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Sky's marginal gains

No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,320
edited June 2016 in Pro race
Whenever Ross Tucker mentions Sky's marginal gains he always goes straight for "No Nutella" and "Fluffy Pillows". For some reason he always seems to forget stuff like "Warming down on rollers". I'm sure this is merely a memory lapse on his part and isn't in any way a deliberate ploy to belittle or denigrate the program, so can anyone here on BR help Ross remember some of the other stuff?

It would obviously help if we also knew which team first introduced the gain, when, and how many teams now do the same, but if you can remember a marginal gain not on the list then please go ahead and put it down, even if you don't know whether Mapei did it first in '97 or not.
“Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

@DrHeadgear

The Vikings are coming!
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Posts

  • But he's a scientist with an open mind and a voracious appetite for the appliance of science
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,887
    edited December 2015
    Marginal Gains is just a fancy name for innovation and the philosophy that while innovations are rarely'game changers' they all contribute to greater whole. It's what turns Garin's bike into Coppi's into LeMond's into Wiggins's.

    I've worked at the Patent Office for twenty years and I've have rarely seen an invention that is more that a slight variation of what has gone before - yet 1995 seems like a different world. It's also the mechanism that underpins evolution.

    As for sport - Colin Chapman was shaving small pieces off components to make them light and the car a lot lighter for at Lotus back in the 60s. LeMond looked for every innovation back in the 80s - I couldn't believe it when the man who won the Tour by eight seconds said he 'didn't believe' in marginal gains.

    It's often misunderstood as a method of, for example, turning Cavendish into a climber, it isn't, but it may put Cavendish a bike length ahead of Kittel instead of a length behind. Sky just use it a catchphrase to emphasise that everything can be improved and all the pieces matter. In a conservative sport there were advantages to be gained.

    In truth their biggest innovation was centralising the training to the degree that they did - only recently possible due to IT. (And investing a large portion of their considerable budget on it).
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • ocdupalaisocdupalais Posts: 4,013
    But he's a scientist with an open mind and a voracious appetite for the appliance of science

    As euphemisms go, I'm sure you've done briefer ones that scan better...
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    Who is Ross Tucker and what is his role in professional cycling?
  • But he's a scientist with an open mind and a voracious appetite for the appliance of science

    As euphemisms go, I'm sure you've done briefer ones that scan better...


    Tough crowd :cry:
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,887
    Who is Ross Tucker and what is his role in professional cycling?
    He's a South African sports scientist who does every bit of media he can whenever there's a story about Sky and data, largely providing the media with the quotes they want. He actually works in rugby I think, a sport in which drugs have fortunately never been used.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Who is Ross Tucker and what is his role in professional cycling?
    He's a South African sports scientist who does every bit of media he can whenever there's a story about Sky and data, largely providing the media with the quotes they want. He actually works in rugby I think, a sport in which drugs have fortunately never been used.


    Also his beloved Kenyan runners. Also an area untouched and untainted by the stink of cheating
  • At risk of blowing my cover, we call what rich described Kaizen. It's just continuous improvement. Always ask why you're doing what you're doing.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    Ok. So judging from a Google, no one publishes his work apart from himself, Twitter and a running website that looks like it was designed in 1998.

    In which case, why do any of you listen to what he says, and why is it worthy of discussion?
  • At risk of blowing my cover, we call what rich described Kaizen. It's just continuous improvement. Always ask why you're doing what you're doing.


    Qualidee
  • Ok. So judging from a Google, no one publishes his work apart from himself, Twitter and a running website that looks like it was designed in 1998.

    In which case, why do any of you listen to what he says, and why is it worthy of discussion?



    Cos its off season
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    edited December 2015
    Who is Ross Tucker and what is his role in professional cycling?
    He's a South African sports scientist who does every bit of media he can whenever there's a story about Sky and data, largely providing the media with the quotes they want. He actually works in rugby I think, a sport in which drugs have fortunately never been used.


    Also his beloved Kenyan runners. Also an area untouched and untainted by the stink of cheating

    I believe that he first made his media name by commenting on Oscar Pristorius' legs (during that whole CAS saga)...
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    edited December 2015
    duplicate
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    What happened to debating the best GT of the year and why Valverde's season was better than Degenkolbs?


    It's slowly turning into a long form discussion of "sh!t people on Twitter say".
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    What happened to debating the best GT of the year and why Valverde's season was better than Degenkolbs?


    It's slowly turning into a long form discussion of "sh!t people on Twitter say".

    Or discussing issues affecting the sport such as the UCI reforms (or maybe just changes) to the WorldTour
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 61,009 Lives Here
    Tbh mate, you can have that.


    Governing body structural reforms is as big a snooze as "2 times Tour de France champ rides really fast in a laboratory" and "cyclists go uphill faster when they lose weight".

    But at least it's about actual pro cycling rather than some derivative thereof.
  • No_Ta_DoctorNo_Ta_Doctor Posts: 11,320
    At risk of blowing my cover, we call what rich described Kaizen. It's just continuous improvement. Always ask why you're doing what you're doing.

    At the risk of also blowing my cover "it's our way of life". DBS for me, are you in cars?
    “Road racing was over and the UCI had banned my riding positions on the track, so it was like ‘Jings, crivvens, help ma Boab, what do I do now? I know, I’ll go away and be depressed for 10 years’.”

    @DrHeadgear

    The Vikings are coming!
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    At risk of blowing my cover, we call what rich described Kaizen. It's just continuous improvement. Always ask why you're doing what you're doing.

    you blew that cover a while ago to those of us paying attention... :wink:
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    Back on topic though...

    A quick google suggests various Sky alleged marginal gains:
    - Using weather modelling to locate training camps
    - using their own bedding
    - intense training at high altitude
    - reverse periodisation
    - using dropbox
    - hiring more staff
    - monitoring food intake
    - buying their own equipment rather than just using the sponsors (in ref to group sets etc)
    - using those oval chain rings
    - wind tunnels
    - using antibacterial handgel
    - painting the floor white in the maintenance truck
    - redesigning the team bus...
    - going back to basics
    - practicing winning
    - use new technology
    - brailsford conducting the orchestra
    - set a team charter - the line thang...
    - build a strong CORE
    - controlling the chimp
    - managing the triangle of change
    - sticking to their principles...
  • At risk of blowing my cover, we call what rich described Kaizen. It's just continuous improvement. Always ask why you're doing what you're doing.

    At the risk of also blowing my cover "it's our way of life". DBS for me, are you in cars?

    No flies on you
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    Back on topic though...

    A quick google suggests various Sky alleged marginal gains:
    - Using weather modelling to locate training camps
    - using their own bedding
    - intense training at high altitude
    - reverse periodisation
    - using dropbox
    - hiring more staff
    - monitoring food intake
    - buying their own equipment rather than just using the sponsors (in ref to group sets etc)
    - using those oval chain rings
    - wind tunnels
    - using antibacterial handgel
    - painting the floor white in the maintenance truck
    - redesigning the team bus...
    - going back to basics
    - practicing winning
    - use new technology
    - brailsford conducting the orchestra
    - set a team charter - the line thang...
    - build a strong CORE
    - controlling the chimp
    - managing the triangle of change
    - sticking to their principles...


    Clearly they aren't doing very well at controlling the chimps.

    You've also missed off sleeping in a winnebago and blocking the entrance to the car park for the French teams.

    Regarding Ross Tucker, he is a scientist but so anti-Froome/Sky it's painful. He mixes with the other 'nothing Froome can do will persuade me he's clean' brigade and takes every single opportunity to write about Froome being a doper, conveniently forgetting all of the other GT contenders. What's worse, he thinks he is impartial. In other words an absolute Tucker.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,887
    Regarding Ross Tucker, he is a scientist but so anti-Froome/Sky it's painful. He mixes with the other 'nothing Froome can do will persuade me he's clean' brigade and takes every single opportunity to write about Froome being a doper, conveniently forgetting all of the other GT contenders. What's worse, he thinks he is impartial. In other words an absolute Tucker.
    To put it simply, he's been radicalised.
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    I sent him some tweets earlier in the day asking why he was so ahem, partial. Funnily enough he hasn't replied as if he answered the questions I sent him, he would be admitting his lack of credibility.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    Who is Ross Tucker and what is his role in professional cycling?
    He's a South African sports scientist who does every bit of media he can whenever there's a story about Sky and data, largely providing the media with the quotes they want. He actually works in rugby I think, a sport in which drugs have fortunately never been used.


    Also his beloved Kenyan runners. Also an area untouched and untainted by the stink of cheating

    Maybe that's why Mr Zanussi is going for Froome then. To balance out the Kenyan chat.
  • RichN95.RichN95. Posts: 25,887
    Mr Zanussi
    The appliance of science? God that's an old reference. Older even than my continuing use of the phrase 'Moon on a Stick' (which incidentally is the level of data that Tucker/Vayer - shall we call them Vacker - is asking for)
    Twitter: @RichN95
  • Back on topic though...

    A quick google suggests various Sky alleged marginal gains:
    - Using weather modelling to locate training camps
    - using their own bedding
    - intense training at high altitude
    - reverse periodisation
    - using dropbox
    - hiring more staff
    - monitoring food intake
    - buying their own equipment rather than just using the sponsors (in ref to group sets etc)
    - using those oval chain rings
    - wind tunnels
    - using antibacterial handgel
    - painting the floor white in the maintenance truck
    - redesigning the team bus...
    - going back to basics
    - practicing winning
    - use new technology
    - brailsford conducting the orchestra
    - set a team charter - the line thang...
    - build a strong CORE
    - controlling the chimp
    - managing the triangle of change
    - sticking to their principles...

    The only Sky / BC innovation is the Chimp control. Everything else has been around for years. And I'd argue that they have failed on their sticking to principals thing but apart form that, there is nothing new there.
  • Well they've won 3of the last 4 Tours so if that's all it is, there must be summat in it
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

    @gietvangent
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 24,089
    The question - as ever - is why did no one else do it then?

    That's all it was.
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • dish_dashdish_dash Posts: 5,325
    TBH the concept of marginal gains is just trying to do everything a bit better/more effectively. Brailsford goes on about the extra 1%... that's no different from any number of corporate strategies. Whether they ultimately work or can be sustained is another matter...
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 16,195
    Whenever Ross Tucker mentions Sky's marginal gains he always goes straight for "No Nutella" and "Fluffy Pillows". For some reason he always seems to forget stuff like "Warming down on rollers". I

    Cancellera and Cavendish did a good job discrediting that, so presumably journalists are now slightly scared to suggest that one.
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