Christophe Le Mevel & Sandy Casar: Are we seeing a cleaner Peloton

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Mar 18, 2009
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pmcg76 said:
Ok, the Tour is over now and the French have had a decent race, LeMevel and Casar, Top 15 overall. Boguyes Telecom & Agritubel taking stage wins and AG2R holding the jersey for over a week.

I asked on this thread a few days ago about riders from these teams who have been caught or connected with doping the past 5 years. Apart from Francisco Mancebo, there have been no others which surely suggests that these teams are relatively clean so bravo on the performances in the Tour.

We should give the French more praise in their efforts to race cleanly even if results suffer, it would be really interesting to see how far they could go if everyone was as clean.

People like Hinault and others should stop slating them at every opportunity.
Don't trust AG2R or Agritubel for even a second. They are teams that don't organize anything, but turn a blind eye to whatever the riders want to do.

Much less someone like Nocentini who was caught in posession of drugs at the Giro years ago and who was part of the youth teams Valentino China named as being doped to the gills (current top riders from those youth teams also include Basso and Di Luca, by the way).
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Didn't France have a better anti-doping regulatory framework than most other countries? Does anyone have a chronological overview of what happened after the Tour of 98 in terms of regulations and laws?
The SMLC [Suivi Médical Longitudinal Controlé], which I would guess is the "Bio Passport", was made into a law in 99, for all sports federations. It should only apply to pro athletes but the FFC went beyond that.

The SMLC actually dates from before the Festina affair and UCI had it planned, it seems, but they were forced to put it in place. So in itself it is not a french innovation, but our country was -IIRC- more thorough in its application: it was made into a law, the state made sure they had some budget to put it in place, and the medical infrastructure is tied to the public health system and not under the federations themselves.

There's an article on Cyclingnews about the SMLC results from 2000 in France, compared to the 1998 ones.

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/results/2001/jan01/jan14news.shtml

It's difficult to say whether French riders & teams are cleaner or not. It seems generally accepted that it is, though one must not fall into a generalization. The poster above me is sceptic of AG2R and Agritubel (don't know why, would love to know, Agritubel has Moreau though...). Cofidis was at one point involved in something.

Another point to remember: in 98, the french peloton, according to SMLC, was probably as charged as a donkey as the others. Before that date, things were here as they are elsewhere. And you could connect most of the guys from that time (including a lot of the current DS like Marc Madiot at FdJ) to other people involved in doping (teammates and such). Does not mean they did dope, or condone it, or promote it. Still. Legacy of the old ways still lives, even if it is marginal.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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I have nothing to support this except my own opinion, but I've always had the feeling that Casar is a clean rider, and if everyone else was too, that he might be the best rider of his generation.

I've always thought that a sure fire way to see who is clean is to look at their faces on an alpine climb. Some are a mask of pain, and some are still breathing through their nose. Based on that totally non-scientific criteria Contador and Wiggins seem highly suspicious.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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titotito said:
I have nothing to support this except my own opinion, but I've always had the feeling that Casar is a clean rider, and if everyone else was too, that he might be the best rider of his generation.

I've always thought that a sure fire way to see who is clean is to look at their faces on an alpine climb. Some are a mask of pain, and some are still breathing through their nose. Based on that totally non-scientific criteria Contador and Wiggins seem highly suspicious.
Based on that criteria, Kohl is innocent ;)

You go as fast as the pain allows you to go. If you're doped, you go to the same exact level of pain, the only difference is that level comes when you're riding faster.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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issoisso said:
Based on that criteria, Kohl is innocent ;)

You go as fast as the pain allows you to go. If you're doped, you go to the same exact level of pain, the only difference is that level comes when you're riding faster.
Not sure if I totally agree with that. Seems to me more blood carrying more oxygen will keep the pain at bay longer.

Yes, Kohl and many others would be innocent based on my silly criteria. I'm not saying Contador and Wiggins are the only ones doping (if they were). They just stood out to me as always having a blank expression.
 
just checking:

numbers from last tour:
Distance 3,559 km (2,211 mi)
Winning time 87h 52' 52" (40.50 km/h/25.17 mph)

numbers from this year's tour:
Distance 3,459 km (2,149 mi)
Winning time 85h 48' 35" (40.31 km/h/25.05 mph)

Could those figures indicate a change at all? opine guys
 
Jul 19, 2009
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hfer07 said:
just checking:

numbers from last tour:
Distance 3,559 km (2,211 mi)
Winning time 87h 52' 52" (40.50 km/h/25.17 mph)

numbers from this year's tour:
Distance 3,459 km (2,149 mi)
Winning time 85h 48' 35" (40.31 km/h/25.05 mph)

Could those figures indicate a change at all? opine guys
Good point. I've always thought we'll know the Tour has cleaned up when it slows down.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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hfer07 said:
just checking:

numbers from last tour:
Distance 3,559 km (2,211 mi)
Winning time 87h 52' 52" (40.50 km/h/25.17 mph)

numbers from this year's tour:
Distance 3,459 km (2,149 mi)
Winning time 85h 48' 35" (40.31 km/h/25.05 mph)

Could those figures indicate a change at all? opine guys
Difference is too small, data is too restrictive. Could just be that the road was more mountainous or that the lesser TT kms this year dragged the average a tad down.
Someone here asked the question of whether or not the speed increase over the years could be due to other factors than doping, and it seems sensible that speed may be influenced upon by the road, the events, the equipment, the training.

How is the average calculated? Is it done for all the peloton or just the x top times in every stage?
 
I'm not sure if we are seeing a cleaner peloton, but it seems likely that the average level of competition has dropped.
In the past few years many top-riders in TDF/Giro/Vuelta have dropped out due to (implications of) doping.

Ullrich, Basso, Landis, Hamilton, Mancebo, Beloki, Heras, Nozal, Rumsas, Frigo, Gontchar, Mazzoleni, JE Guttierez, di Luca, Beltran, Kohl, Ricco, Piepolie, Sella, Paxti Villa, Piepolie, Vino, Kashechkin, Garcia Quesada, Sevilla, Santi Perez, Rasmussen, Mayo, Valverde and i'm sure i'm missing some.

With that many riders out of the game isn't it likely that this is a bigger benefit for the non-dopers? With young riders like Ricco, Dekker and Kohl getting caught i'm not so sure if there is indeed a new 'culture' in cycling...
 

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