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Indurain EPO?

The Clinic is the only place on Cyclingnews where you can discuss doping-related issues. Ask questions, discuss positives or improvements to procedures.

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27 Jul 2010 13:11

The difference between Cancellara and GC guys this year was wind intensity and direction, and not some hidden clue of a cleaner peloton (although i do believe it was a bit cleaner this year, but based on climb wattage).
User avatar nesocip
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27 Jul 2010 15:02

hrotha wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhEKRjhLuds

:p

Okay, so Zülle was in front, Riis had been very close in the TT and thus Indurain needed to go all out, so it wasn't gratuitous, but still, it was quite the sight.


awesome performance indeed but.. nothing like Riis dropping back 10 spots while looking at everyone then sprinting away and then sprinting and sprinting..Even worse Lance needing the brakes going up sestriere and then sprinting and sprinting. Lance and Riis were not even the guys hanging on for dear life on the climbs earlier in their careers,,they were OTB.. It would be questionable enough for LA and Riis to be in the climb selection at all,,,Indurain not so much.
redtreviso
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27 Jul 2010 15:10

Le breton wrote:I became interested in physiology in the mid-80's, but from what I read at the time, until the mid 90's, I got the impression that the huge majority of physiologists then had a completely different (wrong in fact) understanding of the LIMITATIONS of the human body. Remember that Cyrille Guimard did not want to have his racers switch to EPO in the early 90's and they were swamped by the wave.

In fact, the success of EPO finally opened their eyes, but it took years : the more oxygen you give to the muscle the more energy it can produce. I won't go into details because I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH. Somebody like Andy Coggan could tell us how the thinking evolved.


I really have no idea of what those working directly with professional cyclists believe(d) re. the physiology of exercise. I will say this, though: what you describe does not bare the slightest resemblance to what has long been written in the scientific literature and/or discussed/believed/taught by publishing scientists. In that realm, O2 availablity has been considered a critical factor since at least the early years of the previous century...in fact, it really wasn't until the 1970s or thereabouts that people began to truly realize/accept that skeletal muscle characteristics are just as, if not more, important in determining performance than convective O2 delivery by the heart (although the latter still obviously sets the upper limit, of course).
acoggan
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27 Jul 2010 15:26

BroDeal wrote:This is the way I see it.

Indurain became a special project of Dr. Conconi after the Tour of Future in '85 or '86--I forget which year. Conconi developed a five year plan to turn him into a TdF winner. He, along with Bugno and Chiappucci, was one of the first beneficiaries of EPO in teh TdF. Because he was a nice and humble guy who, unlike Armstrong, was smart enough not to challenge the press to prove he was doping, no one made a big issue of what he was doing.

The pre-Festina environment was considerably different than the post-Festina environment. Until about 2000, doping bans were only a few months and were often served during the off-season.



+1. Exactly. On all counts. Big Mig was the the model for Armstrong. You might call him the proto-Armstrong. And if - if - there was one single moment when a lightbulb came on over Armstrong's head in this regard, it might very well have been when Indurain passed him like he was standing still in the individual time trial, in 1994 Tour I think it was.

Big Mig got away with it, as Bro Deal says, because he was humble, softspoken, and because he took his money and prizes and went away quietly. And, because it was a different era entirely. And, let's be frank, being European might have had something to do with it, too.

In any case, you can see how A leads to B. The more interesting thing for me is the transition from that time to now, and how that happened. But, yeah, Big Mig was a fraud. EDIT: Or, at least, he was by today's standards.
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27 Jul 2010 16:22

redtreviso wrote: Lance and Riis were not even the guys hanging on for dear life on the climbs earlier in their careers,,they were OTB.. It would be questionable enough for LA and Riis to be in the climb selection at all,,,Indurain not so much.

About Riis thats not entirely true. As I understand he was decent domestique, also in mountains. He actually won a stage 1989 Giro (pre-EPO) and it was mountain stage, though not MTF.
Von Mises
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27 Jul 2010 16:41

Von Mises wrote:About Riis thats not entirely true. As I understand he was decent domestique, also in mountains. He actually won a stage 1989 Giro (pre-EPO) and it was mountain stage, though not MTF.


So was Laudulino Cubino,,,won a mtn stage also..but still was a stem chewer when the climbers went ahead. Riis and Armstrong had nothing on someone like Dag Otto Lauritson.
redtreviso
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27 Jul 2010 20:15

No we are getting into some of the more classic tours (87 to 89). Some great racing then. Indurain came 17th in 89 tour. Given that he won a stage from an all day attack and then loss a bundle of time the next day in the mountains he did okay. He did win a few smaller stage races too pre 90. So Obviously the talent was there. He still considers himself a late bloomer. I would have liked to seen how well he would have went without EPO (and a clean field) as he was definately on the improve.

Major results pre 90
Paris–Nice (1989)
Critérium International (1989)
Volta a Catalunya (1988)
Tour de l'Avenir (1986)
User avatar Indurain
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27 Jul 2010 20:22

Indurain wrote:No we are getting into some of the more classic tours (87 to 89). Some great racing then. Indurain came 17th in 89 tour. Given that he won a stage from an all day attack and then loss a bundle of time the next day in the mountains he did okay. He did win a few smaller stage races too pre 90. So Obviously the talent was there. He still considers himself a late bloomer. I would have liked to seen how well he would have went without EPO (and a clean field) as he was definately on the improve.



he was too big to climb well. He might have won tours due to his time trialling but he would not have been as consistent as it seems the EPO allowed and therefore might have really bad days in the mountains, but alas we'll never know.
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27 Jul 2010 20:31

I don't put Riis and Mig into the same grouping. Riis was a top 10 potential, mostly because he was an excellent strategist and would have been very lucky to even podium.

Even without EPO I think Mig would have won the Tour, more than once. Yes, he would have lost more time in the mountains, but as I said before he benefited from Tour years with much, much longer TT distances than today.
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27 Jul 2010 20:51

Prior to Indurain, winners of the Tour de France, for the most part, were very good in their first Tours. Look at guys like Hinault, Merckx, LeMond, Fignon, Zoetemelk... They either won or placed very high in their first Tours. Indurain did not. I've always thought he doped -- and as others have said here, he was such a nice guy and so quiet that no one ever said anything about it.
grayrogers
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27 Jul 2010 21:02

When was the last time you saw a reasonably clean 175 lb rider climb with the best? Remember LA was around 10% lighter and Der Jan 13 lbs lighter. I don't think he could have come close to winning a TDF, even with the longer TT's, as he would have been dropped on most steep hills and lost big minutes, especially if done on consectutive days, but then we can only wonder while using history as our guide.
robow7
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27 Jul 2010 21:23

sherer wrote:at no point did the OP mention a certain American cyclist ....:D


And neither did I.
Did get a bit carried away tho'.
Touched a nerve?
:)
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27 Jul 2010 23:52

robow7 wrote:When was the last time you saw a reasonably clean 175 lb rider climb with the best? Remember LA was around 10% lighter and Der Jan 13 lbs lighter. I don't think he could have come close to winning a TDF, even with the longer TT's, as he would have been dropped on most steep hills and lost big minutes, especially if done on consectutive days, but then we can only wonder while using history as our guide.


This is not quite right. The Tour and the way it was raced was different back in the day. An all-rounder could place in the top ten. Riders like Phil Anderson and Steve Bauer had top ten placings. Sean Kelly placed in the top ten numerous times, including a fourth place finish. With the longer time trial distances and the right course Indurain could have won the Tour a couple times. I certainly don't think he would have won five times in a row.

Indurain also was not some nobody who came out of nowhere. He showed great potential when he was young.
"Listen, my son. Trust no one! You can count on no one but yourself. Improve your skills, son. Harden your body. Become a number one man. Do not ever let anyone beat you!" -- Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken
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28 Jul 2010 04:18

I agree. Indurain loss quite a bit of weight between 89 and 90 onwards. Added to this he was a domestique and a great one at that. He use to sacrifice himself big time for his team leader (just look at the Alp D huez 1990 stage - prob would have won that tour if he hadn't have worked for Delgado).

So it is hard to say that he did poorly in those pre-90 tours when we don't know the circumstances of his domestique duties. A 17th place for a domestique is quite good for his 89 tour. remember this was pre EPO. He also won a mountain stage from an all day break and paid for it the next day by losing a bundle of time.

I think he could have been a contender. As could Cancellera if he concentrated on it like Wiggins did.
User avatar Indurain
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28 Jul 2010 04:29

hrotha wrote:Merckx actually tested positive.

As for Indurain, I think the French Federation said he tested positive for something (salbutamol, maybe?) but nothing came out of it. Other than that, there's not much. His association with Sabino Padilla raises some eyebrows, and considering the epoch he lived in it's hard to think he could possibly be clean. Not that many riders took EPO in 1991 though, I believe it really got out of hand in 1993-1996.

So the answer to the original question is "probably".


Yeah, Merckx tested positive for Reactivan I think. It's a stimulant (read diet pill). Pretty common in those days from my reading.

IIRC, Lemond alluded to possibility that Indurain was on the juice. Indurain's vitals (resting heart rate, lung capacity, etc) where off the chain though. He was a cardiovascular freak. He had long femurs as well which helped his leverage in pushing big gears during those ITT's. Still though, I think that odds are against him *not* using. I his ability to defend in the mountain stages never made sense to me given his physiology (power to weight ratio). Big gears aren't as handy over high mountain passes.
HokieJoe
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28 Jul 2010 10:03

Yes but he did revolutionise the spinning technique while climbing. His cadence was usually much higher than most. I guess this may mean he wasn't pushing a huge gear but rather using his lunch capacity to keep it going and conserving power in the process.

If you watch past tours the Columbians use to push huge gears. Since Armstrong adopted Indurain's style, most people seem to have tried to adopt it.
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28 Jul 2010 11:55

HokieJoe wrote: I his ability to defend in the mountain stages never made sense to me given his physiology (power to weight ratio). Big gears aren't as handy over high mountain passes.


Does anyone have number i.e. watts, on Indurains climbs? Wouldn't that help when determing wether he was on the juice or not?? (My opinion/belief: of course he was!!)
User avatar OneRaceWonder
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28 Jul 2010 12:02

Indurain wrote:Yes but he did revolutionise the spinning technique while climbing. His cadence was usually much higher than most.


You may want to go back a bit further in history, look up the name Charly Gaul. Heck take a gander for Federico Bahamontes too.

Spinning lighter gears when going uphill is a technique that has been around as long as there have been at least 2 gears.
mercycle
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28 Jul 2010 15:09

Image

Remarkable rise in power.. Always struck me as very suspicious.
brul12
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28 Jul 2010 15:22

brul12 wrote:Image

Remarkable rise in power.. Always struck me as very suspicious.


Indurain's actual power is misrepresented there because he weight was higher than the weight used for normalizing.
"Listen, my son. Trust no one! You can count on no one but yourself. Improve your skills, son. Harden your body. Become a number one man. Do not ever let anyone beat you!" -- Gekitotsu! Satsujin ken
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