Teams & Riders Froome Talk Only

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The Hitch said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Yes.

But because of a technicality (the document posted above isn't the exact one that Brailsford created, just a replica), apparently we are supposed to ignore it.
And obviously Froome's placement isn't indicative of his true level because his placement is based on races where he didn't need to try his hardest. Froome also half-arsed all the internal testing done by Sky for good measure, because apparently cyclists don't need contracts.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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Never forget that Sky success is because they are the best in all fields... for sure at lying and fairytales telling.
 
But let us get serious for a moment and look at the hard facts.

Fact #1: We know Froome's transformation involved a significant increase in his power output. It's visible to anyone who knows cycling that he's stronger and John Swanson's data is as close to conclusively proving it as we're going to get without Froome's power files from his entire stint at Sky being released.

Fact #2: We know Froome lost a lot of weight from his pudgy early Sky days in 2010 and 2011 to the alien-like emaciated look he was sporting in 2012 and 2013. It's impossible to say he didn't when looking at pictures of him.

The crux of the matter is how he achieved his performance gains. A very important thing to consider is that Chris Froome had ridden competitively at a high level for the better part of a decade before his transformation. Just getting to that level requires dedication and years of training. The training, by the way, largely consists of low intensity cardio. Pretty much a perfect routine for anyone looking to lose excess fat. In other words, it's not unreasonable to assume that Froome was close to his physiological limit power-wise and didn't have much weight left to lose naturally. There's also the problem of the time frame. His transformation happened so quickly that it's hard to believe that the power increase and weight loss happened naturally.

So the explanations for his transformation that are popular among posters on the Clinic are:
1) The classic doping cocktail of blood boosters, HGH and the likes
2) Weight loss drugs (AICAR, GW1516, etc.)
3) Motorized bikes
4) All clean, baby. The engine was there all along. He just lost the inner fat.

The doping cocktail or the motorized bikes by themselves might explain the increase in power, but not the weight loss. It can't be just this, but it could definitely be a part of it. Similarly, the weight loss drugs explain the weight loss, but not the increase in power. A combination of 1 and 2 or 3 and 2, or even all three together, however, is a plausible explanation for how the two previously stated facts came to be true.

The fact that you need a combination of at least two illegal practices to simultaneously explain the two facts by default makes explanation #4 extremely unlikely. Paniagua does not fully explain his increase in power, nor his drastic weight loss.

Looking at cycling historically, we have seen riders substantially increase their power in a short period of time. The common denominator, however, has been the use of PEDs. Similarly, there is at least one case of a rider shedding a seemingly unhealthy amount of weight in a short amount of time and suddenly podiuming GTs seemingly at will... Of course it's Sir Kenacort of Fluimucil, tattered reputation and all. Conveniently enough he was both from the same country and on the same team as Froome in 2011.

So what you have is a transformation never seen before in cycling, which can be easily explained through a concept that has been linked with the sport of cycling since its very beginning over a century ago - cheating. There are also multiple pieces of evidence to support this hypothesis:

- There's the Leinders factor that makes the use of PEDs very conceivable.
- There's the similarity to the weight loss of Wiggins. Eric Boyer insinuated Wiggins lost weight through use of illegal substances. The ongoing jiffy bag scandal further strengthens this case.
- There is the leaked power file of the Ventoux acceleration which is consistent with the motorized bike theory.

Meanwhile the evidence to support Froome is clean is the famous Armstrong Defence (zero failed tests) and Sky's word, which of course is worth little in the world of sport, where teams and athletes will always profess their innocence regardless of whether they're doping or clean. Just look at Russia continously denying running a state-funded doping program despite the mountain of evidence against them.

Blind faith is all well and good, but at some point one has to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and start smelling the coffee instead.
 
Re:

Saint Unix said:
But let us get serious for a moment and look at the hard facts.

Fact #1: We know Froome's transformation involved a significant increase in his power output. It's visible to anyone who knows cycling that he's stronger and John Swanson's data is as close to conclusively proving it as we're going to get without Froome's power files from his entire stint at Sky being released.

Fact #2: We know Froome lost a lot of weight from his pudgy early Sky days in 2010 and 2011 to the alien-like emaciated look he was sporting in 2012 and 2013. It's impossible to say he didn't when looking at pictures of him.

The crux of the matter is how he achieved his performance gains. A very important thing to consider is that Chris Froome had ridden competitively at a high level for the better part of a decade before his transformation. Just getting to that level requires dedication and years of training. The training, by the way, largely consists of low intensity cardio. Pretty much a perfect routine for anyone looking to lose excess fat. In other words, it's not unreasonable to assume that Froome was close to his physiological limit power-wise and didn't have much weight left to lose naturally. There's also the problem of the time frame. His transformation happened so quickly that it's hard to believe that the power increase and weight loss happened naturally.

So the explanations for his transformation that are popular among posters on the Clinic are:
1) The classic doping cocktail of blood boosters, HGH and the likes
2) Weight loss drugs (AICAR, GW1516, etc.)
3) Motorized bikes
4) All clean, baby. The engine was there all along. He just lost the inner fat.

The doping cocktail or the motorized bikes by themselves might explain the increase in power, but not the weight loss. It can't be just this, but it could definitely be a part of it. Similarly, the weight loss drugs explain the weight loss, but not the increase in power. A combination of 1 and 2 or 3 and 2, or even all three together, however, is a plausible explanation for how the two previously stated facts came to be true.

The fact that you need a combination of at least two illegal practices to simultaneously explain the two facts by default makes explanation #4 extremely unlikely. Paniagua does not fully explain his increase in power, nor his drastic weight loss.

Looking at cycling historically, we have seen riders substantially increase their power in a short period of time. The common denominator, however, has been the use of PEDs. Similarly, there is at least one case of a rider shedding a seemingly unhealthy amount of weight in a short amount of time and suddenly podiuming GTs seemingly at will... Of course it's Sir Kenacort of Fluimucil, tattered reputation and all. Conveniently enough he was both from the same country and on the same team as Froome in 2011.

So what you have is a transformation never seen before in cycling, which can be easily explained through a concept that has been linked with the sport of cycling since its very beginning over a century ago - cheating. There are also multiple pieces of evidence to support this hypothesis:

- There's the Leinders factor that makes the use of PEDs very conceivable.
- There's the similarity to the weight loss of Wiggins. Eric Boyer insinuated Wiggins lost weight through use of illegal substances. The ongoing jiffy bag scandal further strengthens this case.
- There is the leaked power file of the Ventoux acceleration which is consistent with the motorized bike theory.

Meanwhile the evidence to support Froome is clean is the famous Armstrong Defence (zero failed tests) and Sky's word, which of course is worth little in the world of sport, where teams and athletes will always profess their innocence regardless of whether they're doping or clean. Just look at Russia continously denying running a state-funded doping program despite the mountain of evidence against them.

Blind faith is all well and good, but at some point one has to stop drinking the Kool-Aid and start smelling the coffee instead.
2 points to play Devil's Advocate - the guy is obviously doping.

Motorized bikes for the initial transformation - I can't see a bottom of the rung rider like Froome had the capabilities to do this on his own. I can't see Sky investing a motorized bike in him at that point in his career - see Bronstein's post above for the reasons why not.

A motorized bike later on - not convinced but its cycling and I wouldn't rule anything out.

What the f was the second greatest doping doctor doing January 11 to July 11 - I can't believe Leinders was involved in the initial transformation. Froome was not a top class cyclist even with Leinders alchemy for most of that season - Sky were about to get rid of him.

I suspect Froome - found his own Doctor (Bermon?) and did his own thing to try and get a contract any where - after that I've no doubt Sky backed him up.
 
Aug 12, 2015
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Yes you don't need AICAR et al. to lose the fat, you just have to become a caveman. I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this has been mentioned.

It's what I'm doing as an amateur but mind you, it's not because of performance but for health reasons, as the regular low-fat/high-carb diet wrecks all the body's systems (without fat, detoxification slows down) Consuming dietary fat also makes burning of stored fat more easily since the body swithces into ketosis. Since I now have a constant source of slow energy I don't need coffee to wake up and don't consume caffeine at all in any form. This makes my receptors extremely sensitive to the stuff so even the tiniest amount can drive me crazy as fat burning really kicks into high gear then. Those who drink coffee on a daily level are pretty much insensitive to it. The general lack of carbs makes the body prepare itself to store more in the muscles in case it gets some.

So combine this two effects together, before hard days like races or general physical work eat a lot of carbs, plus coffee on the day and I'm flying. I mostly ride 4+ hours daily strictly on fat+protein, sometimes even on empty stomach, before intervals I drop in some sugar though so I can push harder for a few minutes. Then I reload the carbs after riding, many small portions, never too much at once. So you basically need to have an extra percentage of fat, with this method you can't go down to 5% because then the body switches into survival mode so around 10% is ideal to just feel comfortable and being able to dig into the reserves with caffeine when needed.

This is also what Froome does but not too many people do this in the field, I guess it's a matter of general body composition and basically you need a lot of blind fanatism/motivation to achieve it. I'm an office worker and figured that I don't need carbs to just sit in front of a screen. Yes I look like a skeleton which is not too sexy but it's also not sexy being sick so that's that I guess. On flats I've lost some power though as body weight went down. I'm not saying he doesn't dope as they probably all do in the circus (doesn't bother me, everything is sick which is about money), it's just what I know about the subject. AICAR might be needed for people who are not fat-adapted.
 
Re:

bebellion2 said:
Yes you don't need AICAR et al. to lose the fat, you just have to become a caveman. I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if this has been mentioned.

It's what I'm doing as an amateur but mind you, it's not because of performance but for health reasons, as the regular low-fat/high-carb diet wrecks all the body's systems (without fat, detoxification slows down) Consuming dietary fat also makes burning of stored fat more easily since the body swithces into ketosis. Since I now have a constant source of slow energy I don't need coffee to wake up and don't consume caffeine at all in any form. This makes my receptors extremely sensitive to the stuff so even the tiniest amount can drive me crazy as fat burning really kicks into high gear then. Those who drink coffee on a daily level are pretty much insensitive to it. The general lack of carbs makes the body prepare itself to store more in the muscles in case it gets some.

So combine this two effects together, before hard days like races or general physical work eat a lot of carbs, plus coffee on the day and I'm flying. I mostly ride 4+ hours daily strictly on fat+protein, sometimes even on empty stomach, before intervals I drop in some sugar though so I can push harder for a few minutes. Then I reload the carbs after riding, many small portions, never too much at once. So you basically need to have an extra percentage of fat, with this method you can't go down to 5% because then the body switches into survival mode so around 10% is ideal to just feel comfortable and being able to dig into the reserves with caffeine when needed.

This is also what Froome does but not too many people do this in the field, I guess it's a matter of general body composition and basically you need a lot of blind fanatism/motivation to achieve it. I'm an office worker and figured that I don't need carbs to just sit in front of a screen. Yes I look like a skeleton which is not too sexy but it's also not sexy being sick so that's that I guess. On flats I've lost some power though as body weight went down. I'm not saying he doesn't dope as they probably all do in the circus (doesn't bother me, everything is sick which is about money), it's just what I know about the subject. AICAR might be needed for people who are not fat-adapted.
Gianni Bugno was doing this way back when and for the most part is Ferrari's diet plan. It's not a Froome nor Sky diet. In fact this year, Froome apparently gained 1.5kg during the Tour.
 
Re:

bebellion2 said:
This is also what Froome does but not too many people do this in the field, I guess it's a matter of general body composition and basically you need a lot of blind fanatism/motivation to achieve it. I'm an office worker and figured that I don't need carbs to just sit in front of a screen. Yes I look like a skeleton which is not too sexy but it's also not sexy being sick so that's that I guess. On flats I've lost some power though as body weight went down. I'm not saying he doesn't dope as they probably all do in the circus (doesn't bother me, everything is sick which is about money), it's just what I know about the subject. AICAR might be needed for people who are not fat-adapted.
And Froome gained ~15% power. That's the thing. I'm sure it's possible for professional athletes to become Froome-level skinny naturally, but not without losing power in the process. Froome went full Manny Calavera and became stronger at the same time. I can't make sense of it without adding a healthy sprinkle of illegal methods to the equation.
 
Aug 12, 2015
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Re: Re:

thehog said:
Gianni Bugno was doing this way back when and for the most part is Ferrari's diet plan. It's not a Froome nor Sky diet. In fact this year, Froome apparently gained 1.5kg during the Tour.
Didn't know about the Ferrari link, thanks. That guy was friggin smart. Today every health related info is available on the net to everyone but back then it was harder to get it.

Although, been watching cycling since '89 and don't remember seeing anyone who was as skinny as Froome but it's possible. Bugno, like Armstrong definitely wasn't skinny, at least they looked like athletes not like Froome. Perhaps Sky went a step further by deciding to not stand out of the saddle therefore losing some upper body muscle, this might've suited the guy's phisiology a bit more.
 
Aug 12, 2015
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Saint Unix said:
And Froome gained ~15% power. That's the thing. I'm sure it's possible for professional athletes to become Froome-level skinny naturally, but not without losing power in the process. Froome went full Manny Calavera and became stronger at the same time. I can't make sense of it without adding a healthy sprinkle of illegal methods to the equation.
Absolutely. But still Froome's skinniness is something that stands way out of the field and it must be related to his performance, doping or not. I don't know how VO2 relates to fat burning but his VO2 is surely high, though I have no idea about the rest of the guys.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
 
Jul 5, 2009
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Re: Re:

bebellion2 said:
thehog said:
Gianni Bugno was doing this way back when and for the most part is Ferrari's diet plan. It's not a Froome nor Sky diet. In fact this year, Froome apparently gained 1.5kg during the Tour.
Didn't know about the Ferrari link, thanks. That guy was friggin smart. Today every health related info is available on the net to everyone but back then it was harder to get it.

Although, been watching cycling since '89 and don't remember seeing anyone who was as skinny as Froome but it's possible. Bugno, like Armstrong definitely wasn't skinny, at least they looked like athletes not like Froome. Perhaps Sky went a step further by deciding to not stand out of the saddle therefore losing some upper body muscle, this might've suited the guy's phisiology a bit more.
That's the one. Luis Herrera, Fabio Parra, Robert Millar, Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes, Claudio Bortolotto. All these guys were naturally small framed and natural climbers. Climb like a mountain goat for days. But I bet you can't find a single photo of them looking emaciated. They all look naturally skinny and thin, but their skin isn't translucent....

John Swanson
 
May 26, 2010
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PremierAndrew said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
That is why Brailsford offered Froome to Bruyneel and Bruyneel, if anyone could recognise a potential GT winner he could, turned Froome down!

No one saw Froome as GT potential, except Mrs Froome.

It takes talent to get to WT. Well done Froome. But GT winner. No effing way!
 
Aug 12, 2015
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ScienceIsCool said:
That's the one. Luis Herrera, Fabio Parra, Robert Millar, Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes, Claudio Bortolotto. All these guys were naturally small framed and natural climbers. Climb like a mountain goat for days. But I bet you can't find a single photo of them looking emaciated. They all look naturally skinny and thin, but their skin isn't translucent....
Yes. If you manage to increase efficiency even by a marginal 0.1% then you're a winner. Pedaling is a rather simple movement and even in Armstrong's later wins he was advised to stand out less as he loses efficiency that way. I remember not really liking it as it lost the feeling of spectacle. Froome is just the natural evolution of this approach (even the cadence aspect), an efficient, mechanical monster.

Of course it's boring, Indurain was too, but what's more interesting that if this was so simple to achieve then why noone else is doing it? Other cyclists ride out of the saddle a lot which looks good on TV but totally old school. Losing muscle from a specific region is difficult, if you go low protein then you lose from everywhere and then you have to rebuild the legs, not to mention muscle loss is painful (Armstrong did that on chemo). It requires a high level of inhuman discipline and at least I applaud this part. I wonder what the next step will be with the next champ, maybe a one-armed guy.
 
Jul 5, 2009
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bebellion2 said:
ScienceIsCool said:
That's the one. Luis Herrera, Fabio Parra, Robert Millar, Charly Gaul, Federico Bahamontes, Claudio Bortolotto. All these guys were naturally small framed and natural climbers. Climb like a mountain goat for days. But I bet you can't find a single photo of them looking emaciated. They all look naturally skinny and thin, but their skin isn't translucent....
Yes. If you manage to increase efficiency even by a marginal 0.1% then you're a winner. Pedaling is a rather simple movement and even in Armstrong's later wins he was advised to stand out less as he loses efficiency that way. I remember not really liking it as it lost the feeling of spectacle. Froome is just the natural evolution of this approach (even the cadence aspect), an efficient, mechanical monster.

Of course it's boring, Indurain was too, but what's more interesting that if this was so simple to achieve then why noone else is doing it? Other cyclists ride out of the saddle a lot which looks good on TV but totally old school. Losing muscle from a specific region is difficult, if you go low protein then you lose from everywhere and then you have to rebuild the legs, not to mention muscle loss is painful (Armstrong did that on chemo). It requires a high level of inhuman discipline and at least I applaud this part. I wonder what the next step will be with the next champ, maybe a one-armed guy.
Wut?
 
Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
Do you have a source for this?
 
Sep 17, 2013
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Re: Re:

PremierAndrew said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
I fact they were so convinced of his talent, that they wanted him off the team.
 
Re: Re:

Bronstein said:
PremierAndrew said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
Do you have a source for this?
I would also like a source or sources - even things as low grade as cycling magazine articles. Happy to change my opinion if you can provide this.

I don't recall anyone speaking of Froome in terms of a possible tdf contender, let alone winner. But yes, definitely Geraint Thomas - he came in to the pro peloton with those sorts of hopes imputed on his back. They were more hope than expectation though. And many, many a young talent gets that imputation. Few go beyond the dream.

This in itself speaks volumes - in all of this time, Thomas has only just this year managed to claim genuine GT contender status. Meanwhile, the other guy has already won 4 tdf's.

The ridiculousness is a measure of the scale of his achievements versus the expectation. Find me another example of this gap anywhere in the history of the sport. One off unexpected wins are everywhere you look. But someone unexpected approaching the tdf feats of Indurain and Hinault? This is, categorically, unheard of.
 
Re: Re:

Benotti69 said:
PremierAndrew said:
Valv.Piti said:
Wait, Sky basically rated him as their worst rider? :D
Fwiw, when Sky were starting up with their aim of producing a British Tour winner within 5 years, they were looking at two riders: Froome and Thomas. Then Wiggins had his Tour in 09 and all the plans changed. It's a shame that Froome's become too common to search the forum history on here, because until recently, you could see posts before the 2011 Vuelta from multiple forumers who seemed very excited about Froome. Ok, not as a potential 4 time Tour winner and the dominant stage racer of his era, but it definitely looked like people expected him to be a challenger for top 5s in major stage races.

Not denying that he's 99% likely to have doped to get where he is right now, but the image of Froome as a talentless kid who cheated his way to the top is also ridiculous
That is why Brailsford offered Froome to Bruyneel and Bruyneel, if anyone could recognise a potential GT winner he could, turned Froome down!

No one saw Froome as GT potential, except Mrs Froome.

It takes talent to get to WT. Well done Froome. But GT winner. No effing way!
Have you got a link to that?

this isn't the football transfer window, why would sky offer him to another team when he would have been out of contract anyway and he would have nothing to do with sky?

it just doesn't make sense that's all
 

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