Is pro cycling now a clean sport?

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  • Is pro cycling now a clean sport?
  • lightman
    Member

    No.
    Just look at Horner.

    tomkerton
    Member

    Sadly no, Menchov and Tiernan Locke in the last week alone. It taints a truly incredible sport and tales away from those riders who do race clean as the finger of suspicion always hovers over them. It also means Big sponsors for the pro teams are hard to find, sky the exception. Bel kin have only done one season. The fear of having your teams name all over the news associated with doping s still too much of a risk.

    alexathome
    Member

    Well, yer Horner might be a little suspect – but he’s pretty light, so would of only put out maybe 325/335 watts over that final climb – which is the best part of F’all compared to the days of Pantani.

    alexathome
    Member

    I didn’t want to bring up Tiernan-Locke, as the jury is still out on that one. Plus I don’t know enough about the passport system to have a worthwhile comment. But it does seem that with the exception of a couple of recent pingings that the actual performances themselves are certainly more believable now-a-days.

    alexathome
    Member

    I know that occasionally there are some pro’s that get picked up for this that and the other, but looking at today’s stage (13) and seeing how Valverde couldn’t respond in his previous manner i.e. Courchevel and checking out Ten Dams output on the final climb the numbers sure look a lot less crazy than they did in the past, in fact they were lower than I thought they’d be! – am I being naive or is pro cycling now pretty much drug free?

    jimster01
    Member

    I’d like to think so, but there will always be an element of doubt thanks to Armstrong.

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    Cleaner than Rugby Union.

    bspoked
    Member

    Things seemed to changed since Operation Puerto:

    Barcelona not winning every tournament they enter.
    Spain disappointing at the world cup
    Nadal no longer dominating on every surface

    Oh. You asked about cycling…

    Premier Icon lunge
    Subscriber

    100% clean? No, but a whole lot cleaner than it was. And a lot cleaner than many other sports as well IMO.

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    Seriously? I’d say naivety.

    We still have ‘incredible’ riders being able to ride people off their wheel on the steep stuff and place highly/win time trials all whilst weighing as much as an anorexic schoolgirl. It used to be that you were either a climber or a TTer and that’s what the Tour battles were all about.

    The blood passport has been proven to not be all powerful as a) Armstrong was never popped by the UCI on his comeback despite USADA using his dodgy parameters as their pathway to getting him banned and b) heaps of people in pro cycling have been complaining about the lack of testing (some Dutch neo-pros said they weren’t tested for 6 month in out of season did they not). I believe the term is bandwidth doping. Every era learns how to cheat the system. If you haven’t read it go read The Secret Race (Tyler Hamiltons book) and seek out the Landis interview where he blows the whistle on micro-dosing. It’s still doable (just more complicated than keeping you hct level below 50%!).

    Re JTL, a little research will show that there were questions raised about his performances, so much so that Endura tried to get him on the passport system despite him not being pro tour rider. Sadly he does fit an all too familiar mould…

    Cycling is obviously cleanER but history tells we’ve been here before and it usually turns to be a tissue of lies.

    pjt201
    Member

    The blood passport has been proven to not be all powerful as a) Armstrong was never popped by the UCI on his comeback despite USADA using his dodgy parameters as their pathway to getting him banned and

    I thought the issue with LA and the biological passport was that you needed 6 months of testing to build a baseline prior to competition on a world/protour team and he managed to get the UCI to waive this before his comeback (I think he only announced it a few months before the tour iirc).

    Premier Icon metalheart
    Subscriber

    Armstrong rode two comeback tours. UCI didn’t see anything untoward in his profile, USADA used it to drive a truck through. But, yes, he didn’t have the full 6 months (he rode the TdU in, what, January without the requisite period?).

    And let’s not forget TUEs, the sanctioned use of PEDs in cycling. it can never be truly drug free with this going on. Surprising the amount of asthma sufferers within procycling ranks! It’s great to see it never held them back…

    cyclistm
    Member

    Clean? Not a chance. Cleaner? Maybe, but I doubt it.

    And a lot cleaner than many other sports as well IMO.

    . Definitely this.

    I just watch the tour for the spectacle and assume they are all juiced. At the level of the Tour de France it’s big business, it’s no longer sport.

    gogg
    Member

    They’re all using Cilit Bang these days….

    globalti
    Member

    I’d love to believe they were all clean but have to admit to scepticism when I see how Nibbles is performing. He has that unbelievable vigour that riders like Armstrong and Pantani were showing as they romped up the Alps. More discrete and low-key for sure but it’s the freshness of the man that makes me suspect.

    alexathome
    Member

    Well……………. I can’t see that these pro’s are producing significantly more power than the local riders that I ride with – where as if you look at Pantani’s Watts per KG they are just mental. That’s what I’m basing my assumption on. Ten dam’s was 5.6 today – this isn’t beyond the realms of possibility by any standards, not sure what race you were watching.

    nbt
    Member

    globalti + 1 – as we watched Nibali ride away from the others last night I remarked that while I hope he’s just *that* good, I can’t help but be reminded of Good ol’ Lance doing the same up Alpe d’Huez..

    alexathome
    Member

    Yer he road away from them, but if they were putting out 5.6 watts per kg and he was putting out 6.5 for a few mins then it would of looked the same as Armstrong riding away from riders putting out 6.5 whilst he put out 8 W/kg. The speed and power looks lower than it used to. Look at Valverde and Armstrong up Corchevel, that’s EPO and oxygen vector drugs at work, I’d say that if there’s any doping today then it’s minimal at best, not enough to add the 15+% to W/KG as before.

    Junkyard
    Member

    when I see how Nibbles is performing. He has that unbelievable vigour that riders like Armstrong and Pantani were showing as they romped up the Alps

    You do know he won the Vueleta and the Giro as well. Basically he is one of the best climbers in the world and one of the best cyclists
    You do know the two best climbers in the world are not there? Imagine bolt racing without his nearets rivals there he would look even more awesome.
    You do know he smashed them with a 10 second win ? That really is impressive eh. AGAIN 10 SECONDS AND THIS IS PROOF 🙄
    You do know his watts per kg are in the normal and nothing like the drug cheating days
    You do know about the sport you are commenting on?

    his performance are not remarkable at all beyond him being the best at the race.

    IMHO cycling will be cleaner than at any time in its history and cleaner than most sports.
    Due to LA every one who wins [ unless it is Wiggo coz we love him] faces this same inquisition.
    Nibbles performance was nothing like LA performance on L’alpe [ PS panatani holds the record time for an ascent of it – see point above about knowing the sport]

    alexathome
    Member

    as above, with the arrow thing. Thanks to accessibility to riders data that we have now I am beginning to believe that it’s pretty much drug free.

    And I was the biggest skeptic out there. I’ve raced bikes.

    Premier Icon Blackhound
    Subscriber

    My worry concerning Nibali yesterday was that he made it look easy, he wasn’t breathing hard as he pulled away. Look at some of the riders behind him and the effort they are putting in. I did wonder if he was doing ‘just enough’.

    Of course what doesn’t help Nibali is his DS, Vino, who has previous. Maybe not fair on Nibali but harder to have confidence in him.

    Suspect it is cleaner but I really don’t know how much.

    Premier Icon eat_more_cheese
    Subscriber

    You do know about the sport you are commenting on?

    Sadly, it’s the sport that history has proved to be riddled with cheaters, so can’t blame the above posters for thinking it continues. I look at Nibali and think he’s one of the best all round riders I’ve ever seen-given his current form I believe he’d give LA at the height of his drug fuelled career a run for his money. But I am an optimist.

    Junkyard
    Member

    are you kidding?
    Two points
    1. yes the ebst rider will put in less effot. If we were to try to stay with them we wuld be breathign a lot more than the peleton. It wont mean they all cheat it will mean they are fitter and stronger than us
    2. Did you not see him recovering when he bridged the gap? sat behind and had clearly red lined to do that.
    Once a year you watch a race and ,feign expertise on the subject, and say the winner [ unless cool and british] is a druggie.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Nibali’s mainly ahead in the Tour because of stage five though, which looked more about commitment and tactics than pure power.

    And as has been pointed out, he’s racing against second-string rivals now.

    The only high-profile rider I’d point the finger at recently is Horner, and he appears to have toned it down now anyway.

    Damn shame Froome and Bertie are both out though, imagine how good yesterday’s stage could’ve been.

    nbt
    Member

    I’ll freely admit I know little – I was never a fan of road racing, have gronw to like it recently and have recently read a few cycling (auto)biographies such as David Millar, Lance, Wegelius and Tyler Hamilton. Yes, I know Pantani holds the record up alpe d’huez but he didnt pull comtemptuously away fro the others – or am I thinking of mont ventoux? As I just said I dont claim to be an oracle, and I know Nibali is current this that and the other champ but he seemed to be riding at the same level he’s been riding all week while the rest of the field – including let’s not forget Richie Porte who at the bottom of that climb was lying second – were quite frankly blowing out of their arses.

    I can accept and applaud his win, but the way he cruised through the pack, then caught and passed both the chase group and the leaders just puts that little doubt in my mind.

    lemonysam
    Member

    Did you not see him recovering when he bridged the gap? sat behind and had clearly red lined to do that.

    Exactly, he didn’t just accelerate away from them for the rest of the stage, he pulled out a 30 second lead and then slowed back, if Valverde and Pinot (it was him, right?) had attacked then they’d possibly have hauled him back but Valverde didn’t want to go. After Nibali had slowed for a while and recovered he was able to put in another small dig on a much less steep part of the climb and take another few seconds out of two rivals who were more concerned with marking each other.

    Nibali has suddenly found form after not having the best of seasons and coming under pressure from his team management. Seems to be finding these climbs a little to easy so you do get suspicious when riders seem streets ahead of their rivals. Today’s stage will be interesting to see if Nibali toys with the other GC guys again. I have my doubts hope I’m proved wrong though.

    alexathome
    Member

    I can accept and applaud his win, but the way he cruised through the pack, then caught and passed both the chase group and the leaders just puts that little doubt in my mind.

    Don’t forget that he was protected all day and his w/kg were pretty average. Looked good, but only when compared with like for like. (IMHO)

    MrSmith
    Member

    No but it’s way cleaner than it was and I would say a lot cleaner than most sports purely down to the amount of testing including out of competition,
    Just look at how much doping there is in rugby
    http://www.ukad.org.uk/anti-doping-rule-violations/current-violations/

    Junkyard
    Member

    The only high-profile rider I’d point the finger at recently is Horner

    That one is hard to explain…no one gets faster and stronger as they eneter their 40’s

    Porte had a bay day at the office but he is not a top drawer cyclist anyway.

    The sports real problem is everytime the race is on we have this discussion

    Its the sports fault we have to do this though and not the contributors on here – for example I dont believe Horner was clean so we all do it.

    IMHO you do not see the ridicolous stuff of old when they would sprint up 2000m ascents of 18 km in 30 minutes after 15) km on day 22 of the race. that was super human

    nbt
    Member

    In fairness I was only watching highlights so they may not have shown any recovery periods or so on

    Junkyard
    Member

    its on eurosport now so you will see his attack and then when he bridges he clearly rests/recovers

    As I said it is the sport that did this to itself [ sorry for being a bit grumpy with you]

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Everybody is bent.

    There is no such thing as a clean sport.
    Never has been, never will be.

    dirk_pumpa
    Member

    no sport is clean.. from the amateurs to the pros there will always be people who are juicing.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
    Subscriber

    That one is hard to explain…no one gets faster and stronger as they eneter their 40’s

    Speak for yourself, mate. I can down my food and drink way better than I used to, both in speed and quantity.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Nibali has suddenly found form after not having the best of seasons and coming under pressure from his team management.

    Built his whole season around peaking for the Tour, so not a surprise that he wasn’t on great form for some of the other races. As has been said before, he came into the Dauphine off of a massive training block so not surprised he was a bit off the pace. All about periodisation.

    The whole Vino thing is a disappointment. Nibali chose to sign for that team, knowing the staff and who was involved. Though Vino is I believe a very popular figure amongst the peloton.

    Is the sport clean? Unlikely. But I’m inclined to think it’s having less of an impact that it did during the Armstrong era.

    That one is hard to explain…no one gets faster and stronger as they eneter their 40’s

    Not altogether uncommon in endurance sports. I think it’s more a case of how many years of professional sports the body can take, rather than it just being an age thing (though I think your body does stop producing things it needs for speedy recovery around about the 40 mark, though each individual is different.) At club level it’s pretty common to see vets going just as quick as the younger guys.

    ocrider
    Member

    It’s been pointed out before around these parts, but as long as the team cars are loaded with dopers, the sport will not be clean.
    Not to say it isn’t cleaner than many, if not most other sports nowadays.

    alexathome
    Member

    Though Vino is I believe a very popular figure amongst the peloton.

    I guess that you didn’t watch the few minutes after then finish at the London Olympics then!

    I stand by my assertion that the power outputs this year are highly credible in terms of being achievable and only put themselves a touch above cat 1 levels – which Is where they should be.

    Sure there is cheating, there is in cat 4, 3, 2, 1, elite and pro I know, I’ve seen it, or at least heard about it. But I believe at the top it now at least looks pretty credible in terms of what is humanly achievable without PED’s.

    lemonysam
    Member

    The most significant change for me is that even where riders are doping, there’s good evidence to suggest that they’re gaining less benefit from it. The playing field may not be perfectly level but it’s getting closer all the time – I personally think it’s level enough that clean athletes are competitive.

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