What are your opinions about Kloden and his doping strategies? When he seemed to come out of nowhere to place 2nd in the Tour in '04 (though I know that he had previously had some injuries), do you believe that this had a lot to do with the rest of the riders doping less because of the EPO test, but if so, then how was Andreas protected? Also, do you think that he was on a heavy program in '09, but then got off that to avoid detection last year?Galic Ho said: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?
I always thought it was interesting too that Kloden did not test positive following his 3rd place in the '07 TT, but Vino did (and Kaschekin did later). Does anyone think that they were on different programs, or that Kloden just got lucky?
I think that Lance had to retire again anyway. There is that thing called age you know!
Floyd said that he had a hunger bonk I believe on stage 16. To have a bad day then wasn't that out of the blue perhaps, considering that stage 15 was tough and there were many climbs before the final cat 1 on stage 16. It was more that he was losing a minute per km that was surprising (the amount that he cracked was huge) and maybe a little abnormal.
Maybe the stage 17 result wasn't that out of the blue. I mean, there were a lot of interesting combination of factors, regardless of the doping. There was a very tired peleton from 2 very hard days of mountain racing, and how often are there 3 consecutive VERY hard days in the mountains? Add to that the heat. Add to that the fact that some of the top teams didn't have a full squad, therefore less fire power to combat the strong Landis. Add to that, that there seemed to be very little flat stretches on stage 17, where normally the big group will gobble up the breakway. Most mountain stages tend to have a long stretch of flat road; for example the lead into the Alp du'ez always seems to have at least 20 kms of flat road, but stage 17 in '06 just seemed to be ascending and descending.