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Marginal Gains

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06 Apr 2017 21:04

So actually Bobby Julich taught Sky to warm down, then was forbidden form speaking about it as part of his resignation or had his memory wiped. It is funny because I remember after doing NYC park races typically large groups would be doing cooldown laps after the race back when I did such things circa 2006-2010.
Nick C.
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Re:

06 Apr 2017 21:06

Nick C. wrote:So actually Bobby Julich taught Sky to warm down, then was forbidden form speaking about it as part of his resignation or had his memory wiped. It is funny because I remember after doing NYC park races typically large groups would be doing cooldown laps after the race back when I did such things circa 2006-2010.


Liar, liar pants on fire!!!!!! :razz:

Sky invented the warm down, period!
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06 Apr 2017 21:51

I mean my class warmed down in PE class when we were like 10.
User avatar hrotha
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Re:

06 Apr 2017 22:09

hrotha wrote:I mean my class warmed down in PE class when we were like 10.


I bet you even had your own pillow to sleep on at night too.
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06 Apr 2017 22:54

We used to warm down after soccer practice when before I was in my teens. We also sucked, so we were obviously warming down wrong.
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Re: Re:

06 Apr 2017 23:51

BYOP88 wrote:
Nick C. wrote:So actually Bobby Julich taught Sky to warm down, then was forbidden form speaking about it as part of his resignation or had his memory wiped. It is funny because I remember after doing NYC park races typically large groups would be doing cooldown laps after the race back when I did such things circa 2006-2010.


Liar, liar pants on fire!!!!!! :razz:

Sky invented the warm down, period!


Our bot friends say otherwise :cool:

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Re: Marginal Gains

08 Apr 2017 10:11

Digger's excellent blog post on Marginal Gains;

https://diggerforum.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/marginal-gains/amp/

The myth of Sky and Marginal Gains

‘Riders’ physical preparation is also optimized. The Italian campionissimo Fausto Coppi introduced a scientific approach to diet, training, and equipment as early as the 1940s.’ From the Economics of Professional Road Cycling (2015)

‘Rumours about my interest in both equipment and alternative treatments got around in the world of cycling, and it turned out there were a number of like- minded people. They had heard I had an open mind when it came to new methods that could improve my performance, even if it was something that could only help by a few hundredths of a second. The way I saw it was that a few small improvements could add up together to make a big difference. I’d often have people getting in touch with me – inventors, people who practised alternative medicine and general cycling mad enthusiasts – trying to offer me their latest product. They were pretty inventive, too, and no one seemed to hold back when it came no using different methods and ideas.’ From the autobiography of Bjarne Riis, who also happened to dope with EPO, cortisone, Blood doping and hormones.

“Our head director, Jose Luis Nunez, went to church four times a day, says Vaughters. He even says as EPO was becoming epidemic in the sport, Nunez’s perspective was “No, we’re going to work harder than everyone else, and find all the little training methods no one has thought of, and look at nutrition,’ and so on and so forth. It was the original ‘marginal gains’ philosophy before Sky.” Vaughters on his introduction to European Cycling circa 1994. JV goes on to say ‘we were the worst team in the Spanish peloton, by far.’

Sunday in Hell documentary based on the 1976 Paris Roubaix. Camera shows Eddy Merkxx’s mechanic adjusting his bike and saddle. Narrator says ‘he (Merkxx) has a reputation of being a super perfectionist, a maniac about mechanical details, something always needs to be adjusted.’

Lance, who often had training camps in Tenerife, same place as Sky, had a special ‘narrow’ TT bike designed for him by the engineers and designers at Trek. After a series of tests in March of 2004, in Tenerife, Lance decided he didn’t like this bike and the $250,000 in research and development essentially came to nothing. Although one thing US Postal did do was use 7 year old tyres, which had been stored in a cellar, because they were tougher and smoother as a result.

Michael Rasmussen , robbed of the 2007 Tour, was so obsessed with weight he would insist on one bottle cage, minimum paint coatings for his frame, only one taping of his handlebars, and water in his muesli instead of even skimmed milk.

Bobby Julich on 2006, four years before Sky, on warm ups and cool downs – ‘start on turbo trainer, a device we hook up our bikes to about an hour before the stage; POST STAGE I try to warm down and get to the bus and get on the stationary bike to warm down before meeting with the press.’

2004, FBD Milk Race (Semi Pro Race in Ireland) had riders warming up and cooling down before and after stages.

2011, whilst actually being an employee of Team Sky, notorious doping Doctor, notorious to everyone except ‘call me naïve’ Dave Brailsford, Geert Leinders said, when asked about ‘new cycling’, “nonsense, innovation has always been there. Think of it as shedding your skin. The snake gets a new skin, but underneath it remains the same snake.”

Greg Lemond in 2015 said of Sky and marginal gains, ‘others makes us believe that they are ahead of the best scientists, the famous Teamm Sky marginal gains. What bollocks! There are no new methodologies. That is wrong. In this area too, miracles do not exist.’

2013 David Walsh, in an interview with Cyclingnews, mentions David Lopez reaching for the Nutella and his Sky teammates berating him for this. (Why was it on the table to begin with in that case I wonder?) Barry Ryan of Cyclingnews replied that other teams over the years have enacted a Nutella ban and pointed out that Davide Rebellin used to deliberately ride on depleted reserves to prepare for Beijing in 2008, despite the fact he tested positive at that race.

Another Walsh gem used to propagate the Sky marginal gains line was that riders were given pineapple flavoured water. Former riders like Paul Kimmage derided this and pointed out that pineapple flavoured water was used in the 80’s and even before this.

Tyler Hamilton wrote ‘Michele Ferrari was obsessed about weight – and I mean totally obsessed. He spent far more time bugging us about diet than he ever did about our haematocrit….he even persuaded Lance to buy a scale so he could weigh his food. I drank gallons of sparkling water, trying to fool my stomach into thinking it was full.’

More detail

Altitude training at Mt Tiede in Tenerife is another apparent marginal gain of Sky. Altitude training became the next ‘big thing’ in 1968 coming up to the Mexico Olympics. Since then we’ve had numerous cyclists such as Jan Ullrich, Floyd Landis and Lance Armstrong all invest in altitude chambers to sleep in from the fact that Lance trained there in the early noughties, aside from the fact that teams linked with Fuentes used to train there in 2005 and 2006, aside from T-Mobile having camps there in 2005, aside from the fact that amateur Irish cyclists trained there over a decade ago, this so called marginal gain is something Sky may want to boast less about. In 2013, after eight training camps to Tenerife, Sky had been visited by testers there ONCE. The other elephant in the room regarding altitude camps is that they’ve been used historically by doping doctors such as Ferrari and Fuentes to circumnavigate the bio-passport. Any ‘changes’ in haematocrit, plasma volume, new red blood cells can be explained by altitude. It’s a natural masking agent for oxygen vector doping. One final, not insignificant point, is the page of the CIRC report which specifically refers to a team that goes to altitude camps to load up on cortisone Out Of Competition (OOC) so riders can lose four to five kilos in six weeks. To then witness certain riders in July and their physiques, I will quote Jan Ullrich on this one, ‘if you can’t put two and two together you are beyond my help.’

Tim Kerrison entered the fray for Sky in 2010. After a year ‘observing’ the team from his campervan, he brought in reverse periodisation in 2010 for Sky. This concept is credited with transforming the training regimes of Sky. Problem here is that reverse periodisation can be traced back to Easter Block sprinters in the 70’s. Charlie Francis, coach of Ben Johnson, was also proponent in the 80’s. The training methodology was not just used by sprinters but was later developed by swimmers and triathletes in the 80’s. Training with such intensity in December and January often leads to exercise anaemia in athletes, where they’ll lose red blood cell counts through exhaustion. It’s all very well to say Sky train harder than other team and that they use motor pacing up mountains, but even if this were the case, we are entitled to ask how this is possible? Tiernan Locke, Danny Pate and Edmondson couldn’t deal with the training load of Sky and their bodies broke down. Of course the one thing that helps athletes train harder, doping, is something Sky don’t engage in so clearly the likes of Froome and Thomas are just genetic freaks. On a more humorous note Kerrison is said to use power meters and design training loads according to the rider’s needs based on these power readings and other such factors. Not only is that not a marginal gain, it wouldn’t have been a gain in the 1980’s when Greg Lemond was being coached by Adrie Van Diemen using this very method.

This brings us on to another important issue, why do these marginal gains only work for a core of Sky riders? Wiggins, Porte, Froome, Thomas, Landa, Poels, Henao and Pete Kennaugh. There are so many riders over the years at Sky who didn’t improve, stagnated, or even got worse whilst there: Bosan Hagen, Konig, Lopez, Nicholas Roche, Deignan, Danny Pate, Tiernan Locke, Edmondson, Dombrowski, Dowsett, Nordhaug, Appollonio, Lofkvist, Nathan Earle. Why are marginal gains so selective in their efficacy?

Marginal Gains being used to explain how a team can be successful without doping is a tight rope for Sky. It’s a tight rope because it’s used to explain their success but their incompetence is used to defend themselves against doping accusations. So many examples to mention so let’s keep these to bullet points:

No medical records kept at all for 2011
Froome having bilharzia for a year before he went, of his own accord to get a blood test
Michelle Froome taking over Froome’s diet, despite the notion that Froome always had the talent but was just over weight, as Sky tell us.

Froome, the apparent greatest natural talent ever seen in cycling, was within weeks of leaving Sky after two years at the team where a highlight was holding onto a motorbike going up a mountain. Sky coaching staff played a blinder in letting this talent go unnoticed for two years.
Brailsford not knowing cortisone was abused in cycling
Brailsford not knowing Leinders was a doping doctor despite this evidence being available via google in 2012.
Froome not going into a wind tunnel until May 2013, eighteen months after his breakthrough.
Tiernan Locke either being signed without due process and blood testing or these results ignored and signed anyway.

Brailsford tells French TV in July 2015 they don’t weight riders everyday when asked Froome’s weight.
Kennaugh said Leinders was used only to weigh riders
Sent a doctor to France, Freeman, to the one country in Europe he wasn’t able to get a prescription, whilst sending a guy from London to Manchester to London to France with a jiffy bag of medication.
Testosterone patches delivered to British Cycling headquarters by ‘mistake’
Brailsford asked in 2013 for Froome’s power and blood data and he replies ‘if we have them,’ although going by the prescription record keeping maybe this was a reasonable reply
Brailsford is so attentive to details he thinks the jiffy bag was for a cyclist 800 miles away, imagines a bus was gone when it wasn’t and in the end tells a journalist he will give information on another team to take the focus off Sky.
Josh Edmondson’s doping rules violations being ignored by the team to protect his mental health. But let go weeks later due to his attitude and commitment.

Brailsford comments on Froome’s downhill attack last summer in the tour and referred to it as marginal gains. Froome goes against this and said it wasn’t planned making it sound like a Carry On Film
Sky’s race tactics are the opposite of innovative. Brute force with no one able to ride off the front is not innovative. Ivan Basso laughed out loud in 2012 when asked why no one attacks, with the obvious implication being how can we attack when Sky are riding such a tempo.
On Sky’s ‘innovative’ tactics. Twice in six months they’ve lost the win of a stage race from being caught cold at the start. In the Tour of Spain and last week in Catalunya. Maybe that’s their new innovation, to somehow lose a race just for amusement.

For three years Wiggins took Kenacort injections prior to the Tour, did the genius power metre reader Kerrison not notice that his athlete was producing more power all of a sudden and wonder what was going on?
Sky’s attention to detail in team time trials is well known in the peloton. Double leads on descents are a regular occurrence. That’s two riders taking the wind going downhill – basic amateur details. Again maybe they are innovators and want to be the first team to take off into the air.
Sky Pinarello frames are the heaviest in the peloton. Unless the UCI have brought in a handicap system from Horse Racing this does seem odd. But maybe Varjas knows more about this.
But if these marginal gains were so effective why haven’t these ideas migrated with the staff who have left Sky? Sean Yates, Richie Porte, Steven De Jongh, Greg Henderson, Nicholas Roche, Michael Rogers, Alan Farrell, Mark Cavendish, Bosan Hagen etc have all left Sky in recent years. The idea that something new is being done at Sky and not brought with them to their new team is laughable.

One final one, Sky’s ability to sign the best riders and the Sky budget is another marginal gain according to the experts like Syed, and who are we to argue with a man who gets five grand a seminar to talk marginal gains. Clearly a guy who played ping pong knows more than most. Sky’s best rider is Froome – he was on 90 thousand euro a year in his first two years at Sky. A pittance. Geraint Thomas is a product of British Cycling, as was Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard, Henao was signed as a neo pro. They signed Cavendish for big money and it ended up a disaster for all. Similar with Roche, he didn’t even make the Tour team on his second year. As for team budget, their 2014 accounts revealed a very interesting point about their marginal gains approach. Sky spent over 18million on staff wages. They spent all of 83,000 pounds on research up from the paltry 67,000 figure of 2013. Are these really the actions of a team seeking constant improvement and innovations?

In 1996 Michelle Smith won four Olympic medals and transformed from a lady that nearly drowned in the deep end four years previously. Her excuse for improvement? Diet, new training techniques, weight training. Chinese female runners of the early 90’s said they trained harder and drank turtle blood. Lance’s excuse was cancer gave him a new lease of life and let him lose weight. For Sky their dilemma is that cycling fans have seen it all before, the excuses, the reasons, the hype, the bullshit. To have any semblance of faith in Sky’s propaganda we’d need to have lived in Mars until 2012 without access to history. That brilliant philosopher George W. Bush once said ‘fool me once, shame on you, shame on you, fool me, you can’t get fooled again.’ Or maybe it was Dave Brailsford who said that one?
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08 Apr 2017 11:55

The marginal gains is a front, a smoke screen which distracts from the truth. Its used to give answers for uncomfortable questions, very devious minds at work here
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Re:

08 Apr 2017 21:47

70kmph wrote:The marginal gains is a front, a smoke screen which distracts from the truth. Its used to give answers for uncomfortable questions, very devious minds at work here


JV was a big proponent of the PR of finding the small advantages, doing it better, cleaner than everyone. Warm downs, pillows, etc etc

It is called snakeoil and JV sells a lot of snakeoil.
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10 Apr 2017 00:07

oh wow.

SDB has not worked out, if they just shut up and not engaged in the propaganda about folkx throwing p!$$ on LRP, we would be forgiving, he would be entitled for our forgiveness, its cycling, we know the top 10 doped. fr@nkly, we don't give a $h1t, but just stop giving us the B$.

#LRP ftw
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31 May 2018 16:10

But.. they already had pineapple juice? Why would they waste time and money on developing that stuff when they already had something good enough to win four Tours and a Vuelta?
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31 May 2018 22:12

"Are you going to believe me or what you see with your own eyes?"

“It doesn’t matter what I do. People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.”
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