Official Valverde thread.

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Cookster15 said:
Koronin said:
King Boonen said:
Koronin said:
Gung Ho Gun said:
He's still 5th on the 2019 CQ ranking. Might finally be his body that starts to decline.
A natural decline doesn't happen that fast. There's more to it than just that. If you listen to his comments it's more mental. He won the race he always wanted since he was a young child. After that he's said several times, I just want to enjoy whatever time I have left. He's not trying as hard. It's also very likely the rest of the peloton is getting close to the doping levels of the early 2000's when he started and at 39 he's not willing to go there again.
Why is this very likely?

The way they are racing and numbers and climbing times are in that range and it has that feel to it.
What climbing times are you referring to?

I don't pay close attention to all the climbs but the Alpe is always a good yardstick because it is usually raced hard. In last year's Tour Sky only managed a relatively pedestrian (compared to early 2000s) 41 minutes on the Alpe despite pulling from the bottom to nullify attacks.

Sorry but I really have a hard time believing that doping today is close to pre passport era.

This year Catalonia specifically.
 
He seems to be a very nice guy according to his peers and the peloton in general, and I am not sure if he has a big fanbase here. People here just assume "Valverde being Valverde" whenever he has a great performance, and move on, as his "fans" here do not defend him vehemently in the clinic.
 
This is from a Rouleur interview last year that's been made available on their site:

[My heart rate is] 32 beats per minute, 33 at rest. The average in a tough race is 145-150. Maximum, around 200, 198. And when I was younger I reached 203. That’s the limit, of course. During a tough stage, I take it three or four times, but only for short periods, of course, but there have been climbs where I’ve been over 185-190 for almost 25 minutes.

In the time-trials, you’re stood still on a start ramp and you’re at 30-40 beats above normal. The adrenaline, the tension, the nerves. And on the mountain? The whole time you’re up there. Then it comes down and goes up again at the next climb. At those heart rates, you absorb lactic acid very well. Your lungs may be able to withstand it, but your legs, as you begin to accumulate lactic acid, don’t release it.

You have to train hard physically for that. It shows. But I’m not very good at that, I get rid of the lactic acid and I’m ready for more exertion. That’s what we usually train. We start off, then every 15 minutes we stop and have our lactates measured. They take blood from the earlobe, they *** you and check it. As you go up at the same heart rate and the same pace, you steadily accumulate it, but there comes a time when you have to go down. However, in my case, and in the case of other riders even more so, maybe you’re going up at the same speed, and instead of accumulating lactic acid, you’re getting rid of it. That’s where the advantage is.

That’s what allows you to attack repeatedly. I recover quickly. I get rid of the lactic acid. Others can’t do it. It’s innate, but you need to work on it. Although there are riders that no matter how much they want to work on it, they can’t because they don’t have the condition. But if you have it, you can improve it.
 
It is so hard to engage with the Vuelta as a fan while it embraces freakish GC performances from geriatrics. It doesn't happen at the TdF (other than that AG2R fella, Penaud?). It doesn't seem to happen at the Giro. But the Vuelta gives us Horner, Valverde and Rodriguez showing peak performances well past 35 years.

I'm struggling to even form a theory. Coincidence? An understanding that the Spanish police will never take action? Different testing regimes post-TdF? Massively lower GC contender perfomence as Vuelta isn't prioritised even as much as the Giro? I'm baffled.
 
It is so hard to engage with the Vuelta as a fan while it embraces freakish GC performances from geriatrics. It doesn't happen at the TdF (other than that AG2R fella, Penaud?). It doesn't seem to happen at the Giro. But the Vuelta gives us Horner, Valverde and Rodriguez showing peak performances well past 35 years.

I'm struggling to even form a theory. Coincidence? An understanding that the Spanish police will never take action? Different testing regimes post-TdF? Massively lower GC contender perfomence as Vuelta isn't prioritised even as much as the Giro? I'm baffled.
Well Piti was 4th at the Tour at 34, 3rd at 35 and 6th at 36.

These better than his earlier performances when he was caught doping.

Funny how these were never addressed at the time though since it would so obviously contradict the "cycling is clean now, we promise" bs
 
Reactions: Angliru
most of the top GC riders are missing and the nature of the Vuelta has always suited riders like Valverde and Rodriguez, just look at their record.

Horner is certainly an anomaly.
Horner was a quality domestique and a very good climber. Yes he was an old man but the Vuelta was also his only GT for the year and maybe Nibali wasn't at his best either. Cobo's win always had a stench about it and Horner's will be seen the same way. But then Heras got his Vuelta DQs overturned ! As for Valverde how many 39 year olds apart from Horner make grand tour podiums ? For me Pogacar's result was also an eye opener. A 20 year old, a 39 year old and a first time grand tour winner. That makes for a very odd podium. Either Pogacar is heading in the same direction as Bernal or Roglic was never going to lose the race due to the quality of his opposition. The fact that Quintana couldn't make the podium or Lopez doesn't augur well for them going forward.
 
Horner also single-handedly beat up on the US domestic pro peloton for a decade, but wasn't able to commit to the euro lifestyle -- he said as much. Not that he was clean but he did have talent and good tactical smarts...but yeah, I don't care what the circumstances of his Vuelta win were, it's not believable. It remains kind of a low point in WT cycling for me, actually.

Valverde is a bit of an enigma to me...if he was glowing his whole career, I think he would have been busted more than once. On the other hand, he's sidestepped all doping questions. But yet I can't shake the suspicion that he's been operating over the line with impunity.

A good analogy would be Tom Brady in US football. Clearly talented, physically gifted...but still on top after age 40? In a sport where the average "career" is only a few seasons? And he has some "special" training habits.
 
Horner also single-handedly beat up on the US domestic pro peloton for a decade, but wasn't able to commit to the euro lifestyle -- he said as much. Not that he was clean but he did have talent and good tactical smarts...but yeah, I don't care what the circumstances of his Vuelta win were, it's not believable. It remains kind of a low point in WT cycling for me, actually.

Valverde is a bit of an enigma to me...if he was glowing his whole career, I think he would have been busted more than once. On the other hand, he's sidestepped all doping questions. But yet I can't shake the suspicion that he's been operating over the line with impunity.

A good analogy would be Tom Brady in US football. Clearly talented, physically gifted...but still on top after age 40? In a sport where the average "career" is only a few seasons? And he has some "special" training habits.
I like your Tom Brady comparison but i don't think they him and Valverde are doing anything special in regards of doping.

One just has to ask the question whether they are just more talented or simply can be considered super responders.
How certain individuals responds to doping of the topics i'm paying more attention to ever since Froome exploded onto the scene.
I honestly hope it comes down mostly to natural talent still (level playing field) and not to who responds best to certain compounds.
 
Reactions: Koronin
I like your Tom Brady comparison but i don't think they him and Valverde are doing anything special in regards of doping.

One just has to ask the question whether they are just more talented or simply can be considered super responders.
How certain individuals responds to doping of the topics i'm paying more attention to ever since Froome exploded onto the scene.
I honestly hope it comes down mostly to natural talent still (level playing field) and not to who responds best to certain compounds.
I'd go with doping or not they are both just very talented athletes.

With Valverde, he's had more success in what is considered a cleaner peloton than a highly doped peloton. If we go with he's not doing more than anyone else then that may actually mean that doping doesn't help him as much as it does others? Valverde didn't dominate in the highly doped era, would lead you to believe he's not a super responder.

I believe that the higher the talent level to start with the less likely you are to get a large boost from doping and that doping is going to give less talented athletes more boost, however, that could be an incorrect thought process.
 
Valverde is clearly a supertalented bike racer and in a completely clean field he would probably still be one of the best in this decade , but I think it’s almost as clearly that he of course also is doping and have been for his whole pro career.
 
Valverde is clearly a supertalented bike racer and in a completely clean field he would probably still be one of the best in this decade , but I think it’s almost as clearly that he of course also is doping and have been for his whole pro career.
I may register as Remco Merckx!

^^This is kind of how I feel about Valverde. So good, but tainted.

That's why doping sucks in general. It lumps the truly talented and hard working in with the Floyd Landises and Ricardo Riccos of the world.

What I would love to have heard from Valverde (and frankly every other suspended rider) is something along the lines of: "I admit that I consulted with Dr. Fuentes and used blood transfusions etc, but since my suspension I have raced clean, and I hope that others can learn from my mistakes."

That would also require immunity from the UCI, of course, so I understand why the omerta is so strong. It has to come from both sides.
 
I may register as Remco Merckx!

^^This is kind of how I feel about Valverde. So good, but tainted.

That's why doping sucks in general. It lumps the truly talented and hard working in with the Floyd Landises and Ricardo Riccos of the world.

What I would love to have heard from Valverde (and frankly every other suspended rider) is something along the lines of: "I admit that I consulted with Dr. Fuentes and used blood transfusions etc, but since my suspension I have raced clean, and I hope that others can learn from my mistakes."

That would also require immunity from the UCI, of course, so I understand why the omerta is so strong. It has to come from both sides.
Something like David Millar did?:tearsofjoy:
 

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