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Old 12-09-11, 01:40 PM   #1
AcademyCC
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Is Philippe Gilbert racing clean?

Seems to me his achievements last season are outrageous for a clean rider.

Thoughts?
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Old 12-09-11, 05:44 PM   #2
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He stayed at a high level all year long which seems:

a) abnormal for a clean rider.
b) risky for a doper.

I'm skeptical but I guess since I like him I keep quiet.

Last edited by Dubbayoo; 12-14-11 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 12-09-11, 08:09 PM   #3
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I like him as well. Hope he i'snt the next star to fall of the pedestal but everything that has happened over the last 10-15 years points towards it. Just finished David Millars book, great read. Quality insight into intriguing but seriously flawed world.
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Old 12-12-11, 12:15 AM   #4
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Well we can never know really. But he's been good for a long time. It's not like he just came out of nowhere, or suddenly transformed into a totally different kind of rider.
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Old 12-12-11, 12:20 AM   #5
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i cant answer that but i did note that he rides with his toes pointed down a good deal, something i do as well. i used to think it was a problem.
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Old 12-12-11, 09:18 AM   #6
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Sad to say -- my first reaction was to comment we as fans always doubt -- but I suppose it is an earned issue. As now evident in MLB, the problem is only as big as a) the problem itself and b) the sports' willingness to face the music.

Cycling has been -- fortunately or not -- VERY transparent about drugs. MLB, NBA, NFL, Golf, all not. So like it or not cycling is thought of a filled with drug users and the other sports see it as an exception.

Wait til testing (one drug at a time!) starts and maybe it changes. In the meantime let's hope WADA, UCI, and the national federations start working together better. It is a sham that one country holds its riders accountable when others let them skate.

I've always hoped Gilbert is clean, but I can agree one has to be suspicious (as with Lance) to believe that one person is so much better than others. That coupled with my experience that kids in these parts (Benelux) have far too many people tempting them ...

Ours is a culture in crisis ...
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Old 12-13-11, 06:02 AM   #7
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I don't invest in the notion that anyone is clean, but I'm wholly skeptical of the idea that you can tell whether someone is doping by their results. Somebody has to win the race, and dominant riders appear in every era of cycling. I don't know of any reason they should be absent now.
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Old 12-13-11, 09:16 PM   #8
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I agree. Someone has to be the best. Also, if you look at his wins, they are pretty much all from short, sharp steep climbs where he uses his power to attack (fleche wallonne, amstel gold, L-B-L, TDF stage 1, clasica san sebastian, GP du quebec all fall into this category) It's not as if one day he wins a race like Paris-Roubaix, and then the next is winning a mountain stage in the alps, his wins all come from a narrow spectrum of courses. Clean or not, I don't know, but to me it seems at least plausible that his winning is a result of him being a puncheur, and nothing else.
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Old 12-13-11, 09:22 PM   #9
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With all of his wins this year he's probably been tested more than just about anyone…

pretty much my favorite racer, him and Cancellara.
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Old 12-15-11, 03:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harlond View Post
I don't invest in the notion that anyone is clean, but I'm wholly skeptical of the idea that you can tell whether someone is doping by their results. Somebody has to win the race, and dominant riders appear in every era of cycling. I don't know of any reason they should be absent now.
On the other hand, the advantage that doping products can give now seems bigger than the gap in talent. If a rider like Kolobnev is caught and it's been a while since he actually won something, it's hard to believe that someone who's totally dominating classics is clean (yes I know that you have to take tactics into account and that this season for example Kolobnev and Rodriguez made mistakes in that area... but just look at how Gilbert won San Sebastian, can't really explain it by him outsmarting others, or take the Eneco Tour stage before which he told everyone where he'll attack).
Also, were any of those dominant riders clean? Some of them might have been using less effective stuff but they were doping too.
And by the way, though classics are not GTs and perhaps it's easier to believe that someone who's dominating them is clean- the only other rider to win Ardennes triple in a single year is Davide Rebellin...
(I kind of wonder- even though I hate the guy- what Paul Kimmage thinks now, some years after he talked with young and angry Gilbert who couldn't find his place in cycling being sure it's because others are doping.)
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Old 12-15-11, 02:13 PM   #11
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I can understand that ^^ but these things could just as easily be a sign of a cleaner peloton. You're always going to have a stronger guy at the race. If you look at Gilbert's progression - I know this has already been stated, but - you see a very specialized kind of rider, with huge talent, taking a long while to find his place and live up to his promise.

I think that's how a clean rider should develop. I mean it's not like Lance, who came out of nowhere to win the Tour when he was really never a GT rider.
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Old 12-15-11, 08:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by paperbackwriter View Post
Also, were any of those dominant riders clean? Some of them might have been using less effective stuff but they were doping too.
Maybe they weren't clean. Maybe their rivals weren't clean. Who knows? Does that mean that doping is the only explanation for dominance?
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And by the way, though classics are not GTs and perhaps it's easier to believe that someone who's dominating them is clean- the only other rider to win Ardennes triple in a single year is Davide Rebellin...
Rebellin won the triple in 2004 and was busted for doping in 2008. I'm not saying he (or any of his rivals) was clean in 2004, but the fact that he was doping in 2008 would not seem to explain every victory in his career. Without knowing whether the other guys on the podium are clean, I don't know if doping explains any victory in his career.
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