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State of Peloton 2023

Page 16 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Route dependent? Sure, but those shining beacons of clean sport at the 2009 Giro, I think, could be a good reference point.
Year to year the route is gonna determine most of the variance in average speed, in addition to race strategical elements and weather.

And bike technology and aero and all that probably boosts the overall speed over an entire Giro quite a bit more significantly than the VAMs on a big climb.
 
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Year to year the route is gonna determine most of the variance in average speed, in addition to race strategical elements and weather.

And bike technology and aero and all that probably boosts the overall speed over an entire Giro quite a bit more significantly than the VAMs on a big climb.
Doping should also be advantageous on the flat, not only the climbs, I don‘t think the rouleurs all ride on orange juice and determination in training alone, so you would still expect high average speeds if riders can just go faster all day.
 
Doping should also be advantageous on the flat, not only the climbs, I don‘t think the rouleurs all ride on orange juice and determination in training alone, so you would still expect high average speeds if riders can just go faster all day.
There's is no strategic use to go fast all day on a flat stage though.

Take last years Giro, there were pure sprint stages going 38 kph because these days the breakaways are carefully scripted meme breakaways of the same 2 conti riders every other day.

Yes, you expect average speed to go up with doping, but the amount is tiny in comparison to the variance due to route, weather and strategy, and in cases of comparisons between long periods, technological advancements.
 
There's is no strategic use to go fast all day on a flat stage though.

Take last years Giro, there were pure sprint stages going 38 kph because these days the breakaways are carefully scripted meme breakaways of the same 2 conti riders every other day.

Yes, you expect average speed to go up with doping, but the amount is tiny in comparison to the variance due to route, weather and strategy, and in cases of comparisons between long periods, technological advancements.
I would think certain periods like the late 90s/early 2000s and the last few years would still be outliers and from what I recall the charts do look that way. Bike tech and professionalism of teams probably plays the biggest role though.
 
Previously the peloton would dawlde along on flat starts to stages (until the TV coverage started apparently) but now it's "Lights! Camera! Action!" from km 0. Shorter stages, better nutrition, technology, altitude training, bicarb, rice and tubeless tyres means they should be going faster anyway. "Full Gas" should be the Tour's documentary's name. The Giro at least still has a bit of the old school aura around it.

Edit - I've just been perusing the Giro roadbook (online at Giro roadbook) and according to it, Froome's 2018 return from the dead, ride to victory in 2018 is the Giro's fastest at 40.105 Km/h just beating Nibs 2016 time 40.014 - the only 2 over 40 km/h)

Edit 2 - I don't know what the Giro roadbook is up to, but the 2009 Giro results are odd. 2 extra stages and 269.5 extra km's have been added to the results I've read elsewhere. A "technical error" to mislead innocent readers of the winner beating the other 2 on the podium who were subsequently banned?

From Cycling News https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/the-giro-ditalia-by-numbers/

“Chris Froome in 2018 and Denis Menchov in 2009 both won with an average speed of 40.16km/h. By our calculations, Froome shades it with an average of 40.1699, compared to Menchov's 40.1671”
 
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"The expression 'two-speed cycling' has recently made a comeback" - CNews with Jay Vine . Big bucks make a two tier team system - those with the big bucks can indulge in "technological doping" and, shall we say, "physiological enhancement". Would like to know more on recovery processes though as some guys seem to have unlimited stamina or prolonged "top form".

An interesting read, but also in regards to faster races, last years study at HERE concluded with, "the only true drop in speed was after the introduction of a test for EPO".
 
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"The expression 'two-speed cycling' has recently made a comeback" - CNews with Jay Vine . Big bucks make a two tier team system - those with the big bucks can indulge in "technological doping" and, shall we say, "physiological enhancement". Would like to know more on recovery processes though as some guys seem to have unlimited stamina or prolonged "top form".

An interesting read, but also in regards to faster races, last years study at HERE concluded with, "the only true drop in speed was after the introduction of a test for EPO".
Cycling needs more parity. The ones who are in control of who is allowed to dope need to be better. Not sure if there’s a real way to fix that obviously.
 
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"The expression 'two-speed cycling' has recently made a comeback" - CNews with Jay Vine . Big bucks make a two tier team system - those with the big bucks can indulge in "technological doping" and, shall we say, "physiological enhancement". Would like to know more on recovery processes though as some guys seem to have unlimited stamina or prolonged "top form".

An interesting read, but also in regards to faster races, last years study at HERE concluded with, "the only true drop in speed was after the introduction of a test for EPO".

Yeah that expression was a bit of an odd choice in the article given the implications and they even rammed it in, almost as if the journalist wanted to "hint" at something...

Even by sticking to the "technological" advantage, it did strike me a a bit ironic that Vine gets access to all the best technology and equipment and ends up injuring his knee ! Maybe that +60 watts ITT position isn't that great after all !
 

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Previously the peloton would dawlde along on flat starts to stages (until the TV coverage started apparently) but now it's "Lights! Camera! Action!" from km 0. Shorter stages, better nutrition, technology, altitude training, bicarb, rice and tubeless tyres means they should be going faster anyway. "Full Gas" should be the Tour's documentary's name. The Giro at least still has a bit of the old school aura around it.

Edit - I've just been perusing the Giro roadbook (online at Giro roadbook) and according to it, Froome's 2018 return from the dead, ride to victory in 2018 is the Giro's fastest at 40.105 Km/h just beating Nibs 2016 time 40.014 - the only 2 over 40 km/h)

Edit 2 - I don't know what the Giro roadbook is up to, but the 2009 Giro results are odd. 2 extra stages and 269.5 extra km's have been added to the results I've read elsewhere. A "technical error" to mislead innocent readers of the winner beating the other 2 on the podium who were subsequently banned?

From Cycling News https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/the-giro-ditalia-by-numbers/

“Chris Froome in 2018 and Denis Menchov in 2009 both won with an average speed of 40.16km/h. By our calculations, Froome shades it with an average of 40.1699, compared to Menchov's 40.1671”
in the 90s-2000s the pace was laid back especially italian races at the start especially, and often now in 2022-2023 nobody gets away at the start so it just stays a nightmare for a really long time as breakaways have a hard time getting established because teams usually get jealous of a breakaway and keep chasing or bridging. I honestly think that plays a significant role, along with teams stepping on the gas for the next corner or hill or direction change to be in control and safer.
 
One of the riders was speaking about how crazy the Classics were that they were not even getting musettes in the feed zones (which explains all the "I forgot to eat" excuses). Also the 3km rule causes a mad rush at the finish of stages with sprint & GC teams going head to head, but that does n't explain the overall faster speeds, but the general air of stress to always be in the right place in the peloton.
I remember seeing Van der Poel's eating schedule on his bike and that alone must be stressful to get, eat and drink every 20 kms or so, without thinking about what's happening in the race.
 
The tweet said something along the lines that riders are gene doping by modifying slc16a1 gene and something about PPARδ receptor agonists
Thanks for the info!
We can see where this idea comes from then, from Wiki

PPAR-delta agonists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPAR_agonist)
PPARδ (delta) is the main target of a research chemical named GW501516. It has been shown that agonism of PPARδ changes the body's fuel preference from glucose to lipids.

GW501516 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW501516 )
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) developed a test for GW501516 and other related PPARδ modulators, and added such drugs to the prohibited list in 2009.
In 2013, WADA took the rare step of warning potential users of the compound of the possible health risks, stating that "clinical approval has not, and will not be given for this substance"; the New Scientist attributed the warning to the risks of the drug causing cancer.
A number of athletes have tested positive for GW501516. At the Vuelta Ciclista a Costa Rica in December 2012, four Costa Rican riders tested positive for GW501516. Three of them received two-year suspensions, while the fourth received 12 years as it was his second doping violation. In April 2013, Russian cyclist Valery Kaykov was suspended by cycling's governing body UCI after having tested positive for GW501516. Kaykov's team RusVelo dismissed him immediately and in May 2013, Venezuelan Miguel Ubeto was provisionally suspended by the Lampre team.

EDIT- What about the housewives favorite Ozempic and other GLP-1 agonists, I wonder.
 
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Thanks for the info!
We can see where this idea comes from then, from Wiki

PPAR-delta agonists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPAR_agonist)
PPARδ (delta) is the main target of a research chemical named GW501516. It has been shown that agonism of PPARδ changes the body's fuel preference from glucose to lipids.

GW501516 ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GW501516 )
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) developed a test for GW501516 and other related PPARδ modulators, and added such drugs to the prohibited list in 2009.
I don't think GW501516 is the drug they are talking about. That drug has been easily detectable for a while now. But GW501516 does have an effect on PPAR. I think they are referring to drugs that work in this way, but are undetectable. AICAR comes to mind. It works in a similar way, but is endogenous in the body so I think it is hard to test for. Still though....I think they are insinuating it is a method/drug that is very new/undetectable.

It makes sense. Mitochondria is obviously one of the most important biological factors in producing energy. And more/enhanced mitochondria in the muscle isn't something you can track on the bio-passport. And if you really want to go down the conspiracy rabbit hole, then I would like to point you to San-Milan's background in research and his affiliation with Pog. If anyone knew of a cutting edge way to enhance metabolic function it would be that guy.

Honestly......who knows. I don't believe grand tours are being won clean, but part of me thinks things are the same as they ever were- ie microdosing epo and small BBs. I do find it all super interesting though.
 
GW501516 I meant was a step on the way to what San-Millán and his team are doing now.
A 2009 Cycling News article ( HERE )
"While a number of his former employers have been beset by doping scandals, San Millán is widely regarded as an exponent of a clean cycling."
There you go, I've read it on the Internet, so it must be true.
An interesting read here too https://news.cuanschutz.edu/news-stories/metabolomics-the-science-behind-a-tour-de-france-winner In regards to Pogacar's constant chipper attitude, there might be a reason behind it,
“One thing we’ve found with riders who could ride longer with higher output and have better lactate clearance capacity is they appeared to potentially have some metabolic differences in neurotransmitter synthesis and recycling,” Nemkov (Travis Nemkov, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and molecular genetics) said. “That goes back to the theme of what can we learn from molecules in the blood and how they associate not only with performance and endurance, fatigue and injury, but also potentially to your mental state.”
 
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I'm genuinely curious to know what attracts people to the sport.
I was first introduced back in the mid-eighties by John Tesh and the weekly hour-long TdF highlights, and was instantly hooked.
I watched in absolute awe as LeMond and Hinault were the lone riders standing on a mountain finish stage in a grueling 3-week race (this was prior to learning about tactics) and I figured I'd try to emulate the very best and strongest athletes in the world. Those riders were like mythical figures, and I set out to be like them.
Four years later I was much closer in strength to the aforementioned riders than when starting, which coincided with my introduction to PED's in the sport. I came from a cycling backwater with no infrastructure or backstory, and learning about what was going on from the likes of Paul Kimmage was a huge eye opener. I know for sure I would have doped to win if given the opportunity, but that's beside the point.
My point being is I wonder what people who know what's going on keeps them interested in the spectacle. Anyone paying attention knows that the likelihood of these riders being clean are pretty much nil, so what keeps you watching?
I admit that I'm the epitome of naivety -- "Say it ain't so, Joe" -- but watching riders summit a mountaintop finish with mouth closed kind of ruins it for me. It takes all the excitement away.
What, if any, advice to people have to just let it go and enjoy the sport for what it is?
 
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If "riders summit a mountaintop finish with mouth closed" then you should stand and applaud the performance as it truly is the darkest of comedys. Read a few history books and realize that it's nothing new with PED's and sit back and enjoy the spectacle and the show.
 
My point being is I wonder what people who know what's going on keeps them interested in the spectacle. Anyone paying attention knows that the likelihood of these riders being clean are pretty much nil, so what keeps you watching?
Watching with or without the belief that most have doped, you still see the same images on your screen. The drama of cycling is excellent, no matter how that sausage is made.
 
GW501516 I meant was a step on the way to what San-Millán and his team are doing now.
A 2009 Cycling News article ( HERE )
"While a number of his former employers have been beset by doping scandals, San Millán is widely regarded as an exponent of a clean cycling."
There you go, I've read it on the Internet, so it must be true.
An interesting read here too https://news.cuanschutz.edu/news-stories/metabolomics-the-science-behind-a-tour-de-france-winner In regards to Pogacar's constant chipper attitude, there might be a reason behind it,
“One thing we’ve found with riders who could ride longer with higher output and have better lactate clearance capacity is they appeared to potentially have some metabolic differences in neurotransmitter synthesis and recycling,” Nemkov (Travis Nemkov, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in biochemistry and molecular genetics) said. “That goes back to the theme of what can we learn from molecules in the blood and how they associate not only with performance and endurance, fatigue and injury, but also potentially to your mental state.”
GW501516 has always been a poor man's AICAR for amateurs. Easy to test for, detectable 20 to 40 days after a single oral dose and a lot cheaper than AICAR. No way Pros are using this, it's usually sold by shady bodybuilding/fitness website that mainly sell SARMS.
 
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Rob5091: I've read a lot; enough to know the race was conceived by a sadist and was intended for only one rider to finish and thereby win the race. In other words, the very concept is a beacon call for cheaters. Of course people are going to hop a train or inject horse tranquilizers to win. That's a given.
You like it from a WWE perspective, which is interesting.
Netserk: I don't see the same thing; that was part of my point. I see guys who, in the past, were crawling all over their bikes just to get to the top of a hill. I get the gear ratio difference, but still, it's different. I remember riders gasping for air after winning a race. No matter how you interpret that, there is definitely a difference.
I respect your respect for the history of bike racing, and appreciate your reply.
 
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"The expression 'two-speed cycling' has recently made a comeback" - CNews with Jay Vine . Big bucks make a two tier team system - those with the big bucks can indulge in "technological doping" and, shall we say, "physiological enhancement". Would like to know more on recovery processes though as some guys seem to have unlimited stamina or prolonged "top form".

An interesting read, but also in regards to faster races, last years study at HERE concluded with, "the only true drop in speed was after the introduction of a test for EPO".
I would say there are 3 speeds: Lowest-Regular coffee. Middle-Systematically enhanced. Remco/Pogicar level: Have the perfected gene doping?

That was a f**king freak show.