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Cycling Rollback

Mar 14, 2009
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Hi,

I'm just starting a thread to know if some of you have the same impression than me about Cycling and anti-doping. Five or four years ago, we had the impression that the federation try to clean this beautiful sport from all its misbehavior. We saw a lot of well known cyclist ban for doping: Landis, Kohl, Basso, Vino, Kash, Hamilton, Rasmussen, Ricco, Piepoli... some other retired and we were having the feeling that we were going in the good direction.

It's strange but since one year and half, we see almost all of them back in the business singing the second chance chorus, we have the impression that they will never retired and that they can do cycling at the same level stopping for several years without any problem. I'm just a bit sad of two things:
- first of all, nothing has changed
- secondly, without them, cycling lose interest of media and it explain why they get back a license so easily.

At the beginning, a Pro Tour team could hire a doper only four years after the ban end (it was a rule of the ProTour when they start). Now each time a ban end, we see at least one protour team running after the guy: it's just so sad....

Just my feeling, you can react if you wish.
 
lecedre said:
Hi,

I'm just starting a thread to know if some of you have the same impression than me about Cycling and anti-doping. Five or four years ago, we had the impression that the federation try to clean this beautiful sport from all its misbehavior. We saw a lot of well known cyclist ban for doping: Landis, Kohl, Basso, Vino, Kash, Hamilton, Rasmussen, Ricco, Piepoli... some other retired and we were having the feeling that we were going in the good direction.

It's strange but since one year and half, we see almost all of them back in the business singing the second chance chorus, we have the impression that they will never retired and that they can do cycling at the same level stopping for several years without any problem. I'm just a bit sad of two things:
- first of all, nothing has changed
- secondly, without them, cycling lose interest of media and it explain why they get back a license so easily.

At the beginning, a Pro Tour team could hire a doper only four years after the ban end (it was a rule of the ProTour when they start). Now each time a ban end, we see at least one protour team running after the guy: it's just so sad....

Just my feeling, you can react if you wish.
Believe me I heard the same overtures in 1999 after Festina. After Armstrong’s win at the Tour it was being hailed as the first clean Tour in years and he was the saviour from the sport’s dirty past. Believe me when I say things have got better but not that much better. I think 2006 and the 2008 Tours was a good indication of things getting better. 2009 was all wrong but again 2010 was a little better. So in saying all that we do need to go back time to let those who still wish to offend know what the law catches up with you eventually. Be warned.
 
Apr 13, 2010
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thehog said:
Believe me I heard the same overtures in 1999 after Festina. After Armstrong’s win at the Tour it was being hailed as the first clean Tour in years and he was the saviour from the sport’s dirty past. Believe me when I say things have got better but not that much better. I think 2006 and the 2008 Tours was a good indication of things getting better. 2009 was all wrong but again 2010 was a little better. So in saying all that we do need to go back time to let those who still wish to offend know what the law catches up with you eventually. Be warned.
To me too 2008 indicated a clean race (well at least after the kicked out half the peloton). But my problem is the exactly what you're describing: That racing would be very clean one year, really dirty the next and so on up and down... That makes no sense to me... I cannot for one second imagine that all the riders jump on and off the juice like that - I'd expect a before/after thing; once the wall was torn down it was gone (with relation to the majority of racers)... I believe this to have happened, but I'm not blind to the possibility that we're still in "before"...
 
JPM London said:
To me too 2008 indicated a clean race (well at least after the kicked out half the peloton). But my problem is the exactly what you're describing: That racing would be very clean one year, really dirty the next and so on up and down... That makes no sense to me... I cannot for one second imagine that all the riders jump on and off the juice like that - I'd expect a before/after thing; once the wall was torn down it was gone (with relation to the majority of racers)... I believe this to have happened, but I'm not blind to the possibility that we're still in "before"...
ProCycling magazine did a wonderful article 3-4 years ago on the effects of EPO on the peloton. The article didn't make any assertion on the ethical side of doping just a study on the way racing changed with EPO.

What was concluded was that racing has become less interesting with EPO. It allowed larger, more heavily weighted time trial type riders to ride in the mountains and often excel over smaller, skinny, less weighted riders. Pre-EPO you had this situation whereby the climbers would lose on time on flats and time-trials but have to attack and gain time on the climbs. The bigger guys who were ahead on GC would fight their own battles behind the climbers trying to hang-on. You’d have several races within a race. These days you get 3 teams driving on the front of the peloton as hard as they can dropping 3 quarters of the field and then the remaining 7-10 attack and see who hangs on. Its essence its like one long sprint. Barely tactical. We’ve also lost the jour sans. Riders having one bad day and losing time and having to attack the next day to gain it back. EPO has flattened out the racing. It generally makes the riders much more even and racing more boring. The article went to dismiss the notion that it everyone dopes it’s a level playing field. It suggested that larger riders like say a Riis had more to gain from using EPO than a skinny climber. A guy like Riis should have never been able to ride the climbs like he did but was able to perform the mass accelerations he did on Indurian with EPO. A skinny climber wouldn't get the benefit of EPO on the flats apart from recovery.
 
JPM London said:
To me too 2008 indicated a clean race (well at least after the kicked out half the peloton). But my problem is the exactly what you're describing: That racing would be very clean one year, really dirty the next and so on up and down... That makes no sense to me... I cannot for one second imagine that all the riders jump on and off the juice like that - I'd expect a before/after thing; once the wall was torn down it was gone (with relation to the majority of racers)... I believe this to have happened, but I'm not blind to the possibility that we're still in "before"...
Just one further point. Watch the d'Huez stage of the 2006 Tour. That was an amazing stage and a good reflection of drug use. I've never seen anything like it. It was a commentators nightmare. There were riders all over the mountain all in private battles to hang on or gain time. It showed how good racing can be when riders are left to their own talents. Give them EPO and they all ride in one big bunch to the foot of the last climb. Yes Landis and Kloden were using in 2006 but a good portion of that field wasn't.
 
Feb 2, 2010
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lecedre said:
Now each time a ban end, we see at least one protour team running after the guy: it's just so sad....

Just my feeling, you can react if you wish.
I have mixed feelings on this.

In general I agree with second chances in life etc.. but the difficult part to stomach is that some riders come back without ever being repentant about past transgressions – vino, Ivan “I only planned to dope” basso etc.. but if you step back and think about it, they are only really sorry that they got caught because they feel that doping creates a level planning field, and I can understand their rationale for thinking this.

Sometimes it’s hard not to be cynical about what could be clean performances or achievements especially when confronted by the general public’s perception about the dirty nature of a sport that I love. Sometimes I doubt why I should even follow this sport. But I do, probably for much the same reason as most people on the forum.
 
Aug 7, 2010
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thehog said:
ProCycling magazine did a wonderful article 3-4 years ago on the effects of EPO on the peloton. The article didn't make any assertion on the ethical side of doping just a study on the way racing changed with EPO.

What was concluded was that racing has become less interesting with EPO. It allowed larger, more heavily weighted time trial type riders to ride in the mountains and often excel over smaller, skinny, less weighted riders. Pre-EPO you had this situation whereby the climbers would lose on time on flats and time-trials but have to attack and gain time on the climbs. The bigger guys who were ahead on GC would fight their own battles behind the climbers trying to hang-on. You’d have several races within a race. These days you get 3 teams driving on the front of the peloton as hard as they can dropping 3 quarters of the field and then the remaining 7-10 attack and see who hangs on. Its essence its like one long sprint. Barely tactical. We’ve also lost the jour sans. Riders having one bad day and losing time and having to attack the next day to gain it back. EPO has flattened out the racing. It generally makes the riders much more even and racing more boring. The article went to dismiss the notion that it everyone dopes it’s a level playing field. It suggested that larger riders like say a Riis had more to gain from using EPO than a skinny climber. A guy like Riis should have never been able to ride the climbs like he did but was able to perform the mass accelerations he did on Indurian with EPO. A skinny climber wouldn't get the benefit of EPO on the flats apart from recovery.
Yes, I agree with the general point of this, Hog. One thing I've noticed is that racing has become less dynamic, less frenetic and less suspenseful. And I've been watching road racing for 25 years. I'm sure doping has a lot to do with it.

I don't mean to get off the point of the original poster but another way to deal with boring racing as Hinault has suggested is Ban race radios.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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When I see all these names, I must admit that Kohl was the most honest and consistent (consequent ? ) guy.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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thehog said:
Just one further point. Watch the d'Huez stage of the 2006 Tour. That was an amazing stage and a good reflection of drug use. I've never seen anything like it. It was a commentators nightmare. There were riders all over the mountain all in private battles to hang on or gain time. It showed how good racing can be when riders are left to their own talents. Give them EPO and they all ride in one big bunch to the foot of the last climb. Yes Landis and Kloden were using in 2006 but a good portion of that field wasn't.
Yes this was a quality stage alright. Id love to see more Mountain stages like that one.
 

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