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Contador - last year - more risk ?

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Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
Contador is probably too old school to deviate from the true and tested methods too much. He won't stand a chance, though, if he persists. Maybe yesterday's embarrassing performance will make him reconsider.
Yes, he can try again next year :rolleyes: he's only 33 no big deal
If he is still doing it "old school" he can't change that less than a month before the Tour.
If so, then yeah, there's always next year. Last I read he was going to continue on for one or two(?) more years and focus the rest of his career on the Tour de France. That's the next 2 or 3 TDFs. Will he be too old? Not if he ages like Valverde.
 
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18-Valve. (pithy) said:
If so, then yeah, there's always next year. Last I read he was going to continue on for one or two(?) more years and focus the rest of his career on the Tour de France. That's the next 2 or 3 TDFs. Will he be too old? Not if he ages like Valverde.
How many others have aged like Valverde ? ;)
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
If so, then yeah, there's always next year. Last I read he was going to continue on for one or two(?) more years and focus the rest of his career on the Tour de France. That's the next 2 or 3 TDFs. Will he be too old? Not if he ages like Valverde.
How many others have aged like Valverde ? ;)
Still, Evans won the Tour at age 34. Purito got third at the same age. Contador may still have one or two good years left. Who knows.
 
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DFA123 said:
Well, the point I was trying to make is that his career has kind of spanned two generations. The pre-ban generation; where he was undoubtedly the best, up against the likes of Schleck, Evans and Sastre. And the post-ban generation, which is obviously Froome, Quintana and Nibali. I think it is very difficult to argue that he has been the best GC rider in the world post-ban. And, if he carrys on for another two years, that will constitute the majority of his GC career.

The question is whether his opponents are just significantly better post-ban than pre-ban, or whether he has changed something himself - particularly regarding doping. Perhaps getting caught and the ban did really force him to scale back, as he doesn't want to risk his future in the sport as a DS or team owner. Or perhaps he is just past his best now and even his fully prepared best isn't good enough to destroy the field any more. If the latter is true, then there is nowhere else for him to go, but if the former is true then we still might see him go out with a bang next year to cement his legacy. I doubt he'll want to be remembered as the guy who repeatedly got destroyed by Sky and Froome in the biggest and most important race.
He's part of the generation he was born in, not the generation he's riding with. He's effectively competing against riders from younger generations now.
Of course age plays a role, there's nothing he can do about it. I doubt he's not making the necessary sacrifices wrt doping and training. So yeah, it's highly possible he will get beaten again by Froome this year, and next year, and the year after. So what? He got beaten by an opponent who is now in the prime of his career whereas Contador arguably peaked 5-7 years ago, even though he maintains that he is now stronger than ever - which might be true if we consider new training and doping methods. He might be past his physical peak but his numbers could be better because he prepares himself better. Either way, losing to Froome (or Quintana or Porte or ...) doesn't void everything he's achieved in his career.
Of course this gives the mindless "new cycling" believers an opportunity to push their agenda and argue that he was only ever great because of doping and in this new, clean cycling he's nowhere so he was never good to begin with. That infuriates me but hey ho idiots will be idiots.
 
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18-Valve. (pithy) said:
LaFlorecita said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
If so, then yeah, there's always next year. Last I read he was going to continue on for one or two(?) more years and focus the rest of his career on the Tour de France. That's the next 2 or 3 TDFs. Will he be too old? Not if he ages like Valverde.
How many others have aged like Valverde ? ;)
Still, Evans won the Tour at age 34. Purito got third at the same age. Contador may still have one or two good years left. Who knows.
Of course, anything is possible, he might also become the first rider ever to compete at the highest level in GTs over the span of 12 years.
Realistically, we have to admit that this year is probably his last chance to win the Tour, unless he gets lucky next year and several riders crash out/get ill.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
Well, the point I was trying to make is that his career has kind of spanned two generations. The pre-ban generation; where he was undoubtedly the best, up against the likes of Schleck, Evans and Sastre. And the post-ban generation, which is obviously Froome, Quintana and Nibali. I think it is very difficult to argue that he has been the best GC rider in the world post-ban. And, if he carrys on for another two years, that will constitute the majority of his GC career.

The question is whether his opponents are just significantly better post-ban than pre-ban, or whether he has changed something himself - particularly regarding doping. Perhaps getting caught and the ban did really force him to scale back, as he doesn't want to risk his future in the sport as a DS or team owner. Or perhaps he is just past his best now and even his fully prepared best isn't good enough to destroy the field any more. If the latter is true, then there is nowhere else for him to go, but if the former is true then we still might see him go out with a bang next year to cement his legacy. I doubt he'll want to be remembered as the guy who repeatedly got destroyed by Sky and Froome in the biggest and most important race.
He's part of the generation he was born in, not the generation he's riding with. He's effectively competing against riders from younger generations now.
Of course age plays a role, there's nothing he can do about it. I doubt he's not making the necessary sacrifices wrt doping and training. So yeah, it's highly possible he will get beaten again by Froome this year, and next year, and the year after. So what? He got beaten by an opponent who is now in the prime of his career whereas Contador arguably peaked 5-7 years ago, even though he maintains that he is now stronger than ever - which might be true if we consider new training and doping methods. He might be past his physical peak but his numbers could be better because he prepares himself better. Either way, losing to Froome (or Quintana or Porte or ...) doesn't void everything he's achieved in his career.
Of course this gives the mindless "new cycling" believers an opportunity to push their agenda and argue that he was only ever great because of doping and in this new, clean cycling he's nowhere so he was never good to begin with. That infuriates me but hey ho idiots will be idiots.
Not sure I buy that. The age thing doesn't fully explain why he was so much better in 2014 than in every other year since his ban. I think he may have experimented - at least in 2012 and 2013 - with cutting back on his program, probably thinking he could still compete at the very highest level, but then found out he couldn't and stepped back on the program. And there is always room to step up the program even more; it just depends how much he would prepare to risk being caught. I think we could still see him go out with a bang, because he's got a winner's mentality and I think the rivalry with Froome has really got under his skin - he won't want to retire without having beaten him in at least one Tour.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
Not sure I buy that. The age thing doesn't fully explain why he was so much better in 2014 than in every other year since his ban. I think he may have experimented - at least in 2012 and 2013 - with cutting back on his program, probably thinking he could still compete at the very highest level, but then found out he couldn't and stepped back on the program.
Most likely, he did things "old school" in 2012 and 2013 still, and heaps of things went wrong in his preparation in 2013. 2013's failure gave him the motivation necessary to get better again so he teamed up with De Jongh and prepared as well as he could with the latest doping and training methods.

And there is always room to step up the program even more; it just depends how much he would prepare to risk being caught. I think we could still see him go out with a bang, because he's got a winner's mentality and I think the rivalry with Froome has really got under his skin - he won't want to retire without having beaten him in at least one Tour.
Of course he wants to win and he wanted to go out with a bang. I feel he's already stepped up but clearly age is an issue here and even if he goes 1 step further - full genius - injecting every known chemical into his body next year his age (besides UCI and WADA...) could spoil the party. You can prepare as well as you want but if your body is done you're not going to achieve much.
Anyway I am not sure if I want him to go full genius on the doping. When he announced he would retire this year I thought he would just go all out and do everything necessary one last time. But now he's staying two more years and if he takes up the doping another notch?? I'm afraid he would cross the line and WADA or UCI will be on his doorstep.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
DFA123 said:
Not sure I buy that. The age thing doesn't fully explain why he was so much better in 2014 than in every other year since his ban. I think he may have experimented - at least in 2012 and 2013 - with cutting back on his program, probably thinking he could still compete at the very highest level, but then found out he couldn't and stepped back on the program.
Most likely, he did things "old school" in 2012 and 2013 still, and heaps of things went wrong in his preparation in 2013. 2013's failure gave him the motivation necessary to get better again so he teamed up with De Jongh and prepared as well as he could with the latest doping and training methods.

And there is always room to step up the program even more; it just depends how much he would prepare to risk being caught. I think we could still see him go out with a bang, because he's got a winner's mentality and I think the rivalry with Froome has really got under his skin - he won't want to retire without having beaten him in at least one Tour.
Of course he wants to win and he wanted to go out with a bang. I feel he's already stepped up but clearly age is an issue here and even if he goes 1 step further - full genius - injecting every known chemical into his body next year his age (besides UCI and WADA...) could spoil the party. You can prepare as well as you want but if your body is done you're not going to achieve much.
Anyway I am not sure if I want him to go full genius on the doping. When he announced he would retire this year I thought he would just go all out and do everything necessary one last time. But now he's staying two more years and if he takes up the doping another notch?? I'm afraid he would cross the line and WADA or UCI will be on his doorstep.
Yeah, it really depends how far he's willing to go. You're right that his body could be a limiter in any case, but I think, particularly regarding weight loss, it's possible he could still do a bit more. Objectively it's probably not worth the risk, particularly as he is planning to stay in the sport. But if he doesn't win anything big this year, then his ego and competitiveness may encourage him to push the boat out.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
LaFlorecita said:
18-Valve. (pithy) said:
If so, then yeah, there's always next year. Last I read he was going to continue on for one or two(?) more years and focus the rest of his career on the Tour de France. That's the next 2 or 3 TDFs. Will he be too old? Not if he ages like Valverde.
How many others have aged like Valverde ? ;)
Still, Evans won the Tour at age 34. Purito got third at the same age. Contador may still have one or two good years left. Who knows.
Of course, anything is possible, he might also become the first rider ever to compete at the highest level in GTs over the span of 12 years.
Valverde podium 2003 Vuelta and 2016 Giro. Is that the highest level? I sure hope so.
 
Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
maltiv said:
You guys realize that he's only 2 years older than Froome and Porte, right? Younger generations...uhh.
You do realize he's been at the top since 2007, right? Froome and Porte - since 2011/2012.
Indeed, age isn't the whole story. Contador's been putting his body through GT's for nearly 10 years at an elite level. That's going to result in far more wear and tear than the five years that Froome has been seriously riding them for. Not sure why Porte is being mentioned here.

It's already clear that Contador's style and ability to crush opponents has changed a lot as he has got older; whether that is due predominantly to aging and a terminal decline in ability, or because of a changed doping program is up for debate.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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Re: Re:

LaFlorecita said:
There is absolutely no reason to put pressure on him like that. I don't care about the English speaking world and he shouldn't either. The majority of his fanbase lives in traditional cycling countries. If those July fans in English speaking countries prefer to drool over Sky and their cleanliness so be it. They'd not give a **** about Alberto's legacy or "biography" either way. Whether he wins the Tour again ir not, real fans know he is one of the greatest and that he should be appreciated (even fooking Kirby said he should be worshipped).
If you truly cared only about the opinions of 'real' fans, and a necessary condition to be a 'real' fan is to share your opinion of Contador, well yeah, that would make for a pleasant echo chamber. It would however be a bit of a puzzle if happy members of the chamber exhibited combativeness and signs of being infuriated whenever engaging with outsiders on Contador.

DFA123 said:
Yep, for such a great rider, there has been something slightly unsatisfactory about his TdF results, especially post-ban. Even all three* of his Tour wins have been slightly underwhelming in a way. The first one he would most probably have lost had Rasmussen not been pulled. The second one was by far the most legit, but was a pretty low quality field, where his only real competition was from his own team. The third one was obviously chalked off, and had some controversial moments as well in the eyes of many fans. But, at least pre-ban you could undoubtedly say the was the GC king in the peloton.

Since his ban he hasn't come close to winning; he hasn't even come close to challenging Froome yet in the Tour, which, considering that is the majority of his GT career, makes it hard to support the claim that he is the best rider of his generation. Hopefully he can put in a decent performance, but the change in quality of performances pre-ban to post-ban suggests that he has been left behind a bit in the arms race. Or maybe Froome is just much better than Schleck and Evans.
Personally, I find Contador's record underwhelming too. Only 2009 was a dominant performance, and his performances in the others GTs have been directly brought about by not getting to focus on the Tour (2008, 2011, 2012). I wish he hadn't gone for the double last year.

There are quite a few possible factors that could have caused his decrease in relative strength, comparing pre-ban and post-ban periods. Age, wear and tear, lacking preparation, facing better competition, a new doping regime being less favourable for his characteristics, ...

I have no idea what the share of each of those is because many of them changed at the same time, which complicates attribution to any one factor. If we really wanted to, though, I think we could partially isolate the effect of the ban by adjusting for the other factors: Looking at power data over time, historical data for age/wear & tear vs performance, Contador's performances relative to his contemporaries etc.

A careful analysis would be required to get a reasonable estimate and there'd be considerable uncertainty about it regardless. But no one with an audience will be performing such an analysis and if any one did, no one would listen because one of the premises is that cycling remains riddled with dopers.

Instead, the view that is taking hold in public is a fable of a rider who needed a chemical leg-up to compete for the Tour, who regressed back to his real level once he was stripped off that unfair advantage. A very good GT rider, but not the best. With every stinging to defeat to Froome, this view grows stronger.
 
Would Contador be willing to go full genius on doping, risking getting caught (a second doping scandal in is career would severely damage his reputation) and quite possibly also risking his own health mid to long term? I doubt it.
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re:

The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
Did you see 2007, 2009 and 2011 Contador? The kind of doping that facilitates those performances is always risky. + this is a guy who already almost died cycling.

50% of olympic athletes would be willing to die within the next year if it guaranteed an olympic gold. TDF contender cyclists aren't guys who think about their health. They are the guys for who will do anything for an edge.
 
Aug 31, 2012
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I agree with the thrust of that, but there's no way that 50% would literally accept a deal with the devil that has them win gold and then die within a year.
 
Jul 4, 2015
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Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
Did you see 2007, 2009 and 2011 Contador? The kind of doping that facilitates those performances is always risky. + this is a guy who already almost died cycling.

50% of olympic athletes would be willing to die within the next year if it guaranteed an olympic gold. TDF contender cyclists aren't guys who think about their health. They are the guys for who will do anything for an edge.
Source? Or did you just make that up?
 
Feb 6, 2016
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Re: Re:

The Hitch said:
Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
Did you see 2007, 2009 and 2011 Contador? The kind of doping that facilitates those performances is always risky. + this is a guy who already almost died cycling.

50% of olympic athletes would be willing to die within the next year if it guaranteed an olympic gold. TDF contender cyclists aren't guys who think about their health. They are the guys for who will do anything for an edge.
I, too, agree with the thrust of your post, but I'm not convinced the health risk is really that great: presumably he's being supervised by some people with experience. The bottom line is we just don't know the long-term health risks of most PEDs, so I disagree with the premise of Lenric's question: Contador doesn't know if there's a long-term health risk and neither does anybody else, so he might as well take the chance.
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
Did you see 2007, 2009 and 2011 Contador? The kind of doping that facilitates those performances is always risky. + this is a guy who already almost died cycling.

50% of olympic athletes would be willing to die within the next year if it guaranteed an olympic gold. TDF contender cyclists aren't guys who think about their health. They are the guys for who will do anything for an edge.
I, too, agree with the thrust of your post, but I'm not convinced the health risk is really that great: presumably he's being supervised by some people with experience. The bottom line is we just don't know the long-term health risks of most PEDs, so I disagree with the premise of Lenric's question: Contador doesn't know if there's a long-term health risk and neither does anybody else, so he might as well take the chance.
There could even be long term benefits. It's difficult to see how riding a GT while doping for recovery - micro-dosing EPO, HGH and test - is going to do more damage to the health than riding clean. On the contrary, it will help to control things like excessive cortisol and inflammation which can cause long term health issues. Basically just replenishing key hormones to the natural level. Similarly, taking a BB during training or racing could have long term health benefits. Like you said, it's certainly not black and white that all doping causes health damage.
 
I agree with Cannibal72 here. The long-term side effects of doping are pretty unclear. But it's definitely possible that years of doping could cause health problems in the future. And I'm sure riders know this. So yes, they're still willing to risk their health. I wish it was different.
 
Jun 11, 2016
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Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
There could even be long term benefits. It's difficult to see how riding a GT while doping for recovery - micro-dosing EPO, HGH and test - is going to do more damage to the health than riding clean. On the contrary, it will help to control things like excessive cortisol and inflammation which can cause long term health issues. Basically just replenishing key hormones to the natural level. Similarly, taking a BB during training or racing could have long term health benefits. Like you said, it's certainly not black and white that all doping causes health damage.
Excellent post and it's ridiculous that micro dosing is banned. On the other hand, it's "luckily" banned only in principle 'cause you can't get busted for it unless you are a complete idiot.
 
Re: Re:

Cannibal72 said:
The Hitch said:
He's definately willing to risk his own health
He has pretty good medical supervision for this kind of thing, or ar least so I should imagine. No reason there should be a major long-term risk to his health.
Well, doping can assume the form of several drugs. From those I only know the effects of HGH and Testosterone.
I don't know if Contador has ever used them, but some side effects (mid to long term) are enlarged organs, shrunken of testicles, inability (or, at least, it gets harder to) to produce testosterone naturally - though here medical sueprvision plays a huge part, but there's always a risk.

For example, if testosterone isn't always used, during an off-cycle period the risk of getting an injury gets higher.

As far as HGH, it doesn't necessarily/automatically increase your chance of developing cancer later on, but let's say that you have a genetic predisposition to produce cancer cells. Taking HGH will increase the probability of getting cancer, or accelerate the process.

That being said, I recall that I don't know the side effects of other drugs (there are plenty of them), but ingesting chemicals is never a good thing. Though my field of expertise isn't related to biology, chemistry or any area like that, I believe that taking chemicals through a considerable portion of your life will most likely affect your DNA, quite possibly irreversibly. Medical supervision may minimize those side effects, but I seriously doubt it can totally avoid them.

For example, one of the biggest problems we're facing is the increased resistance to antibiotics the majority of the world population is developing, through its overuse. Through overuse, you'll take an even bigger quantity of some, which will increase the toxicity in your organism. Not only that, but it's also changing your DNA so that new super-bugs are being created. Super-bugs that are antibiotic resistant.
 

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