Sunday, June 9, 2013

Team Sky - Better Living Through Chemistry.

Chris Froome at the 2013 Critѐrium du Dauphinѐ.  Photo courtesy Getty Images

Let’s just get this out of the way first: I am not the chronic, suspicious type.  I don’t go looking for things which are not there extrapolating a belief system from unproven data.  This is why I hold off on giving my opinion on whom I think are users of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED’s).  I mean, I have read literally thousands of articles which immediately point a finger at the “Guilty” in less time than it takes to actually drop that proverbial hat.  However, when you observe a statistical outliner, you owe it to logic to start asking pointed questions.  Let’s examine the details.

Now that anyone with a pulse knows the Pro Peloton’s of the world subsists on PED’s, I cannot just sit back and watch the lead-in race to the Tour de France and not call out an obvious oddity.  As I alluded to in the opening paragraph of this article, I take no pleasure in writing about this subject, however, after what we saw out of Chris Froome on Stage 5 of the 2013 Critѐrium du Dauphinѐ, I have to say that Team Sky is ahead of the pack in more ways than one.  All one had to do was watch the end of the stage and see the explosive, uphill speed which was not normal for a human after just riding over one-hundred, hard kilometers (100K).  And, this was not the first time Mr. Froome had done the impossible.

At the 2012 Tour de France, on Stage 7, Froome reeled in a very strong Cadel Evans with the same display of explosiveness not seen from a normal human after riding such a hard stage at such a hard pace.  But wait, there’s more.  Somehow, in that same 2012 edition of the Tour,  skinny, creepy Bradley Wiggins won the overall, and he also cleaned up at the 2012 Olympics, too.  Wiggins’ and Froome’s performance sure did make Laurent Fignon’s comment that PED’s have made “Donkey’s into Thoroughbreds” very credible, if not prophetic.  Seriously, we have not seen performances like Mr. Froome’s since the days of Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani pulled in the Golden Age of Erythropoietin (EPO).

Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour de France
What evidence do I have?  None.  However, this has not stopped the raging chorus of finger-pointers shooting off their hardened, empirical opinions from masquerading as facts, either.  I am just calling out an oddity, and time, the almighty equalizer, will shed ultimate light on the situation.  And, I would not be very upset if I was wrong.  The only problem is that the Pro Peloton keeps proving the doubters right!

Thus, in the secret battle of “Catch me if you can,” here is where we are at: The Dopers will always be one step ahead of the Authorities, because to catch the cheats, you must first find out what the cheaters are taking.  Additionally, while an “Edge” has always been sought since the Dawn of Man, winning on the World Tour these days does not take good equipment or a good trainer, anymore.  Now, all you need is a good chemist and a good doctor.

Advantage: Team Sky.

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