1410_LeTour_illustration-03 copy
  • Michele

    Interesting read.

    Unfortunately I agree 100% with TSP’s assessment of Froome and Sky.

    Barring ill fortune – which I don’t wish on anyone – Froome has this in the bag.

    Could make for a lacklustre second half of a pretty average to date TdF.

    • I’m not so sure. Remember: Quintana hasn’t had to do anything yet, and he hasn’t showed his cars. He’s supposedly targeting Mont Ventoux tomorrow so maybe we’ll have a better idea after that. But I think it’s too early to say the Tour’s over.

      • Michele

        There’s a good chance Ventoux won’t be climbed tomorrow. Last 7kms anyway.

        • bigdo

          yeah, the wind right?

      • bigdo

        precisely the point I just made.. it’s basically what all the commentators and ex-pros are saying as well… Nairo really has the best vantage point to win really, and he doesn’t have to kill himself in order to do it either, just has to strike at the right time..

      • Stuttgart5

        Not when Skybot domestiques easily contain his attacks, and any other team leader’s attacks. It’s worse than USPS.

    • Dave

      I disagree.

      The man himself knows that Quintana is coming for him in the third week.

      • Michele

        I’m happy to be wrong … I want to be wrong … We will wait and see.

      • Pete

        He came hard in the third week last year and came up short. Froome will put time into him in the TT and it’s all over.
        Froome is gaining time downhill, in cross winds and will do so in the TT’s and in the Alps.
        Attack now!

        • Secret CritPro

          Lets not forget that last year Froome was unwell in the last week, didn’t complain at all, came out by a rival a few weeks after.

    • De Mac

      So, you didn’t watch the last two stages then? Hardly average racing by any stretch…

      • Dave

        Or stage 7 for that matter…

      • Michele

        No I haven’t watched any of the TdF. I’m just come on CT to make crap up.

        Did I say these specific stages were average? I just said it’s been an average TdF thus far. You do realise average is not a bad thing? You can get a Uni degree with average pass grades. It’s still a Uni degree.

        As a collective, the first 10 stages have been average.

        The opening week; especially the 3 successive 200+ km stages [st. 3-5] were very average.

        Sometimes the first half of a TdF can be exhilarating [first 9 stages of 2011 saw some great attacking rides], sometimes is can be lacklustre [2004 – Pettachi winning 4 of the first 5 road stages]. This is somewhere in between and hence is average.

        • De Mac

          Two sprint stages won by less than a tyre width, Cavendish’s resurgence, Froome attacking solo for a win, then second in a 4-man bunch last night – after a huge day of echelons, Porte, Martin et al attacking into Andorre, Matthews’ win after Sagan almost single-handedly got there, Van Avermaet’s win, Cummings’ solo win – yep, fairly average Tour thus far…..

          • Michele

            I’m glad we agree.

            Not sure why you were such a dick in your original post then.

  • BikeRideMike

    Still no mention of Bryan Coquard’s terrible shoes.

    • bigdo

      those shoes are friggin’ class man… Lace up’s are coming back!

      • BikeRideMike

        All for lace-ups (look at Wiggo’s Giros last year) but fauz hi-tops belong on people wearing a Marmite jersey.

        • bigdo

          Lol, are they a bit high? Yes, Wiggo’s laceups (the Giro Empire SLX) are just perfection really…these new one’s i admit i haven’t seen up close..also I think Shimano is very close to releasing some new road shoes that are lace up’s (don’t quote me on that, could be dial retention as well) that the Lotto Jumbo boys were wearing for a bit…

    • David9482

      haha, let him win a stage before we mention his laces!

  • Rob Booth

    Crazy to start talking about a 5km rule and neutralizing the GC at that point when so often GC is decided by attacks within the last 5km. Up hill admittedly. I doubt the irony of this sinks in to those complaining about this rule. After all 3km is in the event of a crash, not neutralization on GC. It’s up to the sprinters teams to tell the GC guys to piss off from the front. Absolutely no need for a rule change, it will spoil racing.

    • sps12321

      This would be specifically a rule for sprint stages not for uphill finishes is my understanding.

      • Neal Rogers

        Correct

        • sps12321

          After today’s stage. I am inclined to agree that adding a 5km or 3km end for timing may be a mistake.

          • David9482

            Totally agree – today’s stage finish was awesome, and definitely would not have happened with the rule they’re proposing.

            At first glance, I thought this proposed rule would solve the problem, but after today’s stage finish, I never want to see this rule being implemented.

            • Dave

              A better tweak would be to allow slightly longer gaps at the finish line to count as still being in the same group.

              Currently, the group gets their actual gap to the stage winner if the group leaves more than one full second of clear air between the back of the group in front (back edge of the last rider’s rear wheel, to be precise) and the front of the first rider’s front wheel.

              If that were to be extended to three seconds where both groups have in excess of 10 riders and five seconds where both groups have at least 20 riders, it would allow for the non-sprinters to cruise through the final kilometres with a touch more caution while also preserving the possibility of solo riders or small groups gaining time with making a late attack.

              This would be in addition to the 3km rule for mishaps, not as a replacement. The 3km rule only needs a minor change – apply it to the start of the bell lap for races finishing on circuits, not from 3km.

              • David9482

                Hey, great idea, that way the GC riders and their teams could sit on the back of the pack. Applying some flexibility to this rule might be the best solution.

                • Dave

                  It would be a ridiculously easy change to bring in, because the necessary resources are already in place.

                  The timing operator would simply have to make a note of which gaps between groups are shorter than three seconds when they are examining the photo finish to verify the finishing order (this needs to be checked to account for riders finishing on a bike from the team car or neutral service without a transponder, or a teammate’s bike with the wrong transponder) and the gaps between groups for the official results.

                  • Tim David

                    This is now the favoured solution of the educated armchair fan. Oh OK, Inrng readers like us…!

                    Seriously, I think it’s a great sounding idea. Can we let the secret pro know somehow? Validation could speed up adoption!

        • Mario

          Look at this, Neal made it ?

  • Alexei

    As usual TSP blames Astana and admires “miraculous” Cav’s “track training”. Forgetting to say about Cav’s hanging into cars on mountain stages. Brilliant piece

    • Michele

      Well at least TSP is consistent. He didn’t mention Astana’s Nibali holding onto cars either.

  • bigdo

    great read, really insightful and held my interest all the way through the article.. The bits about Fabian were hilarious.. also the insight into Froome having already “won” this TDF is another interesting prospect.. I really think that Quintana can compete with Froome.. all Quintana needs to do is pick a stage and win it big and then boom, he’s right there with Froome. Froome has to worry about taking time away from Quintana. And Quintana’s general, Valverde, looks to be in great form. I don’t think this TDF is over already at all, not by a long shot. But I will say, yes, Froomey looks great and is riding very strong. Also, Dan Martin looks better than I ever can remember, and he’s riding like he’s possessed. Watch out for him, definitely. I think he’s going to make a real push this Tour for the win.

  • Samaway

    Can always count on TSP for some low-blows at Astana. It’s funny that he assumes Nibali’s third week in the giro was juiced. (Perhaps it was but) Nibali won this Giro the way he’s won all his grand tours–everyone ahead of him crashed!

    • Mario

      Plus the Landa commentary, worrying when that team specifically has had recent troubles with the subject. Landa is nowhere close to what he was last year. ?

  • Casper

    Come on TSP, stop calling out some people you consider dodgy, its not really fair! How about Sagan at this tour?! in the break all day and attacking then wins the next stage?? Miraculous recovery! Nibali would have not been able to win had Steve K not crashed and then Chaves cracked. Not as dodgy as the Giro the year before!

    • jules

      disagree. it’s good to hear the TSP’s views. the advantage of doping in a GT is taken in the latter stages. a fresh and clean (no doping) rider can be good in the first week or so. but your blood parameters deteriorate as you put your body through the wringer, with no opportunity to recover properly. the only proven way to combat that is doping.

      you can see Froome taking every advantage he can in the early stages of this race, attacking on flat stages, downhills. he knows what’s coming and he’s building a buffer.

      • Casper

        Its a very simplified view you have there. Are you saying because Quintana got ‘better’ relative to Froome in the last week of last years Tour is that he is doping?
        How about not expending all your energy early and racing conservatively, like Nibali and Quintana for example? I think if Chris doesn’t pay for these early burnt matches that will be more suspect than anything…
        What is coming for Froome? Parcours that suit Nairo as purer climber or an EPO fuelled attack by the Colombian?

        • jules

          I can’t say Quintana is doping, for sure. I don’t know. But he rides on a team with a relaxed attitude towards doping. Quintana is mentored by Valverde, an unrepentant doper who was welcomed onto the team after serving a suspension for doping. Valverde has made no apology or promise about riding clean.

          Are we to believe that Quintana exists in a vacuum? What are his views on all of this? As far as I’m aware, he has kept pretty quiet. I’m not accusing Quintana, but I think declaring him clean or above suspicion would be naive.

          I’m aware this sort of view annoys people, who would prefer to believe that the race is being fought for cleanly. And the discussion can get out of control. But I’m not going to offer Quintana any kind of endorsement, other than I hope he’s clean.

          • Casper

            I agree about Valverde, unrepentant doper and all around ass IMO but to claim he is Quintana’s mentor is very assumptive and wrong. Do you see the way Valverde rides? Very much not for Quintana, arguably last years Tour could have been different if Valverde had helped. They don’t get on as far as I am aware.
            What about BMC? TJ was motor paced by Lance! Ballan was welcomd back with open arms? Why don’t we point fingers in their direction. Is it because Movistar are Spanish and therefore automatically dodgy? Is it because Nairo is Colombian?
            So, because he has not explicitly come out and said he does not dope unlike Froome he is dodgy.
            Look at Sky, signed Tiernan-Locke, doped. Barry and the purge of the old dopers. Froomes TUE antics. Sergio Henaos blood values.
            I think maybe reevaluate your view on the sport.

            • jules

              I didn’t single Quintana out – you did that. I agree that suspicions don’t start and end with him or Movistar.

              I do have relatively more faith in Sky. It’s not fashionable to say, but they have done a good job of keeping their noses clean. It could all be a giant charade as far as I’m aware, but they aren’t Movistar who have the attitude of “yeah, dopers, we’ve got them. so what are you gonna do about it?” why defend that?

              • Casper

                It was not too much effort to extrapolate from what you were saying, who was ‘Froome preparing himself’ for, come on. Sky have a great PR no doubt, hope they have as good doctors.
                I really think you are missing out on a great rider by tarnishing Quintana with Valverde, they are not the same era and just happen to ride for the same team, Dowsett also rides for Movistar so he must be dodgy too?
                There is nothing on Quintana that suggests weird performances, he climbs probably the best in this generation and cedes time in tt’s. He also does not seem to be able to attack and attack, he cracks evertually. Performances that are more credible in my opinion.
                Froomes rise on the other hand is strange, all of a sudden his Bilharzia is cured and he gains just a few watts. I just don’t rush to start pointing fingers in one way or another too quickly.

                • jules

                  I deliberately didn’t name names. you’re right that we don’t know. I’m not trying to simplify it like that. but we know, or at least strongly believe there is still doping. Sky as a sponsor won’t want doping on their team. that doesn’t mean it’s not there, but I see them as different to Movistar, for example. or Tinkoff. the reality is that those sponsors wouldn’t be as fussed by being associated with doping. Spanish fans are still pretty thrilled with Valverde and Contador. Lance, Dave Millar, Stuey O’Grady are not so lukcy. shaming dopers is more of an Anglo philosophy. like queuing. I know that’s dangerously close to racism but it’s easily observable. it doesn’t mean you can automatically say someone is doping or not from their nationality. but it’s not hard to identify areas, or teams, where doping is allowed to continue with minimal interference. whether individual riders take advantage of that is a matter of speculation.

                  • velocite

                    Cultural differences. Insightful comments.

                  • Ragtag

                    This is not dangerously close to racisim, sir, it is. There have been many riders or players from the Anglo world who have been caught doping. You need to arrive in 2016 from your place in the 18th century.

                    • jules

                      you’re right Ragtag. there have been riders from the Anglo world who have been caught doping. such as Lance, Dave Millar, Stuey O’Grady. oh wait, I already mentioned them.

                      you didn’t read my post carefully. my point was that some teams exist in a culture and environment where the stakes of being caught out as dopers isn’t as high. and that nationality is a factor in that.

                    • Ragtag

                      Jules, you know what you meant so ofcourse you are the best judge of that. I read it again and this is still a racist line of thinking to me. If I were you I will edit or delete that comment. But totally your wish.

                    • jules

                      pointing out that there are differences between nationalities on a broad level isn’t racist. e.g. Americans like guns more than the French. this isn’t racist – it’s a trend based on factual evidence. what would be racist would be “you are American, you must love guns”.

                      on doping, it was Tyler Hamilton (or Floyd) who said you could walk around Spain with a syringe taped to your forehead and you still wouldn’t get caught

                    • Ragtag

                      Jules its okay, do not justify if you feel okay with your statement. Your opinion is as valid as mine. As I said your wish and call.

                    • jules

                      I’ll justify it if I want :)

                    • Ragtag

                      Indeed Sir :)

                    • Tom Wells

                      I don’t really know how you’re coming to the racist conclusion. Too PC maybe? Jules’ wording is sound and he makes some very valid points.

                    • Ragtag

                      From your point of view, Tom. From your point of view.

                    • Tom Wells

                      Absolutely! It does feel like you can’t say anything anymore without being labelled in some way though.

            • Michele

              Quintana calls Valverde a mentor [of sorts].

              Think I read it in the latest Rouleur.

              • Casper

                Yeah it seems true, fair enough. But to then say because one doped the other must is stretching things IMO. I think it would be natural for Nairo to say that, joining a team with a more experienced leader, there is a bit of respect that is needed. Also Valverdes ability to read a race and know when to launch an attack is something not to be sniffed at.

                • jules

                  you’re still talking in absolutes. it’s wrong to conclude from one piece of circumstantial evidence that it proves someone is doping. but you’re pulling even further back and saying “well, if not’s proven then he’s clean as far as I’m concerned” and that’s unjustified in my assessment.

            • Tim David

              I wonder if Valverde has looked into buying a world tour license? Surely the UCI would give him a discount as a one man team? Nibbles might be keen too…..

          • donncha

            Quintana came out of Colombia from the one team that was well known to be anti-doping (and which suffered abuse because of it) and won Tour de l’Avenir while still riding for them. Funnily enough, he lost time early in the week and then smashed them on the last two mountain stages, putting at least 45s into the likes of Talansky, Slagter, Kelderman, Landa, Bardet etc. on the final two mountain stages, so he has always been a) a shit-hot climber and b) someone who chills in the early part of the event and goes hard at the finish. In his first year in WT (2012) he won a stage in Dauphine, dropping Cadel, Wiggins, Froome etc.) so he’s been that good right from the start.
            His backstory is a LOT clearer/cleaner than Froome’s.

            • jules

              I didn’t know all of that. I want to stress I’m not accusing Quintana of anything. and didn’t. I’d strongly prefer to find out he was clean, I’d be devastated if we went through Lance v2. but I see no reason to pull the wool over my own eyes. I hope he’s clean. I’d also acknowledge there isn’t a wide range of choice for riders in which team to choose so we (or I) should be careful in how we assess his affiliation with Movistar and Valverde. but it’s not a great look.

              • donncha

                Yep, fair enough. Movistar’s history is just as bad as any other long-lived team, but they’ve kept their noses clean for the last 5 years and they seem to be investing heavily in the sports science side of things, particularly time-trialling & aero/wind-tunnel stuff, so am prepared to cut them some slack.
                Quintana ending up there could be as simple as them being the only Spanish-language team.

                • jules

                  sure, I also assumed the language thing was a factor in Quintana going there.

                  but when Movistar hired Valverde, it must surely have been on at least the suspicion that they were benefiting from a rider whose performances were doped. to me that’s as good as openly endorsing doping. J Vaughters tells the story of his moving to GAN (or Cofidis?) after the heady days of Discovery Channel/USPS. he claims he told them outright ‘I’m not doping, I won’t perform as well as I have been’ and they hired him, he was pretty average, and they seemed to understand.

                  no such arrangement is apparent with Valverde at Movistar. I’m not privy to discussions of course, but obviously Valverde is as strong as ever.

                  • Abdu

                    Movistar had Valverde training with them while on suspension, and his ‘re-signing” was held back so as to not breach the rules. In late 2011, Movistar had to cancel a press conference/announcement after the UCI advised them “it was not a good look” (note they didn’t do anything more).

                    Neither Movistar nor Valverde care about doping clearly.

                    From Cyclingnews in 2012:
                    Speaking to El Tiempo, Valverde claimed that he did not understand the reason for his suspension. “Not yet. I didn’t do anything wrong. I did everything legally. My conscience is clear. I’m only thinking about coming back racing,” he said.“I suggested that they compare it in a neutral laboratory, but they refused this in Italy, and for that they sanctioned me because they compared my DNA in that country without my presence,”
                    Valverde said. “They said that the plasma bag was mine, but they wouldn’t even do that to a criminal. None of what they did was legal.”
                    In being told to cancel the announcement of Valverde’s signing/return, Movistar said: “The International Cycling Union (UCI) has not permitted the presence by the rider in the event by virtue of an interpretation of the international rules which we show in strong disagreement with…”

                    • Superpilot

                      I have to totally disagree with you all that to Movistar somehow doping is more acceptable. Look at it in isolation of nationality or status, a positive test would be as devastating to any team in the pro peloton. I agree with Jules on a lot of things, I can see that they don’t mind to have a previously sanctioned rider on their team, as for Tinkoff. That doesn’t mean going forward that a positive test would be any less significant for Movistar or Tinkoff (who have previously sanctioned riders), as it would for Sky or say Cannondale (who have actively removed sanctioned riders and support staff). They have served their time, there may be some physiological benefits received going forward from past transgressions, but they have served it. If they transgress now, there is far more chance they will be caught due to improved techniques and the restest program. Make no mistake, all the teams have a lot to lose if their marquee riders make an idiotic decision. Livelihoods are at risk, not to forget sponsorship alignment providing significant budget for all the teams, as well as possible negative publicity, the sponsors have a lot to lose also. I don’t see such teams as being all chill about doping and happy if a rider got caught now, in fact completely the opposite. That’s not naïve, that is more realistic, there is too much at stake. And I flipping hate Valverde too, so it burns me to say that.

                    • Abdu

                      My sarcasm hasn’t translated.
                      If anything, I am prejudiced towards Spanish riders and teams because (with the exception of Astana maybe) no other country is so systematic, when you have Indurain feted as a national hero without anyone daring to question his humungous doping, this is why. The Spanish football team had a meteroric rise during the Fuentes era, (from 17th to Euro & World champions not long after) and it was even noted by Fuentes when he was busted that there was a long list of La Liga footballers but that paragon of virtue FIFA said “nothing to see here, move along”. In December 2010, a fellow inmate claimed Fuentes had told him, “If I would talk, the Spanish football team would be stripped of the 2010 World Cup.
                      Spain at the time did not consider doping serious enough to be against the law, Fuentes was charged on a “endangering public health” technicality.
                      Valverde’s blatant refusal to accept the slightest liability for his doping is either astronimically naiive or dishonest. Movistar too in signing him early show their view on doping, it is highly likely they paid him and monitored his training while suspended.

                    • J Evans

                      Hoo-hoo! Any other teams you could say this sort of thing about…?

          • J Evans

            Sorry just reading this now and can’t help but laugh.

      • donncha

        Known facts:
        – he has stated that he was sick in the early part of the Tour
        – he was climbing below par at the time
        – his rivals were climbing really well (like 5.9-6W/kg well, a level Nibali is also capable of)
        – even on Nibali’s barn-storming days in the final week, he wasn’t climbing as well has he has done in previous GTs, e.g: as low as 5.6W/kg which would be counted as a ‘jour sans’ on the Tour
        – in the last few days Chaves was not riding anywhere near as well as he was earlier in the Giro
        – Kruiskwijk would have won had he not crashed

        Nibali’s improvement only looks spectacular if you assume that Chavez was still riding like he was earlier in the Giro, but if you accept the fact that Chavez wasn’t at his best in the final week (also a bit ill apparently), then Nibali’s comeback is easily explainable by him shaking off his illness. Uran was also really good in the last week after being ill earlier in the Giro too.

      • Nomad

        That’s an interesting point on blood doping.

        The Morkeberg paper tell us that a rider’s Hb decreases ~15% during a gruelling GT due to plasma volume expansion. That’s a significant drop for an endurance athlete…I would think riders would struggle to make the time cutoff on high MTFs by the 3rd week.

        Here’s the paper for those that might be interested:

        “Blood manipulation: current challenges from an anti-doping perspective.” (Morkeberg, J/Hematogy Am Soc Hematol Educ Program/2013):

        http://m.asheducationbook.hematologylibrary.org/content/2013/1/627.long

        • Neuron1

          True, the plasma volume increases with a resultant decline in Hgb. The red cell mass however does not decline and thus oxygen carrying capacity is maintained. The decline in Hgb is thought to be a physiologic response to increased oxygen demand which is answered by decreased blood viscosity ie increased plasma volume, and thus increased actual flow to the tissues. The findings are not indicative of declining function, but actually maintained or increased. Also, not all athletes respond the same way to the stress of a GT, these are averages.

          Part of the anti-doping dilemna is that there is no good test to actually determine the red cell mass, except using carbon monoxide inhalation. This test unfortunately impacts the riders ability to ride or race for a period of time due to the tight binding of CO to the hemoglobin. There is a substantial literature on this also.

          • Nomad

            Interesting info. However, regardless of how the a rider handles the stress of a GT, wouldn’t the reticulocytes be the telltale sign of blood manipulation along with a stable or increasing Hb from bsseline? The Morkeberg paper says “with 3 transfusions during a Grand Tour, a cyclist would experience a relatively stable Hb throughout the race.”

            Wonderboy tried to convince us that he rode his 09 Tour comeback clean. I think he wanted to show us his body could handle the stress of a GT without O2-vector doping (imagine that). Ashenden & Parisotto weren’t buying any of it. LA started the Tour at 42.8 Hct and finished at 43, with lower than normal retics. His Off-score remained in the normal range never arousing any suspicion at the time…all this with a strong 3rd week & podium at age 36 (who woulda guessed):

            http://www.velonation.com/News/ID/13022/Ashenden-echoes-Parisottos-concerns-over-Armstrongs-2009-blood-values.aspx

            So, what would prevent riders from following the Armstrong blueprint and blood doping within their individual parameters…all while flying under the radar? IMO, the hematological module of the ABP is similar in a way to the old 50% rule. Once a rider establishes his baseline it’s a matter of navigating within their upper & lower parameters. And with a high Off-score threshold needed for “conclusive evidence of blood manipulation” (>133), there appears to be significant variability allowed.

    • Dave

      I was hoping for an update on what’s wrong with the Gorilla.

      Interesting that ASO bring in thermal cameras and then his champion leadout man suddenly sucks like a Dyson.

      • jules

        he couldn’t sit down for about 3 weeks and trained on the pedals. that can’t have helped his cause

        • Dave

          Perhaps Hedorsen (misspelt for legal reasons) should have waited until he was clean before coming back.

          • Casper

            Wait what? Hendorsen is doped, whats the evidence?
            Also maybe Griepel is having a bad period, he was very good at the Giro. Kittel had an awful year also…

            • Neuron1

              http://www.bbc.com/sport/cycling/31788505 So if 90% of the peloton is doping that means 180 of the 198 riders starting the TDF are doing so. If you add up all of the UK, SA, NZ and Oz riders that must be the 18 they are talking about being clean. Yet they have won most of the stages thus far. Must be the clean living and the stiff upper lip thing.

              • jules

                the 90% accusation is probably based on a strict interpretation of doping to include abusing TUEs. I’m not disputing the accuracy of that, but we should be mindful of different levels of doping. taking sleeping pills or pain killers is not the same as taking EPO.

                • Neuron1

                  So who exactly is taking EPO and please provide proof of your assertions. It is just so easy to throw around accusations without any proof. We do however know that Froome has TUEs for the use of systemic corticosteroids. These are for the treatment of several illnesses. I am not saying he is cheating but corticosteroids sure are helpful in the recovery process as well as helping maintain pulmonary function by decreasing the inflammatory response. On the other hand, as I understand it, WADA has instituted a new test at the TDF that is able to uncover EPO microdosing. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2673588/Chris-Froomes-secret-battle-Eight-doctors-six-clinics-four-countries-five-different-illnesses-remarkable-personal-struggle-Great-Britains-Tour-France-champion.html

                  • jules

                    what assertion?

                  • Superpilot

                    I love you Dave & Neuron1. You dudes are a broken record. You just stated there is a new test for EPO microdosing, and yet suggested Henderson doped while on injury repair (he raced earlier this year, presumably got tested as finished 4th). Ergo, If he did, he will get caught. You answered your own question, you just need to wait for that positive test, sweet as! They have out of competition testing also, remember. You have taken a quote from a ‘source’ from an article you can plainly see is used to attract attention, and spoken it as truth. The media may have an agenda (English media of course will review English performance more readily, I can’t imagine the French or Italian media getting as hyped about non French or Italian riders? Tell me, was the mainstream Spanish media on Albertos side, was the mainstream English media on Lances side?). Even the TSP may have an agenda (he is allowed his opinion), but the UCI is neutral. They sometimes do a bad job, but a rider is a rider is a rider according to the rules. If they are cheating, more than ever before their chances of getting caught are higher! So stop playing victim, let evidence speak for itself, let others opinions wash off the ducks back, and sit back and enjoy the spectacle, for goodness (and cyclingtips) sake!

                    • Paul Jakma

                      WADA most definitely have been funding research on a new way of detecting rhEPO use in athletes for a number of years. This way is based on looking at gene-expression in the long-lived blood cells, rather than trying to detect the quickly metabolised rhEPO directly. Bit of googling should let you verify this.

                  • AmIJustAPessimistOrWhat?

                    Froome said he stopped using using those.

                • Neuron1

                  Based on your statement then, some doping is okay. Anything that is not approved is not approved, therefore is cheating. There aren’t degrees of cheating.

                  • Superpilot

                    Incorrect. Misuse of an allowed substance is misuse only, not cheating, if it is within the rules. To cheat, you must break the rules. It is very clear, and jules is right. It doesn’t make it right morally, but it is still not cheating unless a rule has been broken. An inappropriate TUE that provides a performance benefit is still legal, just inappropriate. It may be unfair, it may be immoral, but it is still legal as it has gone through the right channels. Therefore it is not cheating, as it is legal. Remove the emotion from your argument (morals/fairness) and from a legal standpoint, that is the logical process. I don’t like it either, but I don’t write the rules, or sign the TUEs. And I have seen one of my favourites seemingly affected by tramadol use at a stage finish this tour, he was a blithering idiot. Not good.

                    • Neuron1

                      Superpilot: I’m okay with that suggestion of a detente with the following provisos. Jules and Abdu stop with the unwarranted and unsubstantiated Nibali attacks and Dave and I can stop with the rebuttals. Nibali has never been implicated in doping, just speculation by those who hate him. His power to weight ratio is virtually the same as the other big players. (Check out the data on sportsscientists.com in their section on the physiology at the front of the peloton.) In the 2014 Tour Nibali rode the climbs similarly to Thibot Pinot and JC Perraud, both of whom have published their power data. A non biased observer would rightly conclude that Nibali was the strongest rider remaining in the TDF 2014. It is very interesting that if you look at Froome’s approach to the race this year, it is almost exactly what Nibali did in 14. Attack on the descent and break away when the other big contenders are going to fight about who will chase. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Nibali should be very flattered. Sure, Astana has a dodgy past, as do virtually all teams and DS’s out there, one just must do a little research. The past is the past. The ISSUL report, which was independent, cleared Astana of systematic doping practices. So it is time to give it a rest. Lets discuss race tactics and the joy of watching a great show. I also wish TSP would chill out with his obnoxious vitriol. Tell us about the life of a pro cyclist, the interesting stuff, travel, mechanics, in-race tactics, not the tabloid crap that is in the checkout line at the grocery store.

              • Abdu

                That 90% estimate came from one source.

                Actually the report said: One “respected cycling professional” believes that 90% of the peloton is still doping, another put it at 20%.

                I’m not arguing that doping isn’t still present in the pro peloton, just that using stats like that aren’t quite legit. Anywhere between 20 and 90 sounds about right depending on the race.

            • Abdu

              It’s a joke. Refer Hendo’s tweet to Aru which got the little man steamed up

        • Michele

          Jules .. Don’t bring logic into this. Especially when dealing with Davé [misspelt for legal reasons).

    • Neuron1

      TSP just can’t miss taking a cheap shot at Nibali. Nibali attacked into his strength on stage 19 and SK’s weakness. He, SK, even admitted as much. Thus SK lost the time while Nibali and Chaves completed most of the rest of the stage together. The next day Chaves had bronchitis and SK a broken rib. I am personally amazed that Nibali did not win by even more. TSP do you even understand the acute effects on the pulmonary physiology of acute bronchitis or a rib fracture, especially at altitude, I seriously doubt it. Funny isn’t it that Sagan rode for Liquigas at the same time as Nibali yet nobody is calling him out for his amazing feats. Why? (I think they are clean, as are Nibali’s). So in summary: Nibali 4 GT wins, multiple GTpodiums, multiple GT stage wins, TSP 0. Jealousy, TSP by a landslide. Please just concentrate on getting Greipel a stage win.

      • Kenneth Newman

        I’ve had a rib fracture. Until it’s well on the way to healing, it is sressful, really so when riding, because it hurts so dratted much just to breathe, to the point you can’t take a full breath.

      • Abdu

        It aint Hendo, you do know that don’t you?

        • Neuron1

          And you do? Let us in on your backdoor info.

        • J Evans

          It’s either Hendo or someone who agrees with every word he says.
          Looking forward to reading about the Tour of Georgia next year.

    • Nick Squillari

      Given TSP lambasted Nibali for not waiting for Kruijswijk after his crash, it makes calling Vincenzo ‘out’ for some ‘miraculous’ time recovery a little baffling. It’s clear where the time came from TSP – you wrote about it yourself.

    • Secret CritPro

      I happen to agree, TSP has it in for people, and I for one, am beginning to believe there is no TSP, just a bunch of journo hacks making up the stories, everyone one of which is out there in the real world.
      The comments are bordering on libellous, and I make the point it won’t be long before TSP is gone.

  • Andy B

    “I’m only doing 320w” is something I regularly say on bunch rides when old chaps complain about the pace

  • Anon N + 1

    This sentence doesn’t make sense to me
    “They’ll happily lose the jersey if it’s someone who is seven minutes down already.”
    Maybe that someone WAS seven minutes down at the beginning of the stage, but if that someone takes the jersey at the end of the stage, he has made up that seven minutes and gained time, finishing more than seven minutes ahead of the person who was wearing the jersey at the beginning of the stage.

    • jules

      they let Greg van Avarmaet take it by 5 mins., knowing that he’d crack as soon as the mountains arrived. and he did.

    • Michele

      That’s exactly what Phonak / Landis did in 2006 with Caisse d’Epargne’s Oscar Priero.

      Couple of differences:

      Phonak gave Oscar 30 minutes not 7
      Landis doped
      Oscar didn’t dope *

      * Depends who you ask. :)

      • donncha

        Floyd has said that himself and Pereiro were discussing their doping in that Tour. Pereiro said something like that he still had another blood bag left for the final rest day :-)

        • Michele

          Yes, I’m fully aware of those comments.

          My recollection was he said all that before he finally fessed up.

          Would be interested to hear Landis’ story now. Also interested to know how that synthetic testosterone got into his body – he still disputes that fact, though he’s happy to say he doped in that Tour. ?

          • donncha

            He said it again in a New York Times interview I read just last week.

  • Jeffrey Swainhart

    Froome didn’t exactly play it conservative today. Wow. The green and yellow jerseys going away with their lieutenants, gaining time and a stage win. Beautiful racing. I haven’t been wild about Froome but he’s winning me over.

  • Alexander Holbrook

    TSP, as usual there has been a number of teams dominating the TDF (Sky, BMC, Orica, Dimension Data). Mostly the teams with the bigger budgets etc. Can you comment on the implications (cost, possible loss of sponsorships) that it places on teams that literally don’t perform at all at a big race like the TDF.

    • Superpilot

      *Ahem* Cannondale, Jumbo, AG2R *cough, cough*

  • Connor

    Very interesting and compelling. It’s one guy’s view – unencumbered by PR filters – and that’s why I like it. It doesn’t mean it’s RIGHT…only that it’s right for him. Does it affect my own perspective? Only a little. His comments about Pete K from Sky earlier in the season led me to look at his behaviour in a bit more detail whereupon I did adjust my own opinion somewhat. Anyway, it’s input. So many competing theories about Quintana and Froome…very exciting I think…quite an unknown I think. I’m a Froome fan but I did have to laugh when on the Cycling Podcast old Lionel Bernie called Chris’ (great) descending ‘like a frog on a skateboard’. Tea out the nose stuff.

  • Stephen J Schilling

    [Maybe Froome could do it, just say, “Guys, how about we just back it down?”]

    I think Froome trying to nick seconds at the line is exactly why the GC guys are in the midst of the sprints to begin with. How many sprint stage top 15s does he have so far this Tour?

  • Bex

    loved the squabbles in the gruppetto section, more of this please.

    As for tsp talking down whoever he does… why not, it’s not a factual article, it’s one guys opinion rewritten by a couple of other people… it’s always going to be like listening to someone at the pub, maybe a slightly more informed someone. I like that he’s consistent with his views, would be interesting if he included more from some other teams (ag2r, iam, lotto), there’s only so much to cover with sky and astana.

  • Tim Ashton

    I get really annoyed reading the misleading comment that Nibali made up 4 or 5 minutes in the giro over the last couple of stages. There is always an underlying assertion of doping.

    Fact is he was only around 2min behind chaves, who got sick in the last few days. And Kruswijk who was 4 or 5 min ahead hit a snowbank.

  • Greg B

    Great article. Glad to see Nibali’s Giro performance called out and loved the Fabian insights. This tour has been a blast to watch so far, with surprises on downhills, sprints, and today even with the camera crew. Not beautiful, but fun.

  • david__g

    Have the lawyers been getting to the secret pro? He’s so subdued today.

  • Phil Barone

    OMG! “I think, if you’re close enough to get punched, you’re too close.” That was EXACTLY what I was thinking. My other thought was cow catchers on the motorbikes, that would clear a nice path for the boys.

  • justifieddoubter

    its amazing how Sky can constantly just plug in another domestique and they power Froome up the hill,, finishing with all the best climbers in the sport

  • Article could have used a good editor. I found it hard to follow along in spots.

  • J Evans

    The inevitable sniping at Astana – them being better in the third week. What does he think – that they only dope for the third week? Why would they do that?

    Now that we’ve seen Aru collapse in the third week, TSP looks more stupid than ever.

    As for Nibali gaining so much time in the Giro, as everyone knows, Kruijswijk crashed and broke his rib. That accounts for Nibali’s time gains. Plus Chaves faded in the final days (whether due to fatigue or illness).

    Keep repeating the lies and smears, though.

  • J Evans

    Are UnitedHealthcare continental or pro-conti?

  • Alfa4

    Landa improved a lot in the ITT of the Giro this year.. you are not analysig well.

BACK TO TOP

Pin It on Pinterest

13 NEW ARTICLES
December 6, 2016
December 5, 2016
December 3, 2016