Teams & Riders Froome Talk Only

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To add to MI excellent post. The badzhilla prior to Sept 2011 effected his performances only races and by the accounts in his book his training and numbers were very good.

Yet after Sept 2011 the Badzhillla only impacted his training and never the Tour de France.
 
Merckx index said:
What had LA done in a GT prior to the 1998 Vuelta? His transformation as a climber was virtually overnight. And remember, this was someone who was already known to be doping before.

DiLuca also transformed rapidly from a roleur to a climber. Had he shown any climbing ability prior to his breakout Giro, in 2004 I think it was?

It's hard to pin down the transformation in cases like these to a few weeks, because going into the GT, the rider may not have entered a race where climbing was important. I'm not sure what LA's schedule earlier in 1998 was, or DiLuca's was before that Giro. But in those GTs, they achieved performances as climbers that exceeded anything they had previously done by, I think, a margin comparable to what Froome did.
I think the point about Armstrong is an important one - I don't know much about his '98 season specifically, but this was a former World Champion, (multiple?) tour stage winner, contender in hillly classics, who'd been doping from a young age, and had been working with epo and the best doping doctor for at least two full seasons before his Vuelta 'overnight' breakthrough (in which he missed the podium, and went away for another off-season of refinement before really hitting it in '99). So compared to Froome's experience, I can't see it in the same ball park really.

That said, I don't know anything about DiLuca, so perhaps he's a better example.

If we all agree with Dave Brailsford that Froome had 'done nothing' in the run up to the Vuelta (which I thought most people with the notable exception of Taxus seem to agree) then we're left to explain his transformation.

Merckx index said:
I agree about the head scratching. But it’s possible Froome was clean as a whistle prior to the 2011 Vuelta. His improvement in that race is consistent with a typical blood doping program, EPO and/or transfusion. We know from several studies that this kind of improvement is easily obtainable from a rather moderate blood doping program. But if he was clean before that, riding in a still-doping peloton, his results should be considered quite good. If we accept this scenario, Froome was always a very talented rider who was being held back by other dopers. He might have been a super-responder, but he might have just responded more or less normally.

I think Horner probably had less to lose by doping last year than any other rider in recent history, but Froome in 2011 was in a somewhat similar situation.
So yeah, if there are studies that say it's easy to transform into a GT winner after a summer with a moderate blood doping programme then I stand corrected, and my initial post doesn't make much sense. Apologies.
 
BYOP88 said:
Wouldn't that affect/show up on his bio-passport?
I don't know, maybe it does. As long as it's not enough to raise a red flag, I don't expect anyone to talk about it in public.

Merckx Index said:
1) He didn’t get worse after contracting the disease. Though he doesn't know when he got it (that in itself is rather strange, since one would think he would know when he was in Africa during that period, and how often he went swimming), it was during a period when there was no noticeable change in his performance.
During what period? According to Froome they told him it was not possible to determine how long it has been in his body.


Personally, I can accept that the disease could affect performance, and that even after treatment it could have an effect, because some eggs persist in the body for a while, and they release the antigens that inactivate hemoglobin.
Does carrying schisto around for a long time take a toll on your immune system which in combination with the other symptoms related to the eggs that I've mentioned above take a toll on the consistency of your performance? Is there a precedent of a pro athlete with chronic schisto in cycling or another sport with similar demands on your body?


I do agree with you and others that his transformation is hard to understand even with doping. Where I part company with you and others is in concluding that therefore he must not have doped.
You're making the same mistake as Hitch here. I do not make that conclusion.

Anyway, take a shot at what you think is the most likely method he used to achieve this transformation.

His transformation in 2011 was pretty much final.
No it wasn't. Until halfway through the Dauphiné in 2012 he was as bad as ever in the first half of the season.
 
Sep 18, 2010
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TheSpud said:
If you accept that losing motivation and confidence can cause a drop off presumably you also accept that regaining those could result in reversing that drop?
Absolutely. You could reverse the drop. But Froome never reversed anything. He went to a totally new level that was light years beyond his best.
 
kingjr said:
During what period? According to Froome they told him it was not possible to determine how long it has been in his body.
I don't have the link, but Froome is on record giving a general time period during which he probably contracted the disease, and it was well after he turned pro. He's never claimed he had it long before he started riding.

No it wasn't. Until halfway through the Dauphiné in 2012 he was as bad as ever in the first half of the season.
Because he was sick. He had a chest infection. He had symptoms that would be perfectly unremarkable for someone with no history of schisto. Also, he was diagnosed in March 2012 with typhoid and blastocytosis (see below). Those are at least as likely a cause of poor performance as schisto.

I rechecked my original post on the timeline. According to the article discussed there, Froome actually had five, not four treatments. The first was in October or soon after in 2010. (Edit: He was given PZQ over four days. The longer the period over which the drug is given, the more effective the treatment is. This makes it even more unlikely that this first treatment wouldn't cure the disease). The second was in June 2011. That is closer to the Vuelta that year, but it’s still a stretch to say that it could account for the big change in a few weeks between Poland and Spain, particularly when he was given a third treatment that November. If he had claimed that the second treatment cured him completely, he would have at least a little better case that maybe his Hb levels were still recovering at Poland, but by his own account, that treatment did not cure him.

He had a fourth treatment in March 2012, when he was diagnosed with other diseases. Then he underwent yet another round of tests in 2013—long after his early 2012 performances were over, and he had experienced a continuous string of strong performances on the bike—when he was given a fifth treatment with PZQ.

So again, the timeline doesn’t correlate with his performances. His first treatment in the fall of 2010 was not followed by a noticeably better performance for most of 2011. Even if that treatment did not fully cure him of the disease, it should have greatly reduced his worm burden and resulted in a major improvement in performance, if that was in fact what had been hindering him before. His second treatment in June 2011 was not followed by any performance benefit in Poland. He did have his breakout in the Vuelta, but then a couple of months later he was told he still wasn’t cured and needed another treatment. To the marvel of the medical profession, even that third treatment wasn’t enough, so he had a fourth the following spring. That was correlated with a return to his Vuelta performance, but he has said that he was diagnosed with other diseases and was treated for those, too. Then he rode very well in both the Tour that year and the Vuelta, considering it was his second consecutive GT. He rode very well all spring in 2013 and dominated the TDF, yet he was diagnosed yet again with disease and treated during that period.

So Froome's claim is that he was not fully cured of schisto until some time in 2013 when he had the fifth treatment. The implication is that at any time up to then, any poor performance of his could be attributed to the disease. But from the 2011 Vuelta through 2013, he never had a poor performance, except in the spring of 2012, when he was reported to have other serious health problems. Except for that one period, which can be very adequately explained, he was fine after the 2011 Vuelta.

Moreover, even if you want to give him the benefit of the doubt, and argue that his poor performance in early 2012 was the result of the schisto, why did this never happen before or since? In all the years he had schisto prior to the 2011 Vuelta, he was not up and down. He was consistently at a lower level.

Do you want to argue that once he started getting treatments, he had a temporary remission? But he had no improvement in performance after his first treatment in 2010, and it seems he got worse after his third treatment in 2011. Maybe that was because those occurred at the end of the season, and the benefits did not extend to the following racing season. But why would that be? After any treatment, the worm burden is going to decrease, which means the amount of eggs produced over time will decrease. This is not a temporary benefit. Even with the lower worm burden, there may still be a net accumulation of eggs, but it can't be worse than it was before the treatment. A treatment doesn't reduce the egg burden. It slows down the increase in this burden, and this effect is permanent.

Moreover, after his fourth treatment in 2012, the remission wasn't temporary, it was permanent, performance wise. Yet he was still diagnosed with schisto the following year and treated again.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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shalgo said:
From the Secret Pro:
That column is such a joke.

States so many obvious things as if they're his original thoughts.

Speculates on things in a way which offers no more insight than most of the people here in The Clinic

Pulls things out that have already been on the CN homepage.

Takes childish swipes at other riders.


A perfect example of the uselessness of that column:
Speaking of Tinkoff-Saxo, Oleg Tinkoff isn’t always as crazy as he makes himself sound on Twitter (well, aside from his weekend escapades). I’ve met him before and yeah he’s eccentric, but he’s obviously quite a smart guy. What sets him apart is that he simply doesn’t give a sh*t what anyone thinks about him.
Wow. I never would've come up with that on my own.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Merckx index said:
I don't have the link, but Froome is on record giving a general time period during which he probably contracted the disease, and it was well after he turned pro. He's never claimed he had it long before he started riding.
There's this:
http://road.cc/content/news/101868-chris-froome-says-hes-now-free-parasitic-condition-bilharzia

The 28-year-old had suffered from the condition, found in rural Africa, for several years before it was diagnosed through a blood scan ahead of his joining Team Sky for the 2010 season.

“When I was first diagnosed they said it had been in my system for at least two years, but it could have been there even longer, five or six years possibly."
 
Dalakhani said:
Absolutely. You could reverse the drop. But Froome never reversed anything. He went to a totally new level that was light years beyond his best.
Ok, just asking.

I guess another viewpoint is what if someone had an underlying talent that needed nurturing and motivation / confidence was inately lacking from the start (and I'm talking generally now, not specifically Froome) - couldnt they improve fairly dramatically? Possibly over a longer period?
 
Jul 11, 2013
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Granville57 said:
That column is such a joke.

States so many obvious things as if they're his original thoughts.

Speculates on things in a way which offers no more insight than most of the people here in The Clinic

Pulls things out that have already been on the CN homepage.

Takes childish swipes at other riders.


A perfect example of the uselessness of that column:

Wow. I never would've come up with that on my own.
Are you speculating as to the truthness of the pro-part? Or the insightfulness/level of same?
 
Dec 7, 2010
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mrhender said:
Are you speculating as to the truthness of the pro-part? Or the insightfulness/level of same?
I don't want to stray too far from the topic of Froome (out of respect for this thread) but I really don't know, or care, who is behind the Secret "Pro."

It very well may be a member of the peloton, or it could be a culmination of different sources. Either way, the insights offered are hardly all that insightful.

This notion that he's revealing secret, insider information comes up pretty weak. So it's probably best if he just remains anonymous. Not because of any great secrets revealed, but for the overall lameness of his schtick.

A few members here, along with select Twitter accounts, will reveal much more to the curious-minded than whatever it is this "Secret Pro" thinks he has up his sleeve.

But again, let's keep this thread about Froome, and move further discussion to the Sidebar thread or elsewhere. ;)
 
Jul 11, 2013
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Granville57 said:
I don't want to stray too far from the topic of Froome (out of respect for this thread) but I really don't know, or care, who is behind the Secret "Pro."

It very well may be a member of the peloton, or it could be a culmination of different sources. Either way, the insights offered are hardly all that insightful.

This notion that he's revealing secret, insider information comes up pretty weak. So it's probably best if he just remains anonymous. Not because of any great secrets revealed, but for the overall lameness of his schtick.

A few members here, along with select Twitter accounts, will reveal much more to the curious-minded than whatever it is this "Secret Pro" thinks he has up his sleeve.

But again, let's keep this thread about Froome, and move further discussion to the Sidebar thread or elsewhere. ;)
I was asking with Froome in mind, and of general curiosity to the content/message of your statement...

Someone (pro) calling out JTL as an obvious cheater, meanwhile defending Kreuziger and Tinkov could be on a minor crusade...

If these opinions reflects those of the peleton in general, it could affect Froome in the future...

However you are right, this is pure specualtion and will propably end up in fast forward derailing, so I will desist here ;)
 
Aug 15, 2012
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Not neccessarily clinical, but I haven't seen much coverage on his hand/wrist recovery. Any news? Feel free to include PED use if that helps it stay on topic.
 
Jul 11, 2013
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yespatterns said:
Not neccessarily clinical, but I haven't seen much coverage on his hand/wrist recovery. Any news? Feel free to include PED use if that helps it stay on topic.
I think Team SKY and Brailsford could be very uncertain as to his future abilities, and role in the team...

In my personal opinion he is done, and somehow his physical injury will come in handy when he is needed to quietly drift away in the horizon...
So much easier to blame the wrist injury and then slowly replace him with the next guinea pig...

For me Froome has no idea of his own capability, take a look at his desperate attack in a flart part of dauphine this year... I know it's very speculative but I have my doubts as to how much he is, and was aware of the level of "help" provided by his team.. That would explain his clulessness when trying to explain his rise to the stars, and the wierd injections at Barloworld....

Maybe the device was created with the aim of preventing the option of someone talking too much, but in fact it backfired as the main character was too clueless........

Under any circumstances it is wise not to talk him up or down, as it would only be a lose/lose situation....
 
mrhender said:
I think Team SKY and Brailsford could be very uncertain as to his future abilities, and role in the team...

In my personal opinion he is done, and somehow his physical injury will come in handy when he is needed to quietly drift away in the horizon...
So much easier to blame the wrist injury and then slowly replace him with the next guinea pig...

For me Froome has no idea of his own capability, take a look at his desperate attack in a flart part of dauphine this year... I know it's very speculative but I have my doubts as to how much he is, and was aware of the level of "help" provided by his team.. That would explain his clulessness when trying to explain his rise to the stars, and the wierd injections at Barloworld....

Maybe the device was created with the aim of preventing the option of someone talking too much, but in fact it backfired as the main character was too clueless........

Under any circumstances it is wise not to talk him up or down, as it would only be a lose/lose situation....
I agree with most if not all of what you wrote.

Brailsford does have €2.5m euros of Dawg poo on his hands that he now has to find a way to offload. In saying that he was happy to pay Wiggins €3m to do not a lot.

I think the Dawg was advised to go away for a while. Try and let that book disappear without another mention. What a mess that was.

My view is Froome won't win the Vuelta. I don't think he'll even podium.
 
Aug 15, 2012
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thehog said:
I agree with most if not all of what you wrote.

Brailsford does have €2.5m euros of Dawg poo on his hands that he now has to find a way to offload. In saying that he was happy to pay Wiggins €3m to do not a lot.

I think the Dawg was advised to go away for a while. Try and let that book disappear without another mention. What a mess that was.

My view is Froome won't win the Vuelta. I don't think he'll even podium.
I agree for the most part. I find it interesting that the tact TS has taken re. publicly acknowledging injury-healing vs. sky's realive silence on Froome is so different. I guess we'll see the truth in a week or so.
 
Granville57 said:
I don't want to stray too far from the topic of Froome (out of respect for this thread) but I really don't know, or care, who is behind the Secret "Pro."

It very well may be a member of the peloton, or it could be a culmination of different sources. Either way, the insights offered are hardly all that insightful.

This notion that he's revealing secret, insider information comes up pretty weak. So it's probably best if he just remains anonymous. Not because of any great secrets revealed, but for the overall lameness of his schtick.

A few members here, along with select Twitter accounts, will reveal much more to the curious-minded than whatever it is this "Secret Pro" thinks he has up his sleeve.

But again, let's keep this thread about Froome, and move further discussion to the Sidebar thread or elsewhere. ;)
To be fair he was right about Menchov. . .
 
Merckx index said:
I don't have the link, but Froome is on record giving a general time period during which he probably contracted the disease, and it was well after he turned pro. He's never claimed he had it long before he started riding.
If he doesn't know, he can't really claim anything. He is guessing.


Merckx index said:
Because he was sick. He had a chest infection. He had symptoms that would be perfectly unremarkable for someone with no history of schisto.
It's remarkable though, if you consider that recurring chest infections were a big part of what made him go do the tests for Bilharzia in the first place.


I appreciate the effort you put into that timeline, still I'd like to hear an answer to this question, if you don't mind (I have expanded it a bit):

As a professional cylist, does carrying schisto around for a long time take a toll on your immune system which in combination with the other symptoms related to the eggs that I've mentioned above take a toll on the consistency of your performance (e.g being able to dig deep and perform well one day but paying a big price for it he next days)? Is there a precedent of a pro athlete with chronic schisto in cycling or another sport with similar demands on your body?
________________________________________________________________

@red_flanders

red_flanders said:
I would like to hear you take a shot at the most likely method he used to achieve the transformation.
Well a baseline would be assuming Froome spoke true when he said he did a Vo2Max test in 2007 scoring somewhere between 80 and 85 while being 4 kilos heavier than today. So we could say, the talent is there, but held back by inexperience, illness and respective side effects, as well as the fact that it's probably hard to compare the quality of his training as teenager with that of most european riders, so his talent being turned into results might take a while longer.
I don't want to discuss the quality of Team Sky's training and preparation (no doping reference intended), but I think it's not a stretch to imagine that it was the best he had so far in his career. Add the radical weight loss to it , and 2 rounds of pzq treatment (his Tour of Poland, or his preparation for it maybe hampered by side-effects) and at the Vuelta 2011 things fell into place he could finally reap what he had sown. You'll laugh at this, I know, and I understand that :D but this, or somewhere along those lines, is how I believe it could have happened.

Now would you be so kind and answer my question too?
 
yespatterns said:
I agree for the most part. I find it interesting that the tact TS has taken re. publicly acknowledging injury-healing vs. sky's realive silence on Froome is so different. I guess we'll see the truth in a week or so.
Something had to be done.

He spent the year criticising the UCI on two fronts, whilst taking favours from them, then writing a book which basically stated his team manager was an idiot as was the team’s former leader and winner of the Tour de France and anyone who’d had ever ridden for him. He then wrote about his career with events which clearly didn’t occur and made up stories about beating Contador which could easily be verified as false. He made himself out to be a the panacea of dope free cycling when in reality he was happy to be injected with anything and ingest steroids when not really sick and smash the field without revealing this information.

Someone had to tell him to disappear for a while to another country and out of Europe. Anyone as stupid as Froome needs to be restrained. As the previous poster mentioned. Those Dauphine attacks on the flat were simply ludicrous. Not just from a doping perspective but from the sheer idiocy per tactical race sense.
 
Jul 27, 2014
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thehog said:
Those Dauphine attacks on the flat were simply ludicrous. Not just from a doping perspective but from the sheer idiocy per tactical race sense.
No they werent, I am sure his goal was to confuse and scare Contador, to make him lose Dauphine. He succeeded, didnt he?
 

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