Tour de France 2021 - Speculation and Gossip

Have a look at his times on any climbs raced by the very top GC guys. You’ll see he is a fair way down, even when winning a stage. Margins of 2 to 4mins, depending on climb length.

Over a tour, he’d hemorrhage 12 to 20mins over the various mountain top finishes. He simply can’t do the 6.2+w/kg for 40mins, required to win grand tours.

I highly doubt he’d actually be able to safely lose the 7 or so kgs he’d need to, to become a true GC threat. He has a strong muscular frame, for a cyclist.

More importantly, please just let Wout be Wout.

As spoken about in regards to MVDP, these two riders are incredible as they are. Why do people want them to be dull GC riders? I personally couldn’t care less about the GC. I love riders like these two and value their vast array of different wins in multiple disciplines higher than a grand tour team display.

8 Likes

If Wout would really want to chase GC, he would have to work on that specifically, and atm, I think the mixture of TT, classics, sprints and CX will never work for GC.

When Wiggins went after the GC, he did lose a bunch of weight, and really sacrificed absolute power, to be able to compete in the mountains (plural, not on one).
Wout could do something like that when he is around his 30s. Cut CX completely, lose 7kg+ over a longer period of time, high focus on repeatability of climbing efforts, not competing for sprint stages.

I also don‘t think he would want to compete at the moment, with Pogi. Tadej might well be the greatest GC rider ever in the making, so probably not a great era to start getting into GC (if you can win elsewhere).

Don’t forget that Wiggins lost that weight with a bunch of BS TUE cheating.

It’s not speculation. Sky and others in the peloton greatly abused the TUE system to allow their riders to use normally illegal in competition drugs to assist in losing weight.

I don’t remember the names of the particular drugs, but if I recall correctly, one was a type of steroid. Supposedly, it somehow allowed riders to hold power output at very low bodyfat percentages. That’s something that has always had me questioning certain performances.

I’ve personally used PEDs and am fully aware of their dramatic advantages. I’ve never used them in competition, just when I was young and dumb. I was into body building etc.

What I can say, is that some PEDs give you life long performance advantages. Literally, decades later…

The system now, as I understand it, is heavily use these drugs, before entering the testing pool and reap the benefits for the rest of your athletic career.

7 Likes

Corticosteroids - turns the body catabolic but if you keep training you can maintain most of your power. If you augment with and anabolic like testosterone, maybe you get back any loss in power?

It was Triamcinolone. My wife has to use it for eczema.

1 Like

Yes, most people would probably be prescribed it topically. It seems that only cyclists with a doctor’s note for allergies got an injection. :wink:

3 Likes

Thomas Dekker talks quite a bit about a specific drug, Diprofos, in his book.

Was just going to say this. The beauty of a TUE for this stuff is that testing doesn’t tell you how the drug was administered. So you get a TUE for a cream claiming eczema or whatever then your personal trainer/doctor gives you an intramuscular injection a week or two out and no one’s the wiser.

(Apropos of nothing in particular, a massive dose of say, salbutamol delivered via injection for similar effect might result in high blood values showing up in a doping test, but then you could explain it away by claiming you accidentally took 30 or 40 puffs on an inhaler. Oopsie! Why do you hate people with asthma, anyway!?!)

3 Likes

He also benefitted form a course that was tailor-made for him. Less climbing than in the recent years and a lot of TT miles. IIRC, there was also a dearth of regular GC favorites, but I’d have to go back and check.

He hit a perfect storm…raging form (likely pharmaceutically-enhanced), a course that perfectly fit his characteristics and fewer GC favorites.

1 Like

Average speed means F A without elevation and other factors - even I know that from my Strava :joy:

If you can measure certain key, contested climbs and look at before and after you get a clue

I agree, and to your point, that’s why I think it should be lifetime bans. Make the penalty heavy enough to make them think twice.

It’s also why I’m completely against the whole Laurel Hubbard thing, but that’s a topic for elsewhere.

It used to be said the Jamaican sprint factory worked like that. PED until world class and ready to enter the circuit, then carry those gains.

Only in cycling, people are deterred from winning the most coveted prize. It’s really odd.

That’s not just your opinion…

image

3 Likes

Welcome to the conversation.

2 Likes

Ha, indeed.

Tbh I’m wary of even using it topically as it is a vicious cycle as it thins out the skin and causes more irritation

There’s still little to no evidence that a massive injection of salbutamol would bring any actual performance gains. And nobody has claimed that they accidentally took 30 or 40 puffs, as this would effectively be admitting that they exceeded the threshold and that would lead to a ban. What Froome/Sky claimed was that he’d stayed within the threshold but that the test was flawed and unreliable in extreme race conditions (heat, dehydration, fatigue, etc).

Not saying Froome is or isn’t clean. But salbutamol certainly wasn’t the reason behind his 7 GT wins, so if he was doping he was taking something (or things) a lot more potent. The Wiggins TUEs are far dodgier than a failed salbutamol test IMO.

1 Like

Maybe they are asthmatics, like whole xc skiing team from Norway. But they use it probably in a polarized manner :wink:

3 Likes

You can learn more about what is and what isn’t effective on internet bodybuilding forums than you can reading VeloNews.

And who can forget the recent peer reviewed study that showed no advantage whatsoever attributable to EPO usage? I’d be pretty reluctant to make absolute claims about what does and doesn’t work.

1 Like

I’ll put this here for all the skeptics :grin:

Juan Ayuso. Remember his name…

This young man is already beating the times of the best riders on Earth. When he wins his first high profile elite race, we can look back and see he’s been performing well for many years.

As I’ve said, there are many juniors doing 6.3W/kg+ for extended periods globally. The very low natural body weight and early scientific training is part of the reason. I suspect some cycling (climbing focused events) will ultimately end up like rock climbing. Very young successful pro riders. Possibly, even peaking at ages around 21. Essentially, a 5 to 8 year shift backwards from where it’s been for some time.

I believe he’s coached by San Milan.

Get out there and do your mega training time at VT1/LT1. Regardless of drug speculation, his training methodology is doing damn well.

1 Like

He is. ISM has been talking for some time to keep an eye out for him, as his test results are exceptional, equivalent or better than Pogacar he has hinted at.