Question Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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It's about time we address Pogacars remarkable rise since he joined UAE in 2019.

His first season as a junior wasn't anything special, but we have to remember that he was born later in year (September) which is a disadvantage at that age.
In his second season he definitely proved his talent by winning the Giro della Lunigiana.
However, in the entire season he only won two stages and never put any distance on his competitors.
His time trial abilities were less impressive. A 25th and 68th spot.

His first season as a U23 rider wasn't too great either.
He won a few youth jerseys, but didn't record a single stage win.

His second season was definitely better, but still hit and miss.
He won the Tour de l'Avenir, but didn't record a stage win.
He also finished 7th at the WC road race.
Promising, but not exceptional.

Then he moved to UAE. Its CEO is Mauro Gianetti, possibly the dirtiest rider and sports director in history.
Suddenly he started to win stage races (Algarve, California, and individual mountain stages in the Vuelta against the likes of Valverde and Roglic.
He also became a much better time trialist beating Mohoric and Tratnik in the Slovenian championship.

Give me a break.
 
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There will always be non-clinic variables that impact performances. Bernal's back, Thomas too fat, Froome FUBAR. And there's no reason not to think that blood bags are still the cornerstone of high-end programs. But there's more to it than that, I think so too. It has just been too long since major reveals for us to know much of current cocktails.
This is what I find so strange really. Like, the biggest doping scandals have usually come from some sort of investigations not necessarily related to positive tests. Even if methods have become so good that they are basically undetectable, it's weird no misstep has happened for so long. Did the peloton maybe really get significantly cleaner and is only now getting dirtier again? Is it even getting dirtier again?

My guess would be yes, not only because of climbing times, but because we basically know for a fact from a few cases that the biological passport doesn't work and bloodbags are still undetectable. But in any case I'm very curious how the next ten years will go and if we will still be sitting here talking about "how long it's been since the last major scandal".

Pogacar, Idk, it just seems a little too good for me.
 
Apr 4, 2009
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Ok so the guy is the best climber and the best TT. Just a few weeks back he was dropped in Strade by VDP & WVA. Now he can beat both. So now like he is the best classics rider also. 7 W/kg & 460 w power. What's next PR & all 5 monuments?
he did no where near that power. I would love to hear your stories of when you went fishing.
 
This is what I find so strange really. Like, the biggest doping scandals have usually come from some sort of investigations not necessarily related to positive tests. Even if methods have become so good that they are basically undetectable, it's weird no misstep has happened for so long. Did the peloton maybe really get significantly cleaner and is only now getting dirtier again? Is it even getting dirtier again?

My guess would be yes, not only because of climbing times, but because we basically know for a fact from a few cases that the biological passport doesn't work and bloodbags are still undetectable. But in any case I'm very curious how the next ten years will go and if we will still be sitting here talking about "how long it's been since the last major scandal".

Pogacar, Idk, it just seems a little too good for me.
We need your Austrian police to get back at it . . . They’re the only we can count on getting us some dirt!
 
This is what I find so strange really. Like, the biggest doping scandals have usually come from some sort of investigations not necessarily related to positive tests. Even if methods have become so good that they are basically undetectable, it's weird no misstep has happened for so long. Did the peloton maybe really get significantly cleaner and is only now getting dirtier again? Is it even getting dirtier again?

My guess would be yes, not only because of climbing times, but because we basically know for a fact from a few cases that the biological passport doesn't work and bloodbags are still undetectable. But in any case I'm very curious how the next ten years will go and if we will still be sitting here talking about "how long it's been since the last major scandal".

Pogacar, Idk, it just seems a little too good for me.
If my clean you mean "abusing compounds before they even hit the forbidden substance list" then maybe?
 
I don't believe that there are new substances related to new drugs in the last 2 years. I won't discard it, but I don't think that is the issue. For me the big issue is abusing the system during Covid 19 times. Authorities and most everyone is distracted by the Pandemic. I am not sure how much testing there has been. Soon Pogacar will find company before he knows it. Same happened in the 90's with Induraín. But riders will react fast.

As for the biological passport, you have to screw up to trip the wire. I don't know if it has gotten any better but many years ago when it was implemented I read some about it and the truth is that the UCI has to set the threshold too wide so that there is no doubt about it or that it would hold in a judicial court. So it has to be bad. I think it was beyond 98% probabilities which is way too high. maybe someone can attest to the limits.

The best that the UCI can do is sending warning letters which kind of helps since it can scare the riders. But some might not care.

.
 
As for the biological passport, you have to screw up to trip the wire. I don't know if it has gotten any better but many years ago when it was implemented I read some about it and the truth is that the UCI has to set the threshold too wide so that there is no doubt about it or that it would hold in a judicial court. So it has to be bad. I think it was beyond 98% probabilities which is way too high. maybe someone can attest to the limits.
@Sciatic basicaly referenced to it above, the moment I've lost every trust in the biological passport was two years ago when a bunch of crosscountry skiers were caught by the police, amateurishly blood doping, and not a single one would have been caught by the bio passport. Yeah, sure, those guys can trick the system with the entire effort of giving a few thousand bucks of their private earnings to some doctor, but big organisations with millions of dollars at their disposal can't. Mhm, that bio passport sounds about as bullet proof as if you literally tried to use a passport to protect you from bullets.

I feel like for two years that story is basically the only thing I've written about in the clinic and I kinda feel like I must start to annoy people, but it's simply the clear proof that there are still doping methods that are undetectable and I feel like way to few people see this story as such.

If my clean you mean "abusing compounds before they even hit the forbidden substance list" then maybe?
Well it's indeed a question of how you define clean. While I have written above about why I still think that doping is widespread, some of the old methods are certainly not used anymore nowadays and the question is whether those methods have been replaced by newer ones or if athletes just started to dope more conservatively. Looking back at the past decade I think it's absolutely possible that no brand new undetectable ped's appeared on the market and riders were only able to microdose or use bloodbags or stuff like that. That would explain why the climbing times did get a little less crazy throughout the 2010's and it only got crazy again now due to covid.
 
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I also wonder whether Froome getting off from his doping violation may have prompted some bigger name riders to dope with more impunity. The message from that case seemed to be that if you have enough money and influence (which I realize not all riders have that backup), you can roll out attorneys and favorable scientists so that even if you get caught, you won’t be caught.
 
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I also wonder whether Froome getting off from his doping violation may have prompted some bigger name riders to dope with more impunity. The message from that case seemed to be that if you have enough money and influence (which I realize not all riders have that backup), you can roll out attorneys and favorable scientists so that even if you get caught, you won’t be caught.
I honestly wonder if testing has ever really caught up with the pace of dopers, never mind even being ahead?

If you think of most 'big' doping positives in modern cycling history, it seems most occurred not as a result of random testing. Moreover, when dopers have 'come clean', on numerous occasions they've indicated the ease to which the system can be abused. With this on top of a marked decrease in testing in the past year, is it really a surprise that the performances are just that much crazier?

I mean, if Masters racers in my category are getting popped in local, mean nothing, industrial park criteriums and rural road races, I think elite sport is a whole different dimension.
 
Reactions: Sciatic
I don't believe that there are new substances related to new drugs in the last 2 years. I won't discard it, but I don't think that is the issue. For me the big issue is abusing the system during Covid 19 times. Authorities and most everyone is distracted by the Pandemic. I am not sure how much testing there has been. Soon Pogacar will find company before he knows it. Same happened in the 90's with Induraín. But riders will react fast.

As for the biological passport, you have to screw up to trip the wire. I don't know if it has gotten any better but many years ago when it was implemented I read some about it and the truth is that the UCI has to set the threshold too wide so that there is no doubt about it or that it would hold in a judicial court. So it has to be bad. I think it was beyond 98% probabilities which is way too high. maybe someone can attest to the limits.

The best that the UCI can do is sending warning letters which kind of helps since it can scare the riders. But some might not care.

.
Don't forget the crazy ruling in Spain that tossed the bio passport as evidence for doping. Yes, yes, we are talking about the Spanish courts and a Spanish rider involved, but still they did make that ruling.
 
@Sciatic basicaly referenced to it above, the moment I've lost every trust in the biological passport was two years ago when a bunch of crosscountry skiers were caught by the police, amateurishly blood doping, and not a single one would have been caught by the bio passport. Yeah, sure, those guys can trick the system with the entire effort of giving a few thousand bucks of their private earnings to some doctor, but big organisations with millions of dollars at their disposal can't. Mhm, that bio passport sounds about as bullet proof as if you literally tried to use a passport to protect you from bullets.

I feel like for two years that story is basically the only thing I've written about in the clinic and I kinda feel like I must start to annoy people, but it's simply the clear proof that there are still doping methods that are undetectable and I feel like way to few people see this story as such.
Kreuziger was also a turning point. It is better understood how you game the passport, and especially how some data points (e.g. OOC at altitude, medication) carry less weight.
 
Hmmm,
  • WvA TT'ing super strong and having sustained power for a long sprint, ok. Climbing with the best climbers and beating some of them? Not really buying it (at least lose the sprint power ;) )
  • MvdP alien accelerations and ability to recover (and his technique in cx and mtb), ok. His ability to now sustain over long distances, essentially TT, and sustain those 5 second accelerations for minutes? Not buying it. At least pick which kind of alien you are, ATP/instant acceleration, anaerobic, aerobic ...
  • TP nukes the other climbers, breaking climbing records all over the place, recovering instantly, having an incredibly suspect entourage, and not too far off the absolute worlds best in a dead flat TT (with perhaps one of the least aero positions)? Not even close to buying it.
And there you have. Posting in this thread because winner winner chicken dinner - TP is not just alien ... I don' really know what I am seeing.
 
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