State of the peloton 2021

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Thomas was clearly more negatively impacted by lockdown than Bernal and Sivakov, I would not be surprised if Thomas thought racing would not resume. I would not use his level as a representation of what Ineos was doing.
 
I mean if there's something going on then everybody is doing it.
Because Chaves breaking the record by a lot also means Kelderman broke the record by a lot and going by his style it didn't seem much faster than the guys who held the previous record lol.
 
I suspect less time racing has helped some people to some degree. I definitely do not think it explains everything.
I can buy that on an individual basis. I'm sure some riders train and race more than what's optimal to reach certain peaks and taking some time off can help even if it's just mental (no pressure to be in perfect form for a while and just get on with things).

But it doesn't explain the overall accellerations we've seen, unless sports science has been completely wrong for the past couple decades.

Very strange all this, maybe it's the *** disc brakes or something. ;)
 
I can buy that on an individual basis. I'm sure some riders train and race more than what's optimal to reach certain peaks and taking some time off can help even if it's just mental (no pressure to be in perfect form for a while and just get on with things).

But it doesn't explain the overall accellerations we've seen, unless sports science has been completely wrong for the past couple decades.

Very strange all this, maybe it's the *** disc brakes or something. ;)
It's funny that you would mention disc brakes, and i'm obviously not saying this is the cause, but i do think there are factors that we are overlooking or that are being dismissed too easily. What about reduced press attendance, could that lead to reduced chaos and stress before a race meaning less wasted energy, more mental freshness? Ok, unlikely, but still, those are things nobody speaks of. Disc brakes could mean faster overall speed, (shorter brake distance, more control, less preemptive braking...). This in turn could mean average cornering speeds are higher, meaning less wasted energy accelerating after every turn, could this be the 2% energy saved over the course of a ride, that enable riders to start a climb more fresh?
 
I mean if there's something going on then everybody is doing it.
Because Chaves breaking the record by a lot also means Kelderman broke the record by a lot and going by his style it didn't seem much faster than the guys who held the previous record lol.
I don't think is a new thing. To me it is more logical to think that it is related to low to no-testing out of competition. It doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden everyone is doing the same.

Very low to No testing out of competition can be huge.
 
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On another note Quintana is shocked to see so many riders up front. He was expecting to be higher up on GC just by attrition but that didn't happen because so many riders are climbing so good. He said that the speed was so high and expected bigger selection but that didn't happened:


Quintana se mostró sorprendido, ante el amplio número de hombres que ingresaron dentro del grupo principal. “La selección en esta etapa finalmente se hizo poco a poco, por eliminación. Habría imaginado que en esta etapa reina de la Vuelta a Cataluña surgiría un grupo más selectivo llegando a lo más alto de Port Lainé, pero no”
Quintana was surprised at the large number of men who entered the main group. “The selection at this stage was finally made little by little, by elimination. I would have imagined that at this queen stage of the Tour of Catalonia a more selective group would emerge reaching the top of Port Lainé, but no "
 
Just a quick random observation that probably means nothing, so apologies in advance.
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice the increased use of words like "unbelievable" and "it's like he's riding a motor-bike" coming from the mouths of commentators? I'd post this in the Eurosport thread, but I'd prefer not to get a suspension.

It's almost like you could hear commentator's jaws drop to the floor when describing what took place today at E3 Harelebeke (sp?). Both guys in the booth were having a hard time describing what they were seeing. My point being is there was a time not too long ago when words like "unbelievable" and "motor-bike" were not used because of the inherent implications. One got the feeling that a commentator would receive a slap on the wrist for uttering those words. Now adjectives like "unbelievable" are being used in the commentary booth after what seems like a lengthy hiatus.

I know this will sound silly to a lot of people, but I don't think I'm wrong when saying that over the years some words seem to have been deleted from a commentator's vocabulary.
 
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Just a quick random observation that probably means nothing, so apologies in advance.
Is it just me, or does anyone else notice the increased use of words like "unbelievable" and "it's like he's riding a motor-bike" coming from the mouths of commentators? I'd post this in the Eurosport thread, but I'd prefer not to get a suspension.

It's almost like you could hear commentator's jaws drop to the floor when describing what took place today at E3 Harelebeke (sp?). Both guys in the booth were having a hard time describing what they were seeing. My point being is there was a time not too long ago when words like "unbelievable" and "motor-bike" were not used because of the inherent implications. One got the feeling that a commentator would receive a slap on the wrist for uttering those words. Now adjectives like "unbelievable" are being used in the commentary booth after what seems like a lengthy hiatus.

I know this will sound silly to a lot of people, but I don't think I'm wrong when saying that over the years some words seem to have been deleted from a commentator's vocabulary.
I'm not sure how much of a shift in terminology there's been, but I definitely agree that, of late, commentators (both in English and in Spanish) are struggling to provide reasonable arguments/explanations for certain things we're seeing (other than the same adjectives that come to everyone's mind in the face of such displays, which they sometimes do voice, perhaps unconsciously in the heat of the moment). And I think it might get worse as we continue to witness these exhibitions week in and week out. I'm not sure if any of you follow Armstrong's podcast TheMove, but it's hilarious to see arguably the greatest crook in the history of the sport utterly speechless or straight out saying he's never seen (or faced) anything like it.
 
I don't think is a new thing. To me it is more logical to think that it is related to low to no-testing out of competition. It doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden everyone is doing the same.

Very low to No testing out of competition can be huge.
Figures have been quoted in this thread that the myth of low to no-testing OOC is a myth - Yes, there was a reduction for parts of 2020 but it appears to be back to close normal in 2021.
 
I don't think is a new thing. To me it is more logical to think that it is related to low to no-testing out of competition. It doesn't make any sense that all of a sudden everyone is doing the same.

Very low to No testing out of competition can be huge.
So, basically the entire peloton, even riders for whom it makes no sense at all to start doping now, is taking huge risks, not knowing when covid related issues would manifest, not knowing how long they would last, or when they would end. That basically means 100% of the peloton is taking the risk of getting caught with their pants down, the moment testing can resume as before. There is basically not one clean rider in the peloton, according to this theory, because everybody is going faster. Everybody.
 
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I'm not sure how much of a shift in terminology there's been, but I definitely agree that, of late, commentators (both in English and in Spanish) are struggling to provide reasonable arguments/explanations for certain things we're seeing (other than the same adjectives that come to everyone's mind in the face of such displays, which they sometimes do voice, perhaps unconsciously in the heat of the moment). And I think it might get worse as we continue to witness these exhibitions week in and week out. I'm not sure if any of you follow Armstrong's podcast TheMove, but it's hilarious to see arguably the greatest crook in the history of the sport utterly speechless or straight out saying he's never seen (or faced) anything like it.
Check out Chris Horner's Youtube channel called the Butterfly Effect. He's generally a jovial guy who possesses what seems like a great personality, but I think an argument can be made that he's trying to stifle laughter when talking about his favourite rider, Valverde (age 40)
Horner is a funny guy who comes across like he's completely in on the joke but will say no more for obvious reasons.
 
So, basically the entire peloton, even riders for whom it makes no sense at all to start doping now, is taking huge risks, not knowing when covid related issues would manifest, not knowing how long they would last, or when they would end. That basically means 100% of the peloton is taking the risk of getting caught with their pants down, the moment testing can resume as before. There is basically not one clean rider in the peloton, according to this theory, because everybody is going faster. Everybody.
Doping is taking huge risks?! Lol. And doping makes sense for practically everyone. Not a super advanced or a high risk program, but doping to some degree makes sense for neo-pros and juniors too. What's the downside? Do you think it will hamper their development?

And I would like to see support of the claim that not just 50 % of the peloton is going faster than without covid, but 100 %.
 
I mean if there's something going on then everybody is doing it.
Because Chaves breaking the record by a lot also means Kelderman broke the record by a lot and going by his style it didn't seem much faster than the guys who held the previous record lol.
So, basically the entire peloton, even riders for whom it makes no sense at all to start doping now, is taking huge risks, not knowing when covid related issues would manifest, not knowing how long they would last, or when they would end. That basically means 100% of the peloton is taking the risk of getting caught with their pants down, the moment testing can resume as before. There is basically not one clean rider in the peloton, according to this theory, because everybody is going faster. Everybody.
Figures have been quoted in this thread that the myth of low to no-testing OOC is a myth - Yes, there was a reduction for parts of 2020 but it appears to be back to close normal in 2021.
The big problem with the "it's just less testing brah" is that

  1. A large number of riders were caught out/weren't on it straight after the lockdown. It's taken a while for everyone to be flying. Nibali was doing his usual numbers during the 2020 Giro, now in 2021 Tirreno he's crushing his Prato di Tivo times all the while losing 1'30
  2. The first huge outlier performances happened before the lockdown with Quitnana nuking the French stage races and Yates crushing UAE Tour. Perhaps there's a few in 2019 that stood out a bit less, but stuff gets more refined over time.
  3. It doesn't explain why the first races after the lockdown weren't that fast. Climbing performances in Burgos and stuff weren't extraordinary. Lombardia climbing times were slow.
  4. It doesn't explain giant shifts in form during a race, where by all means there is testing. TGH and Hindley, while talented, were no world beaters, yet they went from getting dropped on Etna by a Nibali pushing his usual numbers to destroying the latter on the big climbs in the third week. It doesn't explain how Pogacar was dropped in the queen stage of the Tour before putting almost 2 minutes into his direct competitors in the ITT.
If it were just a lack of testing, speeds shoudln't have increased between 2020 and 2021. If it were just riders finally being more fresh, it doesn't explain why riders who have served 6 month bans aren't flying faster than ever upon coming back.

If "everyone is going fast, surely not everyone is on it" is the line of defence, then I simply disagree. Everyone saw the 2020 Tour. Everyone was talking. And they weren't mincing their words. I don't think it's easy to keep secret what you're on from other riders if it's coming from team doctors and other connections. Suppliers will wanna make that $$$ and do so by selling it to as many riders as possible. And the fact that everyone is doing it hardcore makes me simply believe it's a regimen that's just undetectable right now so there's no real big risk going hardcore.

For me the only race that sticks out as not extraterrestrial is the Vuelta last year, but IIRC it had a LOT of *** weather and a lot of strong headwinds on climbs.
 
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Doping is taking huge risks?! Lol. And doping makes sense for practically everyone. Not a super advanced or a high risk program, but doping to some degree makes sense for neo-pros and juniors too. What's the downside? Do you think it will hamper their development?

And I would like to see support of the claim that not just 50 % of the peloton is going faster than without covid, but 100 %.
Are you trying to tell me being able to train more and harder and recover better will hamper your development?

In all seriousness. I think if being cleanz is so important to you, then you get out of cycling before you make it to the pro levels, cause you're not gonna get the rewards you want.
 
also, I´ve read many times the OOC testing is not effective, it can be gamed, it can be beaten. but now I read the easing and reduction of the OOCe tsting, because of obvious lockdowns measures, has made it easier for riders to dope. and probably the same people saying OOC testing is not effective, are now saying less OOC testing has riders going hard on PEDs.
 

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