British cycling champion Chris Boardman leads an impressive line-up of top sports scientists converging in Birmingham for a conference this weekend which demonstrates how a scientific approach to training can give athletes the winning advantage.

Altitude training, fuelling for performance, preparing for competition in the heat and recovery nutrition are just a handful of the topics covered at the first Endurance Sports Conference, which takes place at the University of Birmingham on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April. The delegate list includes a range of athletes, coaches, sports dieticians and physiotherapists worldwide who share a passion for distance sports, such as cycling, long distance running and triathlon events.

Opening the event is Chris Boardman, former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer and Prologue stage winner, Olympic and World Champion, who is now Elite Coach for the British Cycling’s GB Team.

Professor Asker Jeukendrup from the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, who is convenor of the conference, knows from both a professional and personal level the differences that sports science can make to an athlete’s performance. Asker, who is Director of the University’s Human Performance Laboratory, is also nutritionist for UK Athletics and the Rabobank professional cycling team, and competes in Ironman triathlon events worldwide himself.

Professor Jeukendrup comments: “The line-up of speakers is a veritable ‘who’s who’ of international sports science, including names such as Australian Dave Martin, Belgian Peter Hespel and Spanish Inigo Mujika, all of whom have a close working relationship with top endurance athletes.

“The beauty of this event is that those with an interest in endurance sports, at any level, can gain access to current scientific findings and experiences from the field which will be translated into practical advice and top training tips that could give them the competitive edge to reach podium position.”

Dr David Martin from the Australian Institute for Sport will talk about altitude training and power training, providing insights from his work with the world champion Australian cycling team.

Professor Peter Hespel from the University of Leuven, who has worked with top professional cyclists including Tom Boonen, Paolo Bettini and RobbieMcEwen, will evaluate the relationship between power and cadence – the pace of revolutions of the pedals made by cyclists – and the training benefits.

Scientist, swimming and triathlon coach Dr Inigo Mujika trained the Euskaltel Euskadi professional cycling team in 2005, and this year is sports physiologist to AC Bilbao football club. He will focus on managing fatigue and recovery in heavy competition periods.

The conference takes place in the Avon Room, University Centre, at the University of Birmingham’s main Edgbaston campus on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 April. For the full programme, visit:


Notes to Editors:

Endurance Sports Conference

The conference also marks the inaugural meetings of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) cycling interest group, and the World Commission for Science in Sport Cycling Group. The event’s principal supporters are UK Sport, Lucozade Sport Science Academy and VIASYS Healthcare.

Further information on the conference and a full programme is available online, visit:

Price for students and athletes is £60 for one day or £100 for two days. For professionals, the cost is £140 for one day and £250 for two days. Booking enquiries to Rebecca Orleans on 0121 414 7272 / email:

Professor Asker Jeukendrup

Professor Asker Jeukendrup is Professor of Exercise Metabolism and Director of the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Birmingham. Asker has published over 120 articles and has published four books, including High-Performance Cycling. Asker has been nutrition consultant to several elite athletes worldwide, including three-time world champion Oscar Freire, the Rabobank professional cycling team and UK Athletics.

Full biography available online, visit:

Further information:

Rachel Robson – Head of News Team, University of Birmingham

tel: 0121 414 6681 / mob: 07789 921165 / email: