Monday Shorts

Roman Kreuziger’s been cleared by the Czech Olympic Committee’s arbitration panel. Fair verdict or whitewash? For now it’s hard to tell as the reasoned decision is online as a PDF but in Czech and so a hard read.

What we do know from the past is that the UCI has appealed past cases of “home” federations or anti-doping bodies clearing their riders. I suspect they’ll take the case to the CAS but that’s guessing.

Free to Race
The UCI has issued a press release saying it won’t comment any further for now and doesn’t mention whether Kreuziger’s provisional suspension has ended… but a quietly uploaded document to the UCI website reveals he’s off the list. The page says “Updated : 12.09.2014″… but the file is dated 22 September, ie today. They really ought to list the additions/deletions rather than counting on the media, fans or bloggers to notice.

Dr Ferrari
Roman Kreuziger’s admitted to working with banned doping doctor Michele Ferrari, amusingly for “training plans” only. It’s the equivalent of attending an Al Qaeda training camp and claiming you wanted a cheap holiday, few will believe it. Luckily for cycling the medic’s a more distant figure from cycling these days… but he’s not out of the news. In Italy right now his name is cropping up over the case of Alex Schwazer, a speed walker, and his ex-girlfriend Carolina Kostner, a figure skater. Koster risks a ban after failing to show at a hearing the other day.

Carlo Santuccione
You might remember Carlo Santuccione as another “doping doctor”. Again he’s in the news in relation to the case of track and field athletics in Italy. Both cases serve to remind us just how far these medics reached into Italian sport.

Bouhanni goes off road
Now to dirty sport of the right kind. Nacer Bouhanni’s been banned from riding for his FDJ team meaning his season is effectively over. But there’s the small matter of the World Championships, one race where he doesn’t need his team. In order to prepare for this he took part in a regional cyclo-cross race at the weekend. It’s a novel approach before the worlds but not new for Bouhanni who has done plenty of CX racing and did an endurance MTB race in his home region this summer too. He didn’t win, the race went to fellow Cofidis joiner Steve Chainel. Going back to the interview he was critical of FDJ boss Marc Madiot but it wasn’t that fierce. Hopefully the incident doesn’t dampen his character otherwise the peloton and the pressroom will become a more boring place.

Luca Paolini hears the whispers

Alonso Update
The Spaniard’s not having his best Formula 1 season and perhaps has other things to concentrate on instead of his pro team. It could still emerge next year in the shape of a second tier pro conti team perhaps with Luca Paolini and others but even this is looking slim as they’d need to recruit a good number of riders and there’s little news.

Team Wiggo
There’s talk of a new team for Bradley Wiggins, first reported by the vital Cycling Podcast. It’ll be a development team at UCI Continental level and he will join after completing the spring classics with Team Sky. You might think team transfers aren’t normally allowed and you’d be right for the top teams but Wiggins can move to third tier team just as Dan Craven moved up to World Tour team Europcar mid-season.

Rules aside, Wiggins’ approach to the 2016 Rio games is curious as the track pursuit gets more and more intense. Michael Hutchinson’s book “Faster” lists the wattages required for the 4,000m event and they’re so high you wonder if can Wiggins match them. Presumably the answer is yes if a team is being built around him but the story will be one to watch.

The palindrome in the velodrome
Wiggins’s long range power could be more suited to the Hour Record. Who knows who’ll break the record next. For now if you want to remember Jens Voigt’s Hour Record distance, 51.115km, then just remember it’s a palindrome, you can spell it backwards and it’s the same: 5-1-1-1-5.

Rider of the Year?
Who’d be your pick for the best rider of 2014?

  • Vincenzo Nibali won the Tour de France but up until July he wasn’t impressing anyone, team manager Vinokourov included who was penning letters to him to improve
  • Alberto Contador perhaps for his Vuelta win as well as Tirreno-Adriatico and Pais Vasco but he’s been beaten elsewhere too, good but not great. He won’t ride the Worlds in his home country either
  • Maybe Alejandro Valverde after his versatile start to the season, fourth in the Tour de France and then on the podium in the Vuelta? It’d be a vote for consistency
  • Nobody dominated the classics – Alexander Kristoff and Simon Gerrans were good and have won elsewhere too
  • In the sprints Marcel Kittel’s the best but is he the best rider of the season?
  • Maybe Tony Martin for his wins in time trials and his giant Tour de France stage win?

You win if you pick Marianne Vos but I was thinking of the best male rider. The reason why I’m asking aloud is because the World Championships could be the defining race to help pick a rider. If there’s no obvious pick for the best rider then Sunday could help change this, one more reason to look forward to it.

2015 Tour de France
Talking of looking forward to things, how about July 2015? There are 30 days until the route of the Tour de France is unveiled but information on the course leaks out, usually to the regional press and radio. Today the city of Valence was linked by radio and all sorts of other details are online, notably via the Velowire website.

If the route leaks out why have a presentation? Because there’s nothing like seeing the official map and that’s only the start. If the route is known then comes the story-telling with a theme for the race not to mention more details on the climbs along the way, the length of time trials and the number of summit finishes.

98 thoughts on “Monday Shorts”

  1. I know you were only referring to the best male rider, but I’d argue that besides Vos, you could also make a case for Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who won in CX, MTB, TT and Road races, and was very consistent in her results all across the board.

  2. Re Wiggins – presumably Sky missed out on Bronze because Froome wasn’t in the TTT, and Wiggins would’ve been a great addition (personality clash notwithstanding) to the road race team. You feel the best thing for Sky and the GB team is for him to join a different team, and this development team looks like a good compromise. Surely Dave Brailsford was tempted to tell him to do one at the end of his contract however.

    • Sky missed out on a bronze because they insisted on picking Geraint Thomas, despite him crashing (yet again) not long ago, and all too plainly not being 100% in the Canadian races. Wiggins and Kiryienka were absolute beasts to get the team to just 2 secs off OPQS, covering for Cataldo and Kosta missing turns after they were down to 4 riders for the 2nd half of the TT.

      As for Froome, contrary to what you might think, he is not the strongest in a TTT. Last TTT he was swinging off the back – not for the first time, it must be said.

  3. Just to correct you a bit, Inner Ring, Roman worked with dr. Ferrari a few months at the turn of the 2006/2007 year. At that time, dr. Ferrari had not been banned by UCI yet. So the parallel with “an Al Qaeda training camp” doesn´t match the class you indisputably have.

      • Believe or not, hundreds of cyclists of all levels did.

        To be clear, this is definitely bad address and Roman admitted his previous fault in this matter. But there is no single evidence about any relation between Roman and Ferrari since year 2007.

        • “Believe or not, hundreds of cyclists of all levels did.”

          Yeah, right. Who? Who do you believe went to a doping doctor only for the advice on training regimen? That excuse is simply not plausible. Everyone in the peleton knew what he was doing and the quote making a comparison between EPO and orange juice was already famous. You don’t go meet him if you just want a plan for riding a bike.

        • In any case, going to a well-known doping doctor doesn’t look good viewed in the light of an adverse doping test result, regardless of whether there’s a connection between the two or not. It’s either two bad things which are linked or two bad things which are separate, but spending time obfuscating by attempting to pick apart whether they are linked is (deliberately?) skimming over the rather large elephant in the room which is his bio-passport results.

          Alas, national federations clearing a big rider is not good enough to convince anyone aside from those who want to believe. CAS are more trustworthy and objective and I imagine the UCI will go there next.

      • You can’t prove what you wrote, and that is not fair…

        Your comparison is indeed of an arguable level. People should stay shut when they don’t know what they’re talking about. This is a good example… to stay shut.

        The majority of the people ignores Roman’s process, so everything said here or anywhere else is pure speculation. People should know a bit more about Roman, CAFD, UCI and the whole process before expressing any opinion (which are usually sentences) concerning such matter…

          • for me you must at least win one of the important races to become ROY, so he must be on the list below. season is not over yet and it will be decided between contador, gerrans and nibali. Contador in the lead atm.

            nibali – tdf
            quintana – giro
            contador – vuelta

            ? – worlds

            kristoff – msr
            cancellara – vlaandern
            terpstra – parisroubaix
            gerrans – LBL
            ? – lombardia

          • That’s right, debate is about arguing your point through emotive and polarising statements, actual proof is optional. 😀

            Seriously though, other people seem to get something out of these conversations and good for them, but for every useful and insightful thing I learn reading them (thanks for the tip “Inga”) I have to wade through a pile of comments written by people who apparently think just expressing suspicion is proof enough, and that anyone who disagrees or asks for sources or evidence is deluding themselves or not wanting to “debate”.

            No, sorry, statements like ‘it’s common sense’ and ‘clearly everyone in the peloton is doping’ and ‘no one EVER went to Dr Ferrari for anything other than doping’ and ‘if you think [rider] is telling the truth you’re deluding yourself’ are not self-evident proofs. Nope, not even if you’re on the ‘rational’, ‘harsh truth’ side. The thing about these statements is they “sound” true and they fit in with what’s been proven already, sure–they’re also nigh-impossible for the average pundit on the internet to prove one way or the other years after the alleged events, and I guarantee you if (in this case) UCI takes their appeals as far as they can go and Roman is still found innocent at the end AND he digs out the intervals Dr Ferrari gave him from the back of a cupboard, people will STILL say he gamed the system. Why? Because ‘clearly everyone in the peloton is doping!’… thus the “debate” rages on.

        • “People should know a bit more about Roman, CAFD, UCI and the whole process before expressing any opinion (which are usually sentences) concerning such matter…”

          Hmmm….. if only there was a blogger active on the internet to do exactly this. That’s why I come here RSD. To me, the author of this blog satisfies all the criteria you just demanded. If anyone knows the process better than INRNG and is also able to package that knowledge in some form of understandable explanation, please let me know. They will get my attention!

  4. “…but he’s been beaten elsewhere too”. That’s a nice turn of phrase to say: “he arrived always first OR second in the GC of any stage race he could finish this year”.

    • “Beaten” is a good word for what happened to Conrador at the Dauphine. And he’d surely prefer Nibali’s results from this year over his own, so he can’t be higher than 2nd for ROY, can he?

      • “Beaten” is not a good word for Quintana in Tirreno, because the good one is “Smashed”. Could be for Valverde in Basque Country and Froome at the Vuelta, though…

        In Dauphiné is more about… “how to loose a race without a team, but still “slam” my main rivals, including their teams, and still be 2nd!”

      • In fact, “beaten” is *not* a very good word for what happened to Contador at the Dauphinée: many of its connotations wouldn’t apply to a race that has been won thanks to a “fuga bidone” (more or less), or, to be fairer 🙂 , thanks to an indirect, long range attack.
        Essentially, because Contador was more interested in Froome than in winning the Dauphinée. Obviously, once his primary task had been accomplished, he tried to win, too, as he always wants to. And actually couldn’t.
        Contador’s attitude makes me even doubt (slightly 😉 ) that he would really prefer Nibali’s season: being on the back foot month after month, just to win during the Big One. Cycling is quite “Tour-o-centric”, but Contador isn’t. Or, better said, not as much.

  5. I know that anti-doping also helps protect the health of riders, but the punishments are so randomly distributed that I’m glad he is not punished. I believe (almost?) everyone in the peleton does something and it’s such a shame that only a few riders get their livelihood taken away from them as a result. Here’s hoping this does not get overturned in CAS.

  6. Interesting. I remember the giant pressure from the italian media (and probably public) on C.Kostner during the olympic games in Turin, where she was damned to be everybodys darling and win a medal and ended I think on ninth or tenth place.

    • You can’t dope to be good at figure skating, and no one says she did. It’s about whether she lied about where her (now ex) boyfriend was to drug testers. She faces a four year ban if found guilty, but since she’s 28 and retired already it’s hardly going to keep her awake at night I wouldn’t have thought.

      • That’s it!
        The funny thing is that according to the data in the availability system he should have been at (his) home, but the testers didn’t go there, they went straight to Carolina’s. So Schwazer had her say “no, guys, you know he’s at his home”, and it didn’t even make for a missed test (they didn’t subsequently go to Schwazer’s 😉 ).

      • There is no sport that cannot benefit from doping in one form or another.

        As for skating, Yuri Larionov tested positive for a banned substance in a blood sample he gave in 2007, lost a gold medal and title for himself and his partner, and was banned for 2 years, later reduced to 18 months.

        • I agree with you, Sam. My previous “that’s it” was related to the specific problem that Kostner now has with sport justice, which CK reported correctly (there’s an email about Carolina from Schwazer to Ferrari, too, but the investigation is not about that, since from the text itself it’s quite clear that she knew nothing about it and it really was much of a “general health” matter, even if blood related).
          What’s really worrying about the Ferrari situation is that for many years the sport justice didn’t fully take into consideration the – public – results from several criminal justice’s investigations and trials.
          Ferrari wasn’t officially “inhibited” by the Italian sport federations until very recent years (sort of a couple of years ago). That’s why Pozzato and others received reduced sanctions to punish their association with him. In theory, they could/should have been acquitted!
          This REALLY strange situation (Ferrari isn’t someone you just forget to put in the “prohibited doctors” list) led some people to suspect that various national sport federations were knowingly turning a blind eye to the fact that the athletes were working “privately” with Ferrari. Or worst.
          Not putting Ferrari in the black list would allow the Federations to save whoever you needed to save in case that he/she was accidentally caught working with Ferrari… or maybe (if we speak of some big wig) even addressing athletes to him.
          But this is conspiracy theory, possibly it was just carelessness.

  7. Honestly I really believe that Roman is innocent. I know him personally and.. who the hell has a “I’m doping free” tatoo on his elbow? A honest man or a hypocrite? And he never was a hypocrite…

      • Gerrans’ or Kristoff ‘s season – their respective Monument aside – aren’t anything special.
        We can say they had a very, very good season *for them*: there weren’t huge expectations about what they could do, and this year they achieved their most important victory so far.
        But what “they won elsewhere”, albeit interesting, doesn’t really stand out; a couple of semi-classics each (and it may be even generous to call them “semi-classics”).
        Oh, yeah… Kristoff won a couple of stages during the Tour, too (well, let’s put it like this: Nibali won four. And they were a bit more memorable).
        Without the Worlds, IMHO, they aren’t even near to Contador or Nibali (or Valverde).
        With a rainbow jersey on… it can be debated. Maybe it wouldn’t be just winning, but “how do you win it”, too. I know this may sound silly to many, but the Worlds’ history is full – more than other races of comparable importance – of soon forgetted flukes by mediocre riders, thus I feel that the manner especially matters, in this case.
        Gerrans completely failed the Tour, and didn’t show up in the favourable terrain of País Vasco, when he was supposedly on form. Kristoff wanted to shine on the cobbles, and had a decent Flandres (even if, quite predictably, he didn’t “make the cut”), but in Belgium he failed everything else, including various races which were really perfect for his qualities.
        If we start naming an athlete “rider of the year” depending on (low) previous expectations about him more than on the intrinsic weight of his victories as such, then Sonny Colbrelli could be our “rider of the year”… if he won the Worlds (just like Gerrans or Kristoff 😛 ).

          • If possible let’s try to argue things. For example it’s hard to put aside the biggest races of the year but take Gerrans, he was also targetting the Tour but that flopped. Yet if he strikes gold this weekend then he really makes his season.

            The point of the “rider of the year” is that nobody seems head and shoulders above all the others, the road race may help to define the season.

          • Indeed, at the moment it’s really hard to pick a stand-out rider.

            As well as the worlds there’s also Lombardia which might help he decision.

            FWIW I can’t pick the rider of the year yet, but Michael Matthews is probably my breakthrough rider of the year.

          • Inrng, I got your point but I feel I can’t agree (and I’d say that I’ve argued, maybe even a bit too much).
            I believe that we have three riders who, presently, are well above the rest: Contador, Nibali, Valverde – alphabetical order. Between them, nobody is especially shining. But now they are, indeed, head and shoulders above the others.
            I’m sorry for Gerrans and the UCI, but I won’t accept, nowadays (let’s see in the future), that the TDU is worth more or less like a Tirreno or that the Canadian races are worth La Flèche Wallonne (do I need to argue that? Cycling history and field level, to start with).
            To me, Gerrans or Kristoff’s other victories are just flavouring: they only got one HC result, whereas the rest are just “second (or third) category climbs”… With two “HC results”, they would get a step up, at the same level as those three, but even so I’m not very sure that they would prevail against riders who got one HC result and several “1st category” (plus various 2nd or 3rd category).

          • Generally agree about the standard of Gerrans’ and Kristoff’s (Vattenfall, couple of TdF stages) other wins. But does anybody have more total wins than Kristoff this year? They didn’t all come in junior Norwegian races, did they?

            For another odd choice, how many times did Kittel get beaten in any sprint he contested this year?

          • Because inrng, explaining how did they earn their chance to be “rider of the year”, stressed that they had “won elsewhere, too”. Hence, I considered that those other victories should be quite important for their candidature, but I found out that they really weren’t so significant. Or, better said, that they may well be relevant, but only in the perspective of a “second tier” rider. Especially when both riders came short when competing for some of their top level – and openly declared as such – objectives.
            I wasn’t denying the value of their Monuments: quite on the contrary, I was assuming it, and I was focusing on the rest of their season for the comparison’s sake.
            Likely, I didn’t express myself very well, sorry 🙂

            If you compare them with Contador, for example, he had one big win (I won’t argue if a Liège or a Sanremo is worth a Vuelta, it may change from year to year depending mainly on the field – especially in the case of a stage race – and on the way the race is run), but, on top of that, he won two of the most important stage races of the year (and sort of six stages, some of which in a quite spectacular fashion, on his way to the GC victories).
            Nibali had a big win, too, indisputably bigger than those who got the other riders. Besides, he won *four* Tour de France stages, including the two “queen stages” in the Alps and in the Pyrenees. We shouldn’t take for granted that winning a GC goes along with winning great stages. And, even if Foley maybe would say that Nibali was “beaten” in the pavé stage, I definitely consider it an important plus in the Italian’s season.
            I won’t elaborate about Valverde, since Sam included him in his list, but I think that his season, too, was way better than Kristoff’s or Gerrans’.
            What I’m trying to say is that, for what I see in this year’s palmarés, Kristoff or Gerrans may enter “the competition” IF they win the Worlds (and, IMHO, the debate would still be open), but – presently – they are way back, when compared with those other three riders. I see them (a little) behind Quintana, too: but, in this case, they obviously would “pass” him winning the Worlds.

        • “Gerrans completely failed the Tour”.

          If you recall he was taken down in a crash by Mark Cavendish on stage 1. His lingering injuries might the cause of this “failure”, no? Even if you’re at 99% of top form at the Tour de France that’s the difference between winning and finishing 5th in a sprint.

    • How is no one mentioning anyone German? No matter what happens this weekend I have my answer. To not discuss Dege and Kittel can be excused but no Toni Martin? Tour de Swiss? That massive breakaway? Tour of Belgium overall? Wearing the ITT jersey and owning it with TT victories in the two grand tours he rode? The way he dominated the TdF bringing his GC man to the base of each and every final stretch and a brutally cold stage win through the Vosges? Now a TTT victory for OPQ? Hello? Anyone there?!!!

      Other than GC quys, who all managed to have bad years in their own ways, can anyone else even come close to this?

  8. If Sir Brad switches to a continental-level squad, does he fall out of more formal testing in the bi0-passport program?

    I don’t remember the distinctions regarding which groups of riders are in/out of bio-passport pool.

      • Would he be able to switch to Sky for certain races? Or would he be reliant on Wild Cards in order to ride the races he wants to target? I couldn’t see the Sky development squad getting an invite to Paris Roubaix, but maybe he could go to Tour of California again (especially if Fox are the title sponsor).

        • It’s said he’s done with stage racing, it’s all about the track. But many track pursuit / endurance squads do venture onto the road.

          The rules suggest if he leaves Sky then going back is hard, he’d have to sign a new full length, ie one year, contract.

          • Just to correct: he’s said he’s done with contesting GC for stage races – not that he’ll never ride stage races again. Big difference.

            You cant ride pursuit without doing some road and road race work. However, it doesn’t need to be at WT level.

        • No – idea seems to be that he’ll ride the Classics next year with Sky, and then move to this new team (if it does happen).

          Once he’s moved, he won’t be going back to Sky.

          And if its a British Conti team, it certainly wont be getting an invite in its first year of inception, to Tour of California next year…

          • I don’t think Brad and company will have any problem getting invited to any race he/they want to do that is open to continental teams. Can you really see a race organizer turning away a TdF champ, reigning Olympic tt champ and a team full of Olympic medalists?Me neither, the publicity value of a recent tdf winner at any race is just irresistible.

  9. Those UCI ‘Clean Sport’ documents on their new website are a bit of a ‘work in progress’.

    For example, Valentin Iglinskiy is still on the ‘Provisional’ list. But didn’t the Kazakh Fed give him 4 years?

    And Francesco Reda is on the ‘Consequences’ list but with a date of ‘Ineligibility until’ 1.9.2014. So should he not be removed from the list now? There are plenty of other riders on that list with dates of ineligibility expiring prior to 19.9.2014, the date of the last update. Am I missing something obvious here?

  10. Quick question about proceedings…

    Why would it be the Czech Olympic Committee that are asked to look at the evidence and decide ?

    Would it not be the czech cycling federation ? or Czech anti doping

    As per the UK rider that was recently busted, it was by UK anti doping rather than the UK Olympic committee.

    • It just depends on how the National Olympic Committee set it up. Countries with big budgets have a standalone NADO. (national anti-doping organization) Even with enough money to run a NADO, their budgets do not permit things like back-dated testing.

      The worldwide standard is a NADO acts at the direction of an anti-doping authority and operates in a basically advisory role. In JTL’s case, the UCI passed the sanction onto BC, then BC directs UKAD to complete the sanction process according to BC’s rules. The NADO acts when sports authorities give an approval and then act according to the sports federation’s rules. The rules vary somewhat from sport-to-sport, but are vaguely compliant with WADA’s recommendations.

      Yes, I realize the Armstrong case did not go down like that. USADA Reasoned Decision “threaded the needle” in a way that no one in the UCI or USAC imagined even though it’s right there in the rules. The UCI did not have to accept the sanction but were apparently forced by the IOC.

  11. Think i’ll put in a few curve balls… – Aru for me has been a stand out… showing up in two grand tours and being consistent in the high mountains, three stage wins, one podium and a top five…and what about Michael Matthews – wearing two leaders jerseys in two separate grand tours and getting a stage win in each?

      • He was 2nd!
        The 2nd big rider to fall down to his DNF 😀

        CK, you can find a better formulation above, and still it’s a quite impressive series of results.
        I really can’t see the point denying it.

        Although I’m rooting for Nibali, and I firmly believe that he would have won the Tour even with Contador and Froome in it (less stage victories, maybe), and, what is more, I’m quite convinced that Contador’s fall wasn’t just “bad luck”… nevertheless, I fail to see it as any “normal” defeat (just like Froome’s, obviously) because we just couldn’t know what they had in their legs: for example, I consider Froome’s 2nd place in the Vuelta a “plus” not a “less” in his season, even if we may expect more at the start, and even if he was finally *beaten*! Contador and Froome didn’t have this possibility in the Tour, that is, to show if they were up to it or not: hence, I don’t find it appropriate to consider it a demonstration of lack of consistency.
        The Tour is a big objective FAILED, and as such takes away a lot from Contador’s season; though, I don’t think that, considering how it happened, it tells us much about Contador’s consistency as a stage racer.

  12. The big winners are obvious candidates for Rider of the Year, and the season is long so it’s hard to recall all the other performances, but for me John Degenkolb and Greg van Avermaet have been there from the Spring Classics through the Grand Tours and both look strong for Worlds.

    All the talk of Giro-Tour doubles in 2015, but don’t forget Rafal Majka’s Giro-Tour double in 2014: top rides, polka dots, stage wins. And his home Tour of Poland.

    And Alessandro DeMarchi….does that guy get tired, like, ever?

  13. Right Knider September 23, 2014 at 11:16 am

    for me you must at least win one of the important races to become ROY, so he must be on the list below. season is not over yet and it will be decided between contador, gerrans and nibali. Contador in the lead atm.

    nibali – tdf
    quintana – giro
    contador – vuelta

    ? – worlds

    kristoff – msr
    cancellara – vlaandern
    terpstra – parisroubaix
    gerrans – LBL
    ? – lombardia

  14. Too early for ROY with the World’s and one of the five monuments still to be raced. If the UCI doesn’t appeal the Roman K. case, it would seem we might was well have Mad Hatter and Mr. Mars back in control.

  15. I try to keep it positive and just be a ‘fan’ but; the Nibs pulling away from EVERYONE in the mud of northern France is the same Nibs pulling away from the EVERYONE in the Vosges? I would like to believe in miracles, but I’m just not wired that way.

    • He pulled away from Froome-dog and Bertie in the knowledge that they weren’t happy in those conditions. It’s a no-brainer to do something like that. Just because it was on pavé doesn’t make it any different. He’s got a MTB background so knows how to rough it up. The team even explained the tactics – go like crazy and try to put time into the other GC contenders. By the time of the Vosges, the big two were out, the only two who realistically may have taken the fight to him.

      • Oh, I heard the explanations of the ‘how’. And this would be possible had Nibali been an unknown coming into this. In that case, the unknown kills it in on the cobbles where no one else is taking risks, and then stick like glue to anyone close to you on GC on the climbs. This was not the case in ’14 and the fact that the best climber in the race is blowing it apart on the cobbles is just too much for me, but that’s my problem.

        majole September 22, 2014 at 9:29 pm: You ask who would dope with a ‘dope-free’ tattoo on his elbow? I ask you, who would murder with Jesus tattooed on their shoulder? I’ll get this for you . . . LOTS!

        • nibali was more focused and determined and precise in the implementation of his plan than anyone else in that race, thats why he took time out of his rivals in england (a bit) and on the cobbles and thats ultimately why he won.

    • He’s the same Nibs who pulled away from EVERYONE WHO HADN’T ALREADY CRASHED in the Vosges. Apart from Stage 8, where Contador took a few seconds from him.

      • Nibali has a better build for the cobbles than both Froome and Contador. Also Nibali did a considerable amount of training specifically for that stage, I remember the Cycling Podcast saying Ciro Scognolomiglio gave away some details of a training ride that Nibali did with Peter Van Petegem, who is a cobbles legend. I don’t think his performance was that unlikely.

  16. “What we do know from the past is that the UCI has appealed past cases of “home” federations or anti-doping bodies clearing their riders. I suspect they’ll take the case to the CAS but that’s guessing”

    I think that, given Tinkov’s threats, they’ll look very weak if they don’t appeal. His talking of “war” with the UCI and “taking hostages” will only force the UCI’s hand or they’ll appear to have given in to him.

  17. There could be others. eg Dan Martin could well be ROY – if he wins Worlds and Lombardia, plus he was there or thereabouts in LBL again + top 10 in the Vuelta.

    I doubt he will win both of those races, but it’s possible, so just trying to back Inrng that there haven’t been one head and shoulders above the rest and there could yet be a sting in the tail with the worlds / lombardia being the decider.

    • No way.
      He’s lacking true results all year long, not even a double “HC” victory would lead him on top against these rivals – IMHO, obviously – ; an impressive consistence Valverde-style could stand in for a greater number of victories (the Spaniard really was there or thereabouts in countless occasions: anyway, he scores four or five relevant victories, too), but you just can’t have a couple of impressive big shots at the end of the year, and nothing-nothing else, if you are supposed to be ROY.
      His WT ranking is quite depressing, indeed (which means something, altough I don’t fully trust that ranking, as I said elsewhere).
      For what concerns the races you name, I’d prefer to consider LBL a kind of “no contest”, neither especially positive nor negative (like Contador’s Tour); but his Vuelta has ultimately been sort of disappointing, given that

      • Gabriele,

        I really cherish you as one of the most knowledgeable readers of this blog and contributor to this forum, and most of the time enjoy your posts, so I’m really astonished to see you here engaging yourself strongly in the ROY debate. Just because I think the idea is no longer fitting (if it ever did) to the way the cycling season has grown and specialization has taken over compared to former decades where guys like all those Eddies ;-))) and their competition rode for the wins in grand tours as well as classics.

        So, if there is a valid method of assigning a ROY title to someone nowadays it must be the World Tour point system honouring what a rider achieved during the whole season in the most difficult races. But IMHO we should not try to name a ROY not only because it leads to endless discussions but there simply is no reglement for that. And in cycling has a reglement for everything. Cause this ain’t figure skating – much to the delight of some british shopping trolley jockey 😉 – where some judges decide who did the best performance.

        Keep up the spirit, though and please don’t take this post as some serious criticism.

        • [OT]
          I’m in the middle of a huge relocation harder and longer than a Roubaix, with cardboard boxes as the *hurt cubes*, instead of cobbles. I really need an unceasing and “un-serious” debate to engage in for distraction’s sake and the ROY discussion is just perfect 😉
          I hardly resisted the temptation to follow up on threads like “And what about Deutschland, Über Martin, Dirty Nibs and/or clean cycling?” which would have provided a little more distraction than required… the n-th cardboard box was calling ^_^
          Anyway, don’t worry: my playtime will be over soon, I’m afraid.

  18. TDF, stage 5. That’s all I needed to see for rider of the year. Lots of other impressive performances, but to go through that and then win the tour, really impressive.

    Not for nothing, but Wiggin’s performance in PR and CA really changed my opinion of him, too bad he disappeared after that.

  19. From the Czech Olympic Comittee decision:
    – Two UCI experts – (Profs Drs) O. Y. Schumacher and G. d’Onofrio were heard on their own demand, but only by phone. They insisted that Kreuziger’s irregularities in hemato-profile could be caused only by prohibited methods, most probably blood transfusion(s), not excluding also EPO.
    – the UCI experts also stated that it were not the measured values themselves, but the trend that decided – the hemoblobin values should fall under physical stress, but they rose
    – RK’s expert Dr. Hampton, also just by phone, stated that the values did not exceed basal values and that the changes could be explainded by using prescriped drug L-thyroxin
    – UCI questioned the independence of COC members (which was rejected by COC, btw 2 Magisters and 1 JUDr) and repeatedly demanded to follow UCI ADR (anti doping regulations)
    – COC had at disposal (among many other documents) written statements from three experts on RK side, namely drs. De Boer, Locatelli and Hampton, plus “Executive summary: Mr. Kreuziger thyroid disease” from dr. Iniesta, Madrid, plus something on “The influence of thyroidal hormon on blablablood values” dr. Kim and col.
    – MK questioned also the transport of (his) biological material, but this point was not accepted by COC as it could not be clearly proved,

    I tried to excerpt the most interesting parts of 20 pages, but I surely forgot somethin inportant.

    • ups, I didn’t want to be anymous, it’s my translation.

      BTW, UCI wanted more time because RK brought new arguments and some documents were in Czech language, but they insulted the comittee before thus the result could be foreseen.

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