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Why are some Tour riders like Evans, Boonen, and O'Grady not riding the Giro? I would think that would be good training for a race like the Tour that's two months away.
 

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Recent history generally says that the Giro is not good training for the tour. The Giro has a harder parcours (much more climbing and steeper climbs) and even if you aren't going hard every day, by the end of the Giro, most riders are emaciated and exhausted. Riders can do better to hone their form by racing shorter events like the Dauphine. Riders need a lot of time to recover from the Giro and there isn't much room to build their form between the two races. Consider that the Giro ends with only a month before the start of the tour. Some riders that have eyes for the tour race the Giro with no intention of getting to Milan (McEwen does it every year.)

Addressing non-gc riders like Boonen, O'Grady and Hincapie, all three of those guys just ended a pretty harsh spring campaign. Boonen and O'Grady have been racing since January and all of them rode the classics which take a toll out of riders. Very few modern classics specialists ride the Giro but most ride the Tour.
 

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Those days that everyone one went for everything ala Merckx are long gone thanks to Armstrong and his scientific training program. The ones that are really going for a win such as Evans have their own annual training program aiming to reach their maximum fitness and power peak just before the Tour and maintaining it through the 3 week course and as "gray" already mentioned Giro doesn't fit in to their training schedule. In fact in case of Cadel Evans, most of his squad are not in Giro so McEwen was left with mostly B team young rider squad. But if you are Italian Giro is more important and that's why you see all the top guys there.
 

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O'Grady did start

...but crashed on stage one and broke his collarbone along with Brad McGee.

Also remember that the Giro is much more of an 'Italian' race, and is much more important to the home teams (even the big ones) than the Tour.

It's also (IMO) a better race - the course is fantastic and the racing much more exciting. The Tour has become bland and formulaic, and that's not a recent thing but goes back probable 15 years or more now.
 

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stevesbike said:
plus, if you aren't in the Giro you can buy a black jersey, train in Mexico, take your PEDs, taper and clean up your blood, then arrive at the Tour ready to kick ass.
One has to wonder how much of the recent "specialization" isn't just a risk/reward analysis. That is, you take your chances doping to win the big race but it's not worth it if you get that result.

Probably isn't coincidence that Pantani won the Giro and Tour in '98 and ever since it's suppose to be impossible to do well at both. '98 probably marks the beginning of testing and a change in attitudes amongst some to actually curtail the doping, even if it was nothing by today's standards.

It also could be nothing more than an illusion that you can't do well at both since Armstrong chose to never even attempt it, and you have to wonder how much the handful of Giro GC guys who also chose to try a Tour did so fully "motivated".
 

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Denis Menchov is using Il Giro as preparation for the first time before Le Tour. He says he feels he is always form for La Vuelta after doing Le Tour. His two wins in the La Vuelta is indicative of this. Let's see if having a grand tour under his belt helps him do better in France come July. I tip him as being Cadel's main rival.
 

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DRLski said:
Will Cadel be healed up in time for the tour?
Cadel doesn't have anything to heal up from. Do you mean O'Grady? Yes, he'll be back for the tour.

<strong>From Cyclingnews</strong>
<em>Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) has vowed to bounce back bigger and better after breaking his collarbone at the Giro d'Italia this week. While O'Grady was critical of others riding, he said the setback was just another challenge he will conquer.

"It's just bad luck and there's nothing you can do about it," he said. "Some guys just make stupid mistakes and ride like idiots and when they go down they take you with them and you can't do anything about it.

"I keep coming back from these things – it's like a little challenge," added O'Grady. "Everything happens for a reason because each time I come back bigger and better."

O'Grady said he would re-align his focus on the Tour de France following the injury. The Australian's 2007 season ended prematurely at last year's Tour, with an accident leaving the Paris-Roubaix winner with multiple rib fractures, a punctured lung and broken right shoulder.

"It's frustrating because my form was great and I was feeling good," said O'Grady. "I was looking forward to riding it [Giro] but will now go back to the original plan of [Tours of] Luxembourg and Switzerland then the team training camp before the Tour [de France]."

The 34 year-old described his broken collarbone as a good break. He expects to return to training later this week with the aim of racing again in a few weeks time.

"I've busted them all a few times [collar bones] and this one is a good break if you can call it that," said O'Grady. "I got to the finish on pure adrenalin and then it kicked in but I should be back training in a few days."

The South Australian's compatriot, team-mate and fellow Olympic Games hopeful Brad McGee also broke his collarbone on the same stage but in a separate incident. O'Grady, who has contested the last four Olympic Games, won't know what August's Beijing Olympics will hold for him until June, when Cycling Australia nominates cyclists to the Australian Olympic Committee who will select the cycling team for Beijing.</em>
 

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Who else would you tip as cadel's main rivals - the italian contingent seem to be burning themselves out on the Giro which seems to thin down the competition.
 

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Dwayne Barry said:
When were they clean? Probably cleaner, on the whole, then they have been in a long, long time.
They were clean years ago before the drugs were invented. I think you are right they are "cleaner" than they have been in years because it is not as easy to predict the outcomes. Phil L said that last year, and he had a good point.

But man did you see Selle just distroy two Dolomite stages in a row? That was great to watch, but that guy ain't clean! Just like a few years back when Basso won by like 8 minutes. Fun to watch, but I hate the months after when the scandals start. I just feel cheated..............MTT :mad:
 

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MTT said:
They were clean years ago before the drugs were invented. I think you are right they are "cleaner" than they have been in years because it is not as easy to predict the outcomes. Phil L said that last year, and he had a good point.

But man did you see Selle just distroy two Dolomite stages in a row? That was great to watch, but that guy ain't clean! Just like a few years back when Basso won by like 8 minutes. Fun to watch, but I hate the months after when the scandals start. I just feel cheated..............MTT :mad:
Sorry, there have been dopers since the sport has existed. The drugs of choice have changed and the depth of the problem (the percentage of riders doping) has increased, but they've always been there.
 

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yup

gray8110 said:
Sorry, there have been dopers since the sport has existed. The drugs of choice have changed and the depth of the problem (the percentage of riders doping) has increased, but they've always been there.
changed from speed to the mish mash of drugs we have now
they were doping prewar
Anquetil doped in the 50s
dope killed Tom Simpson
3 week GTs and PEDs go together like peanut butter and jelly
 

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gray8110 said:
Sorry, there have been dopers since the sport has existed. The drugs of choice have changed and the depth of the problem (the percentage of riders doping) has increased, but they've always been there.
Really? What did they take back in the 1920s? Can you recommend one of the books on the history of the tour/ cycling? Human nature has not changed, and as soon as you start to keep score, someone will cheat, but I didn't think they had chemicals back then........... MTT
 

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MTT said:
Really? What did they take back in the 1920s? Can you recommend one of the books on the history of the tour/ cycling? Human nature has not changed, and as soon as you start to keep score, someone will cheat, but I didn't think they had chemicals back then........... MTT
You could try The Crooked Path to Victory

Bad Blood will be published soon, and looks interesting

Doping in the amphetamine/steroids era is covered by Breaking the Chain and Rough Ride.

For the modern era, From Lance to Landis and The Death of Marco Pantani both make morbid reading.
 
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