Compared to the Panatani/Armstrong 2000 dope fueled ascent, Froome managed around the same time gaps to his competitors in around half the distance.
I know, he looks too strong. But he didn't really brush Quintana aside, did he, the boy hung on for a long way. Speaking for myself, I am trying to come to terms with the post-Armstrong, bio-passport world. We don't really kniw what is going on. I'm going to watch some more, and suspend judgment until more evidence is in.
I really don't know what to think. I guess when I see a performance so far and above the rest of the people in the race, I'm skeptical. I guess I see it like this: the Tour is the top race in the world. Everyone wants to come to this race in peak form. I think it's safe to assume that most of them do. How one guy can be worlds better than the rest of the top guys is suspicious to me. I wish it wasn't, but he made it look so damn easy.
Contadoper was that guy too.
Contador is putting up "normal" numbers now. Probably enough to win the tour, by a tiny margin over the rest of the field if you take Chris Pharm out of the equation.
I liked the neutral water motos. Quintana refused the handup so he could grab onto the moto for a break before selecting his own bottle. Nice work.
I've got a friend that's a NASCAR Sprint Cup crew chief. There's big money riding on what he does, more than Pro Tour money. He says that when you see a guy go from top 10 or top 15 to winning a string a races they're cheating. No 'if/ands/buts'. Internally, that is the culture of stock car racing, though. It's not frowned upon by the other competitors. He says, "I know it's going on, they know it's going on, Tech knows it's going on. The trick is catching them." Teams will use whatever trick (usually aerodynamic, but it could be a suspension, chassis or engine mod) just enough to get themselves into 'The Chase' (playoffs) and then they'll stop using it. They might only run it at a handful of tracks in any given year, but they'll make it count when they do.
I feel like we're seeing the same thing here. I have the feeling that Froome could have put on this exact same performance 12 months ago, but he played the cards as Sky wanted. Wiggo did not rub everyone's face in his performances. Maybe he wasn't able to. Maybe it was calculated. Maybe Froome is doing things differently that Wiggo did. We'll probably never know.
Porte's performance is very similar to Froome's. He blew the field completely apart before Froome delivered the coup de grace. He could be in yellow if was the chosen one. As weird as it is, I think it's 50/50 that his bad day was planned.
Here's the deal. Whatever is going on is not conventional. It's something new. Only the guys that absolutely _have_ to know do know. Those 2-3 guys are thumbing their noses at the rest. Creed seemed to think it was from huge training camps and motor pacing. I'm sorry. A watt is a watt. Motor pacing has it's place, but you can do essentially the same workout on your own and any pro that wants to motor pace does. This is 'preparation' all right, but, unfortunately, in the <air quotes> sense of the word.
So my folks will get the FTR (Froome Training Regimen) interval next week:
After a 5.5 hour ride find a 7-8% climb. Ride 400w for 15 minutes, then ride 550-600w for 76s , then vary between 400-450w for 5m, then do 1km at 500w. Finish at 6200 ft.
I actually ran the numbers, just to see if I was nuts and I gave Froome a pretty big margin of error. It's all "psuedo-science" so I shouldn't be given access to the power files, but we're close I'd bet.
What jumps out here is recoverability...you'd figure after 5 hours you'd lose at least 10-15% of FTP, and that's being super generous. Froome's been said to be in the 440w region. But of course Sky, being transparent, won't release the files.
So you figure he's at around 390. So far so good. Then you ride at 130-150% of FTP for 2 minute bursts and then back to FTP? That's hitting z5 for extended periods then going back to V02 max. After 5 hours.
I'm not even shaving off altitude correction which would knock off 3-5% being super conservative.
Did I mention he put the same time gaps into the field in <5k that it took Lance 10k to achieve?
Oh look, there's a unicorn.
Done. I'll keep watching for tactics and the sprints but I'm done commenting. If folks want to "believe" have at it. I'm just some bike racer. WTF do I know.
Last edited by Racer Ex; 07-14-13 at 06:33 PM.
I did a lot of "stock" and "production" 2-wheeled racing. Holy crap the stuff that went on...
It's funny. Road racing with sports cars and open-wheelers is very above board. Teams don't cheat. The do go to the limit of the rules, but, generally speaking, they respect the rulebook. It's just the culture of the sport. It's considered 'bad form' to win by cheating. A clever mod is different.
There was a team in Champ Car a couple years ago that always got great fuel mileage. The driver has a big role to play, but they would go several laps longer than anyone else. Everyone was using the same Cosworth engine. They had figured out that Cosworth didn't have much of a fuel mixture compensator in the ECU (fuel injection computer). So they turned the fuel pressure down about 5 psi. Since the engines were set to run rich (excess fuel/safe), the reduced fuel pressure actually gave them a more advantageous fuel mixture and more power. At the same time, the engine got better mileage. Clever as hell. Eventually, Cosworth caught on...after several championships. There was no written rule against it.
I get the feeling that Sky are doing something analogous.
Demain, on roule!
I just assume they are all doping, and then don't worry about it. Why speculate?
Also, I remember reading a great story about a NASCAR team that used lead dust in the car to make sure it met minimum weight standards, then during the race, the driver opened a hatch and started dropping all the lead. Or something to that effect.
You know, I wouldn't be so skeptical of Froome if he wasn't just absolute devouring everyone. I mean these are the best guys in the world at what they do. And Porte and Froome hit it and they just absolutely devour everyone. I mean, this would be one of the best TdF ever if Froome wasn't in it. Look at the time gaps from 2nd-10th. Obviously things would be different, but that's telling me that the best 10 guys in the world are all very very closely matched. And then there's Froome with an absolutely huge lead over everyone. And I don't think he's even gone full gas all the way up a climb yet to really dig in the time differences.
Also the TT....seriously? I mean watch the footage of Froome vs the footage of Martin. There is just no way that Froome should be in the same ballpark. I probably would have stopped watching if Froome had won the TT, luckily Martin still winning made me feel a little better.
Category 2 | | Velogames BikeForums Leagues: 1st - 2012 Veulta, 1st - 2011 Vuelta, 2nd - 2013 Vuelta, 3rd - 2012 Giro, 4th - 2012 TdF