State of the peloton 2021

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Didn't an earlier incarnation of JV say that VO2 Max was meaningless, or am I misremembering?
I don't think he did. He did say it was somewhat irrelevant.

Vaughters in 2015:


@Scienceofsport
We don't test vo2 max. It's a bit irrelevant to me, as it's not a final performance indicator and it changes.

View: https://twitter.com/Vaughters/status/622465608622411776





Vaughters on Talansky in 2017:

Team General Manager Jonathan Vaughters elaborated: “Fundamentally, he’s very perfectionist about every detail. He has to be because he’s not the 95 VO2 max rider. He’s not this massive world-beating physical talent. In the races that he’s won, or has done really well in, he’s been able to optimize every last little detail.” [Emphases added]

 
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Didn't an earlier incarnation of JV say that VO2 Max was meaningless, or am I misremembering?
Sort of. On the Cycling in Alignment pod, he says he's always a bit dismissive of high Vo2 guys, like Gaimon, cause it reminds him of himself, and he struggled so much with the non-numbers part of cycling, like pack positioning and tactics. Says a similar thing about Dekker in a slightly different way, that he was so good he never had to learn how to ride in the cross winds even though he's Dutch, he'd just brute force everything.
 
Speaking as we are of JV, this is probly not the best news that could have come out in the week he's talking up the due diligence done before signing his latest Padawan:
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal (the Tribunal) has rendered its decision in the case involving the Mexican rider Mr. Luis Ricardo Villalobos Hernandez.

The Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (presence of GHRP-6*) and imposed a four-year period of ineligibility on the rider.

In accordance with the Procedural Rules of the Tribunal, the decision will shortly be published on the UCI website.

*GHRP-6 is a Prohibited Substance listed under class S2.2 (Peptide hormones and their releasing factors) of the Prohibited List which is maintained by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and adopted by the UCI.
As noted when Villalobos was first sent to the naughty step: "At the time of the sample collection the Rider was contracted to the UCI Continental Team Aevolo."
 
In other news...WADA's testing reporting is out.

Road cycling had 15,066 tests in 2019.

2020 saw just 8,539 tests worldwide.

Across all sports, there was a 46% decrease in the number of samples analysed: 278,047 in 2019m versus 149,758 in 2020. There was a decrease of 38% in the number of ABP blood samples tested: 36,401 in 2019 to 22,666 in 2020.

In September Lappartient said that 2021's numbers for cycling were ahead of 2019.
 
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JV loves a rough diamond and I always enjoy reading his hype/due diligence each winter when he's found another. More often than not they don't quite pull it off but he's had a few 'bolts from the blue' so who knows. Padun definitely fills the enigma criteria.

In comparison I'm always reminded of the JTL to Sky signing shitshow. In this sport it's impossible for JV to not get burnt at some stage (eg Danielson, Villalobos) but it's fair to say they do their best at Slipstream to limit the damage.
 
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This sounds like an impossible metric,but I have read here about body weight and wattage,body weight and winning, w the overall trend racers becoming leaner and leaner..does anyone have ideas about some of these injuries,punctured lung,broken major bones..just wondering if low body mass has anything to do with more injuries? Just don't remember there being as many serious injuries, that may be because there was generally less information. Would be curious to see a overall body fat stats from 50s,60s until today and see were the dramatic change was,if at all..
 
I dunno about de Gendt (never thought he was clean anyway) but this Giro actually feels a lot cleaner. the front group only did 5.92 w/kg today on Blockhaus. Hindley did 6.41 on Piancavallo in 2020 (similar length climb). that's a huge difference.
Also over 1:30 slower than Quintana in 2017. That said, back then the Blockhaus stage was almost an unipublic stage, so most of the difference is probably because of this stage being much harder before the final climb.
 
Also over 1:30 slower than Quintana in 2017. That said, back then the Blockhaus stage was almost an unipublic stage, so most of the difference is probably because of this stage being much harder before the final climb.
yeah that's tough to compare, todays stage was a much harder profile and almost 2 hours longer in duration. still I think Quintana's time only comes out to 6.1 w/kg, about right for the best climber in the world as he was back then, but still not even close to whatever the hell was going on for that Piancavallo stage (which might've been an even harder stage than today).
 
More than happy with what I've seen in the Giro so far to be honest. We are seeing very beatable performances (individuals who lost stage jeopardising time gaps) claiming stage victories in group contests rather than always a strong performance breaking free 4-20kms from the line and cruising to victory (often on consecutive days too). We are also seeing riders putting in a big effort one day not dominating the next and possibly feeling the need to recover. Plus we are seeing the Bahrain supporting cast being pretty innocuous, which helps.
 
We've seen two rolling rest days, three bog-standard sprint stages, one uphill sprint stage, one interesting technical TT, one damp squib of a mountain top finish and one not so damp. I'd be wary of anyone drawing any conclusions from that lot.
From my perspective yesterdays stage and the TJV stage win were about as utterly believable an athletic performance as you'll see. So were the sprint victories. Of course, that doesn't mean there aren't a few sleeper agents out there waiting to pounce after a race day.

I'll be disappointed and surprised if we see, say a 6 man break where one guy attacks with 20kms to go and singlehandedly holds off the combined effort of all the others (if the break isn't incredibly weak). Or a guy bagging back to back stages in breakaways (if his breakaway rivals include capable pros who are fresher). Or 3 folk from the same team in the top ten, when said team isn't even one with a top 3 budget.

Essentially, I think the hair samples and Colbrelli have combined to bring a temporary calm to proceedings (with the usual exceptions of any geriatrics in a GC top ten).
 
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