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Official Valverde thread.

There was a tailwind on the climb today.

Martin on 2nd place was too far back, Kwia on 3rd was too much on the front. Valverde timed it perfectly. The two former winners either crashed or lead the bunch with 1km to go. Betancur far from top form.
 
I'm starting to think froome won't even podium this year. The tour in recent years has been dominated by guys who are on form all year. There are some exceptions but the winners especially last 3 years have been the guys who peak 6 months.

Valverde vs Contador. Unfortunately for Valverde, he cannot win that battle from what I see.

Ironically the vuelta has in recent years been dominated by the opposite, guys who do very little all season.
 
The Hitch said:
I'm starting to think froome won't even podium this year. The tour in recent years has been dominated by guys who are on form all year. There are some exceptions but the winners especially last 3 years have been the guys who peak 6 months.

Valverde vs Contador. Unfortunately for Valverde, he cannot win that battle from what I see.

Ironically the vuelta has in recent years been dominated by the opposite, guys who do very little all season.
Who would be 3rd then?

I still think Froome is the top favorite and will be very hard to beat.
 
LaFlorecita said:
Who would be 3rd then?

I still think Froome is the top favorite and will be very hard to beat.
You predict Contador won't win? That's a new one.

Who will come 3rd. Anyone. Probably Nibali does it again by avoiding crashes punctures etc.

It's not that froome will be on his 2013 form and outperformed though. I think hes going to go into the race without proper preparation, maybe the back injury again whatever, might pull out, not turn up or be a bit like 2012 vuelta.

Then again 2012 froome had no great form before dauphine and was still insane so maybe he still beats them.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Dan Martin The Cleans was second so nothing to be suspicious about. He really is the best. As you've nicknamed it, It's just Valverde's comeback.
 
Jul 21, 2012
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roundabout said:
He only won today because Contador did not race
actually, its pretty scary that this is the same Valverde that got toyed with by Contador a couple of weeks ago. :eek:

Of course, there were tailwinds, and Horner was faster.. but still. Froome is in big trouble in july imo.
 
Apr 22, 2014
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After being spanked by Contador few weeks ago he eats a few extra steaks, boom Gilbert 2011 record vanished.

Ridiculous.

The "Dope Wars Episode 2014 : Old school dopers strike back" will only end up in a totally doped peleton, again.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Justico said:
After being spanked by Contador few weeks ago he eats a few extra steaks, boom Gilbert 2011 record vanished.

Ridiculous.

The "Dope Wars: Episode 2014 - Old School Dopers Strike Back" will only end up in a totally doped peleton, again.
Fixed it. Nice title by the way. ;)
 
the sceptic said:
actually, its pretty scary that this is the same Valverde that got toyed with by Contador a couple of weeks ago. :eek:

Of course, there were tailwinds, and Horner was faster.. but still. Froome is in big trouble in july imo.
1,3km climb at 9,3%, sprint from a small group. Absolutely Valverde territory, and this kind of race is an area where Froome has never shown anything in his career and where apart from a couple of showings with a lot of potential back in 2010, Contador hasn't either.

Valverde has been ludicrous-strong so far this season, but Flèche is a race that he could win any year, full Fuentes program or not. Nobody's going to argue that Ally Vally is clean, but today's win to me did not stand out as much as Roma Maxima.
 
roundabout said:
40-1-2-21-7-(8)-46-7-1


Hmmm

Not anywhere near a podium in the previous 5 editions he rode in the "absolutely Valverde territory".
With the exception of 2012 when everything went wrong for him in the Ardennes though, he's been up there regularly in the top 10. In 2008, the edition where he was 21st, he followed that up by winning LBL, so it's not like he had a bad Ardennes campaign. He's been top 10 in 5 of his last 5 Ardennes classics and won his last real puncheur finish from a bunch before this, admittedly against a much weaker field.

Again, Roma Maxima was a much bigger surprise, with the multiple attacks from distance; hiding in the bunch on a short, steep ascent and timing the sprint right at the end is well within Valverde's remit, even at his weakest. Flèche is about timing. In 2008 Evans was the strongest on the final climb, went too early and faded, Kirchen won. In 2010 Contador and Antón were the aggressors, but Evans profited. Today Martin had to come from positioned quite far back, which meant he wasn't able to answer Valverde's sprint; Kwiatkowski had done a bit too much work in lead position for my money.

I do not think that Don Alejandro is clean, though I do think he's a talented cyclist. I don't understand why he gets so much more hate than a number of other dopers, other than that he was lucky enough to have a good enough legal team to mean he wasn't banned while he was protesting his innocence. He is almost certainly doping in 2014, and his victory today was almost certainly influenced by it. I just don't think La Flèche Wallonne 2014 was an especially remarkable performance for a guy with his characteristics, capabilities and palmarès, and not one that jumped out at me as "this is beyond the pale".
 
May 26, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
With the exception of 2012 when everything went wrong for him in the Ardennes though, he's been up there regularly in the top 10. In 2008, the edition where he was 21st, he followed that up by winning LBL, so it's not like he had a bad Ardennes campaign. He's been top 10 in 5 of his last 5 Ardennes classics and won his last real puncheur finish from a bunch before this, admittedly against a much weaker field.

Again, Roma Maxima was a much bigger surprise, with the multiple attacks from distance; hiding in the bunch on a short, steep ascent and timing the sprint right at the end is well within Valverde's remit, even at his weakest. Flèche is about timing. In 2008 Evans was the strongest on the final climb, went too early and faded, Kirchen won. In 2010 Contador and Antón were the aggressors, but Evans profited. Today Martin had to come from positioned quite far back, which meant he wasn't able to answer Valverde's sprint; Kwiatkowski had done a bit too much work in lead position for my money.

I do not think that Don Alejandro is clean, though I do think he's a talented cyclist. I don't understand why he gets so much more hate than a number of other dopers, other than that he was lucky enough to have a good enough legal team to mean he wasn't banned while he was protesting his innocence. He is almost certainly doping in 2014, and his victory today was almost certainly influenced by it. I just don't think La Flèche Wallonne 2014 was an especially remarkable performance for a guy with his characteristics, capabilities and palmarès, and not one that jumped out at me as "this is beyond the pale".
He is getting attention due to the fastest ever ascent of the Muur de Huy.

That is remarkable.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Benotti69 said:
He is getting attention due to the fastest ever ascent of the Muur de Huy.

That is remarkable.
Then you have to take a look at all the riders who were in the group and not just Valverde. They climbed together for the great majority of the climb. Valverde only attacked in the last meters, which did little difference to the overall timing. I bet the time gained on Gilbert's previous record was done while the group was still together.
 
May 26, 2010
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BigMac said:
Then you have to take a look at all the riders who were in the group and not just Valverde. They climbed together for the great majority of the climb. Valverde only attacked in the last meters, which did little difference to the overall timing. I bet the time gained on Gilbert's previous record was done while the group was still together.
Yes you do, but this is the Valverde thread for looking at Valverde.;)
 
BigMac said:
Then you have to take a look at all the riders who were in the group and not just Valverde. They climbed together for the great majority of the climb. Valverde only attacked in the last meters, which did little difference to the overall timing. I bet the time gained on Gilbert's previous record was done while the group was still together.
Its not a direct comparison between one ascent and another. Sure there are plenty of variables that could result in 2011 being ridden slower than 2014 that have nothing to do with doping.

But what Valverde did was set the record. That means he didn't just beat 2011. He beat every year. A much bigger sample. And the bigger the sample the more the variables even themselves out.

Beating the entire sample, by 3 seconds, means that even if you have certain advantages that particular year, its still suspicious.
 
Mar 6, 2009
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The Hitch said:
Its not a direct comparison between one ascent and another. Sure there are plenty of variables that could result in 2011 being ridden slower than 2014 that have nothing to do with doping.

But what Valverde did was set the record. That means he didn't just beat 2011. He beat every year. A much bigger sample. And the bigger the sample the more the variables even themselves out.

Beating the entire sample, by 3 seconds, means that even if you have certain advantages that particular year, its still suspicious.

You are right about the bigger sample but I noticed one interesting thing about the times from vetoo(which they noted), especially the EPO 90s is that the bunch never came together to the bottom of the Mur like they did from 2004 onward. For example the infamous 94 Fleche is well slow in comparison but then those guys rode a 3 man TTT for was it 50-60k before the ascent of the Mur.

I think the speed of the main bunch on arrival at the 1km banner can have a big impact on the overall ascent speed as well as other factors, as you noted. If the time this year is faster due to doping, are we to assume that last year Purito was clean or do we believe that if he had still been in contention this year, he would have been up there as well.

The modern Flech seem's to be a different affair to those of the 90s in particular and they don't seem to have records before that but I assume were slower as well.
 

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