Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

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Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Mon 25 Jun 2012, 1:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

I thought I would start the ball rolling on the TDF 2012. It is less than a week away now.

My predictions:
Yellow Jersey: Bradley Wiggins - Gotta go with the Brit
Green Jersey: Peter Sagan - Imperious form and I think Cav will go for stage wins not the Jersey
Polka dot jersey: Anyone's guess. Probably a Frenchman.
White Jersey: Again up in the air.
Best Team: Team Sky or BMC for me.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 1:21 pm

I agree that Wiggins could get gaps of 1 or even 2 minutes on all his rivals, but I don't think he can rely on that. If Wiggins is in front before the TT I expect him to blugeon it much as he did the first. If for whatever reason he is behind, it becomes a different ball game.

The point I was making was that past form and TTing ability doesn't guarantee results at the final TT - as seen by Sastre, Pereiro (forgot about him) and A. Schleck in the very recent past.

However I think this is all pretty wishful thinking - unless Wiggins has an off-day (or Froome goes after him) no one will be within a minute of him come the final TT.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 1:29 pm

Well we can't forget that about Froome as well. He ain't too bad at TTing either, so they need to lose him as well.

Wiggins or Froome should win it barring any dramas
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 1:34 pm

The only danger for Wiggins and Sky is that he blows on one of the climbs tomorrow and Sky misguidedly send back Froome to help him out. In that case they can both lose 5 minutes to Nibali and Evans and the tour.

But I can't see it myself. And as Froome won't attack Wiggins (unless it's just the two of them left in the final climb on Thursday)...

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 2:14 pm

Mike
Sky made that mistake at the Vuelta last year, and it lost Froome the title - he tried to gain back the lost 2-3 minutes on Cobo, but there just wasn't enough time left in the race. It won't happen again - if Wiggins fades on a climb it will be up to Porte and Rogers to look after him and minimise his losses, while Froome will be allowed his head. Doubt it will happen though, as I don't think any of the other contenders are strong enough to put Wiggins and his teammates in trouble.

You're also right of course to say that the final ITT is a bit of a special case, and that overall contenders have a history of over-performing in it compared with the earlier TT and their normal performance level - in part because of riding to defend a lead, allowing them to dig deeper than they normally would. Of course the other thing is that everyone is tired coming out of the second mountains, but very often the guy leading is less fatigued than those chasing. This is very likely to be the case this year, as Wiggins will be able to ride defensively in the next couple of days and just make sure that he limits any time lost to his GC opponents, while they will have to go on the attack early in the stages, which is more energy-sapping.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 5:29 pm

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/18877975

Seems like Froome might well be leader next year. And good on Bradley saying that he will help Froome win the Tour. Good honest bloke, knows his role
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 8:21 pm

With regard the Wiggins I would like to add that Sky and Wiggins himself have said that they could have won (challenged strongly for...) the TdF last year - he said he was in the shape of his life - but of course he broke his collar bone early and had to pull out.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by spencerclarke on Tue 17 Jul 2012, 11:06 pm

Nore Staat wrote:With regard the Wiggins I would like to add that Sky and Wiggins himself have said that they could have won (challenged strongly for...) the TdF last year - he said he was in the shape of his life - but of course he broke his collar bone early and had to pull out.

I think what they learnt most from last year was to keep him near the front and out of the way of as many possible crashes as they can. To which they are doing a great job so far.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:49 am

spencerclarke wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:With regard the Wiggins I would like to add that Sky and Wiggins himself have said that they could have won (challenged strongly for...) the TdF last year - he said he was in the shape of his life - but of course he broke his collar bone early and had to pull out.

I think what they learnt most from last year was to keep him near the front and out of the way of as many possible crashes as they can. To which they are doing a great job so far.

Considering that this year's race was like a demolision derby in the first week or so, Wiggins has done well to avoid any damaging accidents.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:54 am

Right, looking forward to today's stage. What do I expect? Possibly a fruitless attack from Cadel early on, makes a bit of a lead then gets reeled back in. I'm backing Nibali to make it clear though, possibly a relatively late attack on the way up the Peyresourde, with gap extended going down to finish. 1:30 off Wiggins, winning the stage and moving into second in the GC. Anyone else going to stick their neck out and make a prediction?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 9:57 am

I say Wiggins and Froome drop Nibali on the final climb, but Nibali to catch him them on the descent. Evans won't be able to cut it, and I say a breakaway win, but the winner is anybodies guess!!
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:25 am

Outsider - Juan Jose Cobo (stated he's beginning to feel good and ready to test himself in the pyrenees and wants a stage win).

Otherwise it has to be Nibali. If nothing happens and the GC are altogether then Froome to take the stage on a sprint at the end.


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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:28 am

I think Cadel will have a crack on the first couple of climbs but to little effect, spend his energy and then be dropped out the back fairly early on. To be fair he may as well, little glory in hanging on for 4th. I just don't think he's got the legs though.

This could make the race more exciting, as with Evans gone, Nibali hasn't got much to lose either (podium spot secure) so surely should have a go. Van den Broeck may also try to attack Nibali to get that podium place.

Some crazy people will go for a breakaway, but unless you're a really good climber you're going to struggle today.

Sky will look to show how superior they are - the final two climbs may be quite brutal.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 12:16 pm

Stage win to be taken by one of the second tier climbers from an early break who holds on to the end - Cobo could be a good call, along with the likes of Peraud or Dan Martin.

Actually, just looked at the live coverage, and there's a massive break (30+ riders) up the road over the top of the first climb - Martin's in there, and Chris Anker-Sorenson as another rider who could hold out for the stage win. Voeckler is also in the break, but is chasing KoM points so will be using energy and is unlikely to hold out till the end.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 12:40 pm

Plenty of decent climbers in this group: guys like Martinez, Sorensen, Casar, Poppovych, etc.. Would fancy Voeckler but as dummy_half says chasing KoM points could hamper him. Think this group will whitle down quite a lot in the Tourmalet and we'll know more then (even if others will bridge the gap back in the descent, anyone dropped on the Tourmalet is unlikely to feature in the end battle), but still unsure they'll make it to the end if the battle at the top starts before the last climb (which it should do, if anyone actually wants to beat Wiggins).

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 12:41 pm

Taraamie or Rui Costa?

I reckon any breakaway will be caught late on by the attacking Nibali or VDB! Only 5 minutes ahead

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 1:44 pm

Martin and Voeckler seem to have the best legs in the breakaway so far. The Rabobank Ten Dam looks in decent form as well.

Just as I type this Martin off the back of the front 3, now Feillu and Voeckler on their own. It's a long long way for 2 guys...

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:15 pm

Surprised nobody attacked on the Tourmalet. Sky still have Knees and EBH for the next climb, with Rogers, Porte and Froome unworried at the moment. Would have thought someone would have tried to shread Knees and EBH on that past climb
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:21 pm

Exactly, what's the point in letting Wiggins just stroll behind his lead out, anti-climax this stage so far in terms of GC. I expect they will attack late on but it will be too late. VDB should just go and attack the Aspin' and bring Rolland with him, spice things up. Nibali will wait until the last minute because he knows he can only go from so far out on his own and make use of the descents.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:23 pm

I think maybe they might be saving something for tomorrow John. What with the summit finish tomorrow, they might think that the gains on Wiggins tomorrow could be more than what they could gain today
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:43 pm

Well it looks like my prediction was out... I honestly thought Cadel would at least have a go. Especially with Hincapie ahead of him in the breakaway. The fact that neither he nor Nibali have tried has allowed the breakaway get far enough ahead that they will probably win the stage. I really hope that the GC contenders at least try and have a go in the final 25-30km. Arguably they have more chance of making ground on the final descent than they do on a climb, so I would say this is their best chance to get themselves in contention.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by phildange on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:51 pm

Nibali tries to comfort his 3rd ranking . Evans is very bad today .

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 2:51 pm

Evans has blown.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 3:41 pm

Evans has blown which is no surprise. A bit disappointed by Van Den Broeck who could have had a long shot.

Liquidas have ridden well and Nibali has a go but Wiggins and Froome are far too strong this year.

Brilliant brilliant from Voeckler again - what a champion!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by phildange on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 3:56 pm

Voeckler crossed the 4 summits in first position . This is very rare, I think Merckx was the last one . Stage win and polka dot jersey for Thomas .

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 4:03 pm

Got to say that was very good from Wiggins today. When Froome couldn't chase Nibali on that final attack Wiggins just got his engine going and caught him with ease.

It would be interesting to see him riding off against Froome, but I suppose that's not going to happen this year at least.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 4:10 pm

Supreme ride from Voeckler. Evans was always going to blow, he knew, his team knew it and now everyone knows. Disappointing from VDB, quite poor in fact. Nibali had a go but Team Sky and Wiggins were never in trouble. I can't see much happening tomorrow. For Wiggins the GC has been worryingly thin for rivals this year but he's taken full advantage and he should win in Paris with no problems. This tour won't be rememebered as a great but it will be forever rememebered for Wiggins achievement.

I think next year will be a different story though altogether which is why Wiggins had to reinforce his dominance and form and I'm glad he's done it. I'm still determined to see Cobo do something in this tour, as the Sterophonics put it.....maybe tomorrow!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 4:34 pm

John wrote:Supreme ride from Voeckler. Evans was always going to blow, he knew, his team knew it and now everyone knows. Disappointing from VDB, quite poor in fact. Nibali had a go but Team Sky and Wiggins were never in trouble. I can't see much happening tomorrow. For Wiggins the GC has been worryingly thin for rivals this year but he's taken full advantage and he should win in Paris with no problems. This tour won't be rememebered as a great but it will be forever rememebered for Wiggins achievement.

I think next year will be a different story though altogether which is why Wiggins had to reinforce his dominance and form and I'm glad he's done it. I'm still determined to see Cobo do something in this tour, as the Sterophonics put it.....maybe tomorrow!

Agree with much of the above:
Evans isn't a strong this year. He failed to make a dent in Wiggins lead on the stages that should have suited him (those with steeper climbs) and we can now see why.

I'm not disappointed in Van den Broek - he's ridden to his level, which is that of a top 10, perhaps top 5 GC rider rather than major challenger.

Nibali has done what he can, and has ridden a great race, but for all his efforts Wiggins and Froome have been able to match him in the mountains and put time into him in the TTs. Maybe he'll manage to get a gap tomorrow, although I don't see him gaining enough time given the slightly odd stage profile (starts with a mid mountain, then the middle 80km is a loop across the flat before turning back to the mountains and ending with two climbs close together) - it's the sort of stage where an attack might gain you time but not one where you'd expect someone like Wiggins to crack badly.

I actually thought the first half of this Tour was an interesting change, by including more mid mountain stages. The problem has been that the high mountain stages haven't been tough enough and particularly there has been a lack of tough summit finishes - even tomorrow isn't that tough a climb.

As for Wiggins, the phrase is 'you can only beat what's in front of you'. Next year, with Contador back from suspension and Andy Schleck from injury, I thiink we can expect more challenges. Also be interesting to see if Froome moves on - two GC second places inside 12 months, both of which he will feel could have been wins but for team tactics (at the Vuelta he got burned out on one day pacing an under-par Wiggins, and here obvioulsy he would have been the strongest challenger but has done the team lieutenant role perfectly).

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 5:20 pm

Pretty much as dummy_half:

Evans is clearly not up to it this year, he's had a few tries but never made any headway. Today just confirmed that.

I'm a bit disappointed by VdB, he seems to be happy with finishing in the also-rans, I think he could show more ambition - he may blow out completely sure.

Nibali has done a bit - you feel if he wanted to go all out for the win he could have attacked on the Aspin today - from where he went he was never going to get the times he needed. With 3rd place more or less sewn up it will be interesting to see what he does tomorrow. Still, he did get his team to set the pace early on and his attack cleared out everyone but Froome and Wiggins. It's clear those 3 are the men in form, and the two GB competitors's TTing means that it should now be a 1-2.

I think this tour has suffered from a lack of quality: Evans has been below par, and of couse Contador and Schleck missing. Individual stages have been good to watch, and the racing in general has been good, but the result somewhat predictable (at least since the first TT).

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by phildange on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 5:34 pm

Yes that's why you got to look for interest in the stage wins, and the top 10 .
The green jersey also has been clear early, remained the polka dot and, maybe, the white . Now TJ has won the white too .
Stage wins, polka dot and Top 10 are the last issues .

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 6:38 pm

Seems to be a lot of negativity toward Wiggins' achievements this year.
Is this years tour "devalued" because they have made significant inroads into removing the drug cheats at the top of the sport or is it higher value because of that?

Wiggins is a good rider, we knew that from previous tours. hes now got a very good team in which hes the number one rider, and that team has been focussed on getting him the win.
Maybe just maybe, hes winning because hes got the advantages others have had previously ...control of the tour through a team and ability to capitalise on that. Hes been solid in all aspects of the race, and excellent in time trails and race management.

Pending further wee tests (and the last few stages) can we not just say well done to the chap? He may actually have challenged for the tour in previous years had he been on an even playing field or not injured.
He may even be ...a better rider than Evans and others, is it allowed to suggest that?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 7:08 pm

Well it looks like Cavendish will stay to the finish, where the Sky train can try to finish on a victory for him - a sort of rehearsal for the Olympics.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Zander on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 8:32 pm

I don't think Wiggins' achievements should be devalued as he has had to keep up with the tempo his team mates have set (whilst other riders were being dropped) and has shown that he can still do the work himself such as today when he closed the gap to Nibali. Bring on tomorrows stage!

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:23 pm

Zander wrote:I don't think Wiggins' achievements should be devalued as he has had to keep up with the tempo his team mates have set (whilst other riders were being dropped) and has shown that he can still do the work himself such as today when he closed the gap to Nibali. Bring on tomorrows stage!

Lol - their entire strategy is for Wiggins to take time in the ITTs and to ride tempo the rest of the race (just like Evans for most of his career has tried to wheelsuck in the mountains and pick off the climbers in the time trials). And since there are basically no explosive climbers in this year's race (or they lost time in week one crashes), so this strategy has worked out pretty well

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:26 pm

LastDamnation wrote:
Zander wrote:I don't think Wiggins' achievements should be devalued as he has had to keep up with the tempo his team mates have set (whilst other riders were being dropped) and has shown that he can still do the work himself such as today when he closed the gap to Nibali. Bring on tomorrows stage!

Lol - their entire strategy is for Wiggins to take time in the ITTs and to ride tempo the rest of the race (just like Evans for most of his career has tried to wheelsuck in the mountains and pick off the climbers in the time trials). And since there are basically no explosive climbers in this year's race (or they lost time in week one crashes), so this strategy has worked out pretty well

And there is nothing wrong with that. No point in not playing to your strengths lol.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:38 pm

Olly wrote:
Seems like Froome might well be leader next year. And good on Bradley saying that he will help Froome win the Tour. Good honest bloke, knows his role

1) If Wiggins wins this year then it would be odd for him not to try and defend.
2) I would be slightly surprised if Froome doesn't get popped before next year

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:42 pm

LastDamnation wrote:
Olly wrote:
Seems like Froome might well be leader next year. And good on Bradley saying that he will help Froome win the Tour. Good honest bloke, knows his role

1) If Wiggins wins this year then it would be odd for him not to try and defend.
2) I would be slightly surprised if Froome doesn't get popped before next year

Wiggins has come out in the press and said he will gladly help Froome, whether it be next year or the year after.
What do you mean get popped?
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:52 pm

Olly wrote:
LastDamnation wrote:
Olly wrote:
Seems like Froome might well be leader next year. And good on Bradley saying that he will help Froome win the Tour. Good honest bloke, knows his role

1) If Wiggins wins this year then it would be odd for him not to try and defend.
2) I would be slightly surprised if Froome doesn't get popped before next year

Wiggins has come out in the press and said he will gladly help Froome, whether it be next year or the year after.
What do you mean get popped?

Popped = fail a test.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 10:57 pm

LastDamnation wrote:
Olly wrote:
LastDamnation wrote:
Olly wrote:
Seems like Froome might well be leader next year. And good on Bradley saying that he will help Froome win the Tour. Good honest bloke, knows his role

1) If Wiggins wins this year then it would be odd for him not to try and defend.
2) I would be slightly surprised if Froome doesn't get popped before next year

Wiggins has come out in the press and said he will gladly help Froome, whether it be next year or the year after.
What do you mean get popped?

Popped = fail a test.

And why do you think that? Just one of these, all cyclists are on drugs people are we? Not that people actually work there asses off to get better at what they do?
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:07 pm

Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler wrote:Seems to be a lot of negativity toward Wiggins' achievements this year.
Is this years tour "devalued" because they have made significant inroads into removing the drug cheats at the top of the sport or is it higher value because of that?

Wiggins is a good rider, we knew that from previous tours. hes now got a very good team in which hes the number one rider, and that team has been focussed on getting him the win.
Maybe just maybe, hes winning because hes got the advantages others have had previously ...control of the tour through a team and ability to capitalise on that. Hes been solid in all aspects of the race, and excellent in time trails and race management.

Pending further wee tests (and the last few stages) can we not just say well done to the chap? He may actually have challenged for the tour in previous years had he been on an even playing field or not injured.
He may even be ...a better rider than Evans and others, is it allowed to suggest that?

If this was aimed at me, and that's the impression I was giving then I apologise - Wiggins and sky have ridden an extremely good tour based on their strengths. Wiggins's ride up to Nibali on the latter's second attack today was very good - Froome obviously didn't have the legs. Certainly Wiggins has been the strongest rider this year's tour.

I don't think any TdF win should be devalued.

My issue with this year is the lack of MT finishes (but otherwise the route has thrown up plenty of interesting stages) but particularly from a neutral (well, french) perspective, the lack of suspense. Sky and Wiggins have been that good, that the result has never been in doubt.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Mike Selig on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:08 pm

LastDamnation wrote:
Lol - their entire strategy is for Wiggins to take time in the ITTs and to ride tempo the rest of the race

Miguel who?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:19 pm

Olly wrote:
And why do you think that? Just one of these, all cyclists are on drugs people are we? Not that people actually work there asses off to get better at what they do?

At no point did I say or imply all cyclists are dopers or that they don't work their ass off to do things (just because almost every rider who won/podiumed a GT over the last 20 years have been dopers, doesn't mean they don't bust their ass to get to where they are too) - things have noticably improved over so much over the last few years with the advent of the biopassport. It's obviously difficult to tell how much, and how well a clean rider can compete (it's impossible to know anyone is 100% clean), but it seem that it's very much a microdosing era, shown by the reduced W/kg, VAM levels etc. on average. I just find Froome to be a particularly suspicious rider, for a variety of reasons including:

1) The sudden highly significant improvement before last year's Vuelta. Prior to that, he barely showed any performances that suggested he might ever be able to contend in a GT, to the extent that this time last year he was considered barely employable by Sky who weren't sure whether they would renew his contract. Now he is suddenly performing as one of the best climbers AND one of the best time triallists in the world?

2) Him previously being a part of team Barloworld, a team which was kicked out of the 2009 (might have been 2008) tour and was widely suspected on being on a full-blown team program.

3) A lot of previous lack of success has been attributed to Bilharzia, and although there may be some merit to this someone who suffers from this disease would have more abnormal blood values and suspicious biopassport data could easily have been attributed to this if they in fact fluctuated due to more unnatural reasons. The fact that he supposedly barely got back on his bike in time for this year's tour due to a re-emergence in february also rings alarm bells.

4) Some of his performances in this year's tour have been odd - blitzing everybody but wiggins in the time-trial with limited results in this field. Taking the stage to Plateau de Beilles despite doing domestique work for most of the climb. The way he went from almost dropping off Wiggins' group to attacking Nibali/VDB in a later stage.



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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:23 pm

LastDamnation wrote:
Olly wrote:
And why do you think that? Just one of these, all cyclists are on drugs people are we? Not that people actually work there asses off to get better at what they do?

At no point did I say or imply all cyclists are dopers or that they don't work their ass off to do things (just because almost every rider who won/podiumed a GT over the last 20 years have been dopers, doesn't mean they don't bust their ass to get to where they are too) - things have noticably improved over so much over the last few years with the advent of the biopassport. It's obviously difficult to tell how much, and how well a clean rider can compete (it's impossible to know anyone is 100% clean), but it seem that it's very much a microdosing era, shown by the reduced W/kg, VAM levels etc. on average. I just find Froome to be a particularly suspicious rider, for a variety of reasons including:

1) The sudden highly significant improvement before last year's Vuelta. Prior to that, he barely showed any performances that suggested he might ever be able to contend in a GT, to the extent that this time last year he was considered barely employable by Sky who weren't sure whether they would renew his contract. Now he is suddenly performing as one of the best climbers AND one of the best time triallists in the world?

2) Him previously being a part of team Barloworld, a team which was kicked out of the 2009 (might have been 2008) tour and was widely suspected on being on a full-blown team program.

3) A lot of previous lack of success has been attributed to Bilharzia, and although there may be some merit to this someone who suffers from this disease would have more abnormal blood values and suspicious biopassport data could easily have been attributed to this if they in fact fluctuated due to more unnatural reasons. The fact that he supposedly barely got back on his bike in time for this year's tour due to a re-emergence in february also rings alarm bells.

4) Some of his performances in this year's tour have been odd - blitzing everybody but wiggins in the time-trial with limited results in this field. Taking the stage to Plateau de Beilles despite doing domestique work for most of the climb. The way he went from almost dropping off Wiggins' group to attacking Nibali/VDB in a later stage.



Well maybe he just progressed as a rider? I would highly doubt anyone in that Sky team is on drugs, do you know how bad the PR would be for the Sky corporation?? They would never allow it.
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by LastDamnation on Wed 18 Jul 2012, 11:56 pm

Olly wrote:
Well maybe he just progressed as a rider? I would highly doubt anyone in that Sky team is on drugs, do you know how bad the PR would be for the Sky corporation?? They would never allow it.

Riders suddenly becoming GT contenders out of nowhere just don't happen - they usually show some sort of potential in this regard in their early years (especially in the pre-EPO era).
I do not overly think there is a teamwide Sky program. There is naturally some suspicious elements (e.g. hiring Leinders after saying they wouldn't hire doctors from within the sport, Rogers who was involved in T-Mobile/Freiberg claiming his best numbers ever under Sky), however I believe their success is due to a combination of their high budget, the transferral of the success of the british track cycling team under Brailsford, the general cleaning up of the peloton, a good route for wiggins and an absense of key threats.
WRT PR, most sponsors of cycling teams don't advocate doping, and many pull out after a positive test - I doubt the Sky corporation in this case have too much influence in this regard.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by djlovesyou on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 12:09 am

Show me where Barloworld were ever suspected as having a 'team wide doping regime'.

Duenas was the guy that was busted at the tour and caused them to pull out. He personally paid a doctor, Jesus Losa, to sort his regime out. The doctor was nothing to do with the Barloworld team.

Are you suggesting that Ben Swift and Geraint Thomas are dodgy too?

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Big on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 9:44 am

Once again I will stick my neck on the block and make predictions, though I don't think they are particularly bold. Essentially the same as yesterday, Nibali will try, Cadel will give up (probably before the start line) and a breakaway will be allowed to do just that, with any of a number of riders getting the stage. Slight changes in that I think Tejay may be up there with the top 3 at the end, both to secure the white jersey and perhaps make a bit of a statement. Froome may even have a go in the last few km, once Sky are happy that Wiggins lead over Nibali beyond doubt. Voeckler to get in the break and try to wrap up the polka dot jersey, but I doubt he'll have the legs left for another stage win.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 9:53 am

This is surely Cobo time Very Happy

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by dummy_half on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 9:54 am

LD
Even ignoring the Barloworld association, I can certainly see why some people find Froome's obvious improvement too good to be true- the recent past history of cycling certainly suggests that a very large proportion of those riders who suddenly break out in their mid career were amongst the heaviest doping. Rumsas, Ricco, Rasmussen, Riis, Gotti, Chiapucci (the last 3 didn't actualy fail test, but Riis and Gotti were both on the Ariostea / Gewiss team that Dr Ferrari worked with at the time that the benefits of high dose EPO use was becoming apparent, while Chiapucci is widely rumoured to have been the first significant beneficiary of EPO use).

Basically, anyone who has watched cycling over the last 15 to 20 years knows that when someone's performances look too good to be true, they usually are.

Of course another argument could be that Froome always had the potential to ride at this level (Sky have said that his physiological tests indicated this, but that he wasn't pushing to his limits in races), so increased confidence and determination on Froome's part, allied with a cleaner peloton (bio passport meaning that the advantages from doping are so minimal as to make it insignificant) mean that he is now close to dominating as a clean rider.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 1:09 pm

John wrote:This is surely Cobo time Very Happy

#droppedonthefirstclimb
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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Guest on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 1:49 pm

haha, i was getting excited when he attacked and was pace setting the early break and then it all fell to pieces.

Looks like Liquigas pace setting for Nibali to attack later. He worried Sky big time on that first descent. I think Nibali for the stage, do you agree? Can't see anyone with an explosive finish on the climb, maybe Valverde or Costa can do something but i doubt it.

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Re: Tour De France 2012 Discussion Thread

Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 19 Jul 2012, 2:09 pm

I don't think Nibali will be able to shake Wiggins or Froome, and I see Wiggins taking the stage today
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