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Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

24 July 2015 - 1:08pm
Brucey wrote: ... For the low-oxygen training to have been any real use, he would have to have done it for weeks not days. ...

Without commenting on this exchange, its subject does illustrate a point I've been trying to make which is that modern training methods, helped by things like Lottery Funding are so much more scientific.

A former colleague was a pretty good distance runner and he told me a tale about an Iron Curtain athlete from the days when they were all "amateurs" holding senior rank in the Soviet armed forces. I think he may have been talking about Emile Zatopek. This also concerned training with a restricted oxygen supply, presumably to mimic the effects of training at altitude. Anyway, the story was that he used to hold his breath while training, but part of that training involved marching out of the barracks in the full uniform of a Red Army colonel or whatever and seeing how far he could march before he fainted.

This probably also comes under "learning how to suffer."

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

24 July 2015 - 12:50pm
The commentators are sitting in front of a telly seeing the same pictures as the rest of us. In addition, they have race radio which used to be and AFAIK, still is, a series of the barest announcements of incidents: the rider's number + eg puncture. This was where Duffers had problems because it's all in French and the only word he seemed to know was Chapeau!

There's now a computerised feed which is available on the US version in English:

http://www.letour.com/us/

That's particularly useful for things like the details of who's in a breakaway and the time gaps.

Watching telly with the sound off and that on, you wouldn't miss much of the action.
================================================
PS Anybody who can't bear to miss a moment can even keep up-to-date during the ads.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

24 July 2015 - 11:23am
pete75 wrote: I'm not trying to say that , the Bike race info website is..... Info on a website like that is more likely to be correct than....

even if it makes no sense at all...?

For the low-oxygen training to have been any real use, he would have to have done it for weeks not days.

cheers

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

24 July 2015 - 11:09am
Brucey wrote:if you are trying to say that he acquired the apparatus, managed to do useful training with it, and then travelled to Mexico, all inside two weeks, then I'm sorry , I just don't buy it. It is almost certainly spin intended to make his record look even more remarkable. His trip to Vigorelli would have been at the behest of his Italian sponsors, to gain publicity, and would have been carried out even if he had no intention of riding there.

Look at it this way; Merckx had just dominated professional cycle sport (in a number of disciplines) for the previous four years or so, in a way that no-one had before and probably never will do again. So if he had been seen to train hard and then set a new record, no-one would have been the slightest bit surprised. 'Best cyclist in the world does best ride after careful preparation' isn't exactly a shocking headline, is it? No wonder then that they dressed it up for the crowds. It wouldn't be the first time that a professional cyclist has, erm, 'managed the public's expectations' and it won't be the last.

cheers

I'm not trying to say that , the Bike race info website is. It seems well researched and even has many interviews with riders from the past. Info on a website like that is more likely to be correct than the postings of random individuals on a web forum.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage. Thibaut Pinot

24 July 2015 - 10:19am
Tonyf33 wrote:Yet the mighty Contador makes a rookie error on what wasn't a difficult corner (similar to the one were he snapped his leg in a trillion places places last year and recovered in two weeks ) it's like everyone is trying to cover it up???
Ah, another curse of the commentators - poor pictures means little for them to talk about. I also think there's still a bit of embarrassment and uncertainty about "Beefy" Contador and they're quite happy not to talk about him this year.

About Froome's bike handling (as if - he started off on far worse roads), I think P+P sometimes get into a bit of a feedback loop, each agreeing with each other and entrenching a mistake.

I like Eurosport's Karsten Migels, but it's nice to watch a race with English commentary sometimes I can't stand their English commentary team but I don't think they're currently available free-to-air anyway. But it could be worse: we could have France 2's dopey team.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

24 July 2015 - 9:47am
I watch it on Eurosport,much better,Carlton Kirby is entertaining and insightful,Sean Kelly likewise if only for his quirky Irish/English,which I don't mind a bit,one thing about Kelly,if he doesnt understand a tactic he's honest enough to admit it which is a breath of fresh air IMO.
Juan Antonio Flecha's insight,tech spec reports and bright disposition always cheers me up,more so Mrs R2
We skip through LeMond/House bits and the Adverts

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

24 July 2015 - 9:04am
if you are trying to say that he acquired the apparatus, managed to do useful training with it, and then travelled to Mexico, all inside two weeks, then I'm sorry , I just don't buy it. It is almost certainly spin intended to make his record look even more remarkable. His trip to Vigorelli would have been at the behest of his Italian sponsors, to gain publicity, and would have been carried out even if he had no intention of riding there.

Look at it this way; Merckx had just dominated professional cycle sport (in a number of disciplines) for the previous four years or so, in a way that no-one had before and probably never will do again. So if he had been seen to train hard and then set a new record, no-one would have been the slightest bit surprised. 'Best cyclist in the world does best ride after careful preparation' isn't exactly a shocking headline, is it? No wonder then that they dressed it up for the crowds. It wouldn't be the first time that a professional cyclist has, erm, 'managed the public's expectations' and it won't be the last.

cheers

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

24 July 2015 - 12:47am
Brucey wrote:

this is what I was thinking of; thought it was in LCET but maybe I've not remembered correctly. I doubt that he 'accidentally trained like this on the off-chance that he might do the record'.... or 'accidentally had his 12-1/2lb bike built'.....so don't believe the hype/smoke/mirrors... it was surely all planned well in advance

cheers

Oh it was all done very quickly after he decided to go to Mexico http://bikeraceinfo.com/riderhistories/ ... ecord.html

"The Vigorelli was attractive because it involved little travel, would allow direct comparison with all but two previous Hour record holders going back to 1935, and would more readily satisfy the publicity demands of his Italian sponsors, notably Molteni sausages. But a trip to the Vigorelli on October 12 was disappointing. Days of rain left the track saturated and unfit for cycling.

Immediately Eddy began to think of Mexico. There were three principal reasons against such a trip and one for it. 1) He was well aware of Ferdinand Bracke's disasterous attempt in Mexico in 1969. Bracke had set the record in 1967 and this was his attempt to retake it from Ritter, but the thin air asphyxiated him. Eddy's solution was to ride a home trainer every day while hooked up to an air mixture equivalent to Mexico City."

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage. Thibaut Pinot

24 July 2015 - 12:36am
Brucey wrote:Thibaut Pinot came off (again) yesterday, as he exited a tight turn on a descent (from the Col d'Allos, I think). On the commentary they talked about the state of the road surface, that 'he'd skidded', Pinot's mental state, the fact that he had been practicing driving racing cars to improve his technique ... . They talked about a lot of things....

And it was all guff; he just started to pedal again too early, and grounded his pedal on the road. It was very clear from how he fell. Rookie mistake from him, rookie mistake from the bloke that designed his bike and gave him those ridiculous sticky-out pedals ( I don' know what sort they are exactly), rookie mistake from the commentary team, and one they didn't bother to correct in their highlights show.

D'uh...

cheers
quite, the two Ps are so far off the pace now (Sherwin more so IMO) that it's embarrassing. he (Sherwin) continued to tell us how Pinot was going to be more nervous going down the descent and that he wasn't a good descender anyway & more riders were passing him etc, yet the grand total of 2 riders went past I think & Uran Uran (a very good descender according to Sherwin) only gained a handful of seconds come the bottom of the descent.

He constantly banged on about Valverde & Nibali being superior descenders yet they gained absolutely nothing on Froome, Thomas and a few others whilst Froome is mentioned (though less so this tour) as being an iffy bike handler on the back of a couple of offs (none of which I seem to recall were his fault) Yet the mighty Contador makes a rookie error on what wasn't a difficult corner (similar to the one were he snapped his leg in a trillion places places last year and recovered in two weeks ) it's like everyone is trying to cover it up???

I've started watching it with the commentary off it's getting so unbearable with his "XX years of age" for almost every bloody rider.
The poor commentators are the ones that repeat themselves and use the same well worn phrase to describe X, there's an athletics tator whom describes everything from the field events as "massive", he just couldn't find any other descriptive for a good effort no matter what the event My favoured sport rugby league has Mike 'Stevo' Stephenson as the lead on SKY, an ex international he's one dimensional and has his awful catchphrases/words repeated and repeated again and again along with his with his quite horrendous errors calling the game anyway. The whole dynamic is a mess, at least P&P have some semblence of order but that's about it.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 10:49pm


this is what I was thinking of; thought it was in LCET but maybe I've not remembered correctly. I doubt that he 'accidentally trained like this on the off-chance that he might do the record'.... or 'accidentally had his 12-1/2lb bike built'.....so don't believe the hype/smoke/mirrors... it was surely all planned well in advance

cheers

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 8:25pm
thirdcrank wrote:The only thing that brought me back, yet again, was being laid up with my Achilles the first year that Team Sky rode the TdeF. I'm clinging again to the belief that they are kosher. I look to Chris Boardman's comments here, because he had a reputation of being clean. Perhaps I'm naïve.



Maybe but I've always doubts about anyone and anything tainted by association with Rupert Murdoch......

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 7:41pm
pete75 wrote: ... Yep and we all know what scientific advances is a euphemism for.

That's not what I meant, but it is obviously true that doping has become more sophisticated over the years, both in the substances used and the race to keep ahead of detection. A lot of the scope for rumour-mongering comes from the possibility that we can't be sure what's happening and beyond that, there's been the suspicion that blind eyes have been turned. But those doubts have always been there. I've been a Pangloss in the past and then been disappointed by new revelations more than once. EPO was a particular disappointment for me, because it seemed to be the first thing that would inevitably give a cheat an edge over a clean rider, while wrecking the health of those who took it.

My early info came from Coureur and the comic: cycling was rarely on the box. Eurosport was an eye-opener for me and I spent a lot of time enjoying the luxury of all that live coverage, with or without Duffers. But several times after more revelations, I've said "That's it, no more watching cycle racing." But I've been tempted back. In the early days of the the ITV4 coverage (I think) I was channel hopping before going to be and I came across Phil and Paul, and Floyd Landis was on a ride. In no time at all he'd been outed as a cheat. Longer term forum members may remember somebody (gar?) defending him against allegations by referring to his strict religious upbringing in the US outback.

The only thing that brought me back, yet again, was being laid up with my Achilles the first year that Team Sky rode the TdeF. I'm clinging again to the belief that they are kosher. I look to Chris Boardman's comments here, because he had a reputation of being clean. Perhaps I'm naïve.

As an aside, the human memory is a wonderful thing and us oldies can help a younger generation with appropriate advice and trips down memory lane, but the rose-tinted specs are best put away. (Or worn on the back of the head like the obligatory sunspecs. It would have the benefit of reminding us that we are looking backwards with them. )

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 5:36pm
thirdcrank wrote:
None of that detracts from what I'm saying which is that there is now a bigger pool of competitors many benefiting from scientific advances eg the Team Sky programme.



Yep and we all know what scientific advances is a euphemism for.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 5:11pm
I obviously didn't know about the gas mask thing: the wide-eyed wonder at the time was that he had (apparently) managed to break the record without acclimatisation. I'm pretty sure that the source for that at the time was in JB Wadley's Coureur The magazine for the sporting cyclist.

It brings to mind another hero of those now far-off times, Don Thompson who won the gold medal in the 50km walk at the Rome Olympics after training himself to cope with the expected heat and humidity by stepping on and off his bathroom stool with the windows closed, heating on and an electric kettle steaming away as well. No Lottery Funding for him.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Thompson_(athlete)

None of that detracts from what I'm saying which is that there is now a bigger pool of competitors many benefiting from scientific advances eg the Team Sky programme.

On the "knowing how to suffer" theme, anybody reading my posts of a few years ago will see that I believed that the excruciating cancer treatment had taught Lance Armstrong how to suffer.

Another star of an earlier age I've mentioned before in my ramblings was Eugene Christophe, patron saint of toeclips (toe clips? what are they, some will ask.) He lost hours (and the jersey) when he ran down the Tourmalet to a blacksmith's forge and was penaiised a further minute for recruiting a child to pump the bellows. Could any modern rider do that? Probably not because I don't think you can braze carbon fibre. As has already been pointed out, you can't compare sprortsmen across the generations. I picked the word carefully when I described Merckx as a colossus.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 4:48pm
Brucey wrote:thirdcrank wrote: ....Merckx rode everything and won much of it from Milan - San Remo to the Tour of Lombardy and competed on the track in winter, also finding time to nip off to Mexico at take the hour record without spending the usual time acclimatising to riding at altitude.....

Merckx spent months training specifically for the record attempt. In his basement at home in Belgium he had what looked to me (and in fact had the effect of being) some kind of ghastly torture apparatus. The apparatus had Merckx training on the rollers with a kind of gas mask on, which was fed via a pipe that led from a unit that extracted a proportion of the atmospheric oxygen, thus simulating the effects of altitude.

He trained regularly on this apparatus prior to his record attempt. If you watch 'La Course En Tete' there is footage of him training this way. He looked to me to be in a worse state than at any other time in his career with the possible exception of the record ride itself, and I guess that would have been every day, or every other day at least, for months. It takes real willpower to do that.

Merckx was a phenomenon; an exemplar of the 'first you learn to ride, then you learn to suffer; if you don't learn to suffer, you will never win' school of thought.

cheers

Not according to this http://bikeraceinfo.com/riderhistories/ ... ecord.html which says he didn't decide to go for the record until August 1972 and didn't choose Mexico until after a visit to the Vigorelli on October 12th. The record was set on 25th October which didn't leave much time for preparation.
In my version of 'La Course En Tete' he's shown training on rollers but not wearing a mask.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage.

23 July 2015 - 3:09pm
They talked about Contador's mechanical problem for quite a while yesterday when it was clear he had fallen and been given Sagan's bike. Even when they showed his bloodied forearm they were still blathering on about it being a no fault of his own mechanical incident.

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 3:01pm
thirdcrank wrote: ....Merckx rode everything and won much of it from Milan - San Remo to the Tour of Lombardy and competed on the track in winter, also finding time to nip off to Mexico at take the hour record without spending the usual time acclimatising to riding at altitude.....

Merckx spent months training specifically for the record attempt. In his basement at home in Belgium he had what looked to me (and in fact had the effect of being) some kind of ghastly torture apparatus. The apparatus had Merckx training on the rollers with a kind of gas mask on, which was fed via a pipe that led from a unit that extracted a proportion of the atmospheric oxygen, thus simulating the effects of altitude.

He trained regularly on this apparatus prior to his record attempt. If you watch 'La Course En Tete' there is footage of him training this way. He looked to me to be in a worse state than at any other time in his career with the possible exception of the record ride itself, and I guess that would have been every day, or every other day at least, for months. It takes real willpower to do that.

Merckx was a phenomenon; an exemplar of the 'first you learn to ride, then you learn to suffer; if you don't learn to suffer, you will never win' school of thought.

cheers

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 2:12pm
ukdodger wrote:I'm wondering what possible motor you could fix to a racing bike.

There was an interesting discussion on R4 this morning about allegations against Froome and as was said after Armstrong doping allegations are not going to go away and those accused will never conclusively be able to prove their innocence.

The stuff about Froome now is very like what people were saying about Armstrong round about 2001. Maybe we'll have to wait another 13 years for the truth to come out.

Re: ITV4 Tour Coverage. Thibaut Pinot

23 July 2015 - 12:34pm
Thibaut Pinot came off (again) yesterday, as he exited a tight turn on a descent (from the Col d'Allos, I think). On the commentary they talked about the state of the road surface, that 'he'd skidded', Pinot's mental state, the fact that he had been practicing driving racing cars to improve his technique ... . They talked about a lot of things....

And it was all guff; he just started to pedal again too early, and grounded his pedal on the road. It was very clear from how he fell. Rookie mistake from him, rookie mistake from the bloke that designed his bike and gave him those ridiculous sticky-out pedals ( I don' know what sort they are exactly), rookie mistake from the commentary team, and one they didn't bother to correct in their highlights show.

D'uh...

cheers

Re: Has anyone ever won green and yellow in the TDF

23 July 2015 - 11:35am
I'm wondering what possible motor you could fix to a racing bike.

There was an interesting discussion on R4 this morning about allegations against Froome and as was said after Armstrong doping allegations are not going to go away and those accused will never conclusively be able to prove their innocence.

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