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Mediocrity Era!

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Jul 24, 2009
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What everyone is forgetting is that Fignon said that he used PED in the criterium's after the tour, where the racers are paid off and its not a real race, its all a show for the people. The riders are dead after the tour and the "PEDs" allow them to race around at high speeds
 
May 26, 2010
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VanceNichols said:
What everyone is forgetting is that Fignon said that he used PED in the criterium's after the tour, where the racers are paid off and its not a real race, its all a show for the people. The riders are dead after the tour and the "PEDs" allow them to race around at high speeds

I thought that the crits were fixed and that any PEDs were taking due to the exhausting nature of a whole month of travelling after the TdF from town to town and riding a crit every evening. The crits were not gungho till the last 20mins or such. Pretty much the same reason for PED use in the TdF prior to the 90s, to recuperate not to enhance performance, but to heal an exhausted body for another day in the saddle.
 
Well, if you go back to the OP, and links on the first page, he talked about it in regards to recreation as well. So it's hard to determine just how that would play into post-Tour crits. Still, I could imagine riders dead tired from the Tour popping a pill before a crit to make sure their energy is up.

Keep in mind also the quote on the first page about riders dropping Fignon on a good day, and how they had no business doing so, mediocre riders in his mind.

We'll always wonder if there had been no EPO, and no blood doping, just who would have won what during the 90s and 2000s. You can make a big list if you like, as to who should have been mediocre but got results, and who got mediocre results but should have been great.
 
May 26, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Well, if you go back to the OP, and links on the first page, he talked about it in regards to recreation as well. So it's hard to determine just how that would play into post-Tour crits. Still, I could imagine riders dead tired from the Tour popping a pill before a crit to make sure their energy is up.

Keep in mind also the quote on the first page about riders dropping Fignon on a good day, and how they had no business doing so, mediocre riders in his mind.

We'll always wonder if there had been no EPO, and no blood doping, just who would have won what during the 90s and 2000s. You can make a big list if you like, as to who should have been mediocre but got results, and who got mediocre results but should have been great.

In relation to the crits, it was a serious money earner at the time as pros were not paid big salaries and to do as many as you could to make as much as you could was so important to european pros, so if you could get to as many as possible and sometimes that meant long drives and probably sleeping in cars etc....not a pleasant working environment but an important one for pro cyclists. Anything to help them achieve that i imagine was used..

The EPO era can never really be looked back at and dissected till all the facts about who took what, when and where etc comes out and the full effect of EPO on such and such a rider..and that i think we will never know. Like the micro-dosing in the peloton today. Micro-doses of EPO still will have a better effect on some more than others.....
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
...
We'll always wonder if there had been no EPO, and no blood doping, just who would have won what during the 90s and 2000s. You can make a big list if you like, as to who should have been mediocre but got results, and who got mediocre results but should have been great.
Maybe we should start with a list of mediocre riders that won or placed high on the Podium on GT. Here is mine:

1- Riis
2- Chiapucci
3- Gotti / Atmstrong / Pereiro.

What about Pantani? Everybody in here has claimed that he was so talented, but we know now that he was doped to the gills. So how do we know if he was a real talent. Did you see him riding towards the end of his career when probably he was being monitored closely? He could not climb a bridge. I liked Pantani but who knows.

Just throwing some names out there.
 
Aug 15, 2010
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Escarabajo said:
Excellent interview. Thanks.

Just out of curiosity: This is the list of riders that rode him off and that rode with him up the mountain. Some of them were on EPO but it sounded like there were some that he knew by heart had no business climbing those hills:



I think that one of the riders he was referring to was Riis, his friend. There were some others that were ahead of him that were known to be talented before 1990, but we are looking for the big a heavy ones that for almost 90 years of history could never climb.:confused:

Could it be that Fignon's talking about a stage in the Dauphine Libere and not that years Tour? That Tour stage finished at Serre Chevalier not Val D'isere. The stage to Isola 2000 was the next days stage, taking in the Col de La Bonnette. I was on the Galibier & Bonnette that year and have a picture of Fignon in the group with Riis.

I'd gone to support Robert Millar having watched the previous stage at Lac De Madine on the main climb of that TT stage (Indurain came up that climb like a motorbike! Robert was riding on the painted white line in the middle all the way up, it was drizzling and I think he was the only rider making the most of the lower friction!). My friend, a runner & Scot, had run next to Robert for about 400m on the Galibier at about 2400m prompting Robert to remark about it in his Tour diary.

Robert was on an off day on the Galibier, but we were on the Bonnette about 200m from the summit the next day and over the moon to see him arrive in first place. Walked back down to our tent and were able to see the end of the stage on a small television in the back of a frenchman's van. Gutted Robert was reeled back in, but he never gave up on the climb to Isola, trying to get away again heroic stuff.

We bumped into Robert after the stage into Montpellier on our way to the Pyrenees, he was good enough to stop for a quick chat on his way to the hotel. We never made The Pyrenees - we had a car crash on the outskirts on Montpellier. Always regret that we never got to see Robert in The Pyrenees, but I have a great photo of him approaching the summit of
The Bonnette.

Sorry about that just 1993 brought it all back!
 
Jun 16, 2009
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hrotha said:
Well, your point is silly. A crime is a crime but not all forms of crime are equally repulsive. Not all forms of cheating are the same. PEDs pre-EPO gave a minor advantage, they didn't help you win as much as have a less miserable time while winning. Yes, using steroids was cheating, but compared to EPO its effects were negligible. It's no wonder riders from that era didn't feel cheated in the same way as they would in the EPO era, because back in the 80s they were beaten by riders who were their equals, not by just about anyone with some spare cash and a syringe. If you truly can't see the difference, I'm afraid you can't be helped.

(The mods will note this post is completely impersonal and it doesn't discuss any rider in particular)

Actually to be honest, I think thats a bit silly. Prior to the 80s riders did the strongest stuff that was available to cheat and that was cheating, then some time in the 90s EPO came in and people started doing THAT because IT was the strongest thing available and that was also cheating. I really don't see how you can say that EPO users in the 90s were worse than steroid (etc) users in the 80s and earlier. This concept of feeling LESS cheated or someone winning purely because of $ and a syringe is a bit naff.

Note though that its a completely different argument than saying that a 90s epo user is worse than a 90s steroid (etc) user.
 
Martin318is said:
Actually to be honest, I think thats a bit silly. Prior to the 80s riders did the strongest stuff that was available to cheat and that was cheating, then some time in the 90s EPO came in and people started doing THAT because IT was the strongest thing available and that was also cheating. I really don't see how you can say that EPO users in the 90s were worse than steroid (etc) users in the 80s and earlier. This concept of feeling LESS cheated or someone winning purely because of $ and a syringe is a bit naff.

Note though that its a completely different argument than saying that a 90s epo user is worse than a 90s steroid (etc) user.

But the point is that it is only the efficiency of the EPO and Doctor designed doping programs which have made it absolutely necessary to be on a similar sort of program in order to be competitive that has ruined pro cycling. Before these Super Programs a lot of guys took this and that because they thought it gave them an edge, but a good rider could choose to ride clean and still win. In the last decade + an extremely talented rider who chose not to dope was heavily limiting his chances, if not giving up any chance of success commensurate with his ability.
That is why EPO is worse.
 
Martin318is said:
Actually to be honest, I think thats a bit silly. Prior to the 80s riders did the strongest stuff that was available to cheat and that was cheating, then some time in the 90s EPO came in and people started doing THAT because IT was the strongest thing available and that was also cheating. I really don't see how you can say that EPO users in the 90s were worse than steroid (etc) users in the 80s and earlier. This concept of feeling LESS cheated or someone winning purely because of $ and a syringe is a bit naff.

Note though that its a completely different argument than saying that a 90s epo user is worse than a 90s steroid (etc) user.
Of course, I'm not saying dopers from the 90s were morally worse than dopers from the 80s; I'm sure most dopers from the 80s would have used EPO if given enough time to be convinced it worked and wasn't that dangerous (when controlled by a doctor). But if you're a clean rider in the 80s and allegedly you don't even know much about what's going on when it comes to doping, and you're still winning because the PEDs around back then gave you only a minor edge, then it's perfectly understandable if you don't feel as cheated as the final result in any given race would be more or less the same - which is what the argument was about.

If you're doing an entrance exam for any sort of institution or whatever, do you feel more cheated by someone whispering an answer to someone else, or by a large group of people (large enough to keep you out of that institution by getting a better score than you) somehow managing to get ahold of an answer sheet? Bonus points if whoever's in charge of keeping watch over the exam turns a blind eye on it.
 
May 18, 2009
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Martin318is said:
Actually to be honest, I think thats a bit silly. Prior to the 80s riders did the strongest stuff that was available to cheat and that was cheating, then some time in the 90s EPO came in and people started doing THAT because IT was the strongest thing available and that was also cheating. I really don't see how you can say that EPO users in the 90s were worse than steroid (etc) users in the 80s and earlier. This concept of feeling LESS cheated or someone winning purely because of $ and a syringe is a bit naff.

Note though that its a completely different argument than saying that a 90s epo user is worse than a 90s steroid (etc) user.

Careful, you may get a warning for this.
 
Weren't some riders intimidated by the fact that EPO had to be administered by syringe? For some people that is enough to make the drug more dangerous and therefore worse than the 80's drugs.

If EPO was not that bad why did the UCI and WADA hurry to put some doping controls and punishments in place?

- Limit on hematocrit
- EPO Test.
- Heavier bans.
- Bio passport.

If it wasn't really bad the doping regulations would have stayed similar or progressed slower than what they did. Look at the progress it did over 40 or 50 years. Not much I don't think. Just another thought. Just shooting ideas.:)
 
May 31, 2010
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Señor_Contador said:
Oh, methinks Miguel Indurain took a little sumphin sumphin too.

Miguelón was asked by José María García, a well-known sports radio commentator in Spain, right after the Navarrean's retirement and just as the Festina affair was in its full "glory", point blank: "Miguel, did you take EPO or any other performance enhancing substance during the 5 Tour de France you won?". To which he replied with a "Next question please". JMG asked him again, and Indurain replied with "No, no, no quiero decir nada sobre el asunto conque... siguiente pregunta por favor", which translates to "No, no, no I do not want to say anything on the subject so... next question please".

Although he didn't say anything... we can honestly say that Indurain took PEDs between 91 and 95. I haven't the slightest of doubt.

Exactly... You are one extremely naive person to think that a client of Francesco Conconi, in the early 90's, with no test for it, wasn't taking EPO.
 
May 18, 2009
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rikdewy said:
Exactly... You are one extremely naive person to think that a client of Francesco Conconi, in the early 90's, with no test for it, wasn't taking EPO.

Agreed, but what is interesting to me is why he fell so quickly in 96. :confused:
 
Mar 17, 2009
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ChrisE said:
Agreed, but what is interesting to me is why he fell so quickly in 96. :confused:
I think Indurain perhaps was more cautious in his approach, assuming he was doping. Riis & co were prepared to go to 60%, maybe Indurain wasn't prepared to take the risk?
 
May 18, 2009
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ultimobici said:
I think Indurain perhaps was more cautious in his approach, assuming he was doping. Riis & co were prepared to go to 60%, maybe Indurain wasn't prepared to take the risk?

I dunno. He rode worse than alot of people in 96 tour, and did well in the Dauphine I believe. Rumors were he got sick in the tour, but he retired soon afterwards from the sport at the age of 32. He did win the Olympic TT in 96.

Seems strange he would just quit. Maybe your post has merit....he got tired of the doping and didn't want to push it anymore.
 
That he was beaten by Riis eventually seems to me to have absolutely no bearing on whether or not he was on EPO. Riis was on EPO. EPO doesn't make one unbeatable when the rest of the peloton is on EPO.

Maybe he just had a bad day or two, and decided 5 was enough. Either way, it's got nothing to do with whether he doped.
 
May 18, 2009
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red_flanders said:
That he was beaten by Riis eventually seems to me to have absolutely no bearing on whether or not he was on EPO. Riis was on EPO. EPO doesn't make one unbeatable when the rest of the peloton is on EPO.

Maybe he just had a bad day or two, and decided 5 was enough. Either way, it's got nothing to do with whether he doped.

Totally agree.....I definitely think he was dirty. It is just interesting that he said screw it and retired. He wasn't the only one on EPO 91-95.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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If I recall reports correctly Induran , in commen with many of the greats always planned to retire by early 30`s.
GT riding is an incredibly demanding sport...if ya spend a decade at the higest levals youve been one of the small minority.
 
May 18, 2009
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Darryl Webster said:
If I recall reports correctly Induran , in commen with many of the greats always planned to retire by early 30`s.
GT riding is an incredibly demanding sport...if ya spend a decade at the higest levals youve been one of the small minority.

I have never heard that.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Check the history books..very few riders in the 70`s and 80 `s and early 90`s went beyond early 30`s...supect is might be a tad older these days but not much.
The realy good ones tend to retire before they fall to far..its bloody hard to stay motivated for more than a decade.
 
May 18, 2009
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Darryl Webster said:
Check the history books..very few riders in the 70`s and 80 `s and early 90`s went beyond early 30`s...supect is might be a tad older these days but not much.
The realy good ones tend to retire before they fall to far..its bloody hard to stay motivated for more than a decade.

To clarify, I never heard or read that Indurain intended to retire when he did. I am well aware of the age of retirement of pre-EPO era riders.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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I`ve a vauge recollection of it being an interview..his reply when asked about retirement being along the lines that inferred early 30`s.
Cant be more specific cus it`s just a vauge memory...like a lot of memories can be. However it was consistant with the majority of pro riders answer to that question.
The question of retirement is an individual thing. Some, like Bernard Hinault, state when and were long in advance.
Others, perhaps most, wake up one day or finish a race and realise they just dont want to do it any longer.
Peeps can read to much into it.