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MIA...a More Intesting Tour???

Landis, Valverde, Basso, Mayo, Ricco, Rasmussen, Vinokourov, Kohl, Sella, Kashechkin, Heras, Piepoli, Schumacher, Mazzoleni...

All of them are suspended, or prohibited from racing in this most boring of Tours one way or the other. Yet all of them are/were somewhere between fairly exciting, and really exciting racers who often rode at the front, and went for it.

I'm not saying we shouldn't punish dopers, that's not in the cards. But I'm speculating as to had these guys been here, how much more exciting do you think this year's Tour would have been? I think quite a bit. Who do you think would have done what, and made a difference?

(Assume everyone is doped the same if you can. Look at their career, not just when any of these riders were at their most jacked.)
 
Last year's Saunier Duval armada would've left Contador way back in the distance. Vino as always would be attacking everywhere.

I think Basso isn't prohibited from racing but he himself decided not to race the Tour? If he would be on the same form/stuff as in 2006 he would be unstoppable, so it would be boring anyway.
 
Though I think it's obvious Basso was on Fuentes Juice in 2006, I agree, if he had never been caught, he would probably be working on his fourth straight Tour win, and maybe another double-double.

Again though, trying not to concentrate so much on doped performance, as much as rider styles, as many of these guys I listed had attacking, or bold styles. And what we're left with in this Tour is Cadel Evans as arguably the most aggressive rider.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Landis, Valverde, Basso, Mayo, Ricco, Rasmussen, Vinokourov, Kohl, Sella, Kashechkin, Heras, Piepoli, Schumacher, Mazzoleni...

(Assume everyone is doped the same if you can. Look at their career, not just when any of these riders were at their most jacked.)

I agree with you it would be more interesting but many of these guys would be riding for others, still it would make teams more even. I would love to see the Basso of the 06 Giro up against Contador. I think they would be well in front of the rest regardless of opposition.

Some of the others would be pushing on a bit now so might be on the slide. Landis, I just dont know. Valverde always has a bad day, Mayo, hot or cold, never knew. Rasmussen and Vinokourov would have enlivened things but lost out in TTs. Of the rest only Heras stands out but again too weak in the TT. Sure would make mountains stages interesting.

For me, the main reasons this Tour has not been more interesting is beacuse

a/The route is pathetic, Sunday was good, today was ok when the Schlecks attacked but they stopped riding. Downhill pursuit was exciting though. GC not su much.

b/Astana are so much stronger than the other teams, only Saxo Ban/Garmin look like possibly challenging them.

c/The TTT has had such a negative impact on the race, it has been virtually over since stage 3.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Why not set up a rival league only for the condemned. Maybe call it the 'No Limit' series. A Drug fest free for all. :)

Armstrong can come back when there's a masters series alongside Mr 60%.
 
Apr 11, 2009
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Maybe this is also saying something about personalities, that the guys who have the cojones to dope bigtime also have the cojones to attack. Two forms of risk-taking behaviour. May make sense?

Whether it's because they are doped that they CAN attack OR it's just a matter of their being WILLING to attack in the first place regardless (because of a risk-taking penchant) is hard to say.
 
We need to take into account that maybe Contador is being limited to how much he can dope in this tour, so maybe he is still the best in the mountains if completely jacked. Imagine if Contador could jacked himself to 60% crit level, he would have probably had to hit the brakes climbing Arcalis and Verbier!
:D
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I enjoyed watching Rasmussen en Ricco attacks, just like I found Contador's accelerations amazing.

Perhaps slightly OT, but when Kohl said that he didn't understand why he was the only one to get busted, because according to him the whole top 10 was doping, have we found some truth in this statement this year?

Menchov and Evans are nowhere, not a shadow of their former selves. Perhaps Sastre can be added to this list if it weren't for his 'limited losses' and his Giro participation.

The fact that 'monsieur propre', Sastre, couldn't stick to the wheel of this year's big guns such as the Schlecks (his former team mates), a come back retiree, a track specialist, a German named in the Freiburg report, and one labeles AC on an OP bloodbag, would that imply something new exists?

Or does it mean that last year's guys have abandoned their programs when the testing went up and the blood passport kicked into effect?
 
Jul 13, 2009
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unsheath said:
Why not set up a rival league only for the condemned. Maybe call it the 'No Limit' series. A Drug fest free for all. :)

Armstrong can come back when there's a masters series alongside Mr 60%.

This reminds me of an old snl sketch re: doper olympics. John Belushi was a power lifter whose arms rip right off of his body when he tries to lift too much weight.
 
May 20, 2009
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Alpe, thanks for starting this thread on my favorite topic. I'm always ready to chime in with my opinion that the testing has ruined the sport for the spectators. I don't ride, I could be described by the Nirvana verse "here we are, now entertain us!" Any and all those riders you listed. I say jack 'em up and let 'em go at it!

One thing most agree on is the Giro has been more entertaining than the Tour these two years. Isn't it obvious why? Combine risk taking, doped to the gills riders with plenty of finishes atop huge and steep mountains, and you've got the recipe for great entertainment.:)
 
longrun said:
Alpe, thanks for starting this thread on my favorite topic. I'm always ready to chime in with my opinion that the testing has ruined the sport for the spectators. I don't ride, I could be described by the Nirvana verse "here we are, now entertain us!" Any and all those riders you listed. I say jack 'em up and let 'em go at it!

One thing most agree on is the Giro has been more entertaining than the Tour these two years. Isn't it obvious why? Combine risk taking, doped to the gills riders with plenty of finishes atop huge and steep mountains, and you've got the recipe for great entertainment.:)

While I enjoy watching fireworks in the mountains at the same time it hurts to see rider like say Andy Schleck who in my opinion is much talented climber than Contador gets his *** kicked just because Contador rides for Bruyneel and has the acces to the better stuff. Ullrich was more talented than Armstrong etc. I also enjoy seeing people cracking suddenly, and that doesn't happen too often with the doped riders. And the clean(er) riders suffer too. I could accept the stuff they had in the 80's and before that. I think it didn't make a rider beat more talented riders just because of that.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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The converse is also interesting. Where are last year's top riders - Sastre, Evans, Vandevelde? Do you think last year's TdF was as clean as the TdF is ever going to get?

Some of the excitement of this year's race was stymied by the race organizers and their course (bit of a snorefest in the first two weeks), but the stages are now being lit up with the Schlecks and Contador, Wiggins the interloper, and the continued feud between Contador, Bruyneel and Armstrong. I am actually finding the last week of racing to be as exciting as Lance versus Beloki and the 2003 TdF, stunning (and often irrational) Vino attacks, etc. But I still thoroughly enjoy THE Landis stage (17 in 2006), I love watching Vino go crazy, big men (Perez) climbing like little men, little me TTing like big men. Ah, what a delusional world we live in!
 
May 13, 2009
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I enjoy the younger riders lighting up the road. Likely it's an effect of targeted testing. While Menchov, Evans, Sastre probably don't dare to do much beside autologous transfusions (I actually think Menchov used up all his bags in the Giro and had none left for the TdF), and possibly a little insulin here and there, maybe a bit of Hgh (very short detection window) to help recovery, the younger guns, being hungry and all, might likely take some larger risks.

And then you have Astana of course. They're going all out and bribe their way through controls so you suddenly hear stories about vampires drinking coffee! They're in an entirely different league.

Anyway, I think the stages since Sunday were pretty entertaining, and Thursday and Saturday promise more of the same. It's going to be a good third week, which I think was necessary after 14 days of snorefest.
 
How many riders really committed to training a-conservatively, like Lance and Contador?
If you try grinding up the mountains at 70-80rpm, while Contador is doing 100+, you're going to need a lot of dope and pain tolerance to keep up.

I once trained one summer at one cog light a gear than I preferred. My natural threshold cadance went from 101 tot 113. Oh, and I have a 39+" inseam even.
My 83kg clydes body happily climbed along with all but the pro mountainbikers. I was just breathing really hard, which is all the point.
having a good trainer and listening to him well, executing training schedules to the dot, that is worth more than the amount of dope that stays under the radar nowadays.

Those guys losing big time in the mountains tend to sit back on their bike, seat low, lots of knee angle even when the pedal is all the way straightened out. Trying to do it Ullrich's way. He was just a freakish talent, and often on something, probably. Shift back, and seat forward and up!
They think it's the airo position of the TT getting them up serious Cat3 climbs so quickly.

To win in cycling over your equally telented competition, you need to ride and train smart. Now, who DOESN'T live in the 70's and 80's in that respect?
 

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