Discussion on the best recent performances at The Tour on the Alpe d'Huez

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Aug 12, 2009
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Mambo95 said:
It's worth including the 2008 times:

Sastre: 39' 31
Sanchez (2nd): 41' 34
What Mambo said. Carlos time IMO is a warning flag. It is why I think he was juicing in 08. Explained his Alpe performance and his chrono against Evans. Also explains his less than perfect performances later. Carlos put 2 minutes into everyone else.

Back to the original times posted by Greg. All they show is the advancement of epo detection and doping protocols by WADA and the AFLD. Epo test comes in, the best way to boost your performance on a blood level is taken away. Microdosing and autologuous blood doping became the new norm. In a way, it explains how times have dropped from Lance's hey day and Riis stellar year in 96. Also why nobody touches Pantani in climbing prowess, despite the howls you hear in the Clinic. Anyone needing an update on that ask BroDeal about 99.

Even last years Tour times were down significantly on performances a decade ago. Are they still too high? Floyd is the anomaly, but the times for the others isn't there. I remember Floyd smacked everyone senseless that day. Was it Evans and Kloden who were the last to be dropped? Even if that is the case, Cadel still went up easily a minute faster than he did in 2008 (correct me if I am wrong I may be) if my recollections are accurate. I thought Cadel lost about 2 minutes to Floyd that day. Using Cadel as the benchmark, I'd happily wager a lot changed between 2006 and 2008. Heck I only need watch the big doping catches/busts to know something did. It also explains why many believed Cadel was a shoe in to win in 08. By 2006 and 2007 standards/times, he should have...but I think the level of doping permitted had dropped, to this day. Sure they're still doping but it isn't as beneficial as it was. I'm not saying the BioPassport is foolproof, it isn't, but I am saying it is working to a degree.

Look at the only times know for Lemond and Hinault in 1986. Around 48 minutes. Tour went over 21 stages back then though, 24 days. That is further pain, so times would be slightly slower if all other things are equal to today (they aren't). Add in Hinault and Lemond rode the entire ascent of the Alpe and half the prior col alone. It is likely they went a bit slower than they could have. Compare to these days and Gregs figures. In last years Dauphine AC and Brajkovic went up over 42 minutes. Close to 43. The Evans group in 2008 went up in 41'30" to 41'50". Hence why I used him as my Benchmark. The explanation of the Floyd anomaly is pretty clear. He went for broke. Balls to the wall doping. Hence why he was busted. I remember talks of 14 other riders having "iffy" substances detected, but not over threshold so no reprimand. Floyd went way over the allowed protocols. That is why he won. That explained stage 17 in 2006. Nuff said on that. An anomaly explained by blatant doping. I'd also happily declare if Lance had have raced that year, Floyd would have spanked him in every stage bar one...his goof on stage 16 would have been punished.

Consider the caliber of riders today. AC is a better all round rider than Lance ever was. He isn't a one trick pony. Now see how fast he goes up this year if he races. How fast Andy Schleck goes up will be of interest as well. Then of course Evans plus Menchov and Sastre if a miracle happens and they race. What will happen in 2011 will be an indicator more or less of how much doping is going on today compared to recent years gone by, ie; how good the drugs are. Maybe then when they go slower people will stop the BS on these threads and realise things have changed on a numerical scale performance wise, meaning the doping has changed. Especially the "Evans is clean" crap, as I've always said, how did he keep up in 2006 and 2007 when others were blatantly doping. One also only needed to look at Lance, Levi and Kloden last year to note how things have changed. All much slower than recent years gone by. Do the math. Heck, Lance 'looked' cleaner last year than he ever has...now that is saying something.
 
Sastre's big win on the Alp was also due to the pack not working together to reduce the time gap.......if the Schleck's had been on a different squad then he might not have gained even a minute and may not have won The Tour.

But yes, Carlos' great TT was a big surprise.

Kloden matched Landis up the Alp in '06, but yes, Evans was close to 2 minutes behind I recall. So Landis didn't "smack" them all that day, and Sastre wasn't far behind he and Andreas.

The stage for me that seemed to show that productive doping in the peleton was less prevalent, was in the Super-Besse stage in '08. Nobody had shown a great ability to accelerate on a climb that year (like we had seen in past years from the likes of LA and Vino); then Ricco took off. He gained significant time on a relatively small climb on an apparently WEAK peleton. It was no surprise when he was soon caught. It highlighted that in '08 a greater advantage could possibly be had by going all out on dope as opposed to the years before.

I still find Landis' stage 17 win hard to believe regardless of what he was on! It is pretty safely assumed that T-Mobile were heavily doping in that Tour - not sure as much about all the other big teams, but for Floyd to win that stage by over 5 minutes was AMAZING!

Seriously, why haven't more riders taken the Landis risk? Sure he got caught, but what a performance!

Apart from that stage the rest of '06 didn't seem to be a particularly high standard, so can't agree with you about Landis of '06 beating LA of '05. No way in my book. LA beats Basso who the next year wins the Giro by 10 minutes. Come on. Too much general disregarding of LA's performances sometimes, just because of the hate for the guy.

Unless you can show me times from '05 that suggest a major drop in standards? Didn't appear that way to the naked eye.

"Consider the caliber of riders today. AC is a better all round rider than Lance ever was. He isn't a one trick pony."

Like I was saying about the LA hate. How was he a one trick pony? He was the best in the TT and the mountains in his extensive hey day. And he came back in '09 and still made the podium. So he has podiumed in 10 year gaps, when you would assume that there would be varying degrees of clinic climates......

One trick pony my ***!

Does anyone know the times up The Tourmalet of AS and AC last year (and indicators to past times as to how doped they might have been)? Their standards here seemed an improvement on most of '06-'09.
 
gregrowlerson said:
Sastre's big win on the Alp was also due to the pack not working together to reduce the time gap.......if the Schleck's had been on a different squad then he might not have gained even a minute and may not have won The Tour.
Andy Schleck looked very easy that day. Plus no-one was chasing sastre for a while, it ended up wit Goubert leading the pack for a while.
 
gregrowlerson said:
Kloden matched Landis up the Alp in '06, but yes, Evans was close to 2 minutes behind I recall. So Landis didn't "smack" them all that day, and Sastre wasn't far behind he and Andreas.
Times in the link below. Evans lost 1.39

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/tour06/?id=results/tour0615

Other people's times are complicated by the fact that there was a large breakaway that gradually got caught, ie Chavanel started at the same time as Schleck and so his time should be added to Schleck's time rather than taken as being a few seconds slower than Landis. Its always difficult to know quite how the race conditions affect times. On this occasion there had been a rest day beforehand and, although there apparently was hard pace set early in the stage, there was still a large breakaway group at the bottom suggesting the pace hadnt been quite that punishing.

gregrowlerson said:
The stage for me that seemed to show that productive doping in the peleton was less prevalent, was in the Super-Besse stage in '08. Nobody had shown a great ability to accelerate on a climb that year (like we had seen in past years from the likes of LA and Vino); then Ricco took off. He gained significant time on a relatively small climb on an apparently WEAK peleton. It was no surprise when he was soon caught. It highlighted that in '08 a greater advantage could possibly be had by going all out on dope as opposed to the years before.
Is that the stage you mean? Although impressive he only gained one second. Did you mean the Bagneres stage?

gregrowlerson said:
I still find Landis' stage 17 win hard to believe regardless of what he was on! It is pretty safely assumed that T-Mobile were heavily doping in that Tour - not sure as much about all the other big teams, but for Floyd to win that stage by over 5 minutes was AMAZING!

Seriously, why haven't more riders taken the Landis risk? Sure he got caught, but what a performance!

Apart from that stage the rest of '06 didn't seem to be a particularly high standard, so can't agree with you about Landis of '06 beating LA of '05. No way in my book. LA beats Basso who the next year wins the Giro by 10 minutes. Come on. Too much general disregarding of LA's performances sometimes, just because of the hate for the guy.

Unless you can show me times from '05 that suggest a major drop in standards? Didn't appear that way to the naked eye.

"Consider the caliber of riders today. AC is a better all round rider than Lance ever was. He isn't a one trick pony."

Like I was saying about the LA hate. How was he a one trick pony? He was the best in the TT and the mountains in his extensive hey day. And he came back in '09 and still made the podium. So he has podiumed in 10 year gaps, when you would assume that there would be varying degrees of clinic climates......

One trick pony my ***!

Does anyone know the times up The Tourmalet of AS and AC last year (and indicators to past times as to how doped they might have been)? Their standards here seemed an improvement on most of '06-'09.
They set a new record. However... this was the first time that they had finished at the top so you directly comparing that ascent with previous years isnt comparing the same things.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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dougzz99 said:
The thing is, if you talk about exciting and explosive you can't really put the doping aside. He was explosive because of the doping. Since people all respond differently to the sophisticated blood doping, Pantani may have been quite an average racer that had an unusually exceptional response to EPO. Yes he was exciting to watch, but I find it very hard to put the 'why' to one side.
if it wasn't unusual it wouldn't be exceptional anyway, you could have saved yourself a word there
 
Jul 23, 2009
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gregrowlerson said:
Sastre's big win on the Alp was also due to the pack not working together to reduce the time gap.......if the Schleck's had been on a different squad then he might not have gained even a minute and may not have won The Tour.
True, but that's the thing with the Schlecks. The word 'if' always comes into play.

gregrowlerson said:
It highlighted that in '08 a greater advantage could possibly be had by going all out on dope as opposed to the years before.
Yeah, I've always wondered if the peloton was actually cleaner that year, because Ricco/Piepoli/Kohl/Schumacher sure stood out.

gregrowlerson said:
Like I was saying about the LA hate. How was he a one trick pony? He was the best in the TT and the mountains in his extensive hey day. And he came back in '09 and still made the podium. So he has podiumed in 10 year gaps, when you would assume that there would be varying degrees of clinic climates......
Can't argue with that. Even Landis said that he still recalls Lance as being a bad *** bike racer. Can't take that away from him even though we know how he did it.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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gregrowlerson said:
The stage for me that seemed to show that productive doping in the peleton was less prevalent, was in the Super-Besse stage in '08. Nobody had shown a great ability to accelerate on a climb that year (like we had seen in past years from the likes of LA and Vino); then Ricco took off. He gained significant time on a relatively small climb on an apparently WEAK peleton. It was no surprise when he was soon caught. It highlighted that in '08 a greater advantage could possibly be had by going all out on dope as opposed to the years before.
I agree, but the peloton wasn't weak. It wasn't as strong as it could have been had Astana riden but it was by no means weak. Menchov, Sastre and Evans are not weak. They are still within the top 6 GC riders across the board 3 years later.

Apart from that stage the rest of '06 didn't seem to be a particularly high standard, so can't agree with you about Landis of '06 beating LA of '05. No way in my book. LA beats Basso who the next year wins the Giro by 10 minutes. Come on. Too much general disregarding of LA's performances sometimes, just because of the hate for the guy.
Not hate at all. It's been mentioned for years in the Clinic Lance was in decline in 04 and 05. Basso improved enormously in 2006, that is all. Lance would not have won in 06 had everyone raced. Although one thing would have happened, cordiality would have been given. Lances absence left a vacuum. Note Perreiro's time gain, that is the result of the vacuum. No team wanted leadership. What appeared to be chaotic was simply a power vacuum with no team having the power combination or willingness to dictate terms day in day out. Phonak wasn't very strong. T-Mobile had it, but didn't have the strongest rider, hence dictating terms all the time was futile. But they tried. Had Sevilla and Ullrich raced, T-Mobile would have won the Tour IMO. The entire team was monstral and on something special. Problem was Floyd, he was the strongest guy at the Tour in 06. Had the best overall chrono and climbing combination. A win, win scenario.

Unless you can show me times from '05 that suggest a major drop in standards? Didn't appear that way to the naked eye.

"Consider the caliber of riders today. AC is a better all round rider than Lance ever was. He isn't a one trick pony."

Like I was saying about the LA hate. How was he a one trick pony? He was the best in the TT and the mountains in his extensive hey day. And he came back in '09 and still made the podium. So he has podiumed in 10 year gaps, when you would assume that there would be varying degrees of clinic climates......
You need a new vocabulary. I haven't said anything hateful. Perhaps you like Lance a little too much? Not that I care. Do you normally suggest that a person who states something you profusely disbelieve is a hater? That the best you can do?

How isn't Lance a one trick pony? Had the strongest domestiques and Ferrari focusing solely on him. The man didn't race for the majority of the season. Andy Schleck does the same thing. They cannot race all year and win, which for me is a one trick pony. Lance's entire scheme was to win the Tour. That was it. Look at his announcement this week about his beliefs when he returned in 2009. Lance stated he thought he'd win again but alas, his failure to recognise things had changed consigned him to defeat. Lance's best year was 2001. As I said before, it has been mentioned numerous times over 100s of Lance threads you should have posted this useless drivel on. You want proof of Lance being a one trick pony, 1996 ITT, who put 6 minutes into Lance? The guy only improved by doping and used the most lopsided tactics to win. Take out the TTT and he was plenty vulnerable. Take that out in 2003 and he wouldn't have won. Well rounded riders can make do with a less than ideal situation where they don't have the finances to stack everything in their favour.

What you alluded to is disgraceful! Weak 2006! Grow up Greg, the riders who busted their arses off that year don't deserve to be labelled with the title of being underpar compared to when his royal heirness was racing. The dynamics changed, the loaded team wasn't there anymore with their GC man. That is a power vacuum where people had to relearn the ropes. Note how crap Disco were trying to find a rider to fire. Then note what happened when they becames Astana in 2007. Two new leaders who both performed. As I already pointed out, Lance thought exactly like you have, that the competition was weak and decided he could win again despite being prehistoric. He was wrong. There is your proof. Things changed, nothing more. Oh and one more thing Greg, look at the old threads, the times have been listed for last years climbs. The times are down hugely from when Lance was juicing epo from the vial directly and the glory days of the epo fueled 90s. Horner hit 390W for 20 minutes and blew. He was pacing Lance. Lance use to do 450W on his own. Do the math. Also the domestiques, Noval and Sorensen put out the highest climbing pace in last years Tour pacing the peloton. Easy to spot, it was when everyone bar AC and AS blew up.

You come off sounding like a Lance Armstrong apologist. He came back and made a huge mistake regarding his peers competitiveness and also regarding his shady past. I for one am greatful for that. Now he can be caught out. Hate him? Hahaha. Guy isn't worth it. I'll leave that for his diehard fans when they find out the truth. Sorry to the mods, I'd rather talk about Alpe d"Huez, but some people always find a way to drag their man back into things. I think they should take a trip to Frnace this year, put on a UPS jersey and sit on one of the corner Lance has named after himself.

I was wondering what the point in winning on Alpe d'Huez was anymore? Anyone out there think they should start renaming the corners after current winners? Remove the older winners, or the ones people won't mind...like LA?
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Frosty said:
Times in the link below. Evans lost 1.39

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road/2006/tour06/?id=results/tour0615

Other people's times are complicated by the fact that there was a large breakaway that gradually got caught, ie Chavanel started at the same time as Schleck and so his time should be added to Schleck's time rather than taken as being a few seconds slower than Landis. Its always difficult to know quite how the race conditions affect times. On this occasion there had been a rest day beforehand and, although there apparently was hard pace set early in the stage, there was still a large breakaway group at the bottom suggesting the pace hadnt been quite that punishing.



Is that the stage you mean? Although impressive he only gained one second. Did you mean the Bagneres stage?



They set a new record. However... this was the first time that they had finished at the top so you directly comparing that ascent with previous years isnt comparing the same things.
You cannot compare times for a climb when they use the different approach. That was the 1st time anyone has had a finish on that ascent. Normally they go up the other side.
 
I am fairly new to the sport of cycling (and even then have mostly just been a TDF fan) and definitely very new to these boards (which seem to have a lot of good info/opinions), so cut me a little slack.

I should have said "weaker" in regards to the '08 field (or '06) rather than "weak."

New vocabulary. :D

Sorry, but I wasn't referring directly to you in regards to hating LA. It's just the general vibe that I've gotten from this forum - that a lot of fans don't just hate him, but seem to downgrade his performances too.

I know that guys like the great Eddie used to do it all differently, but if you can win the biggest cycling event of the year (and it is still the biggest regardless of what Giro fans say :D) then why not focus 100% on that? I don't see that there is much of a difference between LA and AC here. The only reason that AC rode the Giro and Vuelta in '08 is because his team was barred from the TDF. That is the ONLY reason. He didn't do that because he decided to pay his respects to the other grand tours. If AC decides to race the Giro this year then this matter possibly could be argued differently, but then again, maybe there would be a little less media scrutiny going to the Giro instead of to where he happened to controversially test positive to a banned substance last year.

Don't all the GT GC contenders try to get the best possible riders to work for them? How was LA different to Jan in this way? I would not mind (I think it would be quite fascinating really) finding out if LA did have far superior doping methods (and allowances by the sports officials) to other riders of his era, but we do not know that, and we don't even have reasonable info/estimations to base anything like that on do we? I ask that as a serious question because like I said, I am quite new to the sport.

So maybe AC has focused on many other races that I don't know about!

I take note about you saying that Lance would not have won '06, that he was in decline before that. To me, the general fan, he seemed to be better in '04 and '05 than in '03, though not as good as in '01. And I felt that Landis doing so well in '06 had as much to do with the fact that the top 5 from '05 didn't start the race as it did with any doping practices. I even thought that Landis in '06 wasn't that much better than Landis on the Queen stage in '04 (when he dropped all but LA, IB, AK and JU). Is that a ridiculous thought? Again, this is a serious question, as I don't really know the ins and outs of the performances from those years.

The main thing that LA didn't recognise that had changed from '05 to '09 was that he was 4 years older! All it says to me is how incredibly arrogant/confident he is to think that he could comeback and win. For me, I never thought he would make top 10 and think that his 3rd placing was incredible. I don't like the guy, but how can anyone not tip their hat to that comeback?

Imagine say Indurain coming back in 2000 and finishing 3rd in the Tour.

I have long agreed with you about your comments on the vacuum of '06, Perrerio's breakaway, T-Mobile's strength but being restricted by only having 7 men and no Ullrich, etc. On another matter, on reflection I think that Landis' stage 17 win was made slightly more 'realistic' by there being very little flat road on that stage. As a bit of an example, when Sastre tried a similar attack on the Tourmalet stage last year, it was made all the more impossible for him to stay away because there was a lot of flat road between the climbs - if I remember correctly. On the road to Morzine in '06 they just seemed to be climbing and descending all day.

Take out the TTT in '03 and LA was vulnerable. I agree with that (have even said elsewhere on these boards that the TTT was a major factor in him defeating Ullrich). But he certainly didn't need no TTT in any other years to win. Well in '99 he got lucky with all those contenders losing time in that early chaotic road stage, but in the other 5 victories he was HEAD AND SHOULDERS above his competitors. Now MAYBE that was because he was allowed to cheat far more than his rivals. But do we know that?

And who cares if LA lost to Jan by 6 minutes in an ITT in '96. Wasn't his body riddled with cancer at the time? I don't think that is a myth. And Lance was a different rider after cancer - for starters he weighed less (he would never have had any chance of being a TDF winner if he had not gone through cancer). I would hazard a guess that LA was doping before cancer anyway. Please explain why he only improved because of doping?

Did Armstrong have greater finances than Ullrich (to stack everything in his favour)? Jan had some pretty good domestiques too. Was Ullrich doping with less bravado/freedom than Armstrong? What about Beloki and ONCE?
 
Galic Ho said:
You cannot compare times for a climb when they use the different approach. That was the 1st time anyone has had a finish on that ascent. Normally they go up the other side.
I wasnt comparing times for a different approach though?

Anyway, here is a cyclismag article on it. The 50.10 from last year was a record, beating the previous 52.40 from 1997. On that occasion not only did they not finish at the top of the Tourmalet but they still had the Aspin (2nd cat) and a 1st cat climb to come.

http://www.cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=6000
 
May 13, 2009
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Frosty said:
I wasnt comparing times for a different approach though?

Anyway, here is a cyclismag article on it. The 50.10 from last year was a record, beating the previous 52.40 from 1997. On that occasion not only did they not finish at the top of the Tourmalet but they still had the Aspin (2nd cat) and a 1st cat climb to come.

http://www.cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=6000
Pretty interesting, IMO this further proves how stacked the 90s guys were. The 1997 record was a first day in the pyrenees tempo ride. I remember that stage. Javier Pascual and Pascal Herve crossed first on a breakaway. Virenque, Pantani and Ulrich were riding very easy tempo with about 20 guys. Other than Virenque's sprint at the top no one accelerated on Tourmalet yet they still rode 52'!!
Virenque and Pantani accelerated two climbs later in Val Louron Azet. But everyone was saving themselves that day for next day which included Envalira (40 k @ about 4% ) and Arcalis wherer Ulrich slaughtered the race.

Even Contador's performance at Verbier, it was not as impressive as 90s numbers, and it was only for 20 '

Maybe I am having an optimist day but I don't think these guys are using as much as they used to nowadays
 
May 26, 2010
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Is it a good idea for every GT to have a stage that's crucial to the overall and from which they can judge performances ie a TT up a climb that is repeated or a stage which incorporates lots of elements that would possibly expose whether riders are doing 'amazing' performances?
 
To Galic Ho and others:

Just in regards to the possibilities of the '06 TDF if everyone had raced. I just don't see how LA still would not have been the favourite. After his win in the Tour of Swiss and with his strong team, we seem to think that Ullrich would have been favourite without the OP thing. But with Lance still there? I don't see why Jan would have beaten him in '06 when in '05 Lance beat him convincingly on all the high mountain stages. What would have changed by '06?

Jan was ill during some of the '04 race, but was pretty strong and had decent form in '05 - just that Basso and LA were stronger on the climbs.

And if we think that Ullrich could have beaten Landis in '06, then how could some think that Landis would have beaten Armstrong? We can also take Kloden's rides for comparisons. In '06 he went with Landis up Alp du'ez (Andreas actually did most of the work that day), but I think he's '04 form was mostly better. Yet on the 2 Pyrenean MTF's in '04 Kloden was distanced by LA (and Basso). This examples suggest that LA would have had Landis' measure in '06 too. Plus there was the fact that the '06 edition had 2 very long ITT - LA specialties. Even though Landis was strong, I say that LA gains time on both of those.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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gregrowlerson said:
To Galic Ho and others:

Just in regards to the possibilities of the '06 TDF if everyone had raced. I just don't see how LA still would not have been the favourite. After his win in the Tour of Swiss and with his strong team, we seem to think that Ullrich would have been favourite without the OP thing. But with Lance still there? I don't see why Jan would have beaten him in '06 when in '05 Lance beat him convincingly on all the high mountain stages. What would have changed by '06?

Jan was ill during some of the '04 race, but was pretty strong and had decent form in '05 - just that Basso and LA were stronger on the climbs.

And if we think that Ullrich could have beaten Landis in '06, then how could some think that Landis would have beaten Armstrong? We can also take Kloden's rides for comparisons. In '06 he went with Landis up Alp du'ez (Andreas actually did most of the work that day), but I think he's '04 form was mostly better. Yet on the 2 Pyrenean MTF's in '04 Kloden was distanced by LA (and Basso). This examples suggest that LA would have had Landis' measure in '06 too. Plus there was the fact that the '06 edition had 2 very long ITT - LA specialties. Even though Landis was strong, I say that LA gains time on both of those.
I agree. Lance would have been favourite, but based on where he was heading performance wise in 04 and 05 and what he had in 09 upon the 3rd (I think it was) coming, I don't think it would have been a shoe in. Odds are Basso would have matched him based on the Giro. Add in Vino, a slim (for Jan this is special) Ullrich for the whole season and Floyd...it's just a hypothetical. I don't really care dude. IMO Lance was one sided (I'll put it into the proper context) in his aspirations and targets (aim for le Tour only) and take the same approach every year. If one grew up on this, yes it looks interesting because it is all you know. Compare it to the Giro or pre-Lance days and it is very boring because you get something more. Is LAnce one-sided when racing the Tour? No, but career wise, I'd happily say he is.

I normally think Jan would have won in 06...but then again I thought Vino would have been a chance as well. I've never really rated Basso (I don't know why) but his 9 minutes is hard to argue. Arguing about the guy whos supposedly retired is all hypothetical...it gets boring after a page IMO. However, I can say I do think the times on Alpe are getting slower. 06 was weird, mostly because of the vacuum Lance's absence created and Disco having no obvious leader who could fire. Which explains the breakaway on Alpe, just Franck Schleck and Cunego. I never have seen a figure for the times they went up in. Would be interesting to see Francks times between 06 and 08. I also agree with what you said about Super Besse in 08. Riccos doping was a lot like Floyds. It was blatant and obvious and went too far outside the allowable limits, ie; he was going to get caught. To his credit, apart from the retrospective 99 retesting, Lance to my knowledge and what I have seen on the Clinic never did. Hence why he's so hard to catch doping. Like a typical narcissist, he probably revels in this feat, knowing he hasn't been caught despite cheating. He probably gets more kicks out of this alone than beating opposition.

It will be an interesting year. The ascent of Alpe will have a lot of people out there with stop watches.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Frosty said:
I wasnt comparing times for a different approach though?

Anyway, here is a cyclismag article on it. The 50.10 from last year was a record, beating the previous 52.40 from 1997. On that occasion not only did they not finish at the top of the Tourmalet but they still had the Aspin (2nd cat) and a 1st cat climb to come.

http://www.cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=6000
There was a thread last year just after the Tour that had all the times and previous years times. I'm good with numbers but not nearly OCD enough to sit there timing every damn hill. From what I remember everyone was slower. I do remember the Science of Sport guys had an article about climbing power and that the highest power output was made by Chris Anker Sorensen when he set pace in the last week. It broke the majority of the peloton, allowing Andy to make his move...actually I think it was the day Schleck dropped his chain. The power outputs further up the road were lower. I don't think this ever happened before epo tests came in.

@Greg. Sorry if my tone annoyed or upset you. I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I don't hate Armstrong, I've just learnt to go back and question a lot of what I thought before 07 and 08. I wouldn't have known or given a toss about people doping back then. I never thought he was in decline myself till I rewatched old Tours after hearing some of the guys here mention it. Was he bad? Hell no, he just wasn't as on fire as he had been in 99, 01 and 02. Regarding his racing calendar, what I mean is guys like Valverde, AC, Samu and Evans all turn up to stage races, classics and then take a crack at a GT. I can only remember Lance winning the Dauphine once and maybe the Tour de Suisse. That was it other than the Tour. 03 onwards I don't remember him riding squat. It was mostly just the Tour. It is partly why I don't like Andy Schleck very much...I hated watching last years ToC . The sprinters dropped him he was that pathetic. It raises too many warning flags IMO.
 
dougzz99 said:
I thought that there was plenty of evidence that Pantani had doped since he was very young. Doesn't Matt Rendell's book pretty much establish that?
hrotha said:
Probably, but remember PEDs before EPO weren't game-changing.
As Doug is referring to it was pretty much established in Rendell's book that Pantani took epo in his amateur days if i recall it correctly.
 
Galic Ho said:
I normally think Jan would have won in 06...but then again I thought Vino would have been a chance as well. I've never really rated Basso (I don't know why) but his 9 minutes is hard to argue.
Imo Jan would have had a very hard time beating Basso. The guy was magic in the giro and allready had a great tdf the previous year. Just a shame we didn't get to see it, would have loved to see Jan get a 2nd tdf win.
 
Sorry to not Mention Alpe d'Huez other than here. I'll just throw in I rode it was, and although it took me over an hour on a mountainbike, first day in the Alps, I felt it was a nice little kitten for a mountain top finish. No wonder the Dutch won there back in the day, it's like riding with headwind through the treeless countryside. The corners are where the wind lets up for a moment. The easier way to get some vertical meters in. I did AdH as a detour while my mates took an extra drink at the terras in Bourg d'Oisans, I caught them again on Lautarette. Totally overhyped mountain.

Lance's chances against others in TfD's he missed, will also need to take the secret sauce in the mix. Are we talking about Lance on the same level of program as Jan, Floyd and Ivan, or the way he beat them in previous editions?

What I wonder is, did Lance in his comeback still have HemAssist or which-ever medical edge he always had on everyone else from '98-99 onward? I think he must have. And in 2010, it must have been all he still had, as regular doping also didn't cut it for others against the true talents. Lance did seem pretty clean in his performances in 2010, right? To finish as high as he did, I would say HemAssist only, and a charge just before the prologue, which he rode well.

Taking it further, as we saw how strong Floyd could ride for Lance at times, imagine he'd been given the "full" Lance program. He might well have pulled up alongside Lance even on deciding MTF's.
I am not so sure Landis'doping in '06 really was as blatant and huge compared to those he beat. I just think it was not done for a former domestique to go win the big show. Landis seemed to be doping more professionally, aimed at winning rather than being useful, but from his accounts, he was all but alone in his program, or the level of program he ran. He always seemed like a brave and strong rider to me, and when he did his magic in '06, it looked like the flower was blossoming at last. Not so sure he was doping harder than Kloden et al. Perhaps however he WAS a good responder to the regular blood doping, as many of us long thought of Lance, until the HemAssist story broke.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Cloxxki said:
Sorry to not Mention Alpe d'Huez other than here. I'll just throw in I rode it was, and although it took me over an hour on a mountainbike, first day in the Alps, I felt it was a nice little kitten for a mountain top finish. No wonder the Dutch won there back in the day, it's like riding with headwind through the treeless countryside. The corners are where the wind lets up for a moment. The easier way to get some vertical meters in. I did AdH as a detour while my mates took an extra drink at the terras in Bourg d'Oisans, I caught them again on Lautarette. Totally overhyped mountain.

Lance's chances against others in TfD's he missed, will also need to take the secret sauce in the mix. Are we talking about Lance on the same level of program as Jan, Floyd and Ivan, or the way he beat them in previous editions?

What I wonder is, did Lance in his comeback still have HemAssist or which-ever medical edge he always had on everyone else from '98-99 onward? I think he must have. And in 2010, it must have been all he still had, as regular doping also didn't cut it for others against the true talents. Lance did seem pretty clean in his performances in 2010, right? To finish as high as he did, I would say HemAssist only, and a charge just before the prologue, which he rode well.

Taking it further, as we saw how strong Floyd could ride for Lance at times, imagine he'd been given the "full" Lance program. He might well have pulled up alongside Lance even on deciding MTF's.
I am not so sure Landis'doping in '06 really was as blatant and huge compared to those he beat. I just think it was not done for a former domestique to go win the big show. Landis seemed to be doping more professionally, aimed at winning rather than being useful, but from his accounts, he was all but alone in his program, or the level of program he ran. He always seemed like a brave and strong rider to me, and when he did his magic in '06, it looked like the flower was blossoming at last. Not so sure he was doping harder than Kloden et al. Perhaps however he WAS a good responder to the regular blood doping, as many of us long thought of Lance, until the HemAssist story broke.
I agree. Lance looked mortal in 2010. I have a feeling the BioPassport allowances were reined in a little between 2009 and 2010. Explains a lot of people's performances dropping. Do that and people cannot use as much product as the previously did. Lance looked mortal last year, which is why I believe he retired again. He won a single race in his comeback, where Levi paced him the entire way against amateurs. Add in Floyd at the ToC and Lance's whole facade was crumbling in. The Shack could not afford a stuff up. Pellizotti and others had been suspended because of their passports (no shock from me, it was kind of obvious). They were pushing the boundaries too far and their improvements showed it.

Floyd I believe did the same. He blew up on stage 16 and then went overboard to try and get it all back the next day. Funny thing is, Carlos Sastre and Perreiro were the only ones who tried and succeeded in stemming some of the lost time. Evans, Menchov, Kloden and Leipheimer were punished savagely. The entire T-Mobile team could not stop the man. The heat had some part in Floyd's success as well. Does anyone know what happened to Floyd on stage 16? It was a hunger bonk right?
 
It remains a mystery, seems a bit much for a hunger bonk, no GC contender, let alone a yellow jersey, ever lost that much time as far as I can remember. More likely a doping option that didn't pan out. I think Landis commented on the fact that the day after you take stuff you're not in the best of shapes, the day after is when you fly...
 
As I have said previously, I am fairly new to the sport of cycling, and especially to the clinic. I finally started to come around to the idea that LA must have doped about a few years ago I think, but am very new to the accusations that he somehow had advantages over his other doping rivals. Only today have I heard of HemAssist, so I have tried to look into it a bit, but it's all a bit of a needle in a haystack to me.

How popular is the 'theory' that LA used this possibly potential wonderdrug, and that no other rider had access to it? And was he using this in/from '99 along with EPO. It would explain things pretty easily if he was on this wonderdrug that nobody else had access to, but is/was it that simple?

I never planned for this to become ANOTHER Lance thread! Although I think that any major discussion on the recent history of the TDF is always going to involve a guy who won it 7 times in some way.

Is it true that HemAssist does not assist the rider close to as much as EPO, but that to use it would have been very valuable post 2000 because there was a test for EPO, but not HemAssist?
 
Galic Ho said:
I agree. Lance would have been favourite, but based on where he was heading performance wise in 04 and 05 and what he had in 09 upon the 3rd (I think it was) coming, I don't think it would have been a shoe in. Odds are Basso would have matched him based on the Giro. Add in Vino, a slim (for Jan this is special) Ullrich for the whole season and Floyd...it's just a hypothetical. I don't really care dude. IMO Lance was one sided (I'll put it into the proper context) in his aspirations and targets (aim for le Tour only) and take the same approach every year. If one grew up on this, yes it looks interesting because it is all you know. Compare it to the Giro or pre-Lance days and it is very boring because you get something more. Is LAnce one-sided when racing the Tour? No, but career wise, I'd happily say he is.

I normally think Jan would have won in 06...but then again I thought Vino would have been a chance as well. I've never really rated Basso (I don't know why) but his 9 minutes is hard to argue. Arguing about the guy whos supposedly retired is all hypothetical...it gets boring after a page IMO. However, I can say I do think the times on Alpe are getting slower. 06 was weird, mostly because of the vacuum Lance's absence created and Disco having no obvious leader who could fire. Which explains the breakaway on Alpe, just Franck Schleck and Cunego. I never have seen a figure for the times they went up in. Would be interesting to see Francks times between 06 and 08. I also agree with what you said about Super Besse in 08. Riccos doping was a lot like Floyds. It was blatant and obvious and went too far outside the allowable limits, ie; he was going to get caught. To his credit, apart from the retrospective 99 retesting, Lance to my knowledge and what I have seen on the Clinic never did. Hence why he's so hard to catch doping. Like a typical narcissist, he probably revels in this feat, knowing he hasn't been caught despite cheating. He probably gets more kicks out of this alone than beating opposition.

It will be an interesting year. The ascent of Alpe will have a lot of people out there with stop watches.
I've long just been a TDF fan, but am slowly branching out. I've only just realised (been looking over old Giro and Vuelta results and parcours in the archive) that Basso rode the '05 Giro! And what an interesting race that was. But anyway, that changes my thinking a little in regards to the '06 TDF. Basso went through all of that drama in the '05 Giro and still had a great TDF, which proves that he could have had the strength to have ridden a great TDF in '06 following his hard (but easy) Giro win. So based around all of that, and looking at how strong Sastre was at the TDF, maybe Basso would have been favourite over Ullrich at the TDF, and maybe the favourite over LA even if he was still competing. Basso was very good during most of the '05 Giro, but had taken his game up another level in '06 ("oh der" reply the forum). Hypothetically he had improved enough to challenge LA, even if LA had retained his '05 form. I'd always just thought that the '06 Giro would have taken too much out of Basso - so the discovery that he did do all that at the '05 Giro is a revelation to me.

On a side topic, I really love looking back over the old parcours. :D

As for Vino, the '06 TDF had 4 very hard mountain stages. I certainly don't think that he would have beaten Basso or Ullrich, even though he went on to win the Vuelta (I DID know that long ago, and have had the DVD of that race for years!). Although the '06 TDF was a great spectacle anyway, it is a shame in a way that we did not get to see all those guys go head to head minus Lance. I was really looking forward to it and was disappointed when the whole OP thing turned the Tour on its head just a day or two before it started.

I think that once LA started on his TDF streak it would have been hard to change his schedule. Maybe in '05 he could have gone for something else now that he had the record of 6 wins? But then again, he was getting a little older and wanted to stick withe safest option. Hard to see him beating Basso on that Giro. Perhaps LA should have paid his respects to the Vuelta again (since he rebuilt his career with a 4th place there in '98) after won of his TDF wins, not worrying too much about whether he won it or not?

I think that F. Schleck and Cunego went up the Alp about a minute slower than Landis and Kloden in '06, so about 40:30 (I am forgetting the times now)? Can't really compare older Schleck in '08 since he wasn't really trying. He and baby bro were trying to slow up the pace of the others to help their teammate Sastre.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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gregrowlerson said:
Only today have I heard of HemAssist, so I have tried to look into it a bit, but it's all a bit of a needle in a haystack to me.

How popular is the 'theory' that LA used this possibly potential wonderdrug, and that no other rider had access to it? And was he using this in/from '99 along with EPO.

Is it true that HemAssist does not assist the rider close to as much as EPO, but that to use it would have been very valuable post 2000 because there was a test for EPO, but not HemAssist?
This is more suited to the Sports Illustrated thread
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=11868

But here are some pertinent links:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/20/lance-armstrong-on-wonder_n_811806.html
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2011/01/drug-of-2011-hemassist-and-armstrong.html

The complete SI article:
http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ArmstrongThe-Case-Against-LASI-Jan-2011.pdf
 
Galic Ho said:
@Greg. Sorry if my tone annoyed or upset you. I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. I don't hate Armstrong, I've just learnt to go back and question a lot of what I thought before 07 and 08. I wouldn't have known or given a toss about people doping back then. I never thought he was in decline myself till I rewatched old Tours after hearing some of the guys here mention it. Was he bad? Hell no, he just wasn't as on fire as he had been in 99, 01 and 02. Regarding his racing calendar, what I mean is guys like Valverde, AC, Samu and Evans all turn up to stage races, classics and then take a crack at a GT. I can only remember Lance winning the Dauphine once and maybe the Tour de Suisse. That was it other than the Tour. 03 onwards I don't remember him riding squat. It was mostly just the Tour. It is partly why I don't like Andy Schleck very much...I hated watching last years ToC . The sprinters dropped him he was that pathetic. It raises too many warning flags IMO.
No worries man (about your tone).

Hasn't Evans have a wonderfully varied racing career.

And Lance winning the Dauphine or Swiss doesn't count as being varied since it (for him) was simply a lead in to the TDF. :D

But I don't think that we should compare LA to Valverde since AV has greater incentive to focus on classics because of his great ability to sprint as well as climb (and therefore win). I thought that LA was a pretty good sprinter, but not on AV's level.

I can "sympothise" with LA in one way though. An issue is that the TDF is right in the middle of the year, and this does make it difficult to peak at other times (though you say that AC focuses on some classics which would defeat that theory). Many of the other big races are in May and August (Vuelta), and it is difficult to peak 2 months apart, so AS has the same problem.

Only found out yesterday that AS finished 2nd in the '07 Giro! Slowly I am climbing out of my TDF rabbit hole...

Now back onto this HemAssist thing...
 

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