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He's a client of Armstrong's favorite doctor. Plus he spent a couple of years injured and may not have reached 100% last year.
 

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People talk about Discovery's pre-race preparation, that may include spending time and money on wind tunnels or recon rides, as if it's a bad thing. I think it's once again a proof of professionalism of Bruneel and others, to work with Savoldelli to specifically improve his ITT skills in preparation for Giro. Please don't tell me CSC or Lampre doesn't have capabilities to do what Discos are doing. Sort of like last year when Lance was checking out the Tour course and doing training rides up those mountains, they asked Vino and Ullrich if they did any rides out there and both essentially said - nah, it's the same mountains, we know everything already. This is a rather arrogant and short-sighted attitude - to dismiss someone's specific preparation, rather than consider for a moment that this might give them the edge in the race against you. Little things like that make me think that teams like Discovery and CSC that are just more thoughtful and professional in everything from little things to strategy, have an edge on other teams (such as T-mobile) that seem to screw things up in a number of ways.
 

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Agreed...

55x11 said:
People talk about Discovery's pre-race preparation, that may include spending time and money on wind tunnels or recon rides, as if it's a bad thing. I think it's once again a proof of professionalism of Bruneel and others, to work with Savoldelli to specifically improve his ITT skills in preparation for Giro. Please don't tell me CSC or Lampre doesn't have capabilities to do what Discos are doing. Sort of like last year when Lance was checking out the Tour course and doing training rides up those mountains, they asked Vino and Ullrich if they did any rides out there and both essentially said - nah, it's the same mountains, we know everything already. This is a rather arrogant and short-sighted attitude - to dismiss someone's specific preparation, rather than consider for a moment that this might give them the edge in the race against you. Little things like that make me think that teams like Discovery and CSC that are just more thoughtful and professional in everything from little things to strategy, have an edge on other teams (such as T-mobile) that seem to screw things up in a number of ways.
Disco and Postal before them took the professionalism and the scientific approaches to winning bike races to new levels, and they really made no secret about this, and why some teams don't do the same is beyond me. CSC and Lampre, for 2, and just about every other protour team these days spend time in the wind tunnels for sure every off season. CSC has done it in conjunction with Cervelo.
 

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I read an interesting quote

from a Euro DS yesterday. He was talking about all the new hi tech training stuff (watt meters, HR, lactate tests, etc...) and how the American and Australian riders are eager to use it but the Euro riders are more 'old school' who want to train as they did for the last 20 years. His impression of why Americans and Aussies have come so far is the old school-ness of the Euro guys is not getting them as fit as they could be.
 

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April Procycling

The April Procycling had an interview with Stuart O'Grady on his move to a non-French team with CSC and the approach to training. He basically said the difference in the two approaches to training is night and day. CSC is much more scientific, structured and personalized as opposed to the French approach of just going out and hammering each other every day. (His words, not mine) I'm sure the same thing could be said about moving to Disco. It was an interesting read. One would think at this level you would take advantage of every available (and legal) means of training.

As others have said, I don't know if it is so much taking advantage of the money as it is taking advantage of specific training.

Dave
 

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well lets see

take top or high potential talent. surround with top tier training, involved DS's, surround with other hi talent, hard working teammates and focus on success.
Discovery
Quick Step (who inherited Mapei's scientific approach)
CSC

hmmmm successful squads, I wonder why?
I know,I know,Dope.
 

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Why isn't cycling training be high-tech and use the most accurate methods? Most competitive runners, even 12 years ago, had an HR monitor. It was imperative to determine how much real effort you are putting out, and allowing one to recover on the days when a high HR was a detriment. Any competitive runner has a specific plan they stick to, worked out months in advance, and usually train in a very controlled situation (indoor or outdoor track, park loop, ect) which they know very well and can compare past results with future ones. It seemed like running-specific studies surrounding raising the VO2 max were being published monthly. Whereas, in cycling, it seems like people just go ride a bike, and ride hard when they feel like it. Group hammerfests are fun, but they aren't exactly controlled. It is pretty tough to say "I am going to have my HR at X beats per minute for Y minutes today, 4 reps each, with Z minutes rest in between" with the "ride hard" approach.
 

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atpjunkie said:
Discovery
Quick Step (who inherited Mapei's scientific approach)
CSC

hmmmm successful squads, I wonder why?
I know,I know,Dope.
Still with your head in the sand, I see. I thought you decided to pipe down about dope only being used by a small percentage of the peloton after Hamilton, Heras, and Armstrong were busted for doping.

This whole assertion that "we win because we train smarter, or harder, or whatever" sounds like it came right out the word processor of Armstrong's public relations agent. While there are some teams that don't provide decent training support, it seems dubious to assert that only a few teams do. Structured periodicized training is not new; it's been around a long time, now. So lets look at the ProTour teams:

You already put up the examples of Disco, QuickStep, and CSC. Funny you would mention Quickstep's relation to the old Mapei team and later assert that it can't be doping; they lost Mapei's sponsorship because of the prevalence of doping, but I digress.

What about Fassa Bartolo and now Milram? That Petacchi guy has won a race or two. And Liberty Seguros. Nice Vuelta win, Heras' TTing improved when he joined, and the ONCE squad they came from did not have mean results. What about T-Mobile? Tour win, Vuelta win, classics wins, etc. Phonak and Gerolsteiner; seem like they have pretty good results to me given that they don't have as much money as some of the other teams. Liquigas, Lampre: Hmmm, not bad results there. Rabobank and Davitamon: Not the greatest results this Spring, but solid performers over the last few years. Caisse d'Epargne: Somebody better tell Valverde how much better he could be if he trained smarter.

So what are you left with? Five French teams and two low budget teams, Euskadi and Saunier Duval. And Euskadi had great results until their team doctor was sacked. French cycling is, unfortunately, a lost cause at the moment.

In fact, looking at the teams and their results, a curious trend emerges. Most team's have an area of specialization and they have hired the riders to that end and have been pretty successful in their chosen area. And the success of a squad is highly correlated with their budget--with some outliers like CSC and T-Mobile.

The successfulness of a team is largely judged by the results of a single star rider. Take out the results of Armstrong from Disco/Postal and what do you have? A Vuelta win by a doper, and a Giro win by a man who had won the race before and did so again with pathetic team support. Oh, and a few minor wins and a few misses in major single day races.
 

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Under ACrookedSky said:
The successfulness of a team is largely judged by the results of a single star rider. Take out the results of Armstrong from Disco/Postal and what do you have? A Vuelta win by a doper, and a Giro win by a man who had won the race before and did so again with pathetic team support. Oh, and a few minor wins and a few misses in major single day races.
The argument along the lines of "take away 7 Tour de France wins by Armstrong and all you are left with is a few Vueltas and a Giro win" made me laugh.

Sort of like saying: "take away Johann Museeuw's Paris-Roubaix wins and a few other spring classics and all you are left with is a single world championship". Pathetic indeed! :rolleyes:
 

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A missing piece?

it seems that there is a 6 degrees of Lance Armstrong scenario going on. I'm not a huge Lance lover, but stick with me here. Except for Kevin Livingston, all others have gone on to great things. Floyd, Heras, Hamilton, Julich, even Levi(USA) have been pretty powerful in the peloton. Because of their training that was probably learned from Disco/Postal. They go to different teams that maybe don't have the budget that Disco has, but they take the training to the team and it provides results. I'm not so sure it's maybe an American rider mentality. The Euros train and ride the way their great predecessors did. Now the Americans are riding and training like their ONE predecessor did and it's working. It won't take long and all cyclists in the pros will adapt and use tech to improve their abilities.
 

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55x11 said:
Sort of like saying: "take away Johann Museeuw's Paris-Roubaix wins and a few other spring classics and all you are left with is a single world championship".
Yeah, Museeuw results must be due to smarter training than the competition. He would NEVER dope. Wouldn't think of it. Never in a million years.

Again, seven Tour wins by a doper and one Vuelta win by a doper and what are you left with? Certainly not results of a team that is supposedly so much smarter than all the others. Contrast that with CSC which DOES have a history of taking underperformers and turning them into winners; and they have wins with many different team members in all different kinds of racing.

Sorry, I'm just not buying this crap about Disco being so much smarter than everyone else.
 

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my head isn't in the sand

my guess is doping crosses all borders. again so if LA is/was dirty my guess is he's racing against other dirty riders. this whole issue is red herring.

the whole dope thing is BS, because if you admit there is doping, then still why do some teams still dominate?
the other's aren't doping or better dope exclusive to those teams. talk about head in the sand.
oh the poor French riders are getting their a$$es handed to them because they are clean while those dirty cheating Americans aren't. uh Virenque and Festina. Frickin' pathetic, yeah like the guys who say LA had better dope than the rest due to his association with Pharm companies. Oh and those riders somehow when they left USPS/Disco somehow couldn't get the same drugs anymore and that explains their drop in performance. I'll go buy ya a tin foil helmet liner. Oh and lets not forget it's USPS/Disco's fault that said racers Hamilton/Heras etc... got popped for doping. Again, must be that they lost the magic dope of their former employer amd the docs they use would no longer servce them, nor could they get the same dope even though it's written on the label.

Mapeis' Squinzi was a huge anti doper and dropped sponsorship because of Garzelli mostly. He did his best but couldn't control every rider. Another Mapei rider (who was clean, tested clean) admitted to Mgmt he 'found' something suspect in his bag and was put on hold though he tested clean.

again, for the record I'm a Classics guy so in all reality LA hasn't meant all that much to me. When Johann got popped (though I 'knew' he was probably dirty) it was shameful that he kept it up after he retired, now from the supplier side).

So again lets look at #'s. There are far fewer Yanks and Aussies involved in cycling than Euros and yet they make up a high percent of podium finishers, GC leaders etc... why?
We know Yanks do well in TT's because it is a discipline that has more emphasis here and we lack the road race culture that Europe has.
So are Yanks and Aussies just more determined? tougher? (I don't think so)

and again,the point I referred to was Saunier Duval's DS commenting on HIS impression of why. They (Saunier) have come to my home in SD to wind test, they are starting to use a more 'scientific approach' to racing and by his own account, his Euro riders are the ones who don't wish to adopt the new methods. They just want to train as they always have, which by HIS account is why they don't produce.

So excuse me for forwarding a Div 1 DS's opinion and for you reading into it as Lance speak.
That issue is yours not mine.
 

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Under ACrookedSky said:
Yeah, Museeuw results must be due to smarter training than the competition. He would NEVER dope. Wouldn't think of it. Never in a million years.

Again, seven Tour wins by a doper and one Vuelta win by a doper and what are you left with? Certainly not results of a team that is supposedly so much smarter than all the others. Contrast that with CSC which DOES have a history of taking underperformers and turning them into winners; and they have wins with many different team members in all different kinds of racing.

Sorry, I'm just not buying this crap about Disco being so much smarter than everyone else.
You can't have it both ways. If they all dope then dope doesn't do much to explain superior peformance. They all use the same drugs and any advantage in doping methodology is primarily in avoiding detection.
 

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atpjunkie said:
...again, for the record I'm a Classics guy...
So, if Disco/Postal is so much smarter than everyone else in their training methods and if they are so much more prepared and sophisticated than everyone else, where is their Classics win? They have been trying for eight years but keep getting their asses handed to them by those primitive euros and their neanderthal training methods. You would think that Disco/Postal's superior methods would have come through on at least one weekend in eight years.
 

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well lets see

Postal tried to win a classic but never put a full classics squad together. Classic's were secondary to TdF, it wasn't until 03 that they built a bit around George. Got Boonen which until GH went into a ditch was looking like they had a good opp. So they got Ghent Wevelgem, 2 4ths and 2 6ths in P-R on limited help. Then in o3 got a 3rd (Boonen) and since GH has been close but yet no cigar. Now add in LA's numerous close calls in the Amstel and his one decent shot at L-B-L. But that is classics (which are harder to win than GT's IMHO) and QS is built like Postal /CSC but applied to classics. Have a monster leader (Boonen) with a monster support squad who could be leaders on their own. Sounds similar doesn't it?
So we can only go back 3 years because the previous 5 was GH getting clusterphucked by 4 Mapei and 4 Domo farm Frites guys with no support. Postalwas built around LA and the TdF.
But lets see classics this year. Who was on top.
QS (M-S-R, R-V-V, K-B-K, Pris Vlanderaan) high placings in the others
CSC (P-R, Amstel) high placings in the others as well
Ileas Baleres (Valverde is a phenom) F-W,L-B-L (but this is a different group of riders than the Flemish classics which Disco doesn't focus upon)
Discovery no wins
2nd and 3rd to Boonen (one of the main reasons they don't have a win) R-V-V
2nd and 4th (before the BS DQ) in P-R
so they haven't produced a win in the last 3 years. They've been close and again considering how many yanks are in the peloton George has done quite well for himself.
Again I never said Disco/Postal (your interpretation again) I also included CSC and QS as these are the most 'modern' teams in regards to training, team mgmt and equipment.
 

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Under ACrookedSky said:
So, if Disco/Postal is so much smarter than everyone else in their training methods and if they are so much more prepared and sophisticated than everyone else, where is their Classics win? They have been trying for eight years but keep getting their asses handed to them by those primitive euros and their neanderthal training methods. You would think that Disco/Postal's superior methods would have come through on at least one weekend in eight years.
If they gave a rodent's arse about the classics they would have kept Boonen and dumped Hincapie.

You can have all the scientific training and doping you want but it's still going to be hard to beat better talent.
 

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bas said:
Was he in the wind tunnel in the off season??
Why focus on Salvodelli and Disco? Phonak plays too. Floyd says his mad new time trialing skillz came from many hours in the wind tunnel.
 

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Good post about Phonak

and again it is a team lead by techno geeky Americans where they are using more modern training methodology. Look at ONCE now Liberty Seguros.Manolo Saiz was never a cyclist but he's become a top DS. My guess is because even though he's European his lack of historical roots in cycling have lead him to less traditional,more modern training and equipment geekology. "Venga! Venga!"
 

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French teams are subject to ongoing blood testing in a way that I strongly doubt teams from the USA and Australia are - look at the Australian track squad doping scandal, so conveniently swept under the carpet by the governing body, or the reaction of USA cycling to the Armstrong allegations and the whole dodgy tie up with Wenzel. Not a helluva lot of transparency there.

Seems to me that the whole 'training smarter' hi tech thing is just a smoke screen - why should one approach suit all riders after all? I notice that Armstrong recently said he doesn't miss the racing but the training - seems like a sad state of affairs to me that he doesn't miss the cut and thrust of being in the peloton - and I'm glad to see riders like Basso and Valverde utilising a mixture of techniques and finding what works for them instead of slavishly following the 'Armstrong' model.

But behind a lot of this I detect quite a bit of anti-Europeanism and more than a little scoffing at these apparently outdated 'old ways' without any attempt to understand how race kilometres can be every bit as effective as training kilometres. Take the 'hi tech' method to its logical conclusion and we'll have no more racing - all teams will post their stats at the start of the season and race wins will be accorded on wind tunnel testing and VO2 stats.

Oh, one last thing - Festina were never registered as a French team but as a Spanish team anjd Virenque never held a French racing licence - so easy to point fingers and ignore the facts....
 
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