THE TDF SPOILER THREAD: The place to post the latest news

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Philip Whiteman
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THE TDF SPOILER THREAD: The place to post the latest news

Post by Philip Whiteman » 05 Jul 2015 19:50

In other words, don't read this thread if you want your future viewing of the TDF to be spoiled.

It is for the latest chit-chat on live events.

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Post by rdleaper » 07 Jul 2015 12:44

Brutal crash yesterday!! When people said Cancellara was out because of broken vertebrae I thought they meant he'd aggravated his previous injury, not had a whole new one! And Bonnet, who went down first and got tagged by about 20-30 others, looked in a right state.

In other news, I'm not sure if Froome/Sky will be happy about getting the maillot jaune this early. They might be glad of an opportunity to lose it by a few seconds before the Pyrenees next week.

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Post by petemarshall » 07 Jul 2015 12:57

He should get his wish today then.

Something's wrong with Berti even Nibali beat him up the Mur yesterday. It's rather early yet to make judgements and he often starts slowly but I am pretty sure that Froome and Nibali will have noted that and Nibali will make a push today.

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Post by rdleaper » 07 Jul 2015 23:12

Chapeau to Martin - top effort! And Froome got his wish.

The next 3 should be Cav territory - 3 chances to make up for Sunday. Then it's slim pickings for him until the Champs Elysées.

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Post by Neil Compton » 09 Jul 2015 14:21

Greipel is just too good at the moment. Was watching the highlights on itv4 last night and they interviewed Cavendish. He could have said that he was beaten by the better sprinter but no he had to have a go at the interviewer instead who i thought asked a perfectly legit question.

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TdeF

Post by Les Ladbury » 23 Jul 2015 11:48

Has anyone noticed that that there is a rather interesting bike race taking place in France at the moment. It finishes on Sunday.

What I have noticed the total lack lack of interest on the part of the BBC, that is until there is any mention of drugs.

However the Beeb are covering some BMX event over the week-end. Don't they realise that BMX is something that kids do in the park on a Saturday afternoon. It's all "Mickey Mouse" stuff really.

How about this for a jolly jape. Get the whole of the Sky team team to provide a sample, you know what I mean, and present it all in a bottle to Laurent Jalabert at the finish.
Sir Dave could say "Here you are Laurie, test that".
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Re: TdeF

Post by Philip Whiteman » 23 Jul 2015 11:57

Les Ladbury wrote:Has anyone noticed that that there is a rather interesting bike race taking place in France at the moment. It finishes on Sunday.

What I have noticed the total lack lack of interest on the part of the BBC, that is until there is any mention of drugs.

However the Beeb are covering some BMX event over the week-end. Don't they realise that BMX is something that kids do in the park on a Saturday afternoon. It's all "Mickey Mouse" stuff really.

How about this for a jolly jape. Get the whole of the Sky team team to provide a sample, you know what I mean, and present it all in a bottle to Laurent Jalabert at the finish.
Sir Dave could say "Here you are Laurie, test that".
Whilst many share your views on the BBC, the comments on BMX riders is derogatory and unacceptable. The Beacon RCC welcomes all cyclists from all disciplines and I am afraid that slighting one cycling community as "Mickey Mouse" will offend. There are members of our club that have an interest in BMX riding and have attended British Cycling hosted events. Anyone reading such negative comments from outside of the Beacon may be deterred from joining.

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Post by Les Ladbury » 23 Jul 2015 12:11

Philip,

I have been around the bike game for 60 years. I follow the sport mainly in France because competative cycling, with the exception of a few events, is extinct in the UK.
I don't mean to be offensive but might I say that should you find my comments regarding BMX to be offensive you really should get out more.
Les

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Post by petemarshall » 23 Jul 2015 21:14

Let's be grateful that the BBC don't have the rights to pro cycling. Clare Balding and Gary Liniker present Tour4U
Just too horrific to contemplate.

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Post by CakeStop » 23 Jul 2015 21:19

Today's young BMXers might (if we're very lucky) be Beacon members of the future. Vincenzo Nibali used to do a lot of BMX in his younger days and he's not bad on a road bike, in fact he attributes his descending skills to his BMX & MTB days.
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Post by George » 24 Jul 2015 12:10

Les, I think maybe it's you who needs to get out more -- specifically in the UK, on your bike, and within the active cycling community.

I'm just amazed that you can think that the sport is in decline. I'm not as old as you and can't therefore call on quite as much experience as you. Nevertheless, I've been a cyclist for 40-odd years and actively involved in (and a follower of) cycle sport for 35 years. Compared to when I started, levels of participation here -- in both competitive cycling and non-competitive 'sporty' leisure cycling -- are much higher. They are nowadays very similar to what we have traditionally associated with continental Europe. For the last five to ten years, our representation at elite levels of road and track racing has also been higher than ever before and as good or better than most comparable countries. The only respects in which we still lag behind some of our European neighbours are the use and cultural acceptance of the bicycle as a mode of urban transport.

I watch very little TV, but my impression is that the TdF receives very little attention on BBC TV. It's also true that when BBC TV does cover cycle sport, the quality is generally inferior to what we get on the commercial channels. (The reverse of the situation with football, but that's another story.) However, that is to a large extent a reflection of the rights situation. BBC TV doesn't have the right to cover the TdF, and in the modern competitive landscape, no broadcaster gives free publicity to an event that can only be watched on a rival channel. BBC radio is significantly better than BBC TV at reporting race results and giving in-race updates. And, of course, we do have live coverage on ITV. Compare that to the situation in the early 80s, when I was trying to keep up with Kelly's green jersey exploits: not a word on any TV channel; not a word on any radio station; not a word in any popular newspaper. In a couple of the broadsheets, there would be the the leading names and times from yesterday's stage and the GC, squeezed into half a dozen lines of tiny print, like the results of the 3:45 at Haydock. If you wanted to know more, you had to wait until Cycling Weekly came out. Do you not recall that we were all giddy with excitement when, in the mid-80s, Channel 4 started broadcasting a 15-minute résumé of the day's stage each evening at about 11pm?

So, while there is obviously room for improvement, the levels of journalistic and public awareness of the TdF in this country are way, way higher than in my youth or in yours. Don't forget, Les, that we used to live in a country where the general level of understanding of cycle sport was such that people I worked with used to ask things such as, "Are you doing that Tour of Britain thing that's coming through Birmingham tomorrow?" I kid you not.

As for BMX being a Mickey Mouse discipline: I'm afraid that that kind of thinking only holds back the development of cycle sport, which you apparently want to see. BMX may not be your cup of tea (it isn't really mine either), but if people enjoy it, if it gets people cycling, I'm all for it. If that's the only cycling the people concerned ever do, so what? They are still our first cousins, as it were; they are still riding bikes in the open air, instead of vegetating and growing up with negative attitudes towards cycling. And some of the people who do BMX in their youth are very likely to take up road or track cycling later. So, if the BBC want to cover it, and if that gets more kids doing it, that's just great as far as I'm concerned.

Far from despairing for the sport in this country, I'm full of hope and expectation. And it seems to me a great shame that someone with all your knowledge and experience, which could be so useful to young people just getting into cycling, is so negative about the scene in this country. Get yourself involved again, Les! Come and see what Tim Egan is doing with the kids at Rowheath. See what Solihull CC are doing for the kids at Tudor Grange. See what Halesowen are doing for the kids who ride their track. See the circuit races for novices and 4th cats and women that Laurence Cooley and other organise at Stourport. See what Gary Mac and countless others are doing organising CX races for all ages in woods and parks all over the region. Open your eyes to what's going on in your own back yard, Les. And lend a hand; pass on your knowledge. Be positive!

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Post by petemarshall » 24 Jul 2015 14:04

Eurosport have been providing coverage of all the grand tours for many years now. In the past few years they have added coverage of most of the other world tour events, the classics and a selection of other major races from all over the world. Some may not access Eurosport but we have come along way from the days when I had to search out a day old copy of L'Equipe from the newsagents at Kings Cross station and then find some one with better than O level french to translate it to me.
And the Beacon Academy is encouraging some of our youngest charges to take part in competitive BMX at the great track here in Brum ( something I would have loved to have had the opportunity to do when I was six ) . Why not come along and cheer them on :wink:

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Post by Philip Whiteman » 24 Jul 2015 14:27

And published by the BBC today....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/cycling/33650782

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THE TDF SPOILER THREAD

Post by Les Ladbury » 24 Jul 2015 20:15

I did compose a rather rambling reply to my critics but but it appears to be lost and I'm not going to re-do it.

However, briefly.

I didn't say that the sport is in decline.

Over the last 3 weeks as well as going to the TdeF I've watched ITV4,FT2,TF2 and by far the best coverage is ITV4

My views on BMX are not destructive. It is an entry for children into the sport and pastime of cycling. End.

Over the winter I worked on a project photographing cyclo-cross events in France and the UK
In France I was treated with the utmost courtesy where in the UK I found one organiser very offensive and on another occasion threatened with physical violence. Yes really.

During this project I attended 29 days racing totalling 97 races of all cats.

Last week we were at the TdeF and on Sunday it was our village fete with a Course Cycliste.

If anyone is going to criticize me will they;-
Stick to the facts
Not go rambling on out of context
Remember that I have been round the block more that once.
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Post by dweben » 24 Jul 2015 23:15

Don't feed the trolls, kids. :roll:

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Post by CakeStop » 25 Jul 2015 20:12

The jeers and boos from the crowd as Froome rides past are even noticeable on TV coverage. What a sour note on what has otherwise been an excellent race, I'm surprised so many people appear to give credence to what appeared to be some irresponsible journalism.
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Post by gmac » 25 Jul 2015 21:44

Not sure its irresponsible journalism, every time the French press have said someone cheating in the end turns out they have.

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Post by petemarshall » 25 Jul 2015 22:46

gmac wrote:Not sure its irresponsible journalism, every time the French press have said someone cheating in the end turns out they have.
The serious cycling journalists all called LA from 1998 lead by the French This is not the case with Froome
L'Equipe journalists have expressed concern about Sky's powerful financial influence, its culture of secrecy and it's use of TUE's. There has been no accusations of a team built entirely around EPO as there was in 1999 2000 and onwards.

The booing drunks on Dutch corner this year are pretty much the same stamp of idiots who were forcing those stupid yellow wrist bands on people last time I was there.

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Post by rdleaper » 26 Jul 2015 08:50

It's more than just the as yet unfounded accusations of doping that annoy me when it comes to criticism of Chris Froome - not that such accusations surprise me given the recent past. It's that in 2013 Sky did exactly the same thing in the first mountain stage as they did up to La Pierre Saint Martin, the first high mountain stage this year. They figure it's the best strategy to strike early and hard, then mark the favourites for the rest of the race - and both times it's worked well.

The Press and (some independently, some not) the public, especially in France, seem to have assumed that it's impossible to destroy the field in one stage. They've had nearly a year to do it, so why not? They've picked a team, and perhaps to some extent a training regime, with that stage in mind and have set up a plan and executed it perfectly.

We can see from the last couple of stages that Quintana has had the better staying power in the mountains, perhaps slightly tempered by the fact Sky could afford to limit Froome's losses rather than go chasing Quintana and risk Froome blowing up altogether. But it was a real balancing act, especially as without that error by Movistar in not keeping Quintana at the front of the Peloton as they approached Zeeland, he may now be in yellow.

So Froome's win is as much down to Sky's planning and perhaps Movistar's error, as Froome's greater ability. So why is that an indication of doping?

PS I'm dismissing the whole power data argument as the uneducated rubbish it's been exposed as.

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Post by jdtate101 » 26 Jul 2015 11:33

Not sure why Les has the impression that the sport is dead in the UK. My own observation is quite the opposite in fact. Every race series, one off race , CX series and TT I've entered has been fully subscribed with often a long list of reserves. Far from being in decline the sport is the strongest it's ever been, with dozens of races, amateur and professional, up and down the country every weekend not to mention the hundreds of sportives held annually now. Every Sat an Sun when I'm out on my bike I see dozens of others doing the exact same, be it roadies, MTB'er or just people out with their kids all enjoying two wheels. Having ridden in France a lot over the last few yrs the only main difference is the acceptance and tolerance of the motorist of cyclists, and whilst we may not like it, there is a crucial difference...our roads are much more congested, so there is bound to be more conflict and less patience.

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Re: THE TDF SPOILER THREAD

Post by George » 28 Jul 2015 10:32

Les Ladbury wrote:I didn't say that the sport is in decline.
No, you didn't. You went further than that. You said "competative cycling, with the exception of a few events, is extinct in the UK."
Les Ladbury wrote:My views on BMX are not destructive. It is an entry for children into the sport and pastime of cycling. End.
To describe it as such and as "Mickey Mouse staff" belittles the efforts of those involved and gives BMX-ers the impression that the traditional cycling community is unwelcoming, thus diminishing the likelihood of integration and crossover. I'm afraid I find it hard to see that as CONstructive, Les.
Les Ladbury wrote:Over the winter I worked on a project photographing cyclo-cross events in France and the UK
In France I was treated with the utmost courtesy where in the UK I found one organiser very offensive and on another occasion threatened with physical violence.
Errm... now, about not rambling on out of context...
Les Ladbury wrote:During this project I attended 29 days racing totalling 97 races of all cats.
That's great, Les. I applaud your commitment and take back my suggestion that you need to get out more. You merely write as if you need to get out more.
Les Ladbury wrote:If anyone is going to criticize me will they;-
Stick to the facts
Broadly speaking, I think everyone did.
Les Ladbury wrote:Not go rambling on out of context
I'm incapable of doing that, Les. Sorry.
Les Ladbury wrote:Remember that I have been round the block more that once.
That was amply acknowledged, Les. However, a) age and experience don't make your views sacrosanct, and b) it's precisely because you have a lot of experience that I (and I suspect others) find it so extraordinary that you can believe that competitive cycling is extinct and that you can be so dismissive of a branch of our sport which clearly has considerable potential for broadening involvement and interest in cycling.

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Post by George » 28 Jul 2015 11:01

rdleaper wrote:It's more than just the as yet unfounded accusations of doping that annoy me when it comes to criticism of Chris Froome - not that such accusations surprise me given the recent past. It's that in 2013 Sky did exactly the same thing in the first mountain stage as they did up to La Pierre Saint Martin, the first high mountain stage this year. They figure it's the best strategy to strike early and hard, then mark the favourites for the rest of the race - and both times it's worked well.

The Press and (some independently, some not) the public, especially in France, seem to have assumed that it's impossible to destroy the field in one stage. They've had nearly a year to do it, so why not? They've picked a team, and perhaps to some extent a training regime, with that stage in mind and have set up a plan and executed it perfectly.

We can see from the last couple of stages that Quintana has had the better staying power in the mountains, perhaps slightly tempered by the fact Sky could afford to limit Froome's losses rather than go chasing Quintana and risk Froome blowing up altogether. But it was a real balancing act, especially as without that error by Movistar in not keeping Quintana at the front of the Peloton as they approached Zeeland, he may now be in yellow.

So Froome's win is as much down to Sky's planning and perhaps Movistar's error, as Froome's greater ability. So why is that an indication of doping?

PS I'm dismissing the whole power data argument as the uneducated rubbish it's been exposed as.
Couldn't agree more.

I find it hard to get past the irony of Froome being accused of doping on the flimsiest of grounds by the French press and public, who love(d) Jalabert, Virenque and others, despite proven/admitted doping.

I also find it extraordinary that when Froome puts a minute into Quintana and several minutes into some of the others, a large slice of the French public appears to think, "He must be doping", while when Quintana puts a minute into Froome and several minutes into some of the others, a large slice of the French public appears to think, "Ha! Take that, you cheating barsteward Froome."

I accept that the press has an important role to play in exposing malpractice. We should never obstruct that role or criticise those who seek to play it responsibly. However, I do think that Steve's right to say that some of the journalism has been irresponsible: irresponsible insofar as it appears motivated primarily by the desire to grab attention, rather than by the desire to expose malpractice, and insofar as accusations that have no sound factual basis have only a detrimental effect on the cause of truth and the creation of a clean culture in cyclesport. Much has been made of the value of the press's role in exposing Armstrong. It seems to be the press itself that is most generous in its assessment of that role. My own recollection is that l'Equipe initially dared only to print one or two faintly ambiguous headlines, that they did ultimately do some valuable investigative journalism, and that one or two determined individuals in the English-speaking press pursued the story doggedly. Meanwhile, 99% of the press licked his arse and fawned over his every word in pursuit of commercially valuable interview opportunities.

Journalists are basically the same as all the rest of us: they generally seek to serve their own selfish interests, rather than the interests of the sport or the cause of truth. Sometimes, those interests coincide, and the outcome is positive. And sometimes the reverse is the case.

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THE TDF SPOILER THREAD

Post by Les Ladbury » 28 Jul 2015 19:27

Oh Dear,

I seem to have upset a few people. I'm sincerely sorry about this because it was never my intention.

What I should have said in my original posting is that In my opinion competitive cycling, with the exception of a few events,is, as I understand it,is virtually extinct in the UK.

I've just had a look in my 1995 RTTC handbook.
That year for the w/e July 29/30 there were the following.

24hr - 1
12hr - 4
100 - 3
50 - 6
25 - 13
There were in addition quite a number of 10s, TTTs and other events.

When I look at the equivalent w/e, 2015 there appear to be 7-25s and 3-50s plus a number of other events.

When I look at the road calendar it becomes much more difficult to compare.

There are a vastly increased number of circuit races and I can understand this with road conditions being as they are in the UK. As for road races as I understand them, ie 80/100 miles on a testing circuit open to 1/2/3 cats I honestly couldn't find any. There were links to web sites which told me nothing.
Actually that's not true. I did learn about the weather in Falkirk.

As you may or may not be aware I spent a lot of time in France. I follow the sport there because it is so so different.

10 days or so ago it was our village fete which incorporated a Course Cycliste. That day there must have been the best part of a dozen similar events within a reasonable distance. Tonight there is a much publicised pro race at Lisieux. This is more of an exhibition event rather that a serious race. However on Sunday there is the Polynormande which is a serious race. Where can I see a pro race with riders who were riding in the Tour over the next couple of weeks in the UK?

In France there are already posters up promoting next years Tour, haven't seen any promotion material for the TofB.

My local club has 168 licence holders and within a 20 km radius there are another 4 clubs. One of these had a rider in the Tour.

To finish on a more positive note.

There is obviously an enormous increase in the number of sportif events. This can only be good for obvious reasons.

I can only relate to events as I find them If you don't like what I say or you disagree then there's not a lot I can do.

So there you have it. Although it's 20 years since I have got my leg over..............a bicycle I love the sport and will continue to do so.
Les

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Re: THE TDF SPOILER THREAD

Post by George » 29 Jul 2015 10:44

Les Ladbury wrote:I seem to have upset a few people.
I can't speak for anyone else, Les, but you haven't upset me.

I just think you're wrong.

Wrong to say that competitive cycling is "(virtually) extinct" and wrong to label BMX "Mickey Mouse stuff".

You provide some figures relating to time trials. Time trialling has certainly declined and may yet decline still further, but is just one discipline. More importantly, its decline is to a significant extent attributable to the rise of other forms of competitive and challenge-based cycling. And, even in its reduced state, time-trialling is far from extinct.

I don't have the stats at my fingertips (or the inclination to look them up), but I know I have read figures published by BC, CTC and others showing that, compared with a few decades ago, membership and participation in competitive and challenge-based cycling are far higher nowadays. The Beacon and almost all other clubs have far more members than in the past. And personal observation/anecdotal evidence (how many other cyclists you see out in the lanes, how many people you work with/bump into who are also active cyclists, etc, etc) points strongly to much higher levels of participation in 'sporty' cycling than when I was young.

Levels of participation may or may not remain lower than they are in France; I cannot judge. However, the unambiguous trend in the UK is growth, not decline (which extinction, whether total or virtual, clearly implies).

Your anecdotes about the village fetes are interesting and do highlight a difference that I have certainly observed myself: cycling in the UK is not embedded in the culture of the community in the way that it is in some traditional cycling countries. However, in that respect too, I'm pretty sure UK cycling is in ascent, not in decline.

This has been a stimulating discussion, Les, but also a very time-consuming one. You will forgive me, therefore, if I make this my last substantial contribution.

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Post by petemarshall » 29 Jul 2015 12:43

George wrote: My own recollection is that l'Equipe initially dared only to print one or two faintly ambiguous headlines, that they did ultimately do some valuable investigative journalism, and that one or two determined individuals in the English-speaking press pursued the story doggedly. Meanwhile, 99% of the press licked his arse and fawned over his every word in pursuit of commercially valuable interview opportunities.

Journalists are basically the same as all the rest of us: they generally seek to serve their own selfish interests, rather than the interests of the sport or the cause of truth. Sometimes, those interests coincide, and the outcome is positive. And sometimes the reverse is the case.
Although I no longer have a NUJ card and was primary a photographer rather than a writer when I did I feel it only right to attempt to correct the rewriting of history that seems to be going on about both the LA affair and the supposedly anti Froome campaign in the French press.
After LA' s initial win in 1999 ( the Tour of renewal ) the vast majority of non English language cycling press was sceptical about both LA's performance and his team. To their credit David Walsh and Paul Kimmage both expressed this feeling in the UK and Eire. They were met with attacks from all directions and LA went particularly strong on the "anti USA " of the French press which is remarkable like what we see today.

Over the following years as LA became a saint and showed himself more than capable of using every legal mechanism he could to prevent publication most of the cycling press was afraid of the financial consequences of publishing any critism. After all "he never tested positive " and did lots for charity.
The vast majority of English speaking cycling fans brought into the Saint Lance myth. This was so bad that I remember being called a"miserable c**t" by an English cycling fan for refusing one of those yellow bracelet things being handed out at the Manchester velodrome to raise money for LA's charity in 2006 or 2007.
Throughout all this time the French press expressed cynism about LA and eventually published the results of the retesting of the 1999 blood samples ( reported over here mainly as anti saint LA activities by the French press. By this time injunctions presented Walsh and the Times from publication. Walsh's first book was published in France but not here
The French press stood virtually alone in never buying into the Saint Lance myth throughout his reign. He and his teams were booed long and loadby French fans.

In the case of Froome I have read no serious cycling journalists in l'equipe or elsewhere make allegations about the use of EPO . Admittedly it's actually harder to get a copy of the printed version in the UK than itonce was so I am going on the on line version and using Google translate rather than getting French speaking friends to translate soi may have missed stuff. The allegations have come from pundits not journalists. There is a significant difference between ex pros who have become serious sports journalists and those who are sidekicks on the telly and have a ghost written column

The actual critical comments about Sky and what they may be doing to damage pro cycling (which in my view has some substance ) is lost in the " French press out to get Froome " hysteria which is all too reminiscent of day's gone by.

Blaming the messenger is one thing but at least listen to the actual message.

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Post by George » 29 Jul 2015 15:01

Earlier in my career, I too was a member of the NUJ, Pete. As a former journalist and someone who still has indirect professional ties with the industry, I'm not anti-journalist. And I'm not blaming the messenger for anything, I'm just expressing the view that the media's appraisal of its own role in LA's downfall is somewhat self-congratulatory. Only a tiny minority of journalists and publications actually contributed to LA's downfall, while the rest protected their own immediate interests. In your summary of who did what, you cite only the the examples that I myself mentioned earlier: vague hints of scepticism in the French press from the start; L'Equipe's exposure of the 99 test results some years later; and dogged (isolated) pursuit by Walsh & Kimmage. So I'm not sure what messages you think I haven't been listening to.

I myself was a little sceptical of LA from the off and gradually became more and more sceptical. Well before his winning streak ended, I was 90% confident he was doping. And I wasn't alone. Lots of members of this club will probably remember conversations with me, when we said to each other, "He must be doping." If rumours were circulating amongst ordinary club cyclists informed only by their own eyes and umpteenth-hand hearsay, I find it hard to believe that most sports journalists didn't have very strong grounds for suspecting Armstrong long before his guilt was proven. Yet, as you say yourself, no one but L'Equipe, Walsh and Kimmage put their heads above the parapet. Why not? My experience of the industry leads me to suspect that the lawyers warned them off, the advertisers warned them off and the editors warned them off. For 99% of people in the industry, commercial expediency and career considerations far outweighed their principled commitment to printing the truth.

I don't wish to sound over-vigorous in my condemnation of the 99%, because none of us really knows for sure that, in their shoes, we would have acted differently.

But I do say "pppttthhhh" when I hear people try to justify scepticism of Froome by waxing lyrical about the press's role in Armstrong's downfall. A handful of journalists deserve credit for that, and the rest did no more than you or me.

Incidentally, at a tangent: I stood on the roadside in France for parts of three of Armstrong's seven 'wins' and never once heard a French fan boo him. By contrast, the jeers and gestures aimed at Froome (even if only by a minority) were obvious just from watching TV.

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petemarshall
Posts: 663
Joined: 17 Jan 2014 16:40
Real Name: Pete Marshall
Location: Stourbridge

Post by petemarshall » 29 Jul 2015 16:39

The critism I have read in L'equipe this year and regularly virtually since Sky came on the scene has been around their financial power , their secrecy, their use of TUE's and a rather generalised feeling of their "arrogance" ( French calling English arrogant and visa versa has a long history, Henry IV pt 1 and II seems to feature it a lot ).

There is clearly some sour grapes here, it must be painful that no Frenchman has won the Tour for 30 years, and French cycling more generally hasn't been that successful in the classics or the other Grand Tours. Obviously the strong position taken by the French state ( rather then the cycling authorities after 1998 ) can be used by many of the French to explain this The " our boy's don't do it , everybody else does and that is why they win " position that will be a regular of bar talk amongst French fans. However it doesn't stop some of the genuine critism having a ring of truth.

For me it is a great shame that Sky ,in reality Dave Brailsford, has adopted a policy of none disclosure of performance data for instance. Giving public reasons ( somehow if his riders were on Strava it would destroy their advantage ) that only fuel suspicion that they have something to hide

The refusal of Sky to sign up to the MCC didn't help, Froome puffing on an undeclared inhaler at last year's Dauphine Libre added fuel to the fire. Not to mention taking up all the parking spaces with their flotilla of buses this year. :D

Brailsford is an amazing guy. He has been one of the most important figures in turning the BCF from a tiny organisation that only really crept into the consciousness of those eccentric soles that required a race licence to indulge their odd pastime, into a powerhouse of performance sport with thousands of members.
( as an aside here I just telephoned BC coaching with a query relating to coaching practice relevant to our Tudor Grange sessions. I was put straight through to a senior coach and given immediate practical and sensible advice. How very very different from the " good old day's " )

He has built a team that has won the TdF and this year won it with style and teamwork against the world's strongest riders.

But.
Other teams are finding it increasingly difficult to raise the money to compete against this. Only Saxo Tincoff have any where near the budget of Sky and Tincoff has blown a good chunk of that on Sagan's footballer style wages.
Sky are now pulling their BC sponsorship to concentrate entirely on the team they both own and sponsor ( another worrying development IMO owner and main sponsor being one and the same ) . Look's to me like a new Barcelona or Real Madrid of cycling. Real used to buy the best Spanish players only for them to sit on the bench, just to stop Barcelona getting them; a little like Sky with Cav .

It isn't as hard yet to be critical of Sky as once it was to be critical of LA, and let's hope it doesn't get that way. But much of the British medias reactions to French critism was often too close for my liking
Last edited by petemarshall on 29 Jul 2015 17:01, edited 1 time in total.

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petemarshall
Posts: 663
Joined: 17 Jan 2014 16:40
Real Name: Pete Marshall
Location: Stourbridge

Post by petemarshall » 29 Jul 2015 16:54

We could continue this over breakfast on the intro run this Sunday George, which should ensure all the potential new members take up golf instead :lol:

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George
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Joined: 18 Nov 2006 10:21
Real Name: George Barker
Location: Worcestershire

Post by George » 31 Jul 2015 10:20

petemarshall wrote:We could continue this over breakfast on the intro run this Sunday George, which should ensure all the potential new members take up golf instead :lol:
I look forward to catting, Pete ... but, as you say, maybe she should (for the sake of others) focus on the many benefits of joining the Beacon.

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