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Apparently the technical director of French Cycling is puzzled by the Brits performance. She asks "do they have a technology? A secret preparation?". Apparently they feel the need to do sports intelligence to "know how they can be so strong". The director did stop short of accusing the Brits of doping.

So lads and lasses, let's have some fun with this one. What do you think is the key to our success  3

15 comments

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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Of course they have the technology, the "secret squirel club" have been hard at work.

There are alot of parts that have not seen the light of day until this competition so that the UCI did not have time to banned them from competition. Expect alot of changes after the Olmpics  3

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pjay [248 posts] 3 years ago
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Bit rich coming from the French considering that their sprinter has just served a suspension for missing doping tests and been stripped of all his 2011 results. He shouldn't even be in the Olympics IMHO.

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giff77 [1232 posts] 3 years ago
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Aye and he's just had his arse skelped by kenny  4

@gkam - they'll never find the motor's though  3

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pepita1 [175 posts] 3 years ago
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Gkam84 wrote:

Of course they have the technology, the "secret squirel club" have been hard at work.

There are alot of parts that have not seen the light of day until this competition so that the UCI did not have time to banned them from competition. Expect alot of changes after the Olmpics  3

Actually, according to Chris Boardman, the UCI has been included in the "secret squirrel club" innovations to avoid any problems.

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drheaton [3318 posts] 3 years ago
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The French mentioned they thought the Brits had 'magic wheels' but Boardman said they were using the same wheels as Athens in 2004.

Boardman also said that the brits have been competing on standard issue bikes since Beijing and are only allowed on the good kit when the Olympics come around. Even for the world's they use general issue bikes like the rest of the world.

Marginal gains.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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I know the UCI were included, but them passing something is different to it being raced on, them seeing the benefit and the banning it to "keep things even"

Its a bit like F1, The FIA approve things and then the rest of the teams say....oh but hang on a minute....suddenly its banned.

The same happens in the cycling  3

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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I've been thinking about this.

These are my conclusions:

1). They collected Boardman's sweat during the 1992 Olympic games and created an energy drink - "Boardade".

2). They were given Pacino's pep talk from "Any Given Sunday".

3). They were given the promise that all Gold Medallists would be invited to Sue Barkers Olympics afterparty - RAVES.

4). The other countries were shocked when they discovered that the only food being served at the Olympic Village was, indeed, Pork Pies and tiny sausages. This of course, is a diet well prescribed by the great cycling legend himself, Mehdi Sohrabi.

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paulfg42 [386 posts] 3 years ago
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Sausage sandwiches is the secret ingredient to their diet. I'm a vegetarian, otherwise I could be a world class cyclist myself.

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Raleigh [1665 posts] 3 years ago
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Like Thomas De Ghendt, they call me Mr. Sausage.

 4 4

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AWPeleton [3277 posts] 3 years ago
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Is it not down to the fact that the French are shite and we are much better  39

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Simon E [2648 posts] 3 years ago
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I know those "marginal gains" is an overused term in this sport but it has worked extremely well for GB's cycling team and Team Sky.

I would put the more important factors I'm aware of as:
- a good wodge of money, not necessarily more than others, but spent wisely.
- truly rider-centric approach and recruiting key support staff.
- "success breeds success" - seeing others win motivates everyone. I can't imagine how desperate Hoy & Kenny were for that one spot in the sprint.
- the whole approach of examining every area in detail, from nutrition to clothing to tactics to frames, just adds to the focus on winning and reinforces to the riders that everyone is working to help them win. I can't imagine how much differene that must make. More than a fractionally more aero frame, I bet.

I don't think the 'secret squirrel' stuff about frames, wheels and so on is quite as significant a factor as some would have you believe but it makes good copy. Jason Kenny didn't win by a whisker, he blew Baugé away. He didn't really need the tiny benefit the latest UKSI frame would provide over his prevous frame any more than Brad did for the time trial. They were both focussed and determined to win.

I'm not saying the bike isn't a factor at all, but I see its greatest value being part of the mindgame teams play with the opposition. By far the biggest factor is the desire to win. At 7am on a cold, dark morning last November those athletes, coaches etc in Manchester were thinking about this week, the goals they had and what they could do to achieve them.

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Gkam84 [9086 posts] 3 years ago
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paulfg42 wrote:

Sausage sandwiches is the secret ingredient to their diet. I'm a vegetarian, otherwise I could be a world class cyclist myself.

You have NO excuses.....If David Zabriskie can do the TdF on a Vegan diet....  3

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Sadly Biggins [269 posts] 3 years ago
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Their track moaning needs to be added to their TdF moaning about why no Frenchman has won since 1985. I think it was Hinault who said that their roadies need to work harder. Could be the same on the track  4

Perhaps the French spent all their time and resources on their swimmers and had nothing left for the bikes....

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Simon E [2648 posts] 3 years ago
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"We are obsessed with getting the details right, we are relentless in pursuit of it... It's about everyone being the best they can be – the carer not leaving anything behind, the mechanic testing everything – but it's not just two weeks. It's two months, two years. When you put that in place, your chances of success are higher."

More in www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/aug/06/british-cycling-olympics-super-tuesday

Brailsford was due on BBC Breakfast this morning (in my defence I'll say that I was only waiting for Carol to tell me if it was going to rain today!) and they mentioned "the squirrels". Not sure how much he knows about that as DB apparently wasn't even allowed to enter Boardman & co's bunker in the basement beneath Manchester velodrome where the kit resided.

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giff77 [1232 posts] 3 years ago
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Raleigh, love the comment. Though should promise not read 'threatened with'  19 and Bordade brilliant!!

I do wonder though, now that the UCI have acccess to the bunker have the squirrels now have another secret bunker.

Me I reckon it's all the practice of getting home before being rained on. That and burning off all the pork pies  4