Author Topic: Cleanest Tour in years?  (Read 3653 times)

Cleanest Tour in years?
« on: July 24, 2011, 07:19:05 pm »
"Cadel Evans' performances are the best way to measure this. He's been stable for the past eight years. He doesn't do any better than in previous years. It's the Schlecks and Contador who are slower. This Tour has been one of the slowest on the climbs since 2004," commented Grappe, who is usually known for his scepticism with regard to doping.

On stage 19 to l’Alpe d'Huez, where the individual times of each rider were officially clocked, Euskaltel-Euskadi's Samuel Sanchez recorded the best time with 41:45 minutes. But this is only the 24th best time in history. The day's winner Pierre Rolland (Europcar) climbed the mountain in 42:22 - yet in 2006, it took Fränk Schleck 40:46 minutes to get to the top en route to victory, while Floyd Landis and Andreas Klöden were clocked at 38:34 the same day.

Of course, one should always take into account the conditions of the day, the stage length prior to the climb and many other factors that can come into play. Still, the head doctor of the French cycling federation Armand Mégret, was convinced that this year's Tour has been cleaner just from watching the TV images.

from this article on Cyclingnews.com  http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/2011-tour-de-france-the-cleanest-in-recent-years

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2011, 07:22:20 pm »
"Cadel Evans' performances are the best way to measure this.
Is that so ?

citoyen

  • Cat 6 Racer
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2011, 01:50:00 am »
ISTR one of the commentators remarking that Pantani in 1998 climbed the Galibier over four minutes quicker than Schleck did it on Thursday. There was definitely an unspoken subtext in the comment.

It's also worth noting that you didn't see any rider putting in a great race-winning breakaway one day then appear fresh as a daisy the next day, as happened quite often in the past (the name Virenque springs to mind). Jeremy Roy notably tried to attack most days, but most of his efforts ended in glorious failure.

d.

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2011, 07:21:58 am »
BMC must have changed their ways, since one of their soigneurs was caught with nearly 200 doses of EPO a couple of years ago.  ;)

Gus

  • Loosing weight stone by stone
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Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 07:38:39 am »
The French riders can follow the leaders of the race, it's more than a decade since they could do that.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 08:03:03 am »
My guess (don't know enough contemporary information to be anything else) is that the intensity of doping has dropped but that the extent hasn't.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2011, 08:38:10 am »
It actually alludes to this in the main article.  Micro doses are still being used by they are now so small that the effect on the performance is greatly reduced.

I also read an article about French training methods.  Until recently they have not incorporated any of the 'western' improvements in science.  The article was written by the female coach of Voekler's old team - and she had spent a lot of time at an American college - thus was influenced by diet and recovery type training.

Tigerrr

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Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2011, 01:01:08 pm »
there was a piece in cycling mag that claimed Voecklers performance was unfeasible - disconnected from his established form etc. I guess that would make sense.
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Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2011, 02:00:05 pm »
there was a piece in cycling mag that claimed Voecklers performance was unfeasible - disconnected from his established form etc. I guess that would make sense.

Hmmm... Judging from the look on his face and the amount of pram-based toy ejection on the Galibier, he wasn't exactly finding it easy.
The journey is always more important than the destination

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2011, 02:06:03 pm »
"Cadel Evans' performances are the best way to measure this. He's been stable for the past eight years. He doesn't do any better than in previous years. It's the Schlecks and Contador who are slower.

To me this suggests the possibility that Evans is still doping, whereas the others aren't

gonzo

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2011, 04:16:36 pm »
As a question for you all; would you all rather see an exciting tour (like the last one) with dirty riders or a clean one with one rider miles better than the others?

And no, you can't have both for the sake of this argument!

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2011, 04:24:23 pm »
As a question for you all; would you all rather see an exciting tour (like the last one) with dirty riders or a clean one with one rider miles better than the others?

And no, you can't have both for the sake of this argument!

A clean tour, with one rider miles better than the others would do me.  A true champion is what I want and in any case, the scenery doesn't dope!

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 11:09:53 pm »
Jeremy Roy notably tried to attack most days, but most of his efforts ended in glorious failure.

At last the French have found a replacement for Jacky Durand  ;D
Working my way up to inferior.

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 06:56:04 am »
As a question for you all; would you all rather see an exciting tour (like the last one) with dirty riders or a clean one with one rider miles better than the others?

I also would like to see a 'true' champion, but it goes deeper than that.
I don't like to see endless high performance day in day out e.g. Ricco
I prefer to see one day of intense effort, a valiant attack etc but then the following day that rider is hanging on at the back as their legs are wrecked.  Or several days of slightly less effort but still fantastic battling between them all.  Unlike Pumpe, I don't believe Evans is doping.  Basso and Cunego were there, but couldn't match him.  I don't think they are capable to be honest so that is fine.
Voeckler was a real crowd pleaser and France need that but had he won I would have been disappointed and doubted the truth behind it.

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 07:54:04 am »
I don't believe Evans is doping.

Being a loyal Aussie you want to believe this, and this means that you can't easily take a dispassionate view and will scrabble around looking for anything, however spurious, to back up this belief.

Thing is, there is spurious circumstantial evidence to suggest that he is on a doping team... BMC was born out of Phonak, has the same owner, and a quick look back to what Landis had to say about attitudes to doping by management is revealing. That is why it is no surprise that a BMC soigneur was caught with a bag full of Epo a couple of years ago.


LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2011, 08:36:19 am »
I'm suspicious that Evans is doping, though there is circumstantial evidence in both directions. He has always been on teams notorious for doping, but has usually been an outsider (Ullrich suggested that he didn't take part in the T-Mobile doping). He has always had outstanding test results, even very early in his career, but previously raced like a talented but undoped rider. His performance has lifted in the last few years, at a time of life when pre-EPO era riders would retire due to waning abilities; this is suspicious. Is it because other riders are doping less or because Evans has changed? There is evidence that the pros are climbing slower nowadays but I became quite cynical well over a decade ago.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2011, 09:07:50 am »
I don't have an opinion on him either way, really. I'm just highlighting how easy it is to let yourself believe that what you want to be the case is the case.

(but first and foremost I'm  just seeing how receptive Grub is to the pointy stick  ;). )

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2011, 11:01:42 am »
Evans isn't that much older than some of the other post war riders who finished near the top. Merckx was 32 when he finished 6th in his last TdF and was talking about racing it again the next year (but he didn't) and Hinault was 32 when he came second in his last TdF.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2011, 11:21:59 am »
Merckx and Hinault were the best riders of their generations and quit the TdF at 32 with their best performances several years earlier.  Cadel is 34 and has the best performances of his life in the past three years, mostly on a restricted season.  There have been a lot of pros recently who've produced phenomenal but erratic performances (possibly matching their blood withdrawal and reinfusion programs).  Cadel has always had one of the biggest engines in the pro peloton but even so...

I really dislike how EPO and blood doping has totally skewed performances over the past two decades. In the speed era, significant doping made at most 5% difference and there were serious racing downsides to using it.  Clean or cleanish riders could match and occasionally beat dopers.  EPO gave >10% gain in power and the racing and the results became a joke.  Now every decent performance has to be scrutinised for the effect of doping.  There are lots of question marks over this TdF; who was running 'full gas', who had restricted 'top-ups' and who was riding 'on bread and water'?
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2011, 01:51:10 pm »
I feel the same about it all. For me, the last great battles were in the mid 80's with Hinault and Lemond.

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2011, 02:17:25 pm »
I think this year was the best since then.
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Tigerrr

  • That England that was wont to conquer others Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
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Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2011, 02:27:23 pm »
I heard Evans talking. You don't get a weird voice like that without chemical additives - his vocal chords are clearly strangulated from EPO.  It is not natural at all - high pitched and squeels like a girl.   
Makes me ashamed to be australian when I hear his whingeing tones.  He needs to get more testosterone in his mix to man it up a bit I reckon. I am surprised the DS has not organised it for him.
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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2011, 02:31:51 pm »
As a question for you all; would you all rather see an exciting tour (like the last one) with dirty riders or a clean one with one rider miles better than the others?

A clean tour with one rider miles better than the others means what, exactly?  That every rider is clean except for one doper who has provided the UCI with a brown paper bag or that every rider is actually clean and one bloke is actually miles better than everybody else or that most/all of the field is only low-level doping?

Unless there is a reasonable chance of catching/stopping/restricting the dopers, I don't give a damn about any of it, no matter whether the racing is exciting or not.  The result is a joke otherwise.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2011, 02:43:44 pm »
I am prepared to suspend disbelief where doping is concerned, but the whole thing has become a joke if this is true:

  Cadel has always had one of the biggest engines in the pro peloton

Is that thou source of the whining noise?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Cleanest Tour in years?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2011, 03:02:07 pm »
Is that thou source of the whining noise?

Possibly, no engine is 100 % efficient and no athlete is a paragon in every way.

Have a look at this link and ask me again if he has a big engine.  The next couple of questions might be 'Was he doping back then?' and 'What is he doing differently now?'
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...