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Pogacar - the anti-Froome or something to hide?

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Pogacar - the anti-Froome or something to hide?

Old 09-22-20, 03:03 PM
  #26  
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Wow, so many people are overlooking the most obvious explanation for Pogacar's performance: he was using Campagnolo!

Ok, I'm half kidding, but I think we all have good reason to be skeptical. As we have seen in the past, when something looks too good to be true, it often is. And while great performances happen, to have such a huge margin on the entire field does seem suspicious. He seems like a nice enough kid, so let's hope not.


Originally Posted by Skullo View Post
This is all very interesting. Is anyone wondering also about the performance of Richie Porte at the age of 35?its only fair.
Don't endurance athletes generally improve a bit with age? I don't think 35 is over the hill for a GC rider. Didn't we have a 40 year old in the top 10?

Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Another point - Pogacar and UAE targeted the ITT. Visited it three times before the race.

The rider/team to look at is Roglic and JV. They did not pre-ride that course. Their bike change was unprofessional. They clearly didn't ride the days before focused on this Stage being the most important of the Tour.
I've heard this point, but I think the impact is overstated. First off, Roglic's bike change wasn't THAT bad, and it maybe cost him a couple of seconds at most. Likewise, knowledge of the course is all well and good, but it can't account for such a massive difference in performance. The competition was far from doing it blind...
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Old 09-22-20, 03:45 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Irrelevant.

You do realize one can, and plenty of people already have, estimated his watts/kg. Nothing else a bike computer provides would be relevant.

Also irrelevant, bikes will always be above to be safe, and they will not take into account the weight of the bike computer when having to comply with the 6.8kg limit:

"The minimum weight of the bicycle (in working order) is 6.800 kg, considered without on-board accessories in place, that is to say those items that may be removed during the event. The bottles, on-board computers and all others removable accessories must be removed during the weight check. However, the bottle cages, fixture systems and clipped-on extensions are part of the bicycle and stay in place during the weighing."

I mean it's not like you have no clue what you are talking about, right?
Interestingly, you can screw on the Bolt. I think that is mainly to prevent theft in triathlons when your bike is sitting in transition. But, it also could technically mean that it can't be removed from the bike and thus could be used against the weight total.
ETA: I see this was already mentioned.
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Old 09-23-20, 12:58 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by gpsblake View Post
it was quite a "Superman" he rode in the TT, winning by over a minute. When's the last time a TT was won by such a wide margin? Sure, Roglic didn't have a good TT but one minute over EVERYONE else?

Sorry, I'm skeptical when I see "superman" in a bike race.
Evenepoel did something similar in January in the Vuelta a San Juan, although against a weaker field. He was more than 30 seconds ahead of the second place in a short 15.5 km TT. And with fairly standard road bikes, since specialized TT bikes were prohibited for that race to level the field for the teams on low budgets. Remco mostly used the puppy paws/invisible aero bar position. He may also have benefited from better weather during his ride.

Of course, he's under some cloud of suspicion now as well due to some mystery object being retrieved from his jersey pocket by the team after his crash and injury.
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Old 09-23-20, 07:25 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Instead of getting snarky...go read about the set-screw on the Wahoo Bolt mount, that is an end-around that pesky regulation.

To be fair, Stages is the official computer sponsor of UAE....but official sponsors have never stopped teams/riders from using something before. I've never handled a Stages M50 or the like--but I'd not be surprised if their UCI race hardware has similar.
Looks like we were both right to an extent:

PEZ: There was no power meter on his road bike?
He wanted the bike as light as possible so we took the power meter and head unit off but that took us below 6.8 kilograms so we put the head unit for the power meter back on and that took us up to 6.820 kg. He did have a power meter on his time trial bike.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:37 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by ZHVelo View Post
Looks like we were both right to an extent:

PEZ: There was no power meter on his road bike?
He wanted the bike as light as possible so we took the power meter and head unit off but that took us below 6.8 kilograms so we put the head unit for the power meter back on and that took us up to 6.820 kg. He did have a power meter on his time trial bike.
But the photograph of his bike in the article linked in the OP shows that he didn't have a head unit?
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Old 09-23-20, 12:43 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
But the photograph of his bike in the article linked in the OP shows that he didn't have a head unit?
Well now that is interesting. Someone should tweet the DS and ask what's up with that.
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Old 09-23-20, 01:53 PM
  #32  
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The sad thing is, had Pogacar come in second to Roglic like 99% of people expected, there would still be plenty of questions about Jumbo-Visma's riders being able to put a stranglehold on the entire peloton throughout the Tour with such ease. WvA winning bunch sprints and shedding climbers at the end of mountain stages like they were nothing. Then their DS expulsion after an allegedly bungled bike check.

Fact is, Pogacar's performances on the Peysourde and then the Planche are so eyeraising it's easy to forget about the rest. Comparing the former to the previous confirmed doping era speeds, and the latter to everyone else he left in the dust that day with stronger track records at TT or climbing (Carapaz soft pedaled the entire lead-in to the climb aiming for the KOM, and was still a minute and a half slower than Pog on it)... Even the reasons UAE immediately gave on his otherworldly performance (scouted the course so well, has amazing recovery blood) seem remarkably convenient and prepared, from a team employing a number of staff with "history."

Lots of shade cast on the W/kg that all the stronger riders were effortlessly putting out by Bernal before he withdrew, then TomD with some salvos about that world-beating ITT. Do they know something or are they just sore losers? And even if they did know, do they not blow the whistle because they also have things to hide? Maybe Roglic was so gracious in loss because he knew either that the level was most likely even or that the truth will come out in the future.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:23 PM
  #33  
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Back to the original thread title, and in defense of Pogacar - yes he is the anti-Froome. Everyone else we're talking about - even the infamous riders of the late nineties - were much older then Pogacar. The guy only just turned 22 the day after the ceremony! Not only that, but he has proof that he was highly competitive at a young age. He has been racing a bicycle since he was nine years old.

Just look at the podium presentation - Roglic, with his young son. Porte, with the weight of his second child born during the race. Then Pogacar, chillin with nothing to lose. That's huge to me performance wise.

What Pogacar should absolutely do now is get away from anybody with that doping history. Right now he is a silly kid but I think he will quickly become agitated at these constant attacks on his character.
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Old 09-23-20, 03:31 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by serotta View Post
Gotta admit, the circumstances and choices on the climb make for some interesting and imaginative speculation.

FACTS:
There is a short king of the mt. climb to end a TT and the winner beats the nearest competitor on the climb by 1:20 and beats the guy that was in 1st by 1:56 overall (previously they've swapped beating each other in TTs. It's not like Roglic bonked on the climb, he still finished with a great time.

INTERESTING/IMAGINATIVE PART:
Why ride without an electronic means of recording your vitals?
Because you don't mind speculation over your achievement, you just don't want verifiable, irrefutable proof of the deed.
(And Yes, I've always wondered about Greg L and his final TT against Fignon.... also with he and Bernie H. blowing away a class field of professionals in 1986 going on a 90K breakaway to win together by a large margin)

Of course, we are just "arm chairing" the whole thing, no proof, just the possibility of being full of .... well, you know!

Maybe in 50 years when Pogacar writes his memoirs he may tell the whole story of how it actually happened one way or the other.

But for sure I won't be around to read it.
Thing with Greg vs Fignon .. there was a striking difference in equipment (ie aero setup) TT bars vs bullhorns, helmet vs ponytail.. etc etc
Hell with Pog and Roglic .. even the suits where the same...
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Old 09-23-20, 03:43 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Wow, so many people are overlooking the most obvious explanation for Pogacar's performance: he was using Campagnolo!

Ok, I'm half kidding, but I think we all have good reason to be skeptical. As we have seen in the past, when something looks too good to be true, it often is. And while great performances happen, to have such a huge margin on the entire field does seem suspicious. He seems like a nice enough kid, so let's hope not.




Don't endurance athletes generally improve a bit with age? I don't think 35 is over the hill for a GC rider. Didn't we have a 40 year old in the top 10?



I've heard this point, but I think the impact is overstated. First off, Roglic's bike change wasn't THAT bad, and it maybe cost him a couple of seconds at most. Likewise, knowledge of the course is all well and good, but it can't account for such a massive difference in performance. The competition was far from doing it blind...
My point isn't about the seconds gained but the focus. For Roglic, it was a stage he had to do to get to arrive in Paris in yellow. And he knew it was given that with a good ride, he'd match his rivals. For Pogacar it was THE STAGE, the whole Tour. Pretty obvious he had been looking forward to it a while. He knew he was going in fully dialed. Everything was "on".
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Old 09-23-20, 03:51 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Back to the original thread title, and in defense of Pogacar - yes he is the anti-Froome. Everyone else we're talking about - even the infamous riders of the late nineties - were much older then Pogacar. The guy only just turned 22 the day after the ceremony! Not only that, but he has proof that he was highly competitive at a young age. He has been racing a bicycle since he was nine years old.

Just look at the podium presentation - Roglic, with his young son. Porte, with the weight of his second child born during the race. Then Pogacar, chillin with nothing to lose. That's huge to me performance wise.
Yes, I still remember watching Pogacar pip Higuita at the end of the Mt Baldy stage at the ToC and thinking that boy had the killer instinct. Impeccable racing. But in making sure my memory was correct, I found this article about it:

UAE Team Emirates began its week at the Tour of California by sending home one of its riders upon learning that his name had surfaced in a European investigation into doping in cycling.

The team appears set to end it with the overall race lead.
Hmm...

Not sure about Porte being weighed by expectations. If anything, all the weight would've been off since he'd finally shaken off so much disappointment from the past and also was ready to close the book on being a GC rider.
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Old 09-23-20, 06:52 PM
  #37  
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Pogacar is one badass m/f for years to come!!!
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Old 09-23-20, 07:22 PM
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Back to Pogacar's amazing recovery blood, I'm listening to the Real Science of Sport podcast where they mentioned the UAE team doctor had talked to them about it. This after FloSports had an interview with the same doctor almost immediately after the race. Who has their doctor go around allaying suspicion after winning? The only analogue I can think of is Trump's doctor going around touting how healthy his patient was.
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Old 09-23-20, 08:14 PM
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There is also already some general suspicion around the UAE team because of the role of Mauro Gianetti


https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/sep/22/climate-of-suspicion-returns-to-tour-de-france-to-dampen-celebrations"The UAE Team Emirates operation is run by Mauro Gianetti, team principal and CEO. The Swiss former professional, ... has been at the heart of a series of notorious incidents over the past 25 years.

The most infamous would be the Saunier Duval scandal of 2008, when the Gianetti-managed team quit the Tour after their star rider Riccardo Ricc tested positive for a new generation EPO. Ricc was also fired, along with his teammate Leonardo Piepoli, and the sponsorship ended soon afterwards."
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Old 09-24-20, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
... I also read a comment by someone referencing Bob Roll's thoughts on Froome, that without the power meter he might be faster.
...
His whole strategy was to not put himself into the red until either at the end of the stage, or when things became desperate for him (or someone else on his team as we saw in 2018 or 2019). I would not be surprised if he could not have ridden better without that focus, but when you enter a big race with the mindset that "I can win if only I don't get carried away and bonk hard on a tough stage", that could well be the way you race it. Effective? Apparently. Make for good viewing? Only when things go off script.
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Old 09-25-20, 11:04 AM
  #41  
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I think the mental state is key. Pogacar literally had nothing to lose. He knew where he was at on the TT bike and "all" he had to do was go full gas on the climb. Meanwhile, Rog watched Pog blow out of the start house and was getting time checks leading up to the climb that showed him losing more and more time. Also, Pog had beaten Rog in their national TT, and that may have already been weighing on Rog from the start

One guy with nothing to lose versus the other guy who is watching it slip away...
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Old 09-25-20, 11:57 AM
  #42  
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yeah but doesn't Primoz's people tell him on the headset that he's way behind during the trial so he can ramp it up as soon as the first checkpoint?

as to the comment of not having kids or attachments helping Pog, I'm not buying. For me having kids would provide even more motivation to win the tour!

I would love to see a tv special where Bob R. Christian, Horner, Merckx sit down and have a discussion about this Tour

Then invite the riders and team directors to join the discussion

my absolute favorite parts of the broadcasts were listening to these guys analyze the stages (minus Merckx), the tactics, hell Bob was even talking about how many teeth on the cogs
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Old 09-25-20, 02:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by spdntrxi View Post
Hell with Pog and Roglic .. even the suits where the same...
According to Johan Bruynell on his spinoff podcast, team JV had specially designed skinsuits that were supposed to be faster, but he couldn't use it because the yellow skinsuit is provided by ASO. Neither here nor there, but interesting.

Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My point isn't about the seconds gained but the focus. For Roglic, it was a stage he had to do to get to arrive in Paris in yellow. And he knew it was given that with a good ride, he'd match his rivals. For Pogacar it was THE STAGE, the whole Tour. Pretty obvious he had been looking forward to it a while. He knew he was going in fully dialed. Everything was "on".
Nah, not buying that. I mean, it wasn't as if he was taking it easy in the previous stages. He made some huge efforts to win a couple, and on the other tough climbs it looked like both he and Roglic were giving close to 100%.

Originally Posted by wv_mtnbkr View Post
I think the mental state is key. Pogacar literally had nothing to lose. He knew where he was at on the TT bike and "all" he had to do was go full gas on the climb. Meanwhile, Rog watched Pog blow out of the start house and was getting time checks leading up to the climb that showed him losing more and more time. Also, Pog had beaten Rog in their national TT, and that may have already been weighing on Rog from the start
One guy with nothing to lose versus the other guy who is watching it slip away...
See above. The margin was too big to be explained by mentality, especially because Roglic didn't have a particularly bad time. The gap in their National TT was something like 19 seconds, and Roglic had a buffer of 57 going into the TT, so I'm not buying that he was spooked.
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Old 09-25-20, 03:15 PM
  #44  
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I think there is something to the thing E. Merckx was saying about JV pulling too hard on some of the last stages. That will have used some energy Roglič might have been able to better use for the TT.

But the big thing is if they hadn't pushed as hard on those stages, would they have still kept Roglič in yellow. It's interesting, but I'm iffy. I didn't think of that during the TdF and so I don't know what and where others were. Particularly Pogačar, he might have been saving more energy than others at key times.

Quintana had a habit of always being right on Froome's wheel in most any TdF. If Quintana was a decent TT person, he might have pulled out a win on the 2013 TdF. If he matched Froome's times on the stage 11 and 17 individual TT's, then Froome would have had to make up 7 seconds on him in the remaining 3 stages. 4 if you count stage 21. Not impossible, but would have made a more interesting fight to the finish.


And the things that make Quintana not such a great TT person, might have added to the bad times he got for some stages he finished well behind Froome on but did make the podium with Froome for the overall. Don't know on that though, I've not got the memory or stats to defend any of that.
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