Giro d’Italia Thread 2018 – Contains Spoilers

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  • Giro d’Italia Thread 2018 – Contains Spoilers
  • MrSmith
    Member

    Was the dirt road climb without team cars?  So only neutral service like they do on some of the Flanders burgs? That might explain why they have people on the roadside plus it’s a bit tricky for a hand out on the descents.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Not sure how Brailsford could’ve been at the side of the road handing out snacks – surely he was in the team car following?

    Listen to the interviews with him where it explains it. They knew that was the one part of the course they could make major gains on. It’s far too narrow and steep to be going back to the cars, getting food and coming back up. The race was going to be full gas so the chance of having any domestiques left was minimal, never mind domestiques capable of dropping back half a mile down a mountain to the car and coming back with more food.

    Everyone in Team Sky except the actual people driving the cars was out on that mountain in pre-arranged spots – even the girl doing the social media feed, the driver of the kitchen truck, the mechanics. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d have roped in some volunteers as well – I know they do that at Paris-Roubaix. The staff get collected by the cars coming through in the convoy afterwards.

    No-one else ever thinks of these fairly basic things – they rely on the age old “oh we’ll hand it up at the feed zone” which then means the rider has to carry a load of extra weight and runs the possibility of running out of food. Froome knows that descent, he’s recce’d it and trained on it and a rider on their own in technical terrain like that is always going to be quicker than a disorganised chase group, especially when that chase group has a comparatively crap descender* in it. You wait – at the Tour half the field is going to have staff / volunteers on every major climb handing up food & water!

    *yes, I know he could outride anyone on here with just one hand on the bars, I mean compared to the rest of the people in the group / Froome

    Also doubtful about the fueling thing as I doubt the rest of the field were going hungry in comparison

    It’s 80km of lone effort at pretty much threshold – he’s going to need every calorie he can get, it’s not like hiding in the bunch on a flat stage. Also means he doesn’t need to think about it, doesn’t need to waste effort hanging around at a car picking up a gel or wondering when the next motorbike can get a bottle to him or wondering if he can hold out just a bit longer cos he’s only got 1 gel left – it’s all just there for him.

    If you’ve ever raced (road, CX, XC, doesn’t matter), you’ll know the difference between doing it solo – wondering if the bike will last, if you’ve got enough food etc – and doing it with support when you can grab a gel or bottle every time, you’ve got mechanical backup. Makes a huge difference mentally.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I don’t doubt that Sky did their prep..

    Other things are well open to question!

    I think there are fewer dopers than in previous yrs, though I still think it’s pretty endemic. The dopers are ahead of the testers when it comes down to it & I doubt that many of the leading riders today are 100% clean. I don’t think they dope to the same extent now & micro-dosing is being used. I also think the more money you have the better your doping program is.

    Having said that I’ll still be watching the TDF this year & hoping for some great racing..

    I’ll just be doing it with my eyes open to the state of the sport.

    I’d like to believe in fairytales but pro-cycling has too much history, a lot of it VERY recent, for me to be that naive..

    Premier Icon eddiebaby
    Subscriber

    @crazy-legs thanks for the insight on the guys doing the feeding, didn’t see too much so didn’t realise about that. God is in the details.

    I knew a few of of the better dinghy sailors in the late 60s and 70s who were some of the first to get really technical with their gear and training. Chatting with Rodney Pattison about racing FDs was like chatting with Sir Dave about bikes.

    orangefrog
    Member

    Chill out everyone and watch pharmacy road on sky go😃

    tjagain
    Member

    Someone asked earlier why sky get such pelters for doping in a way other teams do not

    I think this is two reasons – they are “British” and cheating is just not the British way and also they set out their stall as cleaner than clean and have been caught out lying and while staying ( probably) within the letter of the law it is no doubt at all they have not adhered to the spirit of the law with overuse of TUEs in very dodgy circumstances ie their riders have needed steroids for their asthma just before the big tours on numerous occasions

    We the public dislike hypocrites.  Remember ” no needles”?

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Teej you just cant leave it can you? 😁 i thought for a bit you had taken the feedback and walked away but no….. I dont suppose you could start another thread to discuss doping in cycling and leave those that want to enjoy discussion of the race to get on with it please? Will you be doing the same on the Tour thread and veulta thread when they come round? ☹

    tjagain
    Member

    Andy – I was answering an earlier question thats all.  I thought it pertinent.

    Considering that an aaf is supposed to be kept secret, I wonder how many over riders have cases hanging over them?

    And the reason why team sky get more grief, it’s the British way. We support people on the way up, decide they’ve got too good/big for their boots, and then kick them back down again. I think it’s a jealousy thing, someone does something truly amazing, and people are so bitter and twisted that they can’t achieve anything even comparable to this, it makes them feel better if that person’s reputation is destroyed.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    I think TJ is well within his rights to comment on the thread. If you don’t like what he says don’t read it, or block him (?)

    Doping is as much part of pro-cycling as a pigs bladder is in football.

    Stick your fingers in your ears & your head in the sand if you like, but it’s a truth that’s not going away!

    I wish it wasn’t so but it is..

    mrlebowski
    Member

    Lifted this from The Times:

    Boiled down, Chris Froome’s victory at the Giro d’Italia was achieved in just one extraordinary afternoon. On Friday, trailing the pink jersey, Simon Yates, by 3min 22sec, and the defending champion, Tom Dumoulin, by 2min 54sec, Froome went solo with 80 kilometres and three high mountains left to race. He crested the Finestre alone, extended his advantage over the Sestriere and then held on for the summit finish at Jafferau. Froome won stage 19 by more than three minutes, giving him the overall lead and, two days later, his history-making third consecutive grand tour victory.

    To his supporters, Froome’s solo raid was one of the best single-stage performances ever in a three-week race. His detractors, however, viewed the performance with suspicious incredulity. Even a wide-eyed <span class=”paywall-EAB47CFD”>George Bennett, the GC rider on Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, responded immediately after the stage by stating that Froome had “done a Landis” — a reference to Floyd Landis’s notorious solo attack to Morzine at the 2006 Tour de France, before the American was banned for drugs. Bennett later clarified that he had not meant to imply that Froome was doping, but still felt the Sky leader had performed “the greatest comeback since Easter Sunday”.</span>
    <div class=”Article-content paywall-EAB47CFD”>

    Regarding that afternoon in the Italian Alps, the case for the prosecution has been made all over social media. By contrast, here are some of the arguments for the defence.

    <b>1) Froome gained most of his time on the descents</b>
    Estimates vary, but Froome gained at least half of his three-minute lead on the long descents from the Finestre and the Sestriere climb: probably about a minute on the former, 30 seconds on the latter. Descending solo and picking your own lines is an advantage, especially for a rider as fearless as Froome. Among the pursuers, Tom Dumoulin was particularly angry about the way his group tackled the downhill sections, pointing the finger especially at Sébastien Reichenbach for “descending like a grandmother”, and Thibaut Pinot has long been mocked for his caution downhill. By contrast, Froome’s descending prowess has been widely known, especially after his successful downhill attack off the Peyresourde at the 2016 Tour de France.

    <b>2) The time gap was not thathuge</b>
    Froome’s victory was made to look even more epic because Simon Yates, the overnight leader, lost almost 40 minutes. But Yates’s time can basically be discounted. He cracked badly and had to give up on the stage and the race. The next four finishers lost between 3min and 3min 23sec — or about 2.5 seconds per kilometre. On such difficult terrain, where riding solo does not have the same disadvantages it would have on the flat, such a gain is plausible — especially for a rider with Froome’s time-trialling prowess. As for the comparisons with Landis, they are overexaggerated: Froome gained 3min 23sec over Dumoulin; Landis gained more than seven minutes on Óscar Pereiro in his infamous 2006 attack.

    <b>3) Froome was not as tired as other riders</b>
    <figure class=”Media Article-media Media–primary Media–withCredit Media–withCaption”>
    <div class=”Media-holder”>
    <div class=”is-delayedImageContainer”>Froome attacked the mountainous stage solo for 80 kilometres</div>
    </div>
    <figcaption class=”Media-caption”><span class=”Media-captionContainer”>Froome attacked the mountainous stage solo for 80 kilometres<small>TIM DE WAELE/GETTY IMAGES</small></span></figcaption></figure>
    It is no secret that Froome is the best grand-tour rider in the peloton and he had trained specifically to peak in the final week of the Giro. Because of his crash on the opening day of the race, he had not been riding at his most aggressive while recovering from his injuries (in fact, he had been losing time). Although he won the stage to Monte Zoncolan, compared to his previous grand tour victories, and compared to Yates and Dumoulin especially, Froome had spent relatively little time in the front of the peloton up until Friday afternoon.

    <b>4) The chase group underperformed</b>
    Five riders formed the group to chase Froome down: Tom Dumoulin, Reichenbach, Richard Carapaz, Miguel Ángel Lopez and Thibaut Pinot. Of those five, Lopez and Carapaz appeared more interested in marking each other in competition for the best young rider’s jersey and Reichenbach later apologised to Dumoulin for not pulling his weight. Dumoulin and Pinot (second and fifth on GC at the time) were motivated, but gambled, perhaps wrongly, that riding as a bickering group of five was still better than a co-operative pair.

    <b>5) The attack was meticulously planned</b>
    Sky’s habit of blowing their own trumpet winds people up, but there is no doubt they got their strategy right. Froome’s domestiques rode such a high pace at the bottom of the Finestre that his rivals struggled to find the extra ten per cent needed to chase him down when he made his move. Then with his escape confirmed, Froome was kept fed and watered by up to 12 Sky staff members placed at intervals down the road and wearing DayGlo jackets to make them easier for him to spot. On a stage like that, staying fully fuelled is one of the biggest challenges.

    <b>6) Some riders believed what they saw</b>
    George Bennett’s comments about Froome “doing a Landis” whipped up a firestorm, but there were plenty of riders who responded with a simple “chapeau”. Alex Dowsett, the Briton riding for Katusha-Alpecin, said: “Take away all the other shit that’s going on about Froome — just focus on what [Team Sky] did. They took an exceptional athlete, they analysed the stage and they just did things better than everyone else. They’ve had a lot of bad press lately but they came in to do cycling better than everyone else and I think they showed that yesterday.”

    <b>7) Froome knew the terrain</b>
    In his post-stage press conference, Froome said that attacking on the gravel road at the top of the Finestre reminded him of his childhood riding in Africa. But he felt at home on the paved surfaces too, having used these roads frequently on training rides specifically to prepare for the Giro. Froome also knows better than almost any other rider what power output he is capable of sustaining (although after the stage he claimed not to know his power stats for that particular ride). He was furnished with all the information — but still needed to put it into practice.

    <b>8) Sky had nothing to lose</b>
    Desperate times call for desperate measures. Trailing by more than three minutes, Froome simply had to throw caution to the wind. Audacious as it looked, flying solo from 80 kilometres out was the only way he could win the Giro. Maybe even he didn’t expect the gamble to pay off as perfectly as it did — but he can’t be blamed for trying it.”

    Good comments well made..

    (But I still don’t think pro-cycling is clean….;-)….)

    </div>

    Premier Icon Andy
    Subscriber

    Thanks mrlebowski, that is a good read, and I dont think cycling is clean either. With Froome, just need to wait and see, but silly has gone on for so long.  However I do get tired of Internet Argu-bots dominating threads by saying the same thing repeatedly. You are right as well, time to look at that blocking gadget..

    wait4me
    Member

    I have to say Phillipa has gone down a long way in my opinion. I’m sure she won’t care. But that article seemed to pin a lot of its supposed credibility on something Sean Yates said. Anyone for a game of Yatesy Bingo? Ms York took the bonification there.

    wait4me
    Member

    Sean Kelly obvs.

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    I think ‘balance’ is the wrong word to associate with that article.

    Very poorly written, started with a conclusion then attempted to justify it by citing opinion rather than fact. No analysis.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Pippa york’s article is pretty pathetic really. Lazy journalism.

    <span style=”font-size: 0.8rem;”>Besides, I always take the opinions of convicted drug cheats with a punch of salt. </span>

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    Just says pretty much what the Indi Journo says, just in a different way.

    I reckon theres one press release and they all just chop bits out of it and pass it around their other journo mates..

    I thought it insightful.. better to have someone whose been involved with cycling comment on it rather than some blob sitting on a desk 600 miles away whilst eating doughnuts ..

    IMO.

    brakes
    Member

    PY carries a lot of respect because she’s an ex-pro and her insight is well regarded. I don’t think this latest piece does her any favours – makes her look a little out of touch.

    dovebiker
    Member

    Phillipa York?  Best not ask about her participation at TVM or Le Groupemont where there are well-publicised doping cases – just keep the Omerta and it’ll all be rosy.

    mrlebowski
    Member

    It’s an opinion piece & not much more.

    PY has only repeated & put together what others, who know far more about pro-cycling than anyone on here I’ll wager, has stated.

    Some of you need to find a bit of spine – what she’s said is worth listening to  particularly with Sky’s very, very, grey history!

    Salbutamol strikes me as being a drug that someone who was looking for an area to gain an edge might think it useful.

    Grey area on the testing protocol? Check.

    Has anabolic steroid properties if taken by IV or tablet? Check.

    Convenient cover story that your athlete is an asthmatic? Check.

    Sounds perfect for someone looking to bend the rules & we all know how close to the wind pro-cycling & Sky in particular like to get…

    I don’t doubt that Froome is quite an amazing athlete & quite probably the strongest GC rider for some time. He’d have won that stage clean or otherwise I feel. Likewise any other of his wins.

    Having said that pro-cycling is far from clean…yet….IMHO.

    scud
    Member

    Difficult, i really like David Millar’s insight during the TdF but no denying his history, but he does give an actual racers view of strategy and positioning.

    I think unfortunately cycling is always going to be tarnished, because it now holds itself to a really high standard and has been very public with the whole Armstrong scandal. So many other sports are absolutely rife with PED’s, my beloved sport of rugby was awash with steroids for a long time, i remember guys coming back the next season and being twice the size, but doesn’t get the same scrutiny.

    The trouble, when do we start trusting riders, and when can we enjoy a display like Froome’s the other day and hope that it is clean?

    Sky haven’t helped themselves either, the made a lot of noise about being the a “clean team” and getting rid of any staff with any sort of history, only then to blunder there way through interviews and go very quiet with all the Wiggins scandal, their PR people really didn’t do them any favours.

    Personally i do not think Froome’s 80km attack was any more spectacular than Yate’s ability to win 3 stages and do so well in the two TT stages for him, he emptied himself to do that for 2 1/2 weeks, ultimately he paid for it, but it was an amazing display of riding.

    I personally am unsure of Froome, i use Salbutomol, and he knows that as he was in leaders jersey he was going to be tested every single day, to overdose on such a simple drug knowing you’ll be tested and which does not really provide much benefit in a single days over-usage (he was fine the days either side) then he would have to be really stupid. If you are going to dose yourself for a single stage, there are more effective and less detectable drugs?

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    D’ya reckon Froomidge will be on the start line of the TdF ?

    I’m not a betting man, but I think it’ll down to the sign on day whether he clips in or not. 🐵🙈🙉

    Hmm, tricky one for the organiser. If you bar everyone with a sniff of wrongdoing, there will be about three riders, and if you bar the greatest GT rider of a generation, you risk making it a non event. On the flip side, it’s means they can act holier than thou (when they new everyone was doping for years), and they will get a shit load of press coverage about it.

    scud
    Member

    I reckon he’ll be there, i think Sky aren’t daft, if they genuinely thought he was going to get a ban or a finding against him, he wouldn’t of started the Giro, they know what evidence they are relying upon and what their lawyers are saying, i think he would of been quietly side-lined, they cannot afford much more bad PR, especially with Sky as a company potentially being sold.

    What can they actually do, he had an adverse finding, this isn’t a fail of a dope test, it is an anomaly that needs explaining, and if anyone can afford the nest sports scientists to explain an anomaly and make the science “fit” the case, then it is Sky.

    Premier Icon bikebouy
    Subscriber

    Tricky, but just wondering out loud if the investigation will ever get underway before the TdF or perhaps delayed until after the event.

    Nice to see Sunweb drink down a whole cooler of beer whilst sitting outside thier team on the grass flaked out 🤙🤙🍺🍺🍺🍺🍻🍻🍻🥂🥂🥂

    Tom said “time for a BBQ and some beers” I love that !!

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    That’s part of the problem with having former pros commentate.

    David Millar I’ll let off because he’s at least willing to acknowledge what went on, his part in it all and because he retired recently enough to still be very knowledgable but pros who last turned a pedal in anger in the late 80’s are out of touch with the sport as it’s developed now.

    Even Lance, while his podcasts can actually be quite entertaining, some of his views are still very much stuck in the “we did it this way in the 90’s therefore that’s all I need to know”.

    The Pippa York article is pretty disgraceful really – lazy opinion piece rather than proper journalism. The Times article above is good – it wasn’t one factor, it was a combination of everything coming together at the right time and the race unfolding in what was actually quite a lucky way (the composition of the chase group being one of those aspects).

    my beloved sport of rugby was awash with steroids for a long time

    I suspect it still is

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Compare Froome’s performance with Yates’ attack 17km from the end of stage 15 into Sappada. In that relatively short distance he put almost a minute into the chasers before they got their act together and pulled some time back. In Froome’s case the chase was never well organized and he had more kms to extend his lead.

    atlaz
    Member

    With regards to PY.. I read this and couldn’t quite understand the point she was trying to make.

    The TT specialists can turn a massive gear quickly and they try to spin a tiny gear on steep hills to limit the hurt, but they aren’t going over mountains in the front using that style.

    In comparison, Bradley Wiggins rode a small gear uphill but he also pedalled at a similar speed in the time trials, so that kind of made sense. With Froome, there’s no recognisable connection between the power used in each discipline.

    What is the point, bar wasting a few words in a column as clearly he DOES ride like that. And quite successfully.

    Kelly is someone who has been pointed out by people in the know as a doper and as for Hinault, didn’t he get a ban for refusing to have a doping test in the 80s (at a post-tour Criterium of all things)?

    Returning to Froome, there are youtube vids of him on the Finestre last year so it’s pretty obvious he and Sky did their homework to work out how they could ram-raid the Giro rather than do a Tour-style start to finish domination as I’d guess they knew he’d come in under-cooked. I don’t know what the hell happened at the Vuelta but surely his doping controls will be subject to such strictness that we can probably assume he’s clean if he doesn’t get busted (or he’s got some awesome new gear).

    atlaz
    Member

    Oh, and something else from PY’s article…

    After all the scandals, from Shane Sutton saying that Team Sky gamed the TUE system, to the stock of Kenalog, Jiffy bags, lost medical records, the DCMS report, UKAD’s investigation, testosterone deliveries, Tramadol use, and a win-at-all-cost culture, Froome’s ride could only lead us to ask questions.

    How much of that list is from Wiggo and British Cycling, how much is down to Team Sky and how much down to Froome. It doesn’t help reasoned discussions when even “expert” commentators don’t provide any perspective.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    How much of that list is from Wiggo and British Cycling, how much is down to Team Sky and how much down to Froome. It doesn’t help reasoned discussions when even “expert” commentators don’t provide any perspective.

    How much perspective do you want when you’ve just been given a list of ‘indiscretions’ that Sky – and that is all Sky, not BC – have been involved in over that last few years. Not a short list, either. Do you genuinely think that Froome hasn’t benefited from any of that? How about his domestiques? (Remember that out of a bunch of 17 riders that blew the race apart pre-Landis solo ride there were 6 Sky riders present. )

    ugarizza
    Member

    We don’t need no grumpy ex-pros.

    No dark suspicion in the press room.

    Hey Badger! Leave our dogs alone!

    atlaz
    Member

    How much perspective do you want when you’ve just been given a list of ‘indiscretions’ that Sky – and that is all Sky, not BC

    Rubbish.

    Kenalog – wiggins (whilst at Team Sky)

    Jiffy bags – wiggins (whilst at Team Sky) + BC

    the DCMS report – Wiggins, team Sky, BC

    UKAD’s investigation – all of the above

    testosterone deliveries – BC

    Tramadol use – Team Sky

    win-at-all-cost culture – BC + Team Sky

    Now, there’s a lot of overlap I agree but it’s hardly like all of this is 100% related to Team Sky and it’s also nuanced. If you remove the Wiggo-era stuff and the stuff lots of teams were doing (tramadol for example) then it’s hardly as damning as PY wants to make it seem. She’s got an axe to grind for some reason and she’s working pretty hard on it.

    chrismac
    Member

    I dont think there is any such thing as clean sport anymore unfortunately. You can either pass the doping test or you cant. Passing a test is no longer, if ever, a demonstration of being cleam

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    Rubbish.

    Kenalog – wiggins (whilst at Team Sky)………………….

    If you had come back to me with equivalent investigations into Astana, or Giant/Sunweb or whoever then I’d be more inclined to agree.

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