Is Walsh on the Sky bandwagon?

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Sep 20, 2009
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red_flanders said:
The performance of Froome is evidence. It's simply not possible for clean riders to perform at the levels of doped riders from just a couple of years ago. Just not possible, even if Froome was somehow the talent of a generation, which he is not. That some people can't see this, and a lot of them are British is not an anti-British point of view. It's simply a case of nationalism clouding judgement.
And this is the problem I have regardless of the nationality of anyone.

I believe that clean riders are able to do this subject to what the performances were and them being compared logically. You "know" Froome is doping. Is this from TV or from seeing him in person?

Ideally we would have confidence in the UCI and in the ACDF to catch cheats but I don't and I suspect others don't.

But as this is the Walsh thread isn't the problem that people thought Walsh was someone that he obviously isn't. They thought he saw what you see, a cheater, and when he didn't see one straight away they thought he would investigate and find the drugs and expose Brailsford, Froome, Wiggins and Porte.

One explanation is that Walsh just might have just got lucky with LA Confidential.

I have only read snippets of his work and he seems to me to be an average sports journalist and I would be surprised if he broke a huge doping story on Sky.

But he may have a cunning plan! When he interviews Froome for the biography Froome might reveal all!

Goodluck with that!
 
timmers said:
And this is the problem I have regardless of the nationality of anyone.

I believe that clean riders are able to do this subject to what the performances were and them being compared logically.
That you believe it doesn't make it true.

What clean riders exactly have matched the performances of Froome in this year's Tour and when? Or do you just take it on faith? It's okay if you do, but if that is the case you should just state it outright.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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red_flanders said:
While I completely agree with you that linking Sky to Ferrari would make it a slam dunk and limit the discussion, the idea that there is no "evidence" is the kind of thinking that spawns the posts like the ones you're responding to on this thread.

The performance of Froome is evidence. It's simply not possible for clean riders to perform at the levels of doped riders from just a couple of years ago. Just not possible, even if Froome was somehow the talent of a generation, which he is not.
Each to their own, not everyone's criteria for saying someone is doping is the same as others and in the case of a situation which isn't a slam dunk one like this, a varying opinion should be more than allowed where both sides can qualify their argument.

And it's not national bias or fanboy either, it's simple, there is a worthwhile discussion to be had.

That some people can't see this, and a lot of them are British is not an anti-British point of view. It's simply a case of nationalism clouding judgement.

I am rather pro British in fact. I've been many times, and it's a wonderful place with great people. We share a common language and history. I am rather inclined to root for Brits versus other European nations, except Belgians because my family is from there. Not that Froome is British of course, but you get the general drift. I had nothing against Froome until he became preposterous. In that he is not alone, but he's certainly the most preposterous rider of the current peloton.
Fair enough. I don't think anyone accused you of being anti-British.

the sceptic said:
Well put. The "waiting for more evidence" approach is just another way of saying "never tested positive". Its like Armstrong all over again with the dumb excuses.
Strawman. While we're at it, lets call out any rider or sportsperson and not substantiate on the back of it.

I'm not surprised in the slightest. Didn't you come out of nowhere and call out Bale for doping and said he was football's Froome?
 
gooner said:
Fair enough. I don't think anyone accused you of being anti-British.
No, they haven't. The idea I'm trying to convey is that the idea that people accusing those who suspect Sky or Froome as anti-British has been thrown out a bit too often and too casually for my liking. I really don't see any evidence of an anti-British contingent here yet several people have been accused of that.

I'm offering that what some see as anti-British is (in my view) just people calling out Brits for being nationalistic and having blinders on because of it.

I have certainly been guilty of the same in the past, so take it as an observation rather than a judgement.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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red_flanders said:
No, they haven't. The idea I'm trying to convey is that the idea that people accusing those who suspect Sky or Froome as anti-British has been thrown out a bit too often and too casually for my liking. I really don't see any evidence of an anti-British contingent here yet several people have been accused of that.

I'm offering that what some see as anti-British is (in my view) just people calling out Brits for being nationalistic and having blinders on because of it.
I've said my bit on this and am not getting bogged down in this discussion no more and deflecting the thread. I didn't generalise the forum.
 

EnacheV

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Jul 7, 2013
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the amount of "evidence" Walsh has seen is 100x bigger than how much mental12 members have ever seen, that is only tv.

what thinks you are right and he is wrong?

this is a simple one. you are wrong :D
 
Jul 1, 2013
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I don't understand why strong performance is 'evidence'. Surely it's entirely
reasonable that say compared to 2001, when it was the 12th stage directly after a mountain stage and an individual time trial, rather than the first mountainous stage after three sprinters stages as per 2013, and regardless of weather conditions, it's not out of the question climb time could be similar?

From what I've seen and read, much of the power of doping of the past was in recovery, the ability to do it all over again the next day without paying a huge price for your toils. Hence it's suitibility for a 3 week stage race. There were clearly times Froome, Porte and the rest of team Sky struggled. This assumption they chucked in bad days to make it look more realistic, which I've read on here, is fantasyland nonsense.

Now I'm not saying they're not doping. I am saying we don't know, but citing things like this as evidence, yet talking as if their doping is a given, simply isn't good enough. In fairness to Walsh, he dug up and put together mounting testimony. There were failed (re)tests. There were hidden financial links to doping doctors. There was his attitide towards fair riders. He persued Lance because he KNEW the guy was doping, based on genuine evidence. Sky have questions to answer sure, they've made some attempt at being open, perhaps not enough (why should it just be them?), but I think some of the shots at Walsh are too cheap on here, when the 'evidence' Sky are doping is so much more spurious than that
 
EnacheV said:
the amount of "evidence" Walsh has seen is 100x bigger than how much mental12 members have ever seen, that is only tv.

what thinks you are right and he is wrong?

this is a simple one. you are wrong :D
Let's not get personal and stay civil EnacheV

We will see who's wrong in a few years time. At the moment we can just guess.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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thehog said:
It's actually "I'm uncomfortable with the thought of Sky doping" so can you not mention it so I can pretend it doesn't exist.

Evidence, my anal passage.

What's this evidence business. No one is asking for Sky to removed from the peloton. Just calling them out as Flanders points out for their preposterous performances.

Froome specifically.

He is ridiculous. Totally ridiculous.
No one said you were either.
 
BradCantona said:
I don't understand why strong performance is 'evidence'. Surely it's entirely
reasonable that say compared to 2001, when it was the 12th stage directly after a mountain stage and an individual time trial, rather than the first mountainous stage after three sprinters stages as per 2013, and regardless of weather conditions, it's not out of the question climb time could be similar?
Why the need to lie?
 
Sep 20, 2009
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red_flanders said:
That you believe it doesn't make it true.

What clean riders exactly have matched the performances of Froome in this year's Tour and when? Or do you just take it on faith? It's okay if you do, but if that is the case you should just state it outright.

Well that's the the problem I might think they are clean but I can't prove it.

Rodriguez and Quintana as mentioned up thread spring to mind.

As an aside the reason why Froome's performance may stand out is that previously successful dopers who are still team leaders are no longer able to dominate as they have reverted to their non-doped level. Clean riders in their teams have always ridden in support so there is an unnatural hierachy in those teams.
Saxobank, Movistar and Radioshack spring to mind.
 
timmers said:
Well that's the the problem I might think they are clean but I can't prove it.

Rodriguez and Quintana as mentioned up thread spring to mind.

As an aside the reason why Froome's performance may stand out is that previously successful dopers who are still team leaders are no longer able to dominate as they have reverted to their non-doped level. Clean riders in their teams have always ridden in support so there is an unnatural hierachy in those teams.
Saxobank, Movistar and Radioshack spring to mind.
Which clean riders?
 
timmers said:
And this is the problem I have regardless of the nationality of anyone.

I believe that clean riders are able to do this subject to what the performances were and them being compared logically. You "know" Froome is doping. Is this from TV or from seeing him in person?
The big problem is that if a clean rider were able to do this, you would have anticipated that that clean rider show that this was a possibility from early on in their career. I do not know or pretend to know whether Nairo Quintana, for example, is doping, however he was a phenomenal talent in Colombia, who has been a star climber from the word go, and in his first 18 months as a pro won a 2.1 medium mountain two day race, was 2nd in another, won a mountain stage of a WT race (from escaping), a short 2.1 stage race due to a mountain solo win, was a star domestique in the mountains of his first GT (after being allowed to drop a lot of time in the first half of the race to test recovery, as you might expect from a young rider in their first GT), an Italian semi-classic with a very steep finish (the same one Froome rode sideways four years ago), was 3rd in a WT MTT, won a WT mountain stage in Catalunya and then won a very difficult mountainous short stage race in País Vasco.

That suggests to us that Nairo Quintana is the real deal, even though we have no idea whether or not he may or may not have been doping. We don't have any bank of results to call upon that suggest he is anything but a massively talented rider.

Froome is different. Even pre-bilharzia, his results were only reasonable. His results were going in the wrong direction and he was about to be jettisoned from his Sky contract, with minimum domestique wage offers from Garmin and Lampre on the table. He obviously had some talent, but it was not taking him anywhere. Then suddenly, bam, he finishes 2nd in a GT only because the team didn't back him fully until it was too late. But the team didn't back him fully only because he was totally unproven. You can talk about Sky's bias towards Wiggins in other races since then, sure, but in the 2011 Vuelta it was only sensible that they work for Wiggins; at that point in time, he's a guy who's finished 4th in the Tour de France and podiumed Paris-Nice and then won the Dauphiné, while Froome is a guy whose main claim to fame is finishing less than 10 minutes down on Alpe d'Huez after being in a break three years earlier.

So even if you believe that performances like Froome's are plausible clean, and I don't see that much reason why they would be literally impossible to do clean, you still have the next level of questioning, which is, "do I believe that performances like that are plausible clean from Chris Froome?" This is where I baulk at it. Because Chris Froome, even when healthy, never showed anything like this. The best climber in the world had, up until the 2011 Vuelta, only ever shown top 10 results in the mountains in three races in Europe and a handful of pre-season and post-season events elsewhere (Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Giro del Capo). One a year. And if the "the péloton is getting cleaner" approach were the answer, why have Froome's times increased by so much and others not achieved the same gains? Is this because he was the ONLY clean cyclist? And if the answer is that "the péloton is getting cleaner", why have Froome's times improved so dramatically so suddenly, when we know he had had the bilharzia treated far in advance of the 2011 Vuelta?

The Walsh of SDS separated out Séan Kelly, who showed he was world class from the word go, from Michelle Smith, who had a very sudden transformation to being world class. That same David Walsh is now defending Chris Froome against an onslaught of doubters, many of whom see in him nothing worse than simply that he is a Michelle Smith, not a Séan Kelly, but in the media love-in and the detraction from the spectacle of the racing have found in him a convenient boogeyman, suggesting either David Walsh has been able to buy the unconvincing tales of how much talent Froome showed back in 2006 and turn a blind eye to the period between 2008 and August 2011 we have to erase for his progress to seem linear, or that he no longer differentiates between "good dopers" (talented athletes who dope, like Kelly) and "bad dopers" (untalented athletes who become chemically-created golems, like Smith). I would be mighty surprised and extremely disappointed if his spidey-sense was not set tingling by Froome's transformation. Now, as we've got into the arguments about before in this thread, maybe he did ask the right questions, and he was given good answers. But you wouldn't know that from this book, and you couldn't find that out from this book. Those who want to know how Walsh can be so convinced by Team Sky and how they explain away the discrepancies to an audience which to all intents and purposes needs to be treated with more respect than the insults to our collective intelligence they often spew at the fans, knowing that a large % of these are casual fans who won't question the explanation they're given, will not find anything to satisfy their queries here.

And there are still queries. Many of them.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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timmers said:
As an aside the reason why Froome's performance may stand out is that previously successful dopers who are still team leaders are no longer able to dominate as they have reverted to their non-doped level.
So, why didnt Froome perform on this level before?

Lets assume Froome is clean, we have no evidence he is doping hence he is clean, how come he never before was producing wattages he is producing nowadays?

How come this 'fattie':

can now TT with the best and climb the best?

How come his leap in performance? Loose weight, sustain/gain power?
You can make a compilation of his accelerations this year which will blow away any follower of the sport. Never seen before. Yeah, Pantani 1994 comes close.

Why the others are no longer performing like before, still pretty good though when you consider Barrabas has less blood to play with, is pretty clear.

Libertine has summed it up very nicely I see.
 
May 28, 2012
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Libertine, why do you feel the need to compare Froome to untalented athletes gone mutant, while Froome's early results indicated that he could have the potential to be a decent domestique for GT's? To say he's currently riding clean goes to far of course, and I'm not doing that, but a clean Froome isn't totally worthless and Sky knew that he had some talent in him. Otherwise you don't get personal training guidance at a team like Sky when your results are crap.
 
Pentacycle said:
Libertine, why do you feel the need to compare Froome to untalented athletes gone mutant, while Froome's early results indicated that he could have the potential to be a decent domestique for GT's? To say he's currently riding clean goes to far of course, and I'm not doing that, but a clean Froome isn't totally worthless and Sky knew that he had some talent in him. Otherwise you don't get personal training guidance at a team like Sky when your results are crap.
Which untalented athletes?

Edit: why is Froome more 'talented' than Smith?
 
Oct 16, 2010
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
So, why didnt Froome perform on this level before?
couldn't one claim that he started cycling later than most others? so his talent would also show later.

do we know when he first picked up a bike and started racing competitively?
 
I think the most funny part of Froome's transformation is that it happened in just 2 weeks. Tour of Poland 2011, he was fighting for a new contract, and was desperately in need of points to get one. However, he was absolutely ****ty, getting outclimbed by virtually everyone else on the team.

Then 2 weeks later, bam. Best climber in the world. I guess you can call it peaking, if it weren't for the fact that since then Froome's form has been more or less stable at the top. We've never seen anything like that from him again.

Clearly something changed in Froome from Tour of Poland to Vuelta Espana. It can't be training, as it's too short a time span. The weight can't have been very different either. Let's not pretend that he suddenly learned how to "ride in the peloton" during those two weeks either. And he obviously didn't have bilharzia in Tour of Poland. So what was the difference?
 
May 28, 2012
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Netserk said:
Because he belong in that category. He was more of a donkey than Riis for crying out loud.
Again this... An untalented rider can't even get himself to continental level, Riis was not that untalented as well.

But tell me, why is it always Riis you have to compare him with? Froome can beat his climbing times with a Hct below 50.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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Pentacycle said:
Libertine, why do you feel the need to compare Froome to untalented athletes gone mutant, while Froome's early results indicated that he could have the potential to be a decent domestique for GT's? To say he's currently riding clean goes to far of course, and I'm not doing that, but a clean Froome isn't totally worthless and Sky knew that he had some talent in him. Otherwise you don't get personal training guidance at a team like Sky when your results are crap.
How untalented was Smith actually? How doped were her peers? Because swimming is such a clean sport?

Guilty by transformation? By association?
Fill in:

Smith - Froome
Erik de Bruin - Julich/Leinders

Nice angle for Walsh's next book?
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Fearless Greg Lemond said:
How untalented was Smith actually? How doped were her peers? Because swimming is such a clean sport?

Guilty by transformation? By association?
Fill in:

Smith - Froome
Erik de Bruin - Julich/Leinders

Nice angle for Walsh's next book?
I remember watching Smith in the Barcelona Olympics and it was as clear as day she didn't have any talent to win at that level or compete even for a medal.

The Smith transformation is not a comparative one. If anyone seen her build in 92 to the one a few years later, she was like a Rugby League player. Erike De Bruijn was her own personal coach who she continually kept working with after her success in winning 2 golds and a silver in the European Championships in 1995. She was 25 then and a year later dominates in Atlanta. Just think about that age in swimming terms for a second. That would be like Froome doing nothing throughout his career and turning up in 2011 at the Vuelta around 35 years old finishing second. It's totally different. Nothing beats that transformation in my time watching sport. This was so evident, Janet Evans pulled no punches in her press conference accusing her.

Remember the association remained with Erik de Bruijn under intense questioning and scrutiny during all this period while Leinders has been ditched. It's a black mark against Sky but you can't keep throwing that link about his success this year.
 
Pentacycle said:
The golems she mentions in her latest post.
Ben Johnson won Commonwealth medals at 21. Bjarne Riis won a stage of the Giro in 1989 and three stages of L'Avenir. Johann Mühlegg was strong enough to be part of a pretty strong German team in three separate Winter Olympics. They all later became very clear chemical creations. Froome was not an untalented cyclist. But he did not show anything prior to La Covatilla in the 2011 Vuelta that suggested that the level he has subsequently achieved was even remotely plausible.
maltiv said:
I think the most funny part of Froome's transformation is that it happened in just 2 weeks. Tour of Poland 2011, he was fighting for a new contract, and was desperately in need of points to get one. However, he was absolutely ****ty, getting outclimbed by virtually everyone else on the team.

Then 2 weeks later, bam. Best climber in the world. I guess you can call it peaking, if it weren't for the fact that since then Froome's form has been more or less stable at the top. We've never seen anything like that from him again.
Actually, he sucked out loud in 2012 all the way to the Dauphiné, when once again he could suddenly demolish everything in his path. He hadn't scored a single CQ point until he got one for finishing Romandie.
 
Sep 3, 2012
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maltiv said:
I think the most funny part of Froome's transformation is that it happened in just 2 weeks. Tour of Poland 2011, he was fighting for a new contract, and was desperately in need of points to get one. However, he was absolutely ****ty, getting outclimbed by virtually everyone else on the team.

Then 2 weeks later, bam. Best climber in the world. I guess you can call it peaking, if it weren't for the fact that since then Froome's form has been more or less stable at the top. We've never seen anything like that from him again.

Clearly something changed in Froome from Tour of Poland to Vuelta Espana. It can't be training, as it's too short a time span. The weight can't have been very different either. Let's not pretend that he suddenly learned how to "ride in the peloton" during those two weeks either. And he obviously didn't have bilharzia in Tour of Poland. So what was the difference?

Exactly this, great post. Also Libertine.

I have never yet seen a convincing theory to the performance spike and at a late stage of a cyclists career. I would love to though. But, the fact is even Dave Brailsford would struggle to produce a reason for this. It's the stuff of Fairytale. Just plain crazy.
 

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