2014 Tour de France

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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Chris249 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:48 am

biker jk wrote:Nibali's ascent of the Hautacam was the 26th fastest in history. Look at the list of the faster riders all from the EPO era and note that Nibali was quicker than the 2008 ascent of more recent known dopers Piepoli, Cobo and Frank Schleck. To be suspicious of Nibali's performance is understandable.

http://www.climbing-records.com/2014/07/new-hautacam-top-100-nibali-close-to.html


Alex Simmons has a blog post about the enormous importance of winds when it comes to using times and estimated power outputs as doping telltales. Basically even a wind almost too light to notice (about 6 kmh I think) can make any estimates completely unreliable.

I was trying to estimate the wind on that stage. Based on the way the flags were waving I'd estimate it at around 30kmh at the top, and it was a tailwind. We'd have to take that into account when considering Nib's performance.

I'm quite ready to be suspicious but I thought Nibali's bike handling (over the cobbles for example) has illustrated how much of his advantage is down to good bike riding. If the other aspects of his campaign (ie simple unassisted strength and power) are at that level then his performance is not surprising given the lack of other major contenders, IMHO.
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by BNA » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:57 am

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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby biker jk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:57 am

Chris249 wrote:
biker jk wrote:Nibali's ascent of the Hautacam was the 26th fastest in history. Look at the list of the faster riders all from the EPO era and note that Nibali was quicker than the 2008 ascent of more recent known dopers Piepoli, Cobo and Frank Schleck. To be suspicious of Nibali's performance is understandable.

http://www.climbing-records.com/2014/07/new-hautacam-top-100-nibali-close-to.html


Alex Simmons has a blog post about the enormous importance of winds when it comes to using times and estimated power outputs as doping telltales. Basically even a wind almost too light to notice (about 6 kmh I think) can make any estimates completely unreliable.

I was trying to estimate the wind on that stage. Based on the way the flags were waving I'd estimate it at around 30kmh at the top, and it was a tailwind. We'd have to take that into account when considering Nib's performance.

I'm quite ready to be suspicious but I thought Nibali's bike handling (over the cobbles for example) has illustrated how much of his advantage is down to good bike riding. If the other aspects of his campaign (ie simple unassisted strength and power) are at that level then his performance is not surprising given the lack of other major contenders, IMHO.


Nice try but it was a headwind according to Valverde and others. Nibali is climbing at the limits of plausible performances but doing it day after day which frankly leads me to be very suspicious.

The fact that basically every cyclist who has achieved power outputs beyond 6 W/kg has done so with doping. Between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, the kinds of performances we see today (and in 2013) were achieved only with doping and so to join that company invites the possibility that the modern rider is also doping.

http://sportsscientists.com/2014/07/the-physiology-at-the-front-of-the-tour/
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby cyclotaur » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:15 pm

Should we also be suspicious of the female 4x100 swimming team for beating an old record set with super suits?

Sports performances are still improving, they've just come back to the long term trend.

Remember Nibali has had good team coverage all the way to the climbs and is chasing down tired breakway riders. The next group inc TJVGarderen et al also finished strongly.

No one questioned Froome or Wiggins - or did they? Can't recall ....


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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby schroeds » Sat Jul 26, 2014 1:55 pm

Come on. . All non doped performances across all top sports are gradually improving otherwise we'd never see world records broken. You can't wipe out all sporting improvement by automatically writing it off as enhanced. .. that's taking cynicism so far you'd wonder why you bother watching at all
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby AUbicycles » Sat Jul 26, 2014 3:47 pm

cyclotaur wrote:No one questioned Froome or Wiggins - or did they? Can't recall ....


They were infact questioned by the media and in inteviews. It is the burden of being a winner. Cadel Evans however didn't seem to attract quiet the same amount of questioning or suspicion.
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2014 Tour de France

Postby RonK » Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:58 pm

I have no suspicions about Nibali's performance. With the demise of Froome and Contador he has not been challenged at all, in the way that a fit and in form Froome or Contador could challenge, and so he still looks fresh - fresh enough to power home comfortably and win the hardest stages.
Valverde has done nothing but go backward, and the young guns were only ever competing for a spot in the podium, completely psyched out by Nibali no doubt. Porte may as well have stayed at home.
Team Astana has performed well and is one of the few teams which still have a full complement of riders, despite Fulsang's crash. And Nibali has gotten the most out of every one of them and has only had to do the finishing.

And not to forget that Nibali has previously won both the Giro and the Vuelta and has a more impressive palmares than any rider in the tour.

Something I find rather surreal is how some seem to find credible the performance of the 41 year old who beat Nibali in last years Vuelta.

Just like the Giro, it's been a most refreshing tour.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:20 pm

biker jk wrote:The fact that basically every cyclist who has achieved power outputs beyond 6 W/kg has done so with doping. Between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, the kinds of performances we see today (and in 2013) were achieved only with doping and so to join that company invites the possibility that the modern rider is also doping.

That's a nonsense statement.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby biker jk » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:29 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
biker jk wrote:The fact that basically every cyclist who has achieved power outputs beyond 6 W/kg has done so with doping. Between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, the kinds of performances we see today (and in 2013) were achieved only with doping and so to join that company invites the possibility that the modern rider is also doping.

That's a nonsense statement.


Let Ross Tucker know. :lol:
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:47 pm

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Bartosz Huzarski's legs after stage 18.
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2014 Tour de France

Postby warthog1 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:21 pm

Removed. Unproductive.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Chris249 » Sat Jul 26, 2014 8:31 pm

biker jk wrote:
Nice try but it was a headwind according to Valverde and others. Nibali is climbing at the limits of plausible performances but doing it day after day which frankly leads me to be very suspicious.

The fact that basically every cyclist who has achieved power outputs beyond 6 W/kg has done so with doping. Between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s, the kinds of performances we see today (and in 2013) were achieved only with doping and so to join that company invites the possibility that the modern rider is also doping.

http://sportsscientists.com/2014/07/the-physiology-at-the-front-of-the-tour/


1- The site you linked to speaks only of "rumours" of headwinds. The Weather Channel says that it was west north west*. Looking at Google maps it appears that it was therefore downwind (or crosswind) for most of the stage, upwind for a bit, followed by a significant amount of downwind again as the course curled around and rose up, to where the wind is normally stronger.

The course zig-zags back upwind for short sections, of course, and on a mountainside you are going to get gusts and lulls. But I checked the SBS footage again and the flags (the stationary ones, of course, not those waved by fans) do show what looks like a significant tailwind. Mountain winds are very fluky but given that they are so critical in assessing power outputs, surely their effects cannot be ignored or dismissed without cause.

2- The site you linked to says things like;

* "The performance neither proves nor disproves doping."

* reasonable assumptions about Vo2 max etc allows one to classify Nibali's performance as "plausible".

* "So keep asking the question, but without judgment."

* "Overall, the graph above, much like the Hautacam performance, gives you two possible interpretations, one optimistic and the other cynical."

" "You can look at this as a signal of positive change in cycling. If the dominant rider in the race, doing what I really do believe was close to maximal effort for most of the climb, is over two minutes behind a group of known dopers of the 1990s, then we are clearly in a better situation than we were then."

* The quote you gave in the post says only that Nibs' performance "invites the possibility". It does NOT say there is proof.

You want to be suspicious? Fine, it's understandable. So is believing that he is fine. I'm not calling it either way, just saying that I saw quite a bit of tailwind and that may have affected the performance.

EDIT - it may have said NNW; given the course it's not relevant.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:49 am

biker jk wrote:Nibali's ascent of the Hautacam was the 26th fastest in history. Look at the list of the faster riders all from the EPO era and note that Nibali was quicker than the 2008 ascent of more recent known dopers Piepoli, Cobo and Frank Schleck. To be suspicious of Nibali's performance is understandable.

http://www.climbing-records.com/2014/07/new-hautacam-top-100-nibali-close-to.html


Not really fair.

In all sports, the training techniques are getting more refined these days. That's where the improved performance is coming from, apart from equipment (bikes, skin suits, helmets).

I'm not going to say much about power comparisons because I'm not experienced enough in training/riding with a power meter to know all the quirks of them. I know the basics, but a dedicated keyboard warrior would be able to cut my arguments down.
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2014 Tour de France

Postby RonK » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:34 am

Jeez - Tony Martin, using a 58 tooth chainring on a hilly TT course, absolutely blitzes the field.

Surely this kind of dominant performance is suspicious - I mean, what is he on? :wink:
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2014 Tour de France

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:49 pm

The day of Hautacam there was a 30-40 km solid wind blowing up the valley in the afternoon... The road they enter Hautacam can vary as well.
There are plenty of amateurs who can hold 6w per kg for 10-20 minutes... Expecting a TDF GC rider to hold it for 40 minutes is within reason.
Not defending anyone... When they were on Hautacam I was enjoying the opposite side of the valley :-)
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby g-boaf » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:56 pm

RonK wrote:Jeez - Tony Martin, using a 58 tooth chainring on a hilly TT course, absolutely blitzes the field.

Surely this kind of dominant performance is suspicious - I mean, what is he on? :wink:


Just awesome. :) I didn't see all of it - but what I saw of his run was enough that I thought, okay, he's going to demolish them. :shock:
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:12 pm

Just turned over to SBS and it's bloody Armstrong again going on about how he made such a big impact on humanity or some such. Apparently his words are going to go down in history as some of the most famous ever. Bloody doper.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby find_bruce » Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:13 pm

:D
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby AUbicycles » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:42 pm

Excellent to have the women's race broadcast, much more exciting than watching all of the boys drinking champagne and resting it off before the Paris sprint finish.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby Gunlock » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:06 pm

Vive Le Course!
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2014 Tour de France

Postby Redbull » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:19 pm

Sorry to be a pedant but course is a feminine verb ;-)
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby warthog1 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:41 pm

Nibali seems as nice a bloke as any to win.


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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:00 am

He certainly doesn't appear to have the ego that was seen with the Armstrong wins.
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jul 28, 2014 6:18 am

Awesome sprint by Kittel, the last couple of kms were great fun to watch :) .
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Jul 28, 2014 10:24 am

Two Tweets which I liked:

@fakecyclingnews
ASO scriptwriters receive mixed reviews for 2014 #TdF: first part exciting, but killed off too many characters. Ending was obvious. 3.5/5

and following the efficient and reliable performance of Marianne Vos in #lacourse which was also a thrilling finish.

@fakecyclingnews
EU Competition Commission to investigate @marianne_vos #LaCourse
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Re: 2014 Tour de France

Postby rpmspinman » Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:22 pm

Will they be televising an encore of the Lacourse on SBS?

I have to say this years Tour has been brutal to watch. It's been pretty epic even though the GC wasn't up for contention.
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