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Why are UK riders now more successful?

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06 Mar 2012 18:20

samerics wrote:Just in case it was referring to me, I'm 50 years old and have been watching cycling since LeMond and co, though i have vague memories of Merckx, and I was a keen cyclist through the 90's and 00's. I remember Indurain's first win, watched with genuine disbelief as Riis made every one look like amateurs, wondered why Boardman was so quick and yet he got blitzed in the big Tours. I even applauded Armstrong until Ferrari. In short, I've seen them come and go, I am under no illusion as to the depth of the problem, but I'm not so cynical as to believe that everyone is at it! What kind of life do you have if you believe everyone is bad without using balance and judgement? I've said it before, but this place resembles a Paranoia Convention.


There is nothing aimed at any specific posters in this thread, its just an overall trend I have noticed since the forum started. Just in case I am being misunderstood, I am not someone who believes everyone is at it and have had plenty of debates with the "everyone is doping brigade" or "everything is related to doping" brigade. I have seen some of the most silly things being used as proof of doping.

My threshold for suspicion is when a rider suddenly starts performing at a level which they never had before, doubly so when it happens relatively quickly or out of the blue. Its when you see a rider performing at a level you never would have imagined that sets the alarm bells ringing for me.

I dont think thats a very controversial or unjust outlook to have based on past experiences, it might be skeptical but as I say I dont know how anyone couldnt be a tad skeptical following our sport. Despite what I am sure many people have ingrained in their minds, I have never at any point said I believe Wiggins, Froome or JTL are definitely doping. Suspicion does not equal automatic guilt.

But I get the impression that some posters defend riders based on nothing more than nationalism. Before SKY was launched and Bralisford made his "British Tour winner in 5 years" comment, everyone laughed at the nature of the comment as there was not a single rider who was in that category or likely to be in that category. Now not even 3 years down the line, there could potentially be 3 guys in that category. How many people really seen that happening?

If this had happened in Spain, I think there would have been total outrage at such happenings.
pmcg76
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06 Mar 2012 18:50

samerics wrote:Just in case it was referring to me, I'm 50 years old and have been watching cycling since LeMond and co, though i have vague memories of Merckx, and I was a keen cyclist through the 90's and 00's. I remember Indurain's first win, watched with genuine disbelief as Riis made every one look like amateurs, wondered why Boardman was so quick and yet he got blitzed in the big Tours. I even applauded Armstrong until Ferrari. In short, I've seen them come and go, I am under no illusion as to the depth of the problem, but I'm not so cynical as to believe that everyone is at it! What kind of life do you have if you believe everyone is bad without using balance and judgement? I've said it before, but this place resembles a Paranoia Convention.



But everyone was at it, with a few exceptions! Festina 98 taught us that.

Why would it have changed. Various teams since then have performed at such high levels and consistency that it is virtually impossible to believe it has changed. Look at the Director Sportifs who run these teams. With a few exceptions all doped as riders or were DS during the infamous epo era.

This place is more grounded in reality based on the history of the sport and the unchanged attitude from within the sport to doping.
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06 Mar 2012 18:54

How is what you just posted relevant to this thread. It's completely and utterly off topic. If you think everybody was doping before and everbody is doping now then it does nothing to explain the emergence of UK riders.

So can you post anything relevant to the thread or do you just post everybody dopes on every single thread like some troll.
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06 Mar 2012 19:05

Biggut wrote:How is what you just posted relevant to this thread. It's completely and utterly off topic. If you think everybody was doping before and everbody is doping now then it does nothing to explain the emergence of UK riders.

So can you post anything relevant to the thread or do you just post everybody dopes on every single thread like some troll.


Maybe the UK riders finally discovered dope, like Yates and Millar did!

Not everybody dopes but the vast majority do, part of the sport. UK riders understand that now or those who get them from elite to pro level do and therefore encourage/explain that to ride in the pro peloton doping is required unless they have amazing ability that they dont require it, but amazing ability means you can hang on, not much more.

If you dont think this is the case, take it from Stephen Swart. He rode in the pro peloton in Europe for a few years pre epo when the peloton climbed on the inside chainring then rode in the states for a few years and came back to Europe with Motorola and discovered everyone was climbing on the big ring, due to epo. Nowadays they still climb on the big ring :)
"ahaha, ever had the feeling you been cheated?" JL SF Jan'78.

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06 Mar 2012 19:06

Benotti69 wrote:But everyone was at it, with a few exceptions! Festina 98 taught us that.

Why would it have changed. Various teams since then have performed at such high levels and consistency that it is virtually impossible to believe it has changed. Look at the Director Sportifs who run these teams. With a few exceptions all doped as riders or were DS during the infamous epo era.

This place is more grounded in reality based on the history of the sport and the unchanged attitude from within the sport to doping.


As if to illustrate my point, one of the everyone dopes brigade arrives.

I dont agree with Benotti most of the time but I al least understand why he is so cynical. He believes people cannot change, I believe they can.
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06 Mar 2012 19:27

Benotti69 wrote:Nowadays they still climb on the big ring :)


They also use different sized chainrings and sporckets.

A typical 80s bike used 54/44 and 12-21
A typical modern bike has 53/39 and 11-26

44/21 = 2.09
53/26 = 2.03

So a lower ratio is achievable with a modern big ring than an 80s small ring.

If you consider doping the only explanation for anything, you miss so much.
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06 Mar 2012 19:36

There are lots of factors, and those factors are different for each and every character.

Cavendish, for example, looks to be a freakishly talented cyclist who would have made it to the top regardless. He just happens to be British.

Some of the others have benefited from the funding increase and the track programme (which has ultimately led to Team Sky).

Some of the others had been hawking their wares with a decent level of success as young riders, but now have the confidence of a team behind them that they believe in (here I put the likes of Stannard and Cummings).

Some of the others just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Some of the others are very suspicious (Froome, for example).

I think it's amplified because of Team Sky being there, and trying to gather a lot of the stars together, but there is no single overriding factor, and 'must be doping' can't explain away all of it, because some have improved gradually, some have always been that good, some still aren't but are racing smarter, and some have improved in the blink of an eye. It can't be easily explained away in one easy statement.
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06 Mar 2012 19:39

Again, what has ratios to do with the thread subject. The question is why UK riders are achieving more success. what the entire peloton changes is not relevant. If you think that doping is the answer then either the majority of Brits were clean in the old peloton and the new ones are joining the dirty masses, Brits were always dirty but now despite being on several teams and some not being BCF connected have some new super doping not understood by the rest of thevword, or the rest of the world is doping less and the Brits are still clean but now able to compete on an even basis.
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06 Mar 2012 19:40

The Hitch wrote:Don't all the best Brit riders come from the track, (with the exception of the 2 best of the best, Froome and JTL)


Dan Martin is Irish with Brit Mom and was part of the academy before falling out with Brailsford because he wanted DM to ride track. Well the kid is small. I know that Kennaugh is a small cat too and he might fly to 3.52 53 WR in the teams pursuit

Adam Blythe similarly fell out with DB and went off to Belgium for his apprenticeship after konica minolta the saffa team.

Hammond is the best brit, (ever?) for the lowlands one-day races, well, cobbles not the spikey bergs
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06 Mar 2012 19:43

Libertine Seguros wrote:There are lots of factors, and those factors are different for each and every character.

Cavendish, for example, looks to be a freakishly talented cyclist who would have made it to the top regardless. He just happens to be British.

Some of the others have benefited from the funding increase and the track programme (which has ultimately led to Team Sky).

Some of the others had been hawking their wares with a decent level of success as young riders, but now have the confidence of a team behind them that they believe in (here I put the likes of Stannard and Cummings).

Some of the others just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Some of the others are very suspicious (Froome, for example).

I think it's amplified because of Team Sky being there, and trying to gather a lot of the stars together, but there is no single overriding factor, and 'must be doping' can't explain away all of it, because some have improved gradually, some have always been that good, some still aren't but are racing smarter, and some have improved in the blink of an eye. It can't be easily explained away in one easy statement.

actually, Froome had a phenomenal debut at the Tour de France as a 22 or 23 yo on Barlo about 5 years back. And came second in a World B tt, and if he rode the u23 instead of World tt that year, he may have won or very least podiumed in the u23 chrono

still doped, but all the rest are too. Wiggins and Cav are the two guys who have been transformed by the gear. Cav just has a good aero posture. But if he had to climb without the gear, and without hanging on to cars, he would never win one sprint. Guy cant be beaten if he can see the line, and phenomenal for that talent. But we dont let chris hoy ride the last k of the champs elysees by haging on to 3000km do we? Nope. If Cav was like Mcewen, and had to climb and finish a stage thru natural aerobic ability, he would not be sprinting ftw. He would not be a pro cos he could not win!

Saying that, the best ever sprint I saw was the San Remo win. And in his second year as a pro, see him snaking solo in 3 days of De Panne, if anyone has any doubts he needs a train and could not handle himself. He could be as good as Mcewen in terms of navigating solo, and he still would be successful . He does not NEED the train, it just adds about 10 wins to the 30 he gets a year. He still would win. Cav IS phenomenal, no doubt. Best ever sprinter in my reckoning. And the San Remo win, is better than Mcewen's come from behind London win, in terms of best wins coming from nowhere metric.
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06 Mar 2012 19:46

Biggut wrote:Again, what has ratios to do with the thread subject.


Nothing directly. But the poster had suggested that riders still climbing in the big ring was proof that there was as much doping as ever without acknowledging gear ratios have changed a lot in 20 years.
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06 Mar 2012 19:55

Biggut wrote:Is it because they are superior dopers? Or is it because they have always been cleaner, so a cleaner sport means they are now getting the just rewards for their talent?


Maybe they are more successful because of twitter?

But when you say "more successful", what do you mean?
More successful than what/who/when?
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06 Mar 2012 19:57

UK riders only appear successful because the baseline (especially on the road) was so low, and I would even say relative to the population of the country they still underperform. There no classics riders to speak of, just an outstanding sprinter in Cav, and Wiggins who is becoming a decent stage racer after an amazing career on the track. The rest (and there aren't many of them) are a bit meh - including Froome with his one fishy result in one race, especially when you compare to what Belgium, Spain, Italy, and even Australia are able to produce.
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06 Mar 2012 20:03

problem is, u dont criticise wiggins.

psychologically, the criticism is interpreted as the assault on the self. IE. I say wiggins is undoubtedly charged. just like cav, just like the rest of teh squad, and most of the peloton.

But dimspace cant reconcile this criticism of the public athlete, and the person, Dimspace. He takes this as an adhominem assault on self, and cant understand, so he shoots the messenger. On a psychological level, when we criticise our heroes, we criticise ourselves.
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06 Mar 2012 20:05

Come again?
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06 Mar 2012 20:05

richtea wrote:UK riders only appear successful because the baseline (especially on the road) was so low, and I would even say relative to the population of the country they still underperform. There no classics riders to speak of, just an outstanding sprinter in Cav, and Wiggins who is becoming a decent stage racer after an amazing career on the track. The rest (and there aren't many of them) are a bit meh - including Froome with his one fishy result in one race, especially when you compare to what Belgium, Spain, Italy, and even Australia are able to produce.

Froomes result WAS NOT fishy. It u know anything about him, u would know he is the most talented rider on Sky. By aways. There are very few athletes that can timetrial and climb naturally. Usually an inverse relationship, or an evans level competency, like LL.

Well Froome can, he almost sits between Evans and Contador, in terms of potential to do both at an elite level. Just above Evans, just behind Contador.

Chris Froome, ftw. Kenyan's first Tour De France winner.
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06 Mar 2012 20:09

blackcat wrote:actually, Froome had a phenomenal debut at the Tour de France as a 22 or 23 yo on Barlo about 5 years back.

This might be hyperbole.
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06 Mar 2012 20:14

I dunno about that.

Kennaugh to my mind has better potential than Froome.

But, if you discount the well documented blood borne parasitic infection (now treated), the Froome is very fishy...
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06 Mar 2012 20:15

Libertine Seguros wrote:Cavendish, for example, looks to be a freakishly talented cyclist who would have made it to the top regardless. He just happens to be British.


actually not right. The coach at the academy, Bradley wiggins coach, who left to go to Perth for the West aus Institute of Sport, he was not complimentary on Cav and his testing. OK, some can test, some can race. When Cav was seen by Heiko Salzedal, famous east euro coach, who took aussie road to europe, then tok Thuringer Energie to the top espoir team, perhpas in Europe, where cav was at in 2005 ish, he said cav could race, and had the hunger and determination in his eyes, and new how to find the line.

Heiko went on to take Denmark and Alex Rass to the silver in the Beijing Team pursuit and then they won a world champs tema pursuit in 2009 or 10. Alex and his CSC teammate have won a few of the big 6 days, apart from the beijing silver.

Heiko is a genius.

I forget Wiggos coach, that had the acrimonious r/s with cav. If u read his book, Cav potted him mercilessly.
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06 Mar 2012 20:17

hrotha wrote:This might be hyperbole.

how so. See his chronos, and him positioning in the final ascent of the Queen Stage.

NOT HYPERBOLE.

I got no dog in this fight. I know Froome is charged like the rest, but I see him getting no credit for his innate talent.
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