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  • Neil

    Thanks cyclingtips for providing some context to this result. Further research shows that as well as the results mentioned above, Foliforov has 2 more top 5 finishes in uphill time trials in 2012 & 2014 at Valle d’Aosta and a 5th place finish in a time trial that featured a climb to the finish in Coppi e Bartali. None of these races are anywhere near the standard of the Giro, but he has clearly been a specialist in these kind of time trials for some years. No one can guarantee that he is clean, but an unknown Russian winning a race shouldn’t automatically be labelled as a doper.

    • muz

      The context is interesting but given what’s coming out about Russian athletes you’d almost have to doped to think he is clean. Then one of his team mates is 4th, juiced to the gills I’d say.

      • Michele

        I’d say …

        The UCI are looking at ways to cut costs and make cycling more profitable.

        They should therefore abolish doping controls, the biological passport, the chaperones, the lot.

        Instead, they should just provide muz with a live feed of all UCI sanctioned events. From his lofty, superior position, he can determine who’s on the PEDs and who is not.

        It’s a win-win. The sport will be cleaner, and the money saved by the UCI could be invested in promoting their sport.

        I just hope muz’s amazing skills can extend to determining to who is riding with a motor in their bike, and who is not.

    • Robert Merkel

      Also worth noting that as Gazprom-RusVelo are a Pro Conti team,that puts him in the biopassport program. It’s not quite the same as, say, the jokers from Tabriz Petrochemical or Turku.

      ammattipyöräily has estimated watts per kilogram for the last 6km of the climb (Giovanni Visconti published his power data and it matched the estimate to within a Watt, so these are likely pretty close).

      6.2 W/KG is very high, but:

      * It’s nowhere near Riis, Armstrong, Pantani etc (who were putting out at least 6.6 W/kg at their peak)
      * It was a time trial, so pacing was near optimal
      * It was a time trial, so he was fresh rather than fatigued by 4-5 hours in the saddle.
      * He’d soft-pedalled the last few stages.

      For what it’s worth, I’m suspicious but it’s not completely implausible.


      • Dave

        Source for the riders’ weights?

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        • Robert Merkel

          The watts per kilogram is estimated based on their climbing speed and the properties of the slope using a formula derived by a certain Michele Ferrari. You don’t need to know actual weights to make the estimate.

          Given other sources of variation (wind, distance and slope deviations due to riders taking different lines etc), this is an acceptable approximation.

      • Arfy

        Looking at that data it seems Chaves and Dombrowski took it too easy in the flat section at the start.

    • choppy

      “Not Normal”

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    Can’t help by wonder where the Giro’s urine and blood samples are being sent for analysis? I hope it’s a place where the Russians have not installed a secret passage-way to a guy who can open the vials and replace the fluids inside with “clean” stuff without detection. And then I think of 2009 and a certain Denis Menchov… And the UCI wonders why few, except for the bike industry, gambling interests, rich chamois-sniffers or corrupt, autocratic governments will sponsor pro cycling teams?

    • Michele

      Maybe they sponsor bike teams for the same reason you follow home racing?

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        Could you translate this into English? I don’t understand what you’ve written – “follow home racing” What does this mean?

  • Daniel

    Well the tin foil hat theories are great reading but maybe there is better places to discuss them.

    That aside I am constantly amazed at the mechanical failures seen at this level of racing. How on earth a rear derailleur breaks off from the chain falling off the front ring is astounding. Cant wait for next few stages, the gap Kruisjwijk has makes him a bit of a sitting duck, there will attacks coming from everywhere, Chaves can almost sit on and wait for the stronger teams fire all their shots first.

    • Larry @CycleItalia

      Really? This is pretty common these days and a reason the replaceable hanger was developed. Can’t say for sure in Nibali’s case but I’ve seen PLENTY of punters (and quite a few better than that) run the chain (while in the big ring) all the way up the cogset as the climb steepens until they’re in the big/big combination. Then there’s only ONE shift they can make – BAM! All the force on the chain from the cranks + the huge spring tension from the rear mech due to big/big combo…and the chain snaps off the big ring, straight past any sort of chain-watcher and gets jammed down on the BB shell. Rider keeps pedaling, usually jamming things up ever worse, to the point the rear mech can be snapped off. I’vve seen it happen just as often with electronic systems as with mechanical, no matter what the brand of components might be. To real racers bicycles are just tools and the “if it doesn’t fit (work) force it” mantra takes over in the heat of the moment – usually followed up by some sort of bike toss when stuff fails.

  • dsd74

    The problem for Russian athletes is that they’re compared to their pristine Anglo Saxon counterparts….

    • Dave


      At least in this edition of the Giro, there’s no way a British rider’s performances will be brought into question.

  • Patrick Murphy

    There was an interesting video of the TT yesterday that doesn’t seem to be being talked about. I guess there is a lot of paranoia about. https://twitter.com/Airre_/status/734479751365152768 I’m not of the tin foil hat club but it does look odd.


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