Angus lets you in on the hidden world of the World Tour Cycling, the Tour Down Under 2018!


I have now spent a few years working with teams at the Tour Down Under and it is always an absolutely fantastically organised and run event. The level of cycling talent that is put on display at this race is forever improving and year-by-year we are treated to spectacles of human performance.


Many wouldn’t know what happens behind the scenes at an event like the TDU and I thought I would take this opportunity to bring this hidden world of World Tour Cycling to the fore….


Teams arrive as early as two weeks before the event with some staff members spending the new-year in Adelaide in preparation, and by teams I mean not only riders but 2 soigneurs, a physio (myself), a director of sport, a media representative, a general manager and the team owner. Once teams arrive there is a flurry of training and acclimation to the climate of Adelaide. Most teams will embark on training rides and recon rides varying from 2-6 hours in length to get a feel for the conditions and to experience key points in of important stages. For EF Education First DRAPAC p/b Cannondale this involved a 5hr ride including multiple repeats of Willunga hill and other starts and finishes of various stages. As many riders are receiving new race bikes, which are built on site, and gear. This is the time for testing and tweaking equipment and checking and double-checking measurements transferred from training bikes.


Other staff are busy working to preparation for the race, media and social media releases and sponsor relations, trying to get ahead as far as possible before the first stage. Riders are seen daily by soigneurs and for soft tissue work and spend most of the rest of the time eating and resting and eating agai

n. Race tactics are formulated and rider lists are studied to determine opportunitiesand possible threats from other teams.


When racing starts things come together like a well oiled machine, soigneurs look after riders, mechanics look after bikes and the director of sport looks after tactics…


Meals are held in a central conference room with a table set for each team and a long buffet that runs the length of the room, some 20-25m in length. Riders are hungry…. While the riders are having their breakfast the mechanics are checking bikes and loading the cars while soigneurs are filling bottles and stocking race food, along with about 100 other odds and ends jobs. Riders come down and a 5-minute warning is issue from race organisers to signal convoy depart. Teams then travel in convoy to the race start, one team car and one team bus with race bikes and riders. Police escorts and roadblocks make for a smooth transition to the start line and teams begin their final preparation. Rides will stock food, check their race radio and lather themselves in sunscreen before signing on and then they are off.


On the road, given the condition this year, riders consumed about 12 600ml bottles each over the course of each stage, which equates to about 85 in total plus extras that they use as a road shower to cool down. They take these from the race car and from the feed zone where every riders receives a mousette containing 3 gels, 2 biddons, 1 ice stocking, 1 bar and 1 can of coke… that’s lunch.


Waiting at the finish line are the soigneurs who have travelled there in a police convoy from the feed zone. An area has been set up with rider’s bags, chairs, towels and extra drinks and sandwiches (usually subway). Riders come in and are immediately given extra water and protein recovery. One soigneur stays at the finish line with a bag containing fresh kit, caps and sponsor correct shoes in case any riders are required for the podium. The other stays with the bus awaiting the arrival of the riders, and team car.

Depending on the distance of the race finish line to the hotel, riders will either transfer back to the car in the bus or ride, and can clock up quite a few kilometres, for example the 145km stage finishing at Stirling plus the ride back clocked up 183km over the day…

After race transfer, riders drop their bikes to be washed, tuned and stored and head to the hotel to snack and see the soigneurs for a 1hr massage, during this time it is all about replenishing fluids and energy and promoting recovery. I will see riders for specific issues or niggles throughout the stage and deal with any injuries from crashes. Dinnertime is usually 7:30 at the buffet again with sometimes a race de-brief following. From there soigneurs head back to the team tent to prep bottles and race foot etc for the following day. Lights out by about 9-9:30 to get up and do it all again for the next day.


To read more about Angus click here.


Anna, our podiatrist’s top tips for preparing your feet for the event. 

Many people who embark on the challenge of a long distance charity event such as the Oxfam Trailwalker believe that because they can walk around the tan a couple of times that a 100km will be a bit hard, but easily doable. In fact walking for up to 48 hours is no easy feat and the need to train for this is imperative along with preparing your feet for the long long road ahead.

Here are my tips for preparing your feet;

  1. Shoes– Ensure you have shoes fitted for your foot type and the type of terrain you will be walking on. Every persons biomechanics are different and therefore so are your feetwear needs. Having your feet analysed by a professional is a great way to ensure you have the right shoes from the beginning. You will no doubt need at least 2 pairs of shoes for any trail type event, especially if its wet and off road. I would suggest looking at a running shoe that you can do the majority of your training in and then a trail shoe for the wet, uphill, trail conditions (for people that are running the event then one pair of trail running shoes will suffice)
  2. Socks–are one of the best investments (after your shoes) that you can make. Ensure they are made with Coolmax or a similar moisture wicking technology to ensure water is drawn away from your skin. Have these come up above your ankle and have multiple pairs (best changed at regular intervals). Carry multiple pairs and change at every checkpoint for comfort and protection.
  3. Skin– You must prepare and care for your skin in the lead up to the event. Any area of your skin that gets large buildups of callous (hard skin) is an area prone to friction and will most likely blister with large volumes of training.


We recommend having this professionally removed by a podiatrist and to MOISTURISE  your entire feet DAILY to increase the elasticity of your skin.

Learn to tape your feet for blister prevention ….you can view my U-tube videos on how to tape your here;


These are techniques that I created and have used over the many years of Oxfam Trailwalker.

These have been tried, tested and are an amazing tool to have to reduce blisters (one of the major reasons people have to pull out of large events)

The tape used is Fixomull Stretch 5 cm.

  1. Training– you will need to walk at least 75% of the distance of the event you are partaking in. You will need to start at least 6months out from the event and plan your training well. This allows your body to adapt to the change in loading and will ensure you enjoy the event so much more with less chance of injuries. It is not enough to walk just 50% of the event …just like you wouldn’t only run 21 km in the lead up to a marathon. Plan your training well to build up slowing and include a few bigger walks.
  2. Injury prevention– be it foot, leg, knee, hip or back pain …..any strength inefficiency in your body will raise it’s ugly head as you increase your training. Having a strength and stability program that is tailored to your event will be of great benefit and help reduce over use injuries.

Having your biomechanics, gait and walking assessed by a podiatrist can be very effective in identifying any issues that may cause problems along the way.

Happy Walking !!


By Anna Beetham






by Prof Bill Vicenzino and Liam McLachlan


From the University of Queensland, Australia, physiotherapist and PhD candidate Liam McLachlan and Professor of Sports Physiotherapy Bill Vicenzino share clinical pearls relating to the patient with patellofemoral pain.

Dr Erin Macri, physiotherapist and BJSM editorial board member doing her postdoctoral studies at the University of Delaware leads the conversation.

• Why is it important to consider psychological factors in patellofemoral pain?
• Which instruments should I use in the clinic (clue, google “Startback tool”)
• Which comes first, the psychological distress or the pain?
• Can explanation and reassurance contribute to reducing pain and improving function?
• Bottom line – time to rethink from the narrow mechanical (only) perspective.

Here are some key links:
*Systematic review: The psychological features of patellofemoral pain: a systematic review. First author: Liam Maclachlan. FREE
*Be sure to check the 3 BJSM Patellofemoral consensus statements (all free):

1. 2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester. Part 1: Terminology, definitions, clinical examination, natural history, patellofemoral osteoarthritis and patient-reported outcome measures.

2. 2016 Patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester. Part 2: recommended physical interventions (exercise, taping, bracing, foot orthoses and combined interventions)

3. Evidence-based framework for a pathomechanical model of patellofemoral pain: 2017 patellofemoral pain consensus statement from the 4th International Patellofemoral Pain Research Retreat, Manchester, UK: part 3.

*The STarT Back Screening Tool (SBST): Home page.




As the weather warms up many of us will reach for a trusty pair of thongs, but do you know what effect that have on your feet? Health professionals have been warning patients to limit their use for decades and now there is evidence to reinforce the message.
Research completed at Auburn University has found that thongs significantly change how you walk. When compared to bare feet, walking in thongs decreased stride length, decreased stance time, increased muscle activity in the lower leg, increased ankle dorsiflexion during swing and decreased hallux dorsiflexion. Furthermore when walking in thongs, plantar foot pressure is increased when compared to walking in runners (1)
What does this research mean? It is generally accepted that thongs don’t support or protect the foot. But what we now know is that thongs actually make more work for the foot. The research highlights how the wearer grips thongs by changing the angle of the foot and increasing muscle activity. These same muscles fatigue earlier and are less able to perform their primary role of supporting the foot.
Thongs have their place in any shoe closet as a ‘sometimes’ shoe. But what the research now confirms is they are not suited for long periods or for people with certain foot pathologies.
We do know that in the Australian summer it’s difficult not to reach for a pair of thongs or sandals when it gets hot however there are more supportive options available, something our podiatrists are trained to advise based on your foot type and footwear needs. If you have any questions about your footwear please make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists.