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The twilight zone called Portugal.

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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Re:

02 Jun 2017 00:08

luckyboy wrote:This Pellizotti tweet - https://twitter.com/francopelli/status/760966800205045760

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I have some basic Italian understanding but not fluent to understand the nuances, but seems like he didn't believe Portuguese riders were strong after all his experience but now he is coming round to believing them & #nocomment.

I guess that's enough to go in this thread


i forgot about this. this is awesome. from pack fodder at the Volta to one of the best domestiques at the entire Giro. those biopassports must make JTL's look like he was on bread and water.
User avatar zlev11
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04 Jun 2017 18:07

Since this has been bumped ill point to the new star on the horizon for W-52, 31-year old Spaniard Raul Alarcon. Hes been on a rampage lately. Hes had a quiet first 10 years of his career but is finally hitting his stride.

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This could become an epic showdown with Veloso in the Volta.
User avatar classicomano
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04 Jun 2017 21:37

What's Alarcon's official story? Presumably even in Portugal a rider who transforms like this in his thirties must get asked about it and will have an explanation for his inability to discover his apparent super talent for a decade.
Zinoviev Letter
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Re:

04 Jun 2017 21:44

Zinoviev Letter wrote:What's Alarcon's official story? Presumably even in Portugal a rider who transforms like this in his thirties must get asked about it and will have an explanation for his inability to discover his apparent super talent for a decade.


Well, no one asks because everyone knows the answer.

Remember that Alarcon (and Antunes I think) were pulled out of W52 team for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after Belda's positive. The week after, Alarcon smashed the opposition at GP Jornal de Notícias, winning 2 or 3 stages and the GC with ease.

W52 dominance this year in Portugal has been utterly ridiculous. I'm at the point where I can only laugh about it.
User avatar Ricco'
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04 Jun 2017 23:17

Don't forget one of the best at staying with Balarcón, both at Asturias and here, was João Benta, who is the same age, was given a 3 year ban after a positive in 2010, nobody picked him up for 2014 at all, then he bounced back with Boavista winning Torres Vedras in 2015.

As for Balarcón, he went pro with Saunier Duval, and wasn't considered worth keeping after the budget cuts when they became Fuji-Servetto in 2009. He's been a serviceable enough helper in Portugal, with the occasional decent-ish result (12th in Asturias and winning a stage of the Trofeu Agostinho in 2011, winning a stage of the Volta in 2013, but it seems like he's pressed the afterburners in July last year, vaulting to the podium of Torres Vedras and 4th in the Volta despite domestiquing, and of course this year with Vinhas being a fluke winner of the Volta and César not being interested in anything until July at least, he's suddenly become the man of the hour. Funny you should mention Belda, when of course his emergence into his 30s at Castilla y León in 2014 is a good comparison to make to Alarcón, though with Iberian cycling's calendars seemingly improving at the moment there's more races for W52 to strut their stuff at, and they're seemingly trying to go full Milaneza at the moment. And let's face it, Belda was hardly a surprise.
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