Spectacular climbing in the days ahead?

Stolen from the other thread. :)

Bala Verde said:
I like it.

Just to kick it off with some discussion point:

We have seen last year's TdF with the likes of Ricco, Kohl, Piepoli and when I saw it, and some commentators on 'european' channels, they expressed their astonishment in rather veiled terms. "I can't believe it, that's, ..erm.. amazing, what a power, what a climber, what an acceleration" etc. Does anyone think we'll see some of that in the next couple of days, or will riders have 'learned' from last year(s) and try to show off less?
First off I find it funny that the commentators would say such things because I cannot imagine P&P telling it like it is.

I really think that the ASO and the UCI made a pact with the devil last summer. They decided that they will do what is necessary to paper over the problem, so I tend to think that we will see an uptick in the doping--even if there was a small respite from doping in 2008.

I think there is a very good chance that Armstrong will climb as well as Contador tomorrow--maybe even better.

A. Schleck was pretty amazing last year but he was not given free reign to show it. I don't know if it will be Ricco-like.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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BroDeal said:
First off I find it funny that the commentators would say such things because I cannot imagine P&P telling it like it is.
Well, as I mentioned somewhere else, Sporza (Belgian) are/were boycotted by Astana, because they had been 'overly critical', or had emphasized certain aspects of racing in connection with Astana, that were deemed inappropriate. Brings to mind Davide Cassani (RAI?) who obviously placed a little time bomb under Rasmussen's Tour aspirations... Dedicated and experienced cycling commentators know more about what's going on, but can't always reveal anything/present events negatively, because it hurts the industry of cycling/affects ratings which in effect could lead to reduced access by teams or organisations.

I really think that the ASO and the UCI made a pact with the devil last summer. They decided that they will do what is necessary to paper over the problem, so I tend to think that we will see an uptick in the doping--even if there was a small respite from doping in 2008.

I think there is a very good chance that Armstrong will climb as well as Contador tomorrow--maybe even better.

A. Schleck was pretty amazing last year but he was not given free reign to show it. I don't know if it will be Ricco-like.
I am still in the dark about what could happen this year. When I watched the Giro, I did not see anything even closely resembling 'the Ricco'. I mean Menchov and di Luca were battling it out, but, besides an always well timed, but by no means 'incredible' attack by Sastre, no one really managed to ride away like a rocket.

Basso tried, and got pulled back every time.

Pelli, attacked from far (Blockhaus), and got what, at most 40-50s. Sastre attacked twice, twice (Vesuvio/Monte petrano) gaining 30s, while he had an off day after the rest day the short explosive stage to Blockhaus.

Menchov and di Luca tried to gain time by outsprinting one another, mostly in the last 1k-500m, so they were dosing their efforts and never went full throttle for one long attack to put minutes on the GC. Only the last realistic chance for di Luca to take pink, showed an attack from further down the finish (Blockhaus).

Last year, Sastre put 2m (obviously helped by some tactics) on everyone else on Alpe d'Huez, starting at the bottom of the climb. He could put in one such effort, doing the Alpe, 45m full out...

Perhaps naive, but could these dosed one time long (Sastre)/multiple short efforts (Menchov) be a sign of improvements in cycling? It almost looks as if people can't get away anymore, and time differences are minimal...
 
Jul 6, 2009
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i would tend to agree with the last post overall speeds have slowed and there are no super human efforts in the hills which crush all but the 'best'.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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It does seem like there has been a degree of leveling. I would not suggest this means a clean field, just that the differences are less spectacular than in years past. Of course, the TTT showed some pretty interesting performances, so I won't be too surprised if the mountains demonstrate some more fireworks.
 
Bala Verde said:
It almost looks as if people can't get away anymore, and time differences are minimal. ..
I don't know what to think about this: I am not naive enough to think we have a completely clean peloton and I am suspicious when someone like ricco dances away on the mountains. But, on the other hand, looking back to the days when everyone doped but the gains from those drugs where no where near those from EPO, CERA and you find riders putting 10 minutes into people on the climbs all the time. I can see that race radios, better tactics etc can prevent major gaps on the flat stages but in the hills is where the stronger climbers can make the difference. Less gaps, to me, do not necessarily show less doping as pre EPO era there were amazing performances on the hills. Which makes me think that, as said by Brodeal above, they hold back so as to not stand out - I hope I am being over cynical.

There is nothing better than seeing someone cream the rest of the field on a mountain stage bring on Friday.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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I anticipated it on another thread but I fear for the worst in the mountains this year.

Lance and Contador goading each other at previously unseen 7.5w/kg two minutes ahead of the other GC contenders, then appearing fresh as a daisy for the media shortly afterwards.
 
Good thread BroDeal, and comments/ideas from Bala Verde.

I do agree things are up in the air, but I too think the UCI did spoil things, and it's quite probably that after a slight lull from doping in 2008 (maybe 2006-2008), that lull probably ended in the Giro. I won't be at all surprised if we see an extremely fast pace set up to the climb to Arcalis, and something like 50 riders heading into it, and climbing along the lines the way USPS attacked full force at the very bottom of Alpe d'Huez in 2003 (when Lance lost time to Mayo and Vino, btw). I think we're likely to see several teams do that, and Astana trying to lead the way.

The climb suits Lance, circa 2002 Lance that is. Now, who knows? All logic indicates that Contador should be seething, and can't wait to try to crush everyone on Friday, and should be able to take the stage, and Lance will be back with Rogers, Levi, Frank, etc. 2 minutes back. Call me jaded, but I think it's highly likely the guy is as jacked as BigB says, and I wouldn't be too shocked to see Contador wilt under a super fast pace, and Lance finish near the top, if only because of these two reasons - moderate gradient on a long climb, and super prepped on the best gear.

I get clumped in with the so called "Lance Haters" at times, but I have to say Kimmage was right. If Lance does win, to me it will set the sport back a decade, maybe longer, especially with the UCI dealing with the "paper problem" as BroDeal calls it.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Does anybody remember Contador climbing the Angliru in the Vuelta last year? Here is the video to refresh your memories. Go to the 7:50 mark and then watch him cross the line.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4ZUeAx38OU

He looks fresh as a daisy crossing the line and has the energy to do some extended celebrating and mugging for the camera, And that is after a 210km stage which featured three category 1 climbs before even tackling the Angliru, one of the toughest climbs the pro peloton has ever faced!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Well if Lance is climbing as well as Contador then that will fall into the spectacular category (if it looks too good to be true then it is). What we may get is Cancellara climbing even better than last year, perhaps taking Andy Schleck into the last few kms of the final climbs and limiting his losses overall. We may also see Wiggins staying with the first and second groups on the big climbs.
 
May 2, 2009
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It will indeed be interesting to see what happens on friday, as it will give an indication of who sure the teams are that they can fool the testers and/or have been given assurances by the UCI.

I have no medical expertise (although i've learned quite a bit from reading cycling forums ;)) so it's hard for me to gauge last year and the lesser time differences in general. Maybe they stick to blood doping these days during the race so they are more equal in how much they gain from doping compared to the 90s where it was more or less the guys who were willing to stare the grim reaper right in the face and laugh who came out on top.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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forty four said:
i would tend to agree with the last post overall speeds have slowed and there are no super human efforts in the hills which crush all but the 'best'.
Unfortunately, overall speeds are actually higher. This year's Giro was the fastest ever averaging over 40 kmh for the 3 weeks.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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DJ Sprtsch said:
I don't think you will. Wouldn't Lance have beaten guys like Jerome Coppel with more than 11 secs in the opener if it was to happen?
yes - but it would have been crazy of him to perform superhuman in the prologue after so few races and 3 years out and at 37. Maybe held back a little, as him annihilating everyone in the prologue would have been way too suspicious.

I fear that his ego and the spat with contador might lead to him upping whatever he is on and doing something ridiculous in the mountains, as then him and his apologists can talk about him getting stronger as the race goes on, and using his experience to know when to attact etc etc
 
Apr 1, 2009
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elapid said:
Unfortunately, overall speeds are actually higher. This year's Giro was the fastest ever averaging over 40 kmh for the 3 weeks.
They did have excellent weather all the way through it though. Would that help the average speed? There were no bad weather days from what I remember.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Kerbdog said:
They did have excellent weather all the way through it though. Would that help the average speed? There were no bad weather days from what I remember.
I was also thinking about the number of climbing miles. COmpared to other years of Giro, didn't they have less mountains and more 'hills'?
 
Bala Verde said:
I am still in the dark about what could happen this year. When I watched the Giro, I did not see anything even closely resembling 'the Ricco'. I mean Menchov and di Luca were battling it out, but, besides an always well timed, but by no means 'incredible' attack by Sastre, no one really managed to ride away like a rocket....
I am not sure Bala. I watched a race in the internet and Di Luca and Menchov looked very fast to me. But sometimes I wonder whether the speeds of the cyclists is intensified in the internet as opposed to watching it on regular LCD or Plasma TV?
 

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