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Chloe Dygert WTTC not normal

okay, so I just watched Chloe Dygert destroy the women's field. Passing some like they were standing still and beating the best by 1:32 seconds. Not normal ? Has USA Doping resumed heavily once again ? Are there a new crop of drugs and doctors that USA cycling are using ? Discuss..
 
Amazing performance to be sure. I had questions in my mind, but not sure I'd extend it to the entirety of USA Cycling, as the team hasn't exactly been storming the world. Seems to be an isolated case.

But let's have a look at her palmares. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloé_Dygert_Owen

She just dominated in Colorado.

Some people are just better than everyone else. She's either a supremely talented rider or doping at a level others can't achieve and also really, really talented.

Not an unexpected win, but the margin is incredible.
 
Amazing performance to be sure. I had questions in my mind, but not sure I'd extend it to the entirety of USA Cycling, as the team hasn't exactly been storming the world. Seems to be an isolated case.

But let's have a look at her palmares. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloé_Dygert_Owen

She just dominated in Colorado.

Some people are just better than everyone else. She's either a supremely talented rider or doping at a level others can't achieve and also really, really talented.

Not an unexpected win, but the margin is incredible.
So, her palmares are impressive, even weighing that her focus in prior years has been track cycling. Best in the world in some disciplines while still a teenager. Junior world champion on the road and ITT. My understanding is that she also has been hampered by injuries in prior years, and she has been relatively injury-free this year. Today's performance was truly amazing, but it has not been produced by someone who has "come from nowhere." My feeling is that the level of the performance is worthy of scrutiny, but other factors of suspicion do not seem to weigh as heavily in this case as in some other cases discussed in the Clinic.
 
So, her palmares are impressive, even weighing that her focus in prior years has been track cycling. Best in the world in some disciplines while still a teenager. Junior world champion on the track and ITT. My understanding is that she also has been hampered by injuries in prior years, and she has been relatively injury-free this year. Today's performance was truly amazing, but it has not been produced by someone who has "come from nowhere." My feeling is that the level of the performance is worthy of scrutiny, but other factors of suspicion do not seem to weigh as heavily in this case as in some other cases discussed in the Clinic.
I would agree with that assessment 100%.
 
You need to consider that Dygert smashed Van Vleuten in the Individual pursuit at the 2018 track worlds - That AVV rode about a minute off her expected time today in the women's ITT - This still means that Dygert wins by around 50 seconds - Now if you translate the 2018 Track World's this is not an unexpected result - The question was always how Dygert would track to the road - She's done better than I expected but it's not beyond the realms of possibility.
 
What's truly amazing is that she would have finished 12th in the Men's U23 today. Now, she had much better weather conditions, but still.

That should raise suspicians, but the counter-argument is that she has always been amazing. She was both ITT and RR WC at Junior level.
 
The problem for a lot of people is more that we simply haven't seen her take on the elite women's péloton in Europe to really have a body of work to judge. The fact that in recent memory we have a pretty consistent history of TTs being won by mayflies coming out of the US domestic calendar with limited race days and taking Olympic and World titles ahead of the people who are season-long dominators of the format, which exacerbates the suspicion. Kristin Armstrong's two comebacks are suspicious as all hell, we even had somebody from within the elite women's cycling world congratulating Anna van der Breggen on "winning two golds" in Rio because they didn't take either Armstrong's or Zabelinskaya's results on face value, while Amber Neben's subsequent World Championship, into her 40s and with some previous doping history, was similarly skeptically received. Dygert also rides for Kristin Armstrong's team, which adds to the skepticism.

At the same time, Dygert has been dominating the American péloton this season, largely off the back of a season of dominant TT riding. Do we believe that winning TTs against the péloton of the Joe Martin Stage Race and the Tour of the Gila is 100% justification for beating Anna van der Breggen and Annemiek van Vleuten by similar margins? No, of course not - a lot of North American fans do tend to overestimate the importance of their races or the strength of the NRC - but Chloe Dygert is quite demonstrably not a mayfly in 2019. At 22, she's been a prospective phenom for a while, though this has largely manifested itself in track performances to date, and indeed while she has managed some top 10s at the Worlds before, to people who don't really follow track she was probably most familiar for exploding in a pool of vomit in the final kilometre of the Doha TTT as heatstroke set in. The ITT is the discipline which is 'purest' per se, where the pure mechanicals can most overcome tactical naïveté or team strength, and so it makes sense that riders who have not spent much of the season competing with the elites of the WWT could be more competitive in the ITT than the Road Race (especially when, like Dygert with her track origins, there is at least a partial reason for her not moving over to Europe yet), as long as they have the pure wattage as a track superstar indeed would have. But while the fact she doesn't race against the European WWT elite may help her attract a fanbase in the same way as other NRC loyalists like Mara Abbott did (while other American riders like Evelyn Stevens and Megan Guarnier haven't attracted that same support from American fans), it also comes with the flipside that it makes performances like this seem like even bigger outliers than they already are, and raise a lot of alarm bells, some of which have some justification, and some of which to a great extent don't.
 
Three American women in the top 7 of the ITT: upped the ante in doping . . . or good choice of tires on the wet course?
Unconcerned about the Dutch results? 3 in the top 8.

I would ask the same of Libertine's comments, do we just accept the Dutch (and european) results in the women's peloton as legitimate and demonstrably better? I don't see the evidence to make that an obvious assumption.
 
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Nobody has been naive about Dutch cycling for decades. Libertine will be the first to tell you that.

As for the ITT, I wasn't able to see it, but those margins are a red flag by themselves. Was there an element of superior bike handling or confidence that comes with being 22?

Also, Dygert Owen is very close to Sarah Hammer (might be her coach?), not sure what her track record is like in Clinic matters.
 
OK, I've been riding time trials over 25 years and I took it up far too late to be any good, but I am deeply involved in the sport and I recognise ability and a great TT position when I see one. This young lady, who I have never seen before, clearly has a great physique and a great ability. She rode with fluidity. She didn't let the attrocious weather and road conditions put her off. One day I may be proved wrong but I saw nothing to worry me about this ride. By all means analyse it - that's what this forum is all about. But in the end you are guessing and my guess is that it's an honest result.
 
Not only was her margin the largest ever in a WC ITT (male or female), she was the youngest winner (male or female). That record may not stand for long though with Remco a favorite for tomorrow.

I will second the comment on her position.


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The eyeball test isn't as good as a windtunnel but I would expect Chloe to defeat VDB even if their w/kg were identical.
 
What's odd is that Dygert has improved by so damn much within the last couple months, not that she beat some big name riders at the Worlds who aren't even pure ITTists. That in itself isn't suspect.

Neben still beat her ass at the nationals, and Dygert only beat some relative no names in other ITTs, without making a mockery of them. Until July or thereabouts, that is. Then everything just seemed to click. Now, only a couple months later, she's almost 2 km/h faster than Neben. Because of wet roads, her supporters claim...

Not impossible maybe(?), but definitely more than eyebrow raising, even if she is the most talented ITTist of the bunch, which she very well may be.
 
Not only was her margin the largest ever in a WC ITT (male or female), she was the youngest winner (male or female). That record may not stand for long though with Remco a favorite for tomorrow.

I will second the comment on her position.


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The eyeball test isn't as good as a windtunnel but I would expect Chloe to defeat VDB even if their w/kg were identical.
I keep saying this again and again over at Slowtwit but it falls on deaf ears.

A position that is TOO aero usually isn't suitable for a long TT. Dygert almost looks too cramped for good, sustainable output, and too low to hold for 40+ minutes.

I'd actually say Van der Breggen's position looks better and more sustainable.
 
I keep saying this again and again over at Slowtwit but it falls on deaf ears.

A position that is TOO aero usually isn't suitable for a long TT. Dygert almost looks too cramped for good, sustainable output, and too low to hold for 40+ minutes.

I'd actually say Van der Breggen's position looks better and more sustainable.
She did use it though (but not when climbing or tight cornering and that provides relief). The same position was not maintained throughout but when it was appropriate to use it, she did. It's slightly odd to be saying the position was not as sustainable, when in fact she won, unless you argue that she won despite an unsuitable position. Also you also make a 40-plus-minute time trial sound a dreadfully long time or distance. That seems an odd notion to a UK time trial rider.
 
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She did maintain the position (but not when climbing or tight cornering). The same position was not maintained throughout but when it was appropriate to use it, she did. It's slightly odd to maintain the position was not as suitable, when in fact she won, unless you argue that she won despite an unsuitable position. You also make a 40-pus-minute time trial sound a dreadfully long time or distance. It seems an odd notion to a UK time trial rider.
That position looks perfect for a pursuit or TT half the distance, but I'm impressed that it worked for Dygart over a longer TT.

The hip angle is quite closed and weight is a long way forward, but maybe the photo was taken when accelerating aggressively. I'll have to see a few more pictures.

But my post was my initial reaction - it's a very aggressive position.
 
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for me, a result like this speaks volumes about the weather. correct me if i'm wrong but Chloe isn't targeting the road race, but the Dutchies are. Simply using a safer line round corners and not attacking them can cost a lot of seconds which all add up.

we need more results, but i don't think theres anything dodgy about this result.
 
Three American women in the top 7 of the ITT: upped the ante in doping . . . or good choice of tires on the wet course?
Americans have always been good in ITTs. I don't think its a doping thing, or we'd have seen at least some of that success translate to more race wins in the post - LA era.

I don't really know why, although my weakish theory is that the long, straight roads in most of the US are conducive to TT training, compared to Europe's hilly, narrow, curvy roads.

Dygart has always been good, and the focused her training this year on two things: recovering from a season ending injury from last year, and this ITT. Her early season results were part of a build up.

Dennis's men's win was along the same lines: Backed up by prior results, and with a 2 month long focus on one race.
 
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Speaking as an American, other Americans generally always focus on FTP above all else. The mold they want to fit into is that of a stage racer, so they just work on sustaining watts. Race craft is not taught or valued. So it makes sense that when there is a semi successful American, it's someone who can TT and/or get 8th in Paris Nice. I hope Quinn breaks out of this pattern.

The young Americans have been experiencing a lot of success at this WC. I wonder if this is the Lance effect. That is, all those adult Americans Lance inspired to start riding back around 1999-2005 would have been a bit too old to get into the professional side of things themselves, but would have influenced their offspring to try it, and those offspring are now coming of age. I don't know about other countries, but in the US pretty much any and all juniors in cycling were guided into the sport by their parents (it's certainly not taught in schools or organized into youth leagues).
 
Race craft is not taught or valued. So it makes sense that when there is a semi successful American, it's someone who can TT and/or get 8th in Paris Nice. I hope Quinn breaks out of this pattern.
You are right in saying that race craft is important, particularly at these World Championships in Yorkshire. I hope you have been able to watch some of the footage. Bolder (above) suggests that perhaps long, straight roads in most of the US are conducive to TT training, compared to Europe's hilly, narrow, curvy roads. More to the point perhaps is that those who have shone have done so because their experience is wider than that and they have proved themselves able to cope with roads and terrain that is very different from that. Quite apart from the necessary power output, wherever that comes from, is the need to ride the event with confidence and ability.
 
You are right in saying that race craft is important, particularly at these World Championships in Yorkshire. I hope you have been able to watch some of the footage. Bolder (above) suggests that perhaps long, straight roads in most of the US are conducive to TT training, compared to Europe's hilly, narrow, curvy roads. More to the point perhaps is that those who have shone have done so because their experience is wider than that and they have proved themselves able to cope with roads and terrain that is very different from that. Quite apart from the necessary power output, wherever that comes from, is the need to ride the event with confidence and ability.
While I do not disagree with you, I'd add a bit of colour to the analysis with the US scene, because a lot of the time the scene is about crits and short stage races, and pack skills tend to be a less valuable commodity than they are in the European/WWT péloton; possibly a reflection that the very top names in the scene are usually pretty competitive in Europe, but the depth is a lot more limited so it's easier to stand out without needing to develop the same level of racecraft. Some of those who've come out of the NRC and been successful in Europe have never actually learnt that racecraft - Mara Abbott is the ultimate case in point; although she raced in Europe and on European teams repeatedly, she spent much of her seasons moonlighting in the NRC and seldom actually raced in Europe, so she never really learnt those pack skills or to overcome those deficiencies in her technical skills like descending, but her pure climbing strength meant that when the big mountains came, she could overcome that deficiency and then some. But she is the exception rather than the norm, and if you look at the convertability that Emma Pooley, who started out similarly lopsided in skillset, was able to show, you can still readily imagine that, had she been able to overcome her psychological hurdles and become a permanent fixture in the European péloton without losing any of her confidence, she could have had a much stronger palmarès than she eventually retired with.

The other rider in recent years to come from great success on the NRC to great success on the WWT is Coryn Rivera, who had primarily been dominating the North American crit circuit, but proved to be much more durable than her predicted niche as a sprinter would suggest. Others have required some time to adapt. Katie Hall obliterated the NRC last year, and it was definitely the right time for her to make it to Europe as she had nothing left to prove in North America, but to do so she's had to sacrifice a leadership role, and also learn to deal within a péloton where she isn't comfortably the best climber on any given day, which she has been in North America ever since Abbott's retirement - and indeed it's worth noting that her strongest results in the year have been the same races Mara used to do well in - those in North America and the Giro, where her pure climbing wattage is able to overcome any tactical naïveté or deficiencies in pack skills. Megan Guarnier took until her third year in Europe to really hit her stride, while Evelyn Stevens taking up the sport late meant that when she first got to Europe her technical skills were so underdeveloped at that point that she genuinely didn't know to have her inside pedal elevated when leaning into a corner when descending.

The question with Dygert will be how she would adapt to racing in Europe for several reasons, really. Firstly, because she has, like Hall last year, little left to prove in America. I'd assume she wants to stay track-focused for Tokyo, and rightly so, but after that it would be a shame if she continues to beat up on the NRC and not come to Europe to battle the Van der Breggens and Longo Borghinis of the world all year long. Secondly because if we only see her a couple of times a year racing against the top names, then these results will only ever be seen as anomalies and will be treated with perhaps more suspicion than they ought to be, with her being dismissed as a mayfly like Armstrong and Neben have been in recent years. Thirdly because if she only races against riders she can comfortably ride away from, she may never develop that tactical mind and achieve what she is capable of outside of the relatively limited North American calendar. And finally because the tendency for these American-based TT specialists to not race season-long against the best that the world has to offer, then turn up once or twice a year and beat them, deprives us of the rainbow jersey for much of the season in the Women's World Tour, and if the WWT is supposed to be a showcase of the very best and develop itself in the public conscience as that, then it would be a shame for the rainbow jersey to not be visible in the (admittedly too few) ITTs in the WWT. And also because it's also disappointing to watch riders, and get enthused by their exploits all season long, fighting for the WWT, then dismiss them all when we get to the World Championships - not only do we want the WWT to be a battle between the best to justify its role and position as the premier competition for women in the sport, but we as fans want to see the best battling against each other more than once or twice a season, and Dygert being hidden away from view in the mostly non-televised NRC makes it harder for us to develop the same attachment to her and interest in her progress that we have to other young prospects, as well as meaning we don't get to truly see what she would be capable of against the very best and stunting her road racing development.
 
Thank you, Libertine Seguros, for your insight and your usual fine writing. This thread started off in usual Clinic style. I suppose we are both diverting from that somewhat but I detect that you would not automatically accept that every fine young rider who emerges onto the scene outside the US with an obvious edge, like Dygert, obtains it dishonestly. I should not be surprised to see it in the Clinic but I don't find it very fair, whatever the nationality of the rider in question. There are usually many good reasons for success and they don't necessarily have anything to do with Clinic issues. I am out of step with many, I know.
 

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