State of the peloton 2022

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That thread was super dumb.

Things are really quite simple in my opinion. Doping was nearly universal at one point, nobody disputes this, not even people in the pro cycling world. The theory is that this changed due to constant pressure from antidoping tests, police investigations and media attention that made the pro cycling world realize that it needed to change. Ok, sure, I certainly agree that this pressure definitely had an effect on the peloton and it helped curb the worst doping excesses. The arms race between doping and antidoping is not static after all. So far so good.

Now, we haven't had a high-profile doping case in years, no one of note has been busted, the biopassport was killed dead after the Kreuziger case, Froome was cleared because oh no what if we lose the trial, and the media focus on doping has all but disappeared since its peak in the immediate aftermath of the Armstrong affair. So that external pressure which made cycling change, quite obviously, doesn't exist anymore.

So why wouldn't doping have gone back to being as prevalent as ever, in the absence of both a relatively efficient (emphasis on 'relatively') antidoping system but ALSO of external pressures affecting the culture of the sport? Basically, in the abscene of any of the moderating influences that historically curbed doping?

Sure, you can conceivably change the culture of a sport, place or institution, and it will be somewhat resistant to changing external pressures. If all young riders reach the peloton thinking that doping is super icky, many of them won't dope. But there's little reason to think the cultural shift was ever that deep in the first place, and at any rate antidoping pressures have been largely nonexistent for years now so how long would it have taken for the doping culture to reassert itself due to the simple fact that dopers would be massively successful and completely safe? To me it's pretty obvious that the window of antidoping closed many years ago and that we're back to doping being as bad as it's ever been.

I don't even get that worked up about it anymore. Caring makes sense when change looks like a real possibility, but no one in the pro cycling world wants change now. So whatever, enjoy the circus. Just don't do so over-the-top stuff that you completely shatter my suspension of disbelief (looking at you, Wout).
 
That thread was super dumb.

Things are really quite simple in my opinion. Doping was nearly universal at one point, nobody disputes this, not even people in the pro cycling world. The theory is that this changed due to constant pressure from antidoping tests, police investigations and media attention that made the pro cycling world realize that it needed to change. Ok, sure, I certainly agree that this pressure definitely had an effect on the peloton and it helped curb the worst doping excesses. The arms race between doping and antidoping is not static after all. So far so good.

Now, we haven't had a high-profile doping case in years, no one of note has been busted, the biopassport was killed dead after the Kreuziger case, Froome was cleared because oh no what if we lose the trial, and the media focus on doping has all but disappeared since its peak in the immediate aftermath of the Armstrong affair. So that external pressure which made cycling change, quite obviously, doesn't exist anymore.

So why wouldn't doping have gone back to being as prevalent as ever, in the absence of both a relatively efficient (emphasis on 'relatively') antidoping system but ALSO of external pressures affecting the culture of the sport? Basically, in the abscene of any of the moderating influences that historically curbed doping?

Sure, you can conceivably change the culture of a sport, place or institution, and it will be somewhat resistant to changing external pressures. If all young riders reach the peloton thinking that doping is super icky, many of them won't dope. But there's little reason to think the cultural shift was ever that deep in the first place, and at any rate antidoping pressures have been largely nonexistent for years now so how long would it have taken for the doping culture to reassert itself due to the simple fact that dopers would be massively successful and completely safe? To me it's pretty obvious that the window of antidoping closed many years ago and that we're back to doping being as bad as it's ever been.

I don't even get that worked up about it anymore. Caring makes sense when change looks like a real possibility, but no one in the pro cycling world wants change now. So whatever, enjoy the circus. Just don't do so over-the-top stuff that you completely shatter my suspension of disbelief (looking at you, Wout).
It's all omerta. Simple as is. All the media, pundits, journalists have a vested interest in keeping up the charade. There is no reason not to dope, other than being a good boy.

It's so infuriating. Nothing changed, and now somehow the default assumption must be that everyone is clean because of absence of 'evidence'.
 
Yeah but it used to be journalists had an interest in talking about doping because it sold, and pundits couldn't ignore that so it forced everyone to face the music. Even that's changed now, antidoping talk is largely démodé.
 
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It's all omerta. Simple as is. All the media, pundits, journalists have a vested interest in keeping up the charade. There is no reason not to dope, other than being a good boy.

It's so infuriating. Nothing changed, and now somehow the default assumption must be that everyone is clean because of absence of 'evidence'.
David Moncoutié was talking up Pinot's chances of winning Hautacam on French Eurosport yesterday, i.e. saying he could win the stage because Wout van Aert was going to drop.

Moncoutié always was a really good boy. Super naïve of course, but a good boy nonetheless.
 
The precarious situation for journalists creates the same situation in politics, business, sport, and pretty much any other field today.

PR is getting bigger and bigger and the journalists need a job. So they cannot do the work a journalist should. They know they soon need to switch to the other side.

I am a sports noob but not a journalist noob. I think journalism being on the decline helps a lot.
 
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And yet another police investigation stirring things up. Never the testing.
Doping will always be a step ahead of testing, there will be always limitations and ways to keep results negatives, you just need good science with you. So, justice investigations are the best away to know what is really going on the peloton. I'm looking forward to see which substances were found in recent police raids. Doping was, is and will be part of cycling, if you want to continue to love the sport you must accept it. What I don't want to see again is some teams and riders having special protections from institutions because of financial and prestige reasons, like it was in the past.
 
What I don't want to see again is some teams and riders having special protections from institutions because of financial and prestige reasons, like it was in the past.
But that's an inevitable outcome of a doping free-for-all. Some countries' police will always be more vigilant and less limited by "patriotic" solidarity, some teams have better access to cutting edge research, some riders have a higher public profile making investigating them tricky.

It's never an even playing field.
 
The precarious situation for journalists creates the same situation in politics, business, sport, and pretty much any other field today.

PR is getting bigger and bigger and the journalists need a job. So they cannot do the work a journalist should. They know they soon need to switch to the other side.

I am a sports noob but not a journalist noob. I think journalism being on the decline helps a lot.
That's the problem these days, way to much conflict of interest, journalists won't say it as it is because they feel loosing perks off teams ect
 
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I don't doubt Lloyd's sincerity, he doesn't strike me as a malign individual and at least he's talking about it.

Just his judgement.

His immediate colleague circle includes;

Sean Kelly, who took copious cocktails of Amphetamines and Corticos
Wiggo, who abused the TUE system
Berto, who was implicated in puerto and banned for 'eating a dodgy steak'
Jammy Jackie, EPO

Maybe ask some of them?
 
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Honestly I'm really curious about how Rasmussen is gonna tackle the Jonas phenomenon. He is at this tour, he has a news outlet, he has been outspoken previously about Rogla. Does he dare to say anything about Jonas? He'll probably loose everything once again if he talks.

Edit: I clearly misunderstood everything Rasmussen said about Roglic 2020 :O
 
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The precarious situation for journalists creates the same situation in politics, business, sport, and pretty much any other field today.

PR is getting bigger and bigger and the journalists need a job. So they cannot do the work a journalist should. They know they soon need to switch to the other side.

I am a sports noob but not a journalist noob. I think journalism being on the decline helps a lot.
This isn't hard to understand for me. Obviously everyone involved has an incentive to pretend nothing's up. It's basically the social contract in cycling.

What's perplexing to me is how many fans are willing to eat it up.
 
Reactions: noob
Aug 10, 2021
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But that's an inevitable outcome of a doping free-for-all. Some countries' police will always be more vigilant and less limited by "patriotic" solidarity, some teams have better access to cutting edge research, some riders have a higher public profile making investigating them tricky.

It's never an even playing field.
Like in all sports. If you have best finance, science and institucional support in a country you will always be a step ahead of others.
 
I'm more concerned about the state of the peloton (or more precisely: the state of certain teams) than I have been in the last 5-6 years. There are several riders that seem to be glowing (as an old Clinic term goes). I usually find some comfort in looking at the top riders' performances as juniors - there are some of the current stars who don't quite live up to that.
 
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They just announced the Astana/Lopez situation on GCN. Read out the tweet then 30 seconds of silence and carried on talking about the race.

Nothing about Marcos Maynar or the teams he has been involved in, nothing about the Sporting Directors and staff of Astana, or the doping cases linked to that team, not even a bit of background over what he was accused of or why it's even significant.

Just silence. Not a damn word about it from any of them. Lopez is possibly the best climber in the world at high altitude, a multiple stage winner. Imagine if Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski was under investigation for drug trafficking. :laughing:
 
They just announced the Astana/Lopez situation on GCN. Read out the tweet then 30 seconds of silence and carried on talking about the race.

Nothing about Marcos Maynar or the teams he has been involved in, nothing about the Sporting Directors and staff of Astana, or that doping cases linked to that team, not even a bit of background over what he was accused of or why it's even significant.

Just silence. Not a damn word about it from any of them. Lopez is possibly the best climber in the world at high altitude, a multiple stage winner. Imagine if Harry Kane or Robert Lewandowski was under investigation for drug trafficking. :laughing:
It's big business. I start to think none of these journalists actually believe anymore, they just do their comfortable jobs & shut-up about the 'other stuff'.

It's like the Olympic games, i.e. the event is bigger than the actors within the sport & when someone gets popped for doping they get quietly shoved aside & the show goes on.

But imagine if this had happened to Lopez in the Vuelta last year after he won a MTF stage & was in the fight for the podium? Not so easy to sweep under the carpet in such a case. But here? It'll go almost unnoticed.
 
Nobody got the time or money to do a proper investigation into some of these riders and teams.

You will need resources and to identify someone that you can go after. Find a whistle blower.

You gather up evidence over time and when you have enough you arrest them. You gotta treat it like you taking down a mob boss and their family. Like criminals.

That is just never gonna happen though.
 
It's big business. I start to think none of these journalists actually believe anymore, they just do their comfortable jobs & shut-up about the 'other stuff'.
I think the journalists are themselves part of the problem. They are fans of the riders, so they don't want to hurt them by identifying illegal activities. And the majority of their readers and viewers are not interested in it either.

The media have even started to refer to big performances by dopers in the 90's as some kind of ideal. Vingegaard is compared to Riis and so on. Nobody seems to realize how immoral that is.
 
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Nobody got the time or money to do a proper investigation into some of these riders and teams.

You will need resources and to identify someone that you can go after. Find a whistle blower.

You gather up evidence over time and when you have enough you arrest them. You gotta treat it like you taking down a mob boss and their family. Like criminals.

That is just never gonna happen though.
It happened in the 90's and 00's nevertheless.
 
This isn't hard to understand for me. Obviously everyone involved has an incentive to pretend nothing's up. It's basically the social contract in cycling.

What's perplexing to me is how many fans are willing to eat it up.
We want to watch in peace the beautiful mountains and not be disturbed by ideas of drugs and dirty money etc etc. We want to be seduced by the gorgeous views and for that we need to forget about the dirtiness.

I think it's just like watching a beautiful mountain view of some beautiful cyclist and it's all beautiful and then zoomed in is a face and there's the snot from the nose or a rider blowing their nose with their hands and it's all ruined.

(personally though I like the doping stories though. It's the only crime I muster reading)
 
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I think the journalists are themselves part of the problem. They are fans of the riders, so they don't want to hurt them by identifying illegal activities. And the majority of their readers and viewers are not interested in it either.

The media have even started to refer to big performances by dopers in the 90's as some kind of ideal. Vingegaard is compared to Riis and so on. Nobody seems to realize how immoral that is.
They are a huge part of the problem but they they are just glorified PR and sales people for the sport, not proper journalists in the real sense of the word. Its all about self preservation, they won't spit in the soup since their careers and livelihoods depend upon it. They are willing to keep up the pretence to a willing audience and if anything is uncovered it will come either via law enforcement, investigative journalists from outside the sport or ex pros with an axe to grind, It certainly won't come from the UCI. As Floyd Landis said, 'we've all seen this movie before'.
 
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