Timing of EPO in early 90's that doesn't add up..

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I do really want to park this convo for now, I think we've made our points and we're not going to get much further without fresh data. However, I'd be gratfeul if you'd indulge me with this and talk about Giovanetti, the odd one out in the 1990 Italian renaissance given he rode for a Spanish team. Over on another thread you said this about his Vuelta victory:Fortunately, among the few cycling books that made the house move with me before lockdown was the Fallon/Bell Vuelta book. Their version of the story of that year's race is consistent with what you said. They say there was little foreign competiton and the Spanish teams managed to screw it up by keeping their aces and kings in reserve and just playing their jacks, even as the race slipped away from them. They played a cautious game and lost.

Given that he is the odd one out and that you suggest his performance can be rationalised and doesn't need EPO - and that he never really added to that one magical spring - would you be happy with removing Seur from our little list of possible pioneering teams should we return to it in the future if new info arises?
I think if you took the Vuelta as a single point, then yes EPO may not have been a factor. But then when he backs that up with 3rd at the Giro a fews later, his best result at the Giro to that point, it looks a little more suspicious and with all the other Italian results. But I am not wedged to the view he was definitely on EPO, though he does have better GT results post 1990 than pre 1990.

If he were on EPO, then to me, it would have been someone outside the team anyways. Maybe he took EPO in Italy before the Vuelta, didn't get a recharge during the race, but managed to hang on and then re-upped for the Giro. To me, Giovanetti and Ballerini are a little less suspicious than the other three from that year.

Bugno and Chiappucci we covered.

Argentin coming back to form whilst hitting up with Ferrari is highly suspect. He had been previously considered a canny rider, a Valverde type rider using his sprint and tactical nous, but from 1990 on he was more aggressive, his win at Fleche Wallone 91 was a 70k solo and his stage wins at the Tour were long solo victories. Even his win at Flanders, he bridged to the winning group solo and then away went with Dhaenans 30km from the finish to contest the win. He destroyed everyone on the Poggio in 92, but was outfoxed by Kelly.
 
I think there are a few key moments that can attributed to EPO, but maybe incorrectly.

  1. Greg LeMond had an 'iron shot' at the 1989 Giro
  2. Gianni Bugno dominates the 1990 Giro
  3. Chiappucci rides to Sestrieres in 1992
  4. Bjarne Riis comes 5th at the Tour 1993
  5. Gewiss Balllan at 1994 Fleche Wallonne
  6. Laurent Jalabert becomes world no.1
 
I think there are a few key moments that can attributed to EPO, but maybe incorrectly.

  1. Greg LeMond had an 'iron shot' at the 1989 Giro
  2. Gianni Bugno dominates the 1990 Giro
  3. Chiappucci rides to Sestrieres in 1992
  4. Bjarne Riis comes 5th at the Tour 1993
  5. Gewiss Balllan at 1994 Fleche Wallonne
  6. Laurent Jalabert becomes world no.1
Those might be some of the more famous ones, but the likes of Gewiss & Jalabert are quite far into the EPO era. There were loads of performaces, Mauri & Chioccioli at the 91 Vuelta & Giro respectively. Argentin with a 70km solo to win Fleche Wallone the same year. Indurains Luxembourg TT 92, Ariostea in general, the rise of Piotr Ugrumov, Fondriest's amazing 93 season. The list could go on and on. It became the era of riders popping up from nowhere to become champions. Ironic that in modern cycling the transformation of Froome outdoes them all.

Interesting that you believe EPO transformed guys into better riders than they had ever been, except LeMond who was a poorer version of his previous best.
 
Back when Cycle Sport magazine first was published in 93, they did a team profile each month that included the list of team staff like soigneurs, mechanics, doctors etc. Many will be known, some less so.

Wordperfect: Peter Verstappen/Ignace Van Meerwijk
ONCE: Nicolas Terrados/Jose Aramendi
Banesto:Sabino Padilla
Gatorade: Fabio Bartalucci/Gugielmo Pitrolo/Pietro Ronchi/Vittoro Vescovi
CLAS: Benjamin Gonzalez/Vicente Gonzalez
Mecair: Walter Polini
Telekom: Andreas Schmidt/Georg Huber/Josef Keul
TVM: Andrei Mihailov
Motorola: Max Testa

For other teams, we are heading into 1994. To be noted that Conconi or Frerrari were not noted as official team doctors, but were probably looking after more riders than anyone else. This caused some controversey at Mecair when their official doctor Polini raised questions about the role of Ferrari who was looking after Argentin, Ugrumov, Berzin, Bobrik, Volpi. This was because Volpi tested positive after wining the Leeds Classic, the British round of the World Cup. Argentin declared he wouldn't go to Polini even if he had a cold. Ferrari was official teamn doctor in 94, before being sacked for his infamous EPO v Orange Juice remarks.

Also in 1989 Daniel Tarsi was doctor for Pepsi-Cola and Carlo Guardascione was doctor for Polli Mobiexport, two teams co-sponsored by Ivano Fanini. In 1990 Franco Gini who was boss at Pepsi Cola set up the Gis team that would evolve into first Mercatone Uno 92-94 and then Saeco thereafter, Tarsi was doctor for this team in 1990-92 but was then at ZG Mobili, by 94 Guardascione was doctor at Mercatone Uno.
 
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So as a little survey I conducted on Italian performances in major Classics. This included all individual World Cup Races, Fleche Wallone & Ghent Wevelgem.
So 89 includes 13 races and thereafter 12 due to demise of Montreal GP.

89
Victories: 0
Podiums: 2
Top 10s:11

93
Victories: 6
Podiums: 19
Top 10s: 51

95
Victories: 4
Podiums: 19
Top 10s: 63

The drastic change in numbers is obvious, by 93 Italian riders were filling over 50% of Podium places and in 95 over 50% of Top 10 finishers as well. That doesn't even include foreign riders on Italian teams like Museeuw, Sorensen, Richard, Berzin, Bobrik, Gianetti which pushes those figures even higher. Was cycling ever so lopsided to one nation?
 
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