I saw this article at Velonews that quotes the guy from Sky, Tim Kerrison, that is training Chris Froome, plus he was Bradley Wiggins coach too, and he says that clean riders can perform better than the doping riders of the past. I find this statement insulting to all athletes. Clean or doped. I think he is full of shit.
It is insulting to clean riders because it implies that they aren’t training correctly and thus, performing at a subpar level. It is insulting to the doped riders, saying that even though they might have a 20% unnatural advantage, they aren’t good enough to beat a properly trained clean rider.
Here’s my observation from years of athletics. Sports in general, advance at a snail’s pace. Times, abilities and such improve slowly in established sports. Obviously, in new sports like snowboarding and jumping on bicycles are advancing much faster because those sports are in their infancy.
And sports that involve technique have the opportunity to do a huge advancements, through major changes of that, technique. The Fosbury Flop in high jump comes to mind. Also Bill Koch with his skating technique in nordic skiing or the dolphin kick in swimming. Aero bars in time trialing in cycling is another example.
But endurance sports, that have been going on forever, like over 100 years, the improvements are relatively slow. When there are gigantic athletic improvements in running, cycling and such, it throws up huge red flags.
When a coach that has the success of training 3 out of the last 4 Tour de France winners says that it is possible for clean riders to perform better than the doped riders of the past, well, that is just stupid in this day and age.
It is way too close to the time when virtually every single race was won by a doped rider, to be saying stupid stuff like this. If the guy’s timeframe is in decades or centuries, not in months or years, then maybe, just maybe, it might eventually happen. But implying that current riders can perform on par with doped riders of the recent past is nuts. Maybe he was comparing clean riders to doping way, way past, like when they used to use strychnine or guinea pig sperm?
Forget the performance bump these guys are getting in competition. I’d like him to explain what a clean riders can do to recover instantaneously like the guys that took the oxygen vector and steroids. I’d like to see a clean Chris Froome sit at the front of the field of the Tour de France and set tempo for three weeks, day after day.
Maybe he didn’t follow the sport when sprinters turned into climbers and climbers turned into time trialists. That is a trick I’d like to see him duplicate.
He also said that Lance “cheated to race not to train”. So when Lance was doing the whole Tour the month before the Tour, or when he was doing repeats up L’Alpe d’ Huez, Ventoux or whatever, for training, Tim doesn’t think wasn’t doping for that?
Meldonium, the drug that Maria Sharapova was caught using in tennis, is relatively unknown to most of us. But, according to WADA, 98 other athletes have tested positive for it since January 1st of this year. Speedskaters, the Tokyo Marathon winner, cyclists, obviously a lot of guys.
These drugs do make athletes way better. Not just incremental improvements in performance.
The article says that Tim has implemented a completely new training regiment for Team Sky this year. I’m pretty big on changing up a recipe that has been smearing guys in grand tours for the last few years. That isn’t how I do it. I try to experiment with small things, see if they work, then work them into the general training regiment.