2015 Tour de France

fat and old
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby fat and old » Sun Jul 26, 2015 8:08 pm

CKinnard wrote:Team Sky respected the science beautifully in this TdF, and it paid off. And it's unfortunate that those who don't respect science, don't respect Team Sky's victory.


I can respect the science....I just don't enjoy watching it. Sorry.

I used to be a big Jan Ullrich fan. I really enjoyed watching an absolutely amazing cyclist who was also a fallible human being try to beat the Sky of the day (no, I'm not alluding to doping here).

The belief that people get carried up hills is highly exaggerated imho.
You either have the watts/kg to get up the hill at a certain average speed, or you don't.


True, but you also need the motivation to use those available watts. Otherwise surely the same bloke would win all MTF's?

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby newie » Sun Jul 26, 2015 9:52 pm

CKinnard wrote:Team Sky respected the science beautifully in this TdF, and it paid off. And it's unfortunate that those who don't respect science, don't respect Team Sky's victory.

As a practicing scientist I take quite a bit of exception to this statement. I have enormous respect for science. I don't respect Team Sky and their victory for a whole raft of reasons that have nothing to do with science. Sport is about so much apart from science and the reasons we watch cycling and admire the efforts of the athletes is far richer and more diverse than Watts/kg. Having said that, Froome was under enormous pressure, had to put up with some disgusting behaviour, and apart from a couple of lapses, handled himself very well. But he sure is the ugliest guy on a bike and it hurts my eyes to watch :) .

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby bigfriendlyvegan » Sun Jul 26, 2015 10:43 pm

Rain - crap! Watching the women's crit and it's a bloodbath. The men's will be much faster and I can easily see bones being broken here. Froome needs to cross the line to get the jersey.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:21 pm

fat and old wrote:True, but you also need the motivation to use those available watts. Otherwise surely the same bloke would win all MTF's?


not so surely. you really think anyone in the TdF lacks motivation?
maybe you are confusing motivation with team strategy. every rider within a team doesn't get permission to use all their available watts all the time.
and no matter how many support riders a team leader has, he still can't ride beyond his threshold day after day.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Xplora » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:36 pm

You are showing a profound lack of respect for the teams with these comments. Sky doesn't have some magic textbook teaching them this stuff and no one else is capable of looking it up. Decades of racing has shaped the sport and the people running it. I have no doubt that Sky has an edge, but you make it sound like Mercx is running the other teams... "ride lots"

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Sun Jul 26, 2015 11:47 pm

newie wrote:As a practicing scientist I take quite a bit of exception to this statement. I have enormous respect for science. I don't respect Team Sky and their victory for a whole raft of reasons that have nothing to do with science. Sport is about so much apart from science and the reasons we watch cycling and admire the efforts of the athletes is far richer and more diverse than Watts/kg. Having said that, Froome was under enormous pressure, had to put up with some disgusting behaviour, and apart from a couple of lapses, handled himself very well. But he sure is the ugliest guy on a bike and it hurts my eyes to watch :) .


Without any drama, within several hours, Team Sky will have won 3 of the 6 TdF's it has competed in.
I think you need to read up on how Team Sky came to be, and the renaissance of British Cycling.

There's something very backward in the view that a team or rider that uses science more so, has less character and guts. And this is the dimwitted view the low lifes in the French media have been pushing to stir hate against TS.

It's emotive BS to attack Team Sky for winning.... and remain mute and even celebrate Nibali's victories in the last 2 years. Why is that? Does everyone just expect Astana (and Katusha) to cheat, so they don't comment on the fact both teams were almost disqualified for overt en masse drug cheating?


http://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2 ... orts-learn

‘Sky looks like a big machine’

“The people are are suspicious of Sky,” said Le Parisien journalist Lionel Chami, who has the vast experience of covering 30 Tours de France. He says that many people see the team’s success as just too good to be true.

“They see the black bus, it’s opaque. A few years ago, Sky came and shouted, ‘We’re going to win the Tour in five years.’ They did it, twice. It’s very impressive. But French people worry about that.

“The feeling was the same for Wiggins, except Froome comes after Wiggins. We wondered about Wiggins, coming from the track and becoming a thin guy. A year later, another guy does the same. It’s a bit suspect.”

For others, it’s the sheer clinical professionalism of the team that raises antagonism.

“Part of it, Chris Froome is a Brit and Sky looks like a big machine,” said François Thomazeau, a French freelance journalist now covering his 27th Tour.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:03 am

Xplora wrote:You are showing a profound lack of respect for the teams with these comments. Sky doesn't have some magic textbook teaching them this stuff and no one else is capable of looking it up. Decades of racing has shaped the sport and the people running it. I have no doubt that Sky has an edge, but you make it sound like Mercx is running the other teams... "ride lots"


which teams am I disrespecting? a French team hasn't won TdF in 30 years.
I think a lot of people who follow cycling are delusional.
They want the sport to be dominated by archetypal heroes who win by sheer guts and determination.
They want fairy tale endings!

They don't want science giving a team the edge. They don't want brains beating honest uncomplicated gutsy working class grunt.
That's middle ages thinking.

You also could read up on how British Cycling, over the last 15-18 years, went from also ran to being a consistently top world cycling power, and how that has fed into the creation and success of Team Sky. After you read up, you might change your view about who has and has not a magic textbook. At least Team Sky don't have the same magic textbook as Astana and Katusha.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Strydz » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:49 am

danny the boy wrote:The booing was disgraceful and on the biggest day of the race and what it means to the people of France I hope there is some fairly blunt messages in the local media about the shame the so-called fans are causing.

This isn't exactly the first time this has happened, its been going on in cycling and well all sports for as long as these sports have been going on. Do you not remember the crowds booing Contador in 2011? The guy running up the Alpe next to him in a doctors outfit making fun of the fact that Contador was riding on a stay of proceedings. I don't like it personally but this is what happens in pro sports
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby biker jk » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:42 am

CKinnard wrote:
It's emotive BS to attack Team Sky for winning.... and remain mute and even celebrate Nibali's victories in the last 2 years. Why is that? Does everyone just expect Astana (and Katusha) to cheat, so they don't comment on the fact both teams were almost disqualified for overt en masse drug cheating?



Since you mentioned doping in this thread I thought I'd respond in the name of balance. Team Sky employed a known doping doctor. Is this the science that Team Sky uses to win? Is that how Froome was transformed from pack fodder, struggling up hills and being a poor in the ITT to the world's best cycling almost instantly at the 2011 Vuelta?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jan/22/geert-leinders-life-ban-team-sky-doctor

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby fat and old » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:43 am

CKinnard wrote:
fat and old wrote:True, but you also need the motivation to use those available watts. Otherwise surely the same bloke would win all MTF's?


not so surely. you really think anyone in the TdF lacks motivation?
maybe you are confusing motivation with team strategy. every rider within a team doesn't get permission to use all their available watts all the time.
and no matter how many support riders a team leader has, he still can't ride beyond his threshold day after day.


Was it Pinot's strategy to win only one MTF?

Not everything is strategy.

As for Astana and katusha's history.....they were caught. The others haven't been. That's my honest opinion. I don't celebrate one over the other. I just feel sorta dirty watching Froome. The other Sky boys are ok....now that Wiggins is gone.

edit...here, a quote from Nibali after Froome sooked about his attack on the Croix der Fer....

Not all the years are the same. We are not machines, we are humans.


Sums it up for me.
Last edited by fat and old on Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby newie » Mon Jul 27, 2015 7:50 am

CKinnard wrote:
newie wrote:As a practicing scientist I take quite a bit of exception to this statement. I have enormous respect for science. I don't respect Team Sky and their victory for a whole raft of reasons that have nothing to do with science. Sport is about so much apart from science and the reasons we watch cycling and admire the efforts of the athletes is far richer and more diverse than Watts/kg. Having said that, Froome was under enormous pressure, had to put up with some disgusting behaviour, and apart from a couple of lapses, handled himself very well. But he sure is the ugliest guy on a bike and it hurts my eyes to watch :) .


Without any drama, within several hours, Team Sky will have won 3 of the 6 TdF's it has competed in.
I think you need to read up on how Team Sky came to be, and the renaissance of British Cycling.

There's something very backward in the view that a team or rider that uses science more so, has less character and guts. And this is the dimwitted view the low lifes in the French media have been pushing to stir hate against TS.

It's emotive BS to attack Team Sky for winning.... and remain mute and even celebrate Nibali's victories in the last 2 years. Why is that? Does everyone just expect Astana (and Katusha) to cheat, so they don't comment on the fact both teams were almost disqualified for overt en masse drug cheating?

I have absolutely no love for Astana or Katusha either. If you are unable to see how your comments here and the others you have made in this thread recently could be interpreted as patronising and arrogant, then it makes sense that you aren't able to understand that a dislike of Team Sky could be justifiable.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:20 am

fat and old wrote:edit...here, a quote from Nibali after Froome sooked about his attack on the Croix der Fer....

Not all the years are the same. We are not machines, we are humans.


Sums it up for me.



And there's no perfect PED that turns humans into machines.
Nibali's performances in TdF 14 were more suspect than Froome's, but where's the criticism?
In my books, drug cheating is far lower than arrogance or the occasional dummy spit.
I think Froome has an awkward personality, and occasionally throws a hissy fit....as did Cadel Evans. But when these guys are pushing themselves day after day to the absolute threshold, I can make allowances for emotive outbursts.
Last edited by CKinnard on Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:22 am

CKinnard wrote:Team Sky respected the science beautifully in this TdF, and it paid off. And it's unfortunate that those who don't respect science, don't respect Team Sky's victory.

That and their €31.1m annual spend with €23.1m spent on wages, which is mostly on riders enabling depth of top riders in the team and which dwarfs other teams.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:24 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
CKinnard wrote:Team Sky respected the science beautifully in this TdF, and it paid off. And it's unfortunate that those who don't respect science, don't respect Team Sky's victory.

That and their €31.1m annual spend with €23.1m spent on wages, which is mostly on riders enabling depth of top riders in the team and which dwarfs other teams.


Have you got anything to compare those figures to?

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:27 am

newie wrote:I have absolutely no love for Astana or Katusha either. If you are unable to see how your comments here and the others you have made in this thread recently could be interpreted as patronising and arrogant, then it makes sense that you aren't able to understand that a dislike of Team Sky could be justifiable.


I am only patronizing and arrogant in response to factless facile sarcasm.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby CKinnard » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:38 am

biker jk wrote:Since you mentioned doping in this thread I thought I'd respond in the name of balance. Team Sky employed a known doping doctor. Is this the science that Team Sky uses to win? Is that how Froome was transformed from pack fodder, struggling up hills and being a poor in the ITT to the world's best cycling almost instantly at the 2011 Vuelta?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jan/22/geert-leinders-life-ban-team-sky-doctor


Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.

The suspicion about Froome is based on ignorance of sports science and physiology.
The guy's physique has changed profoundly with his successes, as has TS's team tactics.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:32 am

CKinnard wrote:Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.


Hardly a defence, I would think.

I think my aversion to Sky is the fact that they have so many quality riders, obviously the biggest budget.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby newie » Mon Jul 27, 2015 9:59 am

CKinnard wrote:
newie wrote:I have absolutely no love for Astana or Katusha either. If you are unable to see how your comments here and the others you have made in this thread recently could be interpreted as patronising and arrogant, then it makes sense that you aren't able to understand that a dislike of Team Sky could be justifiable.


I am only patronizing and arrogant in response to factless facile sarcasm.


Please point out where I used that in any of that in my posts, thus justifying your patronising reply.
You have essentially come in here and told me that my dislike of Team Sky is because I am ignorant. I have tried to respond politely and explain that there are many factors that contribute to my dislike of the team. I have not elaborated on these because it don't wish to be the kind of person who posts a laundry list of negativity. I have even tried to give credit to Froome where I see that it is due.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:19 am

CKinnard wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
CKinnard wrote:Team Sky respected the science beautifully in this TdF, and it paid off. And it's unfortunate that those who don't respect science, don't respect Team Sky's victory.

That and their €31.1m annual spend with €23.1m spent on wages, which is mostly on riders enabling depth of top riders in the team and which dwarfs other teams.


Have you got anything to compare those figures to?

It's about triple the budget of the only two French world tour teams, Ag2r La Mondiale and FDJ, triple that of Cofidis, and four times that of Europcar. French team's ability to spend is worsened by operating in one of the highest tax regimes in the world. Riders on AG2R have to buy their own power meters.

The next biggest budget team is likely BMC at ~2/3rds of Sky, and then teams like Katusha, Astana and Tinkoff-Saxo are less.

Sky's budget is at least double Movistar's budget.

Given their financial dominance, Sky's win ratio is pretty ordinary if you ask me.

British Cycling's budget is insane compared to other nations. BC spend more on their elite paracycling program than does any other nation in total on high performance cycling. Their total spend hugely outweighs all other nations. That is Great Britain's choice, i.e. to massively fund elite cycling via lottery receipts, instead of funding other things.

The science is great and definitely a contributor (especially on the track - $250,000 bikes anyone?), but in reality paying to hire and keep talent on the track is far more important.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:23 am

CKinnard wrote:
biker jk wrote:Since you mentioned doping in this thread I thought I'd respond in the name of balance. Team Sky employed a known doping doctor. Is this the science that Team Sky uses to win? Is that how Froome was transformed from pack fodder, struggling up hills and being a poor in the ITT to the world's best cycling almost instantly at the 2011 Vuelta?

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jan/22/geert-leinders-life-ban-team-sky-doctor


Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.

The suspicion about Froome is based on ignorance of sports science and physiology.
The guy's physique has changed profoundly with his successes, as has TS's team tactics.

None of the above informs us of Froome's or anyone else's doping status (either way).

Dope testing mostly catches dopes, not dopers.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:31 am

At present, Sky's sponsorship is until end-2016. We'll have to wait and see if it folds or changes sponsor. It's the only team in pro cycling with a blue chip multinational backer. Take away big bike brands, gambling outfits, and a few sugar daddies and it's very lean pickings even at the top level in this sport.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby im_no_pro » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:34 am

CKinnard wrote:
Xplora wrote:You are showing a profound lack of respect for the teams with these comments. Sky doesn't have some magic textbook teaching them this stuff and no one else is capable of looking it up. Decades of racing has shaped the sport and the people running it. I have no doubt that Sky has an edge, but you make it sound like Mercx is running the other teams... "ride lots"


which teams am I disrespecting? a French team hasn't won TdF in 30 years.
I think a lot of people who follow cycling are delusional.
They want the sport to be dominated by archetypal heroes who win by sheer guts and determination.
They want fairy tale endings!

They don't want science giving a team the edge. They don't want brains beating honest uncomplicated gutsy working class grunt.
That's middle ages thinking.

You also could read up on how British Cycling, over the last 15-18 years, went from also ran to being a consistently top world cycling power, and how that has fed into the creation and success of Team Sky. After you read up, you might change your view about who has and has not a magic textbook. At least Team Sky don't have the same magic textbook as Astana and Katusha.


I guess I best be off to the middle ages then. That's the joy of sport for me (all sport, not just cycling), and is part of the reason I am dropping off from actively supporting professional sport and following domestic competitions more closely than I have in the past.



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The unpredictable, human element of sport is what makes it enjoyable for me & the focus on 'sports science' minimises the impact of that to an extent. I'm no luddite, and am not suggesting we go back to mechanical 6 speed group sets and heavy steel frames, but i'm starting to wonder if there how far is too far, particularly in the areas of advancing the athlete rather than the equipment. Nor am I suggesting that it should all change and suit what I want, i'm big and ugly enough to appreciate that my opinion isn't the only one out there.

I'm certainly not a sky-hater (at least not to the extent of what I have seen throughout the tour), nor do I have any reason to feel they are cheating via motors or PED's or anything of that nature (I actually expected them to dominate the race somewhat more than they did). But it does go to show how a well funded, professional outfit (professional in the true sense, not the UCI classification sense) can put itself in a strong position to dominate. It doesn't guarantee success by any stretch, but it does tip the odds in ones favour. Take a look at F1 as another example. I'm not going to go so far as to say that money + the right people developing a program can buy you wins, but it worries me that we are getting closer and closer to that point.

The Alpe D'huez stage was fantastic to watch. I cant help but wonder if taking away things like race radios (yeah, I went there and yes, I know everyone has them) and some of the other indirect factors that put sky in such a strong position were taken away/evened out wouldn't have turned that stage into one of the all time classics. Take away the controls, and bring back some of the randomness of it all. Weather, crashes and mechanicals are really the only variables of a somewhat random nature that remain. Even mechanicals are controlled to a certain extent.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby fat and old » Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:56 am

CKinnard wrote:Froome has been arguably subjected to more testing than everyone else, and has never tested positive.

The suspicion about Froome is based on ignorance of sports science and physiology.
The guy's physique has changed profoundly with his successes, as has TS's team tactics.


There's another issue. More testing and better sports science along with a changed physique aye?

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“A boo is a lot louder than a cheer. If you have 10 people cheering and one person booing, all you hear is the booing. But if I had a dollar for every time somebody yelled, 'dopé, dopé,' I'd be a rich man… But those are the things that I have to live with, and I'm not here to be friends with a bunch of people who stand on the side of the road that have had too much to drink, and want to yell 'dopé!' I don't have to care. Nor will I care in three or four years when I'm sitting on the beach with my kids, having a cold beer. But don't come to the bike race in order to stand around and yell at cyclists. Stay at home.”
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"I’m convinced Lance won his Tour de France titles because he was the best athlete,” Carmichael continued. “I believe he was the best trained, the most focused, the most disciplined, and the most dedicated to excellence."

"The simple truth is that we outwork everyone. But when you perform at a higher level in a race, you get questions about doping."

"Twenty-plus-year career, 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case."

We've heard it all before.

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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby silentC » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:21 am

Far out, anyone would think that sport is for the spectators! I mean, I know that spectators bring sponsors and sponsors bring money and without them there would be no professional sport, but I really don't think any of these guys do what they do so that we can get a warm fuzzy feeling in our stomachs because they won on sheer guts and determination. They do it because they want to win. If sport science gives them an edge, of course they will take it. I don't see why athletes have to be any more encumbered by working with what god gave them than the rest of us are. Name any field of human endeavour that does not grab technological advancement with both hands and never look back. As long as its within the rules, then go for it I say. If it's not, either don't do it (or don't cry when you get caught), or get the rules changed. I don't know why people expect these guys to be paragons of virtue. The only thing that varies is how far they will go to win.
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Re: 2015 Tour de France

Postby JPB » Mon Jul 27, 2015 11:39 am

Tounge in cheek comment here but should there be a salary cap to spread the best athletes more evenly? Lots of models in different sports around the world but do they really work?

In regards to technology and innovation, look what happened to swimming and the fast suits. It made it a different sport to what the amateurs competed in.

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