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Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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Jens Voigt conveniently brings up how much less labored dopers looked during the EPO era at least five times a year, which goes to show why I don‘t believe this at all, because it‘s mostly brought up by people who don‘t ride like that and think that looking good on the bike must mean someone’s cheating. Vingegaard for example always looks like he‘s frantically vacuuming in all the air when he‘s going full gas. Ethan Hayter always looks effortless like he‘s not even riding hard just like Quintana, yet that doesn’t mean he‘s more or less doped than Mauri Vansevenant or Bauke Mollema. Bjarne Riis must have been doping way less and that Ullrich guy could barely turn over his gear… cleans. Dopers and clean riders have never been doping more or less based on their movements on the bike or how labored they looked. Did Pogačar start doping more when he started moving around less to make his riding style more efficient? No, how would Coal miner Pogačar have won anything back then. He was cheating then and he‘s cheating now but you can‘t read it from how he looks on the bike.
 
MSR, however, in the modern age is least suited to him so understandable. He arrived at the WCs over-cooked and not targeting them specifically like two other Bigs. Last year's Tour he hastened his prep, whereas two years ago sinned of hubris (Vingegaard is a separate discussion). So those major exceptions have their reasons, in primis because Jonas is another mutant. But Tadej currently is making a mockery of things.
Yeah, opposition was 2nd tier at Strade and again now at the Giro, he lost San Remo, didn't race Flanders, and at LBL, the strongest opposition was again missing. He may have won all of those anyway, granted. But I think we can agree that "all the time" is an exaggeration.
 
Jens Voigt conveniently brings up how much less labored dopers looked during the EPO era at least five times a year, which goes to show why I don‘t believe this at all, because it‘s mostly brought up by people who don‘t ride like that and think that looking good on the bike must mean someone’s cheating. Vingegaard for example always looks like he‘s frantically vacuuming in all the air when he‘s going full gas. Ethan Hayter always looks effortless like he‘s not even riding hard just like Quintana, yet that doesn’t mean he‘s more or less doped than Mauri Vansevenant or Bauke Mollema. Bjarne Riis must have been doping way less and that Ullrich guy could barely turn over his gear… cleans. Dopers and clean riders have never been doping more or less based on their movements on the bike or how labored they looked. Did Pogačar start doping more when he started moving around less to make his riding style more efficient? No, how would Coal miner Pogačar have won anything back then. He was cheating then and he‘s cheating now but you can‘t read it from how he looks on the bike.
Talking about that and calling it evidence of doping really just undermines actual evidence.
 
Yeah, opposition was 2nd tier at Strade and again now at the Giro, he lost San Remo, didn't race Flanders, and at LBL, the strongest opposition was again missing. He may have won all of those anyway, granted. But I think we can agree that "all the time" is an exaggeration.
If "all the time" can be applied to any cyclist today, then it's Pogacar. I mean his batting average, in cycling terms, is beyond ridiculous.
 
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Jens Voigt conveniently brings up how much less labored dopers looked during the EPO era at least five times a year, which goes to show why I don‘t believe this at all, because it‘s mostly brought up by people who don‘t ride like that and think that looking good on the bike must mean someone’s cheating. Vingegaard for example always looks like he‘s frantically vacuuming in all the air when he‘s going full gas. Ethan Hayter always looks effortless like he‘s not even riding hard just like Quintana, yet that doesn’t mean he‘s more or less doped than Mauri Vansevenant or Bauke Mollema. Bjarne Riis must have been doping way less and that Ullrich guy could barely turn over his gear… cleans. Dopers and clean riders have never been doping more or less based on their movements on the bike or how labored they looked. Did Pogačar start doping more when he started moving around less to make his riding style more efficient? No, how would Coal miner Pogačar have won anything back then. He was cheating then and he‘s cheating now but you can‘t read it from how he looks on the bike.
While there are many truths to this, there is at least one exception. At the high-end, when circumstances are physically challenging enough, people will betray effort in some ways that are visible. It could be during the effort or immediately following. This is even more prominent during a long road race compared to say, a time trial, primarily because for a really fit athletes, a time trial is not going to be limited by endurance, and going over capacity during the TT is often counterproductive.

But each to their own opinion. I have often found that for our favorite riders, we will put the blinders on at least partly if not fully. I have been guilty of this myself, not only watching races, but being in them. I have ridden with some really awesome and talented guys who were also rampant dopers, as well as complete pr*cks who were simply hugely talented but clean. But the dopers always made it look that much easier. At my current level and advanced age, if somebody rips up a mountain like I'm standing still and looks effortless, that's just life. But at the elite level, to make that kind of a gap and keep it going while riding within yourself, it makes you a huge outlier which in and of itself is fairly suspicious in the professional sports world.
 
While there are many truths to this, there is at least one exception. At the high-end, when circumstances are physically challenging enough, people will betray effort in some ways that are visible. It could be during the effort or immediately following. This is even more prominent during a long road race compared to say, a time trial, primarily because for a really fit athletes, a time trial is not going to be limited by endurance, and going over capacity during the TT is often counterproductive.

But each to their own opinion. I have often found that for our favorite riders, we will put the blinders on at least partly if not fully. I have been guilty of this myself, not only watching races, but being in them. I have ridden with some really awesome and talented guys who were also rampant dopers, as well as complete pr*cks who were simply hugely talented but clean. But the dopers always made it look that much easier. At my current level and advanced age, if somebody rips up a mountain like I'm standing still and looks effortless, that's just life. But at the elite level, to make that kind of a gap and keep it going while riding within yourself, it makes you a huge outlier which in and of itself is fairly suspicious in the professional sports world.
Amen, I too on pane e acqua have been in brakes with doped riders, always suffering like a pig to get a decent result. One doped rider on my team even said you have to get on a program and, exaggerating, said I'd win 18 races in a season. Unfortunately, I'm not making this *** up.
 
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Comparing watts and climbs is so boring and partly irrelevant. You (also) have to look at the body (face)language of Pogacar and the opponents. He ridiculed the opposition and did so literally and figuratively with a smile. I am more and more convinced that things are not happening in a normal (and permitted) way. It's starting to look more and more like Armstrong's cycling style. Not jumping, just accelerate and maintain that acceleration for hundreds of meters. Afterwards, lower the speed slightly and maintain it until the finish. While the opponents themselves can hardly accelerate a little. To reduce the speed very soon after and more than Poga. With current research methods, this sophisticated deception can never end. As it didn't with Armstrong. Simply using EPO, then detectable for years...... But his cheating did not come to light in a laboratory. I think the same is happening with Pogacar and Vingegaard (and some of their teammates).
I agree. If Pogacar was doing this ten years ago, he’d have taken the impossible to break Sky Train and just left it for dead. His accelerations are brutal, not like a classic climber who tries to make a jump before settling back, but in the way he just goes like the flick of a switch. Then when you wait for the inevitable red line to be hit (because nature tells you it must) he just keeps going at an insane speed, the cadence of his peddling barely letting up. Bonkers.
 
I agree. If Pogacar was doing this ten years ago, he’d have taken the impossible to break Sky Train and just left it for dead. His accelerations are brutal, not like a classic climber who tries to make a jump before settling back, but in the way he just goes like the flick of a switch. Then when you wait for the inevitable red line to be hit (because nature tells you it must) he just keeps going at an insane speed, the cadence of his peddling barely letting up. Bonkers.

there you go. I'm a Sky fan and I remember when outrage was ehm... sky high for that Sky-train. nowadays they'd get smashed, and the anti-sky folks on here and twitter are gone
 
On the pod the other day Friebe at least acknowledged social media was blowing up with doping talk. The reaction of supposed journalist Brian Nygaard tells you everything. He said he hadn't bothered to look at social media and when Freibe asked him if there was any talk in the press room at the Giro, Nygaard gave a flat, "no". Basically, see, hear and speak no evil.
 
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Yeah, opposition was 2nd tier at Strade and again now at the Giro, he lost San Remo, didn't race Flanders, and at LBL, the strongest opposition was again missing. He may have won all of those anyway, granted. But I think we can agree that "all the time" is an exaggeration.
So Martinez is 2nd tier as well? Former GC winner of Algarve, Basque Country and Dauphiné? Beat Evenepoel twice uphill in February...
 
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On the pod the other day Friebe at least acknowledged social media was blowing up with doping talk. The reaction of supposed journalist Brian Nygaard tells you everything. He said he hadn't bothered to look at social media and when Freibe asked him if there was any talk in the press room at the Giro, Nygaard gave a flat, "no". Basically, see, hear and speak no evil.
They don't want to lose access to Pogacar or worse, their jobs. Very few journalists dare to ask questions. That was not only the case with Armstrong. So many got away with it. Just take a look at Indurain, Gilbert in 2011, Froome on the e-bike on the Ventoux or 41 year old Vuelta winner Horner.
 
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So Martinez is 2nd tier as well? Former GC winner of Algarve, Basque Country and Dauphiné? Beat Evenepoel twice uphill in February...

Thomas is an accomplished GT rider, Martinez is also a proven stage-racer and so is O'Connor. Sure, Thomas is not at his best anymore. But let's be honest: everyone except Vingo and maybe Rogla would look second tier vs Pogacar in this race.
 
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Thomas is an accomplished GT rider, Martinez is also a proven stage-racer and so is O'Connor. Sure, Thomas is not at his best anymore. But let's be honest: everyone except Vingo and maybe Rogla would look second tier vs Pogacar in this race.
I think Vingegaards performances in the TdF need some adjustment. In 2022, he beat Pogacar thanks to the teamwork and tactical errors by Pogacar. In 2023, Pogacar had a disturbed preparation, but still dropped Vingegaard, 3 times uphill. Vingegaards time trial was brilliant, but we forget that Pogacar finished second and put more than a minute on everyone else.
Rog and REv are equally matched and no competition for those two imho. I guess they're second tier as well.
 
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