King Boonen wrote: blackcat wrote:
you failed to recognise, that after the USSR and GDR, the depth fell away on the track, the classy riders from the east, like Eki, came across to the road from the track, lots of other Soviet state riders, who would have contested the best riders like Bartko, Mcgee, Wiggins, went to the road. A rider like Raimondas Rumsas would have probably pumped everyone on the track. You can be small, lean, and hammer an IP and TP, see the height/weight of Peter Kennaugh and Jack Bobridge. Kittel and Greipel, would have pumped the Brits, think about Degenkolb, Gretsch, Greipel, Kittel, Martin, they would have lapped the Australians and the Brits and the Kiwis. Especially if Heiko was coaching them.
the money that went into the British track program, was enough for them to dominate the track
caveat: the communist system had a sports talent ID program and sports schools, for their propaganda, effectively equivalent resources that the UK system now funnels.
so, if we view it thru this lens, we can ascertain that the medals and victories, are merely an intersection of economic resources, and catchment of potential athletes(talent pool)
I'm unsure why you've responded to me with this, as you seen to be focussed on anglophone success on the track and I haven't made any assessment of why the anglophone countries have done well on the track or discussed the success of GB cycling's track programme. Diversification applies to all countries competing on the track. I don't disagree that BC have thrown huge amounts of money at a sport where they saw that money equals medals, but GBs success in the IP predates national lottery funding with Hugh Porter, Tony Doyle, Colin Sturgess, Shaun Wallace, Graeme Obree and Chris Boardman all winning multiple medals (Did Boardman receive funding?). I simply highlighted the fact that, when the quote that was being discussed was made, there was ample evidence that GT winners could also be good IP riders. It doesn't mean every good IP rider can win a GT, it just shows the two are certainly not mutually exclusive.
Your comment about the USSR and GDR riders moving away from the track so the depth was removed from the field is confusing when we are discussing the IP, because the USSR won exactly 1 medal in the WC IP, a gold in 1990. Gintautas Umaras won gold at the Olympics in 1988 and I believe that is their only medal in the IP. I don't think the GDR have ever won an IP medal at the WC or the Olympics, and the GDR rank below Sweden in terms of total medals won at the Olympics. The USSR and GDR dominated the medal tables twice, once in 1980 (and it should be obvious why) and in 1988. While they performed well from about 1972 onwards, this is only in the Olympics, not the WC, does not impact the period of time where the quote came from and does not seem to apply to the IP.
The assumption that the current crop of German riders would easily win the TP/IP is simply that, assumption and I don't think bears up to scrutiny. Cavendish could not force his way into the TP squad and he is a more likely candidate than both Kittel and Greipel. Martin, Gretsch and Degenkolb I think could certainly have been/might be good track riders, but track riding in Germany has always been reasonably strong and after the Ullrich affair and German TVs boycott of the TdF I think that if they were going to succeed massively on the track then they would have gone there. I'm sure that, if they wanted to, guys like Martin and Cancellara could have been very, very good IP riders, as could GT winners such as Contador, Evans, Indurain possibly even Basso etc.
If you are going to bring up the break up of the USSR and GDR then you also need to take into account the history of the sport in every country that competes. You need to consider the ban on road racing in the UK that stifled the scene for many years, you need to consider the upheaval in China and their current politics that may be affecting possible riders. You need to consider that cycling is now much more global and more easily accessible which has lead to a resurgence of the Colombian riders. We are finally starting to see some African riders come through the ranks (not the rich, white colonists). Track cycling is prohibitively expensive for many countries that may or may not be able to compete and road cycling can be as well. It all has an effect on the talent pool in all forms of the sport and makes assessment of a persons success against all possible outcomes pretty much impossible. It's why people always say you can only beat who is in front of you.
This has all gone off at a tangent though. So to bring it back to the very original point, and the only point that I, or in fact fmk_rol, was trying to make and that I added a bit more to, there is ample historical precedent to show that people who perform well in the IP can also win GTs, in some cases multiple GTs. This doesn't negate doping at all, we know many of those riders who have done both doped, but it doesn't mean that some super secret extra-strength doping is necessarily required for a rider to make the change (it also doesn't preclude that).