roundabout wrote:Sigh, I thought to myself yesterday that I won't get involved
I don't understand your point about BMC. Does every transfer go according to expectations? Do they expect Gilbert to score 500+ (or whatever he actually scored last year) WT points every season or 3000 CQ points? Then, do you know whether BMC pays riders according to their "market value" or above it? Rumors about Van Garderen's salary suggest that it's possible that Gilbert is overpaid and BMC paying big money isn't necessarily an indication that they believe that the riders on their team will always perform to their best ability (regardless of medical support, equipment etc).
Then you write about Gilbert winning again. Are you confident that he can be head and shoulders abover the rest on the Mur again? Yes, it's possible that his performance last year was not due to doping and all the stars alligned in the right manner, but then it's quite a staggering difference between the clean Gilbert of 2011 and clean Gilbert with a toothache of 2012.
TBH I feel highly uncomfortably in the Clinic (definitely not my comfort area) but since I started this myself:
The issue being whether OPQS 2012 performance is the result of dope (the best dope that the others don't have) or not. Somebody pointed out that they (OPQS) work with the same doctor who worked with Lotto in 2011. Then I (who isn't very familiar with the dark side of the sport) became curious: if a right doctor is the only solution then why did Philippe Gilbert refuse this opportunity and joined the BMC? Quite a logical question, isn't it? Is it about the money vs the health? Everything else is assumptions since I don't know what is his current salary or how much he'd been offered in the OPQS or maybe there was something more important than money, I dunno, but now he is in BMC and his last year's doctor in the OPQS.
There are two options then:
1. Gilbert sucks further in the season and it inevitably inspires further talks about the dope no matter what is the real reason. But if this certain doctor is the best solution for a rider who want to win races, then how can it be that BMC had no idea about the nature of Phil's wins?
2. Gilbert starts winning again (I'm not talking about another best season, but, say, 2010 level). This might be a proof that the OPQS doctor is not this mysterious reason why the OPQS are winning everything or BMC have their own 'right' doctor so that OPQS and BMC are in the same conditions (they are either both dope or don't dope).
As for Roubaix
1 is very subjective especially when the winner is head and shoulders above the rest
4 is one of the reasons why the thread is still going on
5 I don't know. He was doing well everywhere including the last 15km where the remaining cobbles are easier.
6 Ballan and Flecha were more likely than Boom to bridge the gap because they have actual pedigree in Roubaix unlike Boom who killed himself with his acceleration. Boom did gain 10 seconds and then lost them. You say flat tire, I say 40km attack the vast majority of which alone. Fact is that the gap between Boonen and the first chasers only grew from the point where the chase group exploded on the Carrefour de l'Arbre to the end.
1. I should agree, it's subjective
5. In the first about 20-30km it looked like Boonen rides the same tempo on the asphalt and increases the gap on cobbles. Then I think they had simply given up.
6. I've mentioned Boom because he had attacked and gained some marginal 10sec which he had lost almost immediately but right before it he had a flat tire and it looked like a miracle that he managed to come back so I presume without the puncture he might have gained much more than 10sec. I'm not sure either of Ballan or Flecha with their 'cobbled pedigree' was stronger than Lars yesterday. One thing for sure - it was already too late in the Carrefour de l'Arbre, once the gap reached 1:00 I became sure that Boonen wins.