Between Dauphine/TdS and TDF, how much can the favorites improve?

Jun 21, 2010
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Following the Dauphine/Tour de Suisse, how much can the favorites improve before the Tour de France? Are the Giro veterans with podium aspirations capable of peaking twice?
 
Sep 4, 2009
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This is a good question.. I would like to see the answer without all of the "clinic" and troll related talk. Physically is a double peak so close together possible?
 
Aug 6, 2009
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mightymac12 said:
This is a good question.. I would like to see the answer without all of the "clinic" and troll related talk. Physically is a double peak so close together possible?
Pantani did it in 1998 and Indurain has won the double to, so clearly it's possible somehow.
 
Depends. I doubt Brajkovic can improve by much, but other riders will.

If you enter Suisse or Dauphiné just after altitute training your performance will probably not be great in this races but you can improve hugely during those two kind of rest weeks.
 
It all depends on what kind of training has been done going into these raises and whether or not they have let up on the training before the race or if they went into Dauphine/TDS with heavy legs. Andy Schleck finished last years TDS in 24th place over 8 minutes down but was in peak form for the Tour so just because someone is a little behind right not doe4sn't have to mean anything for their Tour form.

If anything you don't want to be in peak condition for TDS so that you risk declining in form in the latter stages of the Tour.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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good question and it does not have to be in the clinic.

a properly trained professional would always ponder over the same question and try to peak by ‘dialing’ in a certain performance progression during the season’s programme.

just for the hell of it, i will throw a number out there - 2-4% would not be an unexpected performance improvement between the tour and a last race 3-4 weeks prior.

where would the improvement come from ?

Since the endurance base should be ok by june, the expected improvement (normally measured in watts/kilo @ anaerobic/lactic threshold) would come from:
(i) trimming some weight
(ii) increased threshold
(iii) tapering.

sassi, marti and other coaches would have their riders perform some tests to measure the improvement. I think 10-20 watts is realistic.

otoh, one should get suspicious when performance improvement in 3-4 weeks pushes 8-10%. i'd raise a red flag even at 6%.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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It's a good question, but the answer is "a little" without the kind of discussion that ends up in the clinic.

I think, based on my own experiences, that you can maybe get a very slight increase in output, with a feeling that such intensity somehow seems less painful. That for me is the definition of "good form". It's not that you suddenly start winning and are noticeably stronger....you're just surprised that you're still up front in the finale, or that you were able to close a gap and get back to the main group, or hack it in a break of superior riders. A great deal of this is mental. Whenever I really had to put the hammer down I felt this warmth in my legs, rather than the usual pain and fatigue.

It lasted a week or two and then I was suddenly worse than before.

Guys who dance up mountains and destroy TT's tend to do that all year round if they want to, barring injury or illness. It's all about talent and physical capabilities.

If a contender who has looked average in the Giro, Dauphinee, TdS suddenly starts flying in the Tour it will be very hard to explain. But I'm sure the usual weight loss, higher cadence, motivation cr*p will be banded around and swallowed by the gullible.
 
Sep 11, 2009
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Look at Frank and Andy. Lets say they are both equally as good of rider as the other. Frank in his current form will look great at the start of the tour, providing he is even able to hang on to such good form till then (he did go very hard at TdS). If he holds it, he may have some good results when the mountain stages first start to come but he will surely fade out in the 3rd week.

Andy on the other hand has a few weeks to keep building up his form. He certainly has enough room to improve immensely and will be able to keep top form all the way though the Tour.

The only thing I find strange is that Andy said he is stronger now than he was at the same point last year. I can't remember how he was riding at this time last year but he was terrible at Cali and still not able to follow the favorites during TdS. I'm no expert at training but compared to all the other favorites current form he may be cutting it a little close.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Andrichuk said:
Look at Frank and Andy. Lets say they are both equally as good of rider as the other. Frank in his current form will look great at the start of the tour, providing he is even able to hang on to such good form till then (he did go very hard at TdS). If he holds it, he may have some good results when the mountain stages first start to come but he will surely fade out in the 3rd week.

Andy on the other hand has a few weeks to keep building up his form. He certainly has enough room to improve immensely and will be able to keep top form all the way though the Tour.

The only thing I find strange is that Andy said he is stronger now than he was at the same point last year. I can't remember how he was riding at this time last year but he was terrible at Cali and still not able to follow the favorites during TdS. I'm no expert at training but compared to all the other favorites current form he may be cutting it a little close.
Andy lost 8 minutes in the TdS last year on what I believe was an easier route. He did better in the TT though loosing roughly the same amount of time on a longer flatter course.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Able to follow the favorites, and wanting to follow the favorites are two different things. Let's not pretend we know what is going on from the comfort of our computer chair.
 
My understanding is that the athlete should be around of 70%-80% of his best fitness when competing in those races prior to the tour, so the KM in the legs will help to overreach & gain that extra fitness, so the time left will be used to tapering all training
 
TdS or Dauphine performance means nothing. Absolutely nothing. You don't know whether cyclist is riding full-out or just for training.

Kreuziger for example said he was just training. He didn't follow GC group in Stage 3, he didn't follow Gesink in Queen Stage. He said he could if he had wanted. But he would get tired.

Basso and his "stunning" performance at Tour de Romandie is similar story. He finished 35-th. Why? Because Giro was starting just one week later. He obviously wasn't using all his actual capacity.

That's why I won't be surprised if Andy win TdF or Lance finish in Top3.
 
It means little or nothing, if the rider wasn't racing to win or had health issues. LeMond's pre-race build up in both 1989 and 1990 were basically garbage, even moreso in 1990 when he was 20 minutes back at the Tour de Trump. Come July... voila...

There's also the fact that a rider who is riding themselves back into form will be able to hide in the peleton until the mtn stages, especially without any real TT to seperate them from the contenders, meaning a rider who turned in a subpar result in the Tour de Suisse because of injury, sickness, etc... (a Vande Velde type) may very well be back on top form when they get to the mountains, as long as his team takes care of him on stage 3.
 
May 13, 2009
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I think the big difference now is that the Giro is a different race than it was when Pantani did the double. Just from watching over the past 15 years, the Giro has grown to attract a better field and stiffer competition. That combination alone I think, will make it a lot more difficult for someone to double again.
 
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