Geraint Thomas, the next british hope

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I was happy to defend Thomas when he was being attacked here whilst losing big time to Bardet and Quintana. Had that trend continued Thomas would have finished near Yates at around 25mins down which again I would not consider unusual and certainly not meriting vociferous criticism. But it didn't - he strengthened relative to everyone else outside the top 2 despite having little assistance from the Ineos 'train'. It makes me consider "TUEs on steroids" as someone put it above is still in the Ineos DNA.

Even though 4th to 10th were all majorly flawed or unproven Thomas was better than all of them almost every day after that stage he lost out to Bardet and Quintana. His recovery was far better than them and he beat them all by 5-10mins overall at the age of 36. I believe he could have won the ITT had his radio not been broken from the start (he said he had to be cautious on the descent due to lack of radio and is already famed for being poor on technical descents). That would have had him beating 3 riders whose performance in this race I consider ludicrous. Even if ITT is Thomas's specialism that is bizarre.

The only thing I can find in his favour is guys like Mas and Yates, who should be beating him, have Covid or other bugs. I suspect a lot of riders may have had asymptomatic Covid in the past 0-6months and this is still having an impact.

Its infuriating we didnt have Roglic and O'Connor being competitive to help put Thomas's performance in context (they are far superior to the riders in 4th to 10th if we exclude Yates for being illish). If they'd both spanked him it would be far less alarming. If he'd competed with or defeated both of them I'd have fully gone over into the 'Thomas is a cheat' camp.
 
I was happy to defend Thomas when he was being attacked here whilst losing big time to Bardet and Quintana. Had that trend continued Thomas would have finished near Yates at around 25mins down which again I would not consider unusual and certainly not meriting vociferous criticism. But it didn't - he strengthened relative to everyone else outside the top 2 despite having little assistance from the Ineos 'train'. It makes me consider "TUEs on steroids" as someone put it above is still in the Ineos DNA.

Even though 4th to 10th were all majorly flawed or unproven Thomas was better than all of them almost every day after that stage he lost out to Bardet and Quintana. His recovery was far better than them and he beat them all by 5-10mins overall at the age of 36. I believe he could have won the ITT had his radio not been broken from the start (he said he had to be cautious on the descent due to lack of radio and is already famed for being poor on technical descents). That would have had him beating 3 riders whose performance in this race I consider ludicrous. Even if ITT is Thomas's specialism that is bizarre.

The only thing I can find in his favour is guys like Mas and Yates, who should be beating him, have Covid or other bugs. I suspect a lot of riders may have had asymptomatic Covid in the past 0-6months and this is still having an impact.

Its infuriating we didnt have Roglic and O'Connor being competitive to help put Thomas's performance in context (they are far superior to the riders in 4th to 10th if we exclude Yates for being illish). If they'd both spanked him it would be far less alarming. If he'd competed with or defeated both of them I'd have fully gone over into the 'Thomas is a cheat' camp.
How do you recon O'Connor is "far superior" to the other riders in top10? Just the fact that he rides for a mediocre French team? Or that he podiumed last year, somewhat out of the blue? Considering your wild views on surprising and/or dominating results, I find it odd that O'Connor seemingly gets a pass in your book.
I personally couldn't enjoy watching cycling with a mind set of "spot the next E.T. doper" like some of you guys here in the clinic has, although I get the interest in discussing it, considering the history of our sport.

There will always be dominant individuals in sports (Bubka, Federer, Johnson, Williams, Woods, Hamilton, Jordan, Merckx, Messi etc.), and most sports evolves faster, stronger and better due to physical, physiological and technical advances. I don't automatically think "juice" when I see those performances. If it's a Mustafa Sayar- one off surely, but not in general.

Well,my query was actually your view on Ben O'Connor, the rest was just sub-thoughts.
 
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How do you recon O'Connor is "far superior" to the other riders in top10? Just the fact that he rides for a mediocre French team? Or that he podiumed last year, somewhat out of the blue? Considering your wild views on surprising and/or dominating results, I find it odd that O'Connor seemingly gets a pass in your book.
I personally couldn't enjoy watching cycling with a mind set of "spot the next E.T. doper" like some of you guys here in the clinic has, although I get the interest in discussing it, considering the history of our sport.

There will always be dominant individuals in sports (Bubka, Federer, Johnson, Williams, Woods, Hamilton, Jordan, Merckx, Messi etc.), and most sports evolves faster, stronger and better due to physical, physiological and technical advances. I don't automatically think "juice" when I see those performances. If it's a Mustafa Sayar- one off surely, but not in general.

Well,my query was actually your view on Ben O'Connor, the rest was just sub-thoughts.
Because his 4th place last year within 10mins of Pog is better than anything Luksenko or Vlasov have achieved, he is 26 compared to the ageing Bardet and Quintana and because Adam Yates clearly had medical issues judging from all his coughing. I'm not saying anything about O'Connor riding clean, simply I think if he was fit he and Roglic would have put Geraint's performance in better context. At the moment we have Thomas smoking a bunch of quality riders with different shortcomings and being miles behind the top 2, whose performances seemed unlike anything witnessed since 2007, including from riders who received doping sanctions during that time.
 
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That result was greatly influenced by the fact that he was allowed to join the break on the stage 9 and finished the stage more than 6 minutes ahead of Pog. Without this gift, he would have finished the Tour in around 10th place.
Yes O'Connor is overrated. A lot of ppl were tipping him for the podium and I didn't see it myself. He's a good breakaway rider and seems like a nice bloke.
 
That result was greatly influenced by the fact that he was allowed to join the break on the stage 9 and finished the stage more than 6 minutes ahead of Pog. Without this gift, he would have finished the Tour in around 10th place.
O'Connor also lost a few minutes earlier in the race being held up by crashes. Getting through the first week without major setbacks he's around 6th or 7th, maybe even 5th.

He does need to develop more to be a podium contender though.
 
That result was greatly influenced by the fact that he was allowed to join the break on the stage 9 and finished the stage more than 6 minutes ahead of Pog. Without this gift, he would have finished the Tour in around 10th place.
Excellent point. I take him out the equation then, he'd likely have been in positions 5-10 this year and wouldn't have helped draw conclusions on Thomas.
 

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