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August 19, 2017
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  • Nitro

    Whatever the numbers, I’ll be comparing them to my numbers…

    Anyone who can hold more watts per kilo for longer than I can lower watts per kilo – they must be on the juice !

    In all seriousness – when I do the numbers on what power I’d need to push to be at 6.2 watts / kilo (Yes, I’m heavier before @HandsomeRooster chimes in), its simply mind blowing…

    • Andy B

      im good for 6.2w/kg

      For probably 2-3 minutes..
      on a generous power meter..

      • Stompin

        yeah, looking at my strava power profile, I can hold 6.2w/kg for 1min bahahaha! :/

  • Superpilot

    These guys aren’t going to get their answers. Their questions are suitably vague (“how those inputs were created”). They need to be specific with what they require, in order to get specific answers. They can manipulate their doubt when their own question is not clear. What proof do they need? What exactly? The standard of proof they require is not equal to the standard of proof required of them. I think that they do not even know themselves, because being clear, means that they would open themselves up to being answered. Why have they never made a list, this is the data we want, collected this often, over a longitudinal period? Ten Dam and others have provided a whole season of data to physiologists, and doubts still remain, because the questions are never specific enough. The data release will just give these guys more fuel to their doubting flames, and more soapbox time. Pfft. I’m not saying they should be quiet, these guys are needed to question. But the way they go about their business, they need to be clear on what they require. To me it appears they are already saying that this is not enough. What then? What then is required? And not in ambiguous management speak chaps (longitudinal is the way forward?), what EXACTLY to prove beyond reasonable doubt?

    • Shane Stokes

      I think their points are clear enough: they would like physiological and biological data over several years, not just this year (which is logical). They want that data to prove that Chris Froome was talented and had the necessary engine before his breakthrough at the 2011 Vuelta, and they would like medical data proving bilharzia and the other diseases that Chris Froome has said held him back. Also, an indication of his weight over the years. Much of that is very possible to do.

      • Superpilot

        Hi Shane, I agree, they want data, but when they want to be so specific in their analysis, then they need to be specific about exactly what physiological and biological data. W, W/kg and VO2 are great, but they need to be specific about what periods. The only way to quite the critics is give them what they want, but the critics must be more prescriptive in order to be satisfied they have what they need? It seems to me they like to poke holes (we have w/kg, but need x or y; we have Vo2 but need a or b), so why not set down their formula? Why not state exactly what they need to be convinced, either way? It seems to me to be convenient to be able to criticise from afar whatever comes out in hindsight, than try to dictate what comes out in the first place. I’m no cheerleader for Froome, but I want people to say they are clean and to be able to be believed. What is that going to take? For me at least, it seems like no one knows, not even those who (as stated, these people are needed ala Kimmage) remain constantly critical. I think the best thing to happen, will be for once a dominant force like Froome retires, release absolutely everything they have, as the risk of their competitors finding a weakness is gone. What have we seen on Merckx, Indurain, Armstrong? Classics men like Museeuw? No or very, very little performance data at all. The validity of adding to the passport could be warranted for this reason, historical comparison. While he is riding, it just seems like an unnecessary distraction that no other top level riders are troubling themselves with. Keep up the strong work, it keeps people thinking.

        • 42x16ss

          Huh? Everyone’s been very clear. VO2, power figures and accurate weight predating Froome’s ridiculous transformation. That shouldn’t be too hard seeing as some fanboys are saying he did some testing with excellent results at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle.
          The results have never surfaced though.

          • G Rider

            Totally agree, the required data is clear, but why would Froome/Sky ever provide this especially if it showed a huge spike in data correlating to the huge spike in performance (2011). In regards to Schistosomiasis, Froome must have medical data proving the diagnosis and treatment of the parasite, including relevant markers to prove effectiveness of treatment, surely he would be keen to provide this information if it did in fact exist.
            Sorry if Froome is in fact innocent but as my Dad used to tell me “if something seems to be good to be true…..”
            What would be cool would be some scientific studies of Fred’s and the true affects of jagging a good cocktail (some clen to get going then go from there ), I’m sure there would be a few to put up their hands as volunteers ! Lets see if we can send a Cat 4 38yr old to the pros’s.

      • IndependentThinker

        Actually, I think what they really want is to set a bar whose height and position varies so it’s always just out of reach as this means their own personal gravy train keeps on rolling. If Froome ever did conclusively prove that he was clean (and let’s be honest, that’s impossible), then the little micro industries of defaming the man all come to a shuddering halt.

        • Realist

          You and many millions spoke this way for many years about Lance. The only way to convince a fanboy is a come out Oprah special.
          Evidence of doping in Froomed case is even more evident than it was for Armstrong, there is no convincing one who doesn’t want to be convinced.

          • IndependentThinker

            No really convince me. Present me with this “evidence of doping in Froomed case” which is more evident than for Armstrong. Please, please do – I so want to see it.

            Of course, if you fail to reply, you kind of make your statements the usual worthless bollocks

  • JoshLyons

    If he isn’t doping he has had one of the most phenomenal career turnarounds in history. His best career achievement before joining TeamSky in 2010 was a 17th place in a TT at the Commonwealth Games.

    • 42x16ss

      Closely followed by beating Contador in a stage of the Vuelta Castilla y Leon – after Contador punctured three times.
      Strange how that little caveat never made it into Froome’s bio….

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        Fast feet eh?
        42x18ss for my hilly ‘hood!.Still shreds??

  • Orrsome153

    Will a release of data (what ever it is) do anything other than cast doubt on Froome.? I understand everyone wants a clean sport and all efforts should be made to ensure this is so. But to what end? Lance et al and their exploits have meant cynicism is rife when some one does something special and as a result more effort is put into proving wrong doing rather than celebrating great things. What would happen to the sport if Froome’s results were chemically enhanced? I would suggest cycling would fall from an much higher place than when Lance was exposed. Cycling has done well to regain public confidence and Froome is the new champion. Another major crisis would be very damaging indeed. I am backing Froome. I have not read nor heard anything from the riders questioning his integrity. Some in the peloton may question Froome but as yet I have not heard of such suspicion publicly sprouted from the riders. As a fan I saw his TDF victories and I saw his failings in 2014. Let us be honest Sky had a remarkable team at the tour and Froome rode some great stages all of which assisted greatly in him winning. With a team as good as that behind you is a great thing. I find it very sad that every time some one does something remarkable questions are immediately asked. I feel for Froome (and others) who have to repeatedly prove their innocence. Do they not get tested enough? (however, Lance proved this was no hurdle at all). If you extrapolate enough data I am sure a whole myriad of conclusions can be drawn. Do we really need to go though this process just prove cycling is taking doping seriously? I am confident it will be redundant and Froome will come out smelling of roses. But then again what would I know I was a Lance fan.

  • velocite

    I agree with Superpilot, these demands look as though they’re designed not to be capable of satisfaction. But there’s another issue: their essential question appears to be how come Froome was suddenly a world beater in the 2011 Vuelta? So does that mean they think he started doping before that and has been doing it ever since, or are they suggesting that he did something back then which had a permanent impact, such that he didn’t need to continue with whatever it was? If the former the aim should be to catch him doing whatever it is he’s still doing.

    If the latter he could make more money out of flogging the recipe.

  • VO2min

    The only point I’ll touch on here is the one made by Ross Tucker in regards to the lost opportunity of not inviting Vayer or Kimmage to the testing. Sky shouldn’t be to blame for that, as they (apparently) weren’t involved in the testing. It was, we are told, all organized by Froome, without any cooperation from the team. Could Brailsford have stepped in and encouraged the participation of known skeptics? It appears that he was out of the loop as much as anyone. Which opens up an entire different series of questions.

    Shane, care to follow up on that oddity? Is it not strange that Froome’s idea of “independent testing” was to be independent of his own team involvement? I would’ve thought the Brailsford and Kerrison would’ve been at his side, and that the “independent” part of this scenario would’ve been the analysis and release of the data by others. Of course the much bigger question is: Why had Team Sky (of all teams!) never performed these tests themselves in the past? It’s not as if Froome just invented the protocol. The tests he went through are common for many elite (and not-so-elite) cyclists. It beggars belief that Sky were not curious about such things previously. Or at least not curious enough to do the testing themselves. It makes zero sense.

    • Billy

      This is a decent point. Brailsford is on the record as saying this WASN’T testing organised by Team Sky. It was Froome who was the driver and organiser of it. Brailsford has stated he will find out the results of this one test at the same time as everyone else does. Of course, as team boss Brailsford already has much more detailed tests (and a history of them) in any case.

    • Well Chuffed Comms

      What would Kimmage or Vayer be able to verify or confirm other than “yes, he sat on a bike with some electrodes and a mask”? They can only hint at the tests being carried out in a proper manner, which implies distrust of the testers rather than Froome.
      In fact, asking them to be present to validate the tests (as Tucker suggests) would be the ultimate in cynical spin, because it would do no such thing. I’m surprised that Tucker would even suggest it.

    • Michael

      > “Could Brailsford have stepped in and encouraged the participation of known skeptics?”

      Well, not really because most of these sceptics are not qualified to test anything.

      The loudest one is a PE teacher who once was associated with a team of dopers.

      Others, like some of those quoted in the article write notable emotive tripe, e.g the “donkey v race horse” thing – which is clearly designed to paint a fallacious picture of this so-called “transformation”

      Ironically the data released had prior figures for comparison.

  • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

    Mr Stokes and Mr Wallace,
    Well written as is usual on your fine site.
    That said…
    Are you sure that tabloid like over-reporting of these stories isn’t perpetuating the damage of doping in the sport?

    Of course I want to know what’s going on… But YOU GUYS KNOW, as I do, the sport has NEVER been cleaner…. and athletics has such a long, long way to go… but we’ll never eliminate all cheating blah blah
    ALSO, the report will be out Friday. Post analysis will surely ensue… Is pre analytical speculation beneficial to the zeitgeist?

    Is the worst thing that could happen for the sport is for the innocent and their performances to be tainted?
    Over reporting just puts the ignorant into a frenzy of accusation
    For every forum member spewing that message… (as an excuse to for why they don’t do the Tour ?) there are hundreds of less informed people listening… Forum members are enthusiasts….. Enthusiasts in the broader context are the experts
    “They’re all on it”
    is the most powerful argument to ‘get on it’… The cultivated climate of belief promulgates the problem. Esp at club level … (Ironically, Prob much less so at pro level cos of the bio passports testing etc)

    I can tell you guys truly love this sport by the quality of your product. It is the best cycling site mostly.
    Applying editorial control to consider nurturing the zeitgeist to a healthier cycling future?
    If Froome is cheating he’ll be uncovered. But if he’s not, there should be no pausing in our accolades respect and admiration for mere suspicion

    • Shane Stokes

      VDB, the first article was intended to explain why the data release is justified. The second was to speak to two of those who have been posing questions about climbing speeds, etc, and asking them what would satisfy them. I think that’s reasonable. It means that people are informed as to the factors to consider when the data is published. I think many people hope that the data release is thorough and that it helps to accept the performances. Also, that other riders will follow suit afterwards.

      • Lenny Bernstein

        Shane, I do generally really value your journalism, but I feel that these articles to do with doping, and Froome in particular, often come across as Ross Tucker opinion pieces dressed up as balanced journalism. You regularly use Ross Tucker and what you view as his “compelling” website to inform your articles, and yet there are many other sports scientists out there with different views than Tucker’s, and many other ways of showing different sides of the story. Is it too much to ask to have a bit more balance and bit less Ross Tucker in your doping/Froome articles?

        • Shane Stokes

          Lenny, the point was to give those who have been most vocal the chance to say what exactly would/should satisfy them. In other words, ‘you said more proof is needed – what proof do you require?’ This is now laid out before the data is released. We fully plan to cover the release of the data and I’m quite happy to speak to other sports scientists once those details are public.

          • Lenny Bernstein

            Great, thanks for the response Shane, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. And I look forward to hearing other sports science perspectives one the data is out.

      • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl

        I do get that.
        Both articles are well written and informative.
        But is that the best focus ?
        If the cycling press ran article after article about traumatic injuries to cyclists and dangers faced… Getting quality statistical data and interviewing leading surgeons
        Using excellent research and writing
        Again and again
        Week after week, month after month, year after year…

        Would that be useful or positive?
        No matter how accurate the reporting … The saturation effect on the zeitgeist: how true could it be?
        And the truth is cycling ain’t really that dangerous (against the broadly accepted 20:1 risk benefit analysis)

        With the pre reports and post reports Tomorrows reports will be overkill & help form a distorted view.
        Cycling, compared to most sports (and business) is pretty clean these days

  • Stompin

    Damn, can I smell Lance in the room again? :/

    • Vlaamse Dunny Bowl


    • Sam

      Couldn’t agree more.

  • dsd74

    My cynical side says that even if it’s somehow scientifically proven that CF (or any one else for that matter) is not doping and has not doped, the protagonists who want all this data will not just pack up and move on to other matters. They’ll just “shop around” for some other “expert” (I’m using quotations as this is just as likely to be a pseudo-scientist as someone with real credentials) who will cast a doubt on some aspect of the testing or his career just to keep the ball rolling on the subject.

    It’s gotten to almost tabloid levels, where people will just piece together some small details and claim that it proves that so-and-so is cheating on so-and-so, that they’re an alien, etc…

    • Billy

      It won’t be. You cannot prove someone is not cheating. Ever. In any way. Those who want to be skeptics will always have room for their disbelief.

      • Lenny Bernstein


      • dsd74

        i agree with your “cannot prove” point; but that means that in the end, CF’s attempts are to an extent futile. Even if he manages to convince a majority of people, as you said the skeptics will always be there, and they’ll be making the most noise, and therefore keeping the subject alive.

        What amazes me is that there are people who are somehow being paid (or at least using somebody’s resources) to ask someone to constantly prove something that can not be proved…

        Disclaimer: I am NOT a CF fanboy, couldn’t care less who wins the Tour as long as it has good action.

  • Mickey McMook

    More psuedo-science from these guys; Froome or anyone will never satisfy these guys.

    • Realist

      Could Lance have satisfied them? His performances were similarly incredulous so why not add him to your list (at a guess I’d imagine he used to be on there).

  • Ritch

    What Chris Froome needs to do to address doubts: commenters weigh in

  • N-Sync

    “The Beauty of Cycling” that’s what it says across the top of the screen

    This isn’t the beauty of the sport or pastime at all fellas

    This is picking at a nasty scab whilst using a rusty scalpel. It’s your site to do with as you wish, I wanted to say thanks for the awesome blogs you used to post and the sharp images that I used to find so inspiring. I’m sure people flock to stories like this but I’m not one of them.

    I’m off to find the beauty of cycling elsewhere.


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