in the new Raleigh-GAC colours from MOA

A rider who has gone from a fourth cat to racing the Tour of Britain in eighteen months, Brad Morgan (a former international skier), explained how he is delighted to be racing for the UCI team whilst George Pym is also pleased to have stepped up a level and into a UCI team.

They were all there to take advantage of one the team’s sponsors facilities. Being a relatively local team to the facility, Perform are providing three or four testing camps through the season where they’ll do physiological assessments providing them with all the facts and figures to help their coaches structure their training program. The local riders are also able to use the facilities three or four times a week in their training.

The riders on Thursday were tested in two ways. First some baseline measurements such as haemoglobin, haematocrit, blood pressure and glucose in a basic health check. They then looked at the riders body composition to see if they are carrying any excess body fat.


The second part of the assessment was on the bike where they looked at the lactate accumulation to provide them a training threshold they can use in training. They also measure the rider’s maximal aerobic capacity, or the Vo2 Max as it’s often called.

Dr Carl Wells from Perform explained that Perform , part of the Spire Health Group ( based at St Georges Park, Burton on Trent) provides sports science to athletes right around Britain. The flagship Perform centre is at St Georges Park but Carl explained there are plenty of others around the country (Manchester, Leeds, Southampton and so on).

Carl was keen to explain that the company work with elite athletes as well recreational enthusiasts whether it’s providing sports science or physiotherapy. The service they provide means that cyclists, whether it’s someone at Elite level or doing sportives, can have access to the same state of the art facilities.


Calvin Beneke testing the Hypoxic and Heat chamber

“Not only do we provide sports science assessments, we have got the physio and sports medics (for overcoming injuries) as well as the strength and conditioning facilities to train the rider. It’s a one stop shop for an athlete wanting world class support” added Carl.


Ian Wilkinson has some blood taken … I think he’s hamming it up for the camera although maybe ….


New signing Steve Lampier on the Wattbike looks at the ‘numbers’


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