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Lotto Belisol: Medical tests for the Lotto Belisol riders today

Today the Lotto Belisol riders underwent a series of tests which took place at CHC St-Joseph, the Académie AR.L. Dreyfus (Standard de Liège) and at the Centre Cardiologique Orban in Liège. They got a cardiologic examination, an isokinetic CYBEX test and had control measurements of the core stability and muscle reinforcement. These last two tests are important as injury prevention. The riders had these kind of tests in October as well. Team doctor Jan Mathieu talks about the use of these examinations and radiologist Olivier Ghekiere of the CHC St-Joseph in Liège explains the different tests.

Injury prevention
Team doctor Jan Mathieu: “In October, after a rest period, the riders underwent a first test. Since then they had three months of training. With this second examination we want to check if the differences in power that existed in October have disappeared. Injury prevention is important, that’s why there is the isokinetic CYBEX test and the scan of the muscles. We look to the development of the muscles and the stability of the pelvis and the trunk. The examination of the heart has to trace cardiac arrhythmia.”

“Every injury that one of the riders has, is of course one too many. The intention is to avoid all injuries related to overburdening thanks to these tests. Physiotherapist Tim Aerts gave the riders a series of exercises they could execute at the training camp and at home. Now we’ve checked if any adjustments were necessary. During the season we won’t come together anymore with the entire group, but if necessary we can do extra tests of individual riders.”

Isokinetic CYBEX test
Dr. Olivier Ghekiere, radiologist CHC St-Joseph Liège: “The isokinetic CYBEX test is a power test. The riders sit on an apparatus and can only move the leg while there is a huge resistance. We then watch if there’s a difference between the power that’s placed on the quadriceps and hamstring muscle left and right. After surgery of on one knee for example there’s a difference in muscle mass because one leg is being more used than the other. After the isokinetic test there is a scan to measure the volume of the quadriceps and hamstring muscle.”

Control measurements core stability
“The control measurements for core stability is a test on the level of the back, abdomen, knee and pelvis. Back stabilization and position on the bike are very important for a cyclist. Up to 50% of the riders have problems with their back or knee, so this is again a form of prevention. We have done measurements of muscles in the lower back and abdomen with an ultrasound and scan at the CHC hospital. This result is correlated with the clinical examinations of physiotherapist Tim Aerts. In October there were the first tests and he gave individual exercises to the riders. Now we do a control to see if there’s an evolution and if adjustment is needed.”

Cardiologic examination
“The cardio tests are done by doctor Sophie Demanez. These tests are asked by the UCI. An ECG, exertion test and ultrasound are obligatory. This year we have a project in cooperation with medical partner Toshiba. With an ultrasound measurements of the heart muscle are made. That way we want to collect the data of the cyclist population. On the 10th of May we will hold a medical symposium at the Circuit of Zolder, the Lotto Belisol 2014 Congress, where we will present our results.”

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