'Not everyone has the same restrictions': Arnaud Démare concerned with ketones use in peloton

The Frenchman expressed doubts that not every team is sticking to the same rules

Arnaud Demare concerned with peloton
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arnaud Démare has expressed doubts that not every rider in the peloton is on an equal footing, suggesting that certain teams aren't adhering to the restrictions on products, such as ketones, as stringently as his Groupama-FDJ team. 

The 30-year-old raised his concerns after claiming that the standard and intensity of the riding this year was notably higher than in previous ones, but the Frenchman refused to use the word doping. 

Démare told Le Parisien: “I wonder about the peloton, but I’m only saying what many people are seeing. Not everyone has the same restrictions on certain products like ketones. I am part of a team that has made commitments, as have others. But the whole peloton is not like us.

“Many riders feel the same way as I do. Coming up against someone stronger than you is always part of the game. But this season, from Paris-Nice onwards, I found that we were riding at a really fast pace. In just one year, things really accelerated.

"I wouldn't say the word doping, but we don't all have the same speed limit."

While Démare secured nine wins throughout 2021, he struggled to reach the heights he achieved in 2020. That year he won 14 races, including four stages at the Giro d'Italia, but this season he has struggled for consistency, and has led him to raise concerns about the rest of the peloton.

His comments also come after retiring 21-year-old rider Ludvig Wacker described the use of pills, such as painkillers, being used in cycling as "grotesque" and "ridiculous."

Démare's team, Groupama-FDJ, is one of 10 WorldTour teams who are currently members of the Movement For Credible Cycling (MPCC), a union created to defend the idea of clean cycling. MPCC prohibits the use of ketones in competition, and member teams are voluntarily tested ahead of each Grand Tour. 

Ketones, a legal product, helps to reduce lactic acid production and preserve glycogen, thus improving performance. However, there are concerns on the possible long-term effects of the supplements. 

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.