Criterium International - St 2&3: Porto Vecchio 75km, 7.7km ITT

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Jun 19, 2009
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rides like a girl said:
I watched Versus as I missed the spanish feed online. It was painful. They recapped the first day and a quick recap of stage 2. They picked up stage 3 with AC. They immediately made it clear

So what I learned from watching today is that all is well in the world. It is only March. Sir Weighs Alot-strong will be able to find those 5 plus minutes by July. He wasn't really trying in Stage 1. AC won't be able to find the 1 minute he lost in Stage 1 by July as his form is poor. Sir Weighs A Lot-strong's next race is Tour of Flanders and Versus will follow him there. Of course, I can hardly wait for them to tell me it is only April. I might forget to turn my calendar page.
Phil said for the 2nd time that Sir Lance Weighs Alot-stong was still suffering from hiLance isn't trying to win now, as is his program. Cut to marketing hacks building the "drama" to his big showdown.

Meanwhile Contador proved what he had to and let Vino have his head. Now they'll fall in line for him. If he can ride that well with allergies he'll kill them later. Pretty much what everyone thought should happen.s illness. Plus it is only March.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Oldman said:
Phil said for the 2nd time that Sir Lance Weighs Alot-stong was still suffering from hiLance isn't trying to win now, as is his program. Cut to marketing hacks building the "drama" to his big showdown.

Meanwhile Contador proved what he had to and let Vino have his head. Now they'll fall in line for him. If he can ride that well with allergies he'll kill them later. Pretty much what everyone thought should happen.s illness. Plus it is only March.
he didn't have allergies in the tt.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Oldman said:
...

Meanwhile Contador proved what he had to and let Vino have his head. Now they'll fall in line for him. If he can ride that well with allergies he'll kill them later. Pretty much what everyone thought should happen.s illness. Plus it is only March.
He won the Giro the year before last with not only pollen in his nose and but sand between his toes (and there was the odd hill there - although it is true he he attacked less than we have become accustomed to). He scooped bonus seconds during stage 2 of the CI and almost its ITT through the same clouds of pollen. Easy for me to say I know but I am not sure he loses so much of his edge that, all other things being equal, he would improve dramatically later.
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Nearly said:
He won the Giro the year before last with not only pollen in his nose and but sand between his toes (and there was the odd hill there - although it is true he he attacked less than we have become accustomed to). He scooped bonus seconds during stage 2 of the CI and almost its ITT through the same clouds of pollen. Easy for me to say I know but I am not sure he loses so much of his edge that, all other things being equal, he would improve dramatically later.
When Contador was affected by pollen at the Giro he did lose a minute or so each time, in a three week stage race that was easy to come back from (for him). When you lose a minute or so in a three stage race, that’s asking a bit much for anyone to come back from.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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auscyclefan94 said:
he didn't have allergies in the tt.
any allergy sufferers out there ? could you share your experience w/respect to berto ?:confused:

i personally never had it but i find bertos solid performance in the itt an evidence that his allergy attack explanation was plausible. it seems allergens dont affect a person the same way from day to day. winds, humidity, medication etc all can make one day a misery and another day normal.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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python said:
any allergy sufferers out there ? could you share your experience w/respect to berto ?:confused:

i personally never had it but i find bertos solid performance in the itt an evidence that his allergy attack explanation was plausible. it seems allergens dont affect a person the same way from day to day. winds, humidity, medication etc all can make one day a misery and another day normal.
*raises hand*

Depends on the allergy. The one I have and Contador also has is hay fever. It's by far the most common. Doesn't affect you much. When it's raining it doesn't affect you at all. Savoldelli won two Giros despite having the same allergy and May being prime time for it.

Allergic Rhinitis, however, that some riders have, you should not ride AT ALL during this time of year.

Paulinho, for instance, Bruyneel tried to make him Discovery's leader for the classics (those being the races he's best at, by far). The plan failed because he has allergic Rhinitis. He actually collapsed during a race and had to be given oxygen and rushed to the hospital.

Of course, a lot of riders just pretend they have it and use it to take certain allergy medications that are slight performance enhancers.

All in all, hay fever is fairly common along both the general public and the peloton. As long as you take proper medication your performance won't suffer at all.

It's becoming more and more common, due to pollution levels rising.
 
Sep 25, 2009
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all interesting information but whats your conclusion w/resp to berto ? im not quite clear ? was he spinning or what we saw was plausible ?
 
May 2, 2009
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python said:
all interesting information but whats your conclusion w/resp to berto ? im not quite clear ? was he spinning or what we saw was plausible ?
I suffer from allergies as well and it seemed genuine to me. If you look at his face on the last climb where he lost a minute he shows his teeth a lot of the time and that's a good sign that he had trouble breathing and tried to breathe by opening the mouth wide. I do the same in a failed attempt to get all the oxygen needed.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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it is easily plausible. I don't suffer from allergies and March / April / May I could always count on having a few more % in ergo tests (rowing) over people who had allergies and normally hadthe same output. It does vary on conditions and effects different efforts differently for each individual. It could def have robbed him of that kick that he would have needed to stay at the end of the climb.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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python said:
all interesting information but whats your conclusion w/resp to berto ? im not quite clear ? was he spinning or what we saw was plausible ?
It's plausible, but it would mean he isn't on the correct medication.

Especially since in all his years as a professional he's never had any problems being in top form at this time (Setmana Catalana, País Vasco). And he's regularly won time trials around this distance, too (at this time of year, as well).

I'm not saying he's lying. Just that something wasn't right about his medication.
 
Jan 11, 2010
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Also, a 10 minute time trial is a different kind of effort than a 5 hour mountain stage. And after all, he lost just one minute... it's not like he got his a$$ handed to him on a plate. It might have cost him a few seconds in the TT as well, who knows?
 
Nov 24, 2009
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issoisso said:
It's plausible, but it would mean he isn't on the correct medication.

Especially since in all his years as a professional he's never had any problems being in top form at this time (Setmana Catalana, País Vasco). And he's regularly won time trials around this distance, too (at this time of year, as well).

I'm not saying he's lying. Just that something wasn't right about his medication.
Would any of the meds be exempt per WADA, and could you get a TUE? Also, he has said the specifically Italy has caused problems, flowering in Corsica more similar to italy than those Spanish races?
 
issoisso said:
Especially since in all his years as a professional he's never had any problems being in top form at this time (Setmana Catalana, País Vasco). And he's regularly won time trials around this distance, too (at this time of year, as well).
Also, allergies can change over time, even from one year to the next.

Susan (who never strays far from her allergy medication during the spring)
 
May 6, 2009
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Didn't it affect Savoldelli in the 2006 Giro? Not so much in 2005 as it didn't rain a great deal during that edition.
 
Although the CI is billed as a sort of mini tour, it is rarely won by a GT contender. Contador's performance in this context isn't too surprising, with or without the allergy excuse. Fédrigo looked awesome, and the rest of the peloton certainly aren't waiting around for the Contador vs Lancey-poo show as are the majority of the media (including French TV - Thierry Adam says "Lance" about every second word).

Missed Lancey-poo's TT, I guess they made him start back with the pack fill where he belonged. The only "look" I saw from the Saturday stage was more like a before picture from a "tired of being tired" ad than anything else.
 
Sep 21, 2009
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Contador's performance might be a programmed test. Last year he tried to find his limits without eating in Paris-Nice. Now he's tested his limits with no allergy medication. What's next? Missing a cross-wind? Uh..., that's already been done several times :D
 
Jun 16, 2009
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python said:
any allergy sufferers out there ? could you share your experience w/respect to berto ?:confused:

i personally never had it but i find bertos solid performance in the itt an evidence that his allergy attack explanation was plausible. it seems allergens dont affect a person the same way from day to day. winds, humidity, medication etc all can make one day a misery and another day normal.
raise hand*. it affects and changes from one day to another.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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python said:
any allergy sufferers out there ? could you share your experience w/respect to berto ?:confused:

i personally never had it but i find bertos solid performance in the itt an evidence that his allergy attack explanation was plausible. it seems allergens dont affect a person the same way from day to day. winds, humidity, medication etc all can make one day a misery and another day normal.
It depends what he was reacting to. In my personal experience, allergies can come and go by the hour, but if it's something in the air they can linger and don't so easily disappear the following day; they can in fact be debilitating. Does anybody know what he is allergic to? If he was reacting to something in the air, I don't understand how he can be a mediocre climber one day, then a stud time trialist the next. It would seem suspect to me.

Anybody remember the 2008 Olympic cyclists complaining about the air? I know many of them arrived weeks in advance to adjust and were still having reactions the day of the race. Some of the mountain bike teams had major problems and were forced to train elsewhere.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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ImmaculateKadence said:
Anybody remember the 2008 Olympic cyclists complaining about the air? I know many of them arrived weeks in advance to adjust and were still having reactions the day of the race.
Well thats because they didn't know how to enjoy the rarefied air over here! :rolleyes:

This trick do all of you training rides smoking a big old Cipo cigar, then one race day you will be conditioned perfectly!
 
Feb 14, 2010
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ImmaculateKadence said:
It depends what he was reacting to. In my personal experience, allergies can come and go by the hour, but if it's something in the air they can linger and don't so easily disappear the following day; they can in fact be debilitating. Does anybody know what he is allergic to? If he was reacting to something in the air, I don't understand how he can be a mediocre climber one day, then a stud time trialist the next. It would seem suspect to me.

Anybody remember the 2008 Olympic cyclists complaining about the air? I know many of them arrived weeks in advance to adjust and were still having reactions the day of the race. Some of the mountain bike teams had major problems and were forced to train elsewhere.
There was an interview at AstanaFans a couple of months ago saying his problem is European Poplars when they're in bloom. I think the version translated from Russian said "fluff" but Cycleopen found fault with that when I posted in mid-February. Contador said at various times that he was lucky during his unplanned Giro win because of the rain. There's a reason why he races the months he does, avoids April and May, and gets his vacations during that time at the beach.

Diario Vasco April 6, 2008 via http://www.albertocontadornotebook.info/media.html
There’s another important factor for Alberto Contador: the allergies that affect him in April. “Last year they bothered me in the stage that Beltrán won. It was miserable, I could hardly breathe. In the last stage I also had problems. Those things can work against you, depending on how the race goes.”
From the Giro: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/346977/giro-d-italia-contenders-suffer-in-dolomites.html
Alberto Contador (Astana) lost 45 seconds to Menchov but is still the best placed of the overall contenders, five seconds behind new leader Gabriele Bosisio of LPR. The 2007 Tour winner admitted he struggled with a pollen allergy.

"I didn't have the day I was hoping for. I've been struggling with allergies and it really affected me today,” Contador said.

“My legs couldn't respond as they normally would have. To be five seconds from the maglia rosa is disappointing. I'm not happy with how things went at all."
May 24, 2008 http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/cycling/news/story?id=3410827
Alberto Contador of Spain, the 2007 Tour de France winner, struggled with a pollen allergy and faded on the steep final two miles up to the finish. He lost 45 seconds to Menchov and his teammate Andreas Kloeden of Germany lost 1:09.
June 5, 2009 http://www.roadcycling.co.nz/TourdeFrance/contador-on-tour-de-france-form.html
When asked about the Dauphine Libere competitors he will face in the Tour, Alberto said, "Those from Giro or racing in Switzerland were not here. I saw a very strong Evans, sometimes better than me. Valverde came here with a lot of competition rhythm. I was glad that with two months without competition, I could follow him."

"Every day I was better. Moreover I still had some allergy problems, but the most important thing is that I found back my good legs and that I did good TT's," he said.
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
It depends what he was reacting to. In my personal experience, allergies can come and go by the hour, but if it's something in the air they can linger and don't so easily disappear the following day; they can in fact be debilitating. Does anybody know what he is allergic to? If he was reacting to something in the air, I don't understand how he can be a mediocre climber one day, then a stud time trialist the next. It would seem suspect to me.

Anybody remember the 2008 Olympic cyclists complaining about the air? I know many of them arrived weeks in advance to adjust and were still having reactions the day of the race. Some of the mountain bike teams had major problems and were forced to train elsewhere.
Wasn't that a smog issue? Constricts the lungs and makes deep breathing impossible, and not enough oxygen in each molecule (at least that's how I understand it).

As for AC's allergies, my guess is that it really affects him the worst when he's climbing while racing. I imagine his strength is his ability to flush the lactic acid from his blood, which would require copious amounts of oxygen. If that's correct, then a constriction of his airways would be detrimental to that and would affect his performance. It may have a more pronounced affect over longer periods of time. The TT was a violent effort for under 10 minutes. The climb was well over 30 minutes and he only faltered at the end.

All of this is just guess work on my part. I'm not relying on anything other my rudimentary understanding of science and physiology.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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theswordsman said:
There was an interview at AstanaFans a couple of months ago saying his problem is European Poplars when they're in bloom. I think the version translated from Russian said "fluff" but Cycleopen found fault with that when I posted in mid-February. Contador said at various times that he was lucky during his unplanned Giro win because of the rain. There's a reason why he races the months he does, avoids April and May, and gets his vacations during that time at the beach.
Thanks for that interview. Until this weekend I didn't realize, his allergies could be that bad.

The pollen allergy seems interesting to me. Unless it rains, the pollen stays in the air, even in winds, so it's odd that he could struggle on a climb and then kill the TT the following day. I would think he would struggle some toward the end, but he actually gained like 4 seconds after the time check. If what Publicus said below is accurate, it would make sense though. I admit to a less than rudimentary understanding of physiology. I know what works for me. AC's allergies to pollen might be far more severe than mine. They cause a slight irritation, but it doesn't prevent me from riding well. Pet dander on the other hand, especially cats, will put me out of a commission for days.

Publicus said:
Wasn't that a smog issue? Constricts the lungs and makes deep breathing impossible, and not enough oxygen in each molecule (at least that's how I understand it).

As for AC's allergies, my guess is that it really affects him the worst when he's climbing while racing. I imagine his strength is his ability to flush the lactic acid from his blood, which would require copious amounts of oxygen. If that's correct, then a constriction of his airways would be detrimental to that and would affect his performance. It may have a more pronounced affect over longer periods of time. The TT was a violent effort for under 10 minutes. The climb was well over 30 minutes and he only faltered at the end.

All of this is just guess work on my part. I'm not relying on anything other my rudimentary understanding of science and physiology.
It was a smog issue, but some athletes (or at least the media) were complaining of allergies. They probably meant the pollution though. Aren't we all allergic to smog? Hey, you live in Cali, you tell me :p
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
Thanks for that interview. Until this weekend I didn't realize, his allergies could be that bad.

The pollen allergy seems interesting to me. Unless it rains, the pollen stays in the air, even in winds, so it's odd that he could struggle on a climb and then kill the TT the following day. I would think he would struggle some toward the end, but he actually gained like 4 seconds after the time check. If what Publicus said below is accurate, it would make sense though. I admit to a less than rudimentary understanding of physiology. I know what works for me. AC's allergies to pollen might be far more severe than mine. They cause a slight irritation, but it doesn't prevent me from riding well. Pet dander on the other hand, especially cats, will put me out of a commission for days.



It was a smog issue, but some athletes (or at least the media) were complaining of allergies. They probably meant the pollution though. Aren't we all allergic to smog? Hey, you live in Cali, you tell me :p
I live in Northern California, smog isn't really an issue here because we have rain. I lived in Southern California a bit and when I first moved there it was an issue (but of course I wasn't a professional athlete, just a very athletic 12 year old), but over time I adjusted.
 
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