Mads Pedersen on ketones: ‘I really don’t care if people are using ketones or not’

Danish star shrugs off reported widespread use of ketones in the peloton, and confirms he will not defend Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne title in 2022.

Photo: Tim de Waele/Getty Images

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Mads Pedersen is ambivalent about reports of widespread use of ketones in the elite men’s peloton.

The Trek-Segafredo star said he does not use the sometimes controversial dietary supplement, and doesn’t really seem to mind if his rivals do.

“To be honest, I really don’t care if people are using ketones or not. It’s their decision. I don’t see it as a problem,” Pedersen said. “I just know it tastes like shit, so that’s enough for me not to use it.

“If people want to use it, fair enough. I don’t mind.”

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The debate over the use of ketones, which are not on the WADA banned list, continues to rattle across the sport.

Ketones can be taken in liquid or powder form, and are believed to be widely used across the elite men’s pro peloton. The product is believed to help with recovery as well as performance, and some reports suggest more than half of the WorldTour teams are using them to some degree.

The MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) has come out against them, and its members have vowed not to use them.

A few high-profile pros, including Romain Bardet (DSM) and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), have also called for them to be prohibited.

Yet earlier this month, a UCI-mandated study revealed that ketones might not provide such a performance-enhancing boost to warrant prohibiting their use.

“To date, there is no scientific evidence showing that ketones improve performance,” Professor Xavier Bigard, UCI Medical Director told L’Equipe. “Another one of these studies even showed deterioration under certain conditions.”

Despite the ongoing ambiguity, Pedersen said he does not have a problem if his rivals are using ketones.

“I have no clue how it works,” Pedersen said in a recent media call. “It is also a natural product in your body. You’re also taking gels to get extra energy. If people want to use it, fair enough.

“It’s legal, and it’s not up to me to make it illegal if it’s like that,” Pedersen continued. “As long as it’s OK, it’s fine for me. If it’s working for some people, fair enough. Some guys are drinking 80 [grams] of carbs in a bottle, some are drinking 110. It’s up to people themselves if they want to use it.”

No defense of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne title

KUURNE, BELGIUM - FEBRUARY 28: Arrival / Mads Pedersen of Denmark and Team Trek - Segafredo Celebration during the 73rd Kuurne - Bruxelles - Kuurne 2021 a 197km race from Kuurne to Kuurne / #KBK21 / #KuurneBrusselKuurne / on February 28, 2021 in Kuurne, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images)
Pedersen said he will not defend his title at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. (Photo: Mark Van Hecke/Getty Images)

Pedersen, 25, is in Spain this week at a team camp to prepare for the 2022 season.

With the Tour de France starting in Denmark and Paris-Roubaix coming a week later than usual, Pedersen said there are a few tweaks in the traditional blueprint for his racing calendar.

Also read: How the classics stars are adjusting to new Roubaix date for 2022

The northern classics will be an important early season focus, but he will not racing Omloop Het Nieuwsblad or Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, which he won in 2021.

“I am skipping the opening weekend, that’s the biggest change,” Pedersen said. “That’s mostly because Roubaix is a week further out, and the team coach and my DS thought it would be a good idea. They have a big master plan, and I just follow that, and hope that’s the right thing to do for the main goals for Flanders and Roubaix.”

Pedersen will make his 2022 season debut in the early French races at GP La Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges, the Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice before heading into the northern classics.

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