What do we count as the biggest sporting day in Australia? Is it the AFL grand final? Maybe the NRL grand final? What about Melbourne Cup?
I’m not going to be all tipsy-toey about it, that doesn’t help anyone. As I look down the list of riders in this years tour who have achieved amazing results in the past, Alberto Contador stands out.
Now this isn’t an article aimed at insinuating anyone is being naughty, no, it’s just a good old-fashioned retrospection.
Wow, whatever those guys must have been taking before they got caught, whether it was a cocktail of non-prescribed goodies in all shapes and sizes, or whether it was just a couple of ‘red pills,’ was good.
It’s a matter of cause and effect and I only care about the effect.
Contador used to be much stronger than he currently is, so I am led to be amazed at exactly how much so.
It’s just the same as many in the past, but the other most common example I use is that of Damiano Cunego.
That punk was hilariously strong in 2004 when he beat a series of equally shady members of the peloton; but he never went positive.
Men like Andreas Kloden have been tied up in teams and scandals ranging from 9.9-10 on the suss-o-meter, but never positive, and only now can we see what appear to be ‘real performances’.
Alejandro Valverde, too. He was phenomenal once as well. Now we see him struggling to scratch himself relative to the current GC strongmen. The pre and post-positive (PPP) results tells all.
Age, team motives, or even riding style, may be factors, but let’s not look too deeply right?
The proof is in the pudding my Nanna used to say (even though she always prepared the superior ‘trifle’ over pudding), and so here is the proof.
The difference in results between Contador pre and post-positive (PPP) is tangible.
So is it really that simple? Do they just literally drop that much speed when they leave the needle at home? Good question I say.
The fact of the matter is these guys may not actually have the form they once did, and their motivation may have suffered because of the proverbial public cold-shouldering, but the PPP differences are just too large for my liking.
I don’t believe it.
Motivation and training programs are one thing, but being demolished is another.
So we sit back on the couch and take stock. There are some guys in this race that I once believed could win, but now I do not.
There are guys here that sparked me to scream at the tv even though they themselves were lit to the ceiling just as my lounge room is right now.
I don’t care though; innocent until proven guilty, right? It’s all just good fun anyway, a game, let’s not forget that.
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