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Official Valverde thread.

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BigMac said:
He beat Gilbert's record who had beat the previous record set by whoever beat the record before that. Of course if he beat Gilbert's 2011 time, he set the record. Isn't it only logic that we compare the new record with the previous one?
No, as I explained to you already the bigger sample evens out the variables.

Election polls don't use a sample of 50 voters, they use a sample of 500. The bigger the number the smaller the margin of error.

What you are doing and what others have tried to do with other riders, is pushing to one side all the other ascents and trying to make the discussion into nothing but a direct one on one comparison between 2011 and 2014.

Then once you turn the comparison between 10 ascents into a comparison between 2, it becomes very easy attack the suggestion that climbing speeds mean anything, by simply pointing out how many hundreds of different variables exist.

Because of course its possible that one year there was a massive tail wind, the surface was smoother, climate better, better fan support etc and the other there was a massive headwind, poor surface, rain etc etc etc

But when we take into account the other years as well the variables even themselves out. It becomes highly unlikely that 2014 was the only year they had this massive tail wind and great everything, and all the other years conditions were awful.

A quick look at Jens' site tells us that since 2004, the peloton has reached the base of the Mur in compact formation, so we should cont out all other years out as it would not be logical nor coherent to compare them.
I'm not comparing it to pre 2004. I already explained it was raced different many years. That still leaves a big enough sample.
 
I wouldn't call the tailwind massive. It was quite decent in the bottom and a little on the top, but the middle of the climb is not that exposed. The weather was quite nice though, absolutely the opposite of 2008, but that was also climbed slower, so it's a moot point.
 
Mar 6, 2009
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BigMac said:
He beat Gilbert's record who had beat the previous record set by whoever beat the record before that. Of course if he beat Gilbert's 2011 time, he set the record. Isn't it only logic that we compare the new record with the previous one?

A quick look at Jens' site tells us that since 2004, the peloton has reached the base of the Mur in compact formation, so we should cont out all other years out as it would not be logical nor coherent to compare them. That was the year Rebellin set a new historic record of 2.46 minutes. Since then, that record has only been beaten 4 times (2007 by Rebellin himself; 2010 by Cadel, Purito and Contador; Gilbert the next year; Now Valverde). Placing the variables Hitch mentioned before between these four, why is it suspicious, considering we had a very strong pace coning into the climb, a strong compact group, with always someone pulling hard, until Valverde eventually got away in the last meters. Taking these into account, the time gained on all previous records was surely made while the group was still together. It was the colective effort that made the difference and not Valverde's I'd say.
Pretty much what I said before, the approach to the Mur has now become similar to a bunch finish in the Tour. Depending on how far the lead-out goes past the Red Kite, it may well have a huge bearing on the overall ascent times. For example in a bunch sprint, a lead out train to 300m metres would likely give a faster final km time than a lead-out train to 500m. No?

I think Hitch's overall point about Valverde has traction in that he has been on close to top form for a long, long time. Winning Fleche with a record ascent of the Mur by itself is nothing compared to the length of his peak.

I think tactics also have to be taken into considerationon on the Mur, the Mur is about timing so it depends how long people will keep their powder dry etc before the real sprint starts. To me there are too many variables to make an accurate call on a 1km climb.

Overall times were fast so to me this is not like Aix-3-Domaine where you had one rider matching the top times whilst most of the rest were nowhere on the fastest times list.

I am not sure what people want to believe more, a bunch sprint up the Mur or Argentin riding in solo from 70k out in 1991.
 
Jul 1, 2011
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The Hitch said:
No, as I explained to you already the bigger sample evens out the variables.

Election polls don't use a sample of 50 voters, they use a sample of 500. The bigger the number the smaller the margin of error.

I'm not comparing it to pre 2004. I already explained it was raced different many years. That still leaves a big enough sample.
It's a sample of ten isn't it?

Anyway, is it right that Valverde is significantly skinnier than in previous years? (I've heard it mentioned on here, but to be honest watching highlights on youtube they all look like pixellated sticks to me most of the time.) If so it sounds like his overall approach has changed?
 
RownhamHill said:
It's a sample of ten isn't it?

Anyway, is it right that Valverde is significantly skinnier than in previous years? (I've heard it mentioned on here, but to be honest watching highlights on youtube they all look like pixellated sticks to me most of the time.) If so it sounds like his overall approach has changed?
Yeah I also think he is on some weight doping a la aicar.
 
Apr 19, 2010
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RownhamHill said:
Anyway, is it right that Valverde is significantly skinnier than in previous years?
Is he? I've always thought he looked too heavy (comparatively) in previous years to climb the way he does.
 
Jul 21, 2012
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Netserk said:
I wouldn't call the tailwind massive. It was quite decent in the bottom and a little on the top, but the middle of the climb is not that exposed. The weather was quite nice though, absolutely the opposite of 2008, but that was also climbed slower, so it's a moot point.
1-2 m/s. Should hardly make a big difference over 1 km.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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The Hitch said:
No, as I explained to you already the bigger sample evens out the variables.

Election polls don't use a sample of 50 voters, they use a sample of 500. The bigger the number the smaller the margin of error.

What you are doing and what others have tried to do with other riders, is pushing to one side all the other ascents and trying to make the discussion into nothing but a direct one on one comparison between 2011 and 2014.

Then once you turn the comparison between 10 ascents into a comparison between 2, it becomes very easy attack the suggestion that climbing speeds mean anything, by simply pointing out how many hundreds of different variables exist.

Because of course its possible that one year there was a massive tail wind, the surface was smoother, climate better, better fan support etc and the other there was a massive headwind, poor surface, rain etc etc etc

But when we take into account the other years as well the variables even themselves out. It becomes highly unlikely that 2014 was the only year they had this massive tail wind and great everything, and all the other years conditions were awful.
By comparing it to Gilbert's previous time, one is obviously comparing it to the other times (from 2004 onwards of course). Because one beat the other and so on. If a new record was set, it was precisely because conditions and variables were better that year comparing it to the year of the previous best time. Better group, higher pace, whatever. So in 2011 variables were better than in 2010, which was better than 2007 which was better than 2004. If you don't acknowledge this you're basicly saying in all these years when records were set either the winners and the main group up Huy were doping or were at least suspicous. If yes, then there is no way in arguing with you because I'll never be able to make my point.:) Since 2004 (included) we had 11 races. Not 50, not 500. That's the universe from which one can take conclusions or not unless you want to take solo efforts from the base into account (which you don't). It is not suspicious to set a record when you only have 11 opponent years. 1/11 is not 1/50 and certainly not 1/100 and it is perfectly within what can be considered normal.

And it does not mean other years had awful conditions. They might have had certain better conditions. 2014 just happened to have the better conditions/variables needed to set a new record. I think it was the group who contributed the most to achieve a better time in comparison to all other years. Valverde got away in the last meters doing something he does best, which is getting away quite explosively on a finale that suits him. Considering that was a completely normal move, and knowing that he got away from a group and did not ride the Mur alone, the only possible exclamation is how fast they ALL were. If anything, the entire group is suspicious and all the atention given to Valverde setting a new record is pointless, since he didn't do anything abnormal by himself, and was in fact the group pace that contributed the most for a new record being set.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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happychappy said:
Is he? I've always thought he looked too heavy (comparatively) in previous years to climb the way he does.
He is. I noticed that already back in Feb (iirc), he is much skinnier this year than before, even at the start of the season.

He's on the Sky diet. :p
 
Apr 22, 2014
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peloton said:
He is. I noticed that already back in Feb (iirc), he is much skinnier this year than before, even at the start of the season.

He's on the Sky diet. :p
Didn't you heard ? Clen is just a supplement this days, if you test positive you just tell them that you eat chinese food. The unsure part is if it works for riders not contracted by Tinkoff.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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That's interesting.

Never had the curiosity to sheck how he looked this year, though he didn't seem to loose any muscle in legs. Perhaps he had some fat still in them. :p
 
May 26, 2010
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The Hitch said:
Yep, i heard it mentioned in February that Valverde was thinner than ever.

I know what went through my head when I heard that.
That he cut out the Nutella!!
 
BigMac said:
By comparing it to Gilbert's previous time, one is obviously comparing it to the other times (from 2004 onwards of course). Because one beat the other and so on. If a new record was set, it was precisely because conditions and variables were better that year comparing it to the year of the previous best time. Better group, higher pace, whatever. So in 2011 variables were better than in 2010, which was better than 2007 which was better than 2004. If you don't acknowledge this you're basicly saying in all these years when records were set either the winners and the main group up Huy were doping or were at least suspicous.
No, the world is not black and white. You are offering a very simplistic - its either this or its that, dilema. Either its the conditions, or its the doping.

I am not saying its the either this or that, like you are. I'm saying there are many variables, and doping is one of them.

The conditions do matter. I always aknowledged that, that's why I stressed the importance of sample size.

Considering we know for a fact that Rebellin, Kirchen and others were doped to the max, Valverde if clean, starts the hill at a disadvantage already. In other words, all the other variables - wind, exhaustion, his own ability etc, need to in sum make up for this disadvantage and (considering he broke the record) surpass it.

I never said thats not possible, I didn't say the case against Valverde rests entirely on the ascent speed, I never said doping is the only variable that has an impact on ascent speed, which is what you seem to think with conditions.

But doping is a variable, and considering the advantage it gave to the guys piti is being compared to, it is a big one and you are wrong to ignore it.

So in 2011 variables were better than in 2010, which was better than 2007 which was better than 2004.
So what you are saying is that conditions up Alpe d huez were at their best in the mid 90's?
 
Jul 21, 2012
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thrawn said:
Valverde is clean.
he might be clean, or he might be doping. I dont know. I have my hunches, and they are telling me its a 50% chance he is doping and a 50% chance he is clean. Therefore, my hunches prove nothing. nada. zilch.
as for now, we must simply wait for more evidence to present itself.

I prefer to sit on the fence in cases like this, we shouldnt condemn anyone just because they are spanish, skinny or rides fast up a mountain. Give me some hard evidence to work with, and I might come down from the fence.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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Justico said:
Didn't you heard ? Clen is just a supplement this days, if you test positive you just tell them that you eat chinese food. The unsure part is if it works for riders not contracted by Tinkoff.
Not taking the bait, try harder ;)
 
Oct 15, 2012
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the sceptic said:
he might be clean, or he might be doping. I dont know. I have my hunches, and they are telling me its a 50% chance he is doping and a 50% chance he is clean. Therefore, my hunches prove nothing. nada. zilch.
as for now, we must simply wait for more evidence to present itself.

I prefer to sit on the fence in cases like this, we shouldnt condemn anyone just because they are spanish, skinny or rides fast up a mountain. Give me some hard evidence to work with, and I might come down from the fence.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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The Hitch said:
No, the world is not black and white. You are offering a very simplistic - its either this or its that, dilema. Either its the conditions, or its the doping.

I am not saying its the either this or that, like you are. I'm saying there are many variables, and doping is one of them.

The conditions do matter. I always aknowledged that, that's why I stressed the importance of sample size.

Considering we know for a fact that Rebellin, Kirchen and others were doped to the max, Valverde if clean, starts the hill at a disadvantage already. In other words, all the other variables - wind, exhaustion, his own ability etc, need to in sum make up for this disadvantage and (considering he broke the record) surpass it.

I never said thats not possible, I didn't say the case against Valverde rests entirely on the ascent speed, I never said doping is the only variable that has an impact on ascent speed, which is what you seem to think with conditions.

But doping is a variable, and considering the advantage it gave to the guys piti is being compared to, it is a big one and you are wrong to ignore it.
I cannot keep up with you. It's very exhausting. Let me just tell you that I'm not seeing it just black or white and that my ultimate point is that Valverde beating the record is mainly due to both the pace coming into the Mur and the pace on the group he was included in. He simply did what he could do without any sort of doping any day, he pulled a Valverde in the last meters. A completely normal attack from a group. And if that was what gave him the record (which I don't think due to the small distance to the line) then I don't see what is abnormal. The other option left is that he got the record mainly due to the high pace in his group, and for him to be condered suspicious because the entire group has to. Whats even more funny is that he was in the back for most of the climb.

So what you are saying is that conditions up Alpe d huez were at their best in the mid 90's?
No I was just analising since 2004. But perhaps conditions such as riders conditions on Alpe were better in the mid 90's yes.
 
The Hitch said:
Election polls don't use a sample of 50 voters, they use a sample of 500. The bigger the number the smaller the margin of error.
Yet you're looking at 10, not 50 or 500. My point is your argument is bunk, though your conclusion is correct (that Valverde is doping).
 
Jul 17, 2012
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I'm not sure whether he's clean or not, but even if I was certain he was now, a Valverde win still leaves me feeling empty, might be down his pick-pocket riding style, or the fact he's never been repentant.
 
BigMac said:
I cannot keep up with you. It's very exhausting. Let me just tell you that I'm not seeing it just black or white and that my ultimate point is that Valverde beating the record is mainly due to both the pace coming into the Mur and the pace on the group he was included in. He simply did what he could do without any sort of doping any day, he pulled a Valverde in the last meters. A completely normal attack from a group. And if that was what gave him the record (which I don't think due to the small distance to the line) then I don't see what is abnormal. The other option left is that he got the record mainly due to the high pace in his group, and for him to be condered suspicious because the entire group has to. Whats even more funny is that he was in the back for most of the climb.
What you are essentially saying is that we would need to compare Valverde's time only with the times in which the group set a high pace, there was tailwind, etc.

Let's say that in 25% of the samples there was a high pace and in 50% there was tailwind.

This means that only 12.5% of the samples are applicable.

If Valverde's time is beaten by one of the 87.5% other samples that other cyclist would've either needed doping or be a lot better than Valverde (and all the others wednesday or one of them would have won). In other words, Valverde being beaten by one of those times would speak in his favor.

This was not the case.

Let us compare Valverde's time with the remaining 12.5% of the cases and there is bound to be a doper in one of these samples. Valverde beat all of them as well (and Martin had the 2nd best time ever). So either Valverde (and Martin) need to be doping, because they beat known dopers, or they would need to be a lot better.

But as a poser above me already stated the sample size is still too small, but the credence of Hitch's argument only grows. In my opinion we can already draw conclusions from it.
 

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