Fuglsang on his and his opponents' watts

After today's mountain stage, Jakob Fuglsang writes in his daily column (roughly translated):

"(...) Of course, I'm not too happy after today, but I don't think I can be disappointed about myself. In fact, I'm a bit surprised because today I made more watts than I did on the 3rd stage at Etna. There I was among the very fastest.

Ivan Velasco, who analyses our numbers, has had a talk with the guy who works with Pello Bilbao. He too rode as expected according to his numbers, and apparently Nibali has said that he too was at his expected level more or less. So those who were further ahead have either timed their form better, or it's just us who are getting old."
 
Bernal said the same in the Tour last month, i.e. "those were my best power numbers ever!" or words to that effect after he'd lost time on a climb. This raised suspicions about those who were beating him... & then Bernal completely blew up a couple of days later & then abandoned because he really, really wasn't well or anywhere near his best.

Personally speaking I wouldn't read too much into these watts remarks which seem like a new convenient excuse from riders who're dropped. Like in F1 when a driver is slower than his teammate he'll usually blame his tyre temperatures or car balance. In cycling we now have watts which serve the same "I have a perfect defense to handwave my bad performance" purpose.
 
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Bernal said the same in the Tour last month, i.e. "those were my best power numbers ever!" or words to that effect after he'd lost time on a climb. This raised suspicions about those who were beating him... & then Bernal completely blew up a couple of days later & then abandoned because he really, really wasn't well or anywhere near his best.

Personally speaking I wouldn't read too much into these watts remarks which seem like a new convenient excuse from riders who're dropped. Like in F1 when a driver is slower than his teammate he'll usually blame his tyre temperatures or car balance. In cycling we now have watts which serve the same "I have a perfect defense to handwave my bad performance" purpose.
Except in the Tour it was easily verified by the climbing times they put out, especially on the Peyresourde, where a full blood bag era record was completely destroyed.
 
Personally speaking I wouldn't read too much into these watts remarks which seem like a new convenient excuse from riders who're dropped. Like in F1 when a driver is slower than his teammate he'll usually blame his tyre temperatures or car balance. In cycling we now have watts which serve the same "I have a perfect defense to handwave my bad performance" purpose.
Or maybe they are right, and those who beat consistent riders like Nibali and Dumoulin ARE in fact doing things that are not normal.

Sunweb with five riders on the last climb on a tough mountain stage - looks very US Postal like.

Why is it so rare to see riders fade throughout a GT - the purpose of a long GT was originally to tire the riders out, wasn't it?
 
Or maybe they are right, and those who beat consistent riders like Nibali and Dumoulin ARE in fact doing things that are not normal.

Sunweb with five riders on the last climb on a tough mountain stage - looks very US Postal like.

Why is it so rare to see riders fade throughout a GT - the purpose of a long GT was originally to tire the riders out, wasn't it?
It's not even about not fading anymore. It's like getting 5-10% increases in the middle of the race while not even performing below the usual level initially.
 
Do you guys think they changed gear this year (or last couple), vitamins :D, or simply age catching up finally?
Fuglsang, Nibali?

If it were age they wouldn't put out their normal watts and they wouldn't get dropped by guys they hadn't heard of before this year. It's why I'm a bit hesitant to say it's game over for Nibali and Fuglsang. If they get their gear in order next year there's no real reason they can be up there even if they won't be the top 5 W/kg bazooka gorrillas
 
Ehm... I don't know if that is even important for the debate, but do you consider Fuglsang clean? Because being at Astana, improving quite a lot at that age would already ring some bells with me, it did even more so after that weird official Ferrari-comment.

Honestly, although I agree it looks like something has changed, and it might be something illegal, I feel most of you are now coming here because you don't want to believe Nibali does not look like winning.

(Do you believe Nibali is clean?)
 
Yep. The target level of W/kg needed to win has suddenly shifted.

It remains to be seen how many people will discover 'better training regimes' next year or if it was a one-off season.
Going off the top of my head, this is the biggest shift forward since EPO. Whatever happened in the previous 15 years, climbing times were actually relatively stable, maybe apart from 2006? Sure, players changed, regimens did change, but even the outlier climbing times had been pretty stable. Even Froome's biggest Tour climbs were roughly within range of Contador/Schleck in 2009/2010. Quitnana was roughly similar to Sastre 2008 on AdH. Now we going back to 2006 and earlier times.

I feel stolen by having no AdH in the Tour this year. 100% would have gone under 39'.
 
Ehm... I don't know if that is even important for the debate, but do you consider Fuglsang clean? Because being at Astana, improving quite a lot at that age would already ring some bells with me, it did even more so after that weird official Ferrari-comment.
The people at Astana have a horrible record. If a rider were deeply against doping, would he join such a team? No.

And yet, I think there are different levels in this. I believe the top riders eat some kind of spices. It could be things that are not "known" and therefore not officially illegal. In any case, if a rider performs consistently and has no serious doping cases on his record, I don't mind that much.

But riders like Pogacar are glowing in the dark. I wonder why he hasn't been caught yet. Hope they save his blood tests for later analyses.
 
Or maybe they are right, and those who beat consistent riders like Nibali and Dumoulin ARE in fact doing things that are not normal.

Sunweb with five riders on the last climb on a tough mountain stage - looks very US Postal like.

Why is it so rare to see riders fade throughout a GT - the purpose of a long GT was originally to tire the riders out, wasn't it?
You do realize Nibali & Fuglsang are in fact... old? The riders beating them who you insinuate are doping could be simply following the exact same regimen & winning... because they're younger than the two aforementioned former champs. It's quite normal in pro-sports, even when there's doping involved (unless it's Chris Horner style extra-terrestrial mutant level stuff without logic).

So what if Sunweb set the tempo & gained time on everyone? If it wasn't them, it would be someone else. With peak Froome or Thomas in this Giro, it would be Tao Geoghegan Hart destroying Sunweb with his tempo & you wouldn't even notice Kelderman & Hindley.
 
You do realize Nibali & Fuglsang are in fact... old? The riders beating them who you insinuate are doping could be simply following the exact same regimen & winning... because they're younger than the two aforementioned former champs. It's quite normal in pro-sports, even when there's doping involved (unless it's Chris Horner style extra-terrestrial mutant level stuff without logic).

So what if Sunweb set the tempo & gained time on everyone? If it wasn't them, it would be someone else. With peak Froome or Thomas in this Giro, it would be Tao Geoghegan Hart destroying Sunweb with his tempo & you wouldn't even notice Kelderman & Hindley.
Fuglsang is not a "former champ" - he has been in the Top 5 in the world in 2019 and 2020. And he has written that his watt values are just as good as they normally are, while supposedly weaker riders are overtaking him. I don't know more about those values, but it seems Fuglsang thinks something isn't right.
 
Pantani did Piancavallo 1'30 faster than Hart, so there's nothing out of the ordinary about these climbing times. Nibali and Fuglsang were 15" slower than Jungels in 2017, just to make a comparison.
I don't know about this but the "pseudo scientists" estimated Hindley at 6.3 for over 37'. That is not normal . After a TT, end of second week, end of a multi climb day.
 
Fuglsang is not a "former champ" - he has been in the Top 5 in the world in 2019 and 2020. And he has written that his watt values are just as good as they normally are, while supposedly weaker riders are overtaking him. I don't know more about those values, but it seems Fuglsang thinks something isn't right.
Semantics. You know what I mean, i.e. Fuglsang is one of the big names in cycling who has been round for years & years & years. But someone who is 35 & rides for Alex Vinokourov's team doesn't get the luxury of throwing suspicion at other riders just because he's losing the Giro. His power data is not reliable information.

Let it go, i.e. I love these guys (yes, even some of the dark side users), but sometimes they just need to let go & accept others are better.
 
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