Henri Desgrange said:
But is it wrong to question how a guy who couldn't climb a speed bump last year (remember he was going out the back on the cat 3's at the Tour), and was being dropped very easily on the hills at T-A last week can suddenly ride nearly 300k's, drag himself over some tough climbs, and then catch and (just) overtake Haussler who was really motoring and had a 25m headstart? or is it o.k cos Frodo is British and we don't cheat do we?
Not wrong to question at all.
Here are the answers:
1. He is 5-6 kg lighter, but his reckoning than last year.
2. He worked on his climbing and 100-200 km rides all winter instead of track, since he isnt trying to win the Olympics this year.
3. He studied and rode MSR finale with Zabel several times.
4. He is at a point in his career switching from track to road and age where one EXPECTS to see improvement.
5. He wasnt dropped on the hills in T-A. Thats just Boonen talking. Here's what CAv said in Velonews:
Absolutely, I knew what they were saying after Tirreno. Tom Boonen said I was getting dropped on all the climbs. If you count the times I got dropped in Tirreno, it was one time, no other times. I knew I had to play it easy in Tireno, because I knew I had good form and a good team. One of the sweetest things today was seeing Tom Boonen go past me backwards on the climbs.
6. He has a big engine. Was almost put on the team pursuit for the Olympics.
I think he is the real deal. And of course he has been doing amazing stuff all along. and is on arguably the cleanest team both by testing and the riders they have hired.