PCutter wrote:Your wrong (often).
The focus on lab results isn't because Cadel has good numbers (but no surprise you place everything in the prism of how it compares to Cadel). Lab results in Australia and other countries (like the UK) are given prominence because so much of our junior development is based on developing track riders. This is because government funding is dependent on delivering Olympic success (as the government rightly doesn't fund the development of professional sports). There is thus a lot of data on these riders which is very useful for comparison of potential. For those with the outstanding testing results it can be a very good indicator, but of course, more than numbers makes a champion, so bad luck, injury, mental ability all come int to it when separating the talented to the talented with results.
I think given the achievements of Australian cycling over recent years (constantly ranked top 5ish on the World Tour with a regular stream of new talent) that there is significant evidence that what they do (checking the numbers) works. It is why the UK adopted a very similar structure, and is the reason why Italy has been studying the Australian Institute of Sport and Cycling Australia methodologies. Its also why when Richie Porte and Will Clarke were searching for WT teams that Bjarne Riis asked to see their numbers. Its not just text book theory. And has very little to do with 'what did Cadel do', though of course his numbers were fantastic. PS. Durbridge broke Cadels AIS record for ramps last year.
The "problem" is that track riders are usually good on ergometers. For instance, Rohan Dennis surprised Rabobank testers with his watts/kg (indicative of climbing talent) but then Jenning Huizenga put out the same numbers, he isn't a great climber by any stretch of the imagination. Whereas Bauke Mollema gets awful results in the lab, but no one is going to argue the guy can't climb.
I'm sure Bobridge and Meyer have great lab results, and on an ergometer they'll probably both outperform Alejandro Valverde, but who are you going to bet on to win Willunga? As you say, lab results do say something, but certainly not everything, with recovery probably the most important thing being ignored in them.