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.
 
Reactions: vanderbob
johnymax I agree with you that Slovenians cannot have something that the others don't have. That is laughable I agree. I don't think that anyone in here was insinuating that. Many people in this forum (not me) think that there is a new drug in the peloton. But the proof is that, not only the Slovenians, but many other cyclists have been breaking records and there have been incredible performances by several riders. Actually, by many riders. But the Slovenians are leading the way unfortunately. It could be a big coincidence, but the issue that the country is small and that there are just a few cyclists being produced by the country makes everyone wonder. I don't think there is a clear explanation.

Thanks for the history of cycling from Slovenia. I just don't agree that it is considered a power house or a country with a big cycling heritage. Sorry.

My opinion about the situation is that the OOC testing has been non-existent or extremely low because of the covid times and that has caused the big spike of performances. Some riders respond better to drugs than others, so the hierarchy of performances changes hands from one year to another. We saw that in the 90's and early 2000's. Additionally there could be several with better access or better support (teammates, coaches, friends, doctors, money, etc.). We will learn more after the covid times, as some have suggested here. It could happen that Roglic and Pogacar are the very best and that what we are seeing is a big coincidence. Time will tell. :)
 
johnymax I agree with you that Slovenians cannot have something that the others don't have. That is laughable I agree. I don't think that anyone in here was insinuating that. Many people in this forum (not me) think that there is a new drug in the peloton. But the proof is that, not only the Slovenians, but many other cyclists have been breaking records and there have been incredible performances by several riders. Actually, by many riders. But the Slovenians are leading the way unfortunately. It could be a big coincidence, but the issue that the country is small and that there are just a few cyclists being produced by the country makes everyone wonder. I don't think there is a clear explanation.

Thanks for the history of cycling from Slovenia. I just don't agree that it is considered a power house or a country with a big cycling heritage. Sorry.

My opinion about the situation is that the OOC testing has been non-existent or extremely low because of the covid times and that has caused the big spike of performances. Some riders respond better to drugs than others, so the hierarchy of performances changes hands from one year to another. We saw that in the 90's and early 2000's. Additionally there could be several with better access or better support (teammates, coaches, friends, doctors, money, etc.). We will learn more after the covid times, as some have suggested here. It could happen that Roglic and Pogacar are the very best and that what we are seeing is a big coincidence. Time will tell. :)
And you think we in Slovenia have all that :) ?, of all the rich cycling nations and we have found a winning doping formula. Also, are we talking here that only Rogla and Pogacar are on this or are 2 entire teams involved which are not slovenian
 
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johnymax I agree with you that Slovenians cannot have something that the others don't have. That is laughable I agree. I don't think that anyone in here was insinuating that. Many people in this forum (not me) think that there is a new drug in the peloton. But the proof is that, not only the Slovenians, but many other cyclists have been breaking records and there have been incredible performances by several riders. Actually, by many riders. But the Slovenians are leading the way unfortunately. It could be a big coincidence, but the issue that the country is small and that there are just a few cyclists being produced by the country makes everyone wonder. I don't think there is a clear explanation.

Thanks for the history of cycling from Slovenia. I just don't agree that it is considered a power house or a country with a big cycling heritage. Sorry.

My opinion about the situation is that the OOC testing has been non-existent or extremely low because of the covid times and that has caused the big spike of performances. Some riders respond better to drugs than others, so the hierarchy of performances changes hands from one year to another. We saw that in the 90's and early 2000's. Additionally there could be several with better access or better support (teammates, coaches, friends, doctors, money, etc.). We will learn more after the covid times, as some have suggested here. It could happen that Roglic and Pogacar are the very best and that what we are seeing is a big coincidence. Time will tell. :)
Yes, it could very well be (to put it mildly) that they are both doping - even on a cutting edge program. Maybe they both have a doping advantage over that of their rivals. But why should it be related? Both Jumbo and UAE have stepped up their performances in recent years, so what would make anyone think that their strength has anything to do with Slovenia and not their respective teams? Maybe - and this is just a fringe possibility - their ascents are unrelated (or in so far as they are related, it doesn't have anything to do with their national background).

When Sagan broke through, was that because he was Slovakian? Seems spurious. Is it really so much more unlikely for Slovenia to have both Pog and Rog than for Slovakia to have Sagan? Was the emergence of Majka and Kwiatkowski also due to a Polish doping advantage?

With the introduction of EPO there clearly was national trends - national causal relations. So I'm not ruling it out. But to me, the differences in speed are more across teams than countries. Afaik, NADOs also play a lesser role today than back then.
 
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I find Johnymax's description convincing - thank you very much for that long post. I wouldn't know the reason for two Slovenians on two different teams being more doped than others, since I don't think of state doping. Still I think the dominance of Roglic and Pogacar in most big stage races they enter cannot be compared to Federer/ Wawrinka or Kwiatkowski/ Majka. Wawrinka is hardly a world beater and Majka even less.
Maybe it is about a sports obsessed country which has other strong sportspersons - but in sports that I don't follow - and a case of small numbers.
 
true, you didnt but many are implying; "how can 2 riders from such a small nation be this good"; guess has to be some peds in our milk or something, we did recive a large portion of Chernobyl radiation on our side of the Alps; hm you never know.....
Or maybe dragons blood in your old vein ..what with all the dragons in your culture/folklore
 
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Kreuziger ended up being the fall guy for how much they were flying.
Dunno. IIRC they were already really good in 2013 it was just that Contador was in total shambles that year.

There's short term fluctuations in rider form/results that are quite a bit more mysterious to me than "team x is flying every year" or overall climbing trends going much faster.
 
Dunno. IIRC they were already really good in 2013 it was just that Contador was in total shambles that year.

There's short term fluctuations in rider form/results that are quite a bit more mysterious to me than "team x is flying every year" or overall climbing trends going much faster.
In my opinion they were definitely better in 14, not just counting Contador being better.
Isn't that the year Rodgers won 3 GT stages, Majka was doing his thing in the Giro, Tour, and TdP, and Roche riding well?
 
Reactions: Red Rick
Slovenia also has a cycling tradition of producing cyclists who run into doping issues

Positive tests

Nose
Vrecer
Fajt
Brajkovic
Kocjan
Stangelj
Furdi

>50% haematocrit

Hauptman
Golcer
Kerkez
Spilak

Anderlass

Bozic
Koren

Passport

Valjavec

Named in investigation of possession of banned substances

Hvastija
This is true, but my guess is you can say the same for almost every cycling nation in the World.
 
Thanks for the history of cycling from Slovenia. I just don't agree that it is considered a power house or a country with a big cycling heritage. Sorry.
Oh, I agree with you here. I never said they are a power house. I've stated in my post Slovenia can't compare with the tradition of the cycling power houses. I just wanted to say it's wrong to think they have no tradition in cycling at all.
 
Reactions: Escarabajo
I think Slovenia having 2 of the strongest riders is just coincidence.

Here in Belgium we had 2 strong female tennis players at one time, winning grand slams, but now ot iq back to normal with no great talents.

I see that happening for Slovenia too. Roglic and Pogacar are just an exception.
 
what adds to the mystique of two slovenians is that they are not even the same cycling generation, they are 9 years apart

but there is definitely the sky jumping factor in play, you rarely see an athlete change sports at adult age and then become amazing, under normal circumstances slovenia would only have pogacar, but they also lucked on roglic and his journey ...its like we have two amazing athletes in country of few millions lets put them into one sport, if you count doncic then 3...ha its probably a good thing doncic is too big for cycling :D
 
Yes, it could very well be (to put it mildly) that they are both doping - even on a cutting edge program. Maybe they both have a doping advantage over that of their rivals. But why should it be related? Both Jumbo and UAE have stepped up their performances in recent years, so what would make anyone think that their strength has anything to do with Slovenia and not their respective teams? Maybe - and this is just a fringe possibility - their ascents are unrelated (or in so far as they are related, it doesn't have anything to do with their national background).

When Sagan broke through, was that because he was Slovakian? Seems spurious. Is it really so much more unlikely for Slovenia to have both Pog and Rog than for Slovakia to have Sagan? Was the emergence of Majka and Kwiatkowski also due to a Polish doping advantage?

With the introduction of EPO there clearly was national trends - national causal relations. So I'm not ruling it out. But to me, the differences in speed are more across teams than countries. Afaik, NADOs also play a lesser role today than back then.
Any natinoal connection might be more down to increased doping in the local junior scene or something. But Pogacar never rode for Adria Mobil which most young Slovenians go through.
 
I guess the consensus view is that what Pogi is doing ain't normal. Then there is the company he keeps, so not much to express particular concerns over, on a day-to-day basis, really. Concern is the middle name here, and of course the whole enchilada is ridiculous.

Although several riders have performed at eyebrow rising levels this year, I quite expect him to toy with the opposition at the tour.
 
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