Julian Alaphilippe

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How Alien is Julian Alaphilippe?

  • Contador/Nibali (almost plausible)

    Votes: 45 34.9%
  • Geraint Thomas (pushing it)

    Votes: 35 27.1%
  • Armstrong/Froome (over the top)

    Votes: 18 14.0%
  • Chris Horner (glows in the dark)

    Votes: 24 18.6%
  • Vino

    Votes: 7 5.4%

  • Total voters
    129
He could have probably attacked with 180 km to go and win the race nonetheless. He's so obviously juiced it's painful but he's also so incredibly entertaining I have to cheer for him, I can't help it.
Lol at the 180km

A thing about races like today is honestly that they're much harder to compare than say climbing times on major HC climbs, where you have a lot of comparisons between years.
 
Reactions: noob
Lol at the 180km

A thing about races like today is honestly that they're much harder to compare than say climbing times on major HC climbs, where you have a lot of comparisons between years.
I've wondered about this as a noob; the constant changing of routes and stages in races. When did that start? Like did they ever have a certain route with certain stages that would always be there?
 
As someone who lives in France I do sincerely thank Alaphilippe for what he did yesterday.

Not because I'm a fan (I'm not), not because I even enjoyed it much (ironically, I would have preferred a small group sprint because it was pretty anticlimactic for one rider to go solo after the race we had), no, because for 23 years now (since Virenque's Festina had their party pooped on by the sports minister of the time in 1998), absolutely every top performance from a foreign rider has been met with "they're doping, they're dopers, they're clearly on something".

The French who were getting beaten repeatedly meanwhile were painted as holier than thou puritans of the sport whilst the winners were getting labelled all sorts of stuff (just check the Stade 2 France TV documentary from 2016 for example, i.e. when they labelled Roglic & Contador as motor dopers based on nothing).

But since yesterday & Alaphilippe's ultimate nuclear ride to glory... nothing. No insinuations, no suspicion, no talks of doping. Just move along, nothing to see except the greatest French bike champion since the 1980's.

Now whenever I see Pogacar or Roglic or MvdP or WvA getting mud thrown at them for "mutant" performances, I can turn round & say "remember Alaphlippe in Flanders 2021!".
 
As someone who lives in France I do sincerely thank Alaphilippe for what he did yesterday.

Not because I'm a fan (I'm not), not because I even enjoyed it much (ironically, I would have preferred a small group sprint because it was pretty anticlimactic for one rider to go solo after the race we had), no, because for 23 years now (since Virenque's Festina had their party pooped on by the sports minister of the time in 1998), absolutely every top performance from a foreign rider has been met with "they're doping, they're dopers, they're clearly on something".

The French who were getting beaten repeatedly meanwhile were painted as holier than thou puritans of the sport whilst the winners were getting labelled all sorts of stuff (just check the Stade 2 France TV documentary from 2016 for example, i.e. when they labelled Roglic & Contador as motor dopers based on nothing).

But since yesterday & Alaphilippe's ultimate nuclear ride to glory... nothing. No insinuations, no suspicion, no talks of doping. Just move along, nothing to see except the greatest French bike champion since the 1980's.

Now whenever I see Pogacar or Roglic or MvdP or WvA getting mud thrown at them for "mutant" performances, I can turn round & say "remember Alaphlippe in Flanders 2021!".
Lol, I can understand the sentiment.
 
Reactions: noob
He could have probably attacked with 180 km to go and win the race nonetheless. He's so obviously juiced it's painful but he's also so incredibly entertaining I have to cheer for him, I can't help it.
Imo, Ala is the most entertaining rider. MvdP and Remco are great to watch too. I don't care much for the boring, calculating robots. I'm still coming to terms with the nuclear bomb MvdP dropped in Strade.
 
I dunno if anyone else was watching on the international feed on Sunday but McCrossan mentioned that Alaphilippe bought an apartment near the course to "learn how to race in Belgium" or some BS. does anyone know if he's lived there for years or if he just bought it recently? either way, it'd be very convenient to store a blood bag and reinfuse it a few days before the race...I know that's a trick that Tyler Hamilton used to pull.

I find it so funny when these cheerleaders with a microphone drop a "fun fact" like that with absolutely zero awareness. I got a good laugh out of it myself.
 
I dunno if anyone else was watching on the international feed on Sunday but McCrossan mentioned that Alaphilippe bought an apartment near the course to "learn how to race in Belgium" or some BS. does anyone know if he's lived there for years or if he just bought it recently? either way, it'd be very convenient to store a blood bag and reinfuse it a few days before the race...I know that's a trick that Tyler Hamilton used to pull.

I find it so funny when these cheerleaders with a microphone drop a "fun fact" like that with absolutely zero awareness. I got a good laugh out of it myself.
He bought in somewhere in January. Or at least that's the time he got spotted buying groceries a few times.
 
Reactions: noob
I dunno if anyone else was watching on the international feed on Sunday but McCrossan mentioned that Alaphilippe bought an apartment near the course to "learn how to race in Belgium" or some BS. does anyone know if he's lived there for years or if he just bought it recently? either way, it'd be very convenient to store a blood bag and reinfuse it a few days before the race...I know that's a trick that Tyler Hamilton used to pull.

I find it so funny when these cheerleaders with a microphone drop a "fun fact" like that with absolutely zero awareness. I got a good laugh out of it myself.
Not sure that this makes him any more likely to be blood doping than he was anyway. He's on a Belgian team, fairly sure big Pat could find a "friend" to look after the bags if really needed...
 
Reactions: noob
And he needed to buy an appartment for that? Could he not just rent a room for some weeks, if a hotel room for a few nights wasn't private enough...?

His team where he extended for three more years has its headquarter and most facilities in Belgium/ Leuven, they are doing a lot of races there and maybe sometimes his girlfriend comes around with the child to these occasions, too... if you have the money it doesn't sound like a bad idea to have your own apartment there.

I'm sure for the storage he could find another place if he didn't have his own close.
 
Reactions: SHAD0W93 and noob
I've wondered about this as a noob; the constant changing of routes and stages in races. When did that start? Like did they ever have a certain route with certain stages that would always be there?
Very early on, as routes have always been contingent on which towns and cities (or ski resorts, tourist boards or even companies, remembering things like the Destilerías DYC stages in the Vuelta in the 80s) were paying to host and original routes were largely dictated by the then-current infrastructure. As infrastructure elsewhere improved then those areas wished to get in on the action, plus it gave the organisers the chance to vary the product and prevent the risk of it getting stale.

However, especially with smaller races, there are some constant or at least regular unchanged stages that can be used for year on year comparisons. Most of the time this is a mountain stage in a race where there isn't necessarily much alternative option (e.g. Jebel al-Akhdar in the Tour of Oman, Topes de Collantes in the Vuelta a Cuba, Ijen Crater in the Tour du Banyuwangi Ijen or Genting Highlands in the Tour de Langkawi) - however this usually applies to the finish only, not the route taken to get there (although the Vuelta a Cuba had had for several years during the Cold War a consistent route, especially at least in the first part in the eastern part of the island where the infrastructure meant limited alternative routes). Similar applies also to certain 'traditional' finishes where even if there is plenty of option, that climb can be used as a consistent yardstick for year on year performance as it is always used (e.g. Kitzbüheler Horn in the Österreichrundfahrt, Cerro del Cristo in the Vuelta a Tachirá, Mont Faron in the Tour Méditerranéen or Senhora da Graça in the Volta a Portugal).

There are a few races where you get a non-mountain stage that holds consistent profiles though. For many years the Willunga stage of the Tour Down Under was unchanged, and the Tour of Japan always includes the Mount Fuji mass start hillclimb and then a circuit stage on the Izu cycling circuit. The Five Rings of Moscow similarly hold two stages on the Krylatskoye Ring, the cycling circuit developed for the 1980 Olympics, either both the same way but with the finish at different points on the circuit, or one clockwise and one anticlockwise. The Mont Cassel stage in the Quatre Jours de Dunkerque is more or less unchanged every year, plus of course there's the Champs Elysées although being essentially a parade stage it's harder to judge year on year performances there.
 
When did that start? Like did they ever have a certain route with certain stages that would always be there?
It began at the beginning. The first two Tours were more or less the same (some minor tweaks at stage ends IIRC) but the third added new stages. Certain familiar elements became established and some individual stages were consistent year to year but over time the race changed each year. So in stage races it's a case of evolution, some of which is contingent on economic factors, some of which is contingent on local factors (eg the loss of the Puy de Dôme), some of which are contingent on what sort of race the organisers want.

With one day races it's typically a case of evolution, sometimes incremental sometimes radical (Paris-Roubaix went through a radical change, it now takes place further east than it used to, but also goes through incremental changes contingent on local issues). You can see the way external factors impact the evolution of one-day races with Milan-Sanremo today. MSR also demonstrates how races adapt themselves to changes in the peloton, with new capi added as needed. Or you have races like Paris-Tours adapting themselves to current trends (dirt roads). Generally, with one day races, the most changes come about as a consequence of changes in the peloton with tweaks needed to keep the race exciting.
 
Reactions: noob
It began at the beginning. The first two Tours were more or less the same (some minor tweaks at stage ends IIRC) but the third added new stages. Certain familiar elements became established and some individual stages were consistent year to year but over time the race changed each year. So in stage races it's a case of evolution, some of which is contingent on economic factors, some of which is contingent on local factors (eg the loss of the Puy de Dôme), some of which are contingent on what sort of race the organisers want.

With one day races it's typically a case of evolution, sometimes incremental sometimes radical (Paris-Roubaix went through a radical change, it now takes place further east than it used to, but also goes through incremental changes contingent on local issues). You can see the way external factors impact the evolution of one-day races with Milan-Sanremo today. MSR also demonstrates how races adapt themselves to changes in the peloton, with new capi added as needed. Or you have races like Paris-Tours adapting themselves to current trends (dirt roads). Generally, with one day races, the most changes come about as a consequence of changes in the peloton with tweaks needed to keep the race exciting.
Thank you so much for that elaborate answer! Really appriceated!
 
A thing about races like today is honestly that they're much harder to compare than say climbing times on major HC climbs, where you have a lot of comparisons between years.
Even if the route remained the exact same other factors would make comparison invidious. We rarely account for weather as much as we should when comparing races. Road conditions change, sucky tarmac gets replaced with smoother surfaces. Even in track cycling we struggle to factor in the impact of all the relevant elements.
 
Reactions: noob
JA's decline is less of a decline and more that WVA and VDP have reached maturity. Who was he mostly racing in 2018/2019, an on-form Lutsenko?

JA was fun but the whole French squad was lighting a big one that day. Actually I recall them doing similar things in 2019, admittedly a much more controlled race. Does the Voeck have some good stuff stashed away?
 
JA's decline is less of a decline and more that WVA and VDP have reached maturity. Who was he mostly racing in 2018/2019, an on-form Lutsenko?

JA was fun but the whole French squad was lighting a big one that day. Actually I recall them doing similar things in 2019, admittedly a much more controlled race. Does the Voeck have some good stuff stashed away?
If he's doping I'm pretty sure it's the team, not the national team or Voeckler...
 
Reactions: noob
I keep wondering about the differences between the doping used vs the races targeted. Like altitude there's bloodsports. But with the other races are they still using versions of steroids, testosterone etc? And why not amphetamines?

For the majority of what QS does those drugs would sound like enough? But I assume they are easier to find than more refined substances? (noob is a bit of a drug nerd more than a doping nerd so doesn't know anything about tests (also lacks math skills so wouldn't nerd about hemo levels or climbing speeds etc)
 

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