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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:13 am 
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firedfromthecircus wrote:
So now G has won the Dauphine is that win also tainted by his relation to the Sky team? :roll:

It seems a bit mad to me that only 6 years ago Britain, as a cycling nation, had had next to no success in professional road racing. Now we have had a truck-load of success, and it looks like a lot more to come with younger riders coming through (not all from Sky), and yet people will try and find any excuse to whinge, moan, do them down etc, etc. If and when anyone is found guilty after their right of appeal of doping, or enabling doping, and is duly punished by the relevant body then you can say they did wrong. Until then why not just take your hat off to the individual riders, the team behind them, and Brailsford and Keen who set the whole ball rolling. You don't have to like them, but they do at least deserve a bit of respect for their accomplishments.


I'm surprised at your opening comments about Great Britain as a cycling nation having next to no success (sic). Given this is a RetroBike forum I'll mention a few Great Britons...Tom Simpson, Robert Millar, Paul Sherwen, Chris Boardman, Barry Hoban, Graham Jones, Sean Yates, Malcolm Elliott, Tony Doyle. If you include Irishmen...Stephen Roche - one of only two riders ever to win the Triple Crown in the same year. Sean Kelly - multiple Green Jersey winner, Shay Elliot - the first Irishman to wear the Maillot Jaune...there's a very long list so it's not all about Team Sky and the last six years !

Rk.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:49 am 
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I think the point is that whilst those names are top drawer, none won a major Tour* bar Roche. Clearly that's changed beyond all recognition in the last 5 to 6 years.

I guess Sky's set-up for the Tour will have Froome as the leader with G as the super-strong deputy. If Froome's legs give up or he crashes, they'd switch to G. It's deja-vu with Wiggins and Froome but roles reversed. It could end in tears, it could smell of roses. It should be interesting to watch.

It still doesn't take away the nasty taste I have with Sky, and to be fair, modern-day competitive road cycling.

*expects to be corrected


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:13 am 
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al-onestare wrote:
I think the point is that whilst those names are top drawer, none won a major Tour* bar Roche. Clearly that's changed beyond all recognition in the last 5 to 6 years.


Point taken, but it's not all about major tours despite that Sean Kelly won the Vuelta in 1988, and all of the riders I've cited have either won monuments, World Championships, first yellow jerseys, fastest TdeF TT,...King of the Mountains etc.

I was all much harder in the old days, riders weren't mollycoddled in tour buses, the approach largely lacked science, and some even had to wash their own kit !

These days, majority of GC contenders in the major tours don't ride the monuments (classics), although Nibali, Bardet do an have - Froome is notable by his absence and (not just my opinion) lack of respect for cycling's heritage.

J.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:15 am 
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I don't understand how people don't have a bad taste in their mouth about the history of competitive cycling. Some seem to be holding up the era of Roche etc as a shining light of all that's good and pure about cycling before this nasty modern era where everyone is on something and no performance can be trusted.
I'm not suggesting that there are no cheats competing these days, far from it, but let's not kid ourselves that drugs/cheating in cycling is a new problem.

All we can really do as spectators is enjoy the racing for what it is at the time and if there's riders who get proven to be cheating (or admit to it themselves) then we can judge them then and hope they get the punishment they deserve.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:28 am 
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DynaCol wrote:
I don't understand how people don't have a bad taste in their mouth about the history of competitive cycling. Some seem to be holding up the era of Roche etc as a shining light of all that's good and pure about cycling before this nasty modern era where everyone is on something and no performance can be trusted.
I'm not suggesting that there are no cheats competing these days, far from it, but let's not kid ourselves that drugs/cheating in cycling is a new problem.

All we can really do as spectators is enjoy the racing for what it is at the time and if there's riders who get proven to be cheating (or admit to it themselves) then we can judge them then and hope they get the punishment they deserve.


Understanding the difference between the past and the present in pro cycling is key here, I've followed pro cycling since the early 1980s - in France, Spain and here in the UK.

J.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:55 am 
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roadking wrote:
firedfromthecircus wrote:
So now G has won the Dauphine is that win also tainted by his relation to the Sky team? :roll:

It seems a bit mad to me that only 6 years ago Britain, as a cycling nation, had had next to no success in professional road racing. Now we have had a truck-load of success, and it looks like a lot more to come with younger riders coming through (not all from Sky), and yet people will try and find any excuse to whinge, moan, do them down etc, etc. If and when anyone is found guilty after their right of appeal of doping, or enabling doping, and is duly punished by the relevant body then you can say they did wrong. Until then why not just take your hat off to the individual riders, the team behind them, and Brailsford and Keen who set the whole ball rolling. You don't have to like them, but they do at least deserve a bit of respect for their accomplishments.


I'm surprised at your opening comments about Great Britain as a cycling nation having next to no success (sic). Given this is a RetroBike forum I'll mention a few Great Britons...Tom Simpson, Robert Millar, Paul Sherwen, Chris Boardman, Barry Hoban, Graham Jones, Sean Yates, Malcolm Elliott, Tony Doyle. If you include Irishmen...Stephen Roche - one of only two riders ever to win the Triple Crown in the same year. Sean Kelly - multiple Green Jersey winner, Shay Elliot - the first Irishman to wear the Maillot Jaune...there's a very long list so it's not all about Team Sky and the last six years !

Rk.


I didn't include Irishmen from the Republic of Ireland in my comments about pro riders from Great Britain because they are not British.

Of the list of British riders you give, only three have had what you might call success in pro road racing. Millar, Simpson and Boardman. The others might have a couple of stage wins in the grand tours between them. When compared to Wiggins, Froome and Cavendish it adds up to next to no success, which is what I said. I take nothing away from them, as even being in the field for major European road races means they are a level above and beyond what most cyclists can achieve and certainly far beyond what I could even dream of, but their achievements would not commonly be regarded as success.

And you must take into account that all of them have ridden at times when there have been question marks about the level of doping going on in the pro peleton, which makes the disdain aimed at Sky and British Cycling seem hollow in the least.

Oh, and I too have followed road racing since the '80's. Not obsessively I must admit, but enough to know that the level of success British riders are currently achieving is well beyond any expectations we as cycling fans could have had prior to Keen and Brailsford taking the reigns at BC.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:03 pm 
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DynaCol wrote:
I don't understand how people don't have a bad taste in their mouth about the history of competitive cycling. Some seem to be holding up the era of Roche etc as a shining light of all that's good and pure about cycling before this nasty modern era where everyone is on something and no performance can be trusted.
I'm not suggesting that there are no cheats competing these days, far from it, but let's not kid ourselves that drugs/cheating in cycling is a new problem.

All we can really do as spectators is enjoy the racing for what it is at the time and if there's riders who get proven to be cheating (or admit to it themselves) then we can judge them then and hope they get the punishment they deserve.


100% agree. And it confirms, in many ways and not just in this case or sport in general, that comparing era's to say one had it easier is inaccurate. It's just different, very different. The challenges have changed, but are no less difficult in context.

Which is why performance enhancing activities, legal and illegal, have been rife in the sport of cycling from day dot (taking the train, pretending you finished, etc.)

The bad taste today is the PR and the image, the message pushed very hard from the team and the riders that anything suspicious in this area would not be tolerated. The moment something fishy cropped up, all manner of nonsense ensued. Whether it was right or wrong, or somewhat in-between, Sky's tone and actions have been counter-intuitive to their values. In other words, another case of saying one thing and behaving another.

And of course the UCI have to take a massive portion of the bad taste origins.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:32 pm 
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I struggle to accept the notion that all drug-related activity in cycling is cheating. I would make the following observations

for the pre-simpson era, it wasn't openly spoken about, but neither frowned upon. It was part of the pro cyclist's kit, along with his chammy cream. Most were at it, much like today's musicians producing their work. You weren't cheating, you were just doing the job.

post simpson, there seem 3 types of cycling drug users - the cheaters, who use to win for their egos, for career enhancement and for money. Then there are the survivors - usually the domestiques who use drugs to get through the job. They have no intentions of winning or "cheating" fellow riders, the demands of the sport make them use - see Kimmage's book to get a feel for this. Thirdly, there are users who use because of the pressure. Multi-million budgets and lots of jobs hang on a rider performing and if they're unable to do it clean, then they seek medical help. It's not really about prize money or the kudos of winning. Put yourself in the position of knowing you can stay clean and be responsible for raft of redundancies for your colleagues or take something and safeguard their jobs. I'd put Millar in here. It might be "weak", but its not cheating in my book.

I also think cycling has been a victim of it's own attempt to run a clean sport. Had it not had internal drug tests (like most sports don't), then the non-cycling public would have had no perception that drug use even existed.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:53 am 
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Some interesting perspectives on this.

One thing I'd add is comparing a competitive sport with art is a bit misleading.

Quote:
Most were at it, much like today's musicians producing their work. You weren't cheating, you were just doing the job.


In music, there's no issue with that unless you start crediting everything yourself, not acknowledging others including samples and so on. And if you did do that it's not really cheating, it's copyright infringement. There is a much bigger industry issue of commercialising music that's has been going on in various guises since the 1800s (a parallel with cycling for sure).

In a competitive sport though, in my view at least, as soon as you start improving personal performance by non-natural (is that the right term?) means, to gain an unfair advantage over a competitor, even if the whole competition is doing it, doesn't make it right and is cheating.


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 Post subject: Re: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:36 pm 
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al-onestare wrote:
In a competitive sport though, in my view at least, as soon as you start improving personal performance by non-natural (is that the right term?) means, to gain an unfair advantage over a competitor, even if the whole competition is doing it, doesn't make it right and is cheating.

that's where you miss my point. it's not always about gaining an advantage. sometimes it's about surviving. Read the Kimmage book if you get a chance. He so much wanted not to cross that line, but the demands of the sport were such that without he'd have failed ... then been unemployed etc etc. It didn't help that the majority of everyone else was charged-up, so he if anything, he levelled with them. He was never interested in gaining an advantage over competitors.

I'll try and give an analogy (but the context is much different).
Imagine you and other colleagues do the same job. You are committed to ecological issues and therefore do not own a car. This means you have a long, strenuous walk at the beginning and end of day. The others all drive. As the days, weeks, months go on, you sense you are underperforming compared to the others and conclude that all the walking is taking its toll. Do you buy a car to ease the burden, keep up and safeguard your job, but at the same time become unethical or do you tough it out until stress/ill health/unemployment manifest themselves? Do you see the purchase of a car in this example as something to gain an unfair advantage? [rhetorical questions!]

anyway, this is getting off topic, as Team Sky are a essentially a winning machine, not a team surviving


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