Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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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.
Both are equally suspect I think. If you can be as good as V was for the Tour there’s no excuse for being average in many other races. Peaking be damned. But yes being top of the world all year long is equally ridiculous.
 
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Our own inconsistency in evaluating riders as clean is wild. Even after all these years, we still can't consistently evaluate riders. I think everyone should always own their own biases in these discussions. I am a Pog fan. I've been a Pog fan from day 1. With that said, I've been consistent on how I evaluate anyone as clean. Three things have always raised my eyebrows. 1) A rider coming from nowhere to suddenly become world class. 2) A rider that has 1 peak, usually at the Tour and then seems several notches below that the rest of the year 3) A rider doing super human things including not having a bad day in a 3 week bike race. I don't care so much about known associations because this is cycling, you don't have to look far to find someone with a tainted past. Pog's connection with Giannetti is at least in the open.

Pogacar has one of the least curious rises to greatness I've seen in a while. 2016 won the national junior time trial and a 2.1 event won by guys like TGH and Remco. In 2017 while still a child he finishes in the top 5 of the Tour of Slovenia. 2018 wins the Tour de l'Avenir. So on and so forth. Beyond that, the guy is good all year round. He also has bad days. To me, if that doesn't scream clean, nothing does.


But I go back to my original point, we all see what we want to see. Which is why you either take the innocent until proven guilty approach or I don't know how you watch this sport. I am just tired of the "I am going to call my favorite rider clean while attacking the guy who beats my guy" bias. Which is why, even though have my doubts about some riders I am not going to say "so and so is dirty."
 
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I'll just add that I struggle to hold myself to my own standard. I watch a race, see a result that doesn't sit well with me and my mind goes to cheating. Sometimes I even take those doubts here. But at the end of the day, what's the point of watching a sport where you either think everyone is guilty until proven innocent or even worse that your favorites are clean while their rivals must be cheating whenever they perform well so I really try my best to see the positives in our sport and not go to a negative space either on this forum of when I am just watching a race.
 
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Yeah, I am with Sciatic. The Lance model was one big peak at the Tour which informs my view about doping leads to one big peak. I also think it makes more sense to dope for one peak than to dope all year to be good all year. That just seems like a recipe for getting caught.
 
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If the rider who is peaked year round is still outperforming the riders who super peak for a GT (minus 1) then it’s still equally or more suspicious.
I just see it in the completely opposite way. I would be genuinely shocked to find out that this generational talent, a kid who always acted like a super talent was doping this whole time, meanwhile some other people who more closely fit the profile of cheaters from the past were clean. Maybe you think everyone at the top level is dirty. But what's the point of that? So I go back to my original point about being innocent until being proven guilty.
 
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I just see it in the completely opposite way. I would be genuinely shocked to find out that this generational talent, a kid who always acted like a super talent was doping this whole time, meanwhile some other people who more closely fit the profile of cheaters from the past were clean. Maybe you think everyone at the top level is dirty. But what's the point of that? So I go back to my original point about being innocent until being proven guilty.
So you think the guys at the top do it on "bread and water" alone? Right, and I've got another deal you just can't refuse for you.
 
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So you think the guys at the top do it on "bread and water" alone? Right, and I've got another deal you just can't refuse for you.
Haha, that's funny. I can buy an argument that all the top guys are cheating. I can also buy an argument that certain one hit wonders had some 'help' but what I can't buy is that a guy whose been great since he was a junior is somehow cheating but a guy who shows up in mid 20s, after not winning anything of significance including even the Tour of the Future is clean.

But that leads me back to my original point about being consistent and not just saying "my favorite is clean but your guy, he's dirty because of this arbitrary standard I've created." That's even sillier than thinking they ride bikes up mountains on "bread and water" alone. So the alternative is to think they're both dirty. But what's the point of being a fan then? Of course they could be on unbanned legal supplements. But I choose to focus on the sporting aspect of our sport and let the rest play out as it will because for me, that's what being a fan is. You're not ignorant of what happens in the sport but you choose to trust the results because what's the point in believing everything is fake and destined to be overturned. I guess you could watch cycling thinking it's professional wrestling but I just don't see the point in that.
 
Haha, that's funny. I can buy an argument that all the top guys are cheating. I can also buy an argument that certain one hit wonders had some 'help' but what I can't buy is that a guy whose been great since he was a junior is somehow cheating but a guy who shows up in mid 20s, after not winning anything of significance including even the Tour of the Future is clean.

But that leads me back to my original point about being consistent and not just saying "my favorite is clean but your guy, he's dirty because of this arbitrary standard I've created." That's even sillier than thinking they ride bikes up mountains on "bread and water" alone. So the alternative is to think they're both dirty. But what's the point of being a fan then? Of course they could be on unbanned legal supplements. But I choose to focus on the sporting aspect of our sport and let the rest play out as it will because for me, that's what being a fan is. You're not ignorant of what happens in the sport but you choose to trust the results because what's the point in believing everything is fake and destined to be overturned. I guess you could watch cycling thinking it's professional wrestling but I just don't see the point in that.
I don't like the word "cheated," as it presupposes that there is actually a wholesome aspect, which does not exist. I think the heart of the matter has to do with being talented, or talented enough, to enter the system. From then on it's about how well the system transforms you and, of course, how much money is invested in you. Just don't make a mockery of all decency.
 
Haha, that's funny. I can buy an argument that all the top guys are cheating. I can also buy an argument that certain one hit wonders had some 'help' but what I can't buy is that a guy whose been great since he was a junior is somehow cheating but a guy who shows up in mid 20s, after not winning anything of significance including even the Tour of the Future is clean.

But that leads me back to my original point about being consistent and not just saying "my favorite is clean but your guy, he's dirty because of this arbitrary standard I've created." That's even sillier than thinking they ride bikes up mountains on "bread and water" alone. So the alternative is to think they're both dirty. But what's the point of being a fan then? Of course they could be on unbanned legal supplements. But I choose to focus on the sporting aspect of our sport and let the rest play out as it will because for me, that's what being a fan is. You're not ignorant of what happens in the sport but you choose to trust the results because what's the point in believing everything is fake and destined to be overturned. I guess you could watch cycling thinking it's professional wrestling but I just don't see the point in that.
Doping doesn’t make it fake, it doesn’t make it wrestling. A realistic view on doping in fact makes the sport more real. Because it consists of real, fallible humans. Revealing real human nature.
 
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Doping doesn’t make it fake, it doesn’t make it wrestling. A realistic view on doping in fact makes the sport more real. Because it consists of real, fallible humans. Revealing real human nature.
Sure, doping doesn't make it scripted entertainment, that's not what I meant. What irritates me is the inconsistency in how we all approach the topic. For the vast majority of fans it seems to boil down to, my favorite is probably clean but that rider I don't like so much, he's probably dirty. I think that ethos is ridiculous.

But moving beyond that, if you want to take the view that you're a non-biased observer of doping and you just like to factor it into the performances you're watching then power to you. My problem is I don't think such a point is revealing anything besides hypotheticals, unfounded rumors and gossip. In organized society there is a legal process for a reason. Simply speculating about guilt and waiting to be proven correct seems like a fool's errand to me. I feel like people do it to say "see, I knew rider x was dirty" but in reality, you didn't know, unless you were inside the team.

Which is to say, I was attracted to this thread late but I wanted to come to defend Pog not because I think he is clean or dirty but I think the speculation is at worse biased but at the best simple cynicism. But I understand we all watch the sport differently and I am not saying they ride on bread and water. I just don't see the point and being a computer detective for a sport we all love and voluntarily watch.
 
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My problem is I don't think such a point is revealing anything besides hypotheticals, unfounded rumors and gossip. In organized society there is a legal process for a reason. Simply speculating about guilt and waiting to be proven correct seems like a fool's errand to me. I feel like people do it to say "see, I knew rider x was dirty" but in reality, you didn't know, unless you were inside the team.
Well, given what we know about the sport, only a fool would believe it's not rife with pharmacological assistence, more or less beyond the limits of what's licit. And cycling has always been this way, so it's not like an earth shattering or controversial revelation. The law courts are in charge of handing out legal verdicts, which may or may not correspond to the truth, in this case CAS, about what so and so rider has taken (if such a rider was even caught). One's personal take on the state of the peleton in general and the performances of singular riders in particular is entirely another matter. Here we are dealing with how much one knows about the history of the sport, at what level one may have raced, how one interprets the data regarding power outputs, average race speeds, team medical assistence/involvement with doctors, team management, etc. And so, again, any informed spectator, without blinders on, would have to conclude that doping and pharmacological assistence has only become ever more sophisticated and subtle, although no less effective. It's the natural evolution following the big late 90s and early 2000s scandals. Yet once that Pandora's Box of blood vector doping was opened, it wasn't just going away. And that anti-doping controls and bio passpprts have actually facilitated, perhaps even complicitly, with making sure the peleton remains charged without enduring mass detection, which would surely kill the sport and the same anti-doping system that needs riders to control, but not easily catch, to exist. Drawing rational inferences based on the available evidence beyond the legal process isn't foolish, but necessary for intelligence. And remember it was only when someone decided to blow the lid off team doping that the anti-doping legal process, which had failed miserably till than and otherwise would not have been successful on its own, was able to arrive at a difinitive conviction. So I'd be wary of allowing your judgment to rest too confidently upon what the legal process has brought to bear on the sport.
 
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I don’t think we can assume team doctors have always been able to circumvent the passport. Obviously climbing times went backwards with the EPO test then introduction of the biological passport.

This struggle between teams, testers and doctors ebbs and flows. Right now I think the doctors have the edge. It might change by next season. Definitely Covid threw a spanner in the works as out of competition testing was problematic. Then we saw claims of record climbing performances in the 2020 Giro and the Alpe was climbed in 38 minutes this year which was the quickest in a long time. But there are less restrictions on OOC testing now.

I still think the passport is a great concept but only if the baseline and testing is carried out competently.
 
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I don’t think we can assume team doctors have always been able to circumvent the passport. Obviously climbing times went backwards with the EPO test then introduction of the biological passport.
But we know that some of them knew well how it worked, and thus how to stay safe (while that obviously limited them).

It's not like it came out of thin air. Teams had internal testing programs before the passport to monitor their riders' values. I believe CSC was the frontrunner.


That article links to this one from a week earlier: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/jun07/jun21news

Good quote:

Manzano slams Valverde, Aldag
Alejandro Valverde "took the same stuff that they gave me," said his former Kelme teammate Jesus Manzano. He gave a concrete example in an interview with the German magazine Stern, saying "I remember an evening after one of the Vuelta stages in 2002. Valverde came to dinner with a testosterone plaster on. After an hour he ripped it off, otherwise he would have been tested positive."
Valverde has consistently denied all doping charges.
He blasted T-Mobile Sport Director Rolf Aldag's statement that doping was a personal thing and that teammates didn't know what each other was doing. "That is a big lie. He is stlll living from cycling. Sure, he is Sport Director, he has to ensure his income. If Aldag really told everything, then he would stand there alone against thousands of cyclists. He is aware of that. So he just talks about it being a private affair."
He added, "Doping is not just the private affair of a few people. It is a cancer that is growing. And everybody knows that."
Manzano also said that Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes was still in business, "but not in the big way like before. He has exchanged quantity for quality: "If he had 200 patients before, he now has maybe 20. Just the top ones."
He concluded, "It's this way in the cycling world: When you have started, you stay with it and just change your doctor. The riders who still speak to me say: Everything has stayed the same, but we are more careful now."
 
This is what you wrote:
You're not ignorant of what happens in the sport but you choose to trust the results because what's the point in believing everything is fake and destined to be overturned. I guess you could watch cycling thinking it's professional wrestling but I just don't see the point in that.
It's not difficult to understand what you wrote. If fans don't "trust the results", it means they believe everything is fake.

Maybe greater distance will allow for more common ground. What do you believe the state of the peloton was in 1996? 2005?
 
But we know that some of them knew well how it worked, and thus how to stay safe (while that obviously limited them).

It's not like it came out of thin air. Teams had internal testing programs before the passport to monitor their riders' values. I believe CSC was the frontrunner.


That article links to this one from a week earlier: http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/jun07/jun21news

Good quote:
And this is Ricco's take in 2018.

 
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So here we are discussing Pog vs Vingo in the Pog thread. Meanwhile Vingegaard's meteoric Froome like rise from obscurity and Jumbo with the performances of WvA get another free pass. Yes of course Pogacar is a doper .... but.

I still don't swallow that Vingegaard is a better talent than Pog doping or not. Their respective careers, results and ages make this as obvious as the nose on my face. Vingo's trajectory looks much more like Froome's. What happened on Ventoux in 2021 was a shock. JV lost their leader Roglic, were desperate to avenge the 2020 TdF and found a super responder. Vingo ticks all the boxes.

For another example, we know Contador doped but most accept Contador was also a massive talent. I don't see how Vingegaard can defeat Pogacar without "pharmacological assistance ".
 
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So here we are discussing Pog vs Vingo in the Pog thread. Meanwhile Vingegaard's meteoric Froome like rise from obscurity and Jumbo with the performances of WvA get another free pass. Yes of course Pogacar is a doper .... but.

I still don't swallow that Vingegaard is a better talent than Pog doping or not. Their respective careers, results and ages make this as obvious as the nose on my face. Vingo's trajectory looks much more like Froome's. What happened on Ventoux in 2021 was a shock. JV lost their leader Roglic, were desperate to avenge the 2020 TdF and found a super responder. Vingo ticks all the boxes.

For another example, we know Contador doped but most accept Contador was also a massive talent. I don't see how Vingegaard can defeat Pogacar without "pharmacological assistance ".
I'd have to think it can also be easy to be seen as a latebloomer who comes out of nowhere just by hitting the hardcore PEDs late.
 
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I'd have to think it can also be easy to be seen as a latebloomer who comes out of nowhere just by hitting the hardcore PEDs late.
This is consistent with the theory that Jumbo needed someone to fill Roglic’s shoes and hit paydirt with a good responder. I still believe Pogacar to be a far superior talent simply based upon results over a long period at such a young age. July will be interesting but I am tipping Pog and Giannetti to set things straight.
 
This is consistent with the theory that Jumbo needed someone to fill Roglic’s shoes and hit paydirt with a good responder. I still believe Pogacar to be a far superior talent simply based upon results over a long period at such a young age. July will be interesting but I am tipping Pog and Giannetti to set things straight.
Tbh talent is such a vague term here which people will understand in different ways. I do agree that Pog is a better rider overall, but I'm not that certain about Pogacar just striking back next time.

I think Vingegaard hit a level Pogacar absolutely didn't expect. But I also think that when Pogacar said he didn't feel the same after Granon he's full of baloney. In interviews he seems very dismissive that he did anythign wrong, while before the Tour there were some rumors out of UAE that seemed pretty damn smug about how good he was.
 
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Not sure what point you are trying to make here other than the tried and true "they all do it".
Let's then assume not all pros do it. But, even so, can we really believe that a Tour with an average speed of 42 kph bespeaks of cleanliness? Answer: no. Well then, is it possible that those in the top say 30 are on just bread and water? Answer: no. That's because for the winner to average 42 km there must be high octane fuel driving the peleton. Hence if the top 30 are doped to some capacity then the rest of the peleton is too, with only possible few exceptions, because they are less strong riders, who, even to finish at that average speed, would need pharmacological assistance. At this point we must realize that if not all pros do it (all the time), to be of any consequence at the biggest World Tour races it cannot be avoided. Unless we were daft enough to believe that a Tour won at 42 kph, and what this implies for the whole group, is possible without it.
 
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