State of the peloton 2021

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So apparently some riders started their own investigation. Targeted teams are the one we all would expect (DQS, Jumbo, Bahrain, UAE).
Found the web version but don't have a sub to 'letemps'


Anyone run it through a translator?
 
Found the web version but don't have a sub to 'letemps'


Anyone run it through a translator?
Honestly I didn't read the whole article, I stopped at "un présumé moteur nouvelle génération dissimulé dans les vélos et de mystérieuses bouteilles que certaines équipes se cachent pour boire." Seriously? Sounds like Vayer. :(
 
Reactions: roundabout
im just here to enjoy the ride. Idk what they are on at the minute but for sure it's almost as good as the stuff they used from 95-2005
Fastest Tour de France editions (all >40 Kph) | #TDF2021

2005 | 41.654 Kph
2021 | 41.160
2017 | 40.995
2003 | 40.940
2006 | 40.784
2014 | 40.662
2019 | 40.575
2004 | 40.553
2013 | 40.542
2008 | 40.492
2009 | 40.315
1999 | 40.276
2018 | 40.206
2001 | 40.070
 
A generally incredibly high level with a few performances that are head and shoulders above even this level and seem inexplicable.
Yes. Whether 90s EPO in cycling or 80s anabolica in swimming and athletics, these are the signs of a major change, this is not a kind of "normal" doping anymore (and by that I don't mean that everyone takes something in normal times, I think that's an excuse of the dopers), this looks like the start of a new excess era.
:(
 
Paolo Slongo, ex-coach of Nibali for the best part of his career said: "They are riding at a level never seen before, in the first 10 stages it was as if there was no tomorrow".
This quote reminds me of the thread "Cannondale getting dropped in clean cycling" here. It definitely looks like the three teams (UAE, Bahrain, and Jumbo) have an edge in their doping program
 
Comprehend this: Froome wouldn't have been allowed to start the TDF if he was still injured. If his injury was as bad as everyone (you believe) says it was, then he would've been forced to drop out of the race on stage 1. So, what you're seeing, imo, if the real Froome...and the real Thomas. Even though they are on separate teams now, and for what I know have different medical personnel attending to their needs, they both seem to be riding normal for them (normal= pre-transformations).
I never said Froome was injured pre-tour and do you seriously believe Thomas suddenly stopped doping after finishing 4th in the Dauphine and winning Romandie?
 
The state of the peloton is f**** madness.

Any single metric can be explained away if it is in isolation. The aggregate of different data points suggests stupidity. One of the fastest tours ever. Records being broken up climbs that were previously set during times when doping wasn't just occurring, but when it was rampant and out of control. Riders explaining how it's full gas from day one and from every day from thereon. The new all rounders who can beat time trial specialists, climbers, and sprinters. Nose breathing while obliterating everyone (and no, ease of breathing is not the same as looking at people's facial expressions). Going suddenly from a high level to an extra thermonuclear level in quick jumps, or transfroomations/track racers becoming mountain goats.

Bla bla blah.
 
The pace of GTs is often dictated by random doomed breakaways as well. In my opinion, average speed is generally a meaningless metric.
All things being equal, the fastest Tours should have been the ones from the mid 90's. At least I don't see a reason why a field capable of records up climbs that are still standing today would be worse than the current group on any other terrain.

The fact that those Tours were slower suggests that there are factors other than just dope in play.
 
Reactions: SafeBet
All things being equal, the fastest Tours should have been the ones from the mid 90's. At least I don't see a reason why a field capable of records up climbs that are still standing today would be worse than the current group on any other terrain.

The fact that those Tours were slower suggests that there are factors other than just dope in play.
I think a reason is, the fitness of average rider in today is far better than the average rider in 90s, hence the breakaways and domestiques ride faster through the stages. The GC riders only see the wind in 30-50kms in today's grand tours, which is quite insignificant in the overall picture.
 
Dec 2, 2020
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All things being equal, the fastest Tours should have been the ones from the mid 90's. At least I don't see a reason why a field capable of records up climbs that are still standing today would be worse than the current group on any other terrain.

The fact that those Tours were slower suggests that there are factors other than just dope in play.
For peloton speed I do think a lot of it has to do with the overall professional organization of the teams being so much more powerful these days, collectively speaking. As well as bike technology. Deep rims, internal cables, etc all make for a faster average pace. I’m curious how the flat TT speeds compare from ‘95 to today. But we know the mountain speeds are much more similar.
 
Reactions: noob
I think a reason is, the fitness of average rider in today is far better than the average rider in 90s, hence the breakaways and domestiques ride faster through the stages. The GC riders only see the wind in 30-50kms in today's grand tours, which is quite insignificant in the overall picture.
I think in 98 there were more people on EPO than off it based on the retests.

I think it is reasonable that this was also the case a couple of years before that.

For me more doping in the 90's should still offset any gains from training and so on across a wider range of riders in a wider range of stages.

But I understand your reasoning as well.
 
Reactions: noob and Publiuszam
People look at GC's average speeds because the data lines up with (and thus seems to reinforce) our expectations, but it's still mostly just noise and they shouldn't be used. Climbing times are not a perfect tool but they're subject to waaaay less variables than average speeds over three weeks and on wildly different parcourses.
I agree that high speeds don't mean doping, but it's still a factor to take into account, because one reason for fast climbing times could be lower speeds before the climb.
 
here's my devil's advocate theory of the unusually uncontrolled racing this year.

the first actual sprint stage was stage 3. immediately, one of the only pure sprinter teams lost their only sprinter, and Bahrain lost their GC rider. that left two teams stacked with strong roleurs and break riders to go hunting for stages.

you could tell something weird was going to be up on the stage to Chateuroux. that was a perfect stage for a languid chase behind a weak break - instead you had a bunch of guys from Lotto trying to force a strong split on a nearly flat day.

also the race favorite team was UAE and they had an unusually hard time controlling the field, especially in stage 7 and stage 8. they did get better, but by then even more sprinters were gone leaving the flat stages much more susceptible to unusually strong breakaways sensing that there weren't enough sprinters left in the field for a committed chase.
 
It feels like 5-10 years ago we regularly had stage wins contested by groups of riders that got slower as the finish line approached (a sign of understandable fatigue). Obviously there were highly suspect performances during that period but I can distinctly remember actually laughing at some stage finishes as the poor suffering breakaway riders almost crawled to the line in a small bunch 'sprint' for the line.

Now we seem to be regularly getting one guy on GC or the breakaway managing to serenely dispatch their rivals (defying the laws of drafting and the psychological power of wheelsucking) and make it to the line alone without losing any speed (no obvious sign of fatigue).

All completely unscientific but I feel better when there are a group of riders near the finish who have been unable to shake each other off due to the power of drafting. My ill informed perception is that the proportion of riders getting a 'boost' has gone through the roof in the past two years, from maybe 1-5% of the field to 10%+.
I will commit the sin of quoting myself, but for the first time in a long time I liked what I saw yesterday at the Vuelta. A big breakaway in an unpredictable, evenly matched dogfight and the last four riders standing being slow and looking spent. Admittedly the final 3.5kms were genuinely brutal terrain, but all four riders, including the winner, were clearly spent. The winner was at a virtual crawl at the flamme rouge and would easily have been overhauled and lost the stage if the guy in second had any energy. So the slow riding cannot be viewed as sandbagging in my eyes as it genuinely jeopardised victory.

It is the first stage in a GT all year that has looked like that to me and fits in with my perception of what was commonplace 5-10 years ago. Bahrain are clearly performing at a reduced level, which is a huge factor in things looking less rancid. But on yesterday's evidence possibly there is a more cautious stance amongst other elements in the peloton at the Vuelta this year?

One swallow does not a spring make and maybe it'll be back to one dude cruising to victory again today, but I'll be disappointed and surprised if that happens over the course of the next fortnight.
 

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