Why are the riders faster this year ?

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Yes, that has nothing to do with what I said though.
I thought it did.

King Boonen said:
While testing may have been down, they will still be being tested at the Tour and many of these riders have years of passport data logged. It's certainly not perfect, but it would be a big risk to go thermonuclear and risk the protracted legal fight that would no doubt come about if they tripped the system.
 
Other than piecing together bits of various riders interviews, which may or may not be true (theres arguments why they could either over or understate their fitness in interviews) has it been definitively established that things are quicker?

I see terms like "gaping chasm" but do we have evidence to back up the hyperbole? Obviously theres the peyresourde but we shouldn't make conclusions on one data point. What else do we know?
 
Other than piecing together bits of various riders interviews, which may or may not be true (theres arguments why they could either over or understate their fitness in interviews) has it been definitively established that things are quicker?

I see terms like "gaping chasm" but do we have evidence to back up the hyperbole? Obviously theres the peyresourde but we shouldn't make conclusions on one data point. What else do we know?
The short answer is no WRT comments like "gaping chasm".

However It's always really hard given team tactics, weather, etc to ever "definitively establish", independent of wattage readings that things are faster or slower. I've said a couple of times we need to wait until the Tour is over and see what we see in terms of speeds over the major climbs. But that's only a piece of the puzzle.

What we do have is multiple riders and many informed people reporting that the level is higher this year and I don't see any reason to ignore that. Riders know exactly what watts they're pushing in training and in races, and they're saying pretty clearly some folks are pushing more watts than anyone was last year, or that they're better than last year themselves. I think it's pretty hard to argue against these reports, but it's also really hard to quantify the "how much" higher.
 
I thought it did.
I don't think it does really. I was pointing out that the opportunity to go all in on dope probably wasn't as great as some seem to think. Your point seems more nuanced and relates to whether people could lift their doping slightly above the current level, reap benefits and return to a clean state in time for the race. That requires much more discussion about the linearity of doping, how well the effects in certain riders are known, a better handle on how much testing was actually going on in specific places and whether small increases would tally with the claims from riders that this tour is faster than usual. It would require a lot more thought and discussion, and probably raises a lot more questions.
 
I know there was a lot of "discussion" around what he meant by "almost" but that, and which numbers he was referring to, leave the statement open to massive amounts of speculation.
Agreed. Also, I'll admit to being just a little bit mischievous. The more time he loses now the more chance he has of being allowed into a break and maybe salvaging a stage win. Or maybe a prix de la combativité. So why not take the bus on the final climb. That said I'm not ruling out machine calibration errors either.
 
I don't think it does really. I was pointing out that the opportunity to go all in on dope probably wasn't as great as some seem to think. Your point seems more nuanced and relates to whether people could lift their doping slightly above the current level, reap benefits and return to a clean state in time for the race. That requires much more discussion about the linearity of doping, how well the effects in certain riders are known, a better handle on how much testing was actually going on in specific places and whether small increases would tally with the claims from riders that this tour is faster than usual. It would require a lot more thought and discussion, and probably raises a lot more questions.
Thanks–myself I don't think it's all that complicated. I think they're all doing what they can get away with anyway, the idea that it was clean last year or previous years is not something I buy for a moment. I think many of them microdose recovery and oxygen vector drugs which clear overnight. We know they use cortisone and other steroids for recovery outside of races (or even during, give some positives we've seen recently).

Given that many riders are probably already doing what they can get away with in training during a normal testing regime, it's not difficult to imagine they just do it more freely without any testing. These factors are all understood well by team doctors and probably riders, and would take little if any work to adjust and amplify given a significant lack of testing, then reign back in before the major targets where in competition testing exists...presumably.

Just doesn't seem particularly complicated for a professional who knows what they're doing.
 
Pat Lefevere has an opinion:
Deceuninck-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere compared Bernal's form with other riders like Julian Alaphilippe, who were forced to remain indoors for weeks because of local COVID-19 control measures.

"Everyone is talking about those long training rides of Bernal, but before that he also spent two months indoors. The riders who had to stay indoors are not in the basic condition as in other years," he said to Sporza.

"It is too simplistic to say that Bernal is over-trained. Rather, it is a lack of foundation. When you build a house, you have to put it on a good foundation. Those men actually built up their fitness on sand, because they have been unable to do anything for two months."
 
With Egan Bernal now climbing like a sprinter and his jour sans on Sunday looking more like a Tour sans, can we revisit the almost the best power numbers he claimed he had on Friday? Anyone got any explanations? Maybe a machine calibration error in his power meter?
I don't know what his numbers the last two day have to do with his numbers on the previous stage where he said he was as good as he's ever been. His entire point was that he was doing all he could and others were simply better. I don't know what machine calibration would have to do with it, he's clearly sat up the last two days. He cracked, plain and simple. My feeling is it has been partly physical and partly mental. He realized he couldn't compete for the win and just folded IMO.
 
Brailsford thinks Bernal was not at his normal level:
“We’ve pulled Egan out today which was an agreement. He started off really well, which was great but then he had that phase where he didn’t perform at his normal level and he had a couple of days where he was really empty. Then after the rest day we thought lets monitor that but yesterday he had a bit bit of pain and he didn’t feel himself at all."
Do the math yourself to match the performance levels to stages.
 
I don't know what his numbers the last two day have to do with his numbers on the previous stage where he said he was as good as he's ever been. His entire point was that he was doing all he could and others were simply better. I don't know what machine calibration would have to do with it, he's clearly sat up the last two days. He cracked, plain and simple. My feeling is it has been partly physical and partly mental. He realized he couldn't compete for the win and just folded IMO.
Yep, almost certainly. Nothing tangible physically. It's in the head.
 
Reactions: red_flanders
More from within the peloton:
Soaring speeds on the climbs has been a notable feature of this rescheduled Tour, with riders including Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Egan Bernal (Ineos) noting the high overall level in the peloton. Reza, for his part, believes the intensity of this Tour has been heightened by the nature of the parcours, rather than the long hiatus from racing that preceded it.

"I think that every team has built a team to get through the mountains, so non-climbers like me are feeling the strain all the more because of that," Reza said. "I don't think it's that the race is faster, it's just that the route is more mountainous, and so every team has put out a selection to suit that. It means the gruppetto is much smaller than in the other Tours I did in 2013 and 2014."
 
Brailsford thinks Bernal was not at his normal level:Do the math yourself to match the performance levels to stages.
He said he started performing badly at a certain point. Which we can all obviously see. Of course h'es not NOW at his normal level. There really isn't any way to massage this into what you're trying to massage it into. He was as good as he's ever been, according to him. Then he cracked. Exactly what it looked like.
 
About the basic assumption underlying the thread: Are climbing records tumbling on stage after stage or not? At this point whether they are climbing faster isn’t best judged by anyone’s gut feeling or vaguely reported watts, even those of Bernal or Bardet. They’ve done the climbs. We can judge by the times.
 
Madeleine was not done via the usual route today (I think this is actually the first time the
Montgellafrey variant was used, but someone can correct me on this) and Loze has only been climbed in Avenir before in a literal 1-climb 23km long stage.

Tomorrow they'll do Glieres which was only climbed once before from that side and then it was the second climb of the day far away from the finish.

So it's difficult to make like for like comparisons.
 
It’s strange how riders can claim they don’t dope without releasing any data and no-one will believe them, but then riders can claim they’re producing close to their best ever numbers and getting dropped without releasing any data, and lots of people believe them.

I’m well aware these are two different things, but I’m also well aware that riders will say they’re at their best when they’re clearly not.
 
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If it's aimed at my post, I clearly said that it was an overall impression. I'm not backing it with pure facts and datas but I've read here and there that this years figures are kinda crazy, aren't they?
 
That doesn't change the fact that the overall speeds are nuts, does it? I don't have exact figures/datas, but it looks like an overall impression this year.
What "overall" speeds? The race itself is within acceptable parameters (the average speed is lower than last year and not inconsistent with the last five years and blunt as average speed is, it evens out over time). A few protested loudly when two early climbs were scaled faster than previously (which some point out could be to do with where those climbs came in the race, compared to previous years) but have gone mysteriously silent since then. I think ammattipyöräily has a couple of later climbs scaled with alacrity, but no one who actually understands this area seems to have been bothered enough to collate the data yet. As it is, there's a lot of folks like you, folk with no data and no interest in looking for the data, but strong gut feelings and a willingness to state as fact things which are not factually accurate.

By all accounts we have been seeing for some time now a change in climbing speeds, dating to before the hiatus. Some point to it and imply it's got to be down to some new super secret magic rocket fuel. They don't seem interested in what's changed with regard to legal performance enhancing substances, oddly, despite there being evidence that this could be a contributing factor.
 
It’s strange how riders can claim they don’t dope without releasing any data and no-one will believe them, but then riders can claim they’re producing close to their best ever numbers and getting dropped without releasing any data, and lots of people believe them.
It's also strange that some can spot doping with their eyes but are blind to the manner in which Bernal climbed the Puy Mary - he was all over his bike, hardly looking like a man climbing at his best.
 
I suppose this really is a lot about psychology, and also about the rhythm and structure of the race.
I think there was this one stage where everyone was chilling, apart from that there have been no easy stages for the guys who in other GTs would have some tough target days and many ones where they can't relax totally, but ease a bit, nonetheless. Here they can never ease. It started with that crashfest in Nice, and since then the amount of mountainous stages, the battle for green, and the amount of road furniture on some stages has produced a lot of stress and the need for the lighter guys to ride a high tempo on the flat.
Then in the beginning the quality of the riders at the start was extremely high and some of them were in really good form, so the pace up the climbs wasn't easy and must have felt even harder for those who were not at 100%. Had they been at their best they would probably have seen that the climb they were going up so fast came after a relatively short and easy start to the stage, also it might have been a bit cooler than for instance last year, but since, with their fatigue, the beginning did not feel easy, they could point at the climbing times and say "see, here, the numbers are high".
 

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