lunes, 17 de junio de 2013

An unpolished diamond: the story of Chris Froome







This is a particularly long post, yet I considered putting on an unique delivering. It has been summarized at the end most of the conclusions, although the ideal is to read everything and especially read the numerous links. 

It was written in spanish, but some people ask me to write it in english. My english is not very good, so I will have some mistakes and it have been a big work for me to use simimar expresión I used in spanish, but I hope would be legible and the meaning without the doubts that the google translator offers. Anyway sorry about the possible mistakes.


This is a thorny issue, but important these days.

And it is important because it affects cycling's credibility. A lack of credibility earned in the past, but today it can be proud compared to other sports. Although, for general public, may never happen.

But this post will not try to delve into such general topics, it will focus on the credibility of a cyclist, the Kenyan-born British or British-born Kenyan citizen, as you prefer, Christopher Froome.

And the credibility of cycling is really in doubt by the cycling fans, and this is good part because SKY team, his great performance in general, and the particular case of Wiggins and Froome, who are for fans so incredible, or at least they appear so skeptical, that fans consider we are far from a fair game (It not easy speak of total cleaning, because some people will always take a chance, but let's say, a game in which prime quality work and can win any race without any doping). That is what I refer as “clean cycling”.

Well, I will not lost a long time on the subject of Wiggins , someone I consider a great rider that has made ​​a change that is possible for some people, from the track, which is what until recently was the most popular cycling by far in England, to the road. And there was not great Tour contenders in GB because their riders did not have road conditions, no, but because what prevailed was the track  and cyclists dedicated to it , with few exceptions, and Wiggins is as well  a track rider`s son.
 
Wiggins used road just to fight for prologues and help the team in the rest. He was heavy, he didn’t train for mountains, he had no need to climb.

There would be many pistards that physiology cannot climb well, but is not the case of Bradley, who has a huge engine and good conditions for climbing (although not the same as another riders) 
Anyway skepticism is more than understandable, this is new and people distrust. But as far as I know, there is not impossible to perform well in track and climbing.  For a country that was dedicated to the track is not a surprise to have inside this discipline good Tours contenders…. If Indurain would have been English he had begun with the track, and maybe nobody would ever realized about his potential as Tour contender.

But although this case deserves a long post apart, I want to focus on the atypical Kenyan cyclist case, and just by the fact of being Kenyan it is therefore difficult for trajectory analysis, difficult to compare with other riders.
 
But I'm not going to invent anything new, I will build on things already written, usually links in English, and from them I will develop.

First, to enter the field: the rapid rise of Froome:


An article about almost every aspect that I will discuss in this post, which points some interesting thought, but that  it does not inquire and get carried away by the superficial, saying some untruths.

The first to clarify is the following:

Froome was rated by team principal Dave Brailsford as one of the weakest members of Sky's team a couple of years ago. I was not Deemed to have either the current ability, nor the potential, to become more than a pro-continental tour winner - let alone stand twice on a grand tour podium.

This comes from a graphic from SKY, which contrasted age and current level, and by age group and current level, set different kinds of runners. It  was like a mirror. It was taken in early 2011, and Froome was not so young yet, and its performance was not good, so in that graph he appears in the “ proconti tour winner”.

Logical, but that picture did not analyze each rider, was as simple as described, and while it might be worth to analyze the potential of some riders, not to Froome, for features that we have seen.

There are another inaccuracy to clarify: it says he could take Bilharzia  in November 2010. It is something that is assumed in several articles this way, but Froome believed that he had it before, it  is something that I will detail later, when we discuss his illness.

After another inaccuracies , we got the important point, skeptics

And I think it relates well, from what I'm reading in both Spanish forums and outside, as majority opinion, although far from unanimous,, but actually the same reasons you read, and of course, more that understandable, because Froome case, for who that does not make a deeper analysis, is  flashy and not credible. Those reasons are:
  1. An economically strong team and a country where the powers are interested to develop cycling.
  2. Not the only striking case in team
  3. Its release coincides with an overall improvement of the team. You can join this with the arrival of a doctor suspected as Leinders signed with some rare excuses  when the team is based on zero tolerance to doping, present or past; although this has been harder later.
  4. As I said before it is believed that he was undervalued in SKY and they were going to leave him at the end of the year, and  we know that athletes before losing a contract is when more often risk.
  5. He went from intermediate positions in 2010, with little thing to note, and his best finish in big Tour, 36 of the Giro, to be the stronger man of the Vuelta. A great leap forward
  6. The excuse been said, his illness, is not credible, the fact resemble Lance Armstrong and even it is said that only affected him to 2011, precisely the year that explodes after two years of no improvement and little to say about in results
  7. His team is still suspect for his good performance in 2012, especially in the Tour, reminding the U.S. Postal of  Lance.
  8. His age, 26 years old.
Sure there is some more reason that I cannot remember now. But all them has his own explanation or are just a coincidence, as when you met your neighbor far away from home

Are therefore normal conspiracies, doubts, questions? I think not only normal, but good, healthy for cycling. Are normal thus insults, taunts? Of course not.
 
Those things can only be done once investigated the matter thoroughly and more proof or evidence that significant. And I will try to explain in this post because such an attitude is not justifiable, believe anyone what he wants.

I can understand, and it is expected to happen. In a case like this, one reads those 8 points, look to the past and things that come out from the past these days, and it makes sense the anger, but no others things

Following the conclusions of the article seems to me as not bad, but they are incomplete, as we will see, although I agree on what they say at the end: Despite the suspicions, Froome deserves the benefit of the doubt.

But let's start from the begining. Let’s see his career before the Vuelta 2011.

Who is Chris Froome?

 


And I will be based as far as possible on previous statements and links to the Vuelta , because after all could be more partial.

What is interesting is to see where it comes from, what he did, how to interpret what he was doing and what was said about him.

Some people say Froome has never been considered a promising rider, .... well, we'll dismantling, or at least providing counter-arguments about what's right or wrong in that.

Froome was born in Nairobi, Kenya's capital, of English parents.

His childhood  wasn’t luxury in the terms of Europe, but he was a privileged child in that country compared to most of the others children. He was a free-spirited  and adventurer kid.  From x age unknown to me, he goes with his BMX over there, as many have done, to see the world, enjoy himself and feel free. Just a game.

You can read much of his story here:


Here are said interesting things, but it's a recent article, it is not worth much to us now that  Julich say he  was an  unpolished diamond , in retrospect, not as credible. 

Froome's path to professional cycling is Unlike Any Other That of rider. Born and raised in Kenya, I started riding BMX and it was Only When I moved to South Africa for his studies, That I discovered road racing.

"I was always out on my bike," says of his upbringing Froome. "Biking was my freedom. It was my way to see friends or go exploring. "

When one such adventure ended Froome was forced to scamper up a tree to flee a charging hippopotamus. "I was fishing on this river When it came up out of the water. I had to run for my life," says Froome, laughing as I tells the story.


His childhood in Kenya is at least fascinating: fishing, having to climb a tree by a hippopotamus, lions saw from his bike, along with a local bohemian of safaris and bikes ... History of Froome is certainly unique and novel in cycling, so cannot compare to the history of European riders. Pinot , for example, the new French star, son of a cycling enthusiast, went oriented to professionalism from six years old, it is  a  totally different story  ...

Froome's parents move to South Africa when he was 14, until then,bike was a game, just a few disorganized  “races”, no more, just a game. Certainly no road bike. No cadets category (14-15 years old). Few cyclists `pros have not passed by cadets, and I do not think any of those were latter brilliant with 22 years old in pros.

Yes it is true that he was riding a mountain bike in the mountains north of Nairobi, with the famous, at least in his country, Kenyan cyclist David Kinjah , who first pushed him his passion for racing.

I had the privilege of sharing a few e-mails with David, a great person, and did not  see Froome especially good for  bike, but he  emphasized his mental strength , his determination to things, and desire to always go with  bike everywhere . For him there will be always  people who doubt or do not like Froome, and therefore he don’t consider no necessary  this article, but personally I think that some things should be clarified.

He is glad to Know people  follow him, and he  believes  its success is due to his great mental capacity to always go further and achieve their goals rather than their physical conditions. But I think, he knew him as a child, just coincided years later in a race, in the Commonwealth... there was not much more, so I suppose, it's hard to think David really Know the physical  potential of Froome…

David Kinjah , Froome first inspiration


Back in South Africa, he started focusing primarily on studies, and even he said in an interview he started bike at 18 years old,  in 2004, he did not really start road racing until 2005 , which runs the Tour of Mauritius, a small country in the Indian Ocean, a race without a high level, but been 20 years old won the hardest stage. Nothing serious yet for him.

2005
1st in stage 2 of Tour of Mauritius
2006
2nd in Anatomic Jock Race
1st in stages 2 and 3, and overall, of Tour of Mauritius
  

 
His early career as an amateur, with 20 and 21, he  raced against people who was made ​ physically more than him,  short and explosive stages, but he even shines and wins the hardest stage of the Tour of Mauritius and in 2006 he won two stages and the overall, and he was second in a  one day race, after Jay Robert Thomson, current rider of MTN-Qhubeka and South African time trial champion, he has in his palmares stages in Langkawi or the Volta a Portugal.

Nothing to  think of a prodigy, but that said Froome had some quality . The issue is that these are his first races,  equals to cadet races with 15 years of Contador or even less of Pinot. Even them could have then better school which is take a bike and go ride the Tour of Mauritius at 21. At that age, in which many cyclists are already years training and serious about cycling, Froome was beginning , and had no idea of cycling, but was passionate, and his body was not used to the competition, and had no idea how to train and all those basic things that a cyclist needs to be someone.

This is no longer just a matter of African or European cycling, is a matter that seriously Froome started late with cycling. Other Africans with their age were already consolidated.
It is true that for an African cyclist  is not so simple to make the leap to Europe. You must be really good to do that and succeed.

But we can do the comparison with John Lee Augustyn , and also, for example, with Daryl Impey, or the aforementioned Jay Robert, cyclists who raced in the beginning with him, and all professional cyclists with European calendar latter. Froome is more or less the same age, a year younger than Impey, but a year older than John Lee Augustyn and Jay Robert.

However, in the beginning, the two youngest ones beat him, because they had more experience on the bike and competition.

John Lee has been his great mate in Europe, both have followed similar careers, both of them ran for Konica Minolta, Barlowold, both came from South Africa, both ended up in  SKY, and  ran together much of itheir European calendar, and they were always together, “Zipi and Zape” (Spanish comic) as I called them, one blonde and one dark-haired, both were promising cyclists.

John and Chris

It was said Augustyn were more promising , a rider with only 20 years finishing with Nibali in “Giro de Oro”, in seventh place, in a test of the level of Trentino, 11th, and then do a creditable third place in the Tour of Asturias,  or beating Valverde for a minute in Navacerrada at Alcobendas Classic, beating people with a great track record that later were known that in those years doped. There was much talked of Jhon at that time, and good. He was a very talented

John also surprised everyone the following year when the Tour crowned the highest pass in France, the Bonnete, in first position at just 21 years, giving a great feeling with serious options to take the stage if he hadn’t fallen by the rocky slope.

John was a cyclist with presence, in the mouth of many people. Not long ago a professional cyclist told me it was clear and obvious that John were more promising than Froome, who were not very promising ... We will analyze.

First thing to say is that John shares with Froome path, but from 2008, before their paths are very different. Despite being a year younger, John began his career cyclist long before, and already in 2006, at age 20, representing South Africa in the world championship of Salzburg, in the junior category, and finishes in 27th place in the same small group of Boasson Hagen (EBH). To go to that worlds means that he was already known, and therefore they had at least a minimum time showing his qualities on the bike ... in fact the year before he ran races in Europe and the Tour of Japan, one of best  Asian races, and with 18 where fifth in the queen stage. Thus, at 20, he was a cyclist with a certain school, not very different to the Europeans riders.

So yes, Froome, aged 21, came out of nowhere but a stage victory in a race like the Tour of Mauritius achieved only by talent. Other yes, they were coming from somewhere, had a career, a certain school.
That is, Do we talk with Froome a case of late maturity? You could say yes, but mostly because he started really late , and the top-level European cycling needs learning. It is unthinkable that been 20 years old showed the level that showed Pinot , or Contador level, that was already running on the hand of Manolo Saiz, who was ahead of his time and a great school especially for time trial ...

Contador had already gone through the whole school involved in Basque amateur cycling,  with good infrastructure team such as Iberdrola.

Nothing to do, but not with those, even with John Lee, or with the other two mentioned
Impey, a year younger than Froome, aged 18 was racing the Tour de Quinkai Lake, the most important race of China, and nobody send a boy of that age to China if you had not had time before seeing his talent. At 19 runs in Langkawi, doing well ... and win a stage of the “Giro del Capo”, the best race in Africa.

When Froome started with these guys in South Africa , he was in disadvantage. Anyway, I have to say that all talented cyclists do not manifest the same perfomance in the beginning, while there are cyclists flying in his beginnings, and then on nothing important, there are others that do not start as strong but then develop their full potential.



The first team of Froome, in wich he ran 2005 and 2006 is Hi-Q Cycling Team , with 20 and 21 years (mostly 20). In 2006 he runs Giro del Capo with them, against the mighty Barlowold and the also powerful in that context Konika Minolta, which had  people like Peter Velits, which  would be the winner, who could not be bad then,  as he  next year is proclaimed road world champion under 23.
This Konica Minolta had in its ranks  people  as Augustyn, Van Resburg or both Velits brothers, all of them later European calendar riders , but far from the best team was racing.

There were as well, besides Félix Cárdenas, riders as Dominique Cornu , who that same year be proclaimed under 23 world champion, Jurgen Roelants, which this year is a favorite in the cobbled classic  or Jelle Vanendert, who has been good at the Tour the France or the Ardennes classics,  or Francis De Greef.

I mention this because some people argue that the Giro del Capo is not comparable to a week race in Europe, and even with better start list, not always the best riders face that races as a big objective.
Roelants was several positions back and Vanendert just two ahead of Froome in the GC.


If we analyze in detail this race we see that Froome finishes in position 52, and for example. Augustyn , a year younger, 29, and Velits, the eventual winner,  of the same age as Froome.
So one might think, well, these two were clearly more promising riders  than Froome. If you do not take into consideration some things, at first glance, it seems so.

If we look at the five stages one by one, the second stage finishes in various groups, possibly echelons.  Froome comes at the last one and lose a lot of time, but the other stages Froome is ahead, even better than Augustyn. In the second stage could be due simply to a fault, a fall, an oversight, etc ... normal due to inexperience.

In the key stage of Giro del Capo , the short ITT climb to Signals Hills , which is well adapted to  Augustyn climber abilities, but less to diesel Froome, the first one ends fourth, behind the great ruler of the South African calendar in that moment, David George, Peter Velits and Felix Cárdenas, and Froome just 37, a position not very good, but more suitable to the level shown in the proof that his 52 final, and he was the best of his modest team that day.


This 2006 is his first year as a real cyclist, even though not professional, and achieved the following results:

besides their overall win and two stages of the Tour of Mauritius, and the runner-up of the  one day race mentioned.

Just beginning cycling, and Froome goes to a U23 world, representing  an exotic country like Kenya. Makes a fool? No, it's a worthy role, 36, beating Peter Velits, the  same that months before in South Africa beat him clearly, who is a good time trialist, and for a time trial of 40 kilometers, not far from men like Boom and Taaramae , one minute faster, and Tony Martin, the current ogre in the specialty, minute and a half, just over a minute without incident output. In a time trial today he could also lose that minute with Tony Martin.

He indeed makes a fool, but with  a curious fall , is so impulsive and inexperienced in cycling that strikes a commissioner race at the start:



You can see the incident at 15 ‘’ of this video.

Those who take this result as: uff, Froome at 21 years old  lost two minutes with guys younger than him as Boasson Hagen, and  we have to believe that this could be later Olympic runner-up ...No way! ... do not understand that regardless of progressions slower or faster, or later developments or earliest of their physical qualities, his performance in any way be compared on an equal footing with these other cyclists, though someone was two years younger  like in the case of EBH.

In short, a year where Froome with 20/21 years begins to be a cyclist and know important races with people of his age and other people from a certain level, always traveling: Australia, Austria, Egypt ...

His performance did not go unnoticed and the next year and gives a little step forwaed signing with Konica Minolta, what is no  a neighborhood team, but something more serious, but still a second-tier team from an African Team, I mean, not Barloworld where he wiil race next year and light-years away from his currently  SKY.

2007 (21/22 years old) third year as a cyclist, first year as a professional


This step is important because it means turning pro and leave school at the prestigious St John's College, Johannesburg,  trying to be someone on the bike.

This year the UCI will also choose him as one of the young riders to be given a chance to belong to a country without great cycling tradition in the  high performance center of the UCI in Aigle (Switzerland) and to run some races with them. They must see qualities to be elected to.

Froome results this year are:

http://www.cqranking.com/men/asp/gen/rider_palm.asp?riderid=5789&year=2007&all=1¤t=0

His improvement in the Giro del Capo is appreciable, 52 to 6, being  fifth in the decisive time trial. He improve almost a minute, 13:50 to 12:52 the previous year, indicating that Froome improves quickly. Another young as Peter Velits from one year to another get a worse time.

The Team Barlowold dominates, with 4 of the top 5 overall: Efinkim, Cardenas, Ryan Cox and Hugo Sabido, then come Froome, sixth, best of  Konica Minolta that have in that race Jay Thomson (both have run this year's Tirreno-Adriatico, Jay  in the ranks of Jay-Qhubeka MTN).

This performance, with the help of Robert Hunter , called the attention of Roberto Corti , Barlowold manager, and would makethat  before the end of the 2007, sprucing up his signing.

These are his words then: 


and those recently, once famous, not much different:


It was far from the only good performance this year.
Hand in hand with the UCI team, ran several races in Europe, and also ran that year in Japan.
In the Giro delle Regionne takes a stage, Mollema second, and he was second in another one, and in the GP Guillermo Tell he give good sensations shining in two stages and finishing in the top ten.
Moreover,  although this race is hardly documented, he  win the "My-Aout en Bretagne",  and it said with great boldness.



By the way of this it is very interesting to read this article:


It said things that are of interest:

 "Tactiquement, il n'était pas du tout bon. Mais il était puissant, endurant faisait et tout en force . C'est ainsi qu'il avait d'ailleurs gagné cette Mi-Aout, mais sans démarrages répondre aux in revenant toujours " , raconte Thèze.

Michel Thèze étonné n'est pas vraiment. " quand il était trop Même lourd, déjà grimpait il . Un peu comme Hushovd. Et il avait one gros, gros moteur. Tous au connus j'ai ceux that CMC, il est celui qui avait avec les meilleurs tests will Tunisien Chtioui, aujourd'hui chez Europcar, et l'Erythréen Teklehaimanot, GreenEdge pour qui court. Mais ne suffit one gros moteur pas. Lui, en plus, I endowed est d'une volonté colossale . Ses Dès debuts, je l'avais compris. Il ne jamais is décourageait. "

While Corti said they signed him later because they saw good potential, they did not think they had a gem that was to eat the world. But here, at the first time Froome is put in the hands of professionals, and with 22 years or about to fulfill them, they see a huge engine, as this gentleman said: the greatest engine of all who have passed through this center, along with Daniel Teklemainot (Eritrean current Orica Team), a cyclist who after some health problems ran again in 2012, among other things “La Vuelta”, and the Tunisian Rafaa Chitioui, a rider who was runner-up in the Worlds route after Kreuziger and won the time trial of the Tour de l'Avenir none other than Tony Martin, EBH or Adriano Malori include:


But as stated this gentleman, having engine is not everything, it takes a strong will, and the people who I have read about Froome or who has known him described his will as colossal. Rafaa, although has run in Aqua Sappone and Europcar, achieving some good results, is now without a race team. And there is no difference between them, between being on top and anonymity, that a strong will and ability to overcome  bad times. Cycling is largely in mind, that is what makes it so great.



This man also says Froome fell three times in the Giro delle Regione , that explains its discreet place overall despite displayed as one of the strongest. According to him, he did not know how run in an important bunch, he had no good position, and he was fat , ... and they were the first to begin to correct these issues.

A long task that has not yet ended.
That year also runs the Japan Tour , where he win a stage and finish sixth overall

In the Worlds, continues to represent Kenya. His performance is not very good at ITT.

In route, however, its role is better, arriving at the same time of the world champion, who is none other than the rival that won Giro del Capo that year, Peter Velits.

That is, in his first professional year, Froome gets 3 wins, showing good sensations which earned it the next year level up to be signed by the powerful Barloworld , who had won that year two stages in the Tour France and the mountain jersey, Soler's hand, then the great  Colombian hope, and with his mentor and training companion Robert Hunter.






Barlowold, 2008


This is the year when he start to be known abroad. Although this year acquired British nationality, he was still considered Kenyan, and for this exotic reason he is interesting for the media.

That year the results are as follows:


In the Giro del Capo takes another step qualifying second, just behind teammate Pfannberger, that but this year made top ten in the three Ardennes classics (fifth in Liege), 12 in Lombardia, and a host of good results in tough one-day races.

Just back from South Africa rides in the district of Santarem, Portugal, and makes one of those unknown performances that give an idea of ​​his high level in the time trial.

He finished fourth, but with very good names: just behind Bodrogi and Kloden and better than Taaramae and other good riders . A result to bear in mind,  let's say it is their first year in Europe.

After that,  many races to ride in learning mode. He had been told that the Tour was possible, but was not sure, he ride Criterium International, the Ardennes classics, the Ghent-Wevelgen, etc ... and “Vuelta a Asturias”, where he shines again in the time trial, being fifth ,  26 sec from Samuel Sanchez.


Nothing very impressive without going to investigate, considering a 23 years old guy, but occasionally Froome left good performances out there, both mountain and especially in time trial.

Finally he is called to ride the Tour, as one of the domestiques of Soler in the mountains and in Hunter for the sprints.

He improve of racing Tour of Mauritious as his best race to the Tour de France, the most difficult race to be in the startlist, in just three years., and that with the handicap of being African. He will be the first Kenyan, and except South Africans, first African to be part, which makes its name sounds pretty for the media, and he do several interviews

The team has John Lee Augustyn, Felix Cardenas, and people like Cheula, Baden Cooke, Paolo Longo and Moises Duenas, who had been already strong before the Tour.



The Tour starts badly for the team, their leader, Soler, falls into the first stage, the wrists is damaged, and the following day struggle to finish. Froome is with him ... Dueñas responds well in the early hard days, something that  looks quite amazing. It is the hope of the team, because Soler finally withdraw cause the pain in his wrist ...

Shortly later, Dueñas is positive and in his room doping products are found. That falls like a stone on the team. All this is too big for Froome. Media pressure is strong next days
Longo and Cardenas crash under strange circumstances and disappear from the map. The reason looks quite suspicious, and Baden Cooke would do the same two days later, there was a really bad crash lokking next picture, so it is not the same case, but the team was jinxed:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/aardvarksken/2686052798/in/photostream/

The team was fallen to pieces. Only four riders in the race, the two young newcomers to the Tour, Froome and Augustyn, Italian middle level domestique Cheula, and the sprinter Hunter. That, plus all the pressure that was carrying the team. The main mission was to support Hunter in mountains and sprints, and otherwise try to be protagonist as much as possible .

Lee, although a year younger than Froome, was considered a very promising climber then, as I have already told.. He have just been third in the Tour of Asturias and was responsible for breakaways and to get into the team presence on the mountains. He was first crowning the highest mountain pass of France, the Bonnette, and just he fell  at he beginning of the descent though the stone slope. That was one of the highlights of this Tour, and he end in an honorable fifth place in the mountains. Froome's role was less flamboyant, often on the bus helping Hunter, but he had its moments to consider.

One day finished 16 and 17 of a flat stage, a stage in which Hunter drop and wasn’t nobody to sprint. It is not easy to finish at the front in a flat stage of the Tour  unless you're a good passista.

The best for Hunter was fourth in the second stage. Once the team was fall to pieces, he could only managed ninth in the Champs Elysees, one day, by the way, in which Froome was in a breakaway, before finished the last one in the stage, as he had to leave his wheel  to hunter for puncture.
 
There are many Links on this Tour :

Soler leaves the Tour:

http://archivo.marca.com/edicion/marca/ciclismo/tour/2008/es/desarrollo/1144070.html





In that article there are many interesting things:

"I saw him last year in some races and I could tell I was a good racer , "said Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti to Cyclingnews on the 23-year-old. After testing him out in Such prestigious one-day races as the Criterium International, Gent-Wevelgem, Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Corti Decided to let Froome be the first Kenyan rider to line up in the Grande Boucle.

"I Was Told at the Beginning of the Year That riding the Tour was possible - it was not one-hundred percent," commented Froome. "I went well in the beginning of the season and I Showed potential. really I only knew a couple of weeks before , there were a few of us up for the two spots. "

Corti did not regret his choice. "This year, I had his ups and downs, but I was good When I was flying. I remember the moment I was there at the basis of the [Tour's] Alpe d'Huez With The favorites - I did a great ride," I said.

The Italian Also remarked on Froome's maturity. " He is a serious rider and I have clear ideas. I can tell I wants to stay and live here in Italy - I rented a home, registered with the government and has a girlfriend. "

The team manager looks forward to seeing his young talent develop. " He is strong in the time trial and on the climbs, in theory he is suited for stage races. He still has to Improve, he is young. " Froome Agreed with His team manager's assessment: "The two strengths That I have are time trialling and climbing, and I prefer longer events - Grand Tours make sense. I obviously have a lot of work to do on my time trialling and climbing to Reach That point. "

Many people say that nobody said that this rider could then aspire to serious goals. The director at least not ruled out and talked about his strengths and times when he was flying
Froome and Corti Explained to Cyclingnews in an exclusive interview how the 2008 season went and What They expect in the years beyond. 


In this last interview,  which you can click and read, Froome says interesting things, he prefer long and diesel climb, not explosive ones.
"One moment, During The Alpe d'Huez stage , Corti called me back to the car to get more gels. I said, 'No, no. I am fine.' I just had one gel in my pocket. About four kilometers into Alpe d'Huez I completely blew and lost a hell of a lot of time. That hit home how important energy is, That Showed me a lesson. I said, 'Why did you not come back? About You needed 10 gels, not one! '"

"I love the climbs in the Tour. The mountain passes are not like the Italian passes, Which are extremely steep, where I start to struggle. "

Whoever believes that Peña Cabarga is his kind climb because he was there the main character is wrong , but if you are the strongest you can show that in all the field games.


"I was just getting right into it and then I Realised That I was near the finish," said Froome. " Hopefully the time trial at the end of the race will suit me better Because It's a bit longer. "

And he was right, because in the final ITT was better, and in this interview he explains that he did not very well in the first.


But in this odd environement Froome shows thing to take into account as already mentioned by Corti in the queen stage. Froome was with the best in Croix de Fer, and endure with them about Alp d'Huez in  the first Km, and was the rejecting of the gels due to inexperience which played a dirty trick on him. Even so he did  31 th.

Schumacher was caught 4.7 km from the top of the Iron Cross climb.
The yellow jersey's group thinned down to 18 riders before the top Including: Evans, Aerts, Tailor, Arvesen, Schleck, Schleck, Valverde, Arroyo, Siutsou, Froome , Fofonov, Efimkin, Goubert, Valjavec, Kohl, Menchov, Weening, Casar, Moncoutie and Vande Velde. At the top, led by Velits 1'10 ". Soon after the summit, Pineau and caught the yellow jersey's Attacked peloton caught the stage leader and 30km from the finish. The peloton was at 1'50 ".


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m70zrQCwUvU

In this video we confirmed that Froome is in sixth place (sec 21) in the favourites group, looking as comfortable as he said in his later statements.  It is not the fact of being there, nor the fact of been 31th at the end. It is the fact  he llok strong in key points of the Tour, and he had a mistake that did not allowed him to be top 15 or who knows in the Queen stage ...

He finish 14 the final time trial , a big achievement for his first Tour, just have to see who wins and who surpass him that day:

Finishing a Tour strong is a sign of strength for three weeks. Teammate Lee does not end as strong, and e.g in the TT makes 106th, five minutes worse than Froome.

So, although the performance of Lee was more visible and bright , I think Froome showed a more valuable strength for a big Tour. I would had been believed then that Kenyan guy could win the Tour of France in the future,… the same way he could be just a quite anonymous rider more, as many of his generation or a good domestique.

He was someone to follow, simply , especially if it was a clean rider.

I write on a cycling forum where I referred to the many promising riders that were given at the time and at one point I quote:

"…Goss impressed me at the Kuurne, with Langeveld, also Chris Froome, the Kenyan, in the Tour. Tony Martin impresses me where runs is always strong, and in all fields…"
And there is another man in that forum that refered him as a possible winner of 2009 maglia Bianca of best young rider in the Giro.

Note that despite being Contador a rider with a much longer story, both run their first Tour de France almost at the same age, around 23 years. Contador makes much better position, but based on not having any bad day, he had not to take care of nothing but his own performance and to learn about.
He did both ITT quite worse than Froome, nor in mountain has these moments of brilliance we mentioned in Froome, giving comfortable feeling to go with the best in the Queen stage even take  31th place in a mountain stage, nor otherwise. 

I would not say that the first Tour de Froome was better than the first Tour of Contador was, Froome finishs several days in the bus, something that Contador din not, who is around the 40th at relevant stages, but making an assessment of the circumstances, and the results of its two time trials, the Tour de Froome is certainly not worse , and arguably even more promising in terms of three weeks.

This article is an interest to see how he lived the Dueñas positive and angrily he grabbed him, something that can be read in several articles, and to understand the background of this Tour.


The year ends with not much to remark, he ride several semiclassic in Italy, not bad as it is always up, but especially emphasizes his third in the Giro dell Apennines.

Then dispute the Herald Sun Tour, one of the best Australian races , perhaps the best in those days. He is fourth, just ahead of who years later would be his teammate Richie Porte , of the same age but even in cycling began somewhat later than Froome himself.
Stuart O'Grady, winner last year and fifth in that year's Paris-Roubaix, would take the race .


2009. Stagnation and Giro d'Italia.


2009 would be the last in Barlowold, and there was talked that an English team could appear of the hand of channel SKY TV.

Until 2008 Froome gives strides each year and goes to run local races like the Tour of Mauritius while studying, to be in the Tour with the best in the queen stage or on the last ITT. A giant step that even for the big champions used to take a long time. A good Tour in that circumstances I mentioned.

It was expected, therefore, a step in 2009 to set him up as a talented younger with a good future
The first races are pointing in that direction. In Mont Faron, ride as a domestique of Soler, and he arrives with him and Moncutié, all three taking a good time from the rest of the contenders . Then go back to South Africa and win one of the tests that divided that year's Giro del Capo.

After a few races where his result are nor brilliant nor bad, to mention  Fleche Wallonne where he was ahead of Gilbert  in 34th position, the team, who dreamed of winning the Giro with Soler, carried Froome and his mate Augustyn to the Italian race.

Soler crash again, and Froome should be with him, but despite unfavorable circumstances, his shape is not as expected, his ITT, nor being bad, are worse than the Tour last year, and that step forward is not given.

But manages to get in a break with  quatity people  on the  stage San Luca, Bologna, same scenario as the beautiful Giro dell Emilia.

That day said to have very good legs, causing him rushing attack, nor had the best gear to face so steep ramps once was empty by his attack. He was brave, very strong attack against people like Gerrans, the only one who could follow him, but his inexperience made him finish sixth, where perhaps with his strength he could have finished second or third.

This is the video of that day:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEGpv0xn0E8
 

And these are his words:

http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/news/latest/344925/monday-s-british-news-round-up.html

Being the highlights: "In the finale I really thought Could get the stage win but the second kick up on the climb finished me off and I did not have legs to get up it. I needed to extra gear, maybe a 27 cog, to spin more . It felt like my legs just Seized up. " "I actually felt great and was before That Moment planning to go again to try and get away from Simon. Instead I just stopped and started going backwards . At least that's what it felt like. "

He would say in a interview that day had the pleasant sensation to be protagonist of an important race with all the screaming crowd.

I'll stick with that face to face with Gerrans without fear, he attacked first and continued until the second half, as step as to 16%, and with a of 25 or 26 cog, riding as crazy and doing crack as was normal and he did not know in detail the climb.

And after the Giro does not run many more races, does well in the British national championship, very combative and finishing fourth.

Among that races , the Vuelta a Burgos , my land, where I remember I was happy to see him and I took this photo:



My impression was he was looking more fat than now. His performance was not bad, 18th helping  Soler , who would end fifth.

He wasn´t strong in world championship time trial, 17th, but anyway better than the two Spanish representatives.

But of course, I mean he did not wrong, it was good, ... for an average rider, a good domestique, but all results that year are not typical of someone who improves the details he had left in 2008. Although in the Giro he ends 35 versus 81 in theTour,  here are not many excuses to be better than to be seen in San Luca stage, and in the other tests, except in Mont Faron, early, there is nothing to indicate that this is a future crack or continues his progression as a rider.

Clearly still unaware Froome run without good advisers around him, he had to lose weight, he has his quality details, and he should take care of Soler sometimes, but he does not seem enough excuses.

This article makes it clear, in a sentence at the end.


Disappointing 2009 you can read…, but… for someone young that did not performance bad, to be disappointed means that he was quite promising, and there is a long list of “cycling fans” who say again and again that Froome did not promised anything

 

2010. Arrival at SKY, more stagnation.

 

2009 could have been just a bad year, although really was not that bad, but in 2010 confirms this stagnation.

Get to the newly created SKY , a team with big ambitions and the declaration of intent to achieve to make Wiggins a Tour de France winner , a rider who had achieved everything on the track, and in his first year trying to fight for it, he is fourth, therefore, it was clear that he had a great future at big tours.

SKY team tries to do mainly with British people or relatives countries and despite their high ambitions first year is not particularly good.

Thomas, Augustyn and Froome get there from Barloworld after his finish . Augustyn, as great promised climber, and Froome, is said to be an unpolished diamond-

In this article of that times you can read about that , after signing SKY. Very interesting


This young rider who burst onto the scene as an amateur and was signed up by Barloworld Quickly, is, According to the Team Sky website 'a rough, unpolished Diamond with loads of potential'.

Among many other things talks about positional changes they did on the bike, and laughs at his old position. Begin to notice technical improvements of belonging to a team like SKY. It is possibly the first time he  really started to be advised on a  truly professional way.

But of the many interesting things to say here,  I'll take these:

" Stage racing is one area I'd like to focus on in my career and to Develop into a rider who can consistently race in the stage races and hopefully be up there one day in the GC . I'm not expecting to get to the Tour de France This Year Because this team is packed with quality riders. "
Even though 2009 was not very good, he was still convinced that one day could be in contention for the major tours and makes clear that he is a man for that type of racing.

" I'm a junior rider Compared to a lot of these guys so I'm here to Develop and learn . I think the Giro (Tour of Italy) though may be on my Programme This Year so it will good to go there and be part of That team. "

And here makes clear something in wich many people often insist, despite been then 24 years old, he still considered himself a juvenile with a lot to learn, and his first year in SKY would be that, a learning year.

SKY expected of him however much more than they gave him.
  
On their overall performance in 2010: Something worse than 2009, especially considering that a better team would therefore even more disappointing than the last.

He have some mentionable results earlier in the season, as ninth in Haut Var or 16 in Lugano, but in general  worse results than the previous year.  In Fleche Valonne and Liege did much worse and in the Giro, where history of helping Soler and drop this happened again, goes unnoticed, except one day entering a mountain stage in the front group. A knee injury makes it towed to a car on the penultimate stage and is disqualified.

But if you see more inside that time you see he was in a breakaway in  Fleche, and he was a little sick in Liege, and he crash in the prologue of Romandia, that had a big influence in his Giro.






These words told in 2010 by Team Sky's race coach Rod Ellingworth summarizes who was Chris and answer a lot of questions about his late development:

"Chris is a bit knocked up by the crash but he really wants to ride the Giro. He'll be gutted to miss it so we'll do what we can to help him get fit for it.

" for some of the riders we are fighting a little bit of a barrier because of the culture they are used to.

"For example, Chris woke up on the Saturday before Liège-Bastogne-Liège feeling a little bit rough. In the normal world you'd say 'I don't feel great today' but he didn't say anything and he rode Liège and then he developed a cough.

"Some of the guys are scared, because of the culture they've been in, to say 'I don't feel well'..

"Chris has got quite some talent, but he's a rough diamond and he needs a lot of polishing. I've said to him, we all make mistakes but if you don't learn quickly enough, you'll not survive in this sport.

"I had quite a firm word with Chris after the prologue]. I asked him what his goal was for the prologue and he said 'To get through it and build for the coming days'. So I said 'Why did you go through that corner full-on then?' It's his choice. He's the jockey, he can put the brakes on

So, he was a big talent, but how he said: we could miss him as a rider,  if he wouldn’t have learned. Power without control is not usefull.

Few mentionable results after the Giro, but in September if there is a result of the level he has shown later, does the ITT National championship  second behind Wiggins and beating a track specialist as Thomas. His fifth position at Commonwealth games is not bad.

But it is a bad year with no progression, only one result really to  mention, and it is the second year.

 

What happens?


Of couse he needed to learn a lot and he had bad luck, but, there is another important thing… at the end of 2010, or early 2011, not quite be clear, he is diagnosed with an infectious disease, parasite called bilharzia or schistosomiasis.

This is the key that explains quite a lot  that will follow, and the past.

This is an important point of the analysis. I speak of the news that have come out and the conclusions that can be drawn with what is known.

Many fans believe, because it was told by some media, Froome had bilharzia since he was diagnosed in late 2010, on a trip to Kenya ... and therefore only suffered this disease in 2011, precisely the year of his takeoff.

That’s is not clear, neither is sure he got the disease in Kenya, while very likely, not really known when caught, but it is pretty sure at least he had it in 2010, its worst year precisely , but we will see as some information suggest that has been five years with it.

The first is to clarify what this disease  is, sufferers, how, where, what symptoms entails, what it means for an athlete, etc ... There are several items to read about it:


Often is underestimated the importance of schistosomiasis for public health  for two reasons: As with the vast majority of helminthic diseases, community-wide distribution of the parasite is widespread and in turn unbalanced ie a small number of people have infections and serious diseases, while another group have milder infections and less symptomatic. Other people have very few pests and are asymptomatic. Second serious disease usually appear within several years of silent or mildly symptomatic infection which is a serious public health problem of enormous proportions (WHO, 1993).


Bilharzia in South Africa:


And these are some of the news where the disease is mentioned about Froome:




Interestingly, Froome has had his own medical problems. He picked up the river parasite bilharzia during a trip to Kenya a few years ago, forcing him out of the Tour for three years. 

The young cyclist born in Kenya 27 years ago, but British citizen, has been diagnosed a few years ago as a carrier of an acquired disease, according to medical studies, nearly five : Bilharziasis.


Among many other interesting things about his career, this article mentions this:

A much-anticipated move to Milan and professional racing in Europe followed. Froome delivered solid results in the Giro and Tour in 2008 and 2009, but after being infected by a water-born virus called bilharzia, which causes severe fluctuations in physical condition, his first 18 months with Sky were not so successful. By the end of July 2011, his chances of remaining with the British team the next season were not at all good.

I put this article to indicate that the disease produces changes in performance. But it must be mentioned that for them the level drop occurs in 2010, it is true that there is a slope, but since early 2009 it shows a slight decrease respect their best in 2008. But that is difficult to know… ha has big performances in all his years, and in 2010 he had bad luck.
Bilharzia (Schistosoma)


Summarizing on bilharzia : A parasitic disease carrying 200,000 people in hot countries around the world, especially in Africa. That is, there is a very common disease, but not very odd.
There are different types, some people may even die, most cases do not even know they have it and either no symptoms or very mild. 

This parasite feeding on red cells, therefore the hematocrit decreases , and therefore its cure does the same effect as EPO injected into a patient.

The treatment involves no doping substances , unlike the cancer is punctual and not continuous.  Since he had the disease every six months should be watched, it was usually in May and November, and when necessary need intensive therapies that could remind chemotherapy, but that is different and less strong. We will see that in 2011 and 2012 analysis.


That is, anyone with the theory that has been treated bilharzia some type of medical benefit has no basis in logic to be sustained. The same as trying to make the  similarities with Lance Armstrong. No sense.

How long have he had it? 


Reading all links to the top left we see a news show that since 2011, after himself Froome said he believes that since 2010, there's news to claim that since 2009, while others claim that medical studies (from 2012)  estimate that the period in about 5 years, that’s mean since 2008. Anyway, it appears that at least 2010, its worst year, and most of 2011, he raced quite depleted, and there is a good chance that it was just before.
 
Could you make a normal life and compete with bilharzia on bike?. I would said yes, that is hardly noticeable, depending on each case, but when it comes to achieving results in professional sports, and it makes you drop irregular.

Also one of the articles states that they first thought he had mononucleosis, but the treatment was unsuccessful and ended up discovering the problem.


2011. Bilharzia is off and he became a  class cyclist.


It is at that time when Bobby Julich got the team, he was his coach, and said this:

We did some lab testing with him early in the year and it wasn’t making sense. I saw the numbers and said to Rod Ellingworth that the machines must be calibrated wrong, because these were the numbers of a guy who would finish on the Tour de France podium. Rod told me that, no, they were right. I was amazed.

Bobby Julich

I cannot put the source as the link to my surprise this has gone where she came from, and I wonder if someone want to remove Internet's relationship with Froome Julich, Julich since acknowledged his past with doping, but, as stated J.Vaugthers is absurd, most of us had regarding doping, but we can bring our experience in many other things and even be helpful for that not to happen again. The SKY has come today to paranoia about it in my opinion, perhaps in part because of fans who want plotting anything. Luckily, the event is still on a blog I will address later, so I can play it.

He also said this:

“I didn’t bring Chris to the team. They knew about his talent and they had to convince me about his talent. Then working with Chris he definitely convinced me pretty quickly. There was no magic sprinkle dust with getting him to ride better. It was basically working a little bit on his confidence and the way he rode the races because he has already training really well. You can sit back now and just shake your head and say ‘wow. I didn’t see that coming!’”
Interview Julich in 2012, again confirms that:


"Chris was just an unpolished diamond," says former American professional Bobby Julich, Froome's personal trainer for the past two seasons. "As soon as I met him, I could see that he was switched on professionally, but maybe he was a bit over his head in the day-to-day life stuff. But right away I could see that his numbers were great."

Although Julich Froome's time immediately saw potential, he  was puzzled by his inconsistency.


In 2011 he began his treatments for Bilharzia.

He begins with results generally discreet.

In March at the Tour of Castilla and Leon , I was accredited for specialized website: El pedal de Frodo , of which I was an analyst in its starts. At the output of the second stage, in Valladolid, Froome saw leaning on his bike, with quiet appearance, talking on his mobile. I took this photo:


I remember he gave me an impression more athletic than two years earlier in Burgos with Barloworld, he was now thinner, more muscular and fibrous, looked like a great athlete , but I did not see him in the same way... I thought, "Oh, Froome, he was promising but at the end, a domostique more in SKY…, " Oblivious to all of his illness, I dont know if it was public or not, but no one spoked, I had already almost lost track and did not trust that could be as a class rider, maybehe could still improve, a cyclist for top ten, but nothing that made ​​me follow him one day.

About that reference to his physique I found this on internet:

After a difficult first season with Team Sky in 2010, he appears to have taken a big step forward this season, partly by working to reduce his upper body movement. Previously, by his own admission, Froome was "literally all over my bike".

"One of the things I want to do is calm my upper body down and become more stable," he explained.

Froome thus spent many hours doing core-strengthening Pilates. And the benefits are there for all to see. He looked smooth and efficient as he motored around the 47 km time trial on his way to second, 59 seconds behind Tony Martin.

It's funny because many fans will still see rough or moving much. Of course they do not remember the previous Froome, much more primitive, he has improved much about it on Sky, but still has to improve .

In any case little soon return to my attention. The next day would be the 20th in the mountain stage in Sanabria, nothing really  important,, but the next day, in the lap of Zamora, with excellent participation, he was ninth, a position that returned slightly meritorious hope.
14th overall and 15th in Romandia weeks later. In California got worse except one day, that Julich said:

"In the 2011 Tour of California, he was amazing one day and really bad the next. So we tested for Bilharzia again and sure enough he had it. And once he got treatment, he started progressing again." The Bilharzia has returned on occasion, but Julich and Froome can now immediately identify the symptoms.

In Switzerland made good ITT , but no more.

That 2011, Froome was treated several times (one was after Tour de Suisse) and he had its ups and downs of performance up to the Tour of Spain.

Well, Froome reaches Vuelta as a cyclist that will not be renewed in his contract (at least that is what people say), he had offers, but not very  important. With his age and not so young and their results, it was not a very desired cyclist, and if one day he was promised, that faded away, and in a team as powerful as SKY occupied a low status, although had recovered slightly in 2011 by results in Castilla y Leon and Romandie, where he finished second and best team respectively.

One of the reasons for his non-renewal was that the treatment does not seem to work and the disease is not cured.

The team was made ​​around Wiggins, and significant reinforcements had arrived, as Uran, and soon reach the great promises Porte and Henao. But the problem was not that, it was  Cavendish was coming, and wanted a team to his measure, therefore, although Froome would heal his illness and took off as a great cyclist (not talking about one SuperCyclist as he is), they had several of that profile and with the arrival of Cavendish, they  needed another profile. And Froome was not arrived from the track, he was not one of the favorites of his manager Brainsfold.   But he said
"He's a young lad with a breakthrough performance and the thing is to make not only repeatable but That predictable," said Sky's Dave Brailsford last autumn, to the British magazine Cycle Sport. " When does really well I've empties the tank and Tim Kerrison [Sky's sports scientist] Said That always has his numbers are really good. It's just about trying to translate That Into performance.
(nice article, talk about his childhood among lions, but as well Brailsford thought)
Sky were not impressed by the inconsistency that the bilharzia produced and before the Tour of Spain last year, Froome was out of a contract for 2012. But his second place – still Sky's best performance in a Grand Tour –changed all that. Sky re-signed him a few days later.

Then came Vuelta a España , where was expected to Froome did a good job domestique but anything more.

First days goes unnoticed, without doing bad, he loses time ¡in the explosive arrivals to other names.
But Froome is a man of three weeks as we have seen, and likes not very hard long ports.
Covatilla arrives on stage 9 and his life changes radically, there is a  before and after that day for Froome. He makes a great domestique role, and then in the crosswind, and instead of drop after work manages to keep the best wheels, impressing everyone.

The next day was second in the time trial in Salamanca, beating Wiggins and taking the leader's red jersey.


From here the story is well known. Their team does not realize that Froome is the strongest, that overcome the disease or at least  left parked for a while, Froome hid an enormous talent who had pointed and sometimes their trainers pointed , and true to their initial plan Froome still working for Wiggins that looks very strong as well, but not as Froome.
The end result is that both get on the podium, but none at the top.

Many people, it is normal, not knowing its history,  said that did not have a logical explanation, and that is as it were, was flower of a day. One of his teammates said this (I put it as relating to the subject, not in the sense that what a fellow say has significance in credibility):

"I would not be surprised to see Chris win a grand tour in the very near future," Barry says of his teammate. " A lot of guys have had a breakout performance like he did in the Vuelta last year but they Do not back it up. He's backing it up right now . "
His disease problems come back again the following spring, but after further treatment, in the words of Froome was then fully cured  (whe now today he has still the parasite inside), and since then is the strongest GT contender, or at least one of the best, although in his first attempt to shine in the same year two grand Tours, he slightly fails.

A curious fact to mention, as many cycling fans do not give importance to the meticulous preparations of SKY, or his obsession with technology, and the fact that state that all teams come to do the same is:

Mechanical advantages:

Froome is quiet and pensive, giving curt answers to my questions about the equipment he uses, from his bike, a Pinarelleo Dogma 65.2 Think 2, to electronic gears, the Shimona di2 electronic groupset, to the advantages of oval-shaped Osymetric chain rings:

"They optimise your pedal stroke and eliminate the dead spot at the top and bottom. I don't understand why people aren't on them. [But] it's great that people haven't clicked yet, so we can keep using the advantage."

Not everyone uses the oval dish, when Froome considered a good lead. Even in the most basic things that advantage and everyone can use, all riders work equally, so never mind on other things.  That kind of things is was Braindfold called in the track : marginal gains, and It is something they apply in the road as well.

Froome on Doping has always had a belligerent stance , and has never been cut speak if asked, but in a very natural way, and for the skeptics, says he  understand, while states that if there were people doing transfusions or EPO using right now, he could not win.
On this issue there are several articles and interviews for anyone who wants to read. Do not put anything as proof of course, but are interesting:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/video-froome-on-wiggo-winning-the-tour-and-being-a-role-model

In reference to this issue where it says:

"It's something that I hope will help the sport move forward and close the door on that era of cycling. The sport has definitely developed. It's no longer the case of guys doing blood bags and transfusions, etc. If they are, it's a very minority, the guys who are losing their contracts or just trying to take chances. They're the guys who are getting caught."

"Cycling definitely has transformed. And for me, coming second in last year's Tour de France, was a clear statement to say: 'Yes, the sport has changed'. I would never have been able to do that if doping was still prevalent in the sport."

"I think it presents us with an opportunity. The sport needs new figures to look up to, clean winners who aren't going to get their titles stripped. Personally it gives me a lot of motivation, it gives me a goal, something to aim for and hopefully inspire people, knowing that the sport has changed." 

 http://mg.co.za/article/2013-02-15-00-chris-froome-aims-to-sweep-clean-at-tour



 
This from his girlfriend, cycling photographer, is also interesting


And less relevant to your particular case, about SKY or skepticism there are interesting things to read:





The data are there, and Froome does not have the same numbers that were made in the past, even Contadorin 2009  in Verbier.

La Planche des Belle Filles, similar climb to Verbier, always climbed at a strong pace in which he was sucking wheel except the final kilometre, and still did worse performance than Contador that was in a solo-break for 5 km. I am not saying  Contador was doped, everyone can think what they want, but just that  Froome’s numbers are human, not quiet conspiratives.
To give you some context, calculations of climbing power output in the Tour de France in the 1990s and 2000s often estimated that top riders maintained power outputs of 6.4 to 6.5W/kg on the Tour's HC climbs, most of which take over 40 minutes to climb. So in other words, there was an era where the best riders were maintaining similar power outputs to what we saw on Saturday, for three times the duration. Put differently, all those riders would probably have been a minute clear of this current generation on this climb…


Some interesting answers of Froome:

CF: A lot of things have factored into the equation, but I would say a combination of things have helped. No. 1, I am in good health. I have been battling with my health the past couple of season. (como ya hemos dicho, quizá más años)

VN: What kind of health problems did you have?

CF: Bilharzia – it’s a water-borne disease, which I found that I had it in December last year. It feeds on your red blood cells, for a cyclist, it was a nightmare. I must have touched some contaminated water somewhere in Africa. I probably had it for year before I found it. That just drained my immune system. I was always getting little colds and coughs, nothing serious, but it always kept me from being at 100-percent fitness.

VN: Have you been successfully treated for it?

CF: I had to re-do the treatment after the Tour de Suisse this year. Since then, I have been a lot more consistent and good in my training.

VN: What else have been factors in your success?

CF: The health is one thing, but learning how to ride conservatively in a stage race. A lot of it is self-confidence and believing you have the ability to do it. Always as an athlete, you are doubting yourself and your abilities. It’s quite nice to have this under my belt and knowing what I can do. There shouldn’t be anything holding me back anymore.

VN: Your success is a big surprise to many watching the Vuelta, how much of a surprise was it for you?

CF: If you said to either of us that a week or two weeks ago, that this was going to happen, I certainly wouldn’t have believed it. It’s been overwhelming. The biggest thing is riding with Bradley and learning how to ride the GC. Being very conservative with the energy, as opposed to going off on crazy attacks, which I may have been more prone to do in the past. This has been an incredible learning experience and how to ride up there on the GC. Being able to learn from the best. Now I do realize it wasn’t a flash-in-the-pan, one-off type of result. Now I realize I have the ability to be up there to be with the best to fight for the GC.

I thought may be nice to finish to show a proof as how was Froome as  person and their ethics in the opinion of another rider:

It is an article from spanish young rider Carlos Verona, a guy who I have the pleasure to know, and with some very clear ideas and will, good person and a great athlete, very careful in everything he does, and very careful with his followers in social networks.

I copy him entirely, because the link has been deleted for unknown reasons:


Chris Froome, "a citizen of the world", by Carlos Verona

"A citizen of the world". So he answered me when I asked, "But Chris, where do you really are from?". Chris Froome was born in Kenya for 26 summers, at age 13 moved with his family to South Africa where he completed his studies, he started college and began living a dream, his dream.

He left behind his native Africa to compete in Europe in 2007. First of the hand of continental team Konika Minolta, to take the final leap to Barloworld in 2008 where only 23 years debuted at the "Grand Boucle" signing a notorious 84th place in the overall standings. ( I said that to me at all  the result is notorious, but the details he left) For the dream of cycling renounced Kenyan nationality and dual citizenship obtained by Britain and South Africa. His dream

He arrived in 2009, with an eye toward the Giro d'Italia. Recommended by teammate Felix Cardenas, left Lombardy (place where he fixed his residence) to concentrate for a few weeks in the heights of the mountains of Madrid. The site chosen by Chris Froome and his then still partner John Lee Augustyn was the Puerto de Navacerrada ... And there, call it coincidence, call it fate, I met these two craks of cycling and life.

It was April. My then manager of the youth team Algranimar Stone was a close friend of Felix Cardenas, vowed to go to the airport to pick you up and take you to your hotel located in the Puerto de Navacerrada. As it was Easter, we had school holidays so a couple of friends and I decided to share if only for five days stay with the two "African" professionals  in Navacerrada where they would live for three weeks.

The best memory I have was to improve my English, which in those days was appalling. Perhaps it was the number of questions that occurred to me or the affable respond manner. What is clear is that what failed 15 years of school they got them in a week. Among admiration and training those five days flew by, played back to school and let our fellow travelers continue working.

However, for me the best was yet to come. After one week, the weather took over Navacerrada. There was three days non-stop snowing and feet of snow they broke their schemes "Spain, sun and sand" of the two young South Africans. I offered them staying in my house until he returned to Italy and that it was.

As anecdotes, I remember Froome and me were trying to put the car chains to lose that inhospitable place. Without much success, by the way. I also remember his habit of meals based on breakfast and dinner. Something completely unknown and alien to me. Just as the pot of uncooked lentils accompanied them every place they traveled. They told me it was a source of amino acids. I saw it as something strange and inedible. And above all I have fond memories of the training that we fight for that week. School days lost power just by listening.

I found it amazing how they gave up their peaceful and happily lives in South Africa to fulfill her dream, the dream of becoming professional cyclists. Those days together also made me reflect and appreciate what I have. Not all children who want to be cyclists are fortunate enough to try.

But as I always say, where there is a will, there is a way, and Chris Froome is doing. Just wear red in the Tour of Spain made ​​a statement that left me particularly impressed: "I hope that my jersey will serve as a message to all children who want to be cycling nationality who are in their country and although no cycling tradition ".

A statement worthy of a champion who is living his dream. I hope that one of my childhood idols such as Chris Froome await him many years of good cycling in their legs, they are many years of struggle and many sacrifices they deserve their reward.  I wish the same fate to his "fellow "John Lee Augustyn who unfortunately has had a blank year because of injuries, but oozes quality as the current leader of the Tour of Spain. But this is cycling. As is also the globalization cycling, cycling is the present and the future, of all, that knows no borders.



 

Conclusions


Froome is a cyclist who  begins late to professionalism, at age 22, or maybe not late in professional, but in competition, and begins training bike at 19, in Africa, and has no good advice till to get SKY, or maybe a little when he ride for the UCI team.

You cannot compare to that effect to Pinot, that from age 6 walks in bike  oriented to race,or to Contador that had the best possible training and professionals in his beginigs, or even to cases more similar as Nairo Quintana, who came into contact with the Colombian team of Vicente Belda , and went through the juvenile category, not as Froome.

Nor all talents come to light in the same way, some are so innate that manifest around mounted on a bike, others need to ripen, but must show something from the begining, and it is not true that Froome had no results that demonstrated potential. Quintana is clearly of the first ones,  Froome of the second ones

Froome rise was quick till be part in the Tour of France from his beginings

Of course, when I do this analysis I am assuming that Froome has always been clean, and has had to compete his first years on  disadvantage with some people, and now there is a cleaner time. If we are to shuffle a hypothesis that current performance is credible, would make little sense to consider that when it yielded less was doped.

In its early days leaves several quality details, those we told of his first Tour de France , some in the Giro, the ITT in Portugal at Kloden or Bodrogi level , second in the Giro del Capo,   the Tour of the Regions and Guillermo Tell, his performance in Mont Faron, his ITT in the nationals , and some others. Actions that for someone who does not know well on bike and was not well advised in their preparations and had  ​​numerous mistakes and falls, are of high quality.

He had his illness at least in 2010 and most of 2011 and early 2012, but it is quite possible that already had it before , a disease that have 200,000 people worldwide, most of them without making major symptoms, do not even know .

Although there are several factors that help his jump in the Vuelta 2011, particularly with respect to previous years, such as learning to spend less riding alongside Wiggins and more, it is logical to think that the jump from being 15 in Castilla y Leon and Romandie to be the best of the Vuelta in the same year has only one explanation: The cure for this disease, bilharzia was a drag not allowed to perform at their fullest potential and during the Vuelta, the disease does not show because the treatments she underwent this year, and in no case those treatments are doping like in cancer.

It is not the more clean cycling  as it is embodied primarily in 2011 and 2012, the years of its launch that made it possible, but the issue of the disease.

What it is true that without further cleaning, Froome would not be a candidate for any Big Tour as now but a cyclist  than round the top ten.

His numbers are nothing inhuman , especially if we take into account technological and material of today, but even without that.

Corti, was not a director to technical analysis, test or things like that, look at him as a cyclist if a day was a star he not be surprised , but did not actually see its potential. 

But it was around that time, in 2007, when someone realizes the potential really Froome. The coach of the high performance center of the UCI  in 2007 spoke wonders of his engine and its qualities, it was the best engine that had been with them, saying he ride as a junior and he has weight to lose, and then when he get to SKY were surprised by  their numbers in the test, numbers of a Tour de France podium.

I say this because many skeptics claim again and again that came out of nowhere , when I have made ​​clear why his first Tour was so meritorious or other details of his class and good results, largely unknown.

People who have suspicious motives, and that apparently is a case of many coincidences that in the past only had an explanation, and are  tired of being tease.

In this respect some skeptics claim that the team tested a new treatment with undetectable drug to Froome that he makes greater effect; this theory falls off because if the team already said it would not renew, why would they experiment with it? ... in any case would Froome at his  own risk, what is even more surprising that he just gets something undetectable.

And I wonder, if the SKY has any medical benefit and some believe his illness an excuse, why not noted in Froome before? No one would suspect anything unusual if Froome in 2010 gives a little step, and in 2011 another little step.

The veracity of their disease, its treatment, is demonstrable. Why not worth it to explain its late explosion with just turned 26 years if he had for two or maybe more years, and is a rider that began late in the cycle, but bad guidance in his first years?

My conclusions are not new, I bring some more data, but similar conclusions were reached in this blog I found this analysis and mediated largely I repeat here that is interesting reading:
 

An in more thoughts and articles, of course…

I hope the article has helped to shed some light on what is an unusual story of a cyclist to reach the top of his sport and it have been of interest because people largely do not fully believe in the current cycling by team SKY,  and ithe case that they find most striking is that of Froome. 

Do not try to convince anyone of anything, I'm not even sure of anything, it is impossible to be sure of almost anything in life, but I do think it was necessary to provide some data and delete some things over and over again repeated in this history without being certain, by ignorance or misinterpretation of things.

Thank you.

3 comentarios:

  1. Very large but yet an informative post.. Looking forward to see more about it in future..
    Diamond Laps

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    Respuestas
    1. Thank you. Of course is long, but there were a lot of questions to reply, and it need a global view along the years.

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  2. Nice post, I bookmark your blog because I found very good information on your blog, Thanks for sharing more informatiom
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