"Everyone has structured training now."

I know this is against Clinic rules, that doping is the only admissible explanation for performance gains, but play with this a bit: over the last 20 years - let's say post-Festina - do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have increased performances?
 
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I know this is against Clinic rules, that doping is the only admissible explanation for performance gains, but play with this a bit: over the last 20 years - let's say post-Festina - do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have increased performances?
Nutrition, bike technology and overall planning has definitely improved. And despite the (often justified) doom and gloom regarding doping it really is telling that so many climbing records from the 90s have yet to be broken, so there definitely have been improvments with anti-doping and it shows that there hasn't been a game changer like EPO.
 
Difficult to pinpoint, but bike racing is a science lead endeavour and no science is static from Festina to now, so no reason sports science would be static. Clearly no step-changes like EPO and while the peloton used to consist of >50% of proven dopers, that's now I believe less than 0.5% so either that's suggesting a cleaner peloton or an anti-doping approach extremely less-effective than around Festina, which is hard to believe.
 
there definitely have been improvments with anti-doping and it shows that there hasn't been a game changer like EPO.
Not sure I can agree with that. It's a claim that's certainly not supported by experience.

I do believe we went through a phase where there was less doping than before and that pushed people to push harder for gains in other places. Also, with more money in the sport than before, seeking such gains is more economical.
 
The problem is it goes against performance going down so much from the 90s to the late naughties and 2010s only to ramp up now, nor wouldbit explain why you now get super dominant riders, you would actually expect with everyone training and preparing more correctly, the field would get more level.

Alsobif everyone trained equally well, doping would stl give am additional bonus amd they would be super overrepresented among winners at the top level
 
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The problem is it goes against performance going down so much from the 90s to the late naughties and 2010s only to ramp up now,
Only if you think there is a single explanation for changes in the peloton, that it's either or, that it's all down to either doping or other developments. That's not what's been asked here. What's been asked is do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have increased performances? If I need to clarify that then: do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have contributed to increased performances?
 
Only if you think there is a single explanation for changes in the peloton, that it's either or, that it's all down to either doping or other developments. That's not what's been asked here. What's been asked is do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have increased performances? If I need to clarify that then: do we believe there have been any changes in cycling that have contributed to increased performances?
Yes I do believe there have been such changes. Not sure if there has been any analytics to break down what such contributions have been, or is that's even possible given so many variables. But there's been scientific changes in training, nutrition, bike weight/composition, aerodynamics, etc.

No doubt there's also been changes to doping :p
 
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The problem is it goes against performance going down so much from the 90s to the late naughties and 2010s only to ramp up now, nor wouldbit explain why you now get super dominant riders, you would actually expect with everyone training and preparing more correctly, the field would get more level.

Alsobif everyone trained equally well, doping would stl give am additional bonus amd they would be super overrepresented among winners at the top level
I have to agree with this, it's hard to explain by everyone being more professional and scientific.
 
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What do you think the magnitude of the gains are over the past ten years for: Aerodynamics on climbs, weight savings, equipment gains in addition to that, improved training methods unrelated to doping. In that time window, I doubt those gains amount to more than ~10'' on a climb like Alpe d'Huez, but that's just spitballing.
 
There's this convenient narrative that scientific training, nutrition and power meters have only existed the last 10 years. Lemond and Riis used power meters in the 90s. Ferrari and Cecchini had their guys doing big gear and threshold work 25 years ago, and polarized training is just the new name for long slow distance which cyclists have been doing since forever. Getting skinny was a fad in the 90s way before Sky used to to make track guys Tour winners.

Michael Hutchinson said when he went from training part time to 30 hours a week he didn't really improve, he was already close to his physiological max and more hours didn't bring much.

So honestly, I don't think training has changed that much, and even if it has, pros reach their physiological limits pretty early and there isn't some magical training paradigm that suddenly gives you an extra 5 or 10%. Most of coaching these days is not screwing it up and overtraining your riders. There's a great thread over at TrainerRoad where some guy has pulled hundreds of pros training files. It amounts to "volume plus stuff". Stuff is mostly work below threshold. Nothing crazy and it's astounding how similar it all is even for classic versus gc guys.

Maybe bikes are a bit better, aerodynamics a bit better, and guys now eat 100g of carbs an hour instead of 60. Is that enough to bring you to 90s climbing times and always being peaked like we see from the current crop of top riders? Seems like wishful thinking.
 
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Training alone isn't what allows riders and teams to reach potential I'd agree with that. If that were the case the teams wouldn't bother employing dozens of additional performance staff working with the coaches, you would simply see a few coaches and doctors like the 90's and 00's teams had and be done with it and save yourself several hundred thousand $ in wages each season to spend on better riders.
There was Pinot last year saying he missed simply being able to go and hang out in the town square relaxing and laughing before starting a stage, saying today they're locked on the bus studying the days race strategy, nutrition plans, data, google maps, veloviewer, warming up, warming down etc etc. Even Froome is saying the same, that the sport is now unrecognisable due to the amount of data being used by the teams to be more competitive, even redefining how a bike race operates today.
I think it all just comes down to evolution and improvements in all areas, nothing significant or identifiable on its own, but when you see the likes of UAE, Jumbo & Ineos with so many staff compared to the 90s, there is obviously a performance gain that has been found doing so.
 
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I come to the Clinic every six months or so for the same reason I eat at Mcdonalds twice per year -- -i.e. to remind myself why I don't do so on a regular basis.

fmk-rol is always up to his unappetizing bait and switch posting techniques, and more often than not people answer a seemingly rhetorical question he poses without answering his own question.
Rather, he continues to remind everyone in a condescending way that they're missing the point. It seems to happen all the time.
No, innovative diets like rice cakes and revolutionary aero road bikes have nothing to do with it. I don't study record setting times, but someone said Primos Roglic (sp?) destroyed previous times set on a hill--top finish in Paris-Nice. Again, there are too many variables for one to conclude the guy is doping.
Although I am 100 percent convinced doping did not go the way of the dodo, let's get back to the question fmk-rol asked but won't take a stab at himself.
I am not an insider or part of any inner circle, and assuming fmk-rol infers there have been changes, I would venture a guess by saying everyone involved have come to some sort of agreement to put a lid on things.
I think it's absurd to believe things like advanced diets, innovative technology and doping controls have stemmed doping in cycling.
 
Training alone isn't what allows riders and teams to reach potential I'd agree with that. If that were the case the teams wouldn't bother employing dozens of additional performance staff working with the coaches, you would simply see a few coaches and doctors like the 90's and 00's teams had and be done with it and save yourself several hundred thousand $ in wages each season to spend on better riders.
There was Pinot last year saying he missed simply being able to go and hang out in the town square relaxing and laughing before starting a stage, saying today they're locked on the bus studying the days race strategy, nutrition plans, data, google maps, veloviewer, warming up, warming down etc etc. Even Froome is saying the same, that the sport is now unrecognisable due to the amount of data being used by the teams to be more competitive, even redefining how a bike race operates today.
I think it all just comes down to evolution and improvements in all areas, nothing significant or identifiable on its own, but when you see the likes of UAE, Jumbo & Ineos with so many staff compared to the 90s, there is obviously a performance gain that has been found doing so.
Sure, it's more professional now, but honestly, studying maps, team meetings and cooling down doesn't give your threshold another 50-100 watts. That's training. And as I've argued, there's been no step change in training that has allowed riders to close the EPO gap in the past 15 years. Training is pretty much the same as it always was. Ride a lot of volume below LT1, do some intervals at varying intensities, eat well and rest.
 
Sure, it's more professional now, but honestly, studying maps, team meetings and cooling down doesn't give your threshold another 50-100 watts. That's training. And as I've argued, there's been no step change in training that has allowed riders to close the EPO gap in the past 15 years. Training is pretty much the same as it always was. Ride a lot of volume below LT1, do some intervals at varying intensities, eat well and rest.
I wasn't claiming what is gone through on the bus defines anything, simply using it to highlight performance is now holistic and managed by nearly 40 staff in some cases, it's not simply a doctor injecting you with epo and smashing the climbs.
 
I doubt those gains amount to more than ~10'' on a climb like Alpe d'Huez
Taking all the possible changes over the last 20-25 years and saying "Ten seconds on Alpe d'Huez" isn't very helpful. Single number valuations cannot be applied to complex variables. Maybe you can successfully argue the gain of one single change (eg claiming that stacking a following car with bikes could add three seconds over 50km in a flat, non-technical time-trial) but adding up all the potential gains and saying "ten seconds on Alpe d'Huez"...
 
There's this convenient narrative that scientific training, nutrition and power meters have only existed the last 10 years. Lemond and Riis used power meters in the 90s
If I can I'll try and find a source for this later, but IIRC, Ross Tucker has made an argument that things like power meters etc have different impacts over several generations as you move from the early adapters to the generation that grows up with them. I certainly think that a 20-something rider today is not using a power meter the same way riders in the 90s did.

As for convenient narratives: I don't know if you realise it but you yourself are promoting a convenient narrative of a kind of steady-state world in which training / technology / nutrition goes through step changes (the introduction of new ideas) and then settles down into a changeless world until the next step-change comes along.
Maybe bikes are a bit better, aerodynamics a bit better, and guys now eat 100g of carbs an hour instead of 60. Is that enough to bring you to 90s climbing times and always being peaked like we see from the current crop of top riders?
That was not the question asked and you know that.
 
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Taking all the possible changes over the last 20-25 years and saying "Ten seconds on Alpe d'Huez" isn't very helpful. Single number valuations cannot be applied to complex variables. Maybe you can successfully argue the gain of one single change (eg claiming that stacking a following car with bikes could add three seconds over 50km in a flat, non-technical time-trial) but adding up all the potential gains and saying "ten seconds on Alpe d'Huez"...
Of course it can. I don’t claim it captures it all, but it is one very specific dimension that can be approximated. And don’t misrepresent what I wrote. I specified ten years. What magnitude of gains do you think there has been? It’s unserious to evaluate a continuous parameter as if it was discrete.

Do you think stacking the following car is a new thing?
 
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Of course it can. I don’t claim it captures it all, but it is one very specific dimension that can be approximated. And don’t misrepresent what I wrote. I specified ten years.

Do you think stacking the following car is a new thing?
The new generation training with powermeters from a young age could have some benefits from training smarter early on.
 

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