t-mobile-team.com 12, April 2005

Step by step to becoming a pro

Since the beginning of 2005, the T-Mobile Team has been breaking new ground in promoting talented young riders. Cycling coach Heiko Salzwedel (47) is in charge of the "T-Mobile Development Programme", which promotes young budding riders and supports them with the planning of their training. Salzwedel discusses the origins, first successes and the future of the programme.

Mister Salzwedel, the T-Mobile Development Programme designed by you is very complex and includes many interesting approaches. Could you sum up the main points?

Heiko Salzwedel: Our aim is to spot talented, young, international riders, to promote them and to support them with the planning, supervision and testing of their training activities. The athletes are supposed to remain in their environment, their teams and national teams - as opposed to concepts of other teams like Rabobank or - in the past - Mapei. The developing is scheduled for three years.

When will they make it into the pro team?

Salzwedel: Integrating them in a pro team, preferably the T-Mobile Team of course, is our long-term goal. We guide the young riders along their way, trying to prepare them step by step for a pro career.

The programme was launched in January this year. What is your assessment after the first three-and-a-half months?

Salzwedel: I am very content with the measures we've taken so far, the first one being the ProTour team's training camp in January in Mallorca. Three young riders from England and one from Czechia were training for one week with the pros, rubbing shoulders with them. And the pros responded great: They had coffee and dinner with the young riders and took their time to answer all questions. Meetings and activities like that are very important in that they foster the integrity and loyalty to the team.

Do your protégés already have any successes under their belts?

Salzwedel: 17-year old Ian Stannard from England, for example, won a junior race in Belgium, his compatriot Kristian House placed an excellent 12th at the Tour of Mallorca. But we are still at the beginning. It will take a couple of months until we can reap the fruit of our labour.

What exactly is your role within the concept?

Salzwedel: I go to races, for example, in order to watch the riders under racing conditions. For the Tour of Mallorca I put together a team of young riders from different teams. That's one thing. In addition to that, I control the training of the riders via the SRM system and organise training camps. For example, I got a call for help from Czechia recently: Due to bad weather the young Czechian riders weren't able to train. So I organised a training camp in Mallorca on the spot. And last, but not least, I establish contacts with sporting managers or national coaches, build up networks and structures.

There has been criticism of the T-Mobile talent in random media circles. What is your opinion about it.

Heiko Salzwedel: I have to challenge such criticism. It it was true that T-Mobile is not commited to their young talents, this development programme wouldn't exist at all. We certainly have to wait and see what will come out of it, but it is a new approach. What's more: The new generation in the T-Mobile Team including Marcus Burghardt, Bas Giling and Bernhard Kohl is doing a brilliant job so far!

The Sprocket, Issue 5, February 2005



Neil 'Raggy' Wragg, Paul 'Chipo' Morrissey & John 'Eraserhead' Porter from High Wycombe CC were shown around the cycling mecca of Mallorca by the UK's brightest cycling talents. Geraint Thomas, Ian Stannard and Kristian House, who are currently staying at the new SRM Training Centre courtesy of the T-Mobile Pro Cycling Team and Heiko Salzwedel (ex-GB, Germany & Australia National coach) took the club riders on an 80 mile ride around the mountains of Mallorca.

All three lads were relaxed and were obviously enjoying the hospitality of the T-Mobile team as well taking full advantage of the dry, sunny weather on the island. The ride, the last one in Mallorca for Kristian who was flying straight out to Malaysia to ride the Tour de Langkawi with the GB Team, was ridden at an easy pace until the foot of the mountains when the lads took off and rode the climbs several times before the club riders finally reached the summit! Geraint even rode back down to grab Chipo's saddle and push jhim up the steeper sections of the climb, nothing quite like the feeling of having the best of Britain's future talents as your domestique!

Kristian's talents not only lay in hill climbing as he made a number of emergency repairs to (again!) Chipo's bike which enabled him to continue riding for the rest of the day, a big thanks then goes to Kristian for his patience and skill at fixing wheels with dodgy rim tape!

Kristian has since emailed me from Langkawi saying "its pretty muggy here... but should be good. Just looking forward to the racing starting!" At the time of writing this Kristian has made an impressive start by winning the King of the Mountains jersey in the first stage & keeping hold of it so far.

All three riders had been undergoing scientific ramp testing at the SRM Training Centre using the latest Dura-Ace compatible Powermeter cranks with the data being translated into training plans for the lads by Heiko.

Heiko is now in charge of the T-Mobile youth development squad, guiding the young riders through their racing and giving them any help they need along the way, whether it is assisting the riders to get a place on a Continental pro team or to check on training graphs emailed to him, Heiko said that "I will be their mentor for the next two years and they can come to me at any time for advice or support. Being a professional cyclist on the Continental circuit is very different to what they have been used to so I will be able to help them, they are still young at the moment but I will be able to guide them until they sign a major contract."

Together with SRM ( http://www.srm-sports.com/ ), producers of the crank-based Powermeter, Heiko Salzwedel has setup a training camp in a finca near Palma in sunny Mallorca where anybody can get the same testing and performance diagnosis as the three British lads and the T-Mobile pro cycling team. For €120 any club rider can get testing and diagnosis, individual training planning, nutritional and medical advice from the world's leading coach. We stayed at the nearby BARCELO PUEBLO PARK Hotel (Tel: +34 971 26 17 00). This hotel is perfect for cyclists with all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, two pools and a fitness centre and it also houses the best cycle workshop facilities on the island. Whilst we were there we were sharing the facilities with Danilo Hondo and the rest of the Gerolsteiner pro team as well as Floyd Landis and his Phonak pro team. Since the Phonak team alonebrought 50 bikes with them the track pump was getting plenty of use!

The hotel is just 20 minutes cycle ride from the SRM Training Centre, 5 miles from Palma and just yards from the beach but there are also beds available in SRM's finca itself. For further information on the accommodation and testing facilities at the SRM Training Camp contact http://www.srm-sports.com/ or email me at hwcc@switchtechnology.com. I (Raggy) got tested on the SRM ergotrainer by Heiko and managed a power output of 320 watts which paled into comparison to Geraint's power output of 420 watts a few days earlier! Watch out for Geraint it has been mentioned by current GB Track coach, David Brailsford that 'Geraint has the best potential talent of any GB rider he has ever seen'.

We had fantastic weather for our weekend's training in Mallorca, in the two days riding we did over 160 miles in Spring like sunshine with dry, quiet roads and the purest blue skies. However, Mallorca in January doesn't guarantee you this great weather, we were lucky because the day after we left it snowed and it the last time that happened was 1985! Mallorca sees over 30,000 cyclists for winter training and sun and it easy to see why. Any ride can be tailored for either flat, quiet roads or steep mountainous hairpins. On day one we rode over the mountains into Soller where the steep switchbacks down into the town can be lethal, ask John who went skidding across the clifftop roads on the first ride on his new Litespeed! On day two we took a flat route through the woodland roads around the South West corner of the island. Ask any club member about the benefits of winter training in Mallorca & they'll tell you since most have been or go regularly. Dry, warm, sunny miles in January -it's good for the soul you see!

Cycling Weekly

T-Mobile snap up Thomas

GERAINT Thomas, winner of last year's junior edition of ParisRoubaix and also the junior World Championship scratch race. 15 one of three promising British riders snapped up by T-Mobile talent spotters for their new UCI Continental team.

Thomas, only 18, who was ranked third most impressive newcomer behind Giro winner Damiano Cunego and Tour de France yellow jersey Thomas Voeckler by Cycling Weekly readers in our 2004 poll, is joined in the T-Mobile line-up by national junior time trial champion lan Stannard, 19, who was second to Thomas in Paris-Roubaix, and by 24-year-old Kristian House.

The three meet up with their new T-Mobile team-mates in Majorca this month. They go with the blessing of British Cycling, which was approached by T-Mobile scouts seeking talented individuals for their development programme.

T-Mobile's aim is to prepare developing riders for professional road racing, and they will undergo performance tests and races with Jan Ullrich's T-Mobile squad. The trainer, Heiko Salzwedel, was formerly a coach with the British World Class Performance Plan team.

"I'Mobile squad. The trainer, Heiko Salzwedel, was formerly a coach with the British World Class Performance Plan team.

"I've always wanted to turn pro on the Continent," said Thomas last week, on the eve of travelling to the Bremen SixDay, where he is to partner Mark Cavendish in the junior event before flying directly to Majorca.

Thomas admitted he was taken aback by the CW readers' poll which ranked hirn third best newcomer last year after his Paris-Roubaix victory.

"I was surprised. To be compared with Cunego and Voeckler, that's something," he laughed. He recalled the moment he set his heart on racing abroad. "I first decided I wanted a Continental career when I was 14, when I won the Manchester Youth Tour," he recalled.

He said he used to watch as much of the Tour de France as British terrestrial TV allowed, but after his Youth Tour success his increased appetite could only be satisfied by getting British Eurosport for its live coverage.

Since then he has raced in Belgium a lot, and won an interclub race there. As part of a GB team he led a Dutch stage race, until he was in a mass crash.

He has also won quite a few Peter Buckley events at home, and took one each either side of his impressive Paris-Roubajx triumph last April.

T-Mobile team manager Olaf Ludwig says their team's initiative is an ideal model for discovering and nurturing a new generation of riders: "A young rider needs to follow and adapt to professional training and behaviour patterns before he signs his first professional contract with a ProTour team. This programme will gradually introduce the riders to higher performance requirements, thus better preparing them to meet the demands of top pro racing," Ludwig said.

Salzwedel added: "The lads already rank among the best performers in their national teams. Riding for a pro team is a different ball game, however. But the young riders can learn a lot when they go on training rides with the T-Mobile team."

Fitness features, December 30, 2004

Power-based training Part II: Power to the coaches

Following our article on the use of power meters in training, Cyclingnews caught up with a few members of our fitness panel and other well-known coaches to get their perspective on using power meters and how their methods of coaching have changed in the last ten years since their introduction. Kristy Scrymgeour and Anthony Tan report on their responses.

Heiko Salzwedel, who is probably best known for his role as head road cycling coach at the Australian Institute of Sport during the early-to-mid 90s - the same time power meter systems were introduced at the academy - says the power meter virtually replaced heart rate-based training in terms of creating programs for his athletes. "Before I used the SRM system, kilometre and heart rate were the common parameter to design training programmes," he begins.

"That means, a 5km workload for the same programme varied from winter to summer, from headwind to tailwind and in different profiles and temperatures. Contrary, the prescribed training ranges with the power meter are precise and clear."

[read more]


The first ever Olympic Solidarity Technical Course for Cycling Coaches opened on Monday 25th October at NUPW Headquarters and will run until November 1st. Mr. Heiko Salzwedel is the International Cycling Union appointed expert and he will deliver instruction to the 18 coaches registered.

 Heiko Salzwedel - UCI appointed expert

As the Caribbean Cycling Union has recently been formed and is currently headed by President of the Barbados Cycling Union Keith Yearwood, an invitation was extended to coaches from our neighbouring islands and there are participants from St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Trinidad and Tobago in addition to our own coaches.

 Keith Yearwood - President Barbados Cycling Union

In his remarks at the Opening Ceremony, BOA Secretary General Erskine Simmons said, “ The BOA is cognizant that skilled coaches are one of the key components to sport development and we strongly believe programmes such as this one are essential to the enhancement of the local coaching structure and ultimately sport in general”. He added, “I am sure this course is yet another mechanism in the goal of the Barbados Cycling Union to improve cycling. It also satisfies one of the primary mandates of the BOA, to facilitate and stimulate Olympic sport in our homeland”.

October 5, 2004

O'Neill Signs With Navigators Insurance For 2005

Hackettstown, NJ, USA

Nathan O´Neill, current and five-time Australian National Time Trial Champion, has signed with the Navigators Insurance Cycling Team for the 2005 season, Director Sportif Ed Beamon announced today.

"We are excited to add Nathan to our roster of champions," said Beamon. "Nathan brings tremendous experience and depth to our team. With his intimate knowledge of European races, and his obvious success here in North America, Nathan will be a great asset for us as we expand our presence in a Global arena."

"I look forward to contributing to the Navigators Insurance Cycling Team´s winning tradition as they embark on their second decade of cycling," said O´Neill. "I am very appreciative of their confidence in my abilities and am quite pleased to be racing with some of the best cyclists in the world."

The Navigators Insurance Cycling Team, the only U.S.-based team to register as a Professional Team under the new UCI rules for the 2005 season, plans a program that includes races in Europe, the United States, Australia and Asia.

"I am keen to race in Italy, Belgium and my homeland of Australia again and especially keen to race on a Colnago," O´Neill said, who speaks fluent Italian.

Beamon added, "Nathan´s commitment to professionalism and dedication to his fellow teammates make him an ideal fit with our program. I am confident he will be able to lead the team in many situations, as well as provide strong support for his teammates. He is an excellent ambassador for our sport and will be a great representative for Navigators Insurance, Colnago and our many industry sponsors."

Nathan O´Neill is a native of Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. He began racing at age 14 and twice won the Junior National Australian Time Trial Championships. O´Neill has served on the Australian National Team since 1992 and hasrepresented his country in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2002 Commonwealth Games, where he won the Bronze Medal in the Time Trial, and four World Championships, including 2001 when he placed eighth in the Time Trial.

O´Neill is the current Australian National Time Trial Champion and has held the title five times. He turned professional in 2000 with the Italian team Panaria. The year 2003 was his first in the United States where he made 25 podium appearances, including ninerace victories and 16 race leader's jerseys, as a cyclist for the Saturn Team. For the 2004 season, Nathan raced with the Colavita Olive Oil Pro Cycling Team, placing second overall at the Grand Prix de Beauce and winning every Time Trial in which he competed.

O´Neill lives in North Georgia with his wife, Karen, who is the Director of Special Programs for the Tour de Georgia.

cyclingnews.com, August 16, 2004

Arndt angry at German federation

By Jeff Jones

Women's road race silver medalist Judith Arndt was fined 200 Swiss francs by the UCI for unseemly behaviour, after raising her middle finger as she crossed the line in Athens yesterday. The top-ranked German bristled during the post-race press conference over her cycling federation's refusal to nominate her partner Petra Rossner for the Olympic road race.
Asked by reporters if her finger gesture was aimed at winner Sara Carrigan, Arndt said, "It wasn't anything to do with Sara."

The 28 year-old blamed the federation for making the German team's task so much harder to win the gruelling 118.8 kilometre race around Athens' city streets. "Of course, we're happy about the silver medal but if the nomination had been given to Petra and she had been on the start line then things would have been different," Arndt said. "We wouldn't have had to race so recklessly and after all she is the fastest sprinter in the world.

"The anger about Petra's non-nomination has not gone away. We gave the gold away," she said. "Petra is the best sprinter in the world. I'm sad that she did not ride with me. I dedicate my medal to her."

37 year-old Rossner, from Leipzig, won the 3000m individual pursuit on the track at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She finished a disappointing 30th in the Olympic road race at Sydney in 2000, but bounced back to win the German national title this June.

Arndt's displeasure struck a chord with the Australians, celebrating Carrigan's triumph just seven years after she was first given a road bike as part of a talent identification program at her local high school. "I'm glad she (Rossner) didn't get a ride," Australian women's road coach James Victor said. "They would have been a bigger threat if she did. "It (Rossner's omission) destabilised the Germans with a bit of friction there."

Arndt's sourness was in sharp contrast to the ebullience of Carrigan, savouring her major success in cycling. "It's absolutely awesome, to be Olympic champion is incredible. I will treasure this day forever," said Carrigan, who regards Arndt as one of her cycling heroes. "I've always dreamed of going to the Olympics when I was very young, I wasn't sure at what sport. To be here celebrating a gold medal is absolutely fantastic.

"Contrary to what people believe, cycling is a team sport and it was a matter of which Australian ended up on the podium. We'd been talking throughout the race and asking how each other felt and whether we were still sticking to our plan.

"I had fantastic legs and when I went, it wasn't too far from the end. When I was away by myself and found out I had 40 seconds on thto our plan.

"I had fantastic legs and when I went, it wasn't too far from the end. When I was away by myself and found out I had 40 seconds on the bunch, it was all or nothing then, just go for the gold."

January 15, 2004

Life is good

An interview with Marcel Wüst

Three years after a post-Tour de France criterium crash left him without sight in one eye and prematurely ended his pro career, German sprinter Marcel Wüst has discovered a new way of life - and a new career as a high profile television commentator in Europe. The two-time Tour rider is also helping to develop the next generation of riders through sponsorship and coaching support of the junior team named after him in Germany. Life, he reckons, is pretty good...and the fact he now owns a house and spends several months a year in Australia only makes it better. Wüst talks with Karen Forman about it all while on his annual three month sabbatical Down Under.

[read more]

January 14, 2004

On the road to recovery - again

An interview with Henk Vogels
"Everything this season is for Gent-Wevelgem"

Henk Vogels has good reason to be "feeling very average". Just over a week ago, a high speed tumble and two broken ribs was the end result in only his second race back after a horrific, season-ending crash in June last year. However, despite the disappointment of missing the BMC Software Australian Road Championships and Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, the tough-as-nails Aussie is determined to be ready for his number one priority this year: Gent-Wevelgem. Anthony Tan reports.

After spending the last six months recuperating and rehabilitating from a crash many first thought was fatal, the 30 year-old, soon to be father of two had spent barely two weeks back in serious training, riding between 80 to 100 kilometres a day, before disaster struck again at the second round of the Be Active Cycle Instead Criterium Series in his hometown of Perth.

[read more]

An interview with Henk Vogels

Captain Courageous: A return from the dead

In eight seasons as a professional bike rider, averaging 35,000-40,000 kilometres a year, Henk Vogels had never broken a bone. Then on June 28, a high-speed, almost fatal crash changed all that. Many thought he was dead; others felt sickened at the sight of what they saw on the roadside. But someone up above has given Vogels the gift of life, and as Anthony Tan writes, the Aussie hard-man could well bounce back to his biggest year ever.

[read more]

January 5, 2004, dailypeloton.com

Interview with Colavita/Bolla Cyclist Nathan O'Neill

By Janna Trevisanut

Nathan O'Neill is an enormously talented rider who had a fantastic season under his belt (see palmares below) with Saturn in 2003, when a nasty accident at The International- Tour de Toona took him out of play.

But he has made a stunning recovery - we will be seeing Nathan first at the Australian National Championships this month, after which he will come to the US to join his new team, Colavita/Bolla. Here's our recent chat with him.

Daily Peloton: Let's get the gnarly stuff out of the way - you crashed just short of the finish line at The International (Tour de Toona) this past July and broke two vertebra in your neck. But as of October, you were riding in Georgia, preparing for the Australian Championships in January. Your doctor said that you made an enormously fast recovery, and that some people with your type of injury don't even walk again. How did you do it? Who would you like to acknowledge or thank?

[read more]

December 24., 2003, Cyclingnews.com

An interview with Heiko Salzwedel
Salzwedel challenges "contradictory" WADA to re-think caffeine stance

by Karen Forman

The decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to remove caffeine and pseudoephedrine from its list of restricted substances astonished many coaches and sports administrators when it was announced in September. Cycling coach to the UK, Australia and Germany, Heiko Salzwedel, has questioned the wisdom of the latest changes to the list of banned subtances, supporting the comments of other sports scientists and coaches who also criticised WADA earlier this year. It would appear the reservations of these coaches has been picked up in Switzerland, with the International Cycling Union (UCI) yet to announce if cycling will adopt the 'WADA list' in 2004.

The World Anti-Doping Agency has contradicted its own position on the use of supplements in sport in removing substances such as caffeine and pseudoephedrine from the list of banned drugs and should change its mind, especially when it came to the sport of cycling, international high performance coach Heiko Salzwedel said in Australia recently.

Salzwedel told attendees at a coaching clinic on the Gold Coast in a special session on supplement usage, that he was shocked at WADA's announcement six weeks ago, particularly given its previous comments relating to supplements.

(Come January 1, 2004 - when the "WADA List" effectively replaces what's called the "IOC List" - any athlete will be allowed to use unrestricted quantities of performance enhancing substances that are still either illegal or allowed in limited quantities.)

"WADA's position on supplements is basically crap," he said. "In 2000 it said that doping was 'everything which enhances performance' and recommended that athletes did not take nutritional supplements at all. But now it has recommended to legalise the use of substances which have been scientifically proven to enhance performance - I have examples from my time with the Australian Institute of Sport, as head cycling coach - which is against their own rules."

He said he wasn't sure how hard the UCI was fighting against the changes six weeks ago. "I know many other sports are much more hypocritical [about drugs] than cycling, because cycling is fairly proactive when compared to other sports. For example at this year's World's in Hamilton where a young female cyclist was not allowed to start the road race after she was tested to have a too-high haemocyte level. It doesn't mean she was positive but it was a clever idea of the UCI. She just wasn't healthy enough to perform."

But he suggested the UCI could perhaps take a stronger stand. Salzwedel said he was particularly concerned at the withdrawal of caffeine from the banned list. "Pseudoephedrine, well I think it makes sense as a lot of riders when they have colds cannot take anything to restore their health but what in the hell are they doing allowing caffeine?"

He recalled a 1997 survey on which the National Road Cycling Program worked with the AIS Physiology and Applied Nutrition department, where 19 pro teams had been asked what riders drank during racing.

"Eleven of the teams completed the survey and we learned that 90 per cent of riders drank Coca Cola. Only one team did not. At that point Dr David Martin asked, 'is this another example of athletes being ahead of scientists?'.

Potent combination

Is this future?

"I attended a conference in Canberra in 1998 when I was with the AIS where, amongst others, an Australian army scientist spoke about how long soldiers could go without sleeping. They tested separate groups on water, caffeine, pseudoephedrine and a combination of caffeine and pseudoephedrine. The water-only group lasted five days, the caffeine-only group seven days and the pseudoephedrine-only group lasted six days.

"But the combination group with caffeine and pseudoephedrine lasted 12 days! I was shocked about the outcome; the efficiency of the combination of caffeine and pseudoephedrine. This is real stuff - and WADA allows it now! I can already see the parents mixing pots of it."

Salzwedel said he personally believed the UCI was doing a "wonderful job" which "could be better but they are certainly doing a lot better than a lot of other sports in weeding out doping" and that he agreed with WADA that there needed to be a focus on getting rid of the hard drugs.

He maintained, however, that removing caffeine from the banned list could spell disaster in many ways. "You could have some parents and coaches mixing it up for their kids and others not and the kids who are not getting it and [not] performing up there losing confidence in their coaches," he said. "Plus there are the health issues. I am a coffee addict myself and once I stopped it for one month and I am never a person who gets headaches and illness, but I had bad headaches and withdrawal symptoms."

The question is, what differentiates between supplements and doping? When does a supplement become a performance-enhancing drug that should be banned? Should supplements be allowed at all? "We live in a time where success is appreciated; we are a performance-based society and we love winners," he said. "The pressure is and will continue to be higher and higher for our athletes to perform at the top level and supplements are the answer. The question is, should we ban them, or manage them?"

Supplements booming

Salzwedel said in the past, more athletes had become innocent victims of some supplements which had been contaminated with forbidden drugs. "There have been more positive drug tests in the past four years (but) it has always been difficult to distinguish between innocents and cheats," he said. "The supplements industry is booming, with billions of dollars, particularly in the United States, spent each year."

Salzwedel quoted UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who said he was convinced that there was a small group of hardened cheats, a large group who felt it was okay to take things but not in excess, a group that takes legal drugs and a group that takes nothing.

"The question is, where do supplements stop and doping start?" Salzwedel said. Salzwedel explained that in 1998 in an interview published in the newspaper El Mundo, former IOC (International Olympics Committee) president Antonia Samaranch said that, "doping is those substances prohibited by the medical commission of the IOC" and "drug taking is anything which firstly damages the health of the sportsperson and secondly artificially improves performance. If something produces just the second effect, then it's not drug taking. If it produces the first, then yes."

The world's governing body on drugs in sport, WADA, in 2002 suggested that doping was "everything which enhances performance" and added "substances/methods are prohibited because of their potential to enhance performance and risk harm to athletes and are contrary to the spirit of the sport" according to Salzwedel.

But it appears, according to data collated by Salzwedel for a presentation at the National Coaching Conference in the United Kingdom in November 2002 that the position on supplements differs somewhat around the world.

"WADA's position on supplements was that athletes can and should meet their nutritional needs through a healthy balanced diet;" said Salzwedel, "that there was no evidence that demonstrates significant benefits of supplements to elite athletes; that inadequate labeling and insufficient quality control existed; that the intake of supplements could lead to a doping offence; and that a poorly-labeled supplement should not be regarded as a defence in a doping hearing.

"Therefore WADA recommends that athletes do not take nutritional supplements at all. But my opinion is that if you want to win the Tour de France, well, I don't believe any winner in the past 100 years has won with purely water. WADA might be right with some sports but cycling is different."

No supplements policy in UK

The position of UK Sport, according to Salzwedel who worked with the organisation before joining British Cycling, is that, ideally, supplements should not be taken at all. "They say that there is a lack of scientific studies and reliable evidence, that many supplements are not licensed, that manufacturers vary contents without warning, that some unlicensed products contain prohibited substances and that if necessary supplements should be taken with caution and at the athlete's own risk," he said.

The AIS, meanwhile, launched a proactive sports supplement program in 2000 aimed at ensuring Australia's elite athletes made good use of dietary supplements. "The program includes yearly evaluation and fine-tuning to ensure it continues to be at the cutting edge," Salzwedel said. "It says supplements can play a small but substantial role to achieve peak performance, however it recognises that there is a lot of marketing hype."

British Cycling - whose approach Salzwedel believes is right - suggests that in theory, all nutrients that are needed for normal function can be provided from the diet, but given the extreme physical demands of cycling, it may sometimes be difficult to ensure adequate nutrition in the diet alone.

"BC says athletes should have a sound performance diet supported by the correct use of supplements," he said. "And that it supports athletes with safe ethical products and a structured education plan.

"BC formed a nutritional steering group which requires riders to check with the team doctor before taking any supplements, with annual supplements review of all riders. As well, BC is working with GlaxoSmithKline, which makes [sports drink] Lucozade, to develop cycling-specific products. Riders have been involved in the process and the result is a product that is very pure."

Salzwedel, who said that it was acceptable now to admit that there had been "a drug culture" in "the old days - especially in the Six-Days which was a joke," said he was glad of the crackdowns. "I know cyclists who are having health problems now from drug use back then," he said. "I am happy that this cleaning process goes ahead."

December 18., 2003, Cyclingnews.com

An interview with Nathan O'Neill
A new neck, new team and new fiancée for O'Neill

by Karen Forman

The professionalism and security offered by US-based category III team Colavita Bolla were the carrots that successfully enticed former Saturn rider Nathan O'Neill to join his former team-mates Mark McCormack, Tim Johnson and Ivan Dominguez on the Colavita Bolla roster for 2004, though Johnson subsequently departed for Spanish team Saunier Duval.

Other members of the team, which goes into its second year in 2004, are three US riders Todd Herriot, Tyler Wren and Thad Dulan and three Argentineans Gustarvo Artacho, Juan Jose Haedo and Sebastion Alexandre. Negotiations are continuing for the final rider, who is likely to be an American, possibly from the now-defunct Saturn team. Operations director is Chad Davis and John Profaci is the manager.

Queenslander O'Neill, 29, told Cyclingnews he had chosen the US-owned team sponsored by Italian food and wine importers Colavita and Bolla over another pro team, which he declined to name, because he felt professionalism and stability were the key. As well, with the likelihood he will share team leadership with McCormack, he considers the signing a good career move. And, to top it off, it's based in America, where he now has a fiancée and plans to live indefinitely.

"Colavita Bolla have shown a lot of faith in me and made me feel warm and welcome and are ready to go out of their way for me," he said. "One other team was pursuing me but all things being equal, I felt Colavita Bolla was the team for me." He said he had been impressed with the fact that, not including the first approach to him by team manager John Profaci in early November, the whole deal had been stitched up in 10 days.

In fact the deal was signed on Sunday, with O'Neill and his American fiancée Karen Ewing on holiday with his family in Australia but sending off his signature by overnight courier. The signing is a superb Christmas gift for the rider, whose dazzling 2003 season was cut short when he broke his neck (fracturing two cervical vertebrae) on July 31 in the International/Tour de 'Toona, while riding in the Saturn colours.

Saturn and O'Neill had "hit the ground running" in 2003. He won the team's first race - the the prologue time trial in the Tour de Langkawi - and held the yellow jersey for six days. He also took the yellow jersey at Redlands, the prologue at the Tour de Georgia, won the Canadian national road race, a stage of Cascade and was looking good in the Altoona race when he crashed.

He spent three weeks in a head "halo" before undergoing surgery in New York to insert a two-inch single titanium fixation screw into his neck and was back on the wind trainer after three weeks and the bike after eight weeks - on the day he was told Saturn had decided not to continue to sponsor the team after 13 years of support.

"I felt very helpless," he said. "I wasn't actively racing or even training and felt very separated from the riding side of things. The team was very supportive, though. Tom Danielson was calling, Will Frischkorn came to see me … but then we heard that the team no longer had a sponsor, so that meant looking for an employer." He said he was relieved and excited when negotiations with Colavita Volla had resulted in a 12-month contract and was looking forward to seeing the race program.

"I believe it will be similar to the Saturn program, but without the Peace Race in Europe. That means we will race solely in the US. Given my results last year they will build me as the leader for stage races and one-day events. Between Mark and myself there is a lot of experience. Mark will be instrumental in leading the team as well."

Based in Gwinnett County, Georgia with Ewing, O'Neill is being guided in training by German Heiko Salzwedel who approached him after his accident to offer to help him back onto the bike. He has his sights set on the Australian national road championships and the Olympics, depending on how his new team feels about it, but will be back in America well in time for the Colavita Bolla training camp February 7-22.

There's also his wedding to Ewing, whom he met at the 2003 Tour de Georgia, to look forward to in the northern spring and the new house they are searching for in the mountains near Gainesville "for training, of course".

Gold Coast Bulletin

Salzwedel to host Coast coaching clinic

Julian Tomlinson

Coach Heiko Salzwedel und cyclist Marcel Wüst

AUSTRALIA'S standing in world cycling circles is higher than ever but former national road coach Heiko Salzwedel remembers a far different time.
Salzwedel is on the Cold Coast conducting a special coaching clinic at the Runaway Bay Sports Super Centre.
He was head of the Australian road cycling program for eight years and took the Olympic team to the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics.
He is credited with playing a major part in elevating Australia to be among the top cycling nations in the world and has also worked with German, British and Danish cycling programs.
The six day clinic gives cyclists practical tips and training in the mornings followed by special seminars in the evenings with professionals Robbie McEwen, Marcel Wüst and Nathan O'Neill.
The Germany-born Salzwedel said one of his fondest memories of coaching is the 1992 Tour of Sweden where Australia was invited to merely make up the numbers.
"I think they just wanted another country's colour in the peloton," he said.
"Our performances in the early stages were embarrassing but we wanted an invitation back next year so I called a team meeting and told the riders to attack from the start so we could be in the lead and get some quality television time."
Three Australians established a break about three kilometres after the start and held on for the remaining 197 kilometres of t stage to finish first and third.
"That was a real breakthrough," said Salzwedel.
"Not only were Australian riders taken more seriously from then on, the team accepted t as their new coach."
Married to lots and father to Roman, Salzwedel plans to move his family from Frankfurt in Germany to the Gold Coast and base his worldwide coaching business, SL Sports, here.
He uses an SRM computer system which cyclists have mounted on their bicycles. The cyclists simply do their training and the SRM records everything from heart rate to power output.
The data is then transferred to a computer and e-mailed to Salzwedel who can tell exactly what the cyclist needs to do to improve his or her performance.
McEwen is preparing to fight off arch rivals Baden Cooke, triple Olympic medallist Brad McGee and a fleld of over 50 title aspirants at the Surfers Paradise Criterium on Sunday.
The race proved extremely popular last year and has attracted a number of world class competitors.

December 11., 2003, Cyclingnews.com

Hong Kong aims for first Olympic gold

by Karen Forman

Hong Kong Olympic hopeful Kam Po Wong is one of the riders being coached by Heiko Salzwedel
Photo: © Francis Cerny

China and Hong Kong coaches are setting themselves a big, golden goal for 2004: their first Olympic gold medal in the 500 metre time trial. And, while they're in Athens, they hope to strut their stuff in the road and points races, being serious enough about it to enlist the assistance of former Australian Institute of Sport men's road coach, German Heiko Salzwedel, who recently completed a contract with the British Olympic Federation.

Salzwedel, who recently launched himself as an international private coach for individuals and organisations, is currently talking with the two countries to set up a formal relationship aimed at attaining Olympic gold. He spent two days last week in Hong Kong en route to Australia, where he is conducting the Heiko Salzwedel Coaching Clinic at Runaway Bay on Queensland's Gold Coast this week, giving coaching lectures to coaches and sports scientists in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland and said he had been impressed by their commitment to achieving their dreams.

"It was very interesting to learn about their ambitions," he said. "Hong Kong, for instance, made an agreement with my company SL-sports to help to prepare Kam Po Wong for the Olympic road race and possibly points race. "And the Chinese national coach, Shen Jin Kong, wants me to work with him to aim for the first ever gold medal in the 500m time trial. These guys certainly do not lack of confidence. But the impressive thing is they also have the means to bring this to reality. "I've just joined Kam Po Wong's group of 10 experts, which includes a nutritionist, strength and conditioning coach and psychologist under the leadership of the former Chinese national coach and now head coach at the HK Institute of Sport, Shen Jin Kong."

Salzwedel said he was excited about the prospect of working with both coaches and athletes. Hong Kong will start as a separate entity in the Athens Olympics, but Kam Po Wong is its only qualifier. Wong is no stranger to Australia. In 1997 he was invited to the Bank Classic by race director Phill Bates and won the King Of the Mountain and in 1998 was closely beaten by Jay Sweet in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. "He's a very talented rider," Salzwedel said. "I look forward to working with them."

Meanwhile, Salzwedel is busily working at the other end of the cycling scale - with keen amateurs - at the coaching clinic at Runaway Sports Super Centre at Runaway Bay. He's assisted by some of his charges, Australian professional riders Robbie McEwen, Nick Gates and Nathan O'Neill - who are all on his private international coaching roster - and former Festina sprinter Marcel Wust, who retired two years ago.

Participants in the clinic, which started on Sunday and ends on Friday, go on a training ride at 8am each morning, joined by the pros along with other riders contesting the Brisbane and Surfers Paradise criteriums - then settle down to two coaching lectures at 2.30pm and 5pm and then attend an evening lecture from 7.30pm.

"We have invited some high profile professionals like Robbie to speak in the evenings," Salzwedel says, "and I think this should be the highlight of the clinic. Robbie will speak on Wednesday night about his experience with the green jersey and whether it has been a challenge or a curse. Eric Zabel said this year that the green jersey destroyed his career, and there was a lot of discussion about this in Germany.

"Nathan, who broke his neck in a crash, will make a speech on Tuesday night about whether cycling is too dangerous and about overcoming his fears after his accident. And on Sunday and Monday Marcel will talk on things like the rise and fall of Team Coast and Jan Ullrich's worst moments. We will be touching some really controversial areas."

Salzwedel, who began private coaching for individuals and organisations after completing his British Cycling contract earlier this year, said the aim of the clinic was not to make money, but to offer something to Australian riders, for whom he had a deep affection, and to further develop his links here. It is not a profit-making exercise.

"I had the idea from friends from Queensland and said yes I would be happy to come over here and conduct clinics here," he said. "With Robbie, Nick Gates, Nathan, and a couple of others like Jason Phillips, it is going to be more like a reunion here than a coaching clinic."

Wust, who is now a high-profile TV commentator, commentating this year's Tour de France for German television, normally charges 800 Euros a day, but is working just for expenses at the clinic. He will give an insight into this year's Tour from the German prospective and has a couple of crossover stories to tell. Like Salwedel, he loves Australia.

"He wants to get settled in Australia, establish some business here and bring his family here to live," Salzwedel said. "Two years ago he said to me he wants his children going to an Australia school not a German school. We are good friends and share a lot of mutual respect." In addition to the Australians and Chinese, Salzwedel recently signed Rabobank rider, five times Tour de France contender (and top 20 finisher) Grischa Niermann.

"I really enjoy coaching now after being the last five years more or less in several management positions, what I really missed is the direct contact with riders. That's the thing I enjoy mostly at the moment. The most exciting thing is to see riders progressing."


Early this year, the POC in joint collaboration with the Olympic Solidarity (OS) and the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) held an eight day level 2 coaching course in Quezon City. A total of 28 participants from all over the Philippines completed the course. Mr. Heiko Salzewedel, an expert from UCI gave a very comprehensive lesson covering the OS, history of UCI and cycling, road, track, and mountain bike training, UCI rules and regulations, biomechanics, talent identification, psychological and diet preparations, improving recovery, doping, among other topics. Mr. Slazwedel also conducted practical sessions in the velodrome, road and gym.

Mr. Salzwedel is currently the team manager for the British Track Cycling Team. He was assistant team manager for the Saturn Team USA, high performance manager of the German Cycling Federation, endurance coach for the former East German Cycling Federation, road coach for the Australian Cycling Federation, among others. His specialties are in road and track (pursuit) races.