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Tadej Pogacar and Mauro Giannetti

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Out of curiosity; how old are you? I was only 10 in 96, but it was not my impression that people were aware of how widespread doping was in sports at the time, but it might have been because I was a kid. I think the general public only realised after the 98 Festina doping scandal. I definitely remember people being surprised by it.

I was a teenager, so I was not fully adult yet (albeit, I fully understood what adults talked about, I was old enough for that)
Back in 96´ we were at vacation in Spain, my father loved cycling (we saw the tour every year, since I could walk) and I remember him saying ie and (I apologies for the harsh words in advance) when Riis was going full blown monster..

"Now these bloody spaniards, get a taste of their own medicine" he then pointed towards a "camping tent" were some people looked rather sad and said "Look at them, they almost have tears in their eyes"

My father told me, that to fight fire, you have to use fire.


Nobody in our family or the friends we knew or even most other Danes (or other nationalities) that we meet on that vacation were in doubt about doping.. like.. Doping was a part of cycling. It was part of all sports, it was just not out in the open and was hard denied by everyone involved (even when it was dead obvious) and even if caught, then there would be a far fetched lie about "how" it could look like doping ,but was innocently something else.


Most people however focus on the good story (Look at Dane is winning the tour, he is a hero) rather than talk about doping and cheating.. albeit. If you went into more private conversations with people and smaller groups, then people would not disagree, they would instead say.. "But atleast its a Dane" or "Who cares, we won" It is a common mentality, that I have as well now and then (we can´t focus on the negative only)


So I dare say, most people knew cheating was involved, it was more of a show, than anything, still is.


With all that being said. While the bikes, equipment and tech involved now a days is better and do yield better performance, we still see numbers, that indicate something is very comparable to 5, 10, 20 and even 30 years ago. If anything, riders today are more superhuman, than back in the 90´s and I really think that.

Pogimon is very comparable with some of the "legends" but what is different here, is his quick transformation and age.. it is just.. unbelievable.. Pogimon will win 10 years stright, if he keeps these numbers, no matter the team he is on. But we all know, that it wont end like that, because other teams will try to "catch up"



Final note.

Back in the 90´s I know people and have been offered performance enhancements in football, even as a teen. Growth hormone was widespread back then as well, even if you did not need it and again.. I know.. because I was offered it and almost forced to it, to be competitive (despite being the heighest at the team)

The same goes for today, young teens gets various enhancements, anything to enhance their "potential" sometimes it is ofc because there is an actual need (look at Messi, he had growth hormone treatment as well) the same goes for cycling.. filled with enhancements, even at a young age.


I wonder if people back in ancient tour history, talked as widely as we do, about how people used coffee to enhance themselves :)



(Sorry for the wall of text)
 
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It's the "hope" of the rest which might end up killing off all challenge, when it backfires.

I mean think about this: one month before the TdF it would have been unthinkable to imagine Pogacar getting dropped on Granon & Alpe. But here we are, with people (onlookers, media, commentators etc.) who genuinely believe Pog is vulnerable & the "Danish Dynamite" (terrible nickname fwiw) is going to explode Pog on the longer climbs. He hasn't even crashed or had any misfortune (or shown weakness). But that narrative of Jonas > Pog is cemented (Lanterne Rouge for example really believes it'll happen & Pog will crack). I just don't see why Pogacar would suddenly have become a scrote on hard long climbs. It seems like total wishful thinking.

By the evening of July 14th, other than the Covid risk this TdF could be completely over. My advice to Pogacar? Go full gas on both stages with nuclear mutantism unseen since the glorious epo era. It'll at least give us something to chat about here.
 
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I am actually worried about him being infected with covid, he did not look himself.
But no matter what, he showed a human side today.

At the end of the day, we got a firework show, but it does not change the fact, that they most likely all use performance enhancers.
 
It's the "hope" of the rest which might end up killing off all challenge, when it backfires.

I mean think about this: one month before the TdF it would have been unthinkable to imagine Pogacar getting dropped on Granon & Alpe. But here we are, with people (onlookers, media, commentators etc.) who genuinely believe Pog is vulnerable & the "Danish Dynamite" (terrible nickname fwiw) is going to explode Pog on the longer climbs. He hasn't even crashed or had any misfortune (or shown weakness). But that narrative of Jonas > Pog is cemented (Lanterne Rouge for example really believes it'll happen & Pog will crack). I just don't see why Pogacar would suddenly have become a scrote on hard long climbs. It seems like total wishful thinking.

By the evening of July 14th, other than the Covid risk this TdF could be completely over. My advice to Pogacar? Go full gas on both stages with nuclear mutantism unseen since the glorious epo era. It'll at least give us something to chat about here.

And I was totally wrong. Jumbo's new superman just annihilated Pogacar like they were in an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But, Pogacar just earned himself a spot on my "I think this guy is actually okay" list. I like riders who show a human side, i.e. first time I've ever felt this rider was more relatable.

I really don't like terminators.
 
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And I was totally wrong. Jumbo's new superman just annihilated Pogacar like they were in an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But, Pogacar just earned himself a spot on my "I think this guy is actually okay" list. I like riders who show a human side, i.e. first time I've ever felt this rider was more relatable.

I really don't like terminators.
Rogla = Goku
Vingegaard = Gohan
Pogi = Cell (or Vegeta, if you prefer)
 
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And I was totally wrong. Jumbo's new superman just annihilated Pogacar like they were in an episode of Dragon Ball Z.

But, Pogacar just earned himself a spot on my "I think this guy is actually okay" list. I like riders who show a human side, i.e. first time I've ever felt this rider was more relatable.

I really don't like terminators.

I have nothing for terminators either, hence didn't like Wout until he lost worlds last year. I don't think Jonas will keep being a terminator. (not saying he's not doped).
 
I guess even perfect cells have limits.

What a breathtaking stage. That climb was a bone-grinding wall of death. Jumbo’s strat on the Galibier was perfect, isolate Pog and make him burn up his muscle glycogen. Reminds me of how I lost a state criterium championship when it was two teammates vs. me in the breakaway, just repeatedly attacking and making me chase.

One of the things that’s irritated me the most about Pog is how bad he is tactically. The fact that he counter-attacked the 2-man duo of Roglic and Vingegaard up Galibier was a real bone-head move. His useless windsprints at the end of mountain stages, those are such low-yield actions with a cumulative cost. Just nice to see him finally pay for them.

I’m eager to see what happens tomorrow. There’s no way a normal/clean human can recover overnight from that deep an effort.
 
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I guess even perfect cells have limits.

What a breathtaking stage. That climb was a bone-grinding wall of death. Jumbo’s strat on the Galibier was perfect, isolate Pog and make him burn up his muscle glycogen. Reminds me of how I lost a state criterium championship when it was two teammates vs. me in the breakaway, just repeatedly attacking and making me chase.

One of the things that’s irritated me the most about Pog is how bad he is tactically. The fact that he counter-attacked the 2-man duo of Roglic and Vingegaard up Galibier was a real bone-head move. His useless windsprints at the end of mountain stages, those are such low-yield actions with a cumulative cost. Just nice to see him finally pay for them.

I’m eager to see what happens tomorrow. There’s no way a normal/clean human can recover overnight from that deep an effort.
That last statement is very true. If you crack on a day like today, with a combination of effort and heat stressors, your recover will be markedly impaired. Even if you have a perfect metabolism ;)

And I've been thinking the same thing about those low yield sprints at the end of stages. Either he's going so strong that he keeps on destroying people, or they have some sort of cost that demands payback.

Stillz, he's in 3rd and it is the Tour, so anything can happen!
 
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Could be heat. Could be keeping a Covid infected person riding infront of you and breathing in their breath (Majka not potentially contagious my arse), could be riding too aggressively day after day. Setting all that aside, there is no doubt this is the first time ever Pogacar has been beaten in the TdF whilst clearly giving maximum effort. There was no sandbagging here and he lost out to long term consistent performers like Bardet and Gaudu (and to an extent Quintana), guys that you will find very few clinic posts about.

This doesn't mean Pog is clean, but it sure doesn't hurt his credibility. Assuming he doesn't bounce back and ludicrously win the thing it does put a very different complexion on his abilities as an athlete.

But he had major salt deposits on his pants and shirt, so he had been sweating a lot.

Agreed. I'd imagine that the impact of the heat at other parts of the stage can have a cumulative impact on a rider and make them feel less good even when they get to the higher altitudes.
 
Yesterday I was about to write that Pogs weakness was his ego. That's what I saw Jumbo toying with today. (Pog somewhat similar to Wout imo)

Indeed. He's been riding 'carefree' with the jersey & his team, i.e. chasing breakaways unnecessarily, using energy with pointless sprints for no bonuses etc. This was either a massive statement of confidence, or totally shooting himself in the foot. It turns out it was the latter.

He's not done yet though, as long as he isn't sick or something (Covid). Jumbo have a monster train to ride defensive but we've seen where that can lead (2020).

I'm sure Gianetti will have a plan.
 
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Indeed. He's been riding 'carefree' with the jersey & his team, i.e. chasing breakaways unnecessarily, using energy with pointless sprints for no bonuses etc. This was either a massive statement of confidence, or totally shooting himself in the foot. It turns out it was the latter.

He's not done yet though, as long as he isn't sick or something (Covid). Jumbo have a monster train to ride defensive but we've seen where that can lead (2020).

I'm sure Gianetti will have a plan.


I don't think it were the efforts of the days before, he was doing rather fine the whole day except for the last 8km when he started to show some problems. Seems more like a hunger bonk imo. and if that is the case, he should probably recover fine by tomorrow. If it is something else, we should see him fading more tomorrow i believe.

Edit: i find it hard to believe it is a conditional issue... with all the zone 2 riding he does.
 
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