2019 Alien Awards

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What do you guys consider the most alien performances of the decade? Plenty of good candidates I think.

Froome, Gilbert's 2011, Wiggins' 2012, Boonen and Cancellara solos in Paris-Roubaix, Team Sky, Valverde better than ever, the Volta, Horner winning La Vuelta,...

Foliforov's MTT is my personal favorite I think.
 
What do you guys consider the most alien performances of the decade? Plenty of good candidates I think.

Froome, Gilbert's 2011, Wiggins' 2012, Boonen and Cancellara solos in Paris-Roubaix, Team Sky, Valverde better than ever, the Volta, Horner winning La Vuelta,...

Foliforov's MTT is my personal favorite I think.
Good candidates, I'd also include Froome 2013 TDF, Evans' final TT in the 2011 TDF, Porte on the Col d'Eze MTT in the 2012(?) Paris-Nice, Nibali and Scarponi's sudden resurgence in the 2016 Giro, Sagan's 2012 TDF as well
 
I'd also include Froome 2013 TDF, Evans' final TT in the 2011 TDF, Porte on the Col d'Eze MTT in the 2012(?) Paris-Nice, Nibali and Scarponi's sudden resurgence in the 2016 Giro, Sagan's 2012 TDF as well
What's so suspicious about that? He may have been on something, but that particular performance doesn't stand out at all to me. I remember at the time predicting he would ride into yellow on that stage. He was always good at the chrono.

Contador's performance in that TT was at least as suspicious as Evans's, not to mention the final TT in the 2007 TDF.
 
What's so suspicious about that? He may have been on something, but that particular performance doesn't stand out at all to me. I remember at the time predicting he would ride into yellow on that stage. He was always good at the chrono.

Contador's performance in that TT was at least as suspicious as Evans's, not to mention the final TT in the 2007 TDF.
Ya, Evans was definitely not 'alien' on that stage. A long TT is what he tended to do well on. He might have been juiced, but no alien sightings!
 
Froome's Giro for me. Just for the disconnect between how he was performing leading up to that day, and what he actually did on that day.

I also found Gilbert's '17, esp his RVV win a frontrunner to 'alien of the decade' awards....maybe for the same kind of reason; the disconnect between BMC Gilbert and QS Gilbert.
 


Ex-world champion cyclist Janez Brajkovic shares shocking pictures of his emaciated legs after his comeback race following a ten-month doping ban and debilitating battle with bulimia
  • Slovenian cyclist Janez Brajkovic, 35, posted the picture of his legs to Instagram
  • He was suspended in July 2018 for testing positive for methylhexaneamine
  • The 2004 World Champion revealed his battle with the eating disorder bulimia
  • He claims the meal replacement he was eating was contaminated with the drug
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7565535/Cyclist-shares-pictures-emaciated-legs-following-ten-month-doping-ban-battle-bulimia.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ico=taboola_feed

By EMILY WEBBER FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 06:13 EDT, 12 October 2019 | UPDATED: 06:36 EDT, 12 October 2019
Winner! Gagnant!
 
What's so suspicious about that? He may have been on something, but that particular performance doesn't stand out at all to me. I remember at the time predicting he would ride into yellow on that stage. He was always good at the chrono.

Contador's performance in that TT was at least as suspicious as Evans's, not to mention the final TT in the 2007 TDF.
It wasn't because Evans rode into Yellow, that was always going to happen. It was because he was only a couple of seconds behind Tony Martin (and then only because he sat up celebrating), who had several easy stages waiting for this TT, and Martin was easily the most dominant TTer in the world at the time, going on to win the WC by 1:15 over Wigans, as well as the Vuelta TT.

It's alien IMO because it came hot on the heels of his epic damage control in the Alps , and then there's the fact Evans was even contesting hilly stages against Gilbert in the first week, winning stage 4.
 
Good candidates, I'd also include Froome 2013 TDF, Evans' final TT in the 2011 TDF, Porte on the Col d'Eze MTT in the 2012(?) Paris-Nice, Nibali and Scarponi's sudden resurgence in the 2016 Giro, Sagan's 2012 TDF as well
Can you elaborate on this one, please? In particular, why only his 2012 TDF?
 
Good point, but he was particularly monstrous there, almost untouchable on any sprint that was remotely uphill. He was so good that he also finished 40th on GC. This was in a TDF where Cav and Greipel also won 3 stages each.
His opposition that year wasn't exactly top notch. Valverde and Gilbert were very much not at the top of their game, and the other puncheurs didn't exactly hold Alaphilippe's or van der Poel's current level either. Or Matthews' or GVA's for that matter.
 
His opposition that year wasn't exactly top notch. Valverde and Gilbert were very much not at the top of their game, and the other puncheurs didn't exactly hold Alaphilippe's or van der Poel's current level either. Or Matthews' or GVA's for that matter.
Sagan probably also sacrificed puncheur ability for the cobbled classics over the years.
 
Sagan in general gets far less attention from the Clinic than you would expect given his performance levels and some of the ridiculous stuff he's pulled over the years. The guy clearly has underlying incredible talent, but he's pulled some performances over the years that, if they'd been done by somebody who people weren't willing to turn a blind eye to because he pulls the occasional wheelie or dyes his goatee green, would have been absolutely pilloried, if not in the same way as Cancellara or Valverde then at least in the same way as Gilbert or van Avermaet.

But there are more outlying performances to pick on than that in 2012. And nobody's mentioned the legendary Mirsamad Pourseyedi yet either.
 
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Sagan in general gets far less attention from the Clinic than you would expect given his performance levels and some of the ridiculous stuff he's pulled over the years. The guy clearly has underlying incredible talent, but he's pulled some performances over the years that, if they'd been done by somebody who people weren't willing to turn a blind eye to because he pulls the occasional wheelie or dyes his goatee green, would have been absolutely pilloried, if not in the same way as Cancellara or Valverde then at least in the same way as Gilbert or van Avermaet.

But there are more outlying performances to pick on than that in 2012. And nobody's mentioned the legendary Mirsamad Pourseyedi yet either.
I don't think it's about the wheelies or good PR.

For starters, he's not a climber or a GT rider, and I think also it's about the fact that he's never really dominated the classics really hard, he's never made a weird transformation into a climber, and he also hasn't really had any massive solo efforts that make the brain go boom, unless you count his victory in De Ronde in 2016.

He's been incredibly consistent in his races, basically being the durable sprinter of his era and occasionally venturing into puncheur territory. He's basically been incredibly clutch in converting WCRRs and pretty poor in converting major classics.

And I'm not saying this because I believe he's clean by any stretch of the imagination, but I think the reasons for the low amount of clinical attention to him goes beyond the cult of personality.
 
Yea, he's been incredibly consistent, he had about a three year spell when he was embarrassingly stronger than everybody around, and nobody went ape about that like they did when it was Cancellara or Gilbert doing it.

Part of that might have been a lack of team support meaning that he would be outnumbered and have to do far more work on his own so he lost some of those races when he was the strongest man on the day, but if you look at some of the scenarios he got himself into when he was consistently finishing 2nd, he was invariably far stronger than anybody else on the day (if he'd been riding for somebody like OPQS while that comically overstrong, he'd have been winning with stupid margins and more people might have baulked at it). I know in general I can't say so much about his races after Richmond, because I've generally avoided him since then, but there are things like Porto Sant'Elpidio, Mount Baldy, Grindelwald, Mende, and so on where he does some serious climbing, and the only rider close to his level of consistent high performance across more than one field of the sport for the last decade is Valverde.
 
Well, his ride up Mt Baldy did get some attention in these parts.

I think it is as Red Rick said - it is usually transformations which are basically ontological (i.e. Jalabert) or 'pack fodder to race horse' (i.e. Froome) that get people buzzing about chemical influence.

Sagan has actually transformed from an off the scale puncheur to heavy'ish classics stayer with a very very good sprint - the kind of transformation that has a long historical precedent in the sport.
 
Reactions: 18-Valve. (pithy)
Sagan in general gets far less attention from the Clinic than you would expect given his performance levels and some of the ridiculous stuff he's pulled over the years. The guy clearly has underlying incredible talent, but he's pulled some performances over the years that, if they'd been done by somebody who people weren't willing to turn a blind eye to because he pulls the occasional wheelie or dyes his goatee green, would have been absolutely pilloried, if not in the same way as Cancellara or Valverde then at least in the same way as Gilbert or van Avermaet.
GVA mostly gets a pass around here, even though he was involved in a doping investigation. He was acquitted, though ....by his national federation.

Sagan had one of his worst seasons since he turned pro, but it seems to be mostly a motivational issue, as he was still among the very best in the WC road race, for example. Valverde, GVA, Gilbert and Cancellara have more questionable results / performed at other levels than before, whereas Sagan has mostly been consistent, but added muscle/weight and lost explosiveness and climbing ability along the way.

He's most likely been on an elite doping program for all his career, OR is incredibly talented and is only on a run-of-the-mill program. It just isn't as in your face as with Cancellara and them.
 
GVA mostly gets a pass around here, even though he was involved in a doping investigation. He was acquitted, though ....by his national federation.

Sagan had one of his worst seasons since he turned pro, but it seems to be mostly a motivational issue, as he was still among the very best in the WC road race, for example. Valverde, GVA, Gilbert and Cancellara have more questionable results / performed at other levels than before, whereas Sagan has mostly been consistent, but added muscle/weight and lost explosiveness and climbing ability along the way.

He's most likely been on an elite doping program for all his career, OR is incredibly talented and is only on a run-of-the-mill program. It just isn't as in your face as with Cancellara and them.
Can't speak for anyone else, but at this point I'm so jaded by professional sports in general that I just assume Sagan is on the program as well.

I enjoy watching him nonetheless because he's clearly very talented and is a bit of a character, and at least he doesn't proclaim he's squeaky clean. That's when the pros piss me off, it's when they swear up and down that they are clean, and when they act all shocked when one of their teammates is caught doping.
 
On top of my head there were quite a few. Gilbert, Cancellara and other classics or stage race exploits in the first years of the decade not mentioned, since I didn't follow the sport then.

"Turned off tv/intelligence insulted" alien:

Froome Jafferau 2018

Jaw-dropping alien (random order):

Froome Ventoux 2013
Froome Ax-3 2013
Froome Pierre-Saint Martin 2015
Froome/Contador Col du Béal 2014
Foliforov MTT 2016
Van der Poel Amstel 2019
Alaphilippe Tourmalet/Pau ITT 2019

Shaking my head "this is crazy/ridiculous" alien (random order)

Simon Yates Giro 2018
Valverde spring 2017
Voeckler Galibier 2011
Gilbert Ronde 2017
Purito Vuelta 2012
Contador Cuitu Negru 2012
Landa Giro 2015
Contador Lanciano/guardiagrele raid 2014 (that one I enjoyed tho)
Dumoulin Giro 2017
Dumoulin Tour 2018
Thomas Tour 2018
Alaphilippe spring 2019
Fuglsang spring 2019 (especially Fleche Wallone)
Froome Zoncolan 2018 (first time I felt sympathy for him, but then Jafferau happened and back to square one)

Quick step and SKY the most ridiculous teams of the decade. SKY/INEOS win though, because Quick step only turned crazy some years ago, whereas SKY/INEOS have been crazy since 2011 Vuelta. I really wonder what happened in the weeks between the Tour and the Vuelta that year...:nomouth:
 

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