After Stage 7: Are they riding clean?

Let's just talk about the "Blood Doping" or EPO if that's the case. I am not interested in "recuperation doping".

My reference for some reason is David Moncoutie and Sandy Casar. They arrived at 4:48 and 4:25. The main group arrived at 3:47 with the exception of Contador who arrived at 3:26. I don't trust the Garmin guys 100% yet. I want to know your opinion. If you have power numbers I want to see them.

Is it too early to tell?

Discuss.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
Let's just talk about the "Blood Doping" or EPO if that's the case. I am not interested in "recuperation doping".

My reference for some reason is David Moncoutie and Sandy Casar. They arrived at 4:48 and 4:25. The main group arrived at 3:47 with the exception of Contador who arrived at 3:26. I don't trust the Garmin guys 100% yet. I want to know your opinion. If you have power numbers I want to see them.

Is it too early to tell?

Discuss.
if it was crossing multiple HC climbs, or the Queen stage today, it would be obvious.

Also, the (yes) recovery doping aspect has not been able to play out.

Will be clear in the third week who is shot.

If they are clean, why the need to do 50 targeted testings? They are being targeted for a reason, these are not normal testings.
 
I see your point. Today was probably the most cautious day in the mountains I have ever seen in the Tour in 25 years of watching.

Staying on point, the answer is I seriously doubt it. Still don't think anyone on this top level is clean, even with this slow pace. Though I support Brad Wiggins, and think Sastre is a cleaner rider, time will tell for sure, as Blackcat says. Recall that Wiggins rode well in the first climb in the Giro, but a few days later was spent and could barely keep up.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
I see your point. Today was probably the most cautious day in the mountains I have ever seen in the Tour in 25 years of watching.

Staying on point, the answer is I seriously doubt it. Still don't think anyone on this top level is clean, even with this slow pace. Though I support Brad Wiggins, and think Sastre is a cleaner rider, time will tell for sure, as Blackcat says. Recall that Wiggins rode well in the first climb in the Giro, but a few days later was spent and could barely keep up.
Good point on Wiggins. Probably need to wait more time. Although Sandy Casar was awfully close to the leaders. That is good sign for me, but I won't get my hopes very high.
Thanks for the feedback. Same to you Blackcat.

BTW: where is BB with his power numbers?:confused: Time for him to defend his theories.
 
May 13, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I see your point. Today was probably the most cautious day in the mountains I have ever seen in the Tour in 25 years of watching.

Staying on point, the answer is I seriously doubt it. Still don't think anyone on this top level is clean, even with this slow pace. Though I support Brad Wiggins, and think Sastre is a cleaner rider, time will tell for sure, as Blackcat says. Recall that Wiggins rode well in the first climb in the Giro, but a few days later was spent and could barely keep up.
The only datapoint to compare to is Ullrich in 1997 :p and I don't have his time for the clinb compared to, say Contador. It seemed quite slow. Also, the only attack which stuck (Contador) got only 20" out of the rest. We need to look at the power estimates. Whatever they're doing, LA and AC are clearly responding better to it than the rest.
 
Here is a list of finishers in 1997, with total time for Jan of 7.46.06, going 32,503 km/h. But we would need to see a profile from then to know more. The stage was even longer though, at 252km, and came as the 2nd mountain stage. The only thing I have to go on right now is the map linked below, which showed it going along the spine of the Pyranees, as opposed to to and up them today. On that day in 1997 the autobus came in a whopping 43 minutes back.

The other thing is that I don't recall just how that day went. Today's pace started steady going up to Arcalis, but never really got going. It was almost leisurely for up to about 3km, with no one wanting to attack. What happened in 1997?

 
Mar 10, 2009
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I think it's too early to tell. In the end, it's not solely about how fast they go uphill, but also how often they can repeat that same trick. It's the first mountain stage, so the legs are still fresh. The pace didn't seem scorching from the onset, so at the end, they 'just had to climb' 15K.

Things that are indicative of 'cleaner' riding perhaps:
1) the escape stayed away, because no body launched an attack from the base of the climb, or 5-6K from the finish. Why didn't they? Tactics, but maybe also dosing your efforts (knowing that you can't attack every day and you need to pick that one day when you go all out for a sustained amount of time ie 40m)
2) Contador attacked, considered to be one of the best climbers out there, only in the final 2K and held that effort untill the finish, putting 20-21s on the others
3) Cadel could counter-attack.
4) The Schlecks could not counter Contador, or close the gap gradually
5) People like Casar, Gerdemann, Moncoutie were only 1m away, and their teams don't really protect them/draft them up the hill.

Ferrari's VAM numbers pre-tour are perhaps revealing too
 
Jul 9, 2009
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What I forgot:
the 6.3-6.5 W/kg I mentioned before can be achieved clean, but maybe not on day 7 of the TdF...
But Moncoutié's performance was just some small % down to the favourites...
 
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but Moncoutie has no incentive to hang and defend his classement position. His incentive is to conserve. IMO, he is probably the most talented GC rider of this era.
 
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Yeah, but he's a racer! If you can follow, you follow... you don't let a group go just like that...;)
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Hayden Roulston said:
Yeah, but he's a racer! If you can follow, you follow... you don't let a group go just like that...;)
yeah, but where does Moncoutie race from?

he races from the back. Makes it tough when the rubber band is stretched because you are behind the guys getting dropped.
 
Someone now needs to dig up 1997. One of the years I don't have on video. Need to watch again, and see just how fast Jan was going. The only thing I recall is that Pantani and Virenque were ahead of him, but he wore them down and out on the climb. Jan was a great natural talent, and it's highly likely all of these riders were on EPO riding around 55% hct that morning. But the doping wasn't as refined as it is today. So...

One of the least watched Tours, but a pretty good one. Maybe someone has it in their basement and can help?

Putting out 6.5 w/kg on a climb like this couldn't last long. But I don't dissect these numbers as well and often as others. Of course, there's still the line in the sand of where "doped" might be drawn as a point of conjecture.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Someone now needs to dig up 1997. One of the years I don't have on video. Need to watch again, and see just how fast Jan was going. The only thing I recall is that Pantani and Virenque were ahead of him, but he wore them down and out on the climb. Jan was a great natural talent, and it's highly likely all of these riders were on EPO riding around 55% hct that morning. But the doping wasn't as refined as it is today. So...

One of the least watched Tours, but a pretty good one. Maybe someone has it in their basement and can help?

Putting out 6.5 w/kg on a climb like this couldn't last long. But I don't dissect these numbers as well and often as others. Of course, there's still the line in the sand of where "doped" might be drawn as a point of conjecture.
I wish i could help you. In fact I need to talk to you about my 2 DVD's from the Tour de France of 1996 and 1995. I'll send you a PM.
 
BigBoat said:
If thats how much their doing (which sound right from what Dr. Ferrari said a couple of weeks back) then all in the top 50 are blood doping big time. Did you see how many in that lead group, that was nuts.

You cant humanly get better than 5.7 watts per kilo totally clean at FTP, and these 6 hours stages with mountain climbing repeats are all FTP. lemond climbed at about 5.7-5.8 or so. And thats a total freakish rider, like Contador if he was clean. He'd be outside the top 50 on that stage!
I thought you had some actual numbers from the stage.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
I thought you had some actual numbers from the stage.
The top guys wouldnt release that at this point...Lance didnt have an SRM on his bike (did he??). Dont know. Ferrari was speaking of 6.2-6.5 for FTP a couple of weeks ago. Look at his article.
 
Power Outputs

Well, I did the power calculations for the climb to Arcalis for Contador only. Before I give you these values I must say that I went back to tune the formulas with the power outputs from this page.

http://www.rst.mp-all.de/bergauf.htm

1- I took the power numbers from this link to compare with my calculations:
Numbers from this link:
Lance Armstrong 2004 Time Trial Alpe D’Huez: 470 W (6.53 W/kg)
Marco Pantani Record Time 1995: 403 W (7.1 W/kg)

2- My calculated Numbers from this link are:

http://swiss2.whosting.ch/mdetting/sports/cycling.html

Lance Armstrong 2004 Time Trial Alpe D’Huez: 468 W (6.5 W/kg)
Marco Pantani Record Time 1995: 398 W (6.98 W/kg)
Take into account hot temperatures during the summer so an increase in rolling resistance (0.005), but air temperature is lower. I am also assuming some head wind but not much. 0 km/hr would be almost equivalent to complete draft which is not the case because they are both alone on the climb.
Armstrong’s Weight: 72 Kg (158.76 lbs)
Pantani’s Weight: 57 kg (126 lbs aprox)

3- My calculated numbers from this page (Lower Rolling resistance 0.004, cannot adjust and average drag, not drafting)

http://www.mne.psu.edu/lamancusa/ProdDiss/Bicycle/bikecalc1.htm

Lance Armstrong 2004 Time Trial Alpe D’Huez: 458 W (6.4 W/kg)
Marco Pantani Record Time 1995: 387 W (6.8 W/kg)

4- Final numbers for Contador on the climb to Arcalis are:
Weight: 61 kg (134.5 lbs)
Gradient: 7.1%
Distance: 10.6 km
Average speed up the climb: 14.81685 mph (23.8403 km/hr)
Drag: Assume some head wind. Note that he was drafting for most of the climb but the wind still is going to drag you down from what I saw in the TV.

Power Output (#3): 402 W (6.6 W/kg) (Average drag)
Power Output (#2): 417 W (6.8 W/kg) (398 W if you assume 70% time drafting completely)

If you do what we call in engineering a “tornado chart” you’ll find that some variables are more important than others so don’t focus on the small details. Important variables are weight, speed and gradient. Wind can be a big factor had Contador been exposed to the head wind all the time which was not the case here. But if that was the case then his power output would have been closer to 450 W

Now we all know that this is not the same as having an actual power output machine, but this is a forum and what would we talk about if we can not speculate about things like this.

Now, you be the Judge.

BTW: In the link #2 there is a chart for time to exhaustion for a healthy person versus a first class athlete. The numbers from 390 to 470 W are off the chart. They don't fit that chart.
 
From the other Forum I obtained the time that Jan Ullrich employed to ride up to Arcalis and made similar calculations to the ones I did for Contador and this is what I got:

Equation #2:
Assuming some head wind: 527 W (7.42 W/kg)
Assuming complete Draft (Very Conservative and it was not the case because he was on his own): 496 W (6.98 W/kg)

Equation #3:
Power Output: 510 W (7.2 W/kg)

That's really completely jacked. But if we compare with Contador's numbers you have to say that speed really took a hit. Maybe it was by design or maybe it was because doping is now more controlled. I don't know, you can be the judge on this one too.
 
Escarabajo said:
Power Output (#3): 402 W (6.6 W/kg) (Average drag)
Power Output (#2): 417 W (6.8 W/kg) (398 W if you assume 70% time drafting completely)

If you do what we call in engineering a “tornado chart” you’ll find that some variables are more important than others so don’t focus on the small details. Important variables are weight, speed and gradient. Wind can be a big factor had Contador been exposed to the head wind all the time which was not the case here. But if that was the case then his power output would have been closer to 450 W
.
With these numbers you can say that all riders are starting to catch up with what Armstrong was doing in 2004. I am starting to believe that unless Armstrong pour Alberto Contador's blood down the drain, he does not have a chance to defeat him unless he has different “practices”. You can even speculate that if the mountains in the Tour de France were not that weak that Lance could not make the podium in Paris just because the other riders are on the same leveled playing game and are younger than him.

Well, again, this is just pure speculation.
Chao. :D
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
With these numbers you can say that all riders are starting to catch up with what Armstrong was doing in 2004. I am starting to believe that unless Armstrong pour Alberto Contador's blood down the drain, he does not have a chance to defeat him unless he has different “practices”. You can even speculate that if the mountains in the Tour de France were not that weak that Lance could not make the podium in Paris just because the other riders are on the same leveled playing game and are younger than him.

Well, again, this is just pure speculation.
Chao. :D
but you know they will now pour the blood down the drain, and give Alberto placebo injections for the CNS, cardiac, and circulatory systems. So basically, he is farked. The courier will hear Contador's blood up to 100degreesC prior to coming, bingo, the blood has gone off.
 
Jul 7, 2009
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Great calculations Escarabajo! And very interesting website. My only question is ... was Lance's weight 72? I seem to recall seeing varying weights for riders, with some being higher (e.g. 74 for Armstrong), and some being less (e.g. 68 for Armstrong). I can't seem to find a link, so perhaps it is my increasingly poor memory!
 

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