Can a clean rider outperform doped riders in the current peloton?

What races can a clean rider be able to win?

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If you want you can make a different poll about whether or not a clean rider can beat dopers by being the strongest on the day. But that isn't the question in this thread.
Obviously, there is another thread about the same topic, but it is stuck in pedantry with a refusal to discuss the meat of the issue.

The thread Dan Martin - "Now I know you can win clean" is obviously about Dan Martin, (and turned into a general DM discussion thread).

Let's talk more generally. What races can a clean rider be able to win, in this peloton?

Cheat Sheat:
Grand Tours
1.WT (Monuments)
2.WT (Stage Races -GTs): Pais Vasco, Paris Nice, etc.
1.HC (Other Classics) Scheldeprijs, Paris - Tours
2.HC (Other Stage Races) Tour Of California, Tour of Turkey
1.1 (Lesser one-days) KBK, Chrono des Nations
2.1 (Lesser Stage Races) Women's ToC, Tour de San Luis
1.2 (Lesser Lesser one-days) Tour de Okinawa, Giro del Medio Brenta
2.2 (Lesser lesser stage races) Tour du Rwanda

EDIT: Bad editing on the title. Can a Mod fix it please? And I missed a category for Grand Tour Mt. Stages, too.
 
For a supremely talented clean rider, I think the only thing that's unattainable at the moment is a Grand Tour. That's where the best of the best of the dopers come together to compete against each other, and topping up with a couple of blood bags underway is such an advantage that a squeaky clean rider can't keep up.

In smaller stage races and one-day races at the highest level I think it's possible to beat even the best dopers with a combination of extreme talent, good form, a parcours suited to the clean rider and clever tactics.

Obviously a good clean rider should be able to win races below HC level too, even if a Diaz, Sayar or Poorseyedigolakhour will pop up every now and then and rinse everyone with a performance that stinks to high heaven.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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This is really tough. I'm going to have to think about it for a while. I'm trying to think about the idea of "clean" in a vacuum. If there were a rider who made it into each of these events having never crossed the line to the dark side for training or races is the way I'm going to determine at which level I think they could win. I'm leaning toward "all but a GT" but I can even possibly envision a scenario where one really good, surprising day and 6-7 dopers abandoning/crashing out could just allow it to happen. I'll get back to you.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Trivially, yes. There's always some miniscule chance. A better question would be how likely it is. From least to most, I think the ranking is stage race, time trial, one day race. Another important factor is of course competition (big stars could beat doped mediocre riders clean etc) but I'm ignoring that and just focusing on the type of race, assuming all the best riders compete and most dope.

Grand Tours are 3 weeks long and a consistently high performance, relative to the others, is needed to win. This is also the victory least affected by randomness, so here it going to be the hardest for a clean rider to beat doped ones. Of course, if the clean rider is more gifted, it becomes more likely, as it does for all other races.

Time trials are another race where it is extremely hard for non-dopers to win, because the winner is almost completely determined by sustainable power and aero drag.

One day races give clean riders the best chance, because unlike time trials, tactics can play a big role. What remains unlikely is that the clean rider wins and was the strongest rider on that day.

The precise numbers would depend on how much performance the average doper derives from doping and on the variation in talent in the peloton.
 
hayzer114 said:
What current riders are widely regarded as being clean??
Firstly you would need to define what widely believed means? By whom?

Phil Gaimon has a clean rep, Will Routley who won a stage in California is another. The Optum-Kelly Benefit(of which these two guys are members) team in the US which is discussed elsewhere.

Marco Pinotti who is now retired had a good rep, likewise David Moncoutie. Of the top pro's Dan Martin has garnered such a reputation.

Danny Pate has a clean reputation from way back in his Prime Alliance days when he was a team-mate of Matt DeCanio. DeCanio has also backed Svein Tuft as being clean even though D-Qd claims otherwise. These guys also have links with Optum through Jonas Carney/Alex Candelario.

Bassons, the subject of the other thread has Top 10 finishes in TTs at 4 days of Dunkirk and 3 Days of De Panne at the height of the EPO era. He most likely would have had to beaten a lot of EPO dopers to achieve those results.

Blackcats friend who finished top 15 in the Dauphine Prologue totally clean before the Bio-Passport.
 
doesn't it depend on who is racing who?

If you take out things like equipment , tactics, luck, etc, then a doped rider will always win. If I put myself in there as the rider, and I dope, then a doped up me, will always beat a clean me.

however, if a doped up me, comes across a clean pro rider, then the clean pro rider will beat me, every single time.

If all the circumstances are the same, then the doped rider wins because that is the only advantage allowable.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Since the lack of a positive drug test is not proof of clean it is a pretty faith based answer but it is absolutely possible for a clean rider to win any race on the calendar and I believe all have been won by both sorts.
Until you can actually prove a negative I guess it will always depend on who you ask.
Ask the question of the clinic and I suppose you will get more dopers than if you ask the general population but then the mods would move it back to the clinic because it has doping as a variable? IE the chance of getting a good cross section is less likely in any forum dedicated to doping subjects.
the cynics will tell you they are just doping differently but it hardly seems worthwhile if you can only change a percent or two.
 
Master50 said:
Since the lack of a positive drug test is not proof of clean it is a pretty faith based answer but it is absolutely possible for a clean rider to win any race on the calendar and I believe all have been won by both sorts.
Until you can actually prove a negative I guess it will always depend on who you ask.
Ask the question of the clinic and I suppose you will get more dopers than if you ask the general population but then the mods would move it back to the clinic because it has doping as a variable? IE the chance of getting a good cross section is less likely in any forum dedicated to doping subjects.
the cynics will tell you they are just doping differently but it hardly seems worthwhile if you can only change a percent or two.
I think all your posts deserve the qualifier that you believe Horner won the 2013 Vuelta clean otherwise people might read them the wrong way.

PS Love the last sentence

it hardly seems worthwhile if you can only change a percent or two
I don't know where to start with that:cool:
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Hard to say but grand tours and classics are definitely not possible.

It has to be at a level low enough where there is not enough money and prestige to attract too many talented dopers.

tour haut var perhaps? :p
 
Mar 13, 2009
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David Millar is clean. From Garmin. British. Friend of Brailsford.

ticks alot of boxes. Will be a solid UCI President in the future
 
Oct 22, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
Firstly you would need to define what widely believed means? By whom?

Phil Gaimon has a clean rep, Will Routley who won a stage in California is another. The Optum-Kelly Benefit(of which these two guys are members) team in the US which is discussed elsewhere.

Marco Pinotti who is now retired had a good rep, likewise David Moncoutie. Of the top pro's Dan Martin has garnered such a reputation.

Danny Pate has a clean reputation from way back in his Prime Alliance days when he was a team-mate of Matt DeCanio. DeCanio has also backed Svein Tuft as being clean even though D-Qd claims otherwise. These guys also have links with Optum through Jonas Carney/Alex Candelario.

Bassons, the subject of the other thread has Top 10 finishes in TTs at 4 days of Dunkirk and 3 Days of De Panne at the height of the EPO era. He most likely would have had to beaten a lot of EPO dopers to achieve those results.

Blackcats friend who finished top 15 in the Dauphine Prologue totally clean before the Bio-Passport.

Routley and Tuft have always been clean. I know that some of KBS is clean. Dont know the whole team well enough to comment further. If Dave DQ is who I think he is, then I can say I know the riders better than him.
 
Jun 4, 2014
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Maybe once in a lifetime when all the stars will align in his favor,no not even in this conditions:p
 
Jun 4, 2014
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hayzer114 said:
What current riders are widely regarded as being clean??
I heard that French cycling success points to a clean peloton so we can include all TDF 2014 guys:cool:
 
Any one-day race is possible. Contenders looking at each other, weather, breakaway with a guy who punctures or falls, like Gomez at MSR. Any guy at the start has a shot, maybe small, but a shot nonetheless.
 

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