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Jonathan Vaughters guest appearance

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23 Feb 2012 17:00

Gooner, It does seem unfair to place new races with no history straight on to the World Tour, agreed. Also, what sort of incentive does this give independent race promotors to improve and strive for more? Not much. Again, regulators should regulate, and try to avoid conflicts of interest, not dive straight into them, inviting even more controversy in cycling. Hein Verbruggen once told me he wanted GCP to become ASO's biggest competition. At least the intentions are clear.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:06

Hypothetically, if you could get one Dutch climber (Gesink, Kruijswijk, Mollema or Poels) for free to join the Garmin team. Which one would you pick? And why?
User avatar Thibaut Pinot
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23 Feb 2012 17:11

Froome, I'm a big proponent of globalization, and the sport needs the UCI to accomplish this. But would it not be better if the UCI helped existing race organizers expand their businesses by giving them the chance to own/operate the expansion races? In any case, the answer to your questions is, yes I think it's a step down the right path, but the execution of the overall globalization plan is far from ideal.

What's interesting about last yrs classics team, is that we got a lot of hype, but the reality was, there was not one rider on the team in 2011 that had ever won a classic! Not even Thor. Vansummeren is the first. People don't realize that in races like Flanders and Gent-Wevelegem 2011, all of our key workers were dropped fairly early, leaving us with few options. Now, for 2012, there's a lot less sizzle, but a lot more steak. Maaskant has returned from injury (he didn't race any classics in 2011) Haussler is much better, Vanmarcke is fast improving... we have a solid core, which will allow us to play the numbers game. We won't win with bravado solo moves, but we can win with carefully nuanced tactics...the type that **** people off!

If dan can control the allergies that affect him from March-June, then he could become one of the best riders in the World. Dan's talent and engine are second to none and his TT is greatly improved (you'll see...) BUT...he has to get the allergies under control, which is hard. you can win many races breathing through a straw.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:12

Dominic, Ive had them since I was 17. Guess I just fear losing them. Its dysfunctional and codependent relationship.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:20

Hello Jonathan,

First of all thanks for doing this!

What type of rider do you expect Navardauskas to become? As he has shown a lot of potential in the hills with winning LBL U23 but he also showed potential in the cobbled classics, and now he has also shown he can climb pretty well in Oman (although I think he is to big for that). + Will Navardauskas already ride some of the classics this year since he showed good form in Oman, and what will be his role in these races?

And another question.

Do you think Danielson will already have form in Langkawi this year and be able to compete for the overall? Since he was not so strong in the early season in 2010 and 2011
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23 Feb 2012 17:21

Escarabajo,

Absolute conflict of interest! National Governing bodies should not be in anti-doping adjudication. However, neither should the UCI. Both have huge conflicts of interest.

For me, WADA needs to set up an independent tribunal that works as like a pre-CAS. Faster and without conflicts. It should be financially supported by all the stakeholders in cycling and not beholden or attached to any one party.

Imagine if the Contador situation was handled correctly! First, you wouldn't have the UCI delaying the announcement of the result of the test for 3 months, second you wouldn't have the Spanish feds making decisions based on political pressure, which then had to be appealed because the pressure was so blatant and public. Third you wouldn't have CAS making an odd decision to retro-suspend a rider, which disqualify him from races that he did pass all the tests in (Giro) but only truly suspends him for 7 months. Just weird.

End of the day, transparency should have ruled. Test revealed within one week, evidence presented in 1-3 months, ruling thereafter. Guilty or innocent, everyone gets on with it.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:24

Mr. Vaughters,

i've been impressed that you took on Dekker as a project of sorts. Second chances are always good, and if the person turns out to be a Miller with real intent to be a good influence, they should be welcomed back. That said, what do you make of the debate about the "further punishment" of no points being awarded to riders returning from suspension? i know you and inrng have talked about this on twitter - but what is your gut reaction here? no points for 2 more years seems like it makes teams too wary of giving a second chance, and for a rider who means well again it's a huge knock on their sales pitch. How do we manage this problem?
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23 Feb 2012 17:25

Dekker,

He made it to 1 Hour 13 minutes this year at camp (longer the better). Our test is a bit different, so if I told you w/kg it might not be the reference you're used to. But to give you a relative marker, Christian Vandevelde made it to 1:05. Dan Martin made it to 1:20... Navardauskas was 1:15. So, Thomas was in the upper 20% of our team. Its very good progress from 2011, when he wasn't even making it to 1 hour.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:25

Hi JV, what do you think it will take for an east Asian country to be competitive at the top level of road cycling? What key elements are required besides churning out babies wuth high wattage potential, and a well planned grassroots program?
Saging lang ang may puso!
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23 Feb 2012 17:25

UCI_Overlord wrote:Since Tyler Farrar is struggling with the sprints early this season, could we see him switched to a classics specialist?



Tyler has mentioned in a Cycling News interview that his focus this time of year is on the classics...he doesn't start working on this sprint training until after the classics are over.
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23 Feb 2012 17:25

Will10,

I hope so! That depends on Andrew, but I certainly have an open mind about sending him.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:28

Heart rate or power, what is the more important training metric?
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23 Feb 2012 17:31

Race Radio,

More teams are dependent on more and better events. More and better events are dependent on better coverage. So, your question kind of answers itself. In the end, board coverage is what allows cycling to grow. NBC coming in to the sport this year will help, immensely. Cycling also lends itself to the virtual world and social media in a way many sports do not, so this could also spur growth going forward.

However.... for me... The key to growth in the US is engaging the huge and growing recreational cycling community more in professional cycling. Imagine if all the folks doing disease rides and grand fondos were also avid fans of the sport? the purchasing power of that demographic is huge. Right now we are a few steps away from getting recreational cyclists to become real fans of the sport.

Podium girls? Lots of stories. None that I'm telling you. Go find some podium photos from the 1998 PruTour of Britain
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23 Feb 2012 17:32

Maltiv,

Dan could very well win in the Ardennes, but his allergies limit him a lot. We've gotten him some new allergists and advice this year, so fingers crossed.....
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:33

What do you think about A. Rasmussen not being banned after not filling in his whereabouts 3 times in comparison with Y. Offredo who received a 1 year ban today for the same thing?

And did you ever think about firing Rasmussen over this issue (even though he did not get banned) since Garmin has a strict policy against doping and a fair cycling sport?
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23 Feb 2012 17:34

JV1973 wrote:Dekker,

He made it to 1 Hour 13 minutes this year at camp (longer the better). Our test is a bit different, so if I told you w/kg it might not be the reference you're used to. But to give you a relative marker, Christian Vandevelde made it to 1:05. Dan Martin made it to 1:20... Navardauskas was 1:15. So, Thomas was in the upper 20% of our team. Its very good progress from 2011, when he wasn't even making it to 1 hour.


This makes me curious: What's the best "score" with this test? By whom and in what year?
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23 Feb 2012 17:36

Havetts,

Biggest talent and biggest underachiever might be the same person! From a physiological testing standpoint, Contador is the most talented rider I've ever heard about. But I don't know if Andy Schleck has ever taken the same test!

Cancellara is also a huge talent. In a different way, but huge.

Our surprize top 10? well, it's a surprise, right? We have 2 guys that could fit that bill. I'll let you guess.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:40

You are expressing my sentiments for me. No matter what your view on contador or even on Bjarne, this situation is not a just one. You can't punish 27 riders, some who've never raced with contador, for a verdict that was from a previous team.

As president of the AIGCP, I have made my position clear to the license commission on this issue. I hope they find my arguments compelling.

The bigger issue here is the structure of the World Tour and the points system in general. For me, it is a system that dissuades sponsors, is demeaning to teams, and prevents athletes from achieving their earning potential, relative to other sports. Its really a pity that this system has been put into place.
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:41

Thorn cycling,

Don't make me cry
JV1973
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23 Feb 2012 17:43

Pinot,

Mollema. His greatest weakness is in the time trial, which we have the most ability to improve (relative to other teams)....
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