Teams & Riders Chris Froome Discussion Thread.

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They definitely claimed to have done so. Not sure what they did that hadn't been done before. Bringing their own pillows?
Well Davide Cassani was emphasizing this point 10 years ago or so, and expressed the need for the Italian squadre to follow in the Brit's example or else get left behind the "evolution." But they just didn't have the budgets for it.
 
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Maybe it was as simple as being the only team that could afford Ketone drinks, which were something like a grand a bottle weren't they?
Now they are far more affordable and used by all teams and not just the one with the largest budget in cycling.
That will close the Sky/INEOS performance gap in a hurry.
 
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Do you really think the rate of progress (of sports science applied to cycling, and of the equipment) was greater in the 2010s than in the 1990s? I think the greatest change in the past decade has been increased budgets overall.
The equipment, yes. The new generation bikes offered a performance hike that was truely remarkable between the 1990s and 2010s. Of course, all the teams got on board, more or less, as their budgets permitted, and as sponsoring manufacturers were incentivized to produce better results (frame dimensions, handlebars, skinsuits, helmets, etc.). The arms war was not limited to alchemy, but also equipment, and the bigger the budget, the greater a high profile team was able to exact the necessary pressure to bear in gauranteeing that manufacturers profit for investing in ever advanced developments.
 
Well Davide Cassani was emphasizing this point 10 years ago or so, and expressed the need for the Italian squadre to follow in the Brit's example or else get left behind the "evolution." But they just didn't have the budgets for it.
Not saying they weren't a well-run organization that other, in particular smaller teams could follow. I'm saying I don't know any claimed innovation they made that hadn't been done by another team at some point in the past. Their PR was aimed at those new to cycling at the time, and it was swallowed up without critical thought.
 
Not saying they weren't a well-run organization that other, in particular smaller teams could follow. I'm saying I don't know any claimed innovation they made that hadn't been done by another team at some point in the past. Their PR was aimed at those new to cycling at the time, and it was swallowed up without critical thought.
Nor do I, and I suspect in the final analysis you are right, especially as regards the PR/neophite critical scene is concerned. My point was that it wasn't exclusively the disingenuous that bought into the Sky propaganda, but seasoned veterans involved in the sport who were trying to recuperate. Those in that environment are generally pretty psychologically weak and were talking as if "something new had arrived." But everything was shrouded in mystery, as if some magic formula had been discovered, a font of unknown virtue. It was all rather mysitcal. In the hermetic world of cycling, inferior teams (with all their complexes, from staff to riders), like corporations, tend to think there is something esoteric going on. They always want to be initiated into the "secrets" of higher performance. All you needed was some hegemonic culture with the "we do it better" propaganda and victory at the Tour - and adequite funding, with all the advatages it entails - and the spell was cast. But the reality was probably mundane: ie. budget and alchemy.
 
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Nor do I, and I suspect in the final analysis you are right, especially as regards the PR/neophite critical scene is concerned. My point was that it wasn't exclusively the disingenuous that bought into the Sky propaganda, but seasoned veterans involved in the sport who were trying to recuperate. Those in that environment are generally pretty psychologically weak and were talking as if "something new had arrived." But everything was shrouded in mystery, as if some magic formula had been discovered, a font of unknown virtue. It was all rather mysitcal. In the hermetic world of cycling, inferior teams (with all their complexes, from staff to riders), like corporations, tend to think there is something esoteric going on. They always want to be initiated into the "secrets" of higher performance. All you needed was some hegemonic culture with the "we do it better" propaganda and victory at the Tour - and adequite funding, with all the advatages it entails - and the spell was cast. But the reality was probably mundane: ie. budget and alchemy.
I think you're right. I've avoided the topic of what they might have actually been doing differently, here, per forum rules. Suffice it to say that "Marginal Gains ®" was simply a deflection.
 
It's telling how Sky started doing the warm down routine after six hours in the saddle, and the Continentals were like, are you fe-king kidding me. And then they all started doing it when Sky won the Tour, as if it were a tried old tradition. Whether or not it has any demonstrable benefits, the mystique (and the herd mentality) led the intiates down the path to reverance and submission. And that it was such "marginal gains" that made all the difference, transforming track riders and the chronically ill into Tour winners.
 
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Ask any older rider what has changed in the last decade or so and they will say it's the training and the performance staff. And the general level of professionalism across the board. Back in 2010 teams didn't really coaches and trainers. Riders went off to their own coaches to get training plans or get them off the DS. And they would eat the food the hotels provided.

I remember an interview with Romain Bardet saying that when he first joined AG2R in 2012 they didn't even have a coach. Now they have four coaches, two psychologists and two nutritionists. This has happened across the peloton. That's the change.

Sky may have not been the first team to dabble in these aspects, but they were the first to really put an emphasis on them and back it up with money. People forget how amateur a lot cycling was back then.
 
Ask any older rider what has changed in the last decade or so and they will say it's the training and the performance staff. And the general level of professionalism across the board. Back in 2010 teams didn't really coaches and trainers. Riders went off to their own coaches to get training plans or get them off the DS. And they would eat the food the hotels provided.

I remember an interview with Romain Bardet saying that when he first joined AG2R in 2012 they didn't even have a coach. Now they have four coaches, two psychologists and two nutritionists. This has happened across the peloton. That's the change.

Sky may have not been the first team to dabble in these aspects, but they were the first to really put an emphasis on them and back it up with money. People forget how amateur a lot cycling was back then.
To the bolded, I agree, but it wasn't as if after a century of experience the teams had no idea what they were doing. Heck, doctors were already part of the team setup in the Coppi-Bartali era. I consequently think the "new training methods" spiel, ""trainers," "nutritionists" and so forth, is frankly overestimated. You are talking about the last decade, when this goes back half a century.
 
Ask any older rider what has changed in the last decade or so and they will say it's the training and the performance staff. And the general level of professionalism across the board. Back in 2010 teams didn't really coaches and trainers. Riders went off to their own coaches to get training plans or get them off the DS. And they would eat the food the hotels provided.

I remember an interview with Romain Bardet saying that when he first joined AG2R in 2012 they didn't even have a coach. Now they have four coaches, two psychologists and two nutritionists. This has happened across the peloton. That's the change.

Sky may have not been the first team to dabble in these aspects, but they were the first to really put an emphasis on them and back it up with money. People forget how amateur a lot cycling was back then.
Yes, the level of professionalism continues to rise, as competition gets tighter and tighter. The idea that some sea change happened in 2010 is total revisionism backed up with anecdotes. "Teams" didn't have coaches and trainers? What teams? Certainly the big teams all have had them since the 90s at least and even in the 80s. Some riders had their own coaches. Some teams had full staffs of both, some had coaches who worked with the riders. It's been evolving, it wasn't some revolution. Just like every other aspect of performance. Bikes, nutrition, budgets, etc.

Tell USPS, ONCE, Banesto, Rabobank, etc. they didn't have trainers, doctors, and coaching staff. And plenty more.
 
Yes, the level of professionalism continues to rise, as competition gets tighter and tighter. The idea that some sea change happened in 2010 is total revisionism backed up with anecdotes. "Teams" didn't have coaches and trainers? What teams? Certainly the big teams all have had them since the 90s at least and even in the 80s. Some riders had their own coaches. Some teams had full staffs of both, some had coaches who worked with the riders. It's been evolving, it wasn't some revolution. Just like every other aspect of performance. Bikes, nutrition, budgets, etc.

Tell USPS, ONCE, Banesto, Rabobank, etc. they didn't have trainers, doctors, and coaching staff. And plenty more.
Don't eat after a big training ride. Drink seltzer water to feel full until dinner....
 
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Yes, the level of professionalism continues to rise, as competition gets tighter and tighter. The idea that some sea change happened in 2010 is total revisionism backed up with anecdotes. "Teams" didn't have coaches and trainers? What teams? Certainly the big teams all have had them since the 90s at least and even in the 80s. Some riders had their own coaches. Some teams had full staffs of both, some had coaches who worked with the riders. It's been evolving, it wasn't some revolution. Just like every other aspect of performance. Bikes, nutrition, budgets, etc.

Tell USPS, ONCE, Banesto, Rabobank, etc. they didn't have trainers, doctors, and coaching staff. And plenty more.

If these coaches were so common you won't have trouble naming some of them. Actual sport scientists, not retired pros or doping doctors. Bringing training In-House was a pretty revolutionary concept.

The ability to record training files and distribute them digital to team coaches and data analysts is relatively new. The ability to monitor progress daily wasn't around in the 80s and 90s.
 
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If these coaches were so common you won't have trouble naming some of them. Actual sport scientists, not retired pros or doping doctors. Bringing training In-House was a pretty revolutionary concept.
How about Geert Leinders who worked for Sky and Rabo? But of course you've ruled out "doctors" who often set training programs on big teams. I don't accept your constrained definition of "coaches" nor do I buy that Sky employed only "sports scientists" who by implication were not medical in their approach. See many riders complaining about the training becoming "too medical" in the 90's. Anyway, if you're interested I'm sure you can scour the internet for coaches and trainers for every big team going back 30 years. I'm not going to because I lived through it and the very notion that they didn't is too silly to bother with.

The ability to record training files and distribute them digital to team coaches and data analysts is relatively new. The ability to monitor progress daily wasn't around in the 80s and 90s.
Yes, it's been an evolution. Not some 2010 revolution. As I said.
 
What I'd like to know is why Israel Start-Up isn't yet at the level of Sky? I mean, why doesn't Chris just tell the operation what it needs to do, or is Sky some mystery cult in which a clause in riders' conracts forbids them from talking about team practices when they leave? Lest a certain violent death under unknowable conditions is assured? :oops:
 
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What I'd like to know is why Israel Start-Up isn't yet at the level of Sky? I mean, why doesn't Chris just tell the operation what it needs to do, or is Sky some mystery cult in which a clause in riders' conracts forbids them from talking about team practices when they leave? Lest a certain violent death under unknowable conditions is assured? :oops:
Because Israel Start-Up blew their entire budget on an old, washed-up, has been rider and didn't have the funds to go after really good young talent.
 
What I'd like to know is why Israel Start-Up isn't yet at the level of Sky? I mean, why doesn't Chris just tell the operation what it needs to do, or is Sky some mystery cult in which a clause in riders' conracts forbids them from talking about team practices when they leave? Lest a certain violent death under unknowable conditions is assured? :oops:
It's a reasonable question which could be addressed to many teams with former Sky riders, not just ISN. And has been asked of many teams in the past, when riders move from a super team to other teams and don't perform as well. This isn't a new thing.

Clearly Froome isn't what he was, no matter what training or program he's doing. Clearly budget is a potential factor for many teams, and that covers all the things which the team may or may not have been doing. We really have no idea where Sky put their money, we only have what they might say publicly. Which for some reason people will take at face value. Another option is that other teams have different philosophies on how they want to run their team, and the Sky/Ineos method may not be the direction they want to go. The other option is that Sky/Ineos weren't really doing anything terribly different than what teams are doing now anyway. And then there's the fact that some teams have blown by Ineos in terms of performance.
 
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It's a reasonable question which could be addressed to many teams with former Sky riders, not just ISN. And has been asked of many teams in the past, when riders move from a super team to other teams and don't perform as well. This isn't a new thing.

Clearly Froome isn't what he was, no matter what training or program he's doing. Clearly budget is a potential factor for many teams, and that covers all the things which the team may or may not have been doing. We really have no idea where Sky put their money, we only have what they might say publicly. Which for some reason people will take at face value. Another option is that other teams have different philosophies on how they want to run their team, and the Sky/Ineos method may not be the direction they want to go. The other option is that Sky/Ineos weren't really doing anything terribly different than what teams are doing now anyway. And then there's the fact that some teams have blown by Ineos in terms of performance.
Good points and I had already thought about the other riders who left Sky and didn't perform as well, but it is equally true that some have gone to Sky and performed much better than on former teams. It's an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

At any rate, I have to say I'm surprised Froome is such a bleak shadow of his former self. Injuries aside, he can't even be a factor in the races, let alone win them. You'd have thought that with all the medical verdicts, which have allowed him to remain professional and convice his employer that he was a worthy investment, that he would at least be in the front group by now. I'm not saying winning, but at least not getting dropped on the first climb. This discredits his authenticity at Sky.
 
This discredits his authenticity at Sky.
I can think of a LOT of things which discredit his authenticity at Sky, but this isn't really one of them for me. But I think the injuries were clearly more impactful than he let on to anyone, or that he expected. I would expect the damage and inability to perform takes a mental toll as well, and even without the injury, he was pretty clearly starting on the decline. Got to be tough to come back from all that mentally as well as physically. Not that you'll ever hear something that forthcoming from Froome.
 
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I can think of a LOT of things which discredit his authenticity at Sky, but this isn't really one of them for me. But I think the injuries were clearly more impactful than he let on to anyone, or that he expected. I would expect the damage and inability to perform takes a mental toll as well, and even without the injury, he was pretty clearly starting on the decline. Got to be tough to come back from all that mentally as well as physically. Not that you'll ever hear something that forthcoming from Froome.
Pray tell.

At any rate, the fact that he can't be even remotely a factor leads me to conclude, either he was an invention or his injuries were so bad that there was no chance of recovery. In the latter case, how then was he able to hoodwinck his sponsors?
 

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