The Roar
The Roar

Tim Renowden

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Joined January 2012

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Tim Renowden has been following professional cycling closely since Indurain won his first Tour. An ex-runner, now a club grade bike racer, Tim tweets about sport at @megabicicleta.

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Lee, what do you make of the news that Kreuziger has been cleared by his national federation? Another case of a national federation trying to protect its rider (and its own image), or a genuine problem with the biological passport system?

Doping: Are the blinkers back on?

Oh yeah, this team would almost certainly implode! Too many objectives and egos. Clearly, teams work better when there’s a defined leader and shared goal – which this team doesn’t have. Would Contador ride for Nibali? Hell no!

It wasn’t my objective to pick a functional team though (who wants to pick the 6/7/8 best domestiques in the peloton?), I just wanted to pick the best-performed three in each category. Three GC riders, three sprinters and three super-domestiques/all-rounders. All-stars!

Who would you pick, Justin?

Who would you pick in a 2014 Grand Tour dream team?

I wish I could be so out of form I was 4th overall in the Tour de France… 😉

Gritty thrills aplenty at the Vuelta

Valverde is a bit of a freak in that he’s so consistent through the whole season. How many riders can be in podium contention in multiple Grand Tours, after starting their season running at Dubai, owning the Vuelta a Andalucia in February, and being one of the stars of classics season (Roma Maxima, Strade Bianche, Fleche Wallone, Amstel Gold)? He’ll be there in the Worlds, too. I think he’s probably the most versatile rider in the world at the moment, and he’s never out of form.

Gritty thrills aplenty at the Vuelta

I think his injury was less serious than first thought. He was only off the bike for a couple of weeks – enough to lose your edge but not enough to cancel out all the work he’d put in over the preceding months.
Same goes for Froome.

Gritty thrills aplenty at the Vuelta

Yep, Channel 9 desperately needs more diversity in its commentary box. Having a woman like Meg Lanning with excellent credentials is a start. They also need to get some proper representation from whichever country is touring at the time, so the commentary isn’t just idiotic parochialism and Footy Show pranks.

The last couple of summers it’s been not much more than the Aussie locker room c.Taylor-Waugh era, several beers in.

Why the Meg-astorm about a commentator?

I’ll have Gerrans (leader), Evans, Porte, Matthews, Clarke, Durbridge, C. Meyer, Hansen and Dennis.

The team needs a few workhorses who are capable of dragging Gerrans/Porte/Evans up the climbs for the first few laps, and Hansen, Dennis, Durbridge and Meyer are excellent at that.

Smells like September: Picking the team for the World Race Championships

I will add – my view is that this is dependent on the substance. I know there are plenty of people who think that “doping is doping is doping” but the reality is that not all banned substances are equal, and they shouldn’t be treated as equal. You might not want to let people off with a warning for EPO, HGH or anabolic steroids, for instance (but deciding which ones should have a threshold is a matter for the pharmacologists).

Meanwhile, not at the Vuelta...

I was trying to avoid saying it so plainly, Bones!

He needs to stop turning up to races looking like Jan Ullrich on a bad day.

Meanwhile, not at the Vuelta...

Hi Rob,
Yes, I think I should probably come back to this topic in a longer piece, because it’s obviously very complex and needs more treatment than I’ve given it here. The balance between catching genuine micro-dopers and genuine innocents is so finely tuned it’s almost impossible to see how any policy could get it 100% right, but maybe there needs to be more opportunity for riders (and athletes in other sports) to make a defense before they are publicly named and shamed.
I also think they need to look at setting reasonable threshold doses for some substances (like clenbuterol or probenecid where the detectable quantity is far, far below any active dose), to reduce the risk of false positives. They could issue athletes who test positive but below the threshold a private warning, and keep monitoring them closely to make sure it was a one-off.

Meanwhile, not at the Vuelta...

Agreed, but the route is much heavier in the second half of the race, so the tension in the GC battle is ratcheting up a little slowly.

Michael Matthews feels the need for speed in La Vuelta

Yes, and if you’ve got Foxtel it’s live on Eurosport.

Michael Matthews feels the need for speed in La Vuelta

A 3 week suspension is totally inadequate if the players were found to have taken banned substances.
There is absolutely no punishment in a backdated ban, because there are no consequences for their teams. What was the point?

Still, at least we now know that if you’re going to take banned substances, you’d better be in a sport with deep pockets, plenty of lawyers, and a squad of media cheerleaders.

Cronulla Sharks accept doping ban deal

Yes, but the problem was the generation that led the club through the early 2000’s (Green, MacDonald, Robertson, Yze, White and Bruce) were all into their 30’s and retiring/retired, and the next generation of senior players (Moloney, Sylvia) were crap leaders.

Still a list management failure, agreed.

What do you do with the Demons?

Dunn has played half his career as a forward.

What do you do with the Demons?

That is true, but easy to say in hindsight.

What do you do with the Demons?

Green – retired
MacDonald – pushed into retirement, big mistake but he would be gone by now anyway
Bartram – retired, knee injury
Martin – should have kept him
Jurrah – arrggh, such a massive shame for everyone but not really the club’s fault.
Scully – think the Demons came out ahead
Rivers – shame to lose but he was a free agent
Bennell – not good enough
Morton – not good enough
Sylvia – good player, but your classic bad influence.

Development of the likes of Bail, Tapscott, Nicholson, Blease, McKenzie, Strauss, Spencer, Fitzpatrick has been slower than we might have hoped. All have shown some promise, but without consistency.

What do you do with the Demons?

I’m a long-suffering Melbourne fan (and member) and this game was one of the most disheartening in a long time, because this group of players has shown enough this year for us to know that they are capable of a lot better. They just went missing.

Speaking to my mates who are also Demons people, it’s pretty easy to work up a list of 8-10 players on the list who have had their chances and are just not up to AFL level. There’s the guys with all the endeavour and not enough talent; and there’s the guys with plenty of talent and not enough drive. Either way, there’s still plenty of players who should be moved on.

I think Roos’ stated aim of trading high draft picks for established players is the right move. The Demons have been burned too many times by underperforming draft picks (Cale Morton or Jordan Gysberts anyone?) and the team needs players who are ready to step straight into the best 18. We need another couple of Bernie Vince or Dom Tyson stories in this trade period.

What do you do with the Demons?

Great comment.

Is Cadel back in the hunt for the Vuelta?

Yeah, like I said, it’s only the Tour of Utah, but it’s not just that he won a couple of stages, it’s the way he won them. With panache and confidence. I think a podium would be the top top expectation (a lot of things would have to go right for him and wrong for others), but a solid top ten would be par if he’s riding as leader.

Is Cadel back in the hunt for the Vuelta?

It would certainly put a big hole in his chances of a good GC finish, but surely BMC would be mad to put their efforts behind Sanchez? His results this year have been, well… he had a passable ride at Pais Vasco and that’s about it.

Is Cadel back in the hunt for the Vuelta?

I agree, for next year. But seeing as he is riding the Vuelta…

Is Cadel back in the hunt for the Vuelta?

The Vuelta might be the annoying kid brother but it’s also produced some great racing over the last couple of years. The last few podiums have all been separated by under two minutes. I really like watching it.

The best Vuelta a Espana in years by default?

Wow… that school’s PE teacher deserves a pay rise!

Geraint Thomas: A worthy winner of Commonwealth gold

*Deadpans*: “What’s wrong with Peter Kennaugh’s ego?”

Geraint Thomas: A worthy winner of Commonwealth gold

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