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How do Lowlanders learn to climb? (Official Mollema/Ten Dam/Belkin thread)

Oct 16, 2010
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In a doping-free world, wouldn't we expect mountain people to climb much better than flatlanders on average? (I mean, the lack of mountains is also why we Dutchies suck so hard at e.g. skiing)
So two Dutchies doing top 5, versus just one lonely Frenchman in the top 20.

How do flatlanders like Mollema and Ten Dam grow a (relatively sudden) talent to climb in their mid-20s? And isn't it nice that they peak both at the same time? The last time a Dutch team was so strong was in 2007.
Are there any answers other than doping?

As to Belkin: why were they on trainingscamp in Girona in April in preparation for races in Italy and France?
Before today, Mollema had never gone up the Ventoux once. Wouldn't it have made a hell of a lot more sense to go to France in April (or post-Giro) to check out the parcours? (Same of course for teams training in Tenerife. Why the focus on Spain when the GTs go down in Italy and France...rethorical question of course).

In a cynical mood, I'd say fast climbing these days comes down to one thing only: juice.

To add, as Fearless GL pointed out recently, Belkin have just started a (apparently commercial) partnership with Jan Gisbers, one of the guys behind the PDM doping factory. I'm really having trouble understanding that decision, so shortly after the Rabo fiasco.
 
My god, Mollema was a climber already in the u23 categor. **** off with your 'suddenly learn it during mid 20-ties'. Mollema won the ****ing Tour l'Avenir..

And If you're built like a climber and go in the ardennes and find you can go uphill, you develop like a climber. Don't forget these guys get to ride in France, Spain, Italy when they are pretty young already. Dutch cycling has a good youth program w sponsoring and international races :rolleyes:
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
My god, Mollema was a climber already in the u23 categor. **** off with your 'suddenly learn it during mid 20-ties'. Mollema won the ****ing Tour l'Avenir..

And If you're built like a climber and go in the ardennes and find you can go uphill, you develop like a climber. Don't forget these guys get to ride in France, Spain, Italy when they are pretty young already. Dutch cycling has a good youth program w sponsoring and international races :rolleyes:
Granted, Mollema doesn't come falling out of the sky.
But he had never gone up the ventoux.
In a clean peloton, wouldn'T that be a huge disadvantage?

I still don't see how a country like France with real mountains and stuff isn't able to produce a climber of the caliber of Mollema.
In a clean(er) peloton, you'd expect France to have much more riders in the top. I guess that's my main concern.

We also suck at skiing for one reason: lack of mountains.
 
Climbing is mostly about fitness/strength-to-weight ratio. No reason why flatlanders cant be gifted in that regard.

In skiing, otoh, skills (and therefore experience) are much more important.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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sniper said:
In a doping-free world, wouldn't we expect mountain people to climb much better than flatlanders on average? (I mean, the lack of mountains is also why we Dutchies suck so hard at e.g. skiing)
So two Dutchies doing top 5, versus just one lonely Frenchman in the top 20.


How do flatlanders like Mollema and Ten Dam grow a (relatively sudden) talent to climb in their mid-20s? And isn't it nice that they peak both at the same time? The last time a Dutch team was so strong was in 2007.
Are there any answers other than doping?

As to Belkin: why were they on trainingscamp in Girona in April in preparation for races in Italy and France?
Before today, Mollema had never gone up the Ventoux once. Wouldn't it have made a hell of a lot more sense to go to France in April (or post-Giro) to check out the parcours? (Same of course for teams training in Tenerife. Why the focus on Spain when the GTs go down in Italy and France...rethorical question of course).

In a cynical mood, I'd say fast climbing these days comes down to one thing only: juice.

To add, as Fearless GL pointed out recently, Belkin have just started a (apparently commercial) partnership with Jan Gisbers, one of the guys behind the PDM doping factory. I'm really having trouble understanding that decision, so shortly after the Rabo fiasco.
Ya, because if your French than your obviously a mountain person, because all of France is on top of a mountain.
Good point sniper.
 
Jul 10, 2013
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There's no skill in climbing.

Big engine with low body weight is all you need. You get a big engine by training(and doping) and the body type you either have or not. Then it's matter of being super-lean.

Like someone else said, watts are watts. The biggest talent ever can train to get the most watts/kg ever solely training on 0% gradient roads. Then tell him to cycle up a mountain and he will be no.1.

Pacing used to be a skill, but with HR monitors and power meters it no longer is.
 
May 26, 2009
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Jeez sniper... nobody here says Belkin is clean, but this is truly moronic.

Let's go pre-epo:

Charly Gaul: Luxemburg
Lucien van Impe: Belgium
Peter Winnen: Netherlands
Hinault: Bretagne (no, that's not in the Alpes)
Merckx: Belgium

And I could go on. Climbing talent is not determined by your native country.

Of course there are Colombians, but consider that only climbers can compete in that country... who knows how many Cancellara's never made the cut just because they had to race in the Andes?
 
luckyboy said:
Maybe we should wait til there's a clean peloton and then see what the French can do
Take the Froome clown away and Peraud, Bardet ain't the far behind on a stage like Ventoux.


10 Jean-Christophe PERAUD AG2R LA MONDIALE 00:02:08

19 Romain BARDET AG2R LA MONDIALE 00:03:15

Pinot could have been up there if he wasn't sick.

Anyway Ten Dam is Old School for me. The Dutch uses the same model as everyone else. Dope below the radar.

I'm neutral on Mollema for now.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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hrotha said:
Wut.

Come on, try to keep your arguments somewhat intelligent.
in the run up to today's stage, mollema was heavily criticized for not having checked out the ventoux prior to the tour. it's not just me who thinks it's a disadvantage. marginal gain is marginal gain.
well, it would be a disadvantage in a clean peloton.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Franklin said:
Jeez sniper... nobody here says Belkin is clean, but this is truly moronic.

Let's go pre-epo:

Charly Gaul: Luxemburg
Lucien van Impe: Belgium
Peter Winnen: Netherlands
Hinault: Bretagne (no, that's not in the Alpes)
Merckx: Belgium

And I could go on. Climbing talent is not determined by your native country.

Of course there are Colombians, but consider that only climbers can compete in that country... who knows how many Cancellara's never made the cut just because they had to race in the Andes?
yeah, so an overarching question is whether all these performances by flatlanders are down to doping.
any evidence that any of these guys was clean?

So again: how do flatlanders learn to outclimb Frenchmen, Spaniards and Italians?
Just on the tele, a special on Mollema where his former teammates say he's so good because he rode 30 km to school and back everyday. :rolleyes:
 
Jul 10, 2013
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Did you read?

On a gradient or not, you push the pedals the same way. If you can push a pedal, you can push a pedal up a hill.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Ya, because if your French than your obviously a mountain person, because all of France is on top of a mountain.
Good point sniper.
the fact that you didn'T understand it, doesn't mean it wasn't a good point.
France has ca. 80 million inhabitants and a lot of mountains.
Netherlands have 16 million inhabitants and no mountains.
Everything else equal, mere chance would predict (much) more French than Dutch success in the mountains.

on a side note: lighten up a bit ;)
 
May 26, 2009
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sniper said:
yeah, so an overarching question is whether all these performances by flatlanders are down to doping.
any evidence that any of these guys was clean?

So again: how do flatlanders learn to climb?
Just on the tele, a special on Mollema where his former teammates say he's so good because he rode 30 km to school and back everyday. :rolleyes:
The usual steroids and amphetamines ;)

But did Greg Lemond grew up on top of mount St Helens?

As someone else had said: Climbing is basically wattages per KG. You don't need to "learn" climbing.

For example: I usually finish pretty high in uphill sprints in races There are people who go to France every year, even guys who go to Tenerife to train in winter (yeah, rich old guys like to play-pretend pro too^^), whereas I ride a col once every ten years. The biggest challenges I have here are viaducts. And yet if I enter in a hilly race I always do well, quite simple because I have decent watt/kg. And on pancake courses I'm filler material.

Again, where you live has little influence on climbing skills. Even where you train is pretty much less important than the basic watt/kg.
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Franklin said:
The usual steroids and amphetamines ;)

But did Greg Lemond grew up on top of mount St Helens?

As someone else had said: Climbing is basically wattages per KG. You don't need to "learn" climbing.

For example: I usually finish pretty high in uphill sprints in races There are people who go to France every year, even guys who go to Tenerife to train in winter (yeah, rich old guys like to play-pretend pro too^^), whereas I ride a col once every ten years. The biggest challenges I have here are viaducts. And yet if I enter in a hilly race I always do well, quite simple because I have decent watt/kg. And on pancake courses I'm filler material.

Again, where you live has little influence on climbing skills. Even where you train is pretty much less important than the basic watt/kg.
ok, good points. thanks franklin.
i guess i'll rest my case about climbing and girona.

so let's see what remains:
- the coincidence of Ten Dam's and Mollema's peak form
- the fresh link-up with Gisbers.
 
May 26, 2009
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sniper said:
the fact that you didn'T understand it, doesn't mean it wasn't a good point.
France has ca. 80 million inhabitants and a lot of mountains.
Netherlands have 16 million inhabitants and no mountains.
Everything else equal, mere chance would predict (much) more French than Dutch success in the mountains.
Thats a completely different point and has nothing to do with the mountains, but with a bigger sample. We have more cyclists per capita, but even then France has a bigger sample.

Now if we look at that it's clear that France has not only more GT winners and more stagewinners in it's history, if we zoom in to recent history this still holds. 2013 is pretty extraordinary. Usually the French are ahead of us in the GC and in the stage count.

So your point remains pretty silly.
 

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