Last Friday, 56-year-old professional mountain biker Eric Barone set a new world record for the fastest speed ever recorded on a mountain bike at a terror inducing 141.498 miles per hour while traveling down a mountain in the French Alps, breaking his own previous record of 138.75 mph.
Bike Radar reports that Barone, who was once a stuntman for Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme, experienced shaking and stability issues during his run, not unexpected when riding a mountain bike down a snowy ski run at nearly 150 miles per hour. In a 2002 world record speed attempt Barone crashed and suffered two torn shoulders, six broken ribs, and a broken femur.
Grivko lands a powerful right hook to the brow of Kittel early in the third round. Fitting commentary for a boxing match, but things get interesting when we learn that this was the third stage of the Dubai Tour, and Andriy Grivko and Marcel Kittel are professional cyclists. The punch left blood pouring down the face of Kittel:
The blow came early in the 200km stage from Dubai to Al Aqah. Kittel stated in a post stage interview “When we passed a construction site, the sand began blowing and as soon as we went into the crosswinds we were fighting for position, which is always stressful, and Andriy Grivko punched me,”
Kittel tweeted that he would not accept an apology for the incident:
I won't accept an apology for this. That has nothing to do with cycling. What Grivko did is a shame for our beautiful sport. pic.twitter.com/vvMN5LzQN0
Grivko has been disqualified from the race and his Astana team apologised to Kittel and his team, but Grivko also stated on his Facebook page that Kittel had pushed himself and team-mate Dmitriy Gruzdev and spat at him prior to the punch, saying that Kittel created “a very tense and dangerous situation that could cause not only my fall, but a big crash in the peloton.” Grivko added: “I responded with aggressive action to aggressive action from the other side.
Kittel, winner of the first two stages of the race retained the overall race lead by eight seconds despite the incident and finishing outside the top ten on day three.
It seems the Kittel is at least finding some humor in the situation with this tweet poking fun at the whole situation:
Cycling’s premier event, the Tour De France showcases some of the world’s finest athletes battle it out in a superhuman test of endurance. In recent years however the Tour has also been a showcase for cycling, and professional sport’s dark underbelly, cheating. Perhaps no professional athlete has fallen from such high esteem than cycling’s golden boy, Lance Armstrong, a name now synonymous with both greatness and the shame of being a proven performance enhancing substance user. Armstrong is not alone, The Next Web reports that, from 1998 to 2012, nearly half of top 10 Tour finishers tested positive for performance enhancing substances.
Performance enhancing substances are not the only way to get ahead in professional cycling it seems. A 60 Minutesreport aired on Sunday the 29th, 2017, investigated a new form of cheating unique to cycling, hiding electric motors inside bike frames, complete with secret activation buttons, to give unscrupulous athletes an unfair advantage.
60 Minutes correspondent Bill Whittaker interviewed Istvan Varjas, an engineer who says he invented the motor and drive system which he claims is being used by cyclists in the Tour De France.
Varjas is also already at work developing an electromagnetic wheel-based drive system which will provide the next generation of ‘mechanical doping.’
The 60 Minutes report comes after Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and France’s Télévisions Stade 2 news station used thermal imaging cameras last April to allegedly catch as many as seven competitors using hidden motors at Strade Bianche and Coppi e Bartali road races in Italy.
Jean-Pierre Verdy, former testing director for the French Anti-Doping Agency who has dedicated his professional career to investigating doping at the Tour De France divulged to 60 Minutes that his sources claim that around one dozen cyclists used hidden motors in the 2015 Tour de France, an alarming trend in an otherwise great competition and sport.