by Michael Dorausch, DC
The 2007 Tour de France is over, with 24 year-old American Discovery Channel cyclist Alberto Contador claiming victory, in the three-week cycling race. Contador is the youngest tour champion since Jan Ullrich of Germany won the Tour de France in 1997. Contador's time was 23 seconds better than Cadel Evans of Australia, making it the second narrowest win in the tour's 104 year history.
Where were the chiropractors this year? Since 2000, Planet Chiropractic has featured Tour de France articles that included stories of chiropractic care for riders on the tour. Among those articles were Tour de France 2000 and Chiropractic from 2000, Lance Armstrong Victorious from 2001 with Lance Armstrong winning his third straight Tour de France title and becoming the only American to ever do so, and Floyd Landis Tour de France in July 2006.
Some chiropractors that have provided chiropractic care during the Tour de France, like Jeff Spencer, are former cycling enthusiasts themselves, and they're very passionate about the work they do. Dr. Jeff was frequently seen over the years, in magazines and newspapers, side by side with Lance Armstrong.
In 2006, there was also a story about Australian professional cyclist Stuart O'Grady and the credit he gave to receiving chiropractic care during the tour (O'Grady credits Chiropractic). Chiropractors and chiropractic were just as much a part of this year's Tour de France as they have been in the past, but news of chiropractors linked to individual riders and teams has been sparse.
As was likely expected by many, the 2007 Tour de France was shaken by scandal with allegations of blood doping and banned substance use. I can't help but think that in some way this may be affecting many healthcare professionals and tour related trainers when it comes to publicity they may receive in being associated with a particular cyclist. While chiropractors don't incorporate drugs and medications as part of their practice, a Tour de France win marred by suspicion of banned drug use, places an element of suspicion on the idea that chiropractic care was somehow responsible for the rider standing on the winner's podium. That's not to suggest that the utilization of chiropractic by athletes does not play an integral role in their health, well-being, and performance levels.
While everyone loves a winner, the hero is the chiropractor providing care to those who most need it, regardless of athletic ability, or potential for victory in sports.