An Anoka chiropractor spent 12 days this summer treating some of the world’s most elite athletes at cycling’s most famed race.
Along with his full-time work as a chiropractor at Anoka’s Riverway Clinic, Dr. Charles Hausman also works part time on the medical team for the Cannondale-Drapac Cycling Team.
While he typically joins the team for a few races each year, he has so far spent 60 days on the racing circuit including his first time on the Tour de France.
“I’ve done a ton of races now, and this race was just surreal in the sense that there was so much media, so many photographers and just so many people,” Hausman said.
An estimated 1.5 million spectators lined the course just for the first day of the race.
“To be a part of it is just incredible,” Hausman said.
Along with the Super Bowl and World Cup, the Tour de France is one of the three most watched professional sporting events in the world.
Hausman has competed as an Ironman triathlete and used his connections to get involved in medical care in the pro cycling world.
“I knew some of the right people, and they tried me out, pro-bono, to do a race and see how I would work out with the team and the staff,” Hausman said. “They liked me, and they invited me back to do a couple of races every year.”
That involvement has only increased, as Health Partners has given him the ability to work six races so far this year.
“I just got lucky,” Hausman said. “I love working with athletes.”
There are 25 professional cyclists on the Cannondale team, racing 70-90 days each year. There are more than 80 full-time and 20 part-time support staff for the team, including 15 massage therapists, chiropractors, physical therapists, medical doctors, chefs and nutritionists.
Cyclists typically ride 4-6 hours on a race day.
“So recovery is key,” Hausman said. “It’s all about recovery.”
He checks in on the athletes in the morning before each stage of race starts, and sometimes is in the race, riding in the team’s support vehicle.
But much of his care, including adjustments, taping and stretching, come at the end of the day.
“Everyone has a very, very specific role for the team,” Hausman said. “At the end of the day, it’s being available, but it’s a lot of hoping nothing bad happens and checking up on the guys. After a three week race, 21 days is just so taxing on your body that they need care, daily.”
Hausman has enjoyed developing relationships with the athletes, who he said are very in tune with their bodies.
“These guys tend to minimize their pain a lot so you have to dig a little bit with them,” Hausman said.