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
Jul 4, 2021
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Watching a smiling Pog crush his terrified contenders in the big gear is awesome fun. Maybe he takes his vitamins, maybe he does't. Who cares. At least for me, all the mimimi from morally superior keyboard warriors will not take away from that great entertainment.
 
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The difference with Sky/Froome/Wiggo domination is that it got shrugged under the pretext of a strong team, collective effort, ””marginal gains” and such. Bar the occasional alien effort à la Ventoux 2013 it was more the team that got the spotlight. Very much like the US Postal of old and i suppose that is easier to accept for the public. With Pogacar this guy is like a already juiced up Ricco on steroids, who destroys everything in sight and you dont get the feeling he’ll need a team doing so. Yesterday was more ridiculous then anything Froome ever did (with some few exceptions) and the sort of thing that cant go on for too long before it gets suspicious imo.
I’ve never seen anything like this, but not even remotely close to this kind of full nuclear domination. I mean, even the famous Il Cobra looked far more believable and cleaner than this mutant, because the same doped up to the eyeballs Ricco lost the Giro in 2008 after the ITT to Milano. This guy can easily and without any real effort smash all the ITT specialist, and then just two days after that to literally destroy all the best climbers like they’re just a sad bunch of Cat 4 losers. When I saw him riding the Colombiere in the big ring my jaw just dropped. At the time of Pogacar’s attack Woods was something like five minutes ahead of him, but he easily bridged the gap like it were less than fifty seconds. Unbelievable…
 
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Reactions: GuntherL1
Watching a smiling Pog crush his terrified contenders in the big gear is awesome fun. Maybe he takes his vitamins, maybe he does't. Who cares. At least for me, all the mimimi from morally superior keyboard warriors will not take away from that great entertainment.
Dozens of riders died during the EPO era because they had to play along with the cheaters. I don't claim to be morally superior. I might do the same if I were in his position. The question remains whether it is important to pursue the truth. I think it is even when it compromises your entertainment.
 
Reactions: Skalman and Luthor
Cycling fans always complaining. When gc favorites attack just in the last km they say " what a boring race again, i miss the old days", now we are seeing again long range attacks and people complain "this riders are on drugs, unbelievable, it couldn't be like that". What the hell people want?
Thank you for this comment! I thought about posting it but decided not to. Glad someone else did. Add to the fact that this rider is coming from a country where quite a few here don’t seem to know much about, and you get double the criticism because it’s not your typical ‘cycling crazy nation,’ and it’s ‘Eastern European’ so it must terrible…
 
Reactions: yaco
Cycling fans always complaining. When gc favorites attack just in the last km they say " what a boring race again, i miss the old days", now we are seeing again long range attacks and people complain "this riders are on drugs, unbelievable, it couldn't be like that". What the hell people want?
Believable long attacks. You can attack and take like 30 seconds. Putting 3 minutes into GC favorites in an all-alone attack and you barely look tired is basically from Armstrong era. I was excited when Pog attacked so early but when I saw his rhythm and how he destroys everyone my excitement went to 0.
 
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Thank you for this comment! I thought about posting it but decided not to. Glad someone else did. Add to the fact that this rider is coming from a country where quite a few here don’t seem to know much about, and you get double the criticism because it’s not your typical ‘cycling crazy nation,’ and it’s ‘Eastern European’ so it must terrible…
I don't that type of "hate" about slovenia, why slovenia can't have talented riders? Talent can appear in every country.
If someday joao almeida makes great performances like pogacar, they will tell the same about my country.
 
Reactions: BullsFan22
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So what exactly is Pogacar taking? It's not like blood doping, where he regains stamina more than other riders. He's blowing rested specialists out of the water on week one. Clearly it's something that provides a massive physical advantage. I'm just curious if it's some type of steroids that aren't detectable yet, or HGH, or what.

Whatever it is, I'm amazed that it can't be detected through drug testing, because it's so obvious. This is like Barry Bonds level doping success. Do they actually want to catch dopers, or is the testing just a sham?

And is the Olympic testing any better/different?
 
So what exactly is Pogacar taking? It's not like blood doping, where he regains stamina more than other riders. He's blowing rested specialists out of the water on week one. Clearly it's something that provides a massive physical advantage. I'm just curious if it's some type of steroids that aren't detectable yet, or HGH, or what.

Whatever it is, I'm amazed that it can't be detected through drug testing, because it's so obvious. This is like Barry Bonds level doping success. Do they actually want to catch dopers, or is the testing just a sham?

And is the Olympic testing any better/different?
Do certain teams get more of a pass? Teams that might help benefit the UCI?
 
Jul 4, 2021
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Do certain teams get more of a pass? Teams that might help benefit the UCI?
I'm genuinely curious what the "testing" process is like. Do they store samples for the future? Or is it just basically a sham, where they test for things that were being used years ago, that no one takes anymore. I suspect that's the case, since Armstrong dodged failed tests for his whole career, even though everyone knew he was doping, and the UCI was trying hard to catch him.

Point being, I assume that whatever Pogacar is taking will be available to other riders in the near future. What is it? And how difficult is it to test for? Roglic looked ripped compared to last year, so I assume he upped his doping game for this TDF, after losing to Pogacar last time at the PDBF, but then he got injured.
 
Cycling fans always complaining. When gc favorites attack just in the last km they say " what a boring race again, i miss the old days", now we are seeing again long range attacks and people complain "this riders are on drugs, unbelievable, it couldn't be like that". What the hell people want?
I like attacks i can believe in. Beliefs that doesnt include some 50 km away attacks, pulling away from organised chasers at every inch on the road whilst laughing and sprinting up a col on the big ring. We have seen this for the past 30 years, everyone with an asterisk to their name if not downright stripped of their victories, or (in the best cases) some shady stuffs like TUEs on demand, another year different cheater.
 
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So what exactly is Pogacar taking? It's not like blood doping, where he regains stamina more than other riders. He's blowing rested specialists out of the water on week one. Clearly it's something that provides a massive physical advantage. I'm just curious if it's some type of steroids that aren't detectable yet, or HGH, or what.

Whatever it is, I'm amazed that it can't be detected through drug testing, because it's so obvious. This is like Barry Bonds level doping success. Do they actually want to catch dopers, or is the testing just a sham?

And is the Olympic testing any better/different?
Oxygen vector doping doesn't "just" improve your stamina regen. It allows you to go harder for longer. Not necessarily in terms of peak power, no - but in terms of threshold power, which matters far more in the mountains.

Now, i don't think that oxygen vector doping's behind such performances alone and by itself - there's probably other things in there to help build muscle mass and such - but remember that it's still quite easy to do blood transfusions without being caught. None of the Aderlass athletes seemed to have trouble with the bio-pass.

Of course, it could also be the case that it's some new kind of techno-wunderdrug. We don't know. But we also don't know anywhere near enough to rule out the "oldschool" methods of oxygen vector doping, just carried out with microdosing to fly under the radar
 
Believable long attacks. You can attack and take like 30 seconds. Putting 3 minutes into GC favorites in an all-alone attack and you barely look tired is basically from Armstrong era. I was excited when Pog attacked so early but when I saw his rhythm and how he destroys everyone my excitement went to 0.
I think back to the 2019 Vuelta stage 20 when Pogacar did a long range attack and stayed away to end up on the podium. On the final climb Roglic and Valverde put in an attack (more or less together) and rode together to basically save their 1st and 2nd ahead of Pogacar. Pogacar didn't look that exhausted at the end of that stage, while it was obvious Valverde and Roglic gave everything they had on that stage (and stayed ahead of Pog for the final GC placings).
 
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It’s not even a difficult jigsaw to complete.

Mauro Gianetti, Saunier Duval, Riccardo Ricco, Geox TMC, Juan Jose Cobo, UAE, and Tadej Pogacar.

So there are all the pieces, now just put them together.
 
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I think back to the 2019 Vuelta stage 20 when Pogacar did a long range attack and stayed away to end up on the podium. On the final climb Roglic and Valverde put in an attack (more or less together) and rode together to basically save their 1st and 2nd ahead of Pogacar. Pogacar didn't look that exhausted at the end of that stage, while it was obvious Valverde and Roglic gave everything they had on that stage (and stayed ahead of Pog for the final GC placings).
Of all the things to look for as a sign of doping a subjective assessment of how tired someone looks is one of the worst!

FWIW, I try to keep drugs and such out of it when watching cycling and just enjoy the racing, life's too short, but I am struggling with this.
 
I see nobody is mentioning the "crazy" 6.3watts/kg Pog did on Romme an Columbier
really? His "performance" has been the debate for 10 pages now. 6.3W/kg was an estimate on Romme. Not clear if that has taken weather/road into account, but i believe this was estimated based on VAM. From Columbier i didn't see any estimation. For proper numbers we would need numbers from other riders in that stage and I haven't seen anything about this.

however if you assume the 6.3W/kg @ face value... he would have had this performance over two climbs after each other. This is a on the high side of things, if you than take into account the weather and how this stage was raced, it is absolutely ridiculous.
 
Do certain teams get more of a pass? Teams that might help benefit the UCI?
I think probably just a theory based on the evidence from Aderlass, but it's assumed soluble or synthetic haemoglobin is being used by UAE & Bahrain which can't be detected by the bio passport and that due to Covid restrictions last year and this year within the Tour de France, the chance of being found in possession of it is slim. Add to the fact it doesn't even look like a doping product. La Flamme Rouge has a good article on this today.
 
Oxygen vector doping doesn't "just" improve your stamina regen. It allows you to go harder for longer. Not necessarily in terms of peak power, no - but in terms of threshold power, which matters far more in the mountains.

Now, i don't think that oxygen vector doping's behind such performances alone and by itself - there's probably other things in there to help build muscle mass and such - but remember that it's still quite easy to do blood transfusions without being caught. None of the Aderlass athletes seemed to have trouble with the bio-pass.

Of course, it could also be the case that it's some new kind of techno-wunderdrug. We don't know. But we also don't know anywhere near enough to rule out the "oldschool" methods of oxygen vector doping, just carried out with microdosing to fly under the radar
Thank you for this post. I think the problem with current controls for oxygen vector doping isn't that the bio pass can't detect micro dosing but that the evidence isn't strong enough to prove in court. Pretty sure even autologous blood is in theory detectable (age of RBCs). The other thing is some riders have been caught by the passport but not for years later - I think it was 8 years later for one rider whose name escapes me?

The other possibility is the UCI are looking the other way. It would not be the first time.

But who knows how long before the truth on Pogi and Gianetti comes out.
 
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really? His "performance" has been the debate for 10 pages now. 6.3W/kg was an estimate on Romme. Not clear if that has taken weather/road into account, but i believe this was estimated based on VAM. From Columbier i didn't see any estimation. For proper numbers we would need numbers from other riders in that stage and I haven't seen anything about this.

however if you assume the 6.3W/kg @ face value... he would have had this performance over two climbs after each other. This is a on the high side of things, if you than take into account the weather and how this stage was raced, it is absolutely ridiculous.
I dont get it what the weather has to do with it and from what I know Pogacar prefers rain over heat; anyway if the numbers are true this would put him below last years Peyresourde; the 6,3 is also estimation for Columbier based on the article posted a few posts up
 
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I dont get it what the weather has to do with it and from what I know Pogacar prefers rain over heat; anyway if the numbers are true this would put him below last years Peyresourde
Pogacar loving rain doesn't mean he goes faster in the rain. It just means his power goes down less than the other riders.

The fact he broke the Romme record, then almost broke the Colombiere record while both records were set in good weather is extremely suspicious.
 
Pogacar loving rain doesn't mean he goes faster in the rain. It just means his power goes down less than the other riders.

The fact he broke the Romme record, then almost broke the Colombiere record while both records were set in good weather is extremely suspicious.
are there any studies that show your power goes down in the rain, honest question I dont know ?
 
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Dozens of riders died during the EPO era because they had to play along with the cheaters. I don't claim to be morally superior. I might do the same if I were in his position. The question remains whether it is important to pursue the truth. I think it is even when it compromises your entertainment.
And the toll it took on those who didn't die but felt they had to compete - Pantani, Ullrich; I'm sure there are many others.

And those who are clean but can't compete and either scrape by as domestique fodder or quit the sport entirely.

But hey, as long as it's entertaining, who gives a feck, right?
 
Reactions: ChewbaccaDefense
I think the guys fighting for second should really start treating that like a potential first... for either in a few weeks or years from now. No matter what sort of program they're on at their end, we've seen the Pogacar "I'm a literal godman on a bike who rides without break a sweat" level has a habit of incurring blowback sooner or later (on that front, I don't even think Froome is safe & sound yet either). Yesterday was a small little attack at Tignes & Pogacar still rode away like Riis at Hautacam or Lance in 2001 or 2002. It's as obvious as it gets because such a performance over the entire weekend has pretty much never been done without a huge doping program... & everyone can see it.

Who knows, maybe even Roglic will eventually get his Tour title (i.e. the 2020 one).
 
It'd be nice if someone could pose a realistic challenge for Pogacar in stage 11.
Something like a collective attack on the first Ventoux descent, him dropping like in Itzulia and then 4-5 teams drilling it in the valley. That way he'd have to go all out on the second Ventoux.

Not gonna happen, I know, but one can hope.
 
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