The twilight zone called Portugal.

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Re:

luckyboy said:
This Pellizotti tweet - https://twitter.com/francopelli/status/760966800205045760



I have some basic Italian understanding but not fluent to understand the nuances, but seems like he didn't believe Portuguese riders were strong after all his experience but now he is coming round to believing them & #nocomment.

I guess that's enough to go in this thread
Wait, I thought the field is very clean as our oracle Ryo said that it has cleaned up a lot.
 
Jun 30, 2014
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Re:

luckyboy said:
This Pellizotti tweet - https://twitter.com/francopelli/status/760966800205045760



I have some basic Italian understanding but not fluent to understand the nuances, but seems like he didn't believe Portuguese riders were strong after all his experience but now he is coming round to believing them & #nocomment.

I guess that's enough to go in this thread
Lol Delfino, I still remember that Video of him climbing Mote Grappa with Cassani when he starts talking about rest days, how everyones body reacts different to them and how he was never really good right after a rest day. :D
Still, the guy has seen a few wild races and the fact that he's really impressed by the level at the Volta should tell you all that you need to know about those climbing speeds.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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Everything about this edition was embarassing. On the other hand, I'm glad Vinhas was allowed in the program. I wouldn't be able to stand 4 César victories in a row (considering he will return next year and win). Anyway, W52 1-2-4. I'm hereby declaring that I won't watch the Volta anymore until a massive purge of both riders and team directors alike happens. Filthy Nuno Ribeiro, filthy Américo. I refuse to take part in this clownery.
 
luckyboy said:
Vinhas trained on his TT this year :D

It is obvious that he showed potential in 2013, that is a very natural progression. Anyway, I am disappointed that the competition was supbar, they just destroyed entire race. I think that Alarcon would be next big thing when Veloso is bored.

trevim said:
Just noticed a curious fact: Alarcon went from OTL in Algarve TT to 2nd in the Volta TT.
:D
 
Jun 22, 2014
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Re:

BigMac said:
Everything about this edition was embarassing. On the other hand, I'm glad Vinhas was allowed in the program. I wouldn't be able to stand 4 César victories in a row (considering he will return next year and win). Anyway, W52 1-2-4. I'm hereby declaring that I won't watch the Volta anymore until a massive purge of both riders and team directors alike happens. Filthy Nuno Ribeiro, filthy Américo. I refuse to take part in this clownery.
It's not happening BigMac. That kind of filthyness has been at the core of the national scene for at least 15 years (more like 20). Zeferino was even worse - remember Bruno Neves f'n DYING of a heart attack during a race while riding for Maia? And Bruno Castanheira dying at 37? If you don't change for that...What's the hope? That kind of crap was happening in the very early days of EPO in the 80s from what I've learned in the clinic. We're here, almost 30 years later and nothing's changed.

They will never change. Ribeiro was busted and is a DS now. Vino style, Riis style. Once one gets to understand just how dirty it all is at every level it's impossible to believe anything will ever change.
 
Actually, Nuno was busted twice, for failing the 50%+ test when he rode for Liberty Seguros PT team in 2005, and for EPO (likely CERA) along with Guerra and Nozal in 2009. 2009 was just hideous in retrospect, it was all Nuno vs. João Cabreira, riding having been exonerated, mind-blowingly, after sample-tampering, just riding away from a group with other serial offenders like David Bernabéu (2003 Paris-Nice, Puerto), and then from the chase group behind you can see Blanco ride away just as ridiculously as César did this year. You might spot Damiano Cunego and Paolo Tiralongo suffering in their wake; a few weeks later Damiano would win two big MTFs in the Vuelta a España and Tiralongo would finish 8th on GC.

Warning: this video contains checkerboard shorts and unedited footage of Cândido Barbosa

At 1'08'50 of that video, Blanco leaves Tiago Machado and Rubén Plaza grasping at thin air and opens up a hilarious gap, rewatching this actually this is worse than César this year, Gustavo just did it close enough to the summit that he didn't have to get back into his rhythm afterward.
 
Jun 22, 2014
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Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Actually, Nuno was busted twice, for failing the 50%+ test when he rode for Liberty Seguros PT team in 2005, and for EPO (likely CERA) along with Guerra and Nozal in 2009. 2009 was just hideous in retrospect, it was all Nuno vs. João Cabreira, riding having been exonerated, mind-blowingly, after sample-tampering, just riding away from a group with other serial offenders like David Bernabéu (2003 Paris-Nice, Puerto), and then from the chase group behind you can see Blanco ride away just as ridiculously as César did this year. You might spot Damiano Cunego and Paolo Tiralongo suffering in their wake; a few weeks later Damiano would win two big MTFs in the Vuelta a España and Tiralongo would finish 8th on GC.

Warning: this video contains checkerboard shorts and unedited footage of Cândido Barbosa

At 1'08'50 of that video, Blanco leaves Tiago Machado and Rubén Plaza grasping at thin air and opens up a hilarious gap, rewatching this actually this is worse than César this year, Gustavo just did it close enough to the summit that he didn't have to get back into his rhythm afterward.
Heh, bonus points for Patrik bloody Sinkewitz in the mix as well. If there's a silver lining to the cesspit that the Volta is then it's seeing past doping glories like Schumacher, Sinkewitz, Dekker, Pellizotti and Mancebo (and I think Kash at one point?) rolling up in August and being absolute gobshite versus the nitrochargers. Oh how I wish we'd also had Hamilton, Landis, Vino, Kohl, Riccò, Lance, Ullrich...I could go on. :D
 
Yea, Kash rocked up in either 2010 or 2011 I believe, when he was with Lampre. I'd point out that Sinky actually wasn't bad at the Volta, in 2009 with PSK he'd only been back a few weeks, he won the Gouveia stage then dropped away, and in 2010 with ISD-NERI he only just missed the podium. Lelle was there that year though, riding for CarmioOro, and he was only break fodder and a domestique for Pardilla.

Don't forget that Senhora da Graça saw the rebirth of Mythical João Benta, too.
 
Re:

BigMac said:
Everything about this edition was embarassing. On the other hand, I'm glad Vinhas was allowed in the program. I wouldn't be able to stand 4 César victories in a row (considering he will return next year and win). Anyway, W52 1-2-4. I'm hereby declaring that I won't watch the Volta anymore until a massive purge of both riders and team directors alike happens. Filthy Nuno Ribeiro, filthy Américo. I refuse to take part in this clownery.
Cycling in Portugal (and I don't mean portuguese cycling) is a joke, with the honorable exception of Volta ao Algarve.
Lamborghinis as support cars are also a way bigger joke. Getting cars with more than 600hp to do the trick... well, I can't see the point even if we address marketing purposes.
 
Wow, LA Antarte is leaving cycling - http://www.record.xl.pt/modalidades/ciclismo/detalhe/la-antarte-abandona-provas-profissionais-por-temer-regresso-aos-escandalos-de-doping.html

Mario Rochas said:
"People involved in the 2008 and 2009 scandals returned to cycling in recent years"

"This happens due to the lack of firmness of the Portuguese Cycling Federation (PCF), which seems committed to the sport back to the past."

"Against this background, said that they are not the conditions to continue in the sport, or as a sports director, not as president of the LA-Antarte."

"This is the time to abandon cycling, with a clear conscience and head held high"
Don't know if I can remember a team or sponsor leaving the sport preemptively - before possible scandals- rather than as a reaction to scandals.
 
Do bear in mind that part of that may not be pre-emptive about doping scandals, but simply that they perceive it isn't worth their while continuing on while the teams like Efapel and W52 go unchecked. LA Aluminios of course got their fingers burnt back in 2008 and stepped in to save Fercase (the Paredes team) back in 2009, which they have led as title sponsors since. Although obviously this is a relative measure, LA are one of the more reputable teams in Portugal, and since the end of the days they refer to (the 2008-9 latter heyday of Liberty Seguros) have been the one Portuguese team to have any success at the Volta ao Algarve (with Edgar Pinto and Amaro Antunes). That's not to say that they're a clean team per se, their historical roster includes the likes of Tino Zaballa, and there was that photo that surfaced of post-retirement Cândido wearing an LA-Antarte camisola amarela over his Salvatore Commesso gut.

If they don't think the Portuguese authorities are trying to curb doping, it's in their interest to cut their losses; if they feel (not unreasonably of course) that W52 et al are juicing up to the max and nothing will be done about it, their choices are to get out of it while they can, grin and bear it paycheck to paycheck, or go for the "if you can't beat 'em join 'em" mentality, which would be where your pre-emptive doping scandals might come in, but given that W52 and Tavira have got the football team sponsorships, they probably can't compete financially to do so, so they either continue on at the level they are now or just quit it. They've only got 9 riders on their books; if Antunes moves on, they've got very little left to offer; Hernâni Brôco is retiring and Alejandro Marque is 34 and hasn't looked like he gives a flying one after Movistar screwed him over to get their hands on Igor Antón. Those three guys account for pretty much all of their results, so with Brôco retiring and Marque's returns diminishing, they can offer less support to retain Antunes, and without any of them they may as well not be a pro team anyhow.
 
he also says that at the end of last season, during a meeting with the portuguese federation, he threatened to leave cycling if nothing changed.

finally someone that stays true to his promises.

I just hope Amaro Antunes finds a decent team. Caja Rural would be great for him.
 
Jun 10, 2013
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That's certainly big news. It really just confirms what everybody suspects about the Portuguese scene, though. Rotten to the core.
 
Feb 7, 2016
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Yes, Portugal still seems to be in 1998 in doping years :) ... I am afraid though, that if another scandal pops up (likely with W52), there will be nothing left of the Volta, but history :(
 
Sep 8, 2009
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There were riders dying on their bikes and volta continued...the race will go on

And that's my fear, w52 might be as reckless as maia milaneza...
 
Aug 13, 2016
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Sorry for digging this up but couldn't find earlier topic: sports newspapers claiming two riders from the Portuguese peloton were busted - details still unclear (apparently more bio passport cases?), but reliable rumour-mongers point out Daniel Silva (Funvic, 3rd last year at the Volta racing for Boavista) and Sandro Filipe Silva (Louletano) as the culprits.
 
Re:

luckyboy said:
This Pellizotti tweet - https://twitter.com/francopelli/status/760966800205045760



I have some basic Italian understanding but not fluent to understand the nuances, but seems like he didn't believe Portuguese riders were strong after all his experience but now he is coming round to believing them & #nocomment.

I guess that's enough to go in this thread
i forgot about this. this is awesome. from pack fodder at the Volta to one of the best domestiques at the entire Giro. those biopassports must make JTL's look like he was on bread and water.
 
May 5, 2011
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Since this has been bumped ill point to the new star on the horizon for W-52, 31-year old Spaniard Raul Alarcon. Hes been on a rampage lately. Hes had a quiet first 10 years of his career but is finally hitting his stride.




This could become an epic showdown with Veloso in the Volta.
 
Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
What's Alarcon's official story? Presumably even in Portugal a rider who transforms like this in his thirties must get asked about it and will have an explanation for his inability to discover his apparent super talent for a decade.
Well, no one asks because everyone knows the answer.

Remember that Alarcon (and Antunes I think) were pulled out of W52 team for Vuelta a Castilla y Leon after Belda's positive. The week after, Alarcon smashed the opposition at GP Jornal de Notícias, winning 2 or 3 stages and the GC with ease.

W52 dominance this year in Portugal has been utterly ridiculous. I'm at the point where I can only laugh about it.
 
Don't forget one of the best at staying with Balarcón, both at Asturias and here, was João Benta, who is the same age, was given a 3 year ban after a positive in 2010, nobody picked him up for 2014 at all, then he bounced back with Boavista winning Torres Vedras in 2015.

As for Balarcón, he went pro with Saunier Duval, and wasn't considered worth keeping after the budget cuts when they became Fuji-Servetto in 2009. He's been a serviceable enough helper in Portugal, with the occasional decent-ish result (12th in Asturias and winning a stage of the Trofeu Agostinho in 2011, winning a stage of the Volta in 2013, but it seems like he's pressed the afterburners in July last year, vaulting to the podium of Torres Vedras and 4th in the Volta despite domestiquing, and of course this year with Vinhas being a fluke winner of the Volta and César not being interested in anything until July at least, he's suddenly become the man of the hour. Funny you should mention Belda, when of course his emergence into his 30s at Castilla y León in 2014 is a good comparison to make to Alarcón, though with Iberian cycling's calendars seemingly improving at the moment there's more races for W52 to strut their stuff at, and they're seemingly trying to go full Milaneza at the moment. And let's face it, Belda was hardly a surprise.
 

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