Indeed. I think a number of people have just said f*ck it, I'm in. Not even sure what is going on. Perhaps a cocktail that is not fully 'illegal' from a technical standpoint. Let's see: improvement comes from increased capacities (as well as equipment and tactics, but let's be honest, the last two are not massive contributers to recent performance trends). If you can train more, both miles and intensity, and recover better, while shredding the body-fat and increasing fat use as fuel (sparing endurance), you are going to experience some degree of interesting gains. Then of course there is the ability to drill it and recover. I suspect a year of no racing has had some effect ... less overtraining or crashing (Richie Porte anyone), more focused work, and of course, marked decreases in testing.yes and you cant even say it was pacing, Valverde was off the front for almost the entire last 9km, he was joined by other attackers but he was absolutely not just sitting on a train. if Movistar finally found what everyone else is on this is gonna get real fun.
what's crazy is that there's barely any separation even though they're going so fast. there's 20 guys absolutely flying, in March, at the friggin Volta a Catalunya.
Sooo, we come back to some degree of good old fashioned blood manipulation to keep things moving and keep endurance high. I can't say what magic blend of medical sh*t might lead to certain changes (e.g. some medications will lead to weight loss from some people, weight gain for others). We do know that from some interesting leaks over the past number of years that some teams have really pushed some TUE and over-the-top medication use and made it work (Wiggins and Froome are two more interesting examples).