Most Farcical Tour Ever?

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Dec 27, 2010
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the big ring said:
They intend on being at 90% all the time - so it's a perpetual "almost peak".
Is that like the "marginal gains" that transformed Porte from a rider incapable of staying within 3 minutes of the best in the 2010 Giro, and a practical non-climber in 2011, to a top 8 climber at the Tour 2012?

Benotti69 said:
According to Sean Yates Wiggins still has not reached his best.

So to win a TdF clean and not be at your best, hmmm, maybe there is a santa claus after all and his sleigh is pulled by unicorns.
Contador won the Tour 2010 way below his best. ;)
 
Jul 17, 2012
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Can someone advise on a pattern of performance peaks/troughs/plateaus etc. that is acceptable, please?

When Lance turned up once a year to race properly, this was taken as proof of doping.

Now when Wiggo/Sky perform consistently at the highest level over several months, this is also taken as proof of doping.

Somewhere between the two extremes must lie an acceptable performance pattern,one would think, but I'll be damned if I can work out what it is. Or maybe we have to go beyond the extreme and can only accept a racer who never races as being potentially clean.
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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Wallace and Gromit said:
Can someone advise on a pattern of performance peaks/troughs/plateaus etc. that is acceptable, please?

When Lance turned up once a year to race properly, this was taken as proof of doping.

Now when Wiggo/Sky perform consistently at the highest level over several months, this is also taken as proof of doping.

Somewhere between the two extremes must lie an acceptable performance pattern,one would think, but I'll be damned if I can work out what it is. Or maybe we have to go beyond the extreme and can only accept a racer who never races as being potentially clean.
True peaks were originally 2 or 3 per year. In between you might be performing well, but a 3 week race is pretty draining on a physiological level. After the race you have some time off - not a lot - then start building again for the next peak.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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the big ring said:
True peaks were originally 2 or 3 per year. In between you might be performing well, but a 3 week race is pretty draining on a physiological level. After the race you have some time off - not a lot - then start building again for the next peak.
Sorry. I was being slightly facetious, as I know the theory. I was simply highlighting the enthusiasm for doping allegations based on two contrasting approaches!

So far, the Sky A Team has peaked for the Tour, whilst still performing at a decent level three or four times in the five months beforehand. Thus, so far, Sky's peaking pattern is not suspicious in itself. If Froome rides strongly in the Olympics and also the Vuelta, then questions can legitimately be asked.
 
Dec 27, 2010
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Wallace and Gromit said:
Sorry. I was being slightly facetious, as I know the theory. I was simply highlighting the enthusiasm for doping allegations based on two contrasting approaches!

So far, the Sky A Team has peaked for the Tour, whilst still performing at a decent level three or four times in the five months beforehand. Thus, so far, Sky's peaking pattern is not suspicious in itself. If Froome rides strongly in the Olympics and also the Vuelta, then questions can legitimately be asked.
Decent level? They were untouchable in Paris - Nice, Romandie, the Dauphine and the Tour. A level of domination we never saw from even Postal.
 
will10 said:
Wallace and Gromit said:
Sorry. I was being slightly facetious, as I know the theory. I was simply highlighting the enthusiasm for doping allegations based on two contrasting approaches!

So far, the Sky A Team has peaked for the Tour, whilst still performing at a decent level three or four times in the five months beforehand. Thus, so far, Sky's peaking pattern is not suspicious in itself. If Froome rides strongly in the Olympics and also the Vuelta, then questions can legitimately be asked.
Decent level? They were untouchable in Paris - Nice, Romandie, the Dauphine and the Tour. A level of domination we never saw from even Postal.
... a level of domination unknown since before or after Merckx (references to Hinault notwithstanding)...

Peaking is not plateauing.

And Sky is claiming one thing - reduced number of races with greater focus - while actually pursuing and succeeding at the opposite with respect to their cycling peers.

Peaking is not easy to do, and it requires a lot of experience and planning, but there are things that can make peaking much more likely.

Keep in mind that you can have many "peaks" during the year and during the season, but most elite athletes aim for one primary event or goal, and plan the rest of the training season around that


This has been known for decades.

Saying one thing, and doing the other, though, has been known for centuries.

Some call it lying.

Dave.
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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Wallace and Gromit said:
Sorry. I was being slightly facetious, as I know the theory. I was simply highlighting the enthusiasm for doping allegations based on two contrasting approaches!

So far, the Sky A Team has peaked for the Tour, whilst still performing at a decent level three or four times in the five months beforehand. Thus, so far, Sky's peaking pattern is not suspicious in itself. If Froome rides strongly in the Olympics and also the Vuelta, then questions can legitimately be asked.
When your team's "decent level" lasts all year (half way there) and leads you to win every race you enter, it's more than a "decent level".

I don't need to see more domination by Sky to think something's NQR. :confused:
 
Wallace and Gromit said:
Can someone advise on a pattern of performance peaks/troughs/plateaus etc. that is acceptable, please?

When Lance turned up once a year to race properly, this was taken as proof of doping.

Now when Wiggo/Sky perform consistently at the highest level over several months, this is also taken as proof of doping.

Somewhere between the two extremes must lie an acceptable performance pattern,one would think, but I'll be damned if I can work out what it is. Or maybe we have to go beyond the extreme and can only accept a racer who never races as being potentially clean.
There is an acceptable performance pattern. You could argue that the typical form patterns of cyclists are like a normal distribution - Lance is in the "extremely rare" part at the very bottom ("one short peak, but it's stupidly good") and Wiggins in the "extremely rare" part at the very top ("a neverending peak where he flattens all riders no matter where they are on their form curve at all times").

I would say it's possible to win races clean nowadays. But it's not possible to just show up clean and annihilate people by sitting around for much of the year then arriving at the Tour and hitting the ground not just running, but at Usain Bolt speed, like Lance used to do, and I am very skeptical that it's possible to win ALL races clean and do so constantly for months on end in the fashion that Sky have done with Wiggins and his support team this season.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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will10 said:
Decent level? They were untouchable in Paris - Nice, Romandie, the Dauphine and the Tour. A level of domination we never saw from even Postal.
That's the whole point. US Postal didn't race that often because they were hidden away avoiding in-competition testing, as they prepared for the Tour. I've read countless forum posts decrying Lance's achievements against other known dopers in the Tour on the grounds that winning the Tour is somehow "easy" if you don't "honour the traditions of the sport" by racing a full programme.

These same posts banged on endlessly about how all the Great Champions from yesteryear raced a full programme, because they were talented and didn't need to dope (much) to recover and perform on a regular basis. Lance only raced once a year due to needing a military style operation last months to dope him beyond his donkey-like natural performance levels.

Now we have Wiggo and Sky racing - as opposed to turning up to turn the pedals - a full programme and getting accused of doping on the back of it. Some people are clearly never happy, hence my previous comment about the optimum racing programme needing to contain no racing to achieve acceptance as not indicating doping!

So if you have a rider successful in one major race a year they are doping and if you have a rider successful in multiple races a year they are doping as well. So I ask the question again: What pattern of racing (in terms of frequency, type of race and success levels) would satisfy the Sky cynics? It's a tough circle to square from my viewpoint, but I'm sure you guys will rise to the challenge!

Note that the response: "I believe anyone successful in any World Tour level bike race is doping" is acceptable, if unimaginative.
 

the big ring

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Jul 28, 2009
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Sorry. I was being slightly facetious,
Wallace and Gromit said:
So I ask the (facetious) question again: What pattern of racing (in terms of frequency, type of race and success levels) would satisfy the Sky cynics? It's a tough circle to square from my viewpoint, but I'm sure you guys will rise to the challenge!
Being deliberately facetious twice in one page with the same question looks remarkably troll-like.

This thread appears now post-TdF, but it will be interesting, as you suggest, to see if we have reason create a new one at the end of the year, titled, "Most farcical multi-stage race season ever?"
 
May 26, 2010
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Wallace and Gromit said:
That's the whole point. US Postal didn't race that often because they were hidden away avoiding in-competition testing, as they prepared for the Tour. I've read countless forum posts decrying Lance's achievements against other known dopers in the Tour on the grounds that winning the Tour is somehow "easy" if you don't "honour the traditions of the sport" by racing a full programme.

These same posts banged on endlessly about how all the Great Champions from yesteryear raced a full programme, because they were talented and didn't need to dope (much) to recover and perform on a regular basis. Lance only raced once a year due to needing a military style operation last months to dope him beyond his donkey-like natural performance levels.

Now we have Wiggo and Sky racing - as opposed to turning up to turn the pedals - a full programme and getting accused of doping on the back of it. Some people are clearly never happy, hence my previous comment about the optimum racing programme needing to contain no racing to achieve acceptance as not indicating doping!

So if you have a rider successful in one major race a year they are doping and if you have a rider successful in multiple races a year they are doping as well. So I ask the question again: What pattern of racing (in terms of frequency, type of race and success levels) would satisfy the Sky cynics? It's a tough circle to square from my viewpoint, but I'm sure you guys will rise to the challenge!

Note that the response: "I believe anyone successful in any World Tour level bike race is doping" is acceptable, if unimaginative.
Forget the pattern of racing. How about and explanation of why they are hiring a doping doctor?
 
Libertine Seguros said:
There is an acceptable performance pattern. You could argue that the typical form patterns of cyclists are like a normal distribution - Lance is in the "extremely rare" part at the very bottom ("one short peak, but it's stupidly good") and Wiggins in the "extremely rare" part at the very top ("a neverending peak where he flattens all riders no matter where they are on their form curve at all times").

I would say it's possible to win races clean nowadays. But it's not possible to just show up clean and annihilate people by sitting around for much of the year then arriving at the Tour and hitting the ground not just running, but at Usain Bolt speed, like Lance used to do, and I am very skeptical that it's possible to win ALL races clean and do so constantly for months on end in the fashion that Sky have done with Wiggins and his support team this season.
Not a sports physiologist but the logic here seems appropriately sound.

Even the cyclists that target multiple campaigns - come in, win a short series or longer event - then retreat to prepare for the next.

Cancellara's or Boonen's approach - chapters in a campaign.

This season and SKY's performance is beginning to feel like the mythical Three Grand Tour sweep... which, just like BW 2012 season (even now, pre-olympics) has never been done.

There's a reason, it isn't possible without... "insert appropriate SKY training technique here."
 
Jul 17, 2012
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TubularBills said:
This season and SKY's performance is beginning to feel like the mythical Three Grand Tour sweep... which...has never been done.

There's a reason, it isn't possible without... "insert appropriate SKY training technique here."
It isn't possible without winning the Giro first? ;)
 
Oct 4, 2011
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Wallace and Gromit said:
That's the whole point. US Postal didn't race that often because they were hidden away avoiding in-competition testing, as they prepared for the Tour. I've read countless forum posts decrying Lance's achievements against other known dopers in the Tour on the grounds that winning the Tour is somehow "easy" if you don't "honour the traditions of the sport" by racing a full programme.

These same posts banged on endlessly about how all the Great Champions from yesteryear raced a full programme, because they were talented and didn't need to dope (much) to recover and perform on a regular basis. Lance only raced once a year due to needing a military style operation last months to dope him beyond his donkey-like natural performance levels.

Now we have Wiggo and Sky racing - as opposed to turning up to turn the pedals - a full programme and getting accused of doping on the back of it. Some people are clearly never happy, hence my previous comment about the optimum racing programme needing to contain no racing to achieve acceptance as not indicating doping!

So if you have a rider successful in one major race a year they are doping and if you have a rider successful in multiple races a year they are doping as well. So I ask the question again: What pattern of racing (in terms of frequency, type of race and success levels) would satisfy the Sky cynics? It's a tough circle to square from my viewpoint, but I'm sure you guys will rise to the challenge!

Note that the response: "I believe anyone successful in any World Tour level bike race is doping" is acceptable, if unimaginative.
Personally Its not one rider I would worry about doping. If Wiggins had done it alone it with maybe Froome or the other way round, throughout the year it would have been astonishing but more believable than what has been playing out all year. In the earlier races some put it down to other teams only using them as prep for the tour , but at the tour it was business as usual with guys with no right to blowing the field to bits on climbs with the best climbers in the world been dropped or just controlling it at such a pace it was pointless to attack. It was so good it became unbelievable.
So really the pattern of sky winning all the races isnt the point for me,it in itself is a great achievment and one that could...has now...be done. The manner in which it was done on the other hand is something that is suspicious.
 
May 26, 2010
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Bonkstrong said:
Cojones? I admire his work on anti-doping but he's not exactly the caped crusader..
And he never claimed to be either.

He is an honest journalist who has won multiple awards for his work in an age when they appear to be getting like hens teeth.
 
Nov 25, 2010
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Benotti69 said:
And he never claimed to be either.

He is an honest journalist who has won multiple awards for his work in an age when they appear to be getting like hens teeth.
Nobody claimed that he was, so using him as a someone with "cajones" to be envious of seems a little odd.
 
May 26, 2009
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Bonkstrong said:
Nobody claimed that he was, so using him as a someone with "cajones" to be envious of seems a little odd.
Considering this once again will make him very unpopular in the Anglo-saxon cycling world, it's hardly the easy way.
 
Jan 18, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
There is an acceptable performance pattern. You could argue that the typical form patterns of cyclists are like a normal distribution - Lance is in the "extremely rare" part at the very bottom ("one short peak, but it's stupidly good") and Wiggins in the "extremely rare" part at the very top ("a neverending peak where he flattens all riders no matter where they are on their form curve at all times").

I would say it's possible to win races clean nowadays. But it's not possible to just show up clean and annihilate people by sitting around for much of the year then arriving at the Tour and hitting the ground not just running, but at Usain Bolt speed, like Lance used to do, and I am very skeptical that it's possible to win ALL races clean and do so constantly for months on end in the fashion that Sky have done with Wiggins and his support team this season.
I respect your post, some other stuff on this thread is kind of funny,There's so much love for Lance now from his (ex) biggest detractors.

Anyway clearly Chris Froome was destined to spend his days as a no hoper cat 4 rider after he came position 35 in his first GT as a 23 year old, so obviously would never be a top contender at all. Will10 you know **** all BTW, Ok we can agree to disagree but cut the condescending crap in future.
 
May 6, 2011
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will10 said:
Decent level? They were untouchable in Paris - Nice, Romandie, the Dauphine and the Tour. A level of domination we never saw from even Postal.
I think you exaggerate slightly. Paris-Nice was won by a few seconds and Romandie was hardly a selective course. The team only really came to the fore in the Dauphine. We could also draw parallels with Evans last year, who achieved similarly 'impossible' results en route to a Tour win, claiming TA, Romandie and 2nd in the Dauphine - presumably made even more remarkable by the poor quality of the team supporting him.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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This Tour fits the season quite well. I literally walked away in disgust several times this season. The laughable dominance of Omega PHARMA Ibarguren ltd., the even more laughable dominance of Astana in the hilly classics of Amstel, la Fleche and Liege. The only race this year I kinda liked was the Giro, and only the last week of course.

Sky's dominance in the stage races this season is just the same. I hope the guys enjoyed themselves.
 

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