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'Suspect' performances

Before I begin I just want to make it clear that I am a long time fan of professional bike racing and always will be despite its issues with performance enhancing.

I'm not sure whether it is because the pro peleton is cleaner these days that it makes exceptional performances stand out more or whether I'm simply more skeptical of sudden improvements in riders but I've noticed that I've been pretty accurate with my suspicions over the past few years. For example in the 2008 TDF I immediately did not believe Stefan Schumacher's performance in the TT, I didn't believe in Ricardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli putting their back to back alpine stages together like they did. I didn't even know who Bernard Kohl was and therefore immediately questioned him too. In every case they turned up positive for PEDs and I sort of felt vindicated.

I think it's easy for people to quickly jump onto virtually any performance these days but if you go around questioning everything then there isn't much point in being a fan of the sport. I honestly believe that in the past three years it has become easier to spot the suspects than ever before. So my question to this Forum is this:

Have there been any real suspect performances this year for you?

I know Vino is a good candidate but I'm honestly not sure yet. I really liked Cyclocosm's take on LBL this year and I'm willing to believe in good team tactics and the way the race unfolded first and foremost.
 
Oct 29, 2009
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The Bradley Wiggins trasformation seems suspect. I think most people in this forum suspect something sketchy. Also Contador's ITT last year at the Tour when he beat Cancellara is suspect . AC is 61kg (130 lbs); how he beat Spartacus, who is around 80kgs (180 lbs), on a flat TT just doesn't make sense.

I'm one of the naive few that actually think riders are clean until proven otherwise; it takes a lot for me to suspect something. This year so far, nothing really stands out, nothing out of the ordinary. Maybe Vino's return, but that probably has more to do with his past transgressions.
 
I'm probably very jaded, but think aside from a few truly clean riders that don't get many results, everyone else is doped, with only a few riders who could be considered cleaner.

That said, of course there are efforts that are suspect as being more doped. I tend to start with riders not only riding beyond previous ability, but improving beyond the age normal riders retire. But that's just me.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I'm probably very jaded, but think aside from a few truly clean riders that don't get many results, everyone else is doped, with only a few riders who could be considered cleaner.

That said, of course there are efforts that are suspect as being more doped. I tend to start with riders not only riding beyond previous ability, but improving beyond the age normal riders retire. But that's just me.

How about Gerdemann? I know he was with Cecchini, he´s suspect etc. etc...

But the way he "hangs out of the window" now, i almost believe he´s riding clean (i.e. not using doping stuff, but surley allowed medicine+infusions).
 
ImmaculateKadence said:
The Bradley Wiggins trasformation seems suspect. I think most people in this forum suspect something sketchy. Also Contador's ITT last year at the Tour when he beat Cancellara is suspect . AC is 61kg (130 lbs); how he beat Spartacus, who is around 80kgs (180 lbs), on a flat TT just doesn't make sense.

Contador has always been a good time trialist though so it's not surprising that he would be very competitive, especially near the end of a grand tour. Cancellera worked super hard during that Tour and has never been considered a big grand tour rider so he was probably a bit more tired than usual for a TT. I also believe in Cancellera's complaints about the press motorcade that was essentially leading out Contador the entire way, it does make a difference especially when you see how many motorcycles were there. So for me anyway I don't suspect that ride as much as many others.
 
King Of Molehill said:
Contador has always been a good time trialist though so it's not surprising that he would be very competitive, especially near the end of a grand tour. Cancellera worked super hard during that Tour and has never been considered a big grand tour rider so he was probably a bit more tired than usual for a TT. I also believe in Cancellera's complaints about the press motorcade that was essentially leading out Contador the entire way, it does make a difference especially when you see how many motorcycles were there. So for me anyway I don't suspect that ride as much as many others.

More than this particular performance, the sucipicion level should rise when lookin at Contador´s performace jump in 2007 after he joined JB team.

Though, personally I am still not conviced that he is doped. And I dont believe that everyone is doped, I believe there are clean riders, even amongst GT contenders.
 
A

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santacruz said:
Roddy Hammersmythe of team Sky, I think he's been drunk throughout most of this years Giro stages so far...

yeh but you cant bring the hammer on an empty bladder
 
- Emanuele Sella beats everybody by nearly 5 minutes on Alpe di Pampeago from a breakaway, then beats the leaders by 2 minutes on Passo Fedaia on a stage with 6 categorised climbs from a three-man breakaway the next day (finishing the final climb with more of a lead on the heads of state than he started with), then finishes just 6 seconds off a third consecutive stage win in the Plan de Corones ITT the following day.

- Yaroslav Popovych is a strong and incredibly talented domestique riding for Discovery. Riding for Silence-Lotto, he couldn't tell a mountain from his mother, but when reunited with Bruyneel he's one of the best in the world again.

- Michael Rasmussen overtakes Alejandro Valverde - known to be involved in Puerto - in an ITT.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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You guys who go out every weekend and get the dose of lactic acid know it dosnt have to be drugs that gives you a good day it just happens.
Why not in the pro pelerton.

Even the best have bad days and get their **** kicked often and not by someone who is on drugs.
It just happens.

Realy drugs dont make that much difference unless it is done with expert Doctors to manage it.

Leave Cycling alone get into other sports
 
Aug 4, 2009
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- Yaroslav Popovych is a strong and incredibly talented domestique riding for Discovery. Riding for Silence-Lotto, he couldn't tell a mountain from his mother, but when reunited with Bruyneel he's one of the best in the world again.

Cadel didnt pay him enough money. if you want work you pay the price and you get it. $$$$$$$$$$

How much extra dose Lance pay him.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Libertine Seguros said:
- Emanuele Sella beats everybody by nearly 5 minutes on Alpe di Pampeago from a breakaway, then beats the leaders by 2 minutes on Passo Fedaia on a stage with 6 categorised climbs from a three-man breakaway the next day (finishing the final climb with more of a lead on the heads of state than he started with), then finishes just 6 seconds off a third consecutive stage win in the Plan de Corones ITT the following day.

- Yaroslav Popovych is a strong and incredibly talented domestique riding for Discovery. Riding for Silence-Lotto, he couldn't tell a mountain from his mother, but when reunited with Bruyneel he's one of the best in the world again.

- Michael Rasmussen overtakes Alejandro Valverde - known to be involved in Puerto - in an ITT.

Rasmussen's TT wasn't so much of a suspect performance for me. Well no more suspect to his all day TT before it. If you have high sustainable power you can learn to TT. Of course we all compare it to the year before...
 
Mar 20, 2009
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Guys - RTFQ. The question was about performances this year.

Interesting point made about older riders suddenly coming good. Have any of them* produced SRM traces to show that they're no better than they ever were, but the rest of the peloton has come back to them?

*well, the ones that improved, but not so suddenly!
 
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out of interest, why would older guys (who presumably were riding through the years of crazy doping) come under suspicion now? that doesn't make much sense.
 
karlboss said:
Rasmussen's TT wasn't so much of a suspect performance for me. Well no more suspect to his all day TT before it. If you have high sustainable power you can learn to TT. Of course we all compare it to the year before...

It was the TT being so good after the previous day's performance that was why it was suspicious. Sella trouncing people on Alpe di Pampeago wasn't suspicious - the break was allowed to go as they were no GC threat, and the four fellow breakaways he crushed were Paolo Bettini (not an elite climber), José Rujano (in bad form), Vasily Kiryienka (not as good a climber as Sella) and Joaquím Rodríguez. All it needed was Rodríguez to have an off day in the bad weather, and it was 'fair enough, great ride'. But when he did it again the following day? And nearly again the day after that? THAT's when it became suspicious. Rasmussen's TT on its own was surprising but not overly suspicious. But after the ride he'd put in the previous day it was, 'hold on a second...'
 

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Jun 19, 2009
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Moose McKnuckles said:
Has anyone mentioned Isidro Nozal yet? That guy was so jacked in the Vuelta Heras won in 2003 (I believe), he probably still glows in the dark.

I think the main reason Nozal 'still glows in the dark' is because he was infamous for not showering, as it 'softened the muscles'.

Nozal got caught last year for CERA.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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wattage said:
Wiggins, Contador and Cancellara.

The stand-out this year (as in, this rider stands out because his performances have been so unusual) is Cancellara. FB has always been a super strong rider and one of the best against the clock, and I've been a big fan of his--and a supporter/defender of his in these forums--but this Spring he just seemed to be so much better than he's ever been, that it was kind of embarrassing. His MSR victory in 2008 was a well-timed and strategic attack at the end that made total sense for a rider of his abilities, and his 2006 P-R win also made sense, given than Boonen was such an odds-one favorite and was worn down by being everyone's primary focus (although there was that whole thing about the needles found in the CSC hotel parking garage, which was a little *ahem* odd). But this year he had a new found ability to just ride the entire peloton off his wheel and solo in minutes ahead of everyone, after being alone for 50 km or so. It's just kind of...freaky. It's a case of a great rider who suddenly became superman. Not the famous "donkey turned into a thoroughbred" scenario, because Cancellara has always been a thoroughbred, but a Lexus turning into a... Ferrari?
 
Moose McKnuckles said:
Has anyone mentioned Isidro Nozal yet? That guy was so jacked in the Vuelta Heras won in 2003 (I believe), he probably still glows in the dark.

Good ol' Isidro wore the maillot oro for 16 days before losing it in the final time trial. It's sad to lose out that way whoever you are, though Isidro was the most shocking rider 'in the clear' outright until last September, when his positive meant Rubén Plaza took the role.
 
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Libertine Seguros said:
It was the TT being so good after the previous day's performance that was why it was suspicious. Sella trouncing people on Alpe di Pampeago wasn't suspicious - the break was allowed to go as they were no GC threat, and the four fellow breakaways he crushed were Paolo Bettini (not an elite climber), José Rujano (in bad form), Vasily Kiryienka (not as good a climber as Sella) and Joaquím Rodríguez. All it needed was Rodríguez to have an off day in the bad weather, and it was 'fair enough, great ride'. But when he did it again the following day? And nearly again the day after that? THAT's when it became suspicious. Rasmussen's TT on its own was surprising but not overly suspicious. But after the ride he'd put in the previous day it was, 'hold on a second...'

There were six days between Rasmussen's stage win and the TT. And Valverde's performance was just dreadful that day.
 

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