• 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.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

State of the peloton 2021

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Considering the Poggio climb in Milan-San Remo was obliterated by a very large group today (including Caleb Ewan!), I say hold onto your butts.

This year is going to be legendary in terms of performances. I almost get the impression some guys out there are "surprised" to see so many in their wheel after nuclear accelerations which would drop everyone in previous years (Alaphilippe couldn't drop anyone). Even Max Schachmann looked strong today, i.e. winner of recent Paris-Nice.

And nice to see the legendary Peter Sagan in the midst of the action at the end as well. Fun times.

Agreed.
Notice how MVDP launched a last second sprint only to just soft pedal over the line in resignation. He had the legs; that's for sure. He just waited way too long.
It's almost like he forgot there were more riders than just WVA who were booking it to the line with 150 metres to go.
 
If it means anything Valverde has said that 2019 and 2020 he had higher numbers than he'd ever had in his career just to be competitive. He raced and won consistently in the middle of the EPO era.

So take his comment however you wish.
Ok. But every rider has the best numbers ever in every season he rides ;)

So I take that with a grain of salt. But overall I agree that the levle of doping seems to have ramped up again quite a bit. Every climb that is ridden in races is super fast. But I guess it might be a kind of "natural" circle. EPO area -> Festina -> Drop in speed in 1999 -> Armstrong -> Puerto -> Drop in speed in 2007 -> CERA/new EPO analogues -> various busts from rather high level riders -> drop in speed in 2010-2012 -> Sky/COVID/maybe new methods -> ???.

In short - it seems doping is again peaking but at the same time at some point there will be a bigger bust again which will set back the level for a few years. But of course dopers will again find new methods. So its kind of the setting we have to deal with.
 
Cera bursts weren't that big in terms of pure climbing times tbh. IIRC, climbing times weren't actually all that high in 2008, though the riders abusing it were mostly coming out of nowhere to hit world class but not record breaking times for that era. That is unless Cera was around in like 2007 already.

I think the current era is unlike any other, bar for the early EPO era which was probably a lot more crazy even.
 
Ok. But every rider has the best numbers ever in every season he rides ;)

So I take that with a grain of salt. But overall I agree that the levle of doping seems to have ramped up again quite a bit. Every climb that is ridden in races is super fast. But I guess it might be a kind of "natural" circle. EPO area -> Festina -> Drop in speed in 1999 -> Armstrong -> Puerto -> Drop in speed in 2007 -> CERA/new EPO analogues -> various busts from rather high level riders -> drop in speed in 2010-2012 -> Sky/COVID/maybe new methods -> ???.

In short - it seems doping is again peaking but at the same time at some point there will be a bigger bust again which will set back the level for a few years. But of course dopers will again find new methods. So its kind of the setting we have to deal with.

Remember Valverde is one of the few riders still racing from the Armstrong/Dr. Ferrari/Puerto era and he's saying numbers today are higher than they were then. Also he was closer to what should have been his peak based on age near the end of that era and now is 40 and putting up better numbers than he had put up in his 20's in an era we know the peloton was doping. As I said take it how you wish, but when someone who raced in a known doping era (and has a ban from it) says something like this, then you'd think there's something more there.
 
Remember Valverde is one of the few riders still racing from the Armstrong/Dr. Ferrari/Puerto era and he's saying numbers today are higher than they were then. Also he was closer to what should have been his peak based on age near the end of that era and now is 40 and putting up better numbers than he had put up in his 20's in an era we know the peloton was doping. As I said take it how you wish, but when someone who raced in a known doping era (and has a ban from it) says something like this, then you'd think there's something more there.
Yes but my point was rather that riders are not always that honest about things like that. Contador and Nibali claimed similar things when it was obvious they are not where they have been.

That said, and I did so above, I surely can see that there was a jump in overall performance of the peloton and riders. So yes, might be true.
 
Yes but my point was rather that riders are not always that honest about things like that. Contador and Nibali claimed similar things when it was obvious they are not where they have been.

That said, and I did so above, I surely can see that there was a jump in overall performance of the peloton and riders. So yes, might be true.

They may not always be, but there are other signs that show as well such as frustration.

However, I think this new era of doping started in 2017/2018 and after the 2018 Giro going back to being a free for all.
 
Cera bursts weren't that big in terms of pure climbing times tbh. IIRC, climbing times weren't actually all that high in 2008, though the riders abusing it were mostly coming out of nowhere to hit world class but not record breaking times for that era. That is unless Cera was around in like 2007 already.

I think the current era is unlike any other, bar for the early EPO era which was probably a lot more crazy even.
Yeah, overall 2009 looks a lot crazier than 2008. I agree about Cera not being that big of a deal, but Piepoli was already on the way up in 2006, was that just him being on a more professional team? The guy was already a top level climber pre 50% rule and 5th on the Hautacam when Bjarne won.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Red Rick
Yeah, overall 2009 looks a lot crazier than 2008. I agree about Cera not being that big of a deal, but Piepoli was already on the way up in 2006, was that just him being on a more professional team? The guy was already a top level climber pre 50% rule and 5th on the Hautacam when Bjarne won.
Talent + chronic doping over time

Also, not all doping is equal. Clearly more medical know-how about what to take, what combinations, when, how much, etc, makes a big, big difference
 
Serious question, do you actually mean what you say / could you indicate when you do?

Uh, yeah, I mean what I say. Rather than send an unspecified sarcastic response, how 'bout we save each other some time and get to the point.
I know it feels good to think you just delivered a real zinger and put some rando in their place, but the zinger would be more effective if you specified why you delivered said zinger. So far all we have from you is telling someone they have no clue what they're talking about without explaining why.
You know, kingjr, I'm more than willing to admit when I'm wrong, but if you wish to actually interact in good faith, you're gonna have to specify why I'm wrong. Otherwise you're just throwing out gratuitous snark.
 
Ok. But every rider has the best numbers ever in every season he rides ;)

So I take that with a grain of salt. But overall I agree that the levle of doping seems to have ramped up again quite a bit. Every climb that is ridden in races is super fast. But I guess it might be a kind of "natural" circle. EPO area -> Festina -> Drop in speed in 1999 -> Armstrong -> Puerto -> Drop in speed in 2007 -> CERA/new EPO analogues -> various busts from rather high level riders -> drop in speed in 2010-2012 -> Sky/COVID/maybe new methods -> ???.

In short - it seems doping is again peaking but at the same time at some point there will be a bigger bust again which will set back the level for a few years. But of course dopers will again find new methods. So its kind of the setting we have to deal with.

Yeah, about that drop in speed in 2007, I quickly went through the top-20s of GTs that year and here are the people who subsequently tested positive, or admitted doping, or were sentenced for doping


Di Luca
Mazzoleni
Ricco
Pellizotti
Sella
Piepoli
Vila
Contador
Leipheimer
Valverde
Astaloza
Boogerd
Mayo
Schleck
Beltran
Valjavec
Cobo
Menchov
Sanchez
Mosquera
Barredo

So perhaps speeds alone are not a good indicator
 
Yeah, overall 2009 looks a lot crazier than 2008. I agree about Cera not being that big of a deal, but Piepoli was already on the way up in 2006, was that just him being on a more professional team? The guy was already a top level climber pre 50% rule and 5th on the Hautacam when Bjarne won.

Saunier Duval Piepoli >> pre -Saunier Duval Piepoli. I don't remember pre-Saunier Piepoli being able to go head-to-head with the best riders in a GT and win like he did against Heras, Menchov and Basso in GTs that they won.

"Professional" probably means more willing to take risks as I doubt that Banesto was less professional as a team in the normal meaning of that word
 
Yeah, overall 2009 looks a lot crazier than 2008. I agree about Cera not being that big of a deal, but Piepoli was already on the way up in 2006, was that just him being on a more professional team? The guy was already a top level climber pre 50% rule and 5th on the Hautacam when Bjarne won.
IIRC, 2009 high but not insane apart from Verbier? The Vuelta especially wasn't crazy.

There's a few outliers where I'm curious as to what the hell was going on, but it's probably never been just one rier on a new compound. Gilbert 2012 for example.

Whatever is going on right now, Alaphilippe might have been one of the first ones in the 2019 Tour?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Koronin
What does LMGTFY mean?
re Small sample size: I get that part. I am only questioning why the country of Slovenia was used as the jumping off point in terms of empirical analysis.
When do trade teams come into the equation?
How about training camps abroad? Do they have the potential to come into play?
Did these riders ever ride for teams based outside of Slovenia before signing contracts for teams based outside of Slovenia? I have no idea.
What does Slovenia have to do with it?

Let Me Google That For You. :)
But not sure the law of small numbers fully explains Slovenia.

I suspect what we are seeing is more related to the lack of testing during Covid-19 ?

Pity Alpe d'Huez isn't in this years TdF route I always find that a good benchmark for how fast the peloton is climbing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: the delgados
If it means anything Valverde has said that 2019 and 2020 he had higher numbers than he'd ever had in his career just to be competitive. He raced and won consistently in the middle of the EPO era.

So take his comment however you wish.

? Maybe you are referring to micro dosing? Valverde turned pro in 2002 which was after the EPO era ended - at least officially. I think the EPO era ended in 2000 when the test became available. That was when the peloton switched to blood bags e.g. Armstrong and 2004 TdF.
 
? Maybe you are referring to micro dosing? Valverde turned pro in 2002 which was after the EPO era ended - at least officially. I think the EPO era ended in 2000 when the test became available. That was when the peloton switched to blood bags e.g. Armstrong and 2004 TdF.

You're right, wrong doping era.

Still he's talking about higher numbers today than in the Lance era.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cookster15
Let Me Google That For You. :)
But not sure the law of small numbers fully explains Slovenia.

I suspect what we are seeing is more related to the lack of testing during Covid-19 ?

Pity Alpe d'Huez isn't in this years TdF route I always find that a good benchmark for how fast the peloton is climbing.

You mean like hitting the brakes at hairpins? I guess we shall see.
I've been curious about the effects that Covid-19 has had on testing in general. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming out of competition tests were non-existent during the height of the pandemic.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cookster15
You mean like hitting the brakes at hairpins? I guess we shall see.
I've been curious about the effects that Covid-19 has had on testing in general. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm assuming out of competition tests were non-existent during the height of the pandemic.

Testing for the year across all sports in 2020 was down around 50% - Testing will be more closer to average in 2021.
 
I've shared this before, but here it goes again: I don't understand the need to analyze doping. To pull it away from cycling for a comparison, I really enjoy the NFL, and know that nearly all of them are enhancing. That's where it stops, I know it but don't acre to analyze it. "Great run...I wonder what dope he's on." "Nice block, he must be doped to the gills." I wouldn't enjoy that. Its the same with cycling, I just enjoy it for what it is. For them its a completion, but for me its entertainment.

The caveat is that I would like to see clean(er) cycling, but don't care if the NFL cleans up. Maybe that's because I have a closer personal relationship with cycling?
 
Uh, yeah, I mean what I say. Rather than send an unspecified sarcastic response, how 'bout we save each other some time and get to the point.
I know it feels good to think you just delivered a real zinger and put some rando in their place, but the zinger would be more effective if you specified why you delivered said zinger. So far all we have from you is telling someone they have no clue what they're talking about without explaining why.
You know, kingjr, I'm more than willing to admit when I'm wrong, but if you wish to actually interact in good faith, you're gonna have to specify why I'm wrong. Otherwise you're just throwing out gratuitous snark.
There was no sarcasm. It was a serious question, as I've said.
 
I've shared this before, but here it goes again: I don't understand the need to analyze doping. To pull it away from cycling for a comparison, I really enjoy the NFL, and know that nearly all of them are enhancing. That's where it stops, I know it but don't acre to analyze it. "Great run...I wonder what dope he's on." "Nice block, he must be doped to the gills." I wouldn't enjoy that. Its the same with cycling, I just enjoy it for what it is. For them its a completion, but for me its entertainment.

The caveat is that I would like to see clean(er) cycling, but don't care if the NFL cleans up. Maybe that's because I have a closer personal relationship with cycling?
I understand your POV and I feel the same way about the NFL. I'm not as sure doping is as prevalent as you say but no need to split hairs, it's certainly common enough not to matter.

For me the difference is that in cycling doping can make a definitive difference. Cycling is so much defined by one's engine. Yes there is skill involved of course, and one must have the ability to read the race, but at the end of the day you have to have the engine to be competitive and win. In the NFL you have to have a VERY specific skillset for your position, and this defines success more than physical attributes. Yes, you have to have a very high level of physical talent, but you often see guys without elite physical talent succeeding at the highest levels of the sport because of their skillset and ability to read the game. The mental component is huge, one needs to have a deep understanding of the game plan, the options on every play, your team's offensive or defensive scheme, all the plays, and so on. It takes years to master the techniques and options within a system.

In cycling, especially in stage racing, it's so much more about who can process the most oxygen. See Froome, et al. You can literally have pack fodder winning major races if they get on the right program. That doesn't happen in the NFL.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Koronin and jmdirt
I understand your POV and I feel the same way about the NFL. I'm not as sure doping is as prevalent as you say but no need to split hairs, it's certainly common enough not to matter.

For me the difference is that in cycling doping can make a definitive difference. Cycling is so much defined by one's engine. Yes there is skill involved of course, and one must have the ability to read the race, but at the end of the day you have to have the engine to be competitive and win. In the NFL you have to have a VERY specific skillset for your position, and this defines success more than physical attributes. Yes, you have to have a very high level of physical talent, but you often see guys without elite physical talent succeeding at the highest levels of the sport because of their skillset and ability to read the game. The mental component is huge, one needs to have a deep understanding of the game plan, the options on every play, your team's offensive or defensive scheme, all the plays, and so on. It takes years to master the techniques and options within a system.

In cycling, especially in stage racing, it's so much more about who can process the most oxygen. See Froome, et al. You can literally have pack fodder winning major races if they get on the right program. That doesn't happen in the NFL.
I agree...mostly, and the parts that I don't agree with we should probably talk about in the NFL thread. :D
 
  • Like
Reactions: red_flanders