Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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He can do both. He showed this year that he can manage 2 GTs and he will only go to the Tour as a helper, so he can chill for the first week.

Almeida said several times in the past that the change in training methods (or whatever you wanna call it ;)) will only show its effects next year.

I think his progression will be more linear and closer to normal. I don't expect a sudden change.
 
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I would say that podiuming a GT as a teenager (or even being in contention) is indeed an unbelievable exploit. How many times has it happened before?
Sure, it is a huge achievement. He's the youngest rider to podium a GT in, I don't know, over a century I think? But 3rd in Madrid and 4th after two weeks aren't the same thing.
How early? Earlier than the new normal of the 90's and early 00's, but this is not the return to the old normal from before then. This is different.
Do you mean Ayuso is different, or do you mean the combined performances of Ayuso, Pogačar, Evenepoel and other wonder kids?

I should probably clarify: when I say things like this, I don't mean they're clean. Mostly I look at performances like: is this "normal" for the peloton in its current state? Or is this over the top and suggests either heavier-than-normal doping, some kind of medical advantage, or (potentially)UCI corruption? When I see something as "normal for the peloton in its current state", that means I tend to think that how cleannish or heavily doped it is depends on how cleannish or heavily doped the peloton at large is (my impression for a decade now has been that the peloton has steadily become more and more heavily doped, or rather more efficiently doped, but we don't have a lot of data). Now, since I very much doubt that it's currently possible to perform at this level while riding clean, I would say Ayuso is probably a doper. But that's hardly noteworthy in itself.

My current theory for why so many youngsters are performing at the highest level is quite simple. Some time ago it would seem it was customary for very young riders and neo pros in serious teams to stay off the dope. This was so their potential could be assessed accurately, and also to ease them in. This was the reason why the top teams would often only trust their feeder teams. Perhaps that's not the current practice anymore, maybe teams feel they can assess a rider's potential accurately enough even if they get on the program immediately, or maybe the need for immediate results has proved more important than these concerns in the long run.
 
Sure, it is a huge achievement. He's the youngest rider to podium a GT in, I don't know, over a century I think? But 3rd in Madrid and 4th after two weeks aren't the same thing.

Do you mean Ayuso is different, or do you mean the combined performances of Ayuso, Pogačar, Evenepoel and other wonder kids?

I should probably clarify: when I say things like this, I don't mean they're clean. Mostly I look at performances like: is this "normal" for the peloton in its current state? Or is this over the top and suggests either heavier-than-normal doping, some kind of medical advantage, or (potentially)UCI corruption? When I see something as "normal for the peloton in its current state", that means I tend to think that how cleannish or heavily doped it is depends on how cleannish or heavily doped the peloton at large is (my impression for a decade now has been that the peloton has steadily become more and more heavily doped, or rather more efficiently doped, but we don't have a lot of data). Now, since I very much doubt that it's currently possible to perform at this level while riding clean, I would say Ayuso is probably a doper. But that's hardly noteworthy in itself.

My current theory for why so many youngsters are performing at the highest level is quite simple. Some time ago it would seem it was customary for very young riders and neo pros in serious teams to stay off the dope. This was so their potential could be assessed accurately, and also to ease them in. This was the reason why the top teams would often only trust their feeder teams. Perhaps that's not the current practice anymore, maybe teams feel they can assess a rider's potential accurately enough even if they get on the program immediately, or maybe the need for immediate results has proved more important than these concerns in the long run.
I also think power meter and contemporary training science and the average knowledge among trainers makes it a lot more easy to select for talent than it used to be when probably much more young riders trained inappropriately and were selected for training response to some old school 'common knowledge' training of the times.
 
Do you mean Ayuso is different, or do you mean the combined performances of Ayuso, Pogačar, Evenepoel and other wonder kids?
The latter.

Pinot, Bardet, Nibali, Contador etc. all showed promise quite early, but still took a few years before reaching the top level. Even Quintana was 23½ in his breakthrough Tour, three years after he won Avenir.

Some of the change is down to different training philosophy and sports science, some of that is down to earlier access to the full program, mostly because of the change in the economy of doping; but I also think it's linked to The New Acceleration in the peloton. Either (or both) because it's easier and quicker to optimise a good program now with the new formula or the full effects of it are being felt sooner, or that young age in itself is an advantage with more malleable longitudinal parameters that offsets to a greater degree now the disadvantage of not having fully matured yet.
 
In so far as a neutral playing field makes any sense, or in the alternative world without doping, would you really expect riders so young to do so well? Is this phenomenon a normalisation from a previous perverse state, or is it beyond that with the scale tipping in the other direction now?
 
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In so far as a neutral playing field makes any sense, or in the alternative world without doping, would you really expect riders so young to do so well? Is this phenomenon a normalisation from a previous perverse state, or is it beyond that with the scale tipping in the other direction now?
It’s interesting to look at peak age in other sports. Gymnasts peak very young which makes sense based on flexibility, generally starting at a very young age, and smaller bodyweight/size. Swimmers also tend to peak young but with a bit more variability. Then you have all the running disciplines peaking at later and later ages as the distance goes up, at least for aerobic disciplines.

I don’t know much about football/soccer but American football generally sees athletes improve a great deal in their 20s which has traditionally been attributed to taking time to develop the muscle/size/strength. Strength sports in general seem to be dominated by late 20s and sometimes 30s athletes.

Then you have ultramarathons and long distance triathlons where athletes in the 35-39 and sometimes even 40-44 age groups often do better than the 20-29s, although that may have more to do with access to the sport and limited saturation of talent. Top level pro long distance tri/running is still a bit more dominated by slightly older athletes but it’s been getting tighter.

Not sure if I was going anywhere with this but I think my outlook is that the physiological peak age of cyclists is probably still a bit lower than where it has historically sat, and as access to the sport and management of talent continues to increase it will probably settle somewhere in the early 20s.
 
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Not sure if I was going anywhere with this but I think my outlook is that the physiological peak age of cyclists is probably still a bit lower than where it has historically sat, and as access to the sport and management of talent continues to increase it will probably settle somewhere in the early 20s.
Agreed. Potential VO2max peak is in early 20s but it takes a lot of professional training to make the most of one's potential (i.e. maximizing sustainable percentage of VO2max and increasing VO2max itself). Better training methods in early years is probably the reason why those young guys dominate GTs fully utilizing their potential. The less intense, longer and steadier efforts needed the less critical is VO2max, which means 40 yo guys can be competitive (obviously their VO2max is still high but more importantly their aerobic effort efficiency is great after years of training).
 
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Agreed. Potential VO2max peak is in early 20s but it takes a lot of professional training to make the most of one's potential (i.e. maximizing sustainable percentage of VO2max and increasing VO2max itself). Better training methods in early years is probably the reason why those young guys dominate GTs fully utilizing their potential. The less intense, longer and steadier efforts needed the less critical is VO2max, which means 40 yo guys can be competitive (obviously their VO2max is still high but more importantly their aerobic effort efficiency is great after years of training).
I would really like to know more about why VO2Max can be higher at a younger age but other aspects of efficiency are better later on. You hit on it to some degree, but I’ve never quite understood it. I’ve also noticed the same traits in my own experiences.
 
I would really like to know more about why VO2Max can be higher at a younger age but other aspects of efficiency are better later on. You hit on it to some degree, but I’ve never quite understood it. I’ve also noticed the same traits in my own experiences.
Those young guys winning GTs show that other aspects of efficiency can peak earlier as well (with good training). As for VO2max it's associated with max. HR, which naturally peaks at a young age. Then again, it's only potential. If you only play computer games at the age of 20-25 and start training later you will obviously peak with your VO2max later.

Actually cycling is very interesting regarding efforts - they are usually very long (so a lot of base training and high aerobic threshold is needed) but practically (due to aero drag, advantage of holding wheel and climbs length) the races are usually decided by 5-60 minutes efforts (which means superb values of VO2max and anaerobic threshold are crucial). In a way this must be the most difficult endurance sport and those guys are superb in a wide spectrum of efforts length.
 
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Apr 29, 2022
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in Almeida's thread I id read he'll go for the Giro as captain.
Joao Almeida already said in a interview to Marco chagas, a former rider and journalist of rtp, channel from portugal, that he's going to the tour with pogacar. He's gonna do new things. Enough of the giro.
I don't know why some people keep with that conversation of him going to the giro as captain after he already said that he's going to the tour.
 
Those young guys winning GTs show that other aspects of efficiency can peak earlier as well (with good training). As for VO2max it's associated with max. HR, which naturally peaks at a young age. Then again, it's only potential. If you only play computer games at the age of 20-25 and start training later you will obviously peak with your VO2max later.

Actually cycling is very interesting regarding efforts - they are usually very long (so a lot of base training and high aerobic threshold is needed) but practically (due to aero drag, advantage of holding wheel and climbs length) the races are usually decided by 5-60 minutes efforts (which means superb values of VO2max and anaerobic threshold are crucial). In a way this must be the most difficult endurance sport and those guys are superb in a wide spectrum of efforts length.
For a noob when I think of young vs old I cannot not notice that the stages being less hard also might suit the younger guys better? They race it harder but the endurance isn't as good as the older guys? That's just a completely uneducated noob guess that seems to jive with my observations.
 
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For a noob when I think of young vs old I cannot not notice that the stages being less hard also might suit the younger guys better? They race it harder but the endurance isn't as good as the older guys? That's just a completely uneducated noob guess that seems to jive with my observations.
I don't think I would be able to match my 20 yo version on a hill (100 vertical meters), on foot or by bike. I was better at withstanding those few-minutes intense efforts (around VO2max) and recovering from them.
OTOH, I would feel more confident when fast trekking up a mountain (1000+ vertical meters). Those 1hour+ efforts (near or below anaerobic threshold) are better for me now. Then again, it's probably because in recent years I've been trekking in the mountains more than ever.
 
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For a noob when I think of young vs old I cannot not notice that the stages being less hard also might suit the younger guys better? They race it harder but the endurance isn't as good as the older guys? That's just a completely uneducated noob guess that seems to jive with my observations.
That is probably a factor, since Vo2 max it at it's highest at a younger age. Pure endurance and a war of attrition might favour older guys more.

That said, Pogacar's ability to handle long distance races and his ability to make multiple hard attacks in a race and go from far out is an outliner that defies that logic.

Will be interesting to see how Vine does on the team. If he also starts working with Dr. Millan he'll probably take it to the next level...
 
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So Tadej gets absolutely clobbered by Vingegaard in the Tour de France, yet crushes him today?

Seems pretty coincidental that wonderboy just barely manages to save his season with that big win at the last possible second. Big pressure? From sponsors??
The better question is: how on earth did Vinge reach such an ridiculous level at the Tour while he rarely wins any other races and no stage-races at all? (opposite to Pogacar whose base level is enough to win all year long).
 
Vingegaard hadn't done any racing since the Tour until two weeks ago, why is it a surprise that he was subpar today?
It's not just about Vinge but about the previous poster, who was surprised that Vinge lost today to Pog lol. And thinking it's because of doping.
Realistically speaking, they all dope but I was addressing that particular part, while questioning superb peak (way beyond base level, like at this Tour) is more natural in this case
 
So Tadej gets absolutely clobbered by Vingegaard in the Tour de France, yet crushes him today?

Seems pretty coincidental that wonderboy just barely manages to save his season with that big win at the last possible second. Big pressure? From sponsors??
are you new to cycling? I mean, how many months have passed from the TDF? do you know riders' form come and go, race condition, racing breaks, etc, can change?
 
So Tadej gets absolutely clobbered by Vingegaard in the Tour de France, yet crushes him today?

Seems pretty coincidental that wonderboy just barely manages to save his season with that big win at the last possible second. Big pressure? From sponsors??
save his season ahah! UAE Tour, Strade Bianche, Tirreno, Slovenia Tour, podium TDF with 3 stage wins, Montreal, Bernocchi, Lombardia
 
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One guy is decent or above average most of the year then completely dominant when the stakes are highest. The other guy is best or second best at every race year round but not necessarily much better when stakes are higher. Overall ceilings are similar. Seems like the only explanation is a difference in doping practices.
Yes exactly my point!

One guy can only manage to be in peak form for a short while, while the other is just ridiculously consistent no matter what.
 
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