State of the peloton 2021

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I guess we can put the "lack of testing during covid" meme to rest. It just depends on who was tested. Clearly not the French.

View: https://twitter.com/oufeh/status/1389322125618601988
We don't have to exact numbers when it comes to cycling, but in other spots there was clearly a lack of testing during the pandemic.
Look at Tennis, 1935 tests during the first trimester of 2020, then only 107 during the 2nd trimester (82 urine tests and 25 passport related tests), 339 in the 3rd trimester. No blood testing during those 2 trimesters, so we can clearly say that there was a huge drop in testing frequency in certain sports.
Sources: https://antidoping.itftennis.com/media/317730/317730.pdf
https://tennismagazineitalia.it/magazine/sempre-meno-test-antidoping-e-nessuno-sul-sangue

Buchmann also mentioned that he wasn't tested after mid March (the article was written at the end of June 2020):
https://www.radsport-news.com/sport/sportnews_120353.htm
 
We don't have to exact numbers when it comes to cycling, but in other spots there was clearly a lack of testing during the pandemic.
Look at Tennis, 1935 tests during the first trimester of 2020, then only 107 during the 2nd trimester (82 urine tests and 25 passport related tests), 339 in the 3rd trimester. No blood testing during those 2 trimesters, so we can clearly say that there was a huge drop in testing frequency in certain sports.
Sources: https://antidoping.itftennis.com/media/317730/317730.pdf
https://tennismagazineitalia.it/magazine/sempre-meno-test-antidoping-e-nessuno-sul-sangue

Buchmann also mentioned that he wasn't tested after mid March (the article was written at the end of June 2020):
https://www.radsport-news.com/sport/sportnews_120353.htm
The point was that if less testing was the reason why riders were going faster, then why didn't they find anything with Evenepoel after 37 tests?
 
I guess we can put the "lack of testing during covid" meme to rest. It just depends on who was tested. Clearly not the French.

View: https://twitter.com/oufeh/status/1389322125618601988
For as much as I think it should more objective, I have to agree with the UCI here. Why test Pinot. He is having issues finishing the races. Especially in a time when you need to save your resources and manage the testing funds appropriately. I wonder how many times have Pogacar been tested?
 


When top level racers are clueless about with Pogacar is doing
You could say that Pogacar singlehanded finish the career of one GT winner and stumble the career of another one:


Bernal talking about confidence. There have been some talks that there was more to the back problems that we realize.
 

32% less OOC testing in 2020 vs 2019
One thing I always wanted to know (yet no one has ever asked, for whatever reason...) in the Lance Armstrong affair is "how & why" the dope controls were so easy to circumvent? Lance called the tests a joke. And yet the most famous doper of his generation who admitted doping (& beating the "joke tests") isn't actually asked how they were so easy to get around? And what's more, we're also told by cycling authorities to believe that the dope tests now work.

So why didn't they work on the Lance Armstrong generation yet they work now in 2021? It's a question no one has answered (beyond muttering vague stuff about the biological passport).

It's why it's so frustrating when people act like everything is out there in the open regarding doping in the 1990's & 2000's. It's not. We only know a fraction of what really happened & it's why these current-year tests are not at all believable either.
 
One thing I always wanted to know (yet no one has ever asked, for whatever reason...) in the Lance Armstrong affair is "how & why" the dope controls were so easy to circumvent? Lance called the tests a joke. And yet the most famous doper of his generation who admitted doping (& beating the "joke tests") isn't actually asked how they were so easy to get around? And what's more, we're also told by cycling authorities to believe that the dope tests now work.

So why didn't they work on the Lance Armstrong generation yet they work now in 2021? It's a question no one has answered (beyond muttering vague stuff about the biological passport).

It's why it's so frustrating when people act like everything is out there in the open regarding doping in the 1990's & 2000's. It's not. We only know a fraction of what really happened & it's why these current-year tests are not at all believable either.
Didn't Hamilton talk about that in his book? I don't remember what he said, but it was addressed, I believe.
 
Didn't Hamilton talk about that in his book? I don't remember what he said, but it was addressed, I believe.
I'll just post a quick reply here.

The most I've ever seen about beating the tests was the highly ludicrous (& completely comical Austin Powers level of madness) Festina method pre 1998 which Willy Voet said involved the following method (for urine tests):

- insert a condom filled with clear non-doped urine into the rider's backside with a rubber tube attached & fake pubic hair. In the test room, the rider (Virenque etc.) would simply squirt the clear stuff into the bottle without the tester realizing what the hell was going on.

But I have a hunch that's not how they beat the tests these days (or how they even beat the tests in Armstrong's era).
 
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Some of the most common methods have been discussed here. In different threads. A lot of technical information has been presented over the years. I think is a lot of information. Some of that was even in the movie about him.

Some very basic information that I have learned here and other websites are posted below:

  • Method 1: No test for EPO before the test. that was easy.
  • Method 2: No real test for micro-dosing with EPO. That was after the test was implemented.
  • Method 3: Blood doping. No test for doping with your own blood. Before the bio-passport.
  • Method 4: Blood doping with precaution (micro-dosing and controlled transfusions). That was after the Bio-Passport.
  • Method 5: The test for HGH is a joke. Or was a joke for a long time. I don't know now.
  • Method 6: If none of the other methods work pay the UCI or donate a machine to the UCI.
 
Reactions: Koronin
How are we feeling post Giro?

A few monster performances undoubtedly but no real surprises (bar Caruso perhaps) and everybody who did put in something huge seemed to suffer again later.

Certainly not quite last years spectacle.
 
How are we feeling post Giro?

A few monster performances undoubtedly but no real surprises (bar Caruso perhaps) and everybody who did put in something huge seemed to suffer again later.

Certainly not quite last years spectacle.
Yates at Alpe di Mera was pretty big. Almeida performances through last week were also quite spectacular.

No big dip from last year either so the "new normal" which is quite nuclear seems to be here to stay.
 
How are we feeling post Giro?

A few monster performances undoubtedly but no real surprises (bar Caruso perhaps) and everybody who did put in something huge seemed to suffer again later.

Certainly not quite last years spectacle.
Alpe di Mera was very high performance, I believe Sega di Ala was faster than 2013 despite a headwind. Giau record broken despite gaps being massive (which indicates a hard day more so than stage profile, also EF drilled Sante Lucia before the Giau). Zoncolan a minute faster than Simon in 2003. I guess Alpe di Motta was comparable to Sestriere last year?

In some ways it doesn't look that fast, and we might have expected faster based on it being 2021 and the names that were there, but it's still a few levels above 2019 and before.
 
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Reactions: will-10
Alpe di Mera was very high performance, I believe Sega di Ala was faster than 2013 despite a headwind. Giau record broken despite gaps being massive (which indicates a hard day more so than stage profile, also EF drilled Sante Lucia before the Giau). Zoncolan a minute faster than Simon in 2003. I guess Alpe di Motta was comparable to Sestriere last year?

In some ways it doesn't look that fast, and we might have expected faster based on it being 2021 and the names that were there, but it's still a few levels above 2019 and before.
I'm calling BS on headwind being a big factor on the Sega di Ala, pretty much the whole climb surrounded by the forest and sheltered by trees, on this kind of terrain wind wouldn't have a big role when it comes to climbing times.
 
I'm calling BS on headwind being a big factor on the Sega di Ala, pretty much the whole climb surrounded by the forest and sheltered by trees, on this kind of terrain wind wouldn't have a big role when it comes to climbing times.
I was mainly stating it was there all day. I'm not stating they would've gona a minute faster or anything, but even 10s can be quite significant.

For Sega di Ala the main thing to note for me is that while only Almeida was really faster than Nibali, the top 10 was much closer together and Nibali simply crushed everyone in 2013, though we can probably argue that Tirreno field. It might have been the most underrated climbing performance of 2013 tbh.

Meanwhile I find it really hard to gauge the significance of a penulatimate climb like San Valentino, especially at the sort of pace it was done.
 
I was mainly stating it was there all day. I'm not stating they would've gona a minute faster or anything, but even 10s can be quite significant.

For Sega di Ala the main thing to note for me is that while only Almeida was really faster than Nibali, the top 10 was much closer together and Nibali simply crushed everyone in 2013, though we can probably argue that Tirreno field. It might have been the most underrated climbing performance of 2013 tbh.

Meanwhile I find it really hard to gauge the significance of a penulatimate climb like San Valentino, especially at the sort of pace it was done.
But at the same time 2013 Aru and Niemiec climbed faster than anyone but Almeida and Yates.
I don't think that the gaps were much bigger in 2013, you still had 8 riders within 2min of Nibali on the stage, this year 8 riders came in less than 2min behind Almeida.
 

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