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Is UAE Over the Top?

All season Pogy has been riding away from everyone with 40K and 2 mountain passes to go and then winning the stages by like 2:30+. Top riders on other teams can't stay on his wheel for 200m. By the Giro, there was barely a feigned effort to go with him when he attacked. Again, putting 2:30+ on everyone each mountain stage. Yes, Jonas was winning early in the season, but he attacked during the last climb and was winning by 30-40seconds (could be he's sandbagging to make it look real?). At least he was in sight.

Fast forward to the tour de Suisse. Now we have Almeida and Yates riding away from everyone on multiple days in the mountains. Then, going one-two in the time trial! Joau's been a good TTist, but Yates? Ayuso is doing great too. What might have happened had he not crashed out of the Dauphine?

Not saying these guys aren't some of the top riders. But this is getting a little audacious. When Pantani was making a mockery of the Giro in '99, at least they busted him. Is Pogy that popular that he's getting the Lance effect? Or have they not figured it out yet?
 
Last edited:
Oct 3, 2019
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As far as I can tell the way somebody wins a race does not really indicate performance level in The typical measurable ways ( watts.) Being up front in a solo break could for example actually be easier than riding In a group that is attacking a lot on a climb and descending solo may also be easier if it’s a steep enough or hard enough decent that bottlenecks a large group. That being said nobody knows the true watts per kilo of the top riders at any given time but we’ve not seen Lance Armstrong or Contador style watts for a while. Roglic I believe was at around 6.5 watts per kilo on the same climb Lance did 6.7 w/kg on although not fully confirmed I don’t believe. It’s also likely that Lance was better than 6.7 w/kg at times since this was in the run up to 1999 and Lance tweaked quite a bit in successive years.
 
As far as I can tell the way somebody wins a race does not really indicate performance level in The typical measurable ways ( watts.) Being up front in a solo break could for example actually be easier than riding In a group that is attacking a lot on a climb and descending solo may also be easier if it’s a steep enough or hard enough decent that bottlenecks a large group. That being said nobody knows the true watts per kilo of the top riders at any given time but we’ve not seen Lance Armstrong or Contador style watts for a while. Roglic I believe was at around 6.5 watts per kilo on the same climb Lance did 6.7 w/kg on although not fully confirmed I don’t believe. It’s also likely that Lance was better than 6.7 w/kg at times since this was in the run up to 1999 and Lance tweaked quite a bit in successive years.
Ok, they're not super-doped like Lance's teams were where Andreiu and Hinkapie were mountain domestics. Nonetheless, we have a group of good riders who are now outperforming everyone else and making it look easy.

I get what you're trying to say, but I don't buy it. Martinez and Thomas were sitting in on the UAE train and would watch Pogy ride off. They knew it was going to happen. They tried maybe once or twice during the Giro, for 50m or so, to stick on his wheel before being dropped and losing 2-3 minutes each time. By the last mnt stage I don't even think they got out of their saddles when Pogy attacked.

Similar situation in Switzerland, Bernal and Skiljmose and others sat in then tried to follow Almeida/Yates wheel for a short distance. And to quote the announcer, they "dropped back to ride their own pace."
 
Is it any worse than a team doing a 1-2-3 in the third GT after winning the other two already and literally letting a twitter poll decide who they let win because they're that dominant?
Good point, not saying they're not on some purple juice too. But I don't recall any of the Jumbo riders riding away from people on multiple mountain stages on any of those tours and putting nearly 3 minutes into everyone each stage. I even recall a few bad days, for them anyway.
 
I find it very difficult to understand this narrative that UAE are top dopers and Jumbo/Visma are just playing within the rules or at least being less doped than UAE.

@Apolitical I don't disagree that some Pogačar's performances are incredible and have to leave some doubts about how clean he is and something similar can be said about a few other performances from UAE riders like Almeida and Yates in this Tour de Suisse however let's not ignore some of the crazy performances that Jumbo riders have done in the last years.

Vingegaard 's Tour TT last year was possibly the most dominant TT win that I have ever watched, he put almost 3 minutes on anyone not named Tadej Pogačar on a relatively short TT. His performances on Loze or Marie Blanque were also of an extreme high level just like Solaison (where he finished with a half-dead Roglič by his side, Hautacam or Granon) the year before. Besides these veery high level performances, unlike you have said Vingegaard never had a real bad day in a GT like Pogačar on Granon or Loze.

Then besides the Vuelta last year where Jumbo got the first three places of GC and also on the queen stage, you also have several examples where Van Aert, Laporte and even Roglič, together with the other two in Paris-Nice finished in a 1-2 (3), which showed how superior they were to the rest.

I also see that you mention that 'Ayuso is doing great'. He is a top10 stage racer in the world, has and has won Itzulia with quite some luck this year but when he first burst into the scene I was actually expecting more from Ayuso that what he has been delievering after all he dominated the U23 Giro when he was just 18 and the following year podiumed the Vuelta so by now I was expecting him to be above Almeida and possibly Yates.
 
I find it very difficult to understand this narrative that UAE are top dopers and Jumbo/Visma are just playing within the rules or at least being less doped than UAE.

@Apolitical I don't disagree that some Pogačar's performances are incredible and have to leave some doubts about how clean he is and something similar can be said about a few other performances from UAE riders like Almeida and Yates in this Tour de Suisse however let's not ignore some of the crazy performances that Jumbo riders have done in the last years.

Vingegaard 's Tour TT last year was possibly the most dominant TT win that I have ever watched, he put almost 3 minutes on anyone not named Tadej Pogačar on a relatively short TT. His performances on Loze or Marie Blanque were also of an extreme high level just like Solaison (where he finished with a half-dead Roglič by his side, Hautacam or Granon) the year before. Besides these veery high level performances, unlike you have said Vingegaard never had a real bad day in a GT like Pogačar on Granon or Loze.

Then besides the Vuelta last year where Jumbo got the first three places of GC and also on the queen stage, you also have several examples where Van Aert, Laporte and even Roglič, together with the other two in Paris-Nice finished in a 1-2 (3), which showed how superior they were to the rest.

I also see that you mention that 'Ayuso is doing great'. He is a top10 stage racer in the world, has and has won Itzulia with quite some luck this year but when he first burst into the scene I was actually expecting more from Ayuso that what he has been delievering after all he dominated the U23 Giro when he was just 18 and the following year podiumed the Vuelta so by now I was expecting him to be above Almeida and possibly Yates.
It's just down to the fact that Jumbo put more emphasis on PR than any other team. Similar to Sky under Brailsford, they like to control the narrative to get out the message that they do everything better than the other teams.

It looks to me like the UAE riders are turbo charged and ready to go for this years Tour so it suits Jumbo to throw a bit of mud from the fringes before the race begins. When Naesen sent that tweet about UAE and Gianetti in the wake of the Suisse race he knew what he was doing. It's trying to put the scrutiny onto UAE in the lead up to the Tour.
 
Good point, not saying they're not on some purple juice too. But I don't recall any of the Jumbo riders riding away from people on multiple mountain stages on any of those tours and putting nearly 3 minutes into everyone each stage. I even recall a few bad days, for them anyway.
Who did that except for Pogacar in some stages of the Giro?

Almeida and yates didn't do that.

The best teams are all in the same juice. Almeida and yates didn't suddenly turned in the top 5 best riders in the world.

What Visma did last year could be more suspicious since they won all the Grand Tours, but the reality is the best teams are all in the same juice.

You should wait for the Tour to make some conclusions.
 
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I find it very difficult to understand this narrative that UAE are top dopers and Jumbo/Visma are just playing within the rules or at least being less doped than UAE.
The idea that anyone is doing the performances these guys are doing clean is...well...not buying it for a second. "Altitude camps". Hilarious. "UCI looking the other way at our absurd blood values Camps" is more like it.
 
Good point, not saying they're not on some purple juice too. But I don't recall any of the Jumbo riders riding away from people on multiple mountain stages on any of those tours and putting nearly 3 minutes into everyone each stage. I even recall a few bad days, for them anyway.
UAE 1-2, win by a few seconds

UAE 1-2, win by a few seconds

UAE 1-2, win by a few seconds

UAE 1-2, win by a few seconds

None of them are "riding minutes into everyone each stage" although I'm sure they likely rode a little within themselves; but riding minutes into everyone each stage suggests something like W52 at Guarda 2017 or some Tabriz Petrochemical Team shenanigans. These are also not in a Grand Tour, as opposed to:

Jumbo 1-2-3, ~30" advantage

Jumbo 1-2-3, win by a few seconds

While single riders have had a few episodes of riding minutes into everybody, that isn't a unique UAE thing, as examples like this and this can attest. Lots of people have done 1-2s in mountain stages over the years where gaps have been relatively small; Contador and Leipheimer at San Isidro in the 2008 Vuelta, Porte being 2nd home by a few seconds behind a big gap from Froome at Pierre-Saint-Martin in 2015, Vino and Kash at La Pandera, Chaves and Yates at Etna 2018 and so on. For better or worse for the implications that these carry, of course.

The level at the front of the field is insane, but it's not unique to UAE, it's just that they're making hay while the sun shines, with the injuries and ill fortune hitting the likes of Visma and while we're in the part of the calendar that doesn't suit guys like van der Poel. If we hadn't seen Evenepoel, van Aert and Vingegaard get injured or Kuss have such terrible form, it wouldn't look this one-sided. As it is, the dominance is rather like the 2014 Tour de France. That was the highest level Nibali we ever saw, and he may have competed on a level with Froome and Contador. But we'll never know, because both of them crashed out, leaving him competing against a field that were nowhere near the level he was at at that point in time.
 
To me the big contrast is that the Vuelta was clearly an outlier for Jumbo, with their 2 superstars being there, Kuss wildly overperforming, and the main competition disappointing. Roglic also barely won the Giro.

Add in the turmoil within Jumbo and Roglic leaving, it's clear that that Vuelta was an outlier and that era of the team was instantly over. Meanwhile UAE is winning the Giro by 10 minutes and doing so many 1-2s in Suisse I'll get in trouble for talking about it with certain people, and you really get the sense it's only the beginning.
 
To me the big contrast is that the Vuelta was clearly an outlier for Jumbo, with their 2 superstars being there, Kuss wildly overperforming, and the main competition disappointing. Roglic also barely won the Giro.

Add in the turmoil within Jumbo and Roglic leaving, it's clear that that Vuelta was an outlier and that era of the team was instantly over. Meanwhile UAE is winning the Giro by 10 minutes and doing so many 1-2s in Suisse I'll get in trouble for talking about it with certain people, and you really get the sense it's only the beginning.
Jonas won the Tour by 7 minutes.
 
To me the big contrast is that the Vuelta was clearly an outlier for Jumbo, with their 2 superstars being there, Kuss wildly overperforming, and the main competition disappointing. Roglic also barely won the Giro.

Add in the turmoil within Jumbo and Roglic leaving, it's clear that that Vuelta was an outlier and that era of the team was instantly over. Meanwhile UAE is winning the Giro by 10 minutes and doing so many 1-2s in Suisse I'll get in trouble for talking about it with certain people, and you really get the sense it's only the beginning.
Was the opposition really that disappointing though?

Landa set the 5th fastest ever time on Angliru, Poels 7th, Almeida 11th, Uijtdebroecks 15th and Buitrago 16th. The level was not low, Jumbo were just so hilariously OP that they could hand out GTs to domestiques to stop Benji's twitter followers getting angry.
 
Was the opposition really that disappointing though?

Landa set the 5th fastest ever time on Angliru, Poels 7th, Almeida 11th, Uijtdebroecks 15th and Buitrago 16th. The level was not low, Jumbo were just so hilariously OP that they could hand out GTs to domestiques to stop Benji's twitter followers getting angry.
Are we really just gonna boil it down to W/kg estimates?

Cause then this Switserland was more extreme than this Vuelta
 
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