The Big Red Button

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Monica: And Ross, if it weren’t for Rachel’s rumor, I mean, no one in high school would even know who you were. She put you on the map!
Ross: As a romancer of the elderly!

Imagine you’re staring at a big red button. If you push this button it would mean that all doping would be magically eradicated from cycling’s past, present and future. If you pushed it, it would mean there was no Operation Puerto, there would have been no Festina affair, Lance Armstrong would have ridden clean for his whole career. So would everyone else. There would have been no doping up until this point and there would be no doping from now on.

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The Tour Preparation Puzzle

2016 Tour de France Prep

Nobody knows. You don’t know. I don’t know. Christian Prudhomme doesn’t know. Chris Froome doesn’t know. Even David Brailsford doesn’t know.

Nobody knows who is going to win the 2016 Tour de France.

My day job is in sports betting. Even if you have solid mathematical models taking all of the previous 102 editions of the Tour into account you’d still be nowhere near knowing who will win. If you had the results of every cycling race ever, the performance data from every training ride of every rider, analytics on tactical performances of every team and the biological passport data from every rider in the race, you still wouldn’t know.

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