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Official Valverde thread.

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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.
 
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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.
 
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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.
 
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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:
 
Something like David Millar did?:tearsofjoy:
Hey, I'd take it! Better phony contrition than the omerta. On second thought, maybe it's a wash...

Millar was perhaps the clumsiest doper ever. But what a rider, when his head was on straight he was pretty unbeatable. Can you imagine him on Sky (especially given his Brailsford links)?
 
Lol. What an stupid statement by Lim. That's just as bad as the Texan saying that he would have won the Tours if everyone was cleans!
:tearsofjoy:
This isn't Landis saying it about himself. Also, there's been a few others who have said that Floyd would have still been great in a clean peloton as well. We have no way of knowing for sure, but it looks like he would have been a Div 1 pro either way.
 
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.
It looks like it can be either, with the absolute best being a combination of both.

An example is Pantani. I'm pretty sure it was Martinelli who said that he was the perfect storm, with colossal natural talent, 90's quantities of EPO and a physiology that responded to it very well resulting in an absolute monster.
 
Hey, I'd take it! Better phony contrition than the omerta. On second thought, maybe it's a wash...

Millar was perhaps the clumsiest doper ever. But what a rider, when his head was on straight he was pretty unbeatable. Can you imagine him on Sky (especially given his Brailsford links)?
I would not called it omerta. He simply won't talk, because he knows what was happening back then in the peloton. Everyone was using whatever they think they could get away with..., same as today. But sometimes things go wrong for them, just like when Operation Puerto broke up. Some big names were going down, like Ullrich and Basso. Spaniards protected their biggest stars, and Italians were furious. That's when the hunt for Valverde begin. They waited patiently for him to come to Italy, and he didn't know what was coming. They tried to defend him, his team and Spanish federation, but the consensus was made, he was going down eventually. He worked his ban, started racing again, continued where he left, and today he is where he is, a legend. With dodgy past, but nevertheless.

So now, what he was going to say about it? That he's sorry? No, he was not. That he made a mistake? Yes he did, but he perfectly knew what he was doing, just like everybody else. That he was not alone in all this, that he had helpers, like Eusebio Unzue or Jesus Hoyos, right? What would he achieve with that except screwing his friends. That he knows that Schlecks, Bettini, Evans, Boonen, Cancellara are also doped, but he can't back it up, and that he knows that the biggest doper of them all is Mr. cycling himself - Lance Armstrong!? No of course he was not going to say that, neither do I. He was not pressured by his team or Federation to apologize to anybody, so he choose to stay silent.

No, that was not omerta, that was just common sense.
 
I would not called it omerta. He simply won't talk, because he knows what was happening back then in the peloton.

<snip>

No, that was not omerta, that was just common sense.
Yes, I understand the pressures on him and others, and why, in a very selfish way, the best thing is to say nothing. It's not good for the sport but Valverde is not the first nor will be the last to take his position, just one of the most prominent. And the time for him to talk about what went on then in detail has long passed -- although I don't think the repercussions would be as bad as you might think.

But the idea that he has nothing to apologize for...that I don't buy. If you're a clean rider (and I do think there were plenty of them) who couldn't make the WT cut b/c you didn't want to dope, or were beaten by a doper, then you are owed an apology. As I said, I'm ok with a general statement of contrition -- he doesn't have to name names.

If that sounds moralistic, well, it is. I'm a journalist, and if another journalist is advancing in his career because he's making up sources or quotes, or plagiarizing, then I do in fact feel cheated, and that I'm owed an apology, and that person should be punished.

The sad thing is that I'd love to be able to cheer for Valverde, or Froome, or any rider for that matter, without qualification. So many great performances, but you're always wondering -- what is he on? who's his "team doctor." It's not healthy.
 
Yes, I understand the pressures on him and others, and why, in a very selfish way, the best thing is to say nothing. It's not good for the sport but Valverde is not the first nor will be the last to take his position, just one of the most prominent. And the time for him to talk about what went on then in detail has long passed -- although I don't think the repercussions would be as bad as you might think.

But the idea that he has nothing to apologize for...that I don't buy. If you're a clean rider (and I do think there were plenty of them) who couldn't make the WT cut b/c you didn't want to dope, or were beaten by a doper, then you are owed an apology. As I said, I'm ok with a general statement of contrition -- he doesn't have to name names.

If that sounds moralistic, well, it is. I'm a journalist, and if another journalist is advancing in his career because he's making up sources or quotes, or plagiarizing, then I do in fact feel cheated, and that I'm owed an apology, and that person should be punished.

The sad thing is that I'd love to be able to cheer for Valverde, or Froome, or any rider for that matter, without qualification. So many great performances, but you're always wondering -- what is he on? who's his "team doctor." It's not healthy.
Yes, it sounds moralistic, and idealistic as well. That's just sports today, money is heavily involved. Or do you think that Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lebron James are not "on something"?
 
Yes, it sounds moralistic, and idealistic as well. That's just sports today, money is heavily involved. Or do you think that Rafael Nadal, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lebron James are not "on something"?
I am 100 percent convinced that those three, especially, are juiced.

You can either shrug your shoulders at corruption and cheating, or hope for better. I dunno -- we seem to give athletes a pass when we all know that if we cheat or cut corners in our own jobs we'd be out on the street in 10 seconds....
 
I am 100 percent convinced that those three, especially, are juiced.

You can either shrug your shoulders at corruption and cheating, or hope for better. I dunno -- we seem to give athletes a pass when we all know that if we cheat or cut corners in our own jobs we'd be out on the street in 10 seconds....
Yep, you're right, but those at the top at any job cut the corners and cheat more often than not, unfortunately...
 
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When I watch the big sports it’s mostly for entertainment and I love the games and the esthetic. I’m not watching because I think I’m watching clean athletes push the limits of human potential, that I cannot believe.

What I want to see is champions who kind of seems plausible even if they’re not, and there Valverde is one of my favorites. It doesn’t really matter that he’s got a ban, it doesn’t really matter that I’m confident he’s still doping. When he rides his bike he looks exactly how a champion should look. It was the same with Contador, he was probably doping his whole career, but the way he looked racing is exactly how I imagine great champions to look. And you have Sagan, Nibali, Alaphilippe etc which is the same. And now we have this generation of super kids Bernal, Pogacar, Van der Poel and Evenepoel. It doesn’t really matter if I believe they are doping or not, they look how you should expect champions to look like. Panache, elegance, confident, they don’t really know their limits and they’ve shown great potential from a young age. That’s what it takes to make magic moments on the screen, and that’s what makes me watching cycling weeks out weeks in.

What doesn’t fit my view of the sport is great transformations. Transformations like Wiggins I can almost deal with, at least he was a good athlete before he suddenly turned to be a TdF winner, but a guy like Froome, the proto type of Donkey to Race horse is too much for me. It’s not that I feel he’s cheating the others (cause the guy in second is probably also doping), it’s more that it feels like an intellectual insult. It doesn’t look right in any ways.

Valverde, he look right.
 
When I watch the big sports it’s mostly for entertainment and I love the games and the esthetic. I’m not watching because I think I’m watching clean athletes push the limits of human potential, that I cannot believe.

What I want to see is champions who kind of seems plausible even if they’re not, and there Valverde is one of my favorites. It doesn’t really matter that he’s got a ban, it doesn’t really matter that I’m confident he’s still doping. When he rides his bike he looks exactly how a champion should look. It was the same with Contador, he was probably doping his whole career, but the way he looked racing is exactly how I imagine great champions to look. And you have Sagan, Nibali, Alaphilippe etc which is the same. And now we have this generation of super kids Bernal, Pogacar, Van der Poel and Evenepoel. It doesn’t really matter if I believe they are doping or not, they look how you should expect champions to look like. Panache, elegance, confident, they don’t really know their limits and they’ve shown great potential from a young age. That’s what it takes to make magic moments on the screen, and that’s what makes me watching cycling weeks out weeks in.

What doesn’t fit my view of the sport is great transformations. Transformations like Wiggins I can almost deal with, at least he was a good athlete before he suddenly turned to be a TdF winner, but a guy like Froome, the proto type of Donkey to Race horse is too much for me. It’s not that I feel he’s cheating the others (cause the guy in second is probably also doping), it’s more that it feels like an intellectual insult. It doesn’t look right in any ways.

Valverde, he look right.
So begin (effective) doping early before you're in the spotlight in big races. If not, just accept you've missed your window and give up on a top end career?
 

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