Froome Talk Only

Aug 19, 2011
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With the rapidly expanding Team Sky thread, many different issues were being discussed.
- Do Sky have a team wide doping regime? (best kept in the Sky thread)
- Is Bradley Wiggins' improvement through blood sweat and tears or cheating? (Wiggins a man in love thread?)
- Chris Froome - where did that come from?

This thread is for the latter if you think it would be easier reading if the different issues were split up. For example, some believe Froome is likely doping, but that there isn't much to suggest the rest of the team are.

Froome rose to prominence in the 2011 Vuelta where his ability to singlehandedly guide Bradley Wiggins through numerous steep hills and mountains initially raised eyebrows. Later in the race a mightily impressive ITT followed despite Froome continuing his energy sapping shepherding of Bradley Wiggins. In the final moments of the Vuelta, Froome was released from the shackles of Wiggins, first on the Angliru and finally on a decisive stage that saw Froome and Cobo gain 20 seconds+ on every other person on the stage in the last kilometre with a sprint up 20% gradients. Froome had announced his presence to the world and finished second overall.

Taken at face value, his performance in terms of balancing pacesetting and domestique duties for Wiggins, aceing an ITT and managing to rival the dubious Juan Jose Cobo on the steepest of gradients was arguably one of the most impressive and hard fought in recent years.

Explanations for that performance and his subsequent assault on the podium of the 2012 TdF remain, as yet, unclear.

The link below is to previous discussion on Froome that isn't in the Clinic but touches on much of the relevant historic debate from the 2011 Vuelta.

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=15116
 
Aug 19, 2011
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This post will be used to highlight the various recurring arguments around Froome.

i) Argument: Froome was born and raised in Kenya or South Africa. This would understandably delay his development as a rider

Key Supporting Posts
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=935457&postcount=29

Case Against: Reports indicate that Froome moved to South Africa as a child (either at age eight, or as a teenager). South Africa isn’t the back of beyond in terms of world sports.

Key Supporting Posts
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=935488&postcount=32
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=941905&postcount=68


ii) Argument
: The power data estimates for Froome’s performances on the Angliru and the deciding stage of the 2011 Vuelta indicate a very strong performance, but not one that was truly unbelievable.

Case against: When the performances are taken in isolation this may be the case. When put in the context of 3 weeks of near solo domestique duty on behalf of team leader Bradley Wiggins and a flat out ITT the performances become less believable given the amount of energy that must have been expended by Froome throughout the 3 weeks.

iii) Argument: Froome's early career may have been curtailed by his ongoing health concerns

Case against: Froome's bilharzia appears to have first occured in November 2010 and resurfaced in February 2012. This actually coincided with a dramatic improvement in his performance. Prior to the occurence of bilharzia Froome's achievements in cycling can be considered very modest compared to what was to follow his contraction of the disease.

Key Supporting Posts
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=934398&postcount=3

iv) Argument: Froome has been very vocal in his opposition to doping in the past.

Key Supporting Posts
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=935500&postcount=33

Case Against Words prove little.
 
Aug 19, 2011
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Parrot23 said:
On Froome I see Brailsford says this:

"His rise to notoriety was hampered by bilharzia, a water-borne disease he caught in 2010.
The thing is they aren’t on top of it. He got it again in February/March 2012 and by his own admission it took them some time to identify from his symptoms that he’d got it again. Unless they are stating he rode his entire career up to early 2011 with bilharzias without knowing about it then this argument doesn’t wash one little bit. Symptoms reportedly include blood in your urine so it seems extremely unlikely to me that he’d spend years cycling without identifying the disease.

In the extremely unlikely event that he had unknowingly been harbouring a blood related parasitic disease for his early career then I’d concede there is a chance his performance in the past 9 months could be his genuine level. That he really has been a superstar in the making hobbled by an energy sapping, hard to trace disease. Consider that gauntlet thrown down.

Actually, wait a minute, stop being so lazy Fergoose… *stoops down and picks up the gauntlet and googles*

It appears Froome may have first contracted bilharzias in November 2010 when he visited Kenya. It appears this was his first time getting the disease, so bang goes that theory.

http://www.realpeloton.com/

Oh jings. He was bedridden for two weeks with a chest infection caught during the Algarve race (15th to 19th of February 2012), and then spent two more weeks trying to get over it (taking us to mid-March). Following that he had blood tests identifying a recurrence of bilharzias and received treatment. So even being conservative in suggesting diagnosis and treatment took a fortnight, he was most likely totally off the radar for six weeks since mid-February. He indicates he resumed full training, fittingly enough, on about April the 1st. He’s even posting this information up there himself!

http://www.chris-froome.com/diary

He is the best rider in the world but has only been training since April! If someone thinks I’m being unfair or that being 100% at this stage after starting training in April is possible, please speak up. I’m no expert on how long it takes to get into racing trim.

Parrot23 said:
Looks like he turned pro in '07 with a South African team of all things. He's really from the hicks, as it were. He's not been a proper top tier team until Sky. Two years with Barloworld is hardly great for his development. Cycling is not like Kenyan runners, I would think, where they just go out and run at altitude and eat a high carbo. corn maize diet.
Apologies if I'm picking you up wrong. So you think the trade off in 2011 & 2012 is to his advantage. He gets a red blood cell devouring parasite and substantially interrupted preparations on the one hand, but a better training regime on the other? But the net result is a dramatically improved performance?
 
Exactly why is a 25 year old with problems hampering him earlier in his career, bursting onto the field once he got it together, (like others around his age have done in the past) seen as the biggest fraud in history, whereas a 30 year old who could do absolutely nothing until he almost podiumed the tour and has since learned to tt and climb better than anyone else in the world, seen as the possible clean guy on sky.

Secondly we all know here that hundreds of riders have been doping over the years, most of our champions have done so, froome gets so much hatred on here, but he is not really any different to the others.

Wiggins meanwhile is a total **** who thinks he is gods gift to cycling, runs his mouth about anyone he feels like, throws enormous tantrums when people dont see him in as high a light as he sees himself, and has began to follow the Armstrong method of bullying people.

Attack Froome all you want but please people realize that it is Wiggins not Froome who is the big bad.
 
Aug 26, 2011
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The Hitch said:
Exactly why is a 25 year old with problems hampering him earlier in his career, bursting onto the field once he got it together, (like others around his age have done in the past) seen as the biggest fraud in history, whereas a 30 year old who could do absolutely nothing until he almost podiumed the tour and has since learned to tt and climb better than anyone else in the world, seen as the possible clean guy on sky.

Secondly we all know here that hundreds of riders have been doping over the years, most of our champions have done so, froome gets so much hatred on here, but he is not really any different to the others.

Wiggins meanwhile is a total **** who thinks he is gods gift to cycling, runs his mouth about anyone he feels like, throws enormous tantrums when people dont see him in as high a light as he sees himself, and has began to follow the Armstrong method of bullying people.

Attack Froome all you want but please people realize that it is Wiggins not Froome who is the big bad.
Agreed, Wiggins loosing weight and gaining power is less suspicious than Froome just not having the results, because at least Froome can claim that he just had never reached his peak.


That said, at 23 he didn't have the illness and was still far, far worse than any comparable GC contender at that age. Not one rider in the last 10 years has top tenned in a GT from more out of nowhere than Froome, and that alone requires questioning.
 
Aug 19, 2011
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And to think the word "only" worked so well on the Cobo thread last year! I think you guys are in a small minority if you consider Wiggins' performances less believable than Froome's. Both in terms of the media and this forum. Not that being in a minority makes you wrong.

Anyway, the thread is here in anticipation that Froome is a name that won't quietly disappear into the annals of history with everyone satisfied that everything checks out and is tickety-boo.

Here was an excellent sample of one of Froome’s pre-Vuelta efforts back in 2009, when he felt confident enough to launch an attack.

Forunculo said:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEGpv0xn0E8
From 7:22
Giro d'Italia 2009 Froome vs Gerrans
In the words of Mathew Kelly. "What an amazing transformation!"
 
Good thread.

While Barloworld wasn't the greatest run team on the planet, I actually don't see any significant improvement in 2010 over 2009.

When Brailsford talks about great numbers in training, what year does he have in mind?
 
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Fergoose said:
The link below is to previous discussion on Froome that isn't in the Clinic but touches on much of the relevant historic debate from the 2011 Vuelta.

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=15116
man, Susan Westemeyer edited my good stuff jokes on rhodesia, diamond minds, diamond conflicts etc.

The guy came from Kenya (I got that joke wrong, but ran with it for the sake o' funnies) so he always was gonna have a lag of a coupla years in his development.
 
Nov 24, 2009
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roundabout said:
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
Good point. Uran, if I can recall, was an upcoming talent while still at Caisse D'Epargne. You'd think that with the available training knowledge he'd have dominated the Giro rather than finish an okay 7th at the Giro.

Maybe the training program is age specific at Sky? Or, maybe it's calendar specific, in that everyone, regardless of whether they are racing or not, will peak in July.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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element said:
- 2009

- 2012
AICAR anyone?

roundabout said:
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
Yeah, if one wants us to believe that Froome always looked like a potential GT contender, then Löfkvist and Uran must've looked like Eddy and Greg.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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roundabout said:
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
Because the others were already "training hard" perhaps?
 
Jun 15, 2010
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roundabout said:
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
EBH is the rider on that team with the most impressive numbers.I wonder if he will get the slim down treatment one day.
 
Jul 27, 2010
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I guess cyclists have brought it on themselves to a large extent with cycling's dark years of doping and lying, but it all comes down to character in the end. Do Froome or Wiggins seem like the types who would dope?

Categorically: no

Whilst there are still some obvious chancers out there, I'll put my head on the block for Froome and Wiggins.
 
The Valley said:
I guess cyclists have brought it on themselves to a large extent with cycling's dark years of doping and lying, but it all comes down to character in the end. Do Froome or Wiggins seem like the types who would dope?

Categorically: no

Whilst there are still some obvious chancers out there, I'll put my head on the block for Froome and Wiggins.
You know them personally?
 
Aug 6, 2009
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The Valley said:
I guess cyclists have brought it on themselves to a large extent with cycling's dark years of doping and lying, but it all comes down to character in the end. Do Froome or Wiggins seem like the types who would dope?

Categorically: no

Whilst there are still some obvious chancers out there, I'll put my head on the block for Froome and Wiggins.
It must be nice to be such a flawless judge of character. I wish I could tell whether a person might possibly cheat with similar certainty just from media coverage.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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roundabout said:
Another thought occured to me, why of all people on the team did Froome improve so much?

Why not Löfkvist or Uran? Two riders who most people would say were more talented (unless one accepts a hick hypothesis, another of the conditions that while plausible each by itself, don't really paint a pretty picture when added together).

Why do only a few people noticeably benefit from the "better training"?
The rider who has taken the biggest leap beside Froome is Nordhaug. Since coming to Sky his career has really taken off. And this year he has produced several good results but nothing close to a 2nd place in the Vuelta.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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simo1733 said:
EBH is the rider on that team with the most impressive numbers.I wonder if he will get the slim down treatment one day.
Well, he dropped a couple of kilos to the tour last year, probably same this year. But EBH has a big frame so he will never be close in weight to Froome and Wiggo (Compare the shoulders!), and therefore never a GC contender even if he has the numbers.
 
The Valley said:
I guess cyclists have brought it on themselves to a large extent with cycling's dark years of doping and lying, but it all comes down to character in the end. Do Froome or Wiggins seem like the types who would dope?

Categorically: no

Whilst there are still some obvious chancers out there, I'll put my head on the block for Froome and Wiggins.
Since this is the Froome Talk Only thread, I won't comment on Wiggins.

Does Froome seem like the type who would dope?
Is he a professional cyclist who came out of nowhere and who has shown no form except at the two most important moments of his professional career?
 
Aug 19, 2011
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blackcat said:
The guy came from Kenya (I got that joke wrong, but ran with it for the sake o' funnies) so he always was gonna have a lag of a coupla years in his development.
Yeah, unfortunately some folk are really tetchy about nationality based jokes. If it upsets Brits, Aussies & Germans I guess the mods also have to protect the sensibilities of possible Zimbabwian posters!

Anyway, Froome moved to South Africa either at age eight, or as a teenager. South Africa isn’t the back of beyond in terms of world sports.

If folk come up with arguments and they are dicussed, I'll update the second post here to collate the arguments. To help us not go round and round in circles for 200 pages.
 

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