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 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:36 am 
Pumpy's Bear
Pumpy's Bear
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:03 pm
Posts: 8192
Location: Hereford
ededwards wrote:
Oldest ever winner of a Grand Tour, amazing!

Absolutely amazing! For those who haven’t heard it yet, it’s well worth downloading the 5live podcast from last October titled “Peddling: Cycling's Dirty Truth”. Here’s a couple of selected quotes:

Dick Pound, head of World Anti-Doping Agency, 1999-2007 wrote:
If it seems too good to be true it is unlikely to be true. To win the Tour once without drugs is remarkable. To win it seven time stretches my credibility. I found it so disillusioning, what I discovered. I don't pay much attention to cycling anymore.

Dr Michael Ashenden, a blood doping in cycling specialist wrote:
Dopers know that we know that they know that we know what they are doing. We know! But our testing has reached its current limits. Unfortunately they know enough to get round us today.

What is amazing is to think that an issue that has been around for over a century has suddenly gone away due to comprehensive testing and riders declaring themselves clean (in fact didn’t Bradley Wiggins describe those who raised the issue as c***s?) – weren’t the same claims made after Festina? And look how that ended up. Pressroom reaction to Froome’s accelerations on Mont Ventoux this year? Gasps of astonishment. But not in a good way.

The problem is not limited to cycling, for example have a look at the “tennishasasteroidsproblem” website and reflect on the recent bans for Marin Cilic and Victor Troiki as well as Djokovic’s transformation into a physical superhuman by going gluten free let alone the other sports reputedly named as part of Operation Puerto.

On the 5live broadcast Michael Ashenden also said
Dr Michael Ashenden wrote:
It's so easy for people to dope, unfortunately, in sport. The products are so available and so affordable. There's a massive incentive and a complicit media who have not done enough to expose it.

By all means enjoy following professional cycling but don’t kid yourself that it is suddenly clean when it has never been before.

 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:29 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:31 pm
Posts: 1135
Horner's gone AWOL apparently... ... ef=HRER2-1

 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:05 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:22 pm
Posts: 1644

NEXT TIME please put something like Vuelta thread *contains spoilers* as the title.

GRRRR again!

 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:34 pm 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:30 pm
Posts: 2705
Location: nuneaton warks
missed dope test,s , wrong hotels it all sounds rather faulty towers. the uci and the governing bodies hardly help themselves ... date-email

 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:25 am 
Old School Grand Master

Joined: Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:42 am
Posts: 3206
Looks like it's no longer a missed test. It's USADA incompetence now.

Which is hardly surprising.

I reckon he'll be on the hit list for weekly testing from now until he retires......

 Post subject: Re: Horner wins Vuelta
PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:05 am 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:05 am
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Location: Brussels
Chris Horner is allegedly Rider 15 whose name is redacted in USADA's Reasoned Decision document from last year. There's a specific reference to doping at the Tour de Suisse in 2005 in that document. I can't remember offhand if Horner was ever summoned to provide evidence in relation to the Armstrong affair.

Then in autumn 2013 he turns up after another fairly anonymous season with no contract confirmed for next season approaching his 42nd birthday. He proceeds to mix up the whole race over a tough parcours with some fairly awful weather thrown in. And we're supposed to believe that he managed this off altitude training in Colorado, the Tour of Utah and the US Pro Week.

You'll excuse my scepticism, I hope. I thought the year started out well with competitive and credible performances in the Classics and the Giro. The Tour was an eye-opener to say the least - the novelty of Brits winning stages all over and dominating proceedings all the way in to Paris hasn't worn off yet. But that day on Ventoux puts Froome squarely up there mixing it with the greatest champions and most notorious dopers in the history of the sport. Time will tell which group he ends up in, I hope it's the former but I'm not betting the farm on it, not just yet anyhow.

And then the Vuelta. At the start of the race - let alone the season - who would have given the peloton's elder statesman a chance of being in the mix? He got the leader's role primarily because Radio Shack had no-one else to send as leader - though his form the the prior mentioned races would have marked him out as a likely top-10 and possibly even podium finish. But to win the damn thing at nearly 42 years old? It's not as though older guys have a proud history of winning grand tours - the previous oldest was Firmin Lambot who was almost 36 when he won ... back in 1922 after the leader was penalised an hour for cheating. Another notable 'oldie' was a certain Lance Armstrong who was 34 when he 'won' the Tour in 2005 - and we all know how that worked out. Tony Rominger won the Vuelta at 33 and Cadel Evans was the same age for his Tour win.

So the point is, unlike, say, marathon running it is unusual in the extreme to see an old guy winning a three week cycling grand tour - let alone someone as old as Horner. Maybe his performance is an outlier, a statistical anomaly to inspire awe. Or maybe there's more to it than that. We don't know - yet. As I said earlier, you'll excuse my scepticism I hope, not just regarding Horner's performance but for the state of the sport now. Let's see if Gilbert can pull of a repeat win at the Worlds next weekend after a year struggling with the curse of the rainbow journey - wouldn't that also be a remarkable tale?!


Edit: courtesy of wikipedia, here's Horner's GT record. It only covers the period from 2005 on but I don't think he participated in any of them before that. I don't see much in here to suggest a win was ever on the cards, frankly. Excuse the formatting, the page is here:

GT 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
Giro – – – – WD – – – –
Tour 33 61 14 – – 9 WD 13 –
Vuelta - 20 36 – WD – – – 1

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