The Cycling Thread


Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
Froome - successor of Lance Armstrong ?!?! wtf was that yesterday ?!?!
Absolutely ridiculous and quite obvious what was going on. This reminds me of Rasmussen and Contador back in 2007...
Man, tis sport is so messed up... :(

I'm gonna do something that in time might turn against me. I'm gonna defend Froom.

First of all, there is no doubt whatsoever that every big performance by a cyclist is tainted, so it is good that one stays cynical regarding cyclism.

On the other hand, all the signs are there that the sport is clean(er?) now. I don't know what the exact time of Froom was on the Ventoux. But nevertheless i had a chrono and tried to time it approximately. When you take a time on the Ventoux, your timing begins after you leave Bedoin, there is a fuel station and right aftet that there is an hedege. That is the starting point. The peloton wasn't on the television when theys passed that point, but they were on television about 1 km after that. That is were i started my timing. Froom rode 58' 42" second from that point to the summit of the Ventoux.
That is almost 4 minutes less than Iban Mayo's record and 3 minutes more than Armstrong.
This follows the pattern of the last years: in the mountains the cyclist develop a far inferior VAM (Mean Ascent Velocity) than at the time of Armstrong, Ullrich, Contador and Rasmussen.
The philosophy of Team Sky is also that they want to have results in a clean way. No i know that cyclism in the Armstrong-Contador-Rasmussen was extremely cynical and i wouldn't be totally baffled if a team that takes a firm anti-doping stance would indeed let his riders take illegal drugs. In thios case however, i tend to believe Sky.

Why ?

Because all the indications are that the best riders of this generation perform considerably less strong than in the Armstrong-Contador era. With the Mean Ascent Velocity Froom produced at both Ax 3 Domaines and Ventoux (both stages he won), he would not have ended in the top 10 in the Armstrong era. The best example is perhaps Alberto Contador himself: he can't follow a rider who would not have a had a chance against him 3 years ago. What happened in the mean time ? The blood passport. UCI and WADA take blood and urine samples from the riders and with the analyses they do on those samples they can see which riders haves suspect blood and urinal "values", i.e. riders who have taken EPO or blood doping. Nowadays those riders immediately are controlled and scientists can effectively prove that they have taken illegal drugs (this is precisely what happened in the Giro with Di Luca and Santambrogio who were both found out).

Am i sure that Froom is clean ? No. Do i think that he is clean ? Yes. Why ? Because there is enough circumstantial evidence to suppose that he is clean.

I'm a cycling freak and i have friend who works for big teams. So i have inside information. When Armstrong won the Tour de France i immediately suspected something was wrong and afterwards knew for sure that he doped (my informer worked for US Postal. ) Why did i have suspicions ? Because Armstrong team was too strong. A heavily build rider like George Hincapie was very good in the mountains and a climber like Rubiera started to be in the top 10 in time trials. In other words riders started to do things that were unnatural. Look at the Sky teams. Are they that strong ? No they aren't. In the second mountain stage Froom was totally isolated and his climbing lieutenant Porte lost more than 10 minutes. In the "echelon" stage towards Saint-Amand Montrond his team was totally defeated by Quick Step (and that is a team that does unnatural things at the moment). I think Team SKY shows all the signs that they are not super ahtletes...and so i give them a strong benefit of the doubt.

If i'm not mistaken you are German. Since a coule of years "Germans" (and i'm sorry for the use of this word, because THE Germans don't exist, but i can't explain myself better than this) is reacting hysterical towards drugs in cycling. I can understand that because of all that happened around Telekom, Ullrich, Zabel, Gerolsteiner and other German riders/teams, but people/media in Germany are overreacting.

Just my two cents, but believe me, i know what i'm talking about. I'm passionate about cycling, i've climbed all these mountains myself when i was much younger, i was fed-up with the sports a couple of years ago, but now i see encouraging signs. I sincerely hope i'm not wrong.
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15 August 2003
Germany - Soester Börde
FC Schalke 04
Yeah, i am a german guy... :D

But it's not about the pathetic Ulrich and Zabel who commit things that are outdated - this is embarrasing. As well as the whole Armstrong story. Everyone know knows that they have done doping but they never told the complete truth and in the end there is the justification, because all other top-cyclists in their period have done the same...

For me it was a little bit heartbreaking in the past. I love to watch cycling, especially the tour de france. there were always rumors and finally after the truth came out more and more, the guilty people did so much damage to this sport not only with their doping, but also with their acting and behaviour afterwards.

I have to say, I am not really into cycling anymore, but as it was some kind of passion in my youth, sometimes I watch a race.
So I did watch the tour wehn it came to Mont Ventoux.
And sorry, I have no clue if Froome is clean or not (I would not be surprised if he es not), but when I saw how he was sprinting to the top of the mountain - the memories of some similar situations of prooven dopers came back to me.
For me it seems to be quite obvious that Froome plays in the same league.
If he doesn't it would be great for the sport, but I have my doubts.

By the way here are some different indications to his performance - to set it into context to other cyclists before:

MONT VENTOUX (last 15.65 km [from St. Esteve], 8.74 %, 1368 m)
-1. Lance Armstrong ______ USA | 48:33 | 2002
-2. Chris Froome _________ GBR | 48:35 | 2013
-3. Andy Schleck _________ LUX | 48.57 | 2009
-4. Alberto Contador _____ ESP | 48:57 | 2009
-5. Lance Armstrong ______ USA | 49:00 | 2009
-6. Marco Pantani ________ ITA | 49:01 | 2000
-7. Lance Armstrong ______ USA | 49:01 | 2000
-8. Frank Schleck ________ LUX | 49:02 | 2009
-9. Nairo Quintana _______ COL | 49:04 | 2013
10. Roman Kreuziger ______ CZE | 49:05 | 2009
11. Franco Pellizotti _______ ITA | 49:15 | 2009
12. Vincenzo Nibali ______ ITA | 49:17 | 2009
13. Bradley Wiggins ______ GBR | 49:22 | 2009
14. Joseba Beloki ________ ESP | 49:26 | 2000
15. Jan Ullrich __________ GER | 49:30 | 2000


Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
I know that list. I sort of expected it.
That is not the correct since it is only part of the climb that is taken into consideration.
Anyway it is very hard to compare chrono's on a mountain.
One example you have to take into consideration that sunday the climatologic circumstances on the Ventoux where absolutely ideal: it was warm but not too hot and most of all what litle win there was was slightly in favour after the "turning point" which is Chalet Reynard. What happens at that particular point. The wood finishes and the road turns left. Often there are very strong winds from that point on (and this on a section where the riders have no shelter anymore). After all the mountian has not stolen it's name: Ventoux or Vents Tous in English: winds everywhere.

Another factor favoured Froome sunday: he was challenged by a very strong climber (Quintana) whereas Armstrong always finished first except in 2000 when he wiated for Pantani and let him win (this is well documented).

But when you compare climbs from different era's you take into account the VAM (see my previous post) and the result of those calculations (which take into account the wieght of the rider, the distance, the wind and other circumstances) is a figure in watts. If you compare the waatages from 2013, on Ventoux and Ax 3 Domaines, Froome isn't among the top 10 during the Armstrong era. Those calculations weren't done by me,but by a Belgian professor who specializes on the subject. I do believe him.

Does this means that i guarantee you that Froome is clean ? No. But i do believe him . With the products that Armstrong and co used, it would be caught nowadays...

I could give you other arguments but by English isn't good enough. The gist of it is that Sky is the first team to have scientific training specialists. In the days of Armstrong the riders weren't training in a scientifical way...Just read the book about Sky: Sky's the limit. Last year during the Olympics i had my doubts about Froome. Since i've read that book i've changed my mind (not that i'm 100%).

If you loved cycling, give it another chance...there are indications that sport is cleaner than in the recent past. And was cycling more doping infested than other sports ? I'm not so sure. I do know that the riders are far more controlled than other ahtletes, so the fact that there are more positive controls is only logic. And this is coming from somebody who isn't blindfor the problem.

I'm sorry for my argument about Germans, it wasn't meant to be rude, but it was rude nevertheless, i apologize...please don't take it personal. Every single German i met is likeable as a person....i should not have written that.


15 August 2003
Germany - Soester Börde
FC Schalke 04
No problem mate, I didn't feel offended or somehting similar.
So I am absolutely fine :)

I know that there are several circumstances you need to consider and you can not compare each time of all those cyclists of this list.
But the way of Froome'S 2nd sprint, when leaving Quintana behind - this was crazy and immediately I thought wtf... ;)

I also think that cycling is a little bit cleaner than some years ago, but I don't know if it will ever be the same fun to watch it again like in the past.


Retired Footballer
8 January 2002
Over the moon
KRC Genk, Spurs
The last posts in this thread were about Ventoux 3 years ago.
Yesterday the Tour de France once again was ascended and what happened yesterday is horrible. The Tur de France is becoming the victim of it's own (exagerated) success.

Froome having to run on the mountain, Porte, Mollema and Froome falling because of the spectators, the jury messing with the rules (Froome should never have got the time bonus, i know he was disadvantaged but this is considered a precedent, Mollema also fell, yet he got no time bonus). I don't blame the jury because after what happened yesterday, every solution was a bad solution (perhaps neutralize yesterday's stage for the GC was the best solution).

The Tour is becoming too big. Races like the Giro D'Italia, Vuelta Espanya, and others are as good as the Tour de France, yet people only are interested in the Tour de France...this is bad for cycling and yesterday it occurred that it is also bad for the Tour de France itself.
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