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Thread: Tour de France 2020

  1. #21
    Master Witton Park's Avatar
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    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/cycling/...failed-produce

    I saw this article a week or so back. I was going to comment but resisted and comments seem to have been disabled for the article anyway.

    Only one black rider in this years TdF and a general lack of BAME cyclists in the pro ranks which the writer sees as a failure of the sport.
    That might be.
    But the point I would have made was that when I started watching the TdF on C4 in the 80s, I only had Robert Miller and Sean Yates to support if I wanted to follow home riders (some of you experts might be able to name a few more, but they were thin on the ground for a country with lots of clubs. In fact Ireland used to often have more than GB in the pro peloton.

    Despite our clubs and our infrastructure, we couldn't produce top class international cyclists.

    It seemed to change with Obree and Boardman. All of a sudden young cyclists had some role models to aspire to.

    Cycling News have a GB all time list and half of the top 20 are still racing which says something.

    So how are African cyclists going to develop to the top level? They need infrastructure first and then they need role models.
    Probably Froome is the best example of a cyclist who's development was in Africa, but he's not a typical case for sure.

    The number of cyclists in the Far East is staggering, but do they see it as a way of getting from A to B or a competitive sport?
    Why no Vietnamese in the pro peloton?

    As well as infrastructure, culture is key.

    There seem to be sports in westernised nations that appeal to BAME people. Here in the UK we have plenty playing football, rugby, athletics, boxing.... but rarely equestrianism, cycling, swimming.

    Maybe time will change that.

    I never linked drugs policy changes in cycling to the rise of the GB cyclist. I saw it as having some early role models to aspire to and investment in development of the Olympic squad via lottery, which produced results that propelled GB to a top tier cycling nation on track and road.
    Last edited by Witton Park; 04-09-2020 at 06:58 AM.
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambatte View Post
    Marco,
    it could well be that cycling has changed. I do't know. But if it has, I have not seen anything to indicate so. And in your post you are not pointing to any indications of it.
    The 1999 Tour, the one after the Festina scandal, was nicknamed "the Tour of redemption". Go figure.
    And once the Brits started to win, I was appalled by the mood in Britain "sure cycling must now be clean, the evidence of it is that the Brits, undoubtedly clean, used to be beaten and now start to win". This is only nationalism. Go Brexit!
    Here is the list of doping cases in cycling from Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ses_in_cycling

    If you look through it you will see some very big names in the past, (Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault, Gimondi - all Tour de France winners), but not anymore. In the last few years it has been lesser riders, presumably hoping to make the big time by whatever means available.

    Drugs in cycling is still an issue, but it is more of an issue in athletics. In 2019 43 Kenyan athletes were banned for doping, including the women's 2016 Olympic marathon champion. The testing, and retrospective re-testing, at big cycling races is such that it is now cleaner than ever

    It is also worth mentioning that virtually any medicine you buy from a pharmacist would fail you a drugs test, so there are some people who are being caught out without intending to cheat. The list of prohibited substances increases by the year too.

  3. #23
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    I know a guy from another (non-sporting) forum who could be classed as a lesser rider... he is of good standard, looking to get a contract with a professional team. He freely admits (under his pseudonym) that at that level "everybody is at it".... they consider doping as worth the risk at that level in order to grasp that chance at a pro contract... and in fact he says that it is so rife at that level, that you have to do it, just to keep up with the pack.

    I don't know the guy personally, so it may not be quite true... but i've got no reason to doubt it either.

  4. #24
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    To give some balance, i also personally know a guy on the lap-racing circuit who is clean as a whistle and wouldn't dream of it...

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Marco View Post
    Here is the list of doping cases in cycling from Wikipedia

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ses_in_cycling

    If you look through it you will see some very big names in the past, (Merckx, Anquetil, Hinault, Gimondi - all Tour de France winners), but not anymore. In the last few years it has been lesser riders, presumably hoping to make the big time by whatever means available.
    Marco, I agree with everything you wrote but not with your conclusion that cycling is now cleaner than ever. Remember, Lance Armstrong "never failed a drug test". Now we know 1) he "never failed" because it was easy to cheat, and 2) he did fail at least one test and he just paid hard cash to keep it under the radar. The organizers wanted it that way. Marion Jones never failed a drug test. My take is: I used to accept the official "clean" results. Now I don't.

  6. #26
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    I like to think most are clean.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stagger View Post
    I like to think most are clean.
    But I'm so unsure.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    I assume the vast majority are juiced
    Poacher turned game-keeper

  9. #29
    Admin brett's Avatar
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    Cynical I thought

    Then think Armstrong...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambatte View Post
    Marco, I agree with everything you wrote but not with your conclusion that cycling is now cleaner than ever. Remember, Lance Armstrong "never failed a drug test". Now we know 1) he "never failed" because it was easy to cheat, and 2) he did fail at least one test and he just paid hard cash to keep it under the radar. The organizers wanted it that way. Marion Jones never failed a drug test. My take is: I used to accept the official "clean" results. Now I don't.
    What I'm hearing through my cycling channels is that micro dosing is the new thing; taking amounts so small that they are not easily detectable. I do not, however, believe this is happening at the top levels where there is a lot of testing

    The Athlete biological passport was introduced in 2009 for World Tour riders (the elite professionals). It used as a baseline to compare subsequent drug tests against. It has made EPO a lot easier to detect

    The World Anti-Doping Code (WADC 2015) introduced a 10-year window following a competition to retrospectively test athletes’ samples for a possible doping violations. This was done to give the testers time to develop tests for new drugs after they have been introduced.

    Up to August 2019, 60 athletes, and 7 gold medallists, have retrospectively tested positive for doping from samples taken at the 2012 London Olympics. Of these only one, a Russian, have been cyclists.

    The fact that Juan José Cobo was stripped of the 2011 Vuelta a España title in 2019 will have made it clear to the top riders that they will be caught eventually. For this reason I believe that, (at the top level of cycling anyway),this tour is probably the closest to a clean tour there has ever been.

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