When is the smackdown on Chris Horner?

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Jul 15, 2010
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lstomsl said:
Merckx index said:
So there you have it. Believe me or not, physiological a well trained 41 year old is not at their prime but they about as close to it as a 24 or 25 year old. We don't get many 24 year old tour winners either but we have had them and from a strictly biological standpoint Horners performance is no less believable than that.
No, the average age of a tour de France winner is 28 years old. Before hardcore doping emerged there were a lot of very young winners.

Lemond 25
Fignon 23
Hinault 24
Merckx 24
Aimar 24
Gimondi 23
Anquetil 23
Gaul 26
Koblet 26
Robic 26
Bartali 24
Lapapie 23
Maes 22
Spiecher 26
ect.

If someone has stage racing talent, it shows itself early. This concept of maturing into a GC rider in your 30s or with Horner your 40s is bunk. Before hardcore dope, people could spot a potential GC rider from a mile away.
 
Aug 13, 2010
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Moose McKnuckles said:
I always enjoy watching the Brits complain about the Americans until they need American assistance in beating world powers like Argentina over some meaningless islands.

Have some tea and crumpets and STFU.
You really need a new point of reference since you appear to be stuck in the early 80s. Have you been living behind the Iron Curtain?
 
Zweistein said:
lstomsl said:
No, the average age of a tour de France winner is 28 years old. Before hardcore doping emerged there were a lot of very young winners.

Lemond 25
Fignon 23
Hinault 24
Merckx 24
Aimar 24
Gimondi 23
Anquetil 23
Gaul 26
Koblet 26
Robic 26
Bartali 24
Lapapie 23
Maes 22
Spiecher 26
ect.

If someone has stage racing talent, it shows itself early. This concept of maturing into a GC rider in your 30s or with Horner your 40s is bunk. Before hardcore dope, people could spot a potential GC rider from a mile away.
Awww, but none of those riders had to deal with the dreaded badzilla and only LeMond had to resist the temptation of Mickey D's.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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131313 said:
Well, the thing is that you two different things going on with someone like, say Ullrich coming back to cycling. First, they've been getting older. But they've also become detrained from not riding. "Freshness" from not racing a ton is a lot different that freshness from sitting on the couch and gaining 20 lbs. If you really want to look at the the loss in performance of a clean rider (at least a guy most believe to be clean), take a look at Ned Overend. His time up Mt. Evans is within a minute or so of his fastest time...at age 55...

No one knows for sure what the loss in vo2 over time in an individual athlete (though there's certainly a range). But besides loss of muscle mass, keep in mind that functional vo2 is expressed in output/weight, so one way to mitigate this loss is simply to lose body fat. I can tell you with 100% certainty Horner is more lean than he ever was before.

For the 234234 time, just so no one's head explodes...I'm saying he's not doping. I'm just saying the age thing is a bit of a red herring. Old guys dope. Young guys dope. And I still maintain Nibali's zero to hero in 3 weeks performance is even more ridiculous that Horner's, and certainly the most "ridiculous" performance of this race.

For me, euro grand tours are simply WWF in spandex.
Agreed on the age/Vo2 part.....but what about recovery? It is a huge part of a GT and 3 weeks in Horner has not lost a watt.

Chris is certainly lean. Very, very lean. Skinniest I have ever seen him
 
Don't be late Pedro said:
You really need a new point of reference since you appear to be stuck in the early 80s. Have you been living behind the Iron Curtain?
No. But Britain without US assistance is zero. Anyway, I don't want to bust the British stiff upper lip, easy to do as it is.

I do find it hilarious that Brits have to place their sporting hopes on a Kenyan who lives in Monaco.

Jolly good show. :D
 
darwin553 said:
He went from average, to super average and now simply awesome and all from about his early to mid 30s and now to his early 40s. You can't tell me that doesn't defy nature as it should be the other way around! :eek:
Unless he went from not doping to ready to do what was necessary to fook it we're all in.
 
Aug 13, 2010
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Moose McKnuckles said:
I do find it hilarious that Brits have to place their sporting hopes on a Kenyan who lives in Monaco.
Yes, the whole of Britain is putting their hopes in a rider most people don't know, in a sport most don't follow.

You guys keep on giving it the whole 'he always had talent' line. I am sure it is giving all the Brits quite a chuckle. In a sport where many in the clinic say everyone is doping and pretty much always has done, it was Sky that made everyone dope?

Lets face it, a rider you like has won a GT and for you to justify it you spend all your time blaming Sky. The reality is that you look like a hypocrite hence the need to deflect. Keep digging Moose.
 
Aug 13, 2010
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Hugh Januss said:
Unless he went from not doping to ready to do what was necessary to fook it we're all in.
If that is the case then what is he on that is so much better and why is no one else on his team on it? If this is something quite advanced it would be surprising that someone not (previously) doping would have the contacts that most other teams and riders don't.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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Juan Speeder said:
Spot on.

Here's something I have data on. In the state in which I live and race xc mtb, the two fastest guys are both 41, and I'm one of them. Myself and the other contender have battled back and forth for over the last 15 years and yet no young, up-and-comer has ever come close to our performance.

41 isn't old and I've not seen a drop in my performance due to my age.

I fully accept Chris Horner's performance as legit.
Please don't compare yourself to a seasoned professional rider. It is a specious observation and one that many use as an argument for why Horner has suddenly found the peak of his physiology at age 41. He is not you and you are not him. Finally mountain-biking ain't professional road racing.
 
Don't be late Pedro said:
Yes, the whole of Britain is putting their hopes in a rider most people don't know, in a sport most don't follow.

You guys keep on giving it the whole 'he always had talent' line. I am sure it is giving all the Brits quite a chuckle. In a sport where many in the clinic say everyone is doping and pretty much always has done, it was Sky that made everyone dope?

Lets face it, a rider you like has won a GT and for you to justify it you spend all your time blaming Sky. The reality is that you look like a hypocrite hence the need to deflect. Keep digging Moose.
Please tell me who said that???

Don't you think that Froome's performance in the Tour might push Bertie to older limits?
 
Jul 11, 2013
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I like reading threads in The Clinic because it's funny to watch the same posters who are blind to Froome (99% chance doper) now be soooo convinced that Horner (99% chance doper) is cheating. The discussion really gets us nowhere, because unless/until these guys get caught, it's just a bitc*fest. But I do find humor in seeing how cool and calm the Froome fanboys were during the TdF, now have become utterly apoplectic commenting on the Big Bad American cheater. It's like a light switch or something. Keep it up people, it's quite entertaining. :D:D:D

Oh, and Nibali on the Angrilu reminded me of Froomedawg on the Pena Cabarga in 2011, except the whole getting dropped like a stone part...
 
go crazy said:
I like reading threads in The Clinic because it's funny to watch the same posters who are blind to Froome (99% chance doper) now be soooo convinced that Horner (99% chance doper) is cheating.
Exactly. 100% spot on. Basically, the forums have been inundated with posters blind to the fact that Froome is as big of a fraud as Horner. In fact, all of pro cycling seems to be a fraud.

Meanwhile, manufacturers seem to keep trying to sell us cheap junk at high prices because these drug muppets are riding it.
 
as much as a fraud as Horner is, he still isn't smashing everyone by 2 minutes in time trials. it actually makes sense that he lost 1:30 to Nibali in the TT, and then outclimbed him. nothing about Froome's performance makes sense, Horner wouldn't stand a chance against him in a GT.
 
go crazy said:
I like reading threads in The Clinic because it's funny to watch the same posters who are blind to Froome (99% chance doper) now be soooo convinced that Horner (99% chance doper) is cheating.
I think you'll find that a substantial majority in the Clinic are highly suspicious of both riders.

Actually, yes. I am talking about the elite racers. The very best in the world at the elite races with the very highest level of completion at the 100 mile distance. At least every bit as much as the Vuelta is an elite race. even though it is third tier as a grand tour and only third level riders (ie ones that have no real shot at the Giro or Tour) truly target it as a primary goal. Comparing 100 mile racers to marathoners would be like comparing someone who can win a grand tour to a US crit rider. Sure the crit riders got raw speed but they'll never win a GT training for crits. The 2 hour marathoners (many of whom believe it or not are DOPERS ) would get blown out of the water at the 100 mile distance as well.
They would get blown out of the water because they aren’t interested in running that distance, and don’t train for it. Just as the 100 milers would get beaten badly at shorter distances. The difference is that ultra endurance events are relatively new, and it’s not clear that they attract all of the top talent. Anyone who happened to be very good at 100 miles and equally good at shorter distances that have been run for decades and which have more prestige attached to them is far more likely to choose the latter, and train exclusively for that.

Although I have only provided anecdotes it is backed up by scientific research and I told you where you can find it if you are interested. I don't really give a **** if anyone here believes it or not and I'm not gonna waste my time digging for it. Somebody asked for information on performance decline with age and I provided it.
Not in the post I was responding to. Why don’t you at least point out the post in which you did furnish it?

And I am fully aware that there are many differences between running 100 miles and riding a grand tour. Many more than even the very helpful people here have mentioned. It is not a perfect comparison but on the other hand I think it is a better way to gauge general athletic performance decline with age then cycling as it doesn't have the confounding factors of aerodynamics, team tactics, contract issues, etc. if cyclists would do 20 hour time trials it might be a better comparison.
Which is another way of saying that performance decline in ultra-endurance events is not a very good gauge of the decline in cycling. V02 max may be less of a factor in ultra-endurance events, which probably have a greater mental factor than shorter distances.

Well, the thing is that you [have] two different things going on with someone like, say Ullrich coming back to cycling. First, they've been getting older. But they've also become detrained from not riding. "Freshness" from not racing a ton is a lot different that freshness from sitting on the couch and gaining 20 lbs.
Ullrich is probably not a great example, as he let himself go even during the offseason when he was still active. The point is, if what Isto is saying were true, it should be possible for riders to make a comeback.

If you really want to look at the the loss in performance of a clean rider (at least a guy most believe to be clean), take a look at Ned Overend. His time up Mt. Evans is within a minute or so of his fastest time...at age 55...
Actually, at age 55 he finished about two and half minutes slower than his fastest time about twenty-five years earlier. I would question, though, whether he trained specifically for such a climb during his salad days as a mountain bike racer. Also, keep in mind that just as Horner supporters like to point to wind and other factors that make it difficult to estimate power from climbing time, gauging how much a rider has declined by comparing times on this climb over the years is also difficult. Two years earlier, Overend finished 5th in a race that was won in a time almost two minutes slower than his time at age 55.

In any case, hill climbs like these are actually textbook illustrations of performance decline with age. The winner in that year (2010) was 23 years old, and except for Overend, everyone in the top 9 was under 40. After Overend, the oldest in the top 20 was 43. The course record is held by Danielson, ridden more or less in his prime.

You can see the same thing in another climb Overend has competed in, Mt. Washington. In this past year’s race, the top 10 finishers ranged in age from 22-38, and if you look at the results at various age groups, times fall off clearly with age. Indeed, if one were to believe Isto, why would there even be age groups? Why would they be needed? Why is there such a thing as Masters, e.g., if merely by keeping oneself “fresh” one can reduce the effect of age to “miniscule”?

I think Isto and others are making the mistake of picking out some exceptional athlete who has, as s/he has gotten older, focused on one type of race, and has been able to compete with much younger riders. The lists of finishing times in these races makes it very clear that there is a substantial performance decline in age that can't be explained by not remaining "fresh". In popular races like these, there is a very large group of riders that makes the effect jump out statistically. Ultra-endurance events are not competed in by comparably large numbers of individuals, so this effect is not as apparent. Indeed, probably relatively few who are not among the very best are even going to pursue this activity.

No one knows for sure what the loss in vo2 over time in an individual athlete (though there's certainly a range). But besides loss of muscle mass, keep in mind that functional vo2 is expressed in output/weight, so one way to mitigate this loss is simply to lose body fat. I can tell you with 100% certainty Horner is more lean than he ever was before.
So are you saying
a) Horner and his managers when he was younger did not realize the importance of minimizing his weight? or
b) Horner, the junk food king, has found a way to reduce his weight within the rules that eluded him until he was past 40 (a time when it generally becomes increasingly difficult to lose all body fat)?

I'm just saying the age thing is a bit of a red herring.
It's really very relevant. If you disagree, give me an age where a Vuelta winner would be suspicious to you precisely because of age. 45? 50? 55? 60? I take it for Isto, there is no such age, that a rider who took care to limit his racing schedule could win a GT at age 70.
 
Apr 29, 2010
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vrusimov said:
Please don't compare yourself to a seasoned professional rider. It is a specious observation and one that many use as an argument for why Horner has suddenly found the peak of his physiology at age 41. He is not you and you are not him. Finally mountain-biking ain't professional road racing.
It's not that different. Why do pros usually decline and stop in their mid to late 30s? Actually you don't know. It just seems to be the historical norm. Is it because of their chronological age, or because they have ridden too much? In the US amateur/almost pro ranks we see quite a few late bloomers, who pick up the sport later for various reasons and peak much later than the others who train hard from an early age consistently.
 
Zweistein said:
lstomsl said:
No, the average age of a tour de France winner is 28 years old. Before hardcore doping emerged there were a lot of very young winners.

Lemond 25
Fignon 23
Hinault 24
Merckx 24
Aimar 24
Gimondi 23
Anquetil 23
Gaul 26
Koblet 26
Robic 26
Bartali 24
Lapapie 23
Maes 22
Spiecher 26
ect.

If someone has stage racing talent, it shows itself early. This concept of maturing into a GC rider in your 30s or with Horner your 40s is bunk. Before hardcore dope, people could spot a potential GC rider from a mile away.
Spot on

10 char
 
Apr 29, 2010
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Merckx index said:
Actually, at age 55 he finished about two and half minutes slower than his fastest time about twenty-five years earlier. I would question, though, whether he trained specifically for such a climb during his salad days as a mountain bike racer. Also, keep in mind that just as Horner supporters like to point to wind and other factors that make it difficult to estimate power from climbing time, gauging how much a rider has declined by comparing times on this climb over the years is also difficult. Two years earlier, Overend finished 5th in a race that was won in a time almost two minutes slower than his time at age 55.

In any case, hill climbs like these are actually textbook illustrations of performance decline with age. The winner in that year (2010) was 23 years old, and except for Overend, everyone in the top 9 was under 40. After Overend, the oldest in the top 20 was 43.

You can see the same thing in another climb Overend has competed in, Mt. Washington. In this past year’s race, the top 10 finishers ranged in age from 22-38, and if you look at the results at various age groups, times fall off clearly with age. Indeed, if one were to believe Isto, why would there even be age groups? Why would they be needed? Why is there such a thing as Masters, e.g., if merely by keeping oneself “fresh” one can reduce the effect of age to “miniscule”?
Having trained with Ned quite a bit through the years I would suggest that no he did not train specifically for the HC either in his peak or even in recent years. The guy just loves riding and goes out and enjoys riding mtn and road bikes, he has enormous passion and enjoyment kind of like Chris maybe.

The other general point about age decline is certainly true, looking at performances and ages only, but the question is why that happens and if there are ways to at least slow the trend. I think that cumulative stress and oxidative damage would track performance decrements through age better than chronological age, it just happens that many people experience this trend at a similar rate.

Mental age and motivation are also a big factor too, most 35+ ect. masters racers have very different at home lives and personal values compared to the 20 year old Espoir.

If you dig a little deeper there are some other interesting exceptions besides Ned, though not at the GT level, but I think the age <> performance relationship is more complex than just 1-s=ma+0
 

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