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Petacchi is brilliant!(20 posts)

Petacchi is brilliant!t5rguy
Sep 20, 2003 7:25 AM
Petacchi wins stage in Valdepenas; in 3rd position going into the last km; gets boxed in by two Alessio's, loses about 10 places but more meters, comes back in great style, wins.
Rodriguez fine second (only a wheel length).
What impresses me most, apart from the display of power, is that he is such a straight shooter. No pushes or diagonal straight lines from him. Super! The new king!
re: Petacchi is brilliant!divve
Sep 20, 2003 10:07 AM
That was one of the best sprints I've seen this year. You had no idea who was going to make it in the end and at one point it looked as if Petacchi had lost it. He wasn't even in the camera view anymore then he came from apparently nowhere and took the some point he must have been going 40-45mph or so.
where did this guy come from?????BAi9302010
Sep 20, 2003 12:35 PM
ever since his 6 giro wins I've really been wondering how he improved so much this season compared to the old Petacchi who wasn't even always among the top guys in a sprint. when someone is this consistent throughout a season with almost no breaks and win after win it usually comes out eventually that they're on something (a few I can think of off the top of my head...Pantani in '98, the whole Festina team in '98, Abdoujaporov at some point, Delgado, etc.) otherwise he must have amazing hormones or something.

If he's clean, he definately deserves credit as one of the best sprinters of all time.
Abdoujaporov was a bad example...BAi9302010
Sep 20, 2003 12:41 PM
his positive test was towards the end of his career, but it still showed that he was willing to use the stuff.
Wrong again.Spoiler
Sep 20, 2003 2:00 PM
The problem is that you don't know the "old" Petacchi. His improvement has rock-steady since 2000.

"when someone is this consistent throughout a season with almost no breaks and win after win it usually comes out eventually that they're on something."

Wrong. Inconsistancy is known as an indicator of doping. Zabel races and wins throughout the year. He must be on dope. How about Chipo? He won all throughout the season, so he and Zabel must be shooting up together.
No breaks? Petacchi's resting while Zabel and McEwen are battling it out in the TDF.

Here's Petacchi's win list over the last three years.

2 stages, Tour de Luxembourg
2 stages, Route Du Sud
Stage, Regio Tour International
2 stages, Vuelta a Espana
Stage & Overall, Giro Della Provincia Di Lucca

Stage, Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale
Stage, Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda
2 stages, Euskal Bizikleta
Stage, Tour De Pologne

Stage, Tour Mediterraneen
3 stages, Volta A La Comunitat Valenciana
2 stages, Paris-Nice
3 stages, Settimana Ciclistica Internazionale Coppi E Bartali
Stage, Regio Tour
Stage, Ronde Van Nederland
Stage, Vuelta A Espana
Wrong again.BAi9302010
Sep 21, 2003 9:58 PM
Look at what he won those three years and look at what he's won this year. he went from winning mostly smaller races and an occassional bigger race, to winning just about every single sprint he's been in, against guys who only last season could hand him his ass on a platter. Someone that I was discussing it with suggested that they thought that there was a possibility that there was a newer performance enhancing drug being used that was either easily masked or left the system after a day, and would be taken when a "big performance" was needed, such as a sprint or a final climb. they also brought it to my attention that someone with as much power as Petacchi and his strength to weight ratio (he was something like 155 going into the tour and is around five-ten) shouldn't have nearly the trouble he has getting over climbs, Zabel and even Cipo seem to be able to do it better than he can...and they're a lot bigger than he is.

Cipo had a huge season last year but obviously no one would have suggested that he might be on drugs because he's been winning big in and out of the grand tours since he started and had built himself a name over the previous 14 years. Petacchi comes around and goes from being a forgetable sprinter to the most successful sprinter in the history of the sport, over the course of one season. really makes me wonder.
Petacchi at 155 and 5.10 but still can't climb...Spunout
Sep 22, 2003 4:14 AM
Tells us that he has very, very specific training.


If he was doped, he would be super everywhere, no?

I agree on the consistency viewpoint, in that the dopers have terrible peaks and valleys and not consistent performance due to pure physical conditioning. He must be clean!?
Petacchi at 155 and 5.10 but still can't climb...BAi9302010
Sep 24, 2003 9:10 AM
"Tells us that he has very, very specific training. Sprinting"

Specific training or not, even if he did nothing but sprint training, a rider of his level shouldn't get dropped the instant (literally) the road rises a little.

"If he was doped, he would be super everywhere, no?"

If he's doped it definately isn't on a drug like epo that will improve his cycling everywhere. I'm not an expert on doping methods, but I'd guess that most like'ly it would be on something like a steroid that would improve his sprint (i.e.- Ben johnson). An anobolic steroid might also make his climbing suffer in the way creatine (though not a steroid) will help a person improve short/hard exercise intervals but will make endurence suffer.

"I agree on the consistency viewpoint, in that the dopers have terrible peaks and valleys and not consistent performance due to pure physical conditioning. He must be clean!?"

Pantani was consistent all throughout '98 without any real valleys the way Petacchi has been this year.
Petacchi wins stages in all 3 tours and he's inconsistent?Spoiler
Sep 24, 2003 11:55 AM
What peaks and valleys has Petacchi been through this year?
He's won all year long. Cipo's the rider with peaks and valleys. He must be doping.

Steriods and amphetamines are the stupidest method of doping for an athlete who gets tested. They're easily detected. Hell, they're busting people for traces of wannabe steriods.

So far, there is no reason to suspect him of doping. So far, all you have to go on is his success this year, which I have shown is not a fluke, but just another step in his steady progression of success.
Yup. And to re-iterateSpunout
Sep 25, 2003 4:22 AM
I am positive that his climbing sucks so bad due to sprinting ability. He gets shelled on the first climbs, because he simply doesn't have the system for it. Keep in mind that the large part of the peleton cannot contest a sprint, yet can climb aerobically no problem.

When Petacchi (and other sprinters in the Autobus) hit a categorized climb, they can't afford to go anaerobic that early.

I believe this is my experience, because of a five week race period of criteriums and road races on flat terrain. I've hit the podium at last, but on a training ride in the hills, my climber friend walks away from me where I used to be able to keep up. My threshold climbing speed sucks compared to him, but I can fly on the flats. Due to very specific training recently, IMHO.
"Most successful sprinter in the history of the sport"Dwayne Barry
Sep 22, 2003 4:52 AM
now that is going too far. Surely even Zabel and Cipollini rank higher than Petacchi and they're still riding. No doubt Petacchi is having a great season, but I think he has shown steady progression (and it is occuring at the right age). Plus the other 2 really fast guys amongst the current crop of sprinters, McEwen and Cipollini both are having bad years so Petacchi has been having it easy in a sense.

As far as Petacchi's climbing, sprinting power (very short term, non-sustainable) is probably very poorly if not negatively correlated to sustained power/weight ratio which determines climbing speed. Furthermore, physiologically the factors that enable one to sprint fast vs. climb fast are largely unrelated.
"Most successful sprinter in the history of the sport"Tri_Rich
Sep 22, 2003 7:33 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head, Dwayne. While Petacchi is having a great year he has also benefit from the poor season of McEwan, Mario's absence and Zabel finally slowing down.
what I mean by most successful sprinter in history...BAi9302010
Sep 24, 2003 8:41 AM
is that this season he has had a more successful season than any sprinter ever has. Cipo's season last year definately ranks up there but that's mostly because of the wins he had and he set the record for the most Giro stage wins in a year. This year Petacchi may not have won a classic or a WC, but he not only equalled Cipo's Giro stage win record from last year, he also became only the third rider (not including just the sprinters) ever to win stages in all three grand tours, and so far has won more than either of the previous two. So this season he has set at least three records that I can think of:

1.) Most Giro stage wins in a year (tied with Mario Cipollini from 2002)

2.) 3rd person ever to win stages in all three grand tours in a year, first to do so in 3 +/- decades, and won more stages than the other two record holders

3.) I'd have to look it up, but I'm pretty sure he's won more grand tour stages in a year than any rider in history (13 at this point).

True, climbing and sprinting are mostly unrelated, with climbing using both fast and slow twitch muscles and sprinting using just fast twitch, but a rider of his caliber should still at least be able to stick with the rest of the sprinters and slow riders on a climb. Even today I was reading the live report on cyclingnews and as soon as they hit the small climb at the end of the stage "...Petacchi imediately goes out the back of the peloton" and that couldn't have been a very taxing climb because all of the rest of the sprinters made it over in the peloton and were present in the group sprint.

Also, I agree that the rest of the "big" sprinters haven't had a very good season, but Petacchi was never a "big" sprinter until now, and now he's crushing the other big guys even when they're on good form.

Just to make myself clear, I'm not jumping to any conclusions that Petacchi is doped up and I'm still not completely convinced myself, but I find his whole situation pretty suspicious when I look at the whole picture.
One issue...Dwayne Barry
Sep 25, 2003 1:18 PM
not to start a discussion about exercise physiology but you're understanding of muscle recruitment is not accurate. In fact, it is for the most part not possible to recruit fast-twitch muscle without recruiting slow-twitch (the Henneman Size Principle). So if anything during the sprint you would be recruiting slow and fast twitch, while climbing you MIGHT just be recruiting slow twitch, but even that is unlikely if you're making a maximum effort.

Sprinting is about maximum power generation which is going to relate to muscle mass, fiber types, probably biomechanics and central nervous system factors related to muscle recruitment.

Climbing is going to be about power/weight ratio where the power is primarily determined by the oxidative capacity of the individual.

So I don't think it's that surprising at all that a good sprinter might not be a good climber even compared to other sprinters because there's no reason to believe somebody with a good turn of speed at the end of a race necessarily has comparable aerobic abilities of his rival sprinters.
in the past his problems were mostly mentalcyclopathic
Sep 22, 2003 8:05 AM
not lack of legs per say. He crashed badly about 4 years ago, and on many occasions he hadn't been seen in sprits b/c he would grab brakes and quit. The story has it his shrink convinced him it is a whole lot safer to ride upfront.
in the past his problems were mostly mentalatpjunkie
Sep 23, 2003 7:48 PM
agreed, plus Zabel and Cippo are aging. It was due time for someone to take the throne. The needed fast twitch musculature starts to fade at about 32-33 y.o. Slow twitch actually keeps improving hence all the great distance runners in their latter 30's/40's. Climbing and Sprinting two whole diff. muscle/ C.V. types. A 45 mph burst is quite diff. than an attack on a climb. Sprinters sell out to the lactic overload and are done. he's hands above the competition right now.
in the past his problems were mostly mentalBAi9302010
Sep 24, 2003 9:21 AM
"agreed, plus Zabel and Cippo are aging. It was due time for someone to take the throne. The needed fast twitch musculature starts to fade at about 32-33 y.o."

I agree that Zabel has lost a little of his edge, but muscle distribution, etc. is all genetic and the 32-33 y.o. decline doesn't necessarilly count for everyone. Just look at Cipo, age hasn't touched him one bit. Last year he had his best ever season by far at 35 and don't be surprised if he comes back in 2004 and regains his title as the top sprinter in the peloton. This year was just a mess for him because he went into the Giro w/ too many miles in his legs and he suffered for the first two weeks before he finally pulled off his two stage wins. After that his situation should have improved and he could've had a much better season but he had his crash and that affected his whole confidence and motivation. He's already said though at the beginning of this Vuelta that he's forgotten about this season and is looking to next year.
genetics agreedatpjunkie
Sep 24, 2003 12:56 PM
there is some variance but you don't see many aging sprint types. besides Carl Lewis (and Cippo) you just don't see many 35 year olds winning events that need that muscle type. There are exceptions to every rule and these are dictated by the genes. Same goes for NFL receivers....who once relied on speed to get open later use guile.
and the rest of his problems were in his head. ;-) nmSpunout
Sep 24, 2003 10:41 AM
Res firma mitescere nescitcyclopathic
Sep 25, 2003 8:20 AM
once you got it up keep it up