• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team. Thanks!

State of Peloton 2023

Page 11 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
The "fastest xy" stuff is nonsense as comparison as it is highly affected by tailwind (which all monuments had this year) and different dynamics than in the past (break doesn't go early anymore and gets +10 minutes just like that).
Vingegaard, Remco and at times even second rank climbers like Soler or Landa putting out crazy numbers at some of these early season races is another story...
 
I'd be curious to know whether pro-cyclists are on sophisticated programs unseen in all pro-sports... or they're really just on a trickle-down-economics drug program of sorts which the likes of superstar tennis players & footballers have been on for years. I mean something is keeping the world's favorite mid 30 year old record tennis grand slam winners going, even when their bodies are breaking down with injuries!

The money in those aforementioned sports being much, much greater than in cycling would suggest cycling isn't exactly awash with the best access to the most trailblazing methods. And endurance is what it is in all sports, aka primordial - whether cycling for 5 hours or playing a 4 hour tennis match in a grand slam (or playing a football match).

IMO (& I'm maybe going out on a limb here) cycling might have merely caught-up with the good times enjoyed by every other major sport with #nevertired superstars loved & adored by billions around the world whilst they perform superhuman feats defying age & human capabilities.
I don't think so.
With most sports like Tennis/Soccer, anti-doping isn't a thing. There is no need to look for sophisticated ways when you can do it the 90ies way.
I believe the drive of anti-doping leads to more investigation into ways to dope and into legal ways to walk a thin line where you can smuggly say 'im not doping, its allowed'. Up until very recently, the 90ies were still the most efficient way to enhance performance.

I'm actually starting to wonder if we aren't seeing the effects of some recent gene doping. (with the mRNA vaccinations we are already capable in letting the body produce specific proteins so i wouldn't rule out that such a technique can be used to instruct your cells to do something else as well.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nick2413
It is starting to feel a bit like 1996.

Enjoy it whilst it lasts then. It could be said that this time there appears to be a somewhat consistent access to the top stuff among the top teams.

What happened in 1998 was pure gross incarnate, i.e. punishing those caught with their hand in the cookie jar (Festina) whilst cheering those who were doing the same stuff (not just in cycling but namely other sports like a certain 1998 world cup winning team...). Then of course the crackdown on organized doping in French teams & in Europe gave rise to our favorite Postal cowboys who taught us Europeans how to win the TdF: professionalism, recon, hard work (lots of busting ass eh) & of course a whole load of transfusions.

And obviously when the greatest name in sport (Merckx) is such a stellar 'clean' example to follow (lol), what's the history of this sport even about anymore? Watts, at all costs.

I don't think so.
With most sports like Tennis/Soccer, anti-doping isn't a thing. There is no need to look for sophisticated ways when you can do it the 90ies way.
I believe the drive of anti-doping leads to more investigation into ways to dope and into legal ways to walk a thin line where you can smuggly say 'im not doping, its allowed'. Up until very recently, the 90ies were still the most efficient way to enhance performance.

I'm actually starting to wonder if we aren't seeing the effects of some recent gene doping. (with the mRNA vaccinations we are already capable in letting the body produce specific proteins so i wouldn't rule out that such a technique can be used to instruct your cells to do something else as well.)

Honestly, the way in which Nadal & Djoko defy aging whilst Federal had to be led kicking & screaming into an unwanted retirement in his 40's... (not to mention Serena who thought she could have a kid, lose all fitness & still win a slam at her advanced age) tells me these guys know they're on better stuff than the likes of Agassi, Sampras, Graf & co (1990's stars) had access to at the time.

Age for example used to matter, i.e. something we see less & less of (& not at all with regards to certain tennis players who're only felled by injuries, not aging).
 
  • Wow
Reactions: noob
The "fastest xy" stuff is nonsense as comparison as it is highly affected by tailwind (which all monuments had this year) and different dynamics than in the past (break doesn't go early anymore and gets +10 minutes just like that).
Vingegaard, Remco and at times even second rank climbers like Soler or Landa putting out crazy numbers at some of these early season races is another story...

The break in RVV almost made it ... and still 3 minutes in the final part of the race wasn't enough for a big strong group to stop Pogi-boy.
Fastest RVV even with DSM blocking the peloton on Kortekeer. ;-)

It's not just one race, it's all over the place.
And it's not only race dynamics, if you look only at ascents of key climbs, same story, faster and faster.
Tailwind hasn't started from the corona-years I guess.
 
  • Like
Reactions: F_Cance and noob
The break in RVV almost made it ... and still 3 minutes in the final part of the race wasn't enough for a big strong group to stop Pogi-boy.
Fastest RVV even with DSM blocking the peloton on Kortekeer. ;-)

It's not just one race, it's all over the place.
And it's not only race dynamics, if you look only at ascents of key climbs, same story, faster and faster.
Tailwind hasn't started from the corona-years I guess.

yeah and why do you think it takes so long for the break to go now in these races? because the guys chasing it have unlimited energy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Peyroteo94 and noob
The "fastest xy" stuff is nonsense as comparison as it is highly affected by tailwind (which all monuments had this year) and different dynamics than in the past (break doesn't go early anymore and gets +10 minutes just like that).
Vingegaard, Remco and at times even second rank climbers like Soler or Landa putting out crazy numbers at some of these early season races is another story...
Don't tell me 20 years ago, we didn't have one single classic with tailwind? C'mon, they are climbing like the 90's again. And classics are getting faster and faster. Without a doubt, WADA is sleeping.
 
The break in RVV almost made it ... and still 3 minutes in the final part of the race wasn't enough for a big strong group to stop Pogi-boy.
Fastest RVV even with DSM blocking the peloton on Kortekeer. ;-)

It's not just one race, it's all over the place.
And it's not only race dynamics, if you look only at ascents of key climbs, same story, faster and faster.
Tailwind hasn't started from the corona-years I guess.
Don't tell me 20 years ago, we didn't have one single classic with tailwind? C'mon, they are climbing like the 90's again. And classics are getting faster and faster. Without a doubt, WADA is sleeping.
Difference is that in the past the breakaway (consisting of riders of lower quality) formed quite quickly and then everyone sat up. Now it often takes 1+ hours of brutal racing for the breakaway to form, in RVV we had crosswind action for the first part. Obviously that brings the average up.
Additionally, bikes do get better. I know everyone makes fun of it in the marginal gains context and due to the UCI weight limit it has less of an impact on the climbs but in these cobbled races that matters a lot. Way less punctures/mechanicals (I think the ratio in PR is 5x-10x less than 20-30 years ago) and better material to keep a high speed on difficult terrain.
Like I said, I think the top guys are doping and I'm not excusing Aqua Pantani and the baby faced assassin going crazy in the mountains but I don't think it's comparable to the 90s and I don't think there's some unknown super juice arround.
 
  • Like
  • Wow
Reactions: noob and Salvarani
Difference is that in the past the breakaway (consisting of riders of lower quality) formed quite quickly and then everyone sat up. Now it often takes 1+ hours of brutal racing for the breakaway to form, in RVV we had crosswind action for the first part. Obviously that brings the average up.
Additionally, bikes do get better. I know everyone makes fun of it in the marginal gains context and due to the UCI weight limit it has less of an impact on the climbs but in these cobbled races that matters a lot. Way less punctures/mechanicals (I think the ratio in PR is 5x-10x less than 20-30 years ago) and better material to keep a high speed on difficult terrain.
Like I said, I think the top guys are doping and I'm not excusing Aqua Pantani and the baby faced assassin going crazy in the mountains but I don't think it's comparable to the 90s and I don't think there's some unknown super juice arround.

I agree that bikes get better, but one thing in the equation that's also quiet important, now they are way faster than a peloton that was juiced up for 99%.
Climbing times of Pogi and Vingegaard are close to those of the most juiced up performances ever ...
And in GT's it's all in almost every day, there seems no need for recuperation.

Difference is that in the past the breakaway (consisting of riders of lower quality) formed quite quickly and then everyone sat up. Now it often takes 1+ hours of brutal racing for the breakaway to form

Not an argument that racing is cleaner now, on the contrary ;-)
 
I agree that bikes get better, but one thing in the equation that's also quiet important, now they are way faster than a peloton that was juiced up for 99%.
Climbing times of Pogi and Vingegaard are close to those of the most juiced up performances ever ...
And in GT's it's all in almost every day, there seems no need for recuperation.



Not an argument that racing is cleaner now, on the contrary ;-)
Peleton not going full gas right away in the past was a choice not because of limitations. That's the whole point.
 
So ...

We have a revitalized, healthy, extra terrestrial van der Poel absolutely smashing people since Milan San Remo. Pretty sure his acceleration numbers are alien and he certainly is destroying people. Then the Pogster absolutely spanks him on the terrain he really should be the most dominant on, Flanders.

All this to say, it's been an enjoyable classics season to watch for the pure spectacle. The racing has been quite interesting. But the performances are really quite laughable, and I really can't get excited by the Pogster, because it's just excessive and silly.
 
Peleton not going full gas right away in the past was a choice not because of limitations. That's the whole point.

I don't buy it, it's not like every race in the past was ridden the same way.
Gilbert won RVV from 100K, there where editions that were almost bunchsprints, it's always different.
And they don't only ride faster the first hours of a race, just look at Strava. They are also smashing all records in the finals of the races. So even after these fast starts ...
Carrefour today was crazy fast, even with a flat tire.
 
  • Wow
Reactions: noob
It is starting to feel a bit like 1996.
In 1996 there were demands from within the peloton to introduce hematocrit level controls, which uci did in 1997. Nothing similar this time, it´s just some supertalents and Teide trainings. It feels more like 1994 with gewiss, Rominger, Indurain and Jalabert. But in 1994 there was also the claim ( was it from Ferrari?) that epo wasn´t any more dangerous than orange juice. We haven´t heard anything similar yet. So I guess it´s another case of history not repeating itself, only rhyming.
 
  • Wow
Reactions: noob