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Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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11 Jun 2018 20:46

Well, all I know is the claim is often touted that Sky are doping because they are able to turn Donkeys into Racehorses at will overnight. That's a perfectly acceptable explanation, but then it doesn't explain why another team doping a rider who is already a racehorse in terms of palamares/genetics/natural ability consistently cannot and does not beat them in the biggest event of the year for 7 years now? That suggests either unknown experimental substances no other team has access to for the last 7 years that is more effective than EPO, exclusive UCI protection no other team has access to for the last 7 years or something else explains Sky's success with said riders over last 7 years. UCI protection would explain it. Across two presidents now, clearly not related to who's in charge. If big name riders from non-protected teams (I assume non-protected) were getting popped trying to beat Sky the last 7 years it would make sense, but largely they haven't been popped. All that's happened in the previous decade to when Team Sky arrived, is the same team of people while called British Cycling was having success on the track without getting popped anyway, so it's actually spanned 4 UCI presidents in reality. If anything, the biggest doping story in cycling is currently happening to the rider who just won 3 GTs in a row and rides for Sky. That's hardly UCI protection if you're paying good money for it. Froome still won, so we assume still doing the same thing this year anyway.
samhocking
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Re:

11 Jun 2018 21:06

samhocking wrote:Well, all I know is the claim is often touted that Sky are doping because they are able to turn Donkeys into Racehorses at will overnight. That's a perfectly acceptable explanation, but then it doesn't explain why another team doping a rider who is already a racehorse in terms of palamares/genetics/natural ability consistently cannot and does not beat them in the biggest event of the year for 7 years now? That suggests either unknown experimental substances no other team has access to for the last 7 years that is more effective than EPO, exclusive UCI protection no other team has access to for the last 7 years or something else explains Sky's success with said riders over last 7 years. UCI protection would explain it. Across two presidents now, clearly not related to who's in charge. If big name riders from non-protected teams (I assume non-protected) were getting popped trying to beat Sky the last 7 years it would make sense, but largely they haven't been popped. All that's happened in the previous decade to when Team Sky arrived, is the same team of people while called British Cycling was having success on the track without getting popped anyway, so it's actually spanned 4 UCI presidents in reality. If anything, the biggest doping story in cycling is currently happening to the rider who just won 3 GTs in a row and rides for Sky. That's hardly UCI protection if you're paying good money for it. Froome still won, so we assume still doing the same thing this year anyway.


Ah come on, you weren't born yesterday.

The fix is in.

Armstrong was not a better rider than Jullrich and others. But USA was then the new market place. Nike sponsored Armstrong, Trek were growing at a tremedous pace, he was the Cancer Jesus.

Sky made a presentation to ASO in 2011. No one has seen that. Since then Sky have won 5 of the last 7 TdFs. Not hard to figure.
User avatar Benotti69
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Re:

11 Jun 2018 21:12

samhocking wrote:What were the experimental pre-clinical/non-approved substances only one team used and no other could then in the last 100 years? I can't think of any that were not simply already known about and/or approved substances within medicine at the time anyway. Riders might have experimented using them to find what worked best initially and we know that from 6 - day racing where riders and coaches did just that before the Grand Tours to perfect their cocktails of potions, but that isn't the same as them being an experimental drug only one team can use or obtain to gain an advantage over others, that's just looking for improvement with what doping already exists to everyone already.


It was rumoured Armstrong was using an EPO made by Amgen that had not been appproved.

There are over 80 variations known of EPO. What about other variations of other PEDs.

Meldonium was 10 years in use before a test to ban it. Who were the 1st atheltes to use it before its use became widespread and 10 years later a test.

To try and muddy the waters about Sky is crazy. This is not a new sport. We have already seen teams do similar to Sky before, albeit with more proven talented riders. But hey Wiggins was chosen to be the 1st UK winner of the TdF and guess what he was. I doubt Sky chose Froome, but when he blew the rest of the team out of the water, well what were they going to do, let him go to another team. He had a British passport and was winning, without panache and character, but to Sky winning is #1.
User avatar Benotti69
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11 Jun 2018 21:13

Benotti69 wrote:
samhocking wrote:Well, all I know is the claim is often touted that Sky are doping because they are able to turn Donkeys into Racehorses at will overnight. That's a perfectly acceptable explanation, but then it doesn't explain why another team doping a rider who is already a racehorse in terms of palamares/genetics/natural ability consistently cannot and does not beat them in the biggest event of the year for 7 years now? That suggests either unknown experimental substances no other team has access to for the last 7 years that is more effective than EPO, exclusive UCI protection no other team has access to for the last 7 years or something else explains Sky's success with said riders over last 7 years. UCI protection would explain it. Across two presidents now, clearly not related to who's in charge. If big name riders from non-protected teams (I assume non-protected) were getting popped trying to beat Sky the last 7 years it would make sense, but largely they haven't been popped. All that's happened in the previous decade to when Team Sky arrived, is the same team of people while called British Cycling was having success on the track without getting popped anyway, so it's actually spanned 4 UCI presidents in reality. If anything, the biggest doping story in cycling is currently happening to the rider who just won 3 GTs in a row and rides for Sky. That's hardly UCI protection if you're paying good money for it. Froome still won, so we assume still doing the same thing this year anyway.


Ah come on, you weren't born yesterday.

The fix is in.

Armstrong was not a better rider than Jullrich and others. But USA was then the new market place. Nike sponsored Armstrong, Trek were growing at a tremedous pace, he was the Cancer Jesus.

Sky made a presentation to ASO in 2011. No one has seen that. Since then Sky have won 5 of the last 7 TdFs. Not hard to figure.



So how does the Giro win and the Vuelta win fit into that little theory?

Were presentations made to RCS too?

Why didn't Sky win 2014, 2015, 2016 Vuelta after ASO took it over?
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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Re:

11 Jun 2018 21:22

macbindle wrote:
Benotti69 wrote:
samhocking wrote:Well, all I know is the claim is often touted that Sky are doping because they are able to turn Donkeys into Racehorses at will overnight. That's a perfectly acceptable explanation, but then it doesn't explain why another team doping a rider who is already a racehorse in terms of palamares/genetics/natural ability consistently cannot and does not beat them in the biggest event of the year for 7 years now? That suggests either unknown experimental substances no other team has access to for the last 7 years that is more effective than EPO, exclusive UCI protection no other team has access to for the last 7 years or something else explains Sky's success with said riders over last 7 years. UCI protection would explain it. Across two presidents now, clearly not related to who's in charge. If big name riders from non-protected teams (I assume non-protected) were getting popped trying to beat Sky the last 7 years it would make sense, but largely they haven't been popped. All that's happened in the previous decade to when Team Sky arrived, is the same team of people while called British Cycling was having success on the track without getting popped anyway, so it's actually spanned 4 UCI presidents in reality. If anything, the biggest doping story in cycling is currently happening to the rider who just won 3 GTs in a row and rides for Sky. That's hardly UCI protection if you're paying good money for it. Froome still won, so we assume still doing the same thing this year anyway.


Ah come on, you weren't born yesterday.

The fix is in.

Armstrong was not a better rider than Jullrich and others. But USA was then the new market place. Nike sponsored Armstrong, Trek were growing at a tremedous pace, he was the Cancer Jesus.

Sky made a presentation to ASO in 2011. No one has seen that. Since then Sky have won 5 of the last 7 TdFs. Not hard to figure.



So how does the Giro win and the Vuelta win fit into that little theory?

Were presentations made to RCS too?

Why didn't Sky win 2014, 2015, 2016 Vuelta after ASO took it over?


RCS are hugely in debt. I have no doubt due to the mismanagement of its finances.

Quite possibly.

Never heard of bike races being fixed. New to the sport?
User avatar Benotti69
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11 Jun 2018 21:29

You argument is that Sky riders only win the TdF because it is fixed, ie. they are not good enough to win on their own merits.

I'm asking you how their other wins fit into this, and also their losses, particularly if they have won and lost the same race.

Perhaps you could provide a meaningful answer rather than an insult?
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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Re: Re:

11 Jun 2018 21:32

Benotti69 wrote:
macbindle wrote:
Benotti69 wrote:
samhocking wrote:Well, all I know is the claim is often touted that Sky are doping because they are able to turn Donkeys into Racehorses at will overnight. That's a perfectly acceptable explanation, but then it doesn't explain why another team doping a rider who is already a racehorse in terms of palamares/genetics/natural ability consistently cannot and does not beat them in the biggest event of the year for 7 years now? That suggests either unknown experimental substances no other team has access to for the last 7 years that is more effective than EPO, exclusive UCI protection no other team has access to for the last 7 years or something else explains Sky's success with said riders over last 7 years. UCI protection would explain it. Across two presidents now, clearly not related to who's in charge. If big name riders from non-protected teams (I assume non-protected) were getting popped trying to beat Sky the last 7 years it would make sense, but largely they haven't been popped. All that's happened in the previous decade to when Team Sky arrived, is the same team of people while called British Cycling was having success on the track without getting popped anyway, so it's actually spanned 4 UCI presidents in reality. If anything, the biggest doping story in cycling is currently happening to the rider who just won 3 GTs in a row and rides for Sky. That's hardly UCI protection if you're paying good money for it. Froome still won, so we assume still doing the same thing this year anyway.


Ah come on, you weren't born yesterday.

The fix is in.

Armstrong was not a better rider than Jullrich and others. But USA was then the new market place. Nike sponsored Armstrong, Trek were growing at a tremedous pace, he was the Cancer Jesus.

Sky made a presentation to ASO in 2011. No one has seen that. Since then Sky have won 5 of the last 7 TdFs. Not hard to figure.



So how does the Giro win and the Vuelta win fit into that little theory?

Were presentations made to RCS too?

Why didn't Sky win 2014, 2015, 2016 Vuelta after ASO took it over?


RCS are hugely in debt. I have no doubt due to the mismanagement of its finances.

Quite possibly.

Never heard of bike races being fixed. New to the sport?



Different people also respond differently to doping. Everyone is different so it's going to effect everyone differently. (This is probably going to sound like a strange comparison but I'm going to try.) This is the same reason there are so many different types of hormonal birth control on the market. Each woman responds differently to each one and you have the find the one that works best for you. I would imagine that doping is similar in that it would effect each rider differently. Thus what works for one isn't going to work as well or at all for someone else.
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Re:

11 Jun 2018 21:56

macbindle wrote:You argument is that Sky riders only win the TdF because it is fixed, ie. they are not good enough to win on their own merits.

I'm asking you how their other wins fit into this, and also their losses, particularly if they have won and lost the same race.

Perhaps you could provide a meaningful answer rather than an insult?


Most major sporting events, imo, are fixed is some manner.

If you cant figure how dirty business operates i cannot help you.

Professional sport is more about business than sport these days.
User avatar Benotti69
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Re: Re:

11 Jun 2018 22:02

Koronin wrote:

Different people also respond differently to doping. Everyone is different so it's going to effect everyone differently. (This is probably going to sound like a strange comparison but I'm going to try.) This is the same reason there are so many different types of hormonal birth control on the market. Each woman responds differently to each one and you have the find the one that works best for you. I would imagine that doping is similar in that it would effect each rider differently. Thus what works for one isn't going to work as well or at all for someone else.


Yes and to say that Sky have the best methodology over other teams dont wash. There are a lot very experienced teams and doctors doing it far longer than Sky.

It is a small sport and riders talk. Landis knew what others were doing on other teams in 2006.

So what is the edge sky have?

Well we can only guess. it can be one thing or a number of diffirent factors. Doping, motors, lack of testing, testing notification, so many things can have an effect to give a huge advantage.

Wiggins rode for a number of teams before finding his 'juice' with BC. When he did Sky liked it.



Whatever Froome does, whether he flies solo and Sky have been trying to figure it out to use on other riders or Froome let them in on his secrets for a price, well we will find out eventually.
User avatar Benotti69
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Re: Re:

11 Jun 2018 22:14

Benotti69 wrote:
macbindle wrote:You argument is that Sky riders only win the TdF because it is fixed, ie. they are not good enough to win on their own merits.

I'm asking you how their other wins fit into this, and also their losses, particularly if they have won and lost the same race.

Perhaps you could provide a meaningful answer rather than an insult?


Most major sporting events, imo, are fixed is some manner.

If you cant figure how dirty business operates i cannot help you.

Professional sport is more about business than sport these days.


So do Sky pay to lose some races too? Or were they outbid? How does it all work. Why did they win the last Vuelta but not previous editions? Will they win the next one? How did RCS make Yates blow up? How did ASO make Nibali and Quintana, and Contador lose previous TdFs

Expand.
(Warning: Posts may contain traces of irony)
User avatar macbindle
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Re: Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

12 Jun 2018 00:20

samhocking wrote:
The Hegelian wrote:
brownbobby wrote:
gillan1969 wrote:@brownbobby

I'll break it down for you...

a traditional cycling nation producing a tour winner with a young protege - no suspicions aroused
a young protege from non-cycling nation winning the tour - no suspicions aroused

a traditional cycling nation producing a our winner with a no-hoper - suspicion aroused
a no-hoper from a non-cycling nation winning the tour - double suspicion

a no-hoper from a non cycling nation winning the Tour straight after the first no-hoper - treble suspicion

two no-hoper GT winners with a number of PED allegations swirling around them and with a history of working with a convicted Dr (who specialised in GT winners) - quadruple suspicion

I could go on...but we're at about ten-fold suspicion for Froome.....

And that's before starting on 'G'........... ;)


I agree with everything here except the significance of the nationalities involved.

In fact, unintentionally I'm sure, you've helped to illustrate my point, by throwing in the references to the Doctors, the Ped allegations...I could throw in many other things that make me suspicious.

So to repeat...the fact that 2 Brits happen to be the beneficiaries of this great doping success, if indeed that's what this is, is way down on the list of things that make me suspicious.

Maybe you factor it in, but the OP opined it was 'the most suss thing in this whole story for sure.

You're not changing my opinion, my disagreement, on that specifically.


You need to consider the consecutive nature of the GT winners/prospects, alongside the economics of why a team spends money in the first instance, who they're targeting (i.e. which markets), and how they aim to succeed in their marketing aims.

Fact is: Sky had a mission to 'make' the first GB tour winner. Had to be British. Since then they've dominated the tour with Froome, and have Thomas waiting in the wings in case Froome gets popped. In all cases, as a brand they're targeting the general/popular non-cycling British audience, and the only way to do that is to generate interest in the tdf. To achieve this aim, they must have a British rider contending for the win - otherwise, the popular audience will not watch/take interest.

What's suss about it: they've simply gone ahead and made this happen in the same manner as the Chinese government building a bridge "Here's the money, go do it." So let's say for the sake of argument, that it is a fluke of genetics and luck that Wiggins came along, and then Froome came along, and Sky was the beneficiary of these great signings. Well, the fact they can prepare the next British candidate to just 'take his place' and contend for the tdf win, without so much as one year off: it's extraordinary. And extraordinarily implausible that this is not being engineered using whatever means necessary.


I get the Sky suspicion but at the root of this is an obvious question looking from the perspective of the other teams looking at Sky and that is why don't they do the same as Sky? Or even more obvious, surely a doped racehorse can beat a doped Sky donkey? In other words, surely if the dice has all teams on it, the chances of it landing on Sky with a doped donkey are very slim if all the others are doped racehorses? It suggests either all the racehorses are not doping or Sky are doing something the racehorse teams don't currently do yet.

If it comes down to paying UCI money for anti-doping protection, why can only a team less than 10 years old, new to the game pay for it, but teams within the sport for the last 100 years winning, not, just because Sky come along? It's not down to just money. Clearly there is an incentive for UCI to accept all teams money for protection, not just from one or perhaps more lucratively sell it to the highest bidder/brown paper bag and it change more frequently that how long Sky have paid for it. I get the developing British market for sponsors thing, but nobody could argue a French winner of Tour de France against a British Team with a British rider from Kenya would not have a huge ROI assuming such protection is not hundreds of $millions. What was it Pantani earned Mercatone Uno for his 1998 Tour win. I believe their turnover increased over 1000% in the following 3 years due it that win. The company couldn't actually build enough new stores to keep up with demand after Pantani's win, yet before they were relatively small company to three years after. The same would happen for any French company sponsoring a French team winning. ROI for UCI protection and a guaranteed win would be huge.

Undetectable doping of unknown substances and/or unknown methods we'll never know until later if that's the case with Sky. Given the last 100 years, the doping has never been experimental or cutting edge. Undetectable, perhaps, but largely because it wasn't tested for, today that is not so difficult anymore.


No, I don't propose explicit forms of corruption as the basis for my explanation.

What we could see with our own eyes is that from 2012 Sky changed the GT game with the 'super-skinny but even more power than before' transformations. We could see this quite clearly with Wiggins, but also domestiques such as Rogers (who noted that his power in the '12 tdf was better than ever before).

I think that for sure, Tinkoff adopted this a little after - maybe in lieu of Rogers joining, maybe not.

And now to be competitive, one has to be in this skinny-power place. So, sure, they're all doing it now.

What Sky seem to have mastered is getting these massive weight drops from trackies/tt's/classics men. Thomas, Moscon, Kwia etc. So they become contenders in their own right, or super climbing domestiques.

I don't really see other teams doing this. Look at someone like Rohan Dennis for example - he's in this tremendous struggle to transform into an adequate climber, and it just ain't happening. There's no way he could be a climbing dom for Porte this tdf - but look at his pedigree. One get's the sense that if he joined Sky, he'd find a quicker/easier path.

What we know for sure about Sky is that have the biggest budget: that does, very directly, translate to the best and most sophisticated doping methods. We also know for sure that they use old school methods a'la wiggo and his steroids.

And there's a lot we don't know. Happy to profess that.
User avatar The Hegelian
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Re: Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

12 Jun 2018 04:35

The Hegelian wrote:
samhocking wrote:
The Hegelian wrote:
brownbobby wrote:
gillan1969 wrote:@brownbobby

I'll break it down for you...

a traditional cycling nation producing a tour winner with a young protege - no suspicions aroused
a young protege from non-cycling nation winning the tour - no suspicions aroused

a traditional cycling nation producing a our winner with a no-hoper - suspicion aroused
a no-hoper from a non-cycling nation winning the tour - double suspicion

a no-hoper from a non cycling nation winning the Tour straight after the first no-hoper - treble suspicion

two no-hoper GT winners with a number of PED allegations swirling around them and with a history of working with a convicted Dr (who specialised in GT winners) - quadruple suspicion

I could go on...but we're at about ten-fold suspicion for Froome.....

And that's before starting on 'G'........... ;)


I agree with everything here except the significance of the nationalities involved.

In fact, unintentionally I'm sure, you've helped to illustrate my point, by throwing in the references to the Doctors, the Ped allegations...I could throw in many other things that make me suspicious.

So to repeat...the fact that 2 Brits happen to be the beneficiaries of this great doping success, if indeed that's what this is, is way down on the list of things that make me suspicious.

Maybe you factor it in, but the OP opined it was 'the most suss thing in this whole story for sure.

You're not changing my opinion, my disagreement, on that specifically.


You need to consider the consecutive nature of the GT winners/prospects, alongside the economics of why a team spends money in the first instance, who they're targeting (i.e. which markets), and how they aim to succeed in their marketing aims.

Fact is: Sky had a mission to 'make' the first GB tour winner. Had to be British. Since then they've dominated the tour with Froome, and have Thomas waiting in the wings in case Froome gets popped. In all cases, as a brand they're targeting the general/popular non-cycling British audience, and the only way to do that is to generate interest in the tdf. To achieve this aim, they must have a British rider contending for the win - otherwise, the popular audience will not watch/take interest.

What's suss about it: they've simply gone ahead and made this happen in the same manner as the Chinese government building a bridge "Here's the money, go do it." So let's say for the sake of argument, that it is a fluke of genetics and luck that Wiggins came along, and then Froome came along, and Sky was the beneficiary of these great signings. Well, the fact they can prepare the next British candidate to just 'take his place' and contend for the tdf win, without so much as one year off: it's extraordinary. And extraordinarily implausible that this is not being engineered using whatever means necessary.


I get the Sky suspicion but at the root of this is an obvious question looking from the perspective of the other teams looking at Sky and that is why don't they do the same as Sky? Or even more obvious, surely a doped racehorse can beat a doped Sky donkey? In other words, surely if the dice has all teams on it, the chances of it landing on Sky with a doped donkey are very slim if all the others are doped racehorses? It suggests either all the racehorses are not doping or Sky are doing something the racehorse teams don't currently do yet.

If it comes down to paying UCI money for anti-doping protection, why can only a team less than 10 years old, new to the game pay for it, but teams within the sport for the last 100 years winning, not, just because Sky come along? It's not down to just money. Clearly there is an incentive for UCI to accept all teams money for protection, not just from one or perhaps more lucratively sell it to the highest bidder/brown paper bag and it change more frequently that how long Sky have paid for it. I get the developing British market for sponsors thing, but nobody could argue a French winner of Tour de France against a British Team with a British rider from Kenya would not have a huge ROI assuming such protection is not hundreds of $millions. What was it Pantani earned Mercatone Uno for his 1998 Tour win. I believe their turnover increased over 1000% in the following 3 years due it that win. The company couldn't actually build enough new stores to keep up with demand after Pantani's win, yet before they were relatively small company to three years after. The same would happen for any French company sponsoring a French team winning. ROI for UCI protection and a guaranteed win would be huge.

Undetectable doping of unknown substances and/or unknown methods we'll never know until later if that's the case with Sky. Given the last 100 years, the doping has never been experimental or cutting edge. Undetectable, perhaps, but largely because it wasn't tested for, today that is not so difficult anymore.


No, I don't propose explicit forms of corruption as the basis for my explanation.

What we could see with our own eyes is that from 2012 Sky changed the GT game with the 'super-skinny but even more power than before' transformations. We could see this quite clearly with Wiggins, but also domestiques such as Rogers (who noted that his power in the '12 tdf was better than ever before).

I think that for sure, Tinkoff adopted this a little after - maybe in lieu of Rogers joining, maybe not.

And now to be competitive, one has to be in this skinny-power place. So, sure, they're all doing it now.

What Sky seem to have mastered is getting these massive weight drops from trackies/tt's/classics men. Thomas, Moscon, Kwia etc. So they become contenders in their own right, or super climbing domestiques.

I don't really see other teams doing this. Look at someone like Rohan Dennis for example - he's in this tremendous struggle to transform into an adequate climber, and it just ain't happening. There's no way he could be a climbing dom for Porte this tdf - but look at his pedigree. One get's the sense that if he joined Sky, he'd find a quicker/easier path.

What we know for sure about Sky is that have the biggest budget: that does, very directly, translate to the best and most sophisticated doping methods. We also know for sure that they use old school methods a'la wiggo and his steroids.

And there's a lot we don't know. Happy to profess that.

I was reading through Dr. Ferraris blog.
Question:
Dear Doctor,

What could be a reason that every rider that transfer to Team Sky become stronger/winners? (Porte, Poels, etc.)

I have access to trainingfiles of riders from team sky (including chris froome, michal kwiatkowski, etc.). In general their way of training is the same, while they are diffrent kind of riders.

Do you think this training can make a racehorse out of a donkey or just; help to reach the top of your potential?


DrFerrari 2 Mar 2016
Team Sky is far ahead…
SeriousSam wrote: Peña Cabarga is like Froome's Mount Doom, the place where his great power was forged into fearsome weapon. He was never going to lose here
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Re: Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

12 Jun 2018 07:10

The Hegelian wrote:
samhocking wrote:
The Hegelian wrote:
brownbobby wrote:
gillan1969 wrote:@brownbobby

I'll break it down for you...

a traditional cycling nation producing a tour winner with a young protege - no suspicions aroused
a young protege from non-cycling nation winning the tour - no suspicions aroused

a traditional cycling nation producing a our winner with a no-hoper - suspicion aroused
a no-hoper from a non-cycling nation winning the tour - double suspicion

a no-hoper from a non cycling nation winning the Tour straight after the first no-hoper - treble suspicion

two no-hoper GT winners with a number of PED allegations swirling around them and with a history of working with a convicted Dr (who specialised in GT winners) - quadruple suspicion

I could go on...but we're at about ten-fold suspicion for Froome.....

And that's before starting on 'G'........... ;)


I agree with everything here except the significance of the nationalities involved.

In fact, unintentionally I'm sure, you've helped to illustrate my point, by throwing in the references to the Doctors, the Ped allegations...I could throw in many other things that make me suspicious.

So to repeat...the fact that 2 Brits happen to be the beneficiaries of this great doping success, if indeed that's what this is, is way down on the list of things that make me suspicious.

Maybe you factor it in, but the OP opined it was 'the most suss thing in this whole story for sure.

You're not changing my opinion, my disagreement, on that specifically.


You need to consider the consecutive nature of the GT winners/prospects, alongside the economics of why a team spends money in the first instance, who they're targeting (i.e. which markets), and how they aim to succeed in their marketing aims.

Fact is: Sky had a mission to 'make' the first GB tour winner. Had to be British. Since then they've dominated the tour with Froome, and have Thomas waiting in the wings in case Froome gets popped. In all cases, as a brand they're targeting the general/popular non-cycling British audience, and the only way to do that is to generate interest in the tdf. To achieve this aim, they must have a British rider contending for the win - otherwise, the popular audience will not watch/take interest.

What's suss about it: they've simply gone ahead and made this happen in the same manner as the Chinese government building a bridge "Here's the money, go do it." So let's say for the sake of argument, that it is a fluke of genetics and luck that Wiggins came along, and then Froome came along, and Sky was the beneficiary of these great signings. Well, the fact they can prepare the next British candidate to just 'take his place' and contend for the tdf win, without so much as one year off: it's extraordinary. And extraordinarily implausible that this is not being engineered using whatever means necessary.


I get the Sky suspicion but at the root of this is an obvious question looking from the perspective of the other teams looking at Sky and that is why don't they do the same as Sky? Or even more obvious, surely a doped racehorse can beat a doped Sky donkey? In other words, surely if the dice has all teams on it, the chances of it landing on Sky with a doped donkey are very slim if all the others are doped racehorses? It suggests either all the racehorses are not doping or Sky are doing something the racehorse teams don't currently do yet.

If it comes down to paying UCI money for anti-doping protection, why can only a team less than 10 years old, new to the game pay for it, but teams within the sport for the last 100 years winning, not, just because Sky come along? It's not down to just money. Clearly there is an incentive for UCI to accept all teams money for protection, not just from one or perhaps more lucratively sell it to the highest bidder/brown paper bag and it change more frequently that how long Sky have paid for it. I get the developing British market for sponsors thing, but nobody could argue a French winner of Tour de France against a British Team with a British rider from Kenya would not have a huge ROI assuming such protection is not hundreds of $millions. What was it Pantani earned Mercatone Uno for his 1998 Tour win. I believe their turnover increased over 1000% in the following 3 years due it that win. The company couldn't actually build enough new stores to keep up with demand after Pantani's win, yet before they were relatively small company to three years after. The same would happen for any French company sponsoring a French team winning. ROI for UCI protection and a guaranteed win would be huge.

Undetectable doping of unknown substances and/or unknown methods we'll never know until later if that's the case with Sky. Given the last 100 years, the doping has never been experimental or cutting edge. Undetectable, perhaps, but largely because it wasn't tested for, today that is not so difficult anymore.


No, I don't propose explicit forms of corruption as the basis for my explanation.

What we could see with our own eyes is that from 2012 Sky changed the GT game with the 'super-skinny but even more power than before' transformations. We could see this quite clearly with Wiggins, but also domestiques such as Rogers (who noted that his power in the '12 tdf was better than ever before).

I think that for sure, Tinkoff adopted this a little after - maybe in lieu of Rogers joining, maybe not.

And now to be competitive, one has to be in this skinny-power place. So, sure, they're all doing it now.

What Sky seem to have mastered is getting these massive weight drops from trackies/tt's/classics men. Thomas, Moscon, Kwia etc. So they become contenders in their own right, or super climbing domestiques.

I don't really see other teams doing this. Look at someone like Rohan Dennis for example - he's in this tremendous struggle to transform into an adequate climber, and it just ain't happening. There's no way he could be a climbing dom for Porte this tdf - but look at his pedigree. One get's the sense that if he joined Sky, he'd find a quicker/easier path.

What we know for sure about Sky is that have the biggest budget: that does, very directly, translate to the best and most sophisticated doping methods. We also know for sure that they use old school methods a'la wiggo and his steroids.

And there's a lot we don't know. Happy to profess that.


Ok, so we don't think UCI protection, we don't think super drugs, we think weight loss. A logical explanation and basically what Sky claim is required. That is exactly how they explained picking Wiggins from all other BC riders in fact. Iirc Brailsford said they looked at Wiggins workload for the pursuit training, overlayed it onto data from the last GT winner and the numbers showed, weight loss would allow him to keep up in mountains and ITT would be where he could gain time. Obviously a lot of this had already happened at Garmin anyway, but he didn't win Tour by losing weight at Garmin.

So weight loss allows doped donkeys to become race horses and beat doped racehorses because the doped racehorses genetically better than them are too heavy? This would add up, bit you need to show what GC riders are too heavy? Froome, Dumoulin, Wiggins are the heaviest of the GC riders I believe. That simply doesn't make sense. How would a rider drastically losing weight below natural optimum have more power than another rider who's natural optimum weight is the same? Doping or not doping it makes no sense. Corticosteroids, Testosterone and Salbutomol are available to all teams to lose weight with and no doubt all weight loss drugs too. Why don't the doped racehorses lose weight like Sky and win?
Last edited by samhocking on 12 Jun 2018 08:25, edited 1 time in total.
samhocking
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12 Jun 2018 08:04

Not going to requote ever post above, but everything you could say about Sky has already been said about USPS. Weight loss? Lance was looking extremely skinny during some of his 7 wins. Northern classics donkeys into climbers? I give you Hincapie.

I don't necessarily buy the "Sky bribed UCI to throw races and warn about OOC testing" -- is the testing easy to get around? Clearly, and it doesn't seem to take all that much effort. Would a "donation" of 50k or so help, sure, but not necessary, I think.

Some heretofore unheard of wonder drug? Nah, just organizing and optimizing what everyone else was/is doing.

I'm still of the opinion that the biggest budgets, sustained over time, will produce the best GT riders. The USPS and Sky trains meant/mean that LA/CF don't need to expend any energy until the optimal moment. How many GTs would either have won if they were in Dumoulin's place? I'm guessing probably about as many as he's won. In USPS's case (and maybe Sky's) the salaries not only bought top domestique talent but also omerta.
Bolder
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Re: Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

12 Jun 2018 08:14

Well, 'organising and optimising what everyone else was/is doing' is essentially what marginal gains is, but the clinic says marginal gains is a smokescreen for doping, but then doping doesn't explain why doing what everyone else is doing (doping) with donkeys beats what everyone else is doing with racehorses when the biggest donkey is currently not protected by UCI and clearly Salbutomol is freely available to everyone anyway and of itself won't win Grand Tours anyway.

I appreciate doping is usually a programme of various substances and techniques over the season and no doubt every other team is aware of what the required doping program would be as many of them had such programs or at least have staff and ex-riders now who were.

Now, if we're saying Sky's doping is simply better organised and better optimised than other teams, I guess that would explain a fair amount. I guess the Leinders link could explain that, but Leinders at Rabobank never won Tour de France, so how can hand-me-down doping from Leinders 8 years ago, probably based on what he was doing at Rabobank 20 years ago be beating teams 20 years later, yet at the time not? That doesn't make logical sense in itself, although Rasmussen essentially did win, nearly I suppose. Anyway, from what we know of Rasmussen, it was the same substances and methods everyone of the time was using.
samhocking
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Re: Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

12 Jun 2018 08:24

samhocking wrote:Well, 'organising and optimising what everyone else was/is doing' is essentially what marginal gains is, but the clinic says marginal gains is a smokescreen for doping, but then doping doesn't explain why doing what everyone else is doing (doping) with donkeys beats what everyone else is doing with racehorses when the biggest donkey is currently not protected by UCI and clearly Salbutomol is freely available to everyone anyway and of itself won't win Grand Tours anyway.

I appreciate doping is usually a programme of various substances and techniques over the season and no doubt every other team is aware of what the required doping program would be as many of them had such programs or at least have staff and ex-riders now who were.


1. There's only one donkey in the mix here. Basically even the domestiques at Sky have all shown serious pedigree. i.e. Rogers was world tt champion a few times, and top tened the tdf. So the issue is principally turning non-GT riders with pedigree of various kinds (track, classics, tt etc) into GT superstars or climbing superdoms that can drop GC leaders of other teams.

2. You're missing the crucial link in the argument: biggest budget = best doping program. Armstrong himself has spoken about this. All this clinic stuff - which must be a step ahead of testing - is bloody expensive.
User avatar The Hegelian
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12 Jun 2018 08:35

Best, most expensive doping program from who, using what? Just because we don't know how its done, doesn't mean that is the explanation, especially when the alleged most advanced doping program seems to also involve injecting crude $7 Corticosteroids under a TUE before a Tour and $4 Blue inhalers within La Vuelta. What's advanced about that? Anyone can do that and did?

If we're saying expensive/advanced/undetectable/experimental doping no other team has, then lets discuss what dots exist out there to suggest that, because the above certainly doesn't. Benotti69 when asked for past evidence of this in 100 years, could only come up with a 'rumour' Armstrong used a form of new EPO. While that might explain it not being detected by anti-doping, there's only so much oxygen you can put into your blood with all forms of EPO and we know all riders trying to beat Armstrong probably took that to it's limit % and still didn't test positive anyway back in Armstrong's time unless police/investigation found it inside a book or boot of a team car. Even Nationally-funded doping such we see in Russia today seems to be using old-school proven substances that everyone else is using. I would agree, more organised, more controlled and monitored perhaps, but would that not simply to find the right doctor to set it up? IOf we look at the numbers, it would seem easy to do.

Sky Corp spend £40 million / year to own Team Sky and their ROI they claim is £500 million in exposure of the brand.

By comparison:

AG2R sponsor team to €13m and their ROI is claimed to be worth €120m of exposure for the brand.

Even a ROI of only €120m for a losing team is well within costs of a very advanced doping programe and expensive doctor to run it, especially when AG2R could turn that €13m into €500m if they simply sponsor the team by another €27m if said drugs required are that expensive for 8 riders?
Last edited by samhocking on 12 Jun 2018 08:50, edited 1 time in total.
samhocking
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12 Jun 2018 08:49

Mod hat on:

This is the Geraint Thomas thread. It's not the Sky Thread or a general doping thread. Please keep the discussion centred around Thomas or take it to the appropriate thread.

Cheers,

KB.
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User avatar King Boonen
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Re:

12 Jun 2018 08:52

King Boonen wrote:Mod hat on:

This is the Geraint Thomas thread. It's not the Sky Thread or a general doping thread. Please keep the discussion centred around Thomas or take it to the appropriate thread.

Cheers,

KB.


Happy to. Thought were discussing how Sky might take Thomas from overweight track rider who can't climb to winner of Dauphine who can. That's how the discussion started.
samhocking
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Re: Re:

12 Jun 2018 10:06

samhocking wrote:
King Boonen wrote:Mod hat on:

This is the Geraint Thomas thread. It's not the Sky Thread or a general doping thread. Please keep the discussion centred around Thomas or take it to the appropriate thread.

Cheers,

KB.


Happy to. Thought were discussing how Sky might take Thomas from overweight track rider who can't climb to winner of Dauphine who can. That's how the discussion started.


it took 8 years
eight years from when he joined Sky.
it took Sunweb how long to transform an overweight Rabobank TT rider in a grand tour winner?
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