Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

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Forever The Best said:
macbindle said:
Forever The Best said:
Red Rick said:
JosephK said:
No takers today after Stage 6 vertical takeoff from G? . . . Forum was down for a while.
What is there to say. People were expecting Bernal. Then Thomas takes off, yet nobody is the least bit surprised, cause it's the special kind of horse manure we've been seeing the last 8 Tours.
This. I'm not surprised by anything from Sky. They've made such a big mockery out of the race that the only thing left is laugh.
Maybe you missed the Amstrong years? Were they a mockery? Or the Indurain years? Were they a mockery

What about the intervening years, with Pantani, Ulrich and Riis, not a mockery?

No?

What about post Armstrong? Landis? Or Contador, with one win revoked through doping, and the other wins tainted with the knowledge that he is a doper?

Pre-Sky the only two years that were not a total open mockery were Sastre and Evan's, but dont lift the edge of the carpet too high...

What about that wonderful oasis of purity, 2014, when Sky didnt win? Oh yes, Nibali. Riding for Astana. Heard of them? :lol: Managed by Vinokourov FFS, a man who's only redeeming feature is that he makes absolutely no attempt to deny, because he absolutely doesn't give a FK.

So, sorry, what was it you were saying about Sky making a mockery of the race :lol: :lol:

Hey, let's all cheer on Fulsgang (Astana, Vinokourov), or Kriswiijk (J-L, born from the corpse of dope-soaked Rabobank) or maybe just forget about the GC and cheer on the panache of world champion Valverde..

Oops.
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!

Cheating has been prevalent in sports since the start and will be, but this kind of dominance isn't that much prevalent. Even USPS did it with only one rider. Sky did it with Wiggins, Froome and now with Thomas.

And the only one that came close to this was USPS and given how they were/are viewed from the crowd (hint: similar to how people are viewing Sky now) your attempt to whitewash is quite pathetic.
Domination by 1 team/group of riders is pretty much the norm in the Tour.


France/Saint Raphael/Ford did it with Anquetil/Aimar, Faema/Molteni did it with Merckx, Renault/La Vie Claire did it with Hinault/Fignon/LeMond, Indurain won 5 in a row which no-one else has ever done (officially), and US Postal did it with Armstrong. I've kept this to post-WW2 and from the first rider once trade teams came back (anquetil) but the same pattern is seen between WW1 and WW2 and even before WW1 (although these races were pretty different).

The usual pattern is domination, a few different winners, domination and so on.
 
Dec 22, 2017
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Forever The Best said:
macbindle said:
Forever The Best said:
Red Rick said:
JosephK said:
No takers today after Stage 6 vertical takeoff from G? . . . Forum was down for a while.
What is there to say. People were expecting Bernal. Then Thomas takes off, yet nobody is the least bit surprised, cause it's the special kind of horse manure we've been seeing the last 8 Tours.
This. I'm not surprised by anything from Sky. They've made such a big mockery out of the race that the only thing left is laugh.
Maybe you missed the Amstrong years? Were they a mockery? Or the Indurain years? Were they a mockery

What about the intervening years, with Pantani, Ulrich and Riis, not a mockery?

No?

What about post Armstrong? Landis? Or Contador, with one win revoked through doping, and the other wins tainted with the knowledge that he is a doper?

Pre-Sky the only two years that were not a total open mockery were Sastre and Evan's, but dont lift the edge of the carpet too high...

What about that wonderful oasis of purity, 2014, when Sky didnt win? Oh yes, Nibali. Riding for Astana. Heard of them? :lol: Managed by Vinokourov FFS, a man who's only redeeming feature is that he makes absolutely no attempt to deny, because he absolutely doesn't give a FK.

So, sorry, what was it you were saying about Sky making a mockery of the race :lol: :lol:

Hey, let's all cheer on Fulsgang (Astana, Vinokourov), or Kriswiijk (J-L, born from the corpse of dope-soaked Rabobank) or maybe just forget about the GC and cheer on the panache of world champion Valverde..

Oops.
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!

Cheating has been prevalent in sports since the start and will be, but this kind of dominance isn't that much prevalent. Even USPS did it with only one rider. Sky did it with Wiggins, Froome and now with Thomas.

And the only one that came close to this was USPS and given how they were/are viewed from the crowd (hint: similar to how people are viewing Sky now) your attempt to whitewash is quite pathetic.
What attempt to whitewash???

I'm saying that pretty much every winning team has made a mockery of the Tour for the last 30 years, including Sky.

Cycling didnt start just when you started watching it. :rolleyes:
 
Forever The Best said:
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
 
Parker said:
Forever The Best said:
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
Ok, so I was wrong about 70s to 80s. But I was saying that even Banesto and USPS didn't have this kind of domination. This is almost unprecedented in last 35 years.
 
Forever The Best said:
Parker said:
Forever The Best said:
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
Ok, so I was wrong about 70s to 80s. But I was saying that even Banesto and USPS didn't have this kind of domination. This is almost unprecedented in last 35 years.
La Vie Claire!?
 
staubsauger said:
Forever The Best said:
Parker said:
Forever The Best said:
Yes, because one team having the strongest rider and dominating one race every single year for 8! years (and sometimes 2! riders in one race) is totally the norm in history. The closest was USPS and they only did it with one rider. Sky did it with 3!
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
Ok, so I was wrong about 70s to 80s. But I was saying that even Banesto and USPS didn't have this kind of domination. This is almost unprecedented in last 35 years.
La Vie Claire!?
They won Giro and Tour in '85 and Tour in '86. They didn't win 6 Tours in 7 years (I'm sure it will be 7 in 8 in Paris this year)
 
Parker said:
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
That fifteen year time period you refer to involved mostly three riders—Hinault (5 titles), Lemond (3) and Fignon (2). You really can’t compare these riders, in terms of their early potential, with Wiggins, Froome and Thomas. Hinault won his first TDF at 23; Lemond at 25; Fignon at 22. My point being, Renault attracted top talent, they didn’t develop it from riders with little GT promise, as Sky has apparently done. Wiggins and Thomas, of course, are former track cyclists, who have won Tours in their early 30s, an age by which all the Renault stars were done. In fact, four of the six TDF titles won by Sky were by riders who were older than any of the Renault riders at the time of their last Tour victory, and seven of the ten titles won by Renault were by riders younger than any Sky winner.
 
Merckx index said:
Parker said:
USPS aren't the closest. Another team surpassed Sky. Between 1976 and 1984 Renault (formerly Gitane) won seven Tours in nine years with three different riders. Four of the next six years were won by former Renault riders. In 1984 the podium was filled with three riders who had all been at Renault the previous year (two still were).
That fifteen year time period you refer to involved mostly three riders—Hinault (5 titles), Lemond (3) and Fignon (2). You really can’t compare these riders, in terms of their early potential, with Wiggins, Froome and Thomas. Hinault won his first TDF at 23; Lemond at 25; Fignon at 22. My point being, Renault attracted top talent, they didn’t develop it from riders with little GT promise, as Sky has apparently done. Wiggins and Thomas, of course, are former track cyclists, who have won Tours in their early 30s, an age by which all the Renault stars were done. In fact, four of the six TDF titles won by Sky were by riders who were older than any of the Renault riders at the time of their last Tour victory, and seven of the ten titles won by Renault were by riders younger than any Sky winner.
Very good post. The Sky TDF winners showed nothing as a GC rider in young age.
 
Dec 22, 2017
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Different era, different cycling.Remind me, which 22 year old has won a Gt recently?

For all that Team Sky are horrid and dodgy, to compare the 2010s with the 1980s is silly. The sport is in a different position. Its like comparing current rugby to the 1980s
 
Say what you will, that Thomas is the best climber in the world '18-'19 is just impossible for me to believe.

It's in the same category as Jalabert and Armstrong. Just*impossible*to*believe.
 
Dec 22, 2017
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Re:

The Hegelian said:
Say what you will, that Thomas is the best climber in the world '18-'19 is just impossible for me to believe.

It's in the same category as Jalabert and Armstrong. Just*impossible*to*believe.
Statements like that deserve careful attention because it sounds like a possible strawman. What are your criteria for judging the 'best climber in the world' and what has Thomas done to fulfil these?

Judging by Thursday's TdF stage, Alaphilippe is the best climber in the world, which, of course, is impossible to believe ;)
 
Re:

macbindle said:
Different era, different pressures.

Nobody wins a tour at 22 years old these days.
Historically nobody wins the Tour at 22 years of age. Anquetil, Fignon and Gimondi were 23 and Hinault and Merckx were 24 when they won their first. LeMond was 25. The last 22-year-old to win the Tour was Romain Maes in 1935. Era has nothing to do with it. If Egan Bernal was riding for a different team I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him join the ranks of very young Tour winners this year or next year.
 
Re:

The Hegelian said:
Say what you will, that Thomas is the best climber in the world '18-'19 is just impossible for me to believe.

It's in the same category as Jalabert and Armstrong. Just*impossible*to*believe.
Armstrong actually was 7th at the 1994 Tour of Switzerland and still was in 10th place at the 1995 edition after finishing 13th on the La Punt queen stage! Withdrew later after he emptied himself with a useless breakaway attempt and a chasse patate on the way to Flumserberg!

That information is always a bit forgotten when using him as The yardstick for a transformation.
 
When Froome became this unbeatable alien winning every Tour, let's say 2013 or 2015 or even in 2016 didn't you all think, wonder who'll come next when he'll fade? I bet you all thought it'll be Geraint Thomas!
 
Re: Re:

Saint Unix said:
Historically nobody wins the Tour at 22 years of age. Anquetil, Fignon and Gimondi were 23 and Hinault and Merckx were 24 when they won their first. LeMond was 25. The last 22-year-old to win the Tour was Romain Maes in 1935. Era has nothing to do with it. If Egan Bernal was riding for a different team I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him join the ranks of very young Tour winners this year or next year.
Fignon had not turned 23 when he won in 1983. Granted, 22 is unusual, 24-25 more the case, though Ulrich was 23. Contador won his first at 24, and Schleck at 25.

So I agree with you, this era is not so different that young riders can't win the Tour. But they mostly haven't. Why?
Is it because cyclists mature later than they used to? Surely not, but they may remain competitive at an older age. We've had four first time TDF winners in their 30s in the past decade, plus Froome's last three. Added to this is that USPS/Discovery/Sky have dominated the Tour for much of the past twenty years, so that any emerging young talent has a tougher road to winning. While teams like Renault and LaVie dominated in the past, their stars were mostly done by age 30, opening up the field to younger riders. Indurain was the first rider to win two Tours past the age of 30, and Froome is the only one to win three at that age, not counting LA (who still counts in that his dominance made it harder for young riders to emerge).

So it seems to me that at least part of the answer is that riders today are able to remain competitive at an older age, no doubt helped by certain PEDs. In any case, my original point stands. Teams decades ago didn't develop their stars as much as find and sign them when they were young. That clearly has not been the case with Sky, though they have been aggressive in signing riders to surround the leader.
 
I think it's very convenient to choose "wins a GT at 22" as the key to this discussion, when what's relevant to Froome, Wiggins and Thomas, and which hasn't changed since the 80s, is "talent shows early". Sure, only a few chosen people win GTs at 22-23, but many GT contenders these days start getting great placings around that age.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
I think it's very convenient to choose "wins a GT at 22" as the key to this discussion, when what's relevant to Froome, Wiggins and Thomas, and which hasn't changed since the 80s, is "talent shows early". Sure, only a few chosen people win GTs at 22-23, but many GT contenders these days start getting great placings around that age.
Absolutely. Even in the last five years there's a bunch of guys that have showed GT-winning pedigree or potential at a very young age. Quintana was very young when he won the Giro and Bardet, Pinot, Lopez, Aru and Mas all podiumed a Grand Tour at less than 25 years of age. Common for all of those guys are that, even at the age of around 20-22 they were regularly producing results that were better than anything Froome ever did on a bike before the 2011 Vuelta.

"Talent shows early" is one of those things that will always be true in endurance sports. Random 30-year-olds appearing out of thin air and suddenly winning hard races after a long and mediocre cycling career is as close to a positive doping test as you can possibly get without having an actual positive test, and the history books back up that statement. Riis, Chiappucci, Berzin, Armstrong, Rominger, Jaskula, Rumsas... All absolute jokes. Throw Wiggins, Froome and Thomas on to the top of the pile.

That's not to say that a young rider dominating is definitely clean. Of course they could still be doping, but they at least get the benefit of the doubt. So do guys like Michael Woods, who switched from running to cycling in his twenties. Old dudes suddenly discovering a hidden extra gear or two is a completely different story.
 
Re:

hrotha said:
I think it's very convenient to choose "wins a GT at 22" as the key to this discussion, when what's relevant to Froome, Wiggins and Thomas, and which hasn't changed since the 80s, is "talent shows early". Sure, only a few chosen people win GTs at 22-23, but many GT contenders these days start getting great placings around that age.
Excellent post.

Quintana was 23 when placing 2nd in the 2013 Tour.

But I also don't see Thomas' transformation as being on the same level of Froome's, even though his Tour success came much later.
 
Dec 22, 2017
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At 22-23 Thomas was winning Gold medals in the Olympics and World Championships....on the track.
That was his focus. Ditto Wiggins.

It's a bit dim to talk about their road race palmares at aged 22 when that is not what they had been doing.

Did talent show early? A rack of gold medals at the highest level says yes. They rose to the absolute pinnacle of what they were doing.

Is anybody claiming that they are on the level of a Contador, a Merckx, or even a Nibali? No. Wiggins had one great year with a TdF course that suited him (and a stack of kenacort) Thomas had a year with key competitors not present in the form they perhaps could have been and the strongest GT team to support him.

Neither of these are 5 time tour winners, are they.
 
"Talent shows early" certainly applied to Lance. He was killing it in triathlons as a teenager and won the WC RR when he was what, 22, 23?

I really don't think you can read anything into early success vs. late success. Especially in the US there's a lot of riders who switch to road cycling from other endurance sports. Cycling has always been a sport where there's been big winners at 22 as well as 35.
 
Using their track focus as an 'out' only covers half of it though, because as has been discussed ad infinitum, the kind of transferable skills from track tend to lead to riders who are more focused on sprinting and time trialling, and this reflects in the majority of cases in the type of road racers track riders become. The track riders who do have transferable climbing skills also tend to show it early - for example Peter Kennaugh was also part of the track team and he'd shown more climbing nous by 22 than Wiggins had by 28 - evidenced in his showing at the Girobio in 2009 and his podium in the Route du Sud in 2011.
 

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