After Stage 7: Are they riding clean?

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Great posts Escarabajo! Great work there.

I'm thinking all you said was true. Still impressive, indicative, that we're seeing a group of riders put out over 400w on such a long, tough day. More amazing is that number that Jan may have hit 500w!!! And the stage was even tougher back in 1997! Five-hundred watts!!!

I'm starting to think the lack of superior doping is also the reason for the lack of attacking. I mean, yesterday's stage was just ridiculous the way no one even tried to attack until 3km to go. I'm speculating that because they are less doped, no one is sure just how long they can last, or who might have a little extra boost, so they're riding as risk-averse as possible. We may see this kind of racing all to Stage 17 to Le Grand-Bornand, maybe even the Ventoux, unless someone is able to go on the non-radio stage of 13 or gets in a miracle break. Having no real mountain top finishes is going to compound this. Sure makes for some dull racing. :(
 
Izoard said:
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!
I got his weight from my first link which was in German I believe. Don't know where they got it from. Need to warn people about which weight they use because I have seen it in which they take the first reported weight taken by the first medical check by the Tour de France, but if the stage takes place in the second week or third week then the weight might be 2-4 kilos less than the initial. Anyway, I tried to be conservative so even if we use smaller weight numbers it would make things worse on the watts/kg basis.
 
Alpe d'Huez said:
Great posts Escarabajo! Great work there.

I'm thinking all you said was true. Still impressive, indicative, that we're seeing a group of riders put out over 400w on such a long, tough day. More amazing is that number that Jan may have hit 500w!!! And the stage was even tougher back in 1997! Five-hundred watts!!!

I'm starting to think the lack of superior doping is also the reason for the lack of attacking. I mean, yesterday's stage was just ridiculous the way no one even tried to attack until 3km to go. I'm speculating that because they are less doped, no one is sure just how long they can last, or who might have a little extra boost, so they're riding as risk-averse as possible
.We may see this kind of racing all to Stage 17 to Le Grand-Bornand, maybe even the Ventoux, unless someone is able to go on the non-radio stage of 13 or gets in a miracle break. Having no real mountain top finishes is going to compound this. Sure makes for some dull racing. :(
I think I am going to join the Big Boat ship. :(

I agree with you. I believe the real jacking will take place on the third week around the queen stage (Grand Bornard), time trial and then Mount Ventoux. These stages are very close together.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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The Caisse programme seems to have been drastically cut. Peirero quit at 90km today.

It is looking better this year.
 
Epicycle said:
Escarabajo, did you see this take by the Science of Sport blog?

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/07/tour-2009-first-mountain-stage-report.html

They show that Astana did not ride a hard tempo until the first attack by Cadel came. It's difficult to judge Contador's effort by averaging over the entire climb because he really only pushed himself the last 2 kms at the most.
That is correct. I took that into account. It was written in my comment about the split that I made of 70-30% drafting-head wind. But you can even assume a "zero" wind speed and come up with 398 W for the climb. Even if you put conservative numbers, they are still climbing fast. Now 398 W compare to 500 W made by Ullrich in 1997 is a big difference as you can see. What makes Ulrich number so big is his weight. As you know in the nineties big guys started to climb like rockets.

Believe me I tried putting these numbers many ways, and still came up high. As I said before I tried putting conservative numbers so if I had to change something it would make things worse. And the three links gave me similar numbers, so it makes you wonder. Maybe one day I can calibrate the power output results from these links compared to the actual power output thrown by the computers in the bicycles.

Thanks

BTW: I don't know why they don't publish the power numbers? maybe they don't like them or they don't believe in them. Or maybe they don't want to be compromised. But it is a surely is an easy thing to do.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Garmin publish power numbers taken from their Garmin gadgets.

The downloadable file is in XML format. There's an Element for every second throughout containing time, speed, distance, cadence and power.

I don't know if they do it for all stages, but David Millar's stage 6 is here: http://connect.garmin.com/proxy/activity-service-1.0/tcx/activity/8354495?full=true

I also downloaded Zabriskie's readout from the TTT. It was too much data for me to look at, and I guess I just browsed over his warmup which was included when he was cruising at 250-280 watts.
 
May 6, 2009
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So what do people make of Brice Feillu's stage win? It didn't really look like an attack, just an accleration and then everybody looked at each other and he rode off to win. Looked like he was too tired to zip up his racing jersey when he crossed the line. But that doesn't mean anything though.
 
Thanks for that link Epi. That Science of Sports site is superb. I think Ross Tucker's analysis was pretty spot on accurate. I'm going to bookmark that site. I think this right here nailed it:

I do think that we are currently seeing the effects of DECREASED doping in the peloton. I'm not sure about the ABSENCE of doping - last year, with Ricco and Schumacher et al showed that the same culture exists. What I think gives away the reduced doping most is that the race is now much tighter than ever before - the days where guys could attack and blow out leads of minutes in climbs are gone.

We saw yesterday (and today, to a lesser extent) that riders are more closely matched than this, and so attacks simply don't blow people away anymore. The fact that they used to, in the years 1993 to 2005, tells me that they were due to doping. Since 2005, the Tour has been much more combative, more closely bunched, and more guys have bad days more often.


What's interesting, is that if you go further back, let's say 1992 and before, riders like Hinault, Merckx, Fignon, etc. wouldn't blow people away with attacks so much as they would with attrition. Granted Eddy and Bernard were dominant riders who liked to destroy the competition at every chance. But the riding style then was to strategically attack almost anywhere on the course, not just the last 3km, or even the last climb, and wear the competition out over three weeks in that process. It was often said that Merckx would treat each stage in the Tour like it was a Classic race. As in, any stage could be won by anyone, and time could be gained on any stage if you rode it right. There's complex reasons for this, but I think what Ross takes into consideration in that article plays a point.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Great posts Escarabajo! Great work there.

I'm thinking all you said was true. Still impressive, indicative, that we're seeing a group of riders put out over 400w on such a long, tough day. More amazing is that number that Jan may have hit 500w!!! And the stage was even tougher back in 1997! Five-hundred watts!!!

I'm starting to think the lack of superior doping is also the reason for the lack of attacking. I mean, yesterday's stage was just ridiculous the way no one even tried to attack until 3km to go. I'm speculating that because they are less doped, no one is sure just how long they can last, or who might have a little extra boost, so they're riding as risk-averse as possible. We may see this kind of racing all to Stage 17 to Le Grand-Bornand, maybe even the Ventoux, unless someone is able to go on the non-radio stage of 13 or gets in a miracle break. Having no real mountain top finishes is going to compound this. Sure makes for some dull racing. :(
Ja, i had the same feeling since this crazy 2006-Tour, every year the differences are less then 1 minute, while before Epo-Lance had 6 mins every year, Ullrich 9 mins. Same with the giro (Basso 2006 some 9 mins., this year Menchov inside 1 min.). So we should say Kohls 3xBlood-Doping has to be called "mild". Anyway, i´d better have "dull" racing, but "cleaner".
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
I do think that we are currently seeing the effects of DECREASED doping in the peloton. I'm not sure about the ABSENCE of doping - last year, with Ricco and Schumacher et al showed that the same culture exists. What I think gives away the reduced doping most is that the race is now much tighter than ever before - the days where guys could attack and blow out leads of minutes in climbs are gone.

We saw yesterday (and today, to a lesser extent) that riders are more closely matched than this, and so attacks simply don't blow people away anymore. The fact that they used to, in the years 1993 to 2005, tells me that they were due to doping. Since 2005, the Tour has been much more combative, more closely bunched, and more guys have bad days more often.
Where you got this from please? Thanks
 
Mar 20, 2009
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It was hard to tell from the Eurosport footage where the categorised climb started. There was a polkadot sign by the road just before the 10km to go banner; I assumed it was there. I left my notes at work (doh!) but I remember doing the arithmetic and they'd been doing about 1500-1550 vertical per hour on a shortish climb at the end of a pretty benign stage.

As I've said previously, I'm pretty ordinary. I was a decent amateur time-triallist (but still 5 mins over 40k back from the top guys of my time - Boardman when at Manchester Wheelers etc) and can get off the bike at Ironman races with the first FPRO but a long way back from MPRO. Where I stay in France there is a climb (the col de la Machine) which has a nice 5km section that does exactly 400 vertical. In 2004 I did a session which was 3 times up that in progressively higher gear. I've done it a few times previously, but I kept the numbers that year because the Tour was going up there and I was ... well ... curious.

My third time up was 17'37" and that was pretty much full bore but I was tired when I started. a couple of months later I was 5h20 on the bike at Kona. Kai Hundtermark came past me like I wasn't moving and did 4h47!

I know I've ignored air resistance, but I think the Arcalis thing this year was do-able clean. there were plenty of kids in my county that much quicker than me at cross-country in school.

Interestingly, I couldn't tell how fast the Tour went up the col de la Machine (it actually turned right before the dangerous bit and went over the Echarrasson) in 2004. Virenque was up the road and Ullrich attacked and the producers couldn't decide what to follow, but I thought Jan went up "my" section in about 13 and change minutes :(
 
FoxxyBrown1111 said:
Where you got this from please? Thanks
Here is the link. You can get daily information. It is great.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/

My time from when I watched it at night was as follows:

Contador: 10.6 Km @ 26':40"
Contador: 10 km @ 25':22" (Science of Sport)
Ullrich 1997: 10 km @ 22':55"

If I take my time and divide it between the total distance to the finish, I have around 2':31" per kilometer. If I calculate the difference from 10.6 km to 10 km and then multiply by this time I get round 1':30" difference for that short distance (0.6 km). That means that the actual time for the 10.6 km for the Science of the Sport would be 26':52" which is actually very close to my time. So numbers are consistent.

Now just as a side note. Today I saw in Versus the power output of Brian Vandborg climbing the Col d'Aspin at 16 kph and 168 bpm with a value of 340 W. This is a 6.4% gradient. I think the 400 W for Contador in the Arcalis stage is not that far off. Whether he did it clean or not, it would be hard to tell just from that climb. The 6.6 W/kg is slightly high but not that far off. Definitely, like Alpe said, we are seeing different speeds as compared to the Tour de France's of the nineties.
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
Armstrong’s Weight: 72 Kg (158.76 lbs)
Not according to Michael Ashenden:

"Now essentially, and Coyle admits this in the paper, he just guessed. He said, "Well, Lance Armstrong told me that he was 72 kg, so that's the body weight I'm going to divide these power measures by." Now, obviously, when you take your first measure and you say I'm going to use 79 kg here, and then you take the last one and you say I'm going to use 72 kg there, automatically you have an enormous difference.

And instead of that being a real difference, it was simply Coyle's guess at what his body weight was. Now, interestingly enough, during the proceedings, not just the allegation of misconduct but in the arbitration hearing itself, when people are sworn under oath, even Lance Armstrong himself acknowledged that his body weight had never dropped to 72 kg. So it was factually wrong."

http://nyvelocity.com/content/interviews/2009/michael-ashenden
 
Jul 15, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Welcome to the Clinic, Petethedrummer. I notice your first post is in here! That takes some guts. Most "noobs" are afraid of this place. Keep on posting!
Thanks, but they are someone elses words so it doesn't take too much guts. Anyways, I probably find doping in sports more interesting than the sports themselves.
 

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