State of the peloton 2021

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I don't know what is real. Cycling is still cleaner than in the 90s, but it might be less clean now than 5-7 years ago. I don't know what to believe anymore, but the racing is really fun.
Define what 'cleaner' means. they take less? or they take something that has less effect. I believe doping in cycling is just the same as it was in the old days. but the products and the effect of the products differ.
We had a peak in the 90s with EPO and the no limits. Which gave the highest performance increase, but I don't think there were more cyclist using forbidden or performance enhancing drugs compared to the 70 or 80s.
We all consider the Lance years as high dope years, but they were battling with the same products from the 90s, but with a different approach and with limits. (no more Mr 60%). But transformation from the 90s, with Mr 60% are only possible with doping. From donky to one of the best racer in the world... Lance was similar, but he was already a talented rider. We recently had the praying mantis on a bike which started winning GT after being dropped by the peleton on a cat 5 mountain and not holding wheels since joining the pro 5 year earlier.. it is not a possible transformation without doping.
Now we have many talented youngsters coming up, but after joining the profs they start riding at speeds from the doping years. Either means cycling has never had such talented people... and the last 30 years were filled with donkeys that performed due to dope.... or it just means doping is still highly relevant.
 
1. Can I please have Froome back?

2. I am a *** idiot for not betting all my worldly and otherworldy belongings on Pogacar to win the Tour the moment it was announced he signed a contract through 2026.

3. Now we get to watch journalists, analysts and pundits spin this into something believable

4. If I wanted comedy, I'd just watch midget basketbal
 
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Ok. Two Bahrain riders in a row is a red flag in itself. I hate Bahrain for bringing Padun to the race. At least we could have had some competition.
yeah, they had the strongest rider from a huge breakaway two days in a row with two different riders. Teuns and Mohoric have done it before but those were maybe the two strongest breakaways i've ever seen in terms of the riders in them and then add it to everything else Bahrain has done in the past two months...lol.
 
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What if Pog did this number and some others could keep up closer? Would it have blown the clinic more or less?
Given he seems to broken two records on his raids (second one is still questioning, but it seems either broken or very close to it). I doubt it would have mattered if the others were closer. He still did the ride in bad weather breaking records while pacing himself.
 
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If everyone was doping then the gaps wouldn't be like this. You also look at rider's faces or people from within the cycling world and you know what is happening lately is not normal by the peloton's standards.

Bahrain and UAE found some new tree in the Middle East, probably in the middle of the desert. I'm sure their performances are all due to natural causes.
I look at Pog, Padun, Mohoric, Teuns, Caruso and all of them pedal so natural on the climbs, like they are not even there. If it wouldn't have the graphic saying the gradients I would say those guys must be on easy hills. They are able to keep a high pace and drop everyone like flies.
 
It’s the lack of effort on his face. He’s awful at faking the tired out look at the finish line. At the end of the TT he was as fresh as a daisy.
But but...today he looked tired...right? That's what ES commentators felt the need to repeat it several times, how tired he looks... Although for me he didn't look more tired than the rest and not even close to how tired he should be after such a effort. Same commentators made doping innuendo every day during Ala's run at 2019 TdF, I wonder what changed.
 
If everyone was doping then the gaps wouldn't be like this. You also look at rider's faces or people from within the cycling world and you know what is happening lately is not normal by the peloton's standards.
We're seeing a permanent rinse repeat cycle ad infinitum.

What you saw yesterday was no different from Lance destroying the Alpe D'Huez in 2001, specifically the moment he passed poor hapless Laurent Roux without a glance.



Since that day we know two facts: both were doping, but they weren't doping equally.

Roux (who got caught later) admitted he had some pills in his pocket & the usual cheap stuff the small teams could their hands on, Lance meanwhile had the best program & the political power required to make it stick (Verbruggen & the UCI in his pocket).

And that's why the omerta endures because at every level of this Peloton & sport, you'll find there's doping to varying degrees on a level from to 1 to 10 (10 being the highest with the backing from the right authorities).

I am convinced of this because that's what the history of cycling has proven to be true (& considering the names of the men behind the scenes & in the teams like UAE, it's pretty evident). In fact yesterday was probably the biggest p*ss-take & finger in the eye of the anti-dope regulators ever, like a total humiliation of anyone with pretences of making the sport "clean". Like saying "we won, you lose".
 
We're seeing a permanent rinse repeat cycle ad infinitum.

What you saw yesterday was no different from Lance destroying the Alpe D'Huez in 2001, specifically the moment he passed poor hapless Laurent Roux without a glance.



Since that day we know two facts: both were doping, but they weren't doping equally.

Roux (who got caught later) admitted he had some pills in his pocket & the usual cheap stuff the small teams could their hands on, Lance meanwhile had the best program & the political power required to make it stick (Verbruggen & the UCI in his pocket).

And that's why the omerta endures because at every level of this Peloton & sport, you'll find there's doping to varying degrees on a level from to 1 to 10 (10 being the highest with the backing from the right authorities).

I am convinced of this because that's what the history of cycling has proven to be true (& considering the names of the men behind the scenes & in the teams like UAE, it's pretty evident). In fact yesterday was probably the biggest p*ss-take & finger in the eye of the anti-dope regulators ever, like a total humiliation of anyone with pretences of making the sport "clean". Like saying "we won, you lose".
This 100%. I can handle that there is doping in cycling. But I can't handle when there's not the slightest shred of parity in the doping among the top riders in the world.
 
It’s the lack of effort on his face. He’s awful at faking the tired out look at the finish line. At the end of the TT he was as fresh as a daisy.
It's a complete waste of time trying to guess the level of fatigue from riders facial expressions. Some of them show something visible only when they are on a verge of collapse from exhaustion (Quintana on Ventoux in 2013 for example), while others look like they are dying a thousand deaths while still having a lot left to give (Aru or C.A.Sörensen come to mind from recent past).

What is revealing are the faces his rivals pull while seeing Pog's performances. WVAs and Dumoulins from last years PDBF stage, or Küngs on wednesday are instant meme material and at the same time an insight into what riders themselves actually think about it.
 
And that's why the omerta endures because at every level of this Peloton & sport, you'll find there's doping to varying degrees on a level from to 1 to 10 (10 being the highest with the backing from the right authorities).

I am convinced of this because that's what the history of cycling has proven to be true (& considering the names of the men behind the scenes & in the teams like UAE, it's pretty evident). In fact yesterday was probably the biggest p*ss-take & finger in the eye of the anti-dope regulators ever, like a total humiliation of anyone with pretences of making the sport "clean". Like saying "we won, you lose".
Given how things have gone this year, it feels like things are becoming more blatant and I've found myself wondering if we're nearing that part in the cycle where something concrete comes out as someone pushes it too far. Perhaps a gentleman's agreement on how far one go is being trashed, at least that's the impression from those comments in Le Parisien after Padun's second win:
"We all feel like idiots. That the guy does a hold-up at La Plagne, why not? But he doesn't have the decency to hide away a bit the next day."

And now it seens Bahrain are just winning at will with different members of the team: "Dylan Teuns’ lone triumph on stage 8 of the Tour de France was the team’s second in as many days and their twelfth victory in the past 35 days alone."

Of course it's not just Bahrain and we're building up a nice library of meme pictures from the TT hotseat or rivals on climbs as Pog dominates like it's the good old days. The next couple of years will be interesting.
 
What is revealing are the faces his rivals pull while seeing Pog's performances. WVAs and Dumoulins from last years PDBF stage, or Küngs on wednesday are instant meme material and at the same time an insight into what riders themselves actually think about it.
Yes, for example yesterday here's the moment Soren Kragh Andersen had a little laugh when Pogacar mowed down the breakaway guys:

 

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