State of the peloton 2021

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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.
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.

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).
 
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.

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).

Interesting as Valverde has said, many, many, many times that his year and a half off extended his career by several years. (What he was referring to was the mental aspect, however there would also have been less wear and tear on him physically as well.) However, I don't think Now this time off was different and very different depending on where you lived because some (like anyone in the US) could do any kind of training they wanted the entire time, while others (esp Spain and Italy) couldn't even leave their own property. In those cultures provided for even more mental issues like depression. However, a year off doesn't really lead to faster racing. Less overtraining and less crashing is going to help, but against doesn't necessarily lead to faster times. Interestingly riders who are actively serving bans don't get tested during their ban. With Covid there was a definite decrease in testing for multiple reasons. We did also see the 2 speed peloton in 2020 with riders who were able to train the entire time having a definite advantage over those who couldn't.
 
There haven't been any jumps, at least not really notable, from donkey to horse race, neither among the old nor the young. All the guys who have been really good in the past two years have been good before, either in the juniors or earlier in their career. Who would argue that van der Poel doesn't have amazing talent, that Alaphilippe has never been any good, that Fuglsang wasn't a very good racer, that Porte was never considered to be GT podium material?
That Pogacar or Hirschi never showed talent in the juniors, that Valverde is only good now that he's 40+...
I'm just not sure I can draw any conclusions from that.
 
Reactions: Andy262
More wiggle room in the passport for younger riders?
It could be that young riders respond better, or they're simply taking more risks, whatever. Could also be accidental that a few younger riders were the first on it big time > hype kids as super talent > $$$$$.

I don't really think they respond better in a vacuum, but they might benefit more from new juice aided training/recovery cause they're still improving phase of their careers.
 
There haven't been any jumps, at least not really notable, from donkey to horse race, neither among the old nor the young. All the guys who have been really good in the past two years have been good before, either in the juniors or earlier in their career. Who would argue that van der Poel doesn't have amazing talent, that Alaphilippe has never been any good, that Fuglsang wasn't a very good racer, that Porte was never considered to be GT podium material?
That Pogacar or Hirschi never showed talent in the juniors, that Valverde is only good now that he's 40+...
I'm just not sure I can draw any conclusions from that.
All the performance jumps are a bit more subtle than that, but clearly there. Rohan Dennis destroying the Stelvio most of all. TGH was a bottom top GC top 10 level rider then suddenly he puts 5 minutes into Nibali in one stage. Transformation happens overnight within a Grand Tour. Exactly the same story for Hindley, Kelderman and Almeida.

Alaphilippe definitely made a leap as well. Could never climb with the best for more than 5 minutes then in the Tour he gets 2nd on the Tourmalet. Van Aert being good in classics is normal, but sprinting, TTing and climbing with the best is next level ***.
 
Reactions: Koronin
All the performance jumps are a bit more subtle than that, but clearly there. Rohan Dennis destroying the Stelvio most of all. TGH was a bottom top GC top 10 level rider then suddenly he puts 5 minutes into Nibali in one stage. Transformation happens overnight within a Grand Tour. Exactly the same story for Hindley, Kelderman and Almeida.

Alaphilippe definitely made a leap as well. Could never climb with the best for more than 5 minutes then in the Tour he gets 2nd on the Tourmalet. Van Aert being good in classics is normal, but sprinting, TTing and climbing with the best is next level ***.
I didn't mean there aren't leaps, but that there aren't leaps from people who were never much good to world beater, instead people who are definitely blessed with talent getting even better, sometimes very quickly, and putting out incredible performances. (It wasn't an argument, I just wanted to state that as an "observation".)
 
I didn't mean there aren't leaps, but that there aren't leaps from people who were never much good to world beater, instead people who are definitely blessed with talent getting even better, sometimes very quickly, and putting out incredible performances. (It wasn't an argument, I just wanted to state that as an "observation".)
I think this just indicates it's not a case of DIY doping and access to it probably isn't really easy.
 
Reactions: BlueRoads
Keep them coming fellows!
At least Roglic and Pogacar will have company soon. Told you, riders and coaches soon will pick it up.


Port Aine
2021:18,4 km@6,6%---47:35---average speed 23.20 km/h(Esteban Chaves)-RECORD
2016:18,4 km@6,6%---48:37---average speed 22.71 km/h(Nairo Quintana)
---53:43---average speed 20.55 km/h(Thomas De Gendt)
2013:18,4 km@6,6%---49:29---average speed 22.31 km/h(Dan Martin)
---49:29---average speed 22.31 km/h(Rodriguez-Quintana)
 
Keep them coming fellows!
At least Roglic and Pogacar will have company soon. Told you, riders and coaches soon will pick it up.


Port Aine
2021:18,4 km@6,6%---47:35---average speed 23.20 km/h(Esteban Chaves)-RECORD
2016:18,4 km@6,6%---48:37---average speed 22.71 km/h(Nairo Quintana)
---53:43---average speed 20.55 km/h(Thomas De Gendt)
2013:18,4 km@6,6%---49:29---average speed 22.31 km/h(Dan Martin)
---49:29---average speed 22.31 km/h(Rodriguez-Quintana)
Didn't Chaves say there was a headwind afterwards?
 
Wasn't even like it was a soft day given they kept a decent pace because of Kamna.

Might not see Alpe d'huez back for a few more years in Le Tour to keep the noise down. A few more trips to rarely climbed or first time summits instead >_>
 
Mar 23, 2021
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Wasn't even like it was a soft day given they kept a decent pace because of Kamna.

Might not see Alpe d'huez back for a few more years in Le Tour to keep the noise down. A few more trips to rarely climbed or first time summits instead >_>
And meanwhile we can enjoy listening to the commentators offering all sorts of excuses/explanations for what's happening. Today, on Spanish tv, it was funny to hear Carlos de Andrés (who's been around since the 80s) saying that he only believed they were going up Port Ainé behind the Ineos train at 25km/h because the speedometers said so, and that there must be a strong tailwind to account for it. He later mentioned tailwinds on two more occasions, only to discover from Chaves himself that it was actually a headwind.
 
I'll be honest with everyone. I am watching the races from my computer and it does not look like they are going that fast. Then later I find out that there is a new record broken by a minute or 2 minutes. Maybe is the gear ratios that they are using. You know, like Riis used to do in Hautacam!
 
Is there one team that is clearly "missing out"? To me it seems like the entire peloton, from no-name domestiques to superhero leaders, is riding faster. Including the teams that have signed the drug charter, including riders for whom it makes little sense to take any risks in this stage of their career. I still think there is something else "brewing". Whether it is ketones or extra rest, extra long training blocks due to covid, i have no idea. But when basically everybody is going faster, either you belief everybody's on some new fuel, or there are other factors we're overlooking.
 
Reactions: Andy262
Is there one team that is clearly "missing out"? To me it seems like the entire peloton, from no-name domestiques to superhero leaders, is riding faster. Including the teams that have signed the drug charter, including riders for whom it makes little sense to take any risks in this stage of their career. I still think there is something else "brewing". Whether it is ketones or extra rest, extra long training blocks due to covid, i have no idea. But when basically everybody is going faster, either you belief everybody's on some new fuel, or there are other factors we're overlooking.
Last year there were clearly some teams missing out.

This year it's just Froomey.

Basically, look at Ineos in the 2020 Tour vs Ineos in the 2020 Giro.
 
Is there one team that is clearly "missing out"? To me it seems like the entire peloton, from no-name domestiques to superhero leaders, is riding faster. Including the teams that have signed the drug charter, including riders for whom it makes little sense to take any risks in this stage of their career. I still think there is something else "brewing". Whether it is ketones or extra rest, extra long training blocks due to covid, i have no idea. But when basically everybody is going faster, either you belief everybody's on some new fuel, or there are other factors we're overlooking.
It appears at least portions of all the teams have the same stuff. Last year there were some teams that definitely missed out.
 
Last year there were clearly some teams missing out.

This year it's just Froomey.

Basically, look at Ineos in the 2020 Tour vs Ineos in the 2020 Giro.
Amazing Froome has managed to make the time limit every day.

Ineos TDF vs Giro isn't that clearcut imho. Opposition in the Giro was really weak. Their TDF was a sinking ship with Bernal, and as i said, something was clearly up a few guys, like Bernal, who didn't get to train properly during lockdown.

I just think it makes no sense to juice up a neo-pro like Van Gils, so that he can come within 2k of breaking Quintana's record.
 
Amazing Froome has managed to make the time limit every day.

Ineos TDF vs Giro isn't that clearcut imho. Opposition in the Giro was really weak. Their TDF was a sinking ship with Bernal, and as i said, something was clearly up a few guys, like Bernal, who didn't get to train properly during lockdown.

I just think it makes no sense to juice up a neo-pro like Van Gils, so that he can come within 2k of breaking Quintana's record.
I believe Nibali when he says he was pushing his normal watts or perhaps even slightly better in that Giro. Then "weak opposition" just goes a full minute faster than the 2017 times.

The real mystery of 2020 for me is why the Vuelta climbing times weren't so crazy.
 
Last year there were clearly some teams missing out.

This year it's just Froomey.

Basically, look at Ineos in the 2020 Tour vs Ineos in the 2020 Giro.
I don't believe this argument that Ineos got left behind at TDF 2020 and then caught up at Giro 2020. Both Bernal and Sivakov were flying as much as anyone else just after races began but both got injured, if they hadn't I believe both would have been competing for top 5 whilst Carapaz was fast tracked to the Tour which explains his low performance. Ineos had whatever the other high performers had but you didn't really see it at the Tour due to the injuries.
 
I don't believe this argument that Ineos got left behind at TDF 2020 and then caught up at Giro 2020. Both Bernal and Sivakov were flying as much as anyone else just after races began but both got injured, if they hadn't I believe both would have been competing for top 5 whilst Carapaz was fast tracked to the Tour which explains his low performance. Ineos had whatever the other high performers had but you didn't really see it at the Tour due to the injuries.
Ah, no. They were pretty bad in the Dauphiné. But I don't link that with doping or not doping. I think their normal routine was broken, Thomas was clearly behind schedule, Bernal didn't have the right timing/ amount of training.
 

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