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  #4931  
Old 07.09.2017, 09:31 PM
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Thought we might have a fight on our hands after Froome's collapse yesterday, but now it seems perhaps less so. 1'36 the gap now to Nibali. It's a shame that Contador lost those 4 mins earlier in the race as he has been great value in his final tour of his career. Angliru on Saturday - that or the Zoncolan must be the toughest climbs in world tour cycling. Have to say it but yet again the Tour de France has proved the least interesting of the 3 grand tours of the season... initially it seemed like it was an interesting battle but when you looked back at it you realised that Froome actually won the race on the stage 1 TT and then just clung on defensively. He's been much more aggressive here, as have his challengers, and it has made for better racing.
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  #4932  
Old 09.09.2017, 09:41 AM
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Thought we might have a fight on our hands after Froome's collapse yesterday, but now it seems perhaps less so. 1'36 the gap now to Nibali. It's a shame that Contador lost those 4 mins earlier in the race as he has been great value in his final tour of his career. Angliru on Saturday - that or the Zoncolan must be the toughest climbs in world tour cycling. Have to say it but yet again the Tour de France has proved the least interesting of the 3 grand tours of the season... initially it seemed like it was an interesting battle but when you looked back at it you realised that Froome actually won the race on the stage 1 TT and then just clung on defensively. He's been much more aggressive here, as have his challengers, and it has made for better racing.
Yeah, I have really enjoyed this years Vuelta especially Contandor attacking whenever he gets the chance. Hopefully Froome will hold on but today should be a cracking stage.
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  #4933  
Old 09.09.2017, 10:53 AM
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Yeah, I have really enjoyed this years Vuelta especially Contandor attacking whenever he gets the chance. Hopefully Froome will hold on but today should be a cracking stage.
The Angliru is really something. Consensus among pros seems to be that Zoncolan is the hardest one but Angliru is still incredibly hard and today is the toughest stage of the race with 2 category 1 climbs before it. I think what's really helped the Vuelta over the Tour is that two of the main challengers to Froome are not interested in the podium: Nibali and Contador have both won all 3 grand tours and at this stage in their career would rather come nowhere gambling for first place than settle for a safe 2nd or 3rd spot. So if they have any legs at all they will attack. That was not the case with Bardet, Uran, Aru at the Tour.
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  #4934  
Old 09.09.2017, 12:37 PM
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The Angliru is really something. Consensus among pros seems to be that Zoncolan is the hardest one but Angliru is still incredibly hard and today is the toughest stage of the race with 2 category 1 climbs before it. I think what's really helped the Vuelta over the Tour is that two of the main challengers to Froome are not interested in the podium: Nibali and Contador have both won all 3 grand tours and at this stage in their career would rather come nowhere gambling for first place than settle for a safe 2nd or 3rd spot. So if they have any legs at all they will attack. That was not the case with Bardet, Uran, Aru at the Tour.
So 2 Cat 1 climbs before the final ascent which has a max gradient of 21.5% in the wind & rain. It hurts just thinking about it.

I really hope they do attack, they have to really so should make great viewing - providing Froome has the legs of course.

I think I'll just stick to my 20km on the bike in the gym for the time being.
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  #4935  
Old 24.09.2017, 10:28 PM
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Peter Sagan... what a cyclist. Back-to-back-to-back world titles. 3 different courses on 3 different continents and he's won solo, and 2 sprints. All in a race with national teams where his country, Slovakia, has fewer riders in the race and to be honest weaker quality teammates than for the likes of Belgium, Italy or a few others. He is for my money the best rider in the peloton.

But I tell you what... Moscon looks like the next big thing. Seems to climb well, time trial well, sprints well, can attack on punchy hills and he can do the cobblestones! And he's only young.
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  #4936  
Old 25.09.2017, 08:02 PM
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Peter Sagan... what a cyclist. Back-to-back-to-back world titles. 3 different courses on 3 different continents and he's won solo, and 2 sprints. All in a race with national teams where his country, Slovakia, has fewer riders in the race and to be honest weaker quality teammates than for the likes of Belgium, Italy or a few others. He is for my money the best rider in the peloton.

But I tell you what... Moscon looks like the next big thing. Seems to climb well, time trial well, sprints well, can attack on punchy hills and he can do the cobblestones! And he's only young.
Just managed to catch the last few km yesterday but pleased to see Sagan claim another title. Easily one of the most entertaining riders to watch and seems to have so many different strengths.

I thought Moscon did well at Vuelta and from what I read he was a bit unlucky getting disqualified yesterday. I know he has had a bit trouble at Sky but if he keeps his head down he should be a top rider.
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  #4937  
Old 28.09.2017, 10:34 PM
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Italian classics to round off the season. There is the Giro dell'Emilia on Saturday but i don't think it's on British TV. try YouTube maybe. Over a century old this one and finishes in the beautiful town of Bologna at the top of a pretty steep climb. Esteban Chaves won it last year. Then on Sunday there's the GP Beghelli in the same region of Italy but it's flatter and normally for the sprinters. Then Tuesday it's the 3 valleys of Varese - a beautiful race around the lakes of Varese. The race faded in fields strength in recent years but looks to have attracted back world tour teams with its new spot in the calendar, which is great as it's another old semi classic race. Then Wednesday is the oldest classic of them all, Milan-Turin, first raced in 1876. It finishes atop the Superga climb to the basilica, site of the infamous Torino football team plane crash. Miguel Angel Lopez won that in 2016. That's the last fine tuner before the big one, the Giro di Lombardia or Tour of Lombardy. One of the 5 monuments,the most prestigious races in one day cycling (besides the world championships). This year it runs from Bergamo to Como. Nibali won last time it finished in Como, with Chaves winning the race into Bergamo last year.

Meanwhile in France there is Paris-Bourges on Thursday next week as a tuner for Paris-Tours on the Sunday. The latter is the 2nd most prestigious French one day race and is another one that is over a century old. Both favour the sprinters typically though escapes on the road to Tours have been common over the years. I would probably say Paris-Tours is joint 2nd most prestigious classics a sprinter can win, tied with Ghent-Wevelgem and behind Milan-San Remo.
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  #4938  
Old 14.12.2017, 03:39 PM
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Bad news for Sky and Froome as one of his pee tests in the Vuelta has shown double the allowed level of a non-performance enhancing asthma drug. So much for cleaner than clean and marginal gains then...
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  #4939  
Old 15.12.2017, 11:24 PM
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Bad news for Sky and Froome as one of his pee tests in the Vuelta has shown double the allowed level of a non-performance enhancing asthma drug. So much for cleaner than clean and marginal gains then...
The thing is, why would you cheat with this? You take a non-performance enhancing drug more than you should, knowing full well that (A) athletes have already tested for this before, e.g. Ulissi, Petacchi and been banned for it, and (B) that when you are the race leader, as Froome was at the time, you will, 100%, be tested that day. I believe that in stage races they always test the first 3 on each stage, the overall leader and 3 other people (not sure if random or not). Hardly the modus operandi of the smartest, most sophisticated team in cycling, always pushing the limits of sports science, is it?

So for that reason I don't believe this was some underhand thing. And I am far from being a fan of Froome or Sky, for the record, in fact I enjoy seeing them beaten.

The thing I am more worried about is whether people freak out and it seriously damages the sport. Cycling isn't like football or the NFL...it is more like Google or Facebook, in that those who consume it, the fans, don't really pay to enjoy it. There are no gate receipts, there are no expensive satellite TV sports channel deals, the teams don't get the TV money there is anyway, the races do. Basically, it is overwhelmingly financed through advertising. That is how the races get the money to organise, and how the teams exist - usually 100% funded by commercial backers. If Sky as a company walks away and no other sponsor can be found, then the team is finished. If other sponsors walk away, races could fold and many riders could find themselves without a job as the teams cease to exist.

Of course, many of the doping cases in the past - and whatever is going on with Froome is nothing like those - were at least partly to blame on the flimsy commercial nature of the sport. If you know that the team could fold if you don't cheat to get results, and not only you about maybe 100 people lose their jobs because of it (other riders, managers, masseurs, mechanics, doctors, chefs, bus drivers, media/press people, marketing etc etc) you might just do that. Imagine if Manchester United were actually called Team Chevrolet and the whole thing survived exclusively on Chevrolet's money and then the company decided to pull out. That's cycling, basically.
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  #4940  
Old 15.12.2017, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by European Bob View Post
The thing is, why would you cheat with this? You take a non-performance enhancing drug more than you should, knowing full well that (A) athletes have already tested for this before, e.g. Ulissi, Petacchi and been banned for it, and (B) that when you are the race leader, as Froome was at the time, you will, 100%, be tested that day. I believe that in stage races they always test the first 3 on each stage, the overall leader and 3 other people (not sure if random or not). Hardly the modus operandi of the smartest, most sophisticated team in cycling, always pushing the limits of sports science, is it?

So for that reason I don't believe this was some underhand thing. And I am far from being a fan of Froome or Sky, for the record, in fact I enjoy seeing them beaten.

The thing I am more worried about is whether people freak out and it seriously damages the sport. Cycling isn't like football or the NFL...it is more like Google or Facebook, in that those who consume it, the fans, don't really pay to enjoy it. There are no gate receipts, there are no expensive satellite TV sports channel deals, the teams don't get the TV money there is anyway, the races do. Basically, it is overwhelmingly financed through advertising. That is how the races get the money to organise, and how the teams exist - usually 100% funded by commercial backers. If Sky as a company walks away and no other sponsor can be found, then the team is finished. If other sponsors walk away, races could fold and many riders could find themselves without a job as the teams cease to exist.

Of course, many of the doping cases in the past - and whatever is going on with Froome is nothing like those - were at least partly to blame on the flimsy commercial nature of the sport. If you know that the team could fold if you don't cheat to get results, and not only you about maybe 100 people lose their jobs because of it (other riders, managers, masseurs, mechanics, doctors, chefs, bus drivers, media/press people, marketing etc etc) you might just do that. Imagine if Manchester United were actually called Team Chevrolet and the whole thing survived exclusively on Chevrolet's money and then the company decided to pull out. That's cycling, basically.
Yeah I don't think it was done maliciously or to gain an unfair advantage, looks more like an amateurish mistake, possibly something as daft as forgetting he had taken a previous dose (seems odd that he measured double the allowed dosage) and you would think a professional organisation like Sky would be on top of that kind of thing.
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