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  • Kellen Hassell

    although I’m eager to see the results, I actually don’t think he should be doing any of this….

  • That Strava Support Guy

    Really? Sky, the most systematic team out there, has done any sort of rider testing?

    • Alex

      Not actually what they said… READ THE ARTICLE.

      Sky have never done v02 max tests

  • Nitro

    Good on Sky for seeking to answer the calls to be more transparent…. but… I have a horrible feeling that this will just end up with people asking even more questions.

    As someone said in a recent article (more than likely on Cycling Tips) – bottom line, its incredibly hard to prove a negative…

  • TomG

    Not sure he should do it and not sure what it would prove. I suppose a sensible-sounding VO2 max might help but the doubters will just raise question after question.
    @TSSG I think he means they don’t do VO2max tests. Quite believable. I am sure it has it’s uses but it doesn’t predict performance particularly well, it is protocol-dependent and provides a single point of reference. When you spend all that money taking teams to training camps, coaching them closely, doing prescribed efforts and watching the results, why would you bother? Collecting 3-4 seasons of longitudinal data including power, VAM, bodyweight and HR response is a much more powerful analytical tool. Contrast this with your typical amateur who eschews a power meter, rides around slowly all winter, and then spends a couple of hundred getting a VO2 test, to tell them???? Expensive snake oil.

  • Nic Lowe

    Sky are at least confronting this thing head-on, unlike other high profile pro teams we could mention.

    We have to hope this is for real; lets assume Sky are completely clean. Other teams which are not are being beaten by a clean team. That should make the whole thing null and void… I’m sure it will not however.

  • Enache

    He should answer “next question”
    If his VO2 max is small pseudo scientists will scream doping, if VO2 max is high pseudo scientists will scream “increased by peds”
    Better for him if he ignored everything
    No need to do anything extra than all other riders do.

  • Aaron Heaysman

    Why do questions need to be asked? Are you saying we should question his ability? Surely the testing that is done by the UCI is an answer until there is a discrepency?

  • James Taylor

    Are you all serious?
    The biggest jump in performance of a mature endurance athlete ever and it is blindly accepted (if you doubt this, name one clean endurance athlete who has had anywhere near such a jump in performance). Sky also claim ZTP (fail), complete transparency (fail) and are literally turning donkeys into racehorses. It really is asking to believe in miracles.

    • Paul E.

      Froome did only enter the sport in the beginning of his twenties…in South Africa. He is not a star that was nurtured through a well-financed development programme from his junior days. I would imagine that someone who has the physical capacities to win also needs the appropriate team/infrastructure to really unfold and this is what happened when he joined Sky.

      • James Taylor

        Froome was backed by the UCI World Cycling Centre in South Africa. Not a complete backwater as people make out and he was nowhere near the best cyclist in South Africa. He was also at Barloworld, again not a backwater team at all and he wasn’t even the best climber on that team, Johnny Lee Augustyn was. Sky helped him so much that he was a couple of months from being dropped from the team and was only in the Vuelta last minute. He was pretty much bottom of the pile when it came to potential talent at sky, with EBH at the top. Then comes the greatest transformation by an already mature endurance athlete in the history of sport if clean.

        The riders who get vilified, for example Contador and Valverde (both dopers), were absolute monsters from a very young age, winning most things they entered. Given that these amazing athletes (who have doped) with the huge advantage that doping brings to the table, are getting trounced by a supposedly clean athlete, who had the greatest transformation in the history of elite endurance sport, beggars belief.

        Why are Sky and Froome so scared of releasing his data from pre-Vuelta 2011 and why do Sky lie so often if they are a clean and transparent team?

        • Connor

          Yes, you’re right, the concept of ‘late blooming’ is unheard of and entirely fictitious. Mature talent can only be based purely on previous evidence of potential and there are no other dynamics and inputs worth considering.

          • James Taylor

            I appreciate you were being flippant, however you did not name a single clean elite endurance athlete who has transformed in such a way, or even close. Mature talent is based on previous evidence of potential in basic endurance sports such as cycling and you appear to have missed the point I was referring to with Contador and Valverde. Given that doping gives an estimated minimum 10-15% advantage, it is incredulous that a rider, who at best, was going to be a reasonable mountain domestic, transformed into the greatest clean cyclist in history (which he is, if true), beating times of dopers over and over, who showed ten times the ability that Froome ever has before they doped.

            At the time Sky made up the excuse that he attacked too much and needed to learn how to cycle…. really, when did all these amazing attacks take place?

            Then came the bilharzia excuse for the transformation (note I don’t doubt he had a version at some point), except that does not answer what happened to this amazing cycling ability of his when he was backed by the UCI and Barloworld. It also does not explain why Sky and Froome are so scared of releasing data from before the Vuelta 2011, when it would surely vindicate Froome if true.

            The backwater yokel myth is just that, a myth.

            In addition, those so called pseudo scientists who don’t know what they are talking about (Tucker, Vayer et al), have been shown to get his power data pretty much spot on, time and time again.

            It takes a huge leap of faith to believe Froome’s six week transformation from donkey into the greatest racehorse of the modern age was achieved clean.

            • Connor

              ‘Ten times the ability’ eh? Please don’t rely on ‘data’ and relative (but entirely isolated) comparisons for your argument and then make this kind of statement. Really undermines your general point (I can see there is one). I’m detecting you’re from SA and have a broader axe to grind perhaps?

              • James Taylor

                You are right Connor a little bit of hyperbole there to illustrate the point that the difference is startling. But I agree on the exaggeration. By the way I am from England and have no axe to grind, I simply do not believe that, based on the data so far, there is much more than a very slim possibility that his transformation was achieved through methods other than doping.

                • Connor

                  Fair enough, you’re being reasonable and your point isn’t without basis. BUT if empirical evidence is your primary basis the overriding ‘truth’ (evidently) is that Valverde, Nibali et al were proven cheats in an era less concerned with testing. Froome is innocent in an era focused on physiologic augmentation. Ergo Froome is most likely, based on current empiric data, to be a ‘late bloomer’. Micro dosing may eventually prove me wrong but here and now I choose to believe Chris’ earnest words from the Champs Elysée this time last week. Maybe I’m just romantic that way.

        • Paul E.

          Cycling is a complicated sport and it is not always the strongest rider that wins; even time trials require you to have some level of experience. It might be true that the likes of Contador and Valverde dominated their junior ranks, but they were also competing against similarly experienced riders. Froome, however, entered the sport as a novice and started to compete against more experienced riders. There is some learning curve to get to know training and your body’s responses to it etc.

          I did not say SA is a backwater, but the general level of cycling there, especially during the time when Froome still competed there, is quite different than in Europe. The mere fact that the UCI supported it through a World Cycling Centre also says something..

          I think it is wrong that Froome has to release all his data to prove he is clean: the people that claim he is not clean do so not based on (verified) numbers or science, but because they just have this special insight (dislike) about him – therefore, numbers will not convince them otherwise. It is a case of ‘decide what you want believe and then find numbers to back it up’.

          • James Taylor

            I have no special dislike of Froome Paul, far from it. I simply do not think that his transformation, and let us be clear it was a transformation, was achieved by methods other than doping. Froome was riding in Europe for Barloworld and showed nothing whatsoever to suggest he could complete a six to ten week transformation from a fairly usable domestic who was about to lose his ride, to the greatest clean cyclist in modern history.

            Cycling is not a complicated sport when it comes to outright power… Has Froome’s riding style changed at all since before the Vuelta 2011?

            Again I accept that I could be wrong but again nobody has been able to come up with a single clean example of this kind of transformation, making Froome completely unique in modern endurance sport. Therefore there must have been at least some sort of inkling or potential that he had this ability al la Contador, Valverde, Nibali, Cuddles, Sastre, the Yates boys etc

            Does anyone have an idea how this is possible then?

            • Connor


              I appreciate history is often (re)written by the victors but this would appear to address some of your issues regarding Chris’ early ‘mediocrity’. By the looks of it it was because he isn’t get into a decent system until quite late (but always displayed talent it seems) and so perhaps natural he may mature later??

        • Mark Matter

          Who else is releasing all their data?

    • Mark Matter

      He did have a tropical disease. And his performance increased when he was clear of that. When he was tested at the world cycling centre he had the highest physical potential of anyone they have ever tested. I’ve been using MeeGenius to help my children learn to love reading. They really enjoy reading The Little Red Hen and I think yours will too!

      Read the book today! Link: http://www.meegenius.com/book/687ea562b1169f8e5adcca5c1a332f8fThe director said he compared to Bernard hinualt.

    • Mark Matter

      Google froome and barzillia. Also contadaor was beaten by loads of riders not just froome. Are they all cheats? What about the fact the contadaor rode the tour of Italy this year? And that drained him? What about the fact that he is at the tail end of his career?

  • TomG

    No evidence either way but your repeated hyperbole and restatement of “the greatest transformation of a mature endurance athlete, ever” is a bit grating – if you make a big enough straw man you can have a lot of fun knocking it down.

    Cycling is a complex sport and results are judged on a small sample of infrequent events – 1 or 2 grand tours a year. That someone might have a breakout performance at one of them by gaining some tactical nous, some confidence, performing well in the heat and dropping a bit of weight is no great surprise. The schistosomiasis thing has also been grabbed and co-opted in to a simplistic narrative. I am sure Sky signed Froome based in part on some insight in to his potential power to weight ratio as they weren’t exactly grubbing around for second rate riders in the early years.

    That said, in the Armstrong era I felt it inconceivable that LA could comprehensively beat so many people who were later found to have cheated whilst being clean himself. It’s certainly unfortunate for Froome that his yardsticks are Valverde and Contador.

    • James Taylor

      Unfortunately Tom the greatest transformation part is not hyperbole, grating or not. There is no straw man on my part.
      Results are judged all the way through the season and Froome had none. It was not a breakout performance, it genuinely was a ‘transformation’.

      You say Sky signed him based on some potential and I agree, as a potential domestique with a British passport, which is all he was and he was about to lose his job with them before…. well you know the rest.

      I appreciate it may grate you, and yet you say you felt it inconceivable in the Armstrong era, someone who Froome climbs faster than (took his Madone record amongst other things). Bear in mind Armstrong showed much more talent (as did literally hundreds of other riders) before his transformation than Froome ever did.

      Froome did not show any more tactical nous than previously, his riding style has not changed and when it comes to pedalling up a hill, I’m sorry but it is very simple. Plus bear in mind he was actually riding as a domestique and so was even stronger than if he had been hiding in the wheels. Where in the Vuelta 2011 did he show any tactical nous whatsoever?

      Breakout performances of this magnitude from elite athletes who are already mature riders have only ever come via doping. Is Froome the one exception? I do not know for certain but I do know he is trouncing proven dopers who showed far more than he ever did prior to his so call ‘breakout’ and that is key for me. You even said it yourself with Armstrong.

      • Mark Matter

        Your saying trouncing. He didn’t trounce anyone he won one of the closest tdf ever. He is down on record as having a disease and I accept that if that explanation of his improvement is a lie then he is probably doping otherwise there’s no particular reason to think he is doping. You need a team of people behind you in order to dope and not get caught. I believe the sport is much cleaner now. He beat clean riders in the main.


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