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gerry12ie

Oh Sky, Oh Why?

I'm sure Sky and Froome are now in the business of just spouting stuff to wind up the internet.  These recent snippets from the Dublin web summit...

http://www.irishtimes.com/sport/w...desteps-issue-of-doping-1.2416042

Quote:

“If anything it sets a mindset,” he said, “that Dave Brailsford [director of Team Sky] sets within the team, that everyone is looking at all the different aspects of their performance, breaking them down, and in essence trying to find better ways of doing them. And they could be some very simple things, which might seem obvious from the outside, like having hand gel, on the bus, at the table, in the room, to make sure you’re always sanitised.

“It sounds silly, but we really are on that edge, pushing our bodies to the absolute limit, day in, day out. And on the edge of our immune systems crashing. We’re very susceptible to picking up little bugs along the way, and in a three-week race, if you get sick, that’s a disaster. You’re very rarely going to recover.”

Quote:

Recovery between stages, however, is crucial, which is why Team Sky brings all their own pillows and mattresses from hotel to hotel: “So you basically get the same night’s sleep, for every night on the Tour. That’s the thing about marginal gains. It’s not just because you’re sleeping on that same mattress and pillow. That’s not going to win you the Tour de France. That’s ridiculous. But it’s the accumulation of all these little things put together.”


Quote:
“I remember in the 2011 Tour we started doing warm-downs, after the stages. So after the 200km stage through the mountains we’d then get on the turbo trainer by the bus, and do another 10 minutes of pedalling. A lot of the other guys passing us on the way back to their bus were laughing at us, ‘what are these idiots doing, making themselves more tired?’ But slowly, one by one, all the other teams started it. It’s quite interesting to see other teams tagging along, doing the same.”


Spare me...
Slapshot 3

Are these excerpts from the Team Sky Comedy Christmas Annual 2015, who knew warming down wasn't helpful..
gerry12ie

I remember watching the riders warm down outside their vans (not luxury buses) after the Women's Fleche Wallone in 2010 - so you are right, who knew? Wink

The thing is, for me anyway, this interminable focus on nonsense pyschobabble just detracts (maybe deliberately) from what has been achieved by Sky, Froome and also Wiggins.  I'm not aware of any other sport (F1 possibly excepted) where the most marginal of gains are so readily attributed to success.  I could just about maybe (on a really good day) consider that Froome was possibly the ultimate outlier and for various reasons was off the radar - but this kind of bullshit focus just ends up looking like smoke and mirrors.

AFAIK there was only a 20 minute slot for them at the Web summit, and as the brief was tech, I can understand that the usual marginal gains spiel might be on the agenda - but what about the bikes, the clothing (Rapha are finished next year btw), the mechanics, the training?  Instead it ends up like a Clinic pisstake - we won Le Tour because we washed our hands and slept on clean pillows...
SlowRower

gerry12ie wrote:
The thing is, for me anyway, this interminable focus on nonsense pyschobabble just detracts (maybe deliberately) from what has been achieved by Sky, Froome and also Wiggins.


Agree about the nonsense angle and it potential ulterior motive. It is quite ridiculous the sh*te they come out with, but it does keep the press happy!
Boogerd_Fan

hand gel... toilet soap... that's the answer to riding the Ventoux at max HR for 1hr.
berck

I think this part really explains what's really going on... if you catch my meaning...

Quote:

There, and despite riding into a headwind, both Froome and teammate Geraint Thomas eclipsed several of the previous fastest climbs up the 15.8km ascent, including Armstrong’s best from 2002, plus several other rides achieved at the height of cycling’s doping problem.
HuwB

berck wrote:
I think this part really explains what's really going on... if you catch my meaning...

Quote:

There, and despite riding into a headwind, both Froome and teammate Geraint Thomas eclipsed several of the previous fastest climbs up the 15.8km ascent, including Armstrong’s best from 2002, plus several other rides achieved at the height of cycling’s doping problem.


Interesting one comment that piece has generated. Talks of the first paragraph having an agenda.

So, how about those Plateau de Beille times?

http://www.climbing-records.com/2...p-100-plateau-de-beille-2015.html

Put into context, 2002 appears to be just about the slowest ascent ever.
Still, when looking at a climb that has only ever been climbed by dopers, it's always going to look dodgy if one makes that list.

So maybe it's better to stick to spouting stuff that winds up the internet, as Gerry mentioned, given the piece reads like it was written by someone who appears to do most of his research there.
Fontfroide

Boogerd_Fan wrote:
hand gel... toilet soap... that's the answer to riding the Ventoux at max HR for 1hr.


Come on Boogie.  That is a crucially important answer to not getting ill.  Top level athletes are on the border of being ill all the time, they are not "healthy", they are extreme.  Oddly enough most people do not wash their hands very often, cyclists included.  And yet this is the first advice that all health services, government bureaucracies, hospitals and mothers give to everyone.  This is why outside all hospital rooms these days they have those little squirters with some kind of gel.  In fact, the nurses do the right thing, but most doctors don't.  When I go to the usual French after event convivial bring your own meals, NO ONE ever washes their hands before they handle the cheese, sausage, bread, etc.    Who knows where they have been.  The number of riders who get ill during races is, for me, incredible.  Anything to prevent this is a good idea.  Amazing how simple these measures are, and yet most people including riders don't do it.  

I am a bit sensitive and aware of this since I am immune-suppressed on account of my transplants, so I watch people a bit more than you all might.

I am finding this slagging off of Sky a bit tedious, frankly.  I suppose it is because, as English speakers and readers, we might get more information from the media about them, more gory details and silly practices.  Although maybe most of you feel quite strongly that they deserve more criticism than any other team in the peloton.  I just don't get it.  You got Astana, you got Etixx, you got Katusha, you got loads of teams that probably are much the same, maybe worse.  But you pick Sky for serious comment.  Maybe they are, but I am reminded of the blind dislike of Sky that Jalabert constantly displays on the box.  Just annoying really.

I am not and never have been a Sky fan, nor a Sky detractor.  But it is a certainty that I read more about Sky than nearly any other team.  Maybe they are all equally silly.
Boogerd_Fan

SKY will continue to get slagged off, if they continue to peddle absolute ballshit about why they win races... such as hand soap!
Slapshot 3

Boogie is right, Sky will get slagged off as long as they keep the bs going, every team will have their wee foibles they just don't advertise them as the path to glory
HuwB

Frankly, I think hand wash and pillows are as much of a smokescreen for Sky detractors real motivations as they are for Sky's.
Trivia, that cuts both ways.
mr shifter

A SKY 8 year old 6 wheeler Mobile Home is still on Ebay auction with 100,000 + miles on the clock.
Last I saw it had reached £30,000 and if you get it, then you may photograph yourself with it, before they take the Trademarks off to make it plain again.
Biosphere

I've not read, but here's the link that's going to break the internet tomorrow . . .

http://chrisfroome.esquire.co.uk

Download a copy while you still can Wink
HuwB

Biosphere wrote:
I've not read, but here's the link that's going to break the internet tomorrow . . .

http://chrisfroome.esquire.co.uk

Download a copy while you still can Wink



Just back from downing a few beers in Bruges.

If nothing else, it should sink the total donkey to racehorse theory once an for all, given those 2007 numbers.
I'd been told as much by SS, back in 2013.
I've never understood how folks could assume the rate of progress of a rider coming raw, out of Africa could be expected to be at the same level as a rider coming through the European ranks.

For those who feel Moore's piece is a rose tinted, the full, scientific report is now available:

https://www.gskhpl.com/dyn/_asset...mpositionandAerobicPhysiology.pdf

Worth a read:

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/ne...es-physiological-test-data-202691
mazda

Vayer isn't going to accept anything is he though, which does him a great discredit if he likes to think of himself as a scientist.
pantanifan

All quiet here from the Sky/ Froome critics? No complaints about the data released? Seems like a good first step to me...
gerry12ie

Okay, fair play to him for releasing the data and I accept he was an outlier.  I eagerly await the same openness from Contador, Nibali & Co - YEAH RIGHT!

I still dont understand the 2011 season though.  He was based in Tuscany back then, but wasn't given a crack at the Giro squad - Carlstrom, Cioni and Possoni hardly pulled up trees, and I would have thought someone with Froome's figures would have made a better climbing domestique than those.  The TDF squad was rock solid and he wasn't going to get that gig, but why did he only get a late call up to the Vuelta squad as sub?  Surely if the figures were that good he wouldn't have been (purportedly) riding for a contract at the Vuelta?

If Sky were aware of his talent in 2011, why were they burying his light under a whole load of bushels?  I can't figure that one at all...

Still, he has done what nobody else has with this data, and that has to be lauded.

I would have commented sooner but I was in Berlin for a few days Very Happy
SlowRower

Good points, Gerry. By 2010/11, Froome had been "out of Africa" for several years and would have conservatively 100,000k of pro miles in his legs, more than enough to stimulate 2007's massive potential to show itself in a race, one might think. Or at least I think.
Biosphere

I think the numbers did what I thought they would do. Which isn't much. People have more or less made their minds up already. I take it with a pinch of salt as I read it on Internet, but Vayer has allegedly now moved on to mechanical doping . . .

Did anyone else find that the Esquire online article seems truncated? The print copy should be in the shops today.

Based on the on-line stuff I was ending up wondering about Sky too. I did and do wonder about Froome managing to track down old results in the nick of time and why the Bilharzia timeline still hasn't really been set out with supporting paperwork, but on the whole it's Sky I now think that are more evasive and it's hard to explain some things that happened. I come up with more fanciful explanations like Wiggin's having a hand in Froome's 2011 situation at Sky, but given the level of animosity that type of stuff would have leaked by now. Surely? Is the on the way out in 2011 documented properly somewhere or is it just internet chatter?

Anyway having being left thinking it's Sky I'd like to get some clarity on, I came across this Froome interview today in Procycling where he hints just a little at some frustrations with the team.


Click to see full size image

As an aside, the closing paragraph recounts how the interviewer (who was a stranger to Froome beforehand) had brought some South African beef to the interview and which Froome eagerly consumed. I guess both of them didn't think beef of unknown provenance is anything that could cause problems for a 2 x Tour winner Wink
Biosphere

Some follow up with Swart

http://cyclingtips.com.au/2015/12...-conclusions-and-what-comes-next/
Fontfroide

Sounds like (I am not a data interpreter) those with many suspicions can start picking on someone else now.  How about targeting Quintana?
SlowRower

Biosphere wrote:
Is the on the way out in 2011 documented properly somewhere or is it just internet chatter?


There was a graph discussed here at some length from one of the bike mags in 2010 which inadvertently throws some light on this in retrospect.

The graph was the author's interpretation of Brailsford's description of how riders were classified by age and potential at Sky. It was more sophisticated version of a typical 2*2 matrix, but in essence, the lower down the graph a rider was, the worse the classification. Froome's dot on the graph was the lowest of the lot.

A few caveats...

1 - It was only the author's interpretation of what Brailsford said.

2 - It was clearly imperfect - Lokvist (sp) and EBH were both highly prominent at the time, though failure to fulfil youthful potential is much more common than suddenly finding it in your mid 20s.

Annoyingly, I had a copy of the graph in my "reading room" for months, but ditched it in a clear up. It would be good to find an online version of it, as it was constructed before anyone had any interest in Froome and so there's no reason to assume there was any bias / misrepresentation in Froome being plotted in the "drop zone".
SlowRower

Fontfroide wrote:
How about targeting Quintana?


Unlike Froome, he's not claiming to have had a Porsche-like engine whilst producing LADA-like performances for 4 years.

So he's basically done what prominent GT riders have traditionally done - feature prominently in GTs from very early in their careers. One can question whether he's natural or not, but there's no need for reliance on illness, unusual backgrounds etc. to explain any performance jumps.
mr shifter

Fontfroide wrote:
Sounds like (I am not a data interpreter) those with many suspicions can start picking on someone else now.  How about targeting Quintana?

Why Bother.
The media have to keep it going every time.
They made a fortune out of Lancy and Deutsche whoever, when it was in front of their noses all the time but they played the Saga for profit;

Back in the day when amphetamines were the Norm then not much reached the media and now they need to find something else to replace the EPO era.
It's Winter time and they and the Clinics have a need.
Roll on next March. Laughing

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