Teams & Riders Bahrain

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Bahrain nowhere to be seen this Tour. This is probably their real level, they're running clear given how many people are investigating them.
I think that's only a meaningful notion if you assume that they have scaled their program back to being equal to that of their opponents. If you think they have less assistance than the others in this race, then it doesn't make sense to claim that.
 
I think that's only a meaningful notion if you assume that they have scaled their program back to being equal to that of their opponents. If you think they have less assistance than the others in this race, then it doesn't make sense to claim that.
Basically same level as the riders from MPCC. If these riders would leave for one of the MPCC teams, they will perform the same imo.
 
To me Caruso was one of the biggest jokes in the Bahrein circus (at least until Giro di Sicilia).
Long time domestique and top15 material in GTs suddenly turned winner. People telling me he never had a chance to ride for himself... that was hilarious.
 
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To me Caruso was one of the biggest jokes in the Bahrein circus (at least until Giro di Sicilia).
Long time domestique and top15 material in GTs suddenly turned winner. People telling me he never had a chance to ride for himself... that was hilarious.
He had a weird career and I think last year and this spring he flew under the radar a little bit because he never went stratospheric

Obviously he was suspended for something as a u23, had some decent results but didn't turn pro till 2011.

Was considered very talented around 2012-13 but never really fulfilled that promise.

9th at the vuelta and 8th at the Giro in 2014-15. But after that he was pretty much a gregario at BMC and Bahrain until 2021.

Most of his best 1 week results in that period were because of BMC's incredible TTT and then hanging around in the mountains. By far his best result in that period was 2017 Tour de Suisse where he came 2nd Overall. There was no TTT and he was very strong overall. The Whole BMC were flying that year

But yeah his 2021 Giro was a bit WTF. He got away with it because the stage win on stage 20 was done in part on the descents. His climbing level in the final week was weaker than Almida and Yates, but he was consistent throughout the whole race and never lost time where others did.

I didn't think much of it as a performance, but as soon as Padun, Colbrelli, Mader and Mohoric were flying a month later it was clear what was going.

I think if Landa stays in the race he wins that Giro.

Caruso seems like a team player who does whatever program the team gets him on. Yes he worked for others before but his climbing level from 2021 - June 2022 was better than ever before.

Seems like Bahrain have toned things down in 2 phases. Firstly after Colbrelli scare, they probably stopped some stuff. Since march they've still been a good team but not quite as WTF as 2021. Then after these raids they are nowhere.

Caruso and Mohoric being absolutely nowhere this Tour is the biggest indicator. Last year Haig and Mader were toying with Bernal in the final Vuelta week.
 
Caruso lost almost 30 minutes today.

He was 2nd overall in the Giro last year and won the Queen stage.

Bardet was 7th in the same Giro and is now competing for the podium in this Tour.

Meanwhile, no sign of Mohoric.
The difference is just absolutely incredible. It's like Mohoric's silence gesture was him predicting his 2022 TdF performance. I think it is fair to conclude that the police action massively sidetracked Bahrain's preparations for some riders and left them coming to the TdF in a newe natural state. It is an eye opener to the extent to which doping under the bio passport can influence performance to make champions out of donkeys. Unless the biopassport suspicions are part of the intelligence behind the raids on Bahrain then the biopassport project is now in my mind officially dead as a means of giving top athletic performers a chance to compete.

The fact that nobody in Bahrain tested positive in the past couple of years is little short of a tragedy for the sport and understandably raises concerns about what is going on throughout the peloton whenever we see performances in the same ball park.
 
Frankly I thought Sanchez was awfully strong for a rider of his age.

I'm skeptical of this narrative because this is, again, the same Marseilles-based investigation that iirc found nothing noteworthy twice. Break wins can be something of a lottery* and breakaways had a tough time this Tour, likely due to the current flavor of flat out, no-piano-days racing. Days that could have gone to the break in other years like Longwy, Lausanne, and even PDBF and the final flat day before the ITT (these frequently aren't run like "normal" sprint days) didn't.

It's still possible but I don't think it's simple as drawing conclusions based on "oh look at the stage wins".

*case in point - three of the worst teams this year, EF, IPT and BikeExchange won break stages this year
 
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to be clear i'm not saying Bahrain is clean - it's more that that, for a few reasons, i'm not sure that the difference in stage wins can instantly be put down to "oh, that investigation must have found their gear".
 
I have never made the claim it is only about stage wins. I merely confidently predicted Bahrain would get 0 stages because of all the evidence I detailed showing that their performance in the 2022 Giro and Dauphine was massively inferior to the 2021 editions of those races.. See previous posts for context.
 
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i actually debated mentioning that - they were good at the 2022 Giro (Landa was, after all, on the podium) but not as "eye-raising" as 2021, which can't be put down to the raid that obviously post-dated it.

There was also the small matter of them winning La Fleche and MSR.

I also consider the 2021 Dauphine something of a Padun-related anomaly due to him very conspicuously not getting selected for the Tour and not going to the Olympics (as opposed to the other notable Ukranian cyclists?) that year. I'm not sure what happened there, and you could put it down to either Bahrain deciding to cool it off (or being told behind the scenes to do so), or them not liking what they saw out of Padun, depending on how cynical you feel that day. Maybe cycling has adapted the tennis "secret suspension"?

Apparently Vaughters liked those numbers, so that's nice.
 
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Frankly I thought Sanchez was awfully strong for a rider of his age.

I'm skeptical of this narrative because this is, again, the same Marseilles-based investigation that iirc found nothing noteworthy twice. Break wins can be something of a lottery* and breakaways had a tough time this Tour, likely due to the current flavor of flat out, no-piano-days racing. Days that could have gone to the break in other years like Longwy, Lausanne, and even PDBF and the final flat day before the ITT (these frequently aren't run like "normal" sprint days) didn't.

It's still possible but I don't think it's simple as drawing conclusions based on "oh look at the stage wins".

*case in point - three of the worst teams this year, EF, IPT and BikeExchange won break stages this year
On top of the last year's wins, they had Colbrelli doing really good on the mountains, beating some strong breakaway companions. Other riders doing the same.

This year the difference was pretty clear.
 
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Lulu rode his best GT in more than 10 years, but in how many of them he was asked to go for GC? Certainly none in his Astana days.
I guess his level was always good enough to finish top15-20 if he really tried.
Fred Wright was also better than expected in the past three weeks.

Other than that they've been non existent (Mohoric in particular).
 
Lulu rode his best GT in more than 10 years, but in how many of them he was asked to go for GC? Certainly none in his Astana days.
I guess his level was always good enough to finish top15-20 if he really tried.
Fred Wright was also better than expected in the past three weeks.

Other than that they've been non existent (Mohoric in particular).
Lulu was always a classy rider.

It is hard though to know if he always was good enough, or because of other stuff. Like with any cyclist at the pro level.

There sure are some riders that would have a lot more wins in their careers, if not racing against mutants. We can only speculate and make educated guesses, but will never truly know who might have raced "juiced" or relatively "clean". Thats the really sad part. We may never who really know who are the "true" champions in the peloton. Because I would like to believe that are some people/riders with morals and integrity who races purely on their talent and are content with that "it will be what it will be" in terms of their success. Knowing what they are up against. Otherwise they are very naive... they must know, but can at least sleep at night.
 
I just watched the Chris Horner broadcast on the TdF wrapup. Reading the comments blows my darn mind.

Are these people totally in the dark? "Best Tour I've ever seen!"

It's like they don't realize a doper is giving them a review of a very doped race.
 
Haig and Padun, where have those guys gone, eh? It's almost like their natural talent has faded.
Haig had a pretty good season going, until he crashed out of the Tour again. Right now it might not seem likely, but he could still end up being just as strong in the Vuelta as he was last year.

Padun is a totally different story.
 
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I agree that Padun should be considered separate from the rest of the team. IMO clinic aside, the war in Ukraine has probably messed with his already fragile head.

I do think the raids had a "scared straight" effect on B-V, at some level. There were so many great rides last year, even discounting Colbrelli's heart issue, Caruso and Mader especially seem nowhere near as good. And Mohoric was oddly invisible in the tour for a guy who looked strong as a bull at MSR...
 
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