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  #9851  
Old 12-12-12, 19:29
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Originally Posted by Wiggo Warrior View Post
I may well be wrong of course, and many thanks for the welcome.

I think it actually took me close to a month of evenings and weekends each time including far too many 2:00 am sessions for comfort and this was not limited to reading just this thread and the links. I had a lot of context reading to do on non-Sky topics before I was comfortable with my decision at all.

I am not trying to change anyone's mind about what they believe or not, this story is still being written unlike the Postal affair, and if something later tweaks my BS filter I will be back to join the mud-slinging, until then I am looking forward to my first full season as a cycling fan.

I will also be continuing to bring myself up to speed with earlier era's and can see a fair amount of DVD buying in my future.
If your BS filter hasn't been tweaked yet, you need to recalibrate it, because Sky have been spewing all sorts of crap that is not related to whether or not you believe they won the Tour de France clean.

Stuff like:
- they will be transparent
- they will not hire anyone with any known links to doping
- they didn't know about the history of Mick Rogers or Michael Barry before hiring them
- Sean Yates told them he'd never been involved with or seen doping... and Dave Brailsford believed him.

If we credit Dave Brailsford with even the most modest level of intelligence, then he can't have been so naïve he believed these riders and DSs' words. Stuff was in the public domain about them, people who follow cycling beyond the so-called twelve apostles of the Clinic knew about them, so it's not exactly demanding too much of Dave Brailsford to do his research, especially bearing in mind that "attention to detail" is one of his mantras that he uses to explain the improvements in British cycling in the last decade. And while Brailsford himself, in his role within British Cycling the organisation, may have overseen the developments of riders like Wiggins and Thomas and help with the improvements in British cyclists over the last decade to this point... I have my suspicions about riders from outside that development nest making extremely sudden and convenient improvements to become major challengers at the top level, when realistically Britain hasn't created a rider at that kind of level since Robert Millar; Boardman was fairly close, but the next was Millar's namesake who was, of course, arrested in connection with doping - along with a certain D. Brailsford. And Britain just happens to chance upon these guys who would have hit the top anyway (since they didn't need the comforting developmental arm of British Cycling) at the same time as the national development project has hit full gas despite a pathetically small national calendar. Very convenient.

But hey, I'm getting off my intended topic.

Basically, Sky came in to this sport flaunting their all-singing, all-dancing zero tolerance policy. They struggled to adjust to the road in their first year. That's fine, they did about as well in their first Tour de France as US Postal or Team Telekom did. The thing is, all the marginal gains and attention to detail stuff from the launch... it didn't really work when confronted by road cycling the way it did on the track - the road has a much deeper field of contenders, and has far more variables involved. It took Sky a while to adjust their marginal gains approach to account for that. Again, that's no problem.

What was a problem, however, was finding experienced staff who were able to fit into their zero tolerance policy. Finding riders who are clean is ever easier nowadays, although to be fair ones with 8-10 years experience at the top level may be harder. But finding DSes, mechanics, soigneurs, and so on, who had experience at the right level but hadn't been around in the bad old days of the EPO era, that proved harder. It seemed like Garmin's policy was far more pragmatic; take riders who are committed to riding clean now, even if their past is chequered, and use them to mentor the new clean generation. And what ended up happening? The zero tolerance policy was relaxed. Sure, guys like Yates had been making a mockery of it from the start, but it did become less clearly enforced. Sky even openly stated that they were needing to relax it to be more pragmatic, although this was announced far more quietly than the "all singing, all dancing, super clean" launch propaganda, for that was what it was, and so the casual fan could be forgiven for not knowing that was the case.

But even within this atmosphere, the hiring of Leinders was kept hush-hush. Even if we accept the excuse for hiring him up to a point (that after soigneur Txema González died during the 2010 Vuelta they realised that they needed someone with experience treating cycling-related illnesses and injuries... come to think of it, that's another thing that should have set your BS detector off, even if you don't think Leinders did anything untoward at Sky), the question then comes, why Geert Leinders? Could no other doctors with any experience in cycling and less of a doping taint do that job (Leinders' connection to doping was in the public domain at the time. He wasn't exactly a notorious doping doc or anything, and is little mentioned in the Clinic before the middle of this year, but again, surely Brailsford's attention to detail should have seen some red flags raised. After all, we in the Clinic are mostly fans - for him it is his job, and his reputation is strong and potentially fragile)? Did no other experienced doctors apply?

Fast forward a while. Take in the amazing 2012, breathe in the winds of change. But even then, there are murmurs of dissent, not just from those hyenas in the Clinic, hissing, snarling and laughing at each other, but elsewhere. Perhaps they thought the Olympic fervour would kill off the questions, but they persisted. Brailsford could hardly have inspired less confidence when he ran away from questions about Leinders asked by Cyclingnews at the World Championships. And sure enough, they got rid of him. Conveniently, too - just one day before the "reasoned decision". Which should have buried Sky's awkward news and allowed them to move on trouble-free, except for more of their guys (and former guys, of course) being mentioned. This then led to more questions, especially bearing in mind casual fans may not have been aware that the original zero tolerance policy was shelved, or at least placed on the backburner until it could be more realistically achieved. And some of the excuse-making may have been bought by a mostly complicit press, but it required some leaps of faith, which many are not willing to take.

This all creates the issue: Sky announced a zero tolerance policy in 2009-10, but here we are in 2012-13 watching them jettison DSes, doctors and riders who have been shown to have those connections to doping the team was adamant they would not allow, while Sky announce to us their "new" zero tolerance policy. How could anybody hold it against those who argue "well, you said that you'd do that last time, and three years later it was shown to be a lie. Why should we believe you this time?"

All of this doesn't mean Sky were doping, of course. It does, however, mean that it's difficult to buy a lot of what comes out of their PR department, because it's been shown to be self-serving propagandistic falsehoods in the past. And in your initial postulate you included a key statement:
Quote:
There is absolutely no reason why Sky would have had to dope their riders to perform as they have this season
(emphasis mine)
This is correct, and falls into line with the understanding - which even the most ardent of cynics need to accept - that doping is less prevalent and less extreme than it was 15 years ago. Riding at Pantani-speed is no longer feasible; all of Sky's numbers and times on the climbs were comfortably within the boundaries of realistic human possibility. But this is where it becomes ever more subjective. Firstly, while the péloton is cleaner than it was, it still isn't clean by any stretch of the imagination. After all, we saw Rémy di Gregorio taken away by the gendarmerie and Fränk Schleck test positive during the Tour. And secondly, we have to put a level on where we think a rider can be clean and then extrapolate from that whether we think that they personally are capable of achieving that. To this end I will pick fictitious rider Mitchie Froogins. Mitchie Froogins' times on all of the climbs are within the realm of plausibility unaided, however he has completely decimated a whole bunch of riders - including some who had better results than him prior to this year and who tested positive at the race. We then have to decide - and this will be different for each of us - whether we can believe that Mitchie Froogins, unaided, is capable of riding at that level relative to the competition, i.e. that he is, all things considered, in the top 1% natural talents in the péloton.

The péloton is cleaner than it was, the possibility of dominating the race clean is ever higher, Sky talk a good talk, and this thread would never have grown to this size if people didn't believe them, and others didn't want to believe them... but these pigs are starting to walk on their hind legs, and Napoleon's starting to revise his commandments.
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Last edited by Libertine Seguros; 12-12-12 at 19:31.
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  #9852  
Old 12-12-12, 19:44
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As usual, great post.

btw Was Mitchie Froogins born in Kenya?
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  #9853  
Old 12-12-12, 19:55
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Libertine Seguros Libertine Seguros is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don't be late Pedro View Post
As usual, great post.

btw Was Mitchie Froogins born in Kenya?
Nah, he's Great Austrenyan.
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  #9854  
Old 12-12-12, 19:56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyFingers View Post
She did say that she is voicing an opinion, not a scientific paper, and she qualified that opinion by giving everyone here enough ammunition to completely dismiss it, which is kind of gutsy.

Opinions are free to have and free to express
Ahhh, there we are.

I like that sentence just there Jimmy me ole fruit.

So, tell me, why when we are saying in the thread that we (Myself, Dear Wiggo, Hog etc) are saying we think Sky are juiced up to the eyeballs, are then made to show evidence to justify our opinions by the likes of vickers, bandit etc?
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  #9855  
Old 12-12-12, 19:57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
Nah, he's Great Austrenyan.
Nice. They have all but eradicated Bilharzia from there.
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  #9856  
Old 12-12-12, 20:19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Libertine Seguros View Post
If your BS filter hasn't been tweaked yet, you need to recalibrate it, because Sky have been spewing all sorts of crap that is not related to whether or not you believe they won the Tour de France clean.

Stuff like:
- they will be transparent
- they will not hire anyone with any known links to doping
- they didn't know about the history of Mick Rogers or Michael Barry before hiring them
- Sean Yates told them he'd never been involved with or seen doping... and Dave Brailsford believed him.

If we credit Dave Brailsford with even the most modest level of intelligence, then he can't have been so naïve he believed these riders and DSs' words. Stuff was in the public domain about them, people who follow cycling beyond the so-called twelve apostles of the Clinic knew about them, so it's not exactly demanding too much of Dave Brailsford to do his research, especially bearing in mind that "attention to detail" is one of his mantras that he uses to explain the improvements in British cycling in the last decade. And while Brailsford himself, in his role within British Cycling the organisation, may have overseen the developments of riders like Wiggins and Thomas and help with the improvements in British cyclists over the last decade to this point... I have my suspicions about riders from outside that development nest making extremely sudden and convenient improvements to become major challengers at the top level, when realistically Britain hasn't created a rider at that kind of level since Robert Millar; Boardman was fairly close, but the next was Millar's namesake who was, of course, arrested in connection with doping - along with a certain D. Brailsford. And Britain just happens to chance upon these guys who would have hit the top anyway (since they didn't need the comforting developmental arm of British Cycling) at the same time as the national development project has hit full gas despite a pathetically small national calendar. Very convenient.

But hey, I'm getting off my intended topic.

Basically, Sky came in to this sport flaunting their all-singing, all-dancing zero tolerance policy. They struggled to adjust to the road in their first year. That's fine, they did about as well in their first Tour de France as US Postal or Team Telekom did. The thing is, all the marginal gains and attention to detail stuff from the launch... it didn't really work when confronted by road cycling the way it did on the track - the road has a much deeper field of contenders, and has far more variables involved. It took Sky a while to adjust their marginal gains approach to account for that. Again, that's no problem.

What was a problem, however, was finding experienced staff who were able to fit into their zero tolerance policy. Finding riders who are clean is ever easier nowadays, although to be fair ones with 8-10 years experience at the top level may be harder. But finding DSes, mechanics, soigneurs, and so on, who had experience at the right level but hadn't been around in the bad old days of the EPO era, that proved harder. It seemed like Garmin's policy was far more pragmatic; take riders who are committed to riding clean now, even if their past is chequered, and use them to mentor the new clean generation. And what ended up happening? The zero tolerance policy was relaxed. Sure, guys like Yates had been making a mockery of it from the start, but it did become less clearly enforced. Sky even openly stated that they were needing to relax it to be more pragmatic, although this was announced far more quietly than the "all singing, all dancing, super clean" launch propaganda, for that was what it was, and so the casual fan could be forgiven for not knowing that was the case.

But even within this atmosphere, the hiring of Leinders was kept hush-hush. Even if we accept the excuse for hiring him up to a point (that after soigneur Txema González died during the 2010 Vuelta they realised that they needed someone with experience treating cycling-related illnesses and injuries... come to think of it, that's another thing that should have set your BS detector off, even if you don't think Leinders did anything untoward at Sky), the question then comes, why Geert Leinders? Could no other doctors with any experience in cycling and less of a doping taint do that job (Leinders' connection to doping was in the public domain at the time. He wasn't exactly a notorious doping doc or anything, and is little mentioned in the Clinic before the middle of this year, but again, surely Brailsford's attention to detail should have seen some red flags raised. After all, we in the Clinic are mostly fans - for him it is his job, and his reputation is strong and potentially fragile)? Did no other experienced doctors apply?

Fast forward a while. Take in the amazing 2012, breathe in the winds of change. But even then, there are murmurs of dissent, not just from those hyenas in the Clinic, hissing, snarling and laughing at each other, but elsewhere. Perhaps they thought the Olympic fervour would kill off the questions, but they persisted. Brailsford could hardly have inspired less confidence when he ran away from questions about Leinders asked by Cyclingnews at the World Championships. And sure enough, they got rid of him. Conveniently, too - just one day before the "reasoned decision". Which should have buried Sky's awkward news and allowed them to move on trouble-free, except for more of their guys (and former guys, of course) being mentioned. This then led to more questions, especially bearing in mind casual fans may not have been aware that the original zero tolerance policy was shelved, or at least placed on the backburner until it could be more realistically achieved. And some of the excuse-making may have been bought by a mostly complicit press, but it required some leaps of faith, which many are not willing to take.

This all creates the issue: Sky announced a zero tolerance policy in 2009-10, but here we are in 2012-13 watching them jettison DSes, doctors and riders who have been shown to have those connections to doping the team was adamant they would not allow, while Sky announce to us their "new" zero tolerance policy. How could anybody hold it against those who argue "well, you said that you'd do that last time, and three years later it was shown to be a lie. Why should we believe you this time?"

All of this doesn't mean Sky were doping, of course. It does, however, mean that it's difficult to buy a lot of what comes out of their PR department, because it's been shown to be self-serving propagandistic falsehoods in the past. And in your initial postulate you included a key statement:

(emphasis mine)
This is correct, and falls into line with the understanding - which even the most ardent of cynics need to accept - that doping is less prevalent and less extreme than it was 15 years ago. Riding at Pantani-speed is no longer feasible; all of Sky's numbers and times on the climbs were comfortably within the boundaries of realistic human possibility. But this is where it becomes ever more subjective. Firstly, while the péloton is cleaner than it was, it still isn't clean by any stretch of the imagination. After all, we saw Rémy di Gregorio taken away by the gendarmerie and Fränk Schleck test positive during the Tour. And secondly, we have to put a level on where we think a rider can be clean and then extrapolate from that whether we think that they personally are capable of achieving that. To this end I will pick fictitious rider Mitchie Froogins. Mitchie Froogins' times on all of the climbs are within the realm of plausibility unaided, however he has completely decimated a whole bunch of riders - including some who had better results than him prior to this year and who tested positive at the race. We then have to decide - and this will be different for each of us - whether we can believe that Mitchie Froogins, unaided, is capable of riding at that level relative to the competition, i.e. that he is, all things considered, in the top 1% natural talents in the péloton.

The péloton is cleaner than it was, the possibility of dominating the race clean is ever higher, Sky talk a good talk, and this thread would never have grown to this size if people didn't believe them, and others didn't want to believe them... but these pigs are starting to walk on their hind legs, and Napoleon's starting to revise his commandments.

Take a bow son.
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  #9857  
Old 12-12-12, 20:24
MatParker117 MatParker117 is offline
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Interesting quote from Neils De Vos (head of UK Athletics):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/oly...al-doping.html

Quote:
Outlining the history of Lottery investment since the low point of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics when Britain managed just a single gold medal, De Vos highlighted the influence of Peter Keen, who preceded David Brailsford as performance director of British Cycling.
De Vos said: “Peter Keen came in and said, ‘Forget about cycling, it’s all about sprinting on the track because if you give me money I can make a difference and win medals’.
“That philosophy flowed through. It flowed through rowing, it flowed through sailing. We had an inbuilt advantage anyway as we could afford to do those sports. But you knew that if you were technologically ahead of everyone else, it could make half a second difference.
“They talk about aggregation of marginal gains. I personally don’t buy it. It’s actually technological doping, but none the less it works and we’ve won a vast number of medals as a result of it.
Will Fotheringham also suggested something similar:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog...-team-sky-tour

Quote:
There is another thesis that perhaps should do the rounds. When a former Grand Tour winner feels he has no option but to seek time trial advice in Britain – as I have been told is the case – that says there must be a lack of expertise in professional cycling's traditional nations.

It could also be suggested that an over-reliance on needles and potions over the years have had two effects: technical expertise has been replaced by doctors and soigneurs, and that in turn has created a "technology gap", which the British – having explored every legal area of performance in the past 15 years – are perfectly placed to fill.
I have two questions to ask really:
1. If there is a technology gap between Team Sky and the rest of the peloton how long before the rest catch up?

2. IF the former grand tour winner isn't Andy Schleck then who could it be?
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  #9858  
Old 12-12-12, 20:27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coinneach View Post
And then saying what Sky are doing is confusing, when its clinic regulars who are way ahead of reality who see the world as confusing.

For the record IF Sky didn't use Tenerife in '13 after the season they had in '12, I would find it confusing.

And on the subject of Tenerife, is it not true that the whole team went there this year, not just a few select riders, as has been suggested on earlier posts?
Did I hear (Eurosport commentary) that J T Locke also went there with them, even though he wasn't on Sky books at the time?
Aye JTL joined them, I think CN showed a photograph earlier in the season.
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  #9859  
Old 12-12-12, 20:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatParker117 View Post
Interesting quote from Neils De Vos (head of UK Athletics):
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/oly...al-doping.html



Will Fotheringham also suggested something similar:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog...-team-sky-tour



I have two questions to ask really:
1. If there is a technology gap between Team Sky and the rest of the peloton how long before the rest catch up?

2. IF the former grand tour winner isn't Andy Schleck then who could it be?
Nibbles? 10 char
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  #9860  
Old 12-12-12, 20:35
Don't be late Pedro's Avatar
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Originally Posted by MartinGT View Post
Ahhh, there we are.

I like that sentence just there Jimmy me ole fruit.

So, tell me, why when we are saying in the thread that we (Myself, Dear Wiggo, Hog etc) are saying we think Sky are juiced up to the eyeballs, are then made to show evidence to justify our opinions by the likes of vickers, bandit etc?
So if someone says something like

Quote:
Wiggins is working with Ferrari. 100% guaranteed.
we should just take their word for it? Are we not entitled to ask how someone can be so certain?

Everyone is entitled to their opinions but the value of them will generally be considered based on the amount of evidence it is backed by, no?
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