Team Ineos (Formerly the Sky thread)

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May 26, 2010
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DirtyWorks said:
The UCI has granted free doping passes before. They gave one to Armstrong, they would have given one to Contador if it hadn't leaked. Why not now?

ASO has done very well with public funds paying for a Grande Depart, and the UCI has granted a number of new, high-level races to the UK supported with public funds. It seems like everyone wins.

We know the second part isn't true either as other performances are almost matching EPO times.
I have suggested this before and got shouted down, but it doesn't seem far fetched when i think of the things those who oversaw the sport got up to in the past.
 
Dear Wiggo said:
Do you mind enumerating which of these you feel yield marginal gains? And could you please clarify if said marginal gains differentiate Sky from other teams, or lift Sky to the same level as other teams?
Look, many of the things included under marginal gains do make performance differences. Many of them were done by other teams before Sky, many of them Sky themselves don't always adhere to. We've had a good laugh at some of the things being touted as marginal gains that have been around for years, or some of the things overlooked e.g. Froome wind tunnel testing. Some of it surely is nonsense or is exaggerated to a ludicrous extent by PR people who seemingly have no idea how silly they sound trying to sell us on how a bit of pineapple juice in the bidons would have justified Bjarne Riis. But that doesn't mean that all of it is necessarily nonsense, just that it's exaggerated to the point of turning it into a figure of fun.
RownhamHill said:
This all very fair minded analysis, but it only takes us so far though doesn't it? By this I mean, if Froome was clean until Summer 2011 and then went on the 'full programme' how come he became so dominant so quickly? There's plenty of riders that have been popped in recent years for EPO etc (Di luca and Santiwhat'shisname at the Giro) and while they were decent riders, riding decently, they weren't pulling up any trees in comparison to what Froome has done since 2011. It's hard to imagine that Froome just started to dope in the usual fashion, and uniquely became the dominant athlete he has - unless he really has got a completely free pass from the UCI, and no-one else is doping, or something similar - which stretches my own personal credulity as much as his rapid rise.

And it's in that central mystery - just how did Froome rise so high, so rapidly - that the interesting ambiguity arises.
Well, the immediate counterpoint to that would be that the characteristics of bilharzia mean that Froome effectively had a biopassport carte blanche at that point in time, all previous values could be argued artificially deflated due to the bilharzia. However, once he'd hit that 2011 Vuelta level, he was beholden to stay at it. Superpeaking isn't so much of an option in the days of the biopassport, so the levels obtained then, whether through legal or nefarious means, have to be maintained, otherwise you get busted for values that stand out once more tests at a different level come out, like happened to Antonio Amorim and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Libertine Seguros said:
Look, many of the things included under marginal gains do make performance differences. Many of them were done by other teams before Sky, many of them Sky themselves don't always adhere to. We've had a good laugh at some of the things being touted as marginal gains that have been around for years, or some of the things overlooked e.g. Froome wind tunnel testing. Some of it surely is nonsense or is exaggerated to a ludicrous extent by PR people who seemingly have no idea how silly they sound trying to sell us on how a bit of pineapple juice in the bidons would have justified Bjarne Riis. But that doesn't mean that all of it is necessarily nonsense, just that it's exaggerated to the point of turning it into a figure of fun.
It was a sincere question. From your answer I get the feeling you may be reading more into it than that. I'm not trying to have a laugh.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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It's my belief that things like GW5015 or SR9000 won't show up on the passport.

And given the passport's ranges, the focus would be on things that do not manipulate blood parameters too much - like Gw5015 or SR9000. OOC testing is limited or non existent, so recovery drugs that allow you to train really hard and then some minute BB + retic boosting EPO at select points in GTs / just before classics.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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Benotti69 said:
For those complaining about content in this Sky thread, remember it is not like Sky spew enough laughable content themselves which has contributed to the length of this thread. ;)
That's a good story. However the drawn out nature of the thread is testament to a slow trodding around in ever decreasing circles. The debate hasn't moved forward in two years hence from once being active (as La Flo was at pains to point out) to a very occasional contribution. Because in that time nothing new has really emerged. We have performance and a brief association with Leinders. But nothing like the anecdotal and real proof that emerged about Armstrong from very early on, to whom everyone is so endlessly keen to compare Sky's operation to. It is an easy assumption to make, and not without good reason I will add, that Sky is merely the re-telling of pretty much every other success story in cycling, but there should be some respect for the opinion that its not as clear cut and easy as that. Justice is blind, and justice must be weighed on the evidence provided. To circumvent that delivers us into a mob mentality, which is what I rail against in here chiefly. For many the evidence is incontrovertible, and there's no need for the jury to retire, but others, like me, aren't willing to convict just yet. Apparently this makes me a Skybot, because I reserve judgement and seek to point out flaws in other people's logic where fit. But ultimately I want truth, and nothing else, and I want cheats out of the sport, whoever they are. Given the UCI's complicity in the Armstrong lie, I understand the lack of confidence in the authorities to effectively deal with the cheats, coupled with the paucity in testing and the advancing sophistication of the cheating taking place, but Armstrong was caught. The truth will out
 
May 26, 2010
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JimmyFingers said:
That's a good story. However the drawn out nature of the thread is testament to a slow trodding around in ever decreasing circles. The debate hasn't moved forward in two years hence from once being active (as La Flo was at pains to point out) to a very occasional contribution. Because in that time nothing new has really emerged. We have performance and a brief association with Leinders. But nothing like the anecdotal and real proof that emerged about Armstrong from very early on, to whom everyone is so endlessly keen to compare Sky's operation to. It is an easy assumption to make, and not without good reason I will add, that Sky is merely the re-telling of pretty much every other success story in cycling, but there should be some respect for the opinion that its not as clear cut and easy as that. Justice is blind, and justice must be weighed on the evidence provided. To circumvent that delivers us into a mob mentality, which is what I rail against in here chiefly. For many the evidence is incontrovertible, and there's no need for the jury to retire, but others, like me, aren't willing to convict just yet. Apparently this makes me a Skybot, because I reserve judgement and seek to point out flaws in other people's logic where fit. But ultimately I want truth, and nothing else, and I want cheats out of the sport, whoever they are. Given the UCI's complicity in the Armstrong lie, I understand the lack of confidence in the authorities to effectively deal with the cheats, coupled with the paucity in testing and the advancing sophistication of the cheating taking place, but Armstrong was caught. The truth will out

And yet you felt the need to add something new? :rolleyes:

PS I have no doubt the truth will out, it is the manner in which it outs and whether people are exposed properly for their cheating and made pay for it.

I am happy Armstrong has been caught and banned, but not that Indurain gets to keep his wins...........
 
Jul 21, 2012
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I too hope for justice jimmy. maybe Horner and Contador will juice to the max and deliver sky some well deserved defeat. All is not lost yet.
 
Dear Wiggo said:
It was a sincere question. From your answer I get the feeling you may be reading more into it than that. I'm not trying to have a laugh.
Unfortunately without more knowledge of the methods of other teams that perhaps haven't had the same scrutiny as Sky, I can't honestly judge whether the marginal gains they've mentioned would put them above or just level with other teams. Who was the Sky rider who mentioned being in the same hotel as Ag2r a couple of years ago and being surprised at how advanced some of their training stuff was? See, if you'd have asked me, at least a couple of years ago before they signed Betancur and Pozzovivo, I'd have anticipated Ag2r to be one of the less corporate, science-driven teams in the bunch, so the eyesight test has failed me on that front. And of course, the other teams aren't having to use these methods as a public justification for smashing the péloton to all parts, because there aren't many other teams that are doing that, and also, quoth Marc Madiot back in 2010, "we put riders in wind tunnels too, we just don't have to put a press release out to say so."

I guess in summation, a lot of the performance gains that are cooed about in Sky's marginal gains PR drivel are indeed performance gains, but they are exactly as Sky describe them: marginal. And while they may improve performance, do they improve performance over that of other teams? Are other teams using those gains? That I do not pretend to know. However all of the "marginal gains" that have been publicised so far, if they ARE the answer, would have been plundered without a second thought by every single other team as soon as they were heard, because Sky's superiority over the last couple of years could in no way be described as being as marginal as the gains that we are being told about.
 
Mar 25, 2013
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Armstrong and former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid will be invited for confidential, closed-door interviews with the panel which is based at Lausanne, Switzerland.

None of the trio has committed publicly to meeting with the panel, which is chaired by Swiss politician and prosecutor **** Marty.

Froome said the panel could engage "not just necessarily those three, but anyone really who is part of that era and can contribute to resolving it.''

"It's going to be more negative publicity for the sport. That's never good,'' Froome acknowledged.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11214238
 
Jul 17, 2012
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Daniel Benson said:
A gentle reminder that the topic is Sky, not the Sky thread and it's merits. Keep it on track please.
I think that's the point: there's nothing new to really discuss, the the discussion turns in those ever decreasing circles I mentioned.

And on topic, great win by Stannard in the Omloop, a favourite rider of mine and pleasing that his win didn't merit the hysteria usually met with a Sky win. I have reservations about Froome, but not Stannard, at least not more than any rider, so hovering about the 85% mark
 
Jul 21, 2012
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JimmyFingers said:
I think that's the point: there's nothing new to really discuss, the the discussion turns in those ever decreasing circles I mentioned.

And on topic, great win by Stannard in the Omloop, a favourite rider of mine and pleasing that his win didn't merit the hysteria usually met with a Sky win. I have reservations about Froome, but not Stannard, at least not more than any rider, so hovering about the 85% mark
There is always new things to discuss, the season has just started and Froome already did 6.7w/kg for 20 minutes. I know this means nothing to you (unless it was Horner, then it is evidence of doping), but Im sure there is more to come this year. Stay tuned Jimmy.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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the sceptic said:
I too hope for justice jimmy. maybe Horner and Contador will juice to the max and deliver sky some well deserved defeat. All is not lost yet.
See I don't grasp the logic here, all cheats are equal in my eyes, if Contador cheated his way to his wins, and Horner to his, then why be preferential in who you want to win, one cheater over another? Is Contador the new Pantani and any Sky rider the new Armstrong? It calls your objectivity into question, and your logic. I don't want any cheats to win.
 
Jul 17, 2012
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the sceptic said:
There is always new things to discuss, the season has just started and Froome already did 6.7w/kg for 20 minutes. I know this means nothing to you (unless it was Horner, then it is evidence of doping), but Im sure there is more to come this year. Stay tuned Jimmy.
Strawman on Horner, I've never said his performance is evidence of anything. And I personally baulk at using performance as proof, and as I said, I have reservation about Froome.
 
Dec 13, 2012
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JimmyFingers said:
Strawman on Horner, I've never said his performance is evidence of anything. And I personally baulk at using performance as proof, and as I said, I have reservation about Froome.
Do you believe in Wiggins?
 
Libertine Seguros said:
Well, the immediate counterpoint to that would be that the characteristics of bilharzia mean that Froome effectively had a biopassport carte blanche at that point in time, all previous values could be argued artificially deflated due to the bilharzia. However, once he'd hit that 2011 Vuelta level, he was beholden to stay at it. Superpeaking isn't so much of an option in the days of the biopassport, so the levels obtained then, whether through legal or nefarious means, have to be maintained, otherwise you get busted for values that stand out once more tests at a different level come out, like happened to Antonio Amorim and Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.
OK, so in other words his unique opportunity is that he might have got a 'do over' on his passport, and reset it to the maximum level using EPO/transfusions from the Vuelta onwards, which he has maintained since?

That does make some sense, thanks for explaining. I'm not entirely clear how his new passport would compare to his 2008/2009 values though (which I have in my mind were pre-bilharzia though not sure about that). I don't pretend to be an expert on blood passports, but my assumption would be that if you graphed a 'normal' blood profile in these kind of circumstances you'd expect to see a relatively stable trend line in 08-09 to the point of illness, then a declining line until the illness is diagnosed, then a haywire line over the period of illness/treatments before the profile settles back down (or up) to the pre-existing trend-line? If it has settled down to a higher trend line then, yeah, that sounds to this layman hella-dodgy - you would hope the independent passport committee might have spotted that though. . .
 
Dec 13, 2012
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Tiernan-Locke is an obvious case of trying to peak for the Worlds and not maintaining that early next season. This can be the only reason I can think of as to how Wiggins/Froome were so good for so long in each of the previous two years.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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RownhamHill said:
This all very fair minded analysis, but it only takes us so far though doesn't it? By this I mean, if Froome was clean until Summer 2011 and then went on the 'full programme' how come he became so dominant so quickly? There's plenty of riders that have been popped in recent years for EPO etc (Di luca and Santiwhat'shisname at the Giro) and while they were decent riders, riding decently, they weren't pulling up any trees in comparison to what Froome has done since 2011. It's hard to imagine that Froome just started to dope in the usual fashion, and uniquely became the dominant athlete he has - unless he really has got a completely free pass from the UCI, and no-one else is doping, or something similar - which stretches my own personal credulity as much as his rapid rise.

And it's in that central mystery - just how did Froome rise so high, so rapidly - that the interesting ambiguity arises.
The idea that not all athletes respond the same to this program or that program has been touted as underpinning the entire discussion around doping. It's one of the reasons doping does not create a level playing field. It has been posited that Armstrong was one such "super-responder" ... i.e., even if everybody was doing more or less the same thing, Armstrong's physiology allowed him to enjoy a significantly more pronounced benefit from doping. And thus the rejection of doping, quite apart from any moral objections ... that is, we don't want procycling to be about who has the "best" reaction to various pharmacological substances. Makes some sense on an intuitive level: if your HCT is naturally 47, how much do you stand to gain by taking it to 49? Clearly the guy starting at 39 has more low hanging fruit to pick.

So maybe Froome is just the "super-responder" du jour, and his dramatic improvement as compared to DiLuca or whoever should not be so surprising.
 
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