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Anorexia the new EPO?

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Mar 9, 2010
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Low body weight does not predict any kind of performance, including climbing. Watts per kilogram predict performance.

Despite the stories about Armstrong's obsession with eating, his Body Mass Index in Le Tour was much higher than the current crop of stars. According to statistics on Wikipedia, in 1999, he was 177cm and 74k for a BMI of 23.6. It is possible that higher/healthier body weight is a factor in both consistency and longevity. Here are some stats for reflection:

Who would you want to be as a young rider?

Indurain 188cm, 86k, 24.3 BMI
Mercxk 182, 74, 22.3
Armstrong 177, 74, 23.6 (clean or not, he won the races)

17 tour wins among them.

Contador 176, 62, 20.0
Vande Velde 180, 69, 21.3
Wiggins 190, 71, 19.7

Two of the fastest in the world:

Cancellara 186, 80, 23.1
Hoy 186, 92, 26.6

So, no, absolutely not, skeletally skinny does not equal success in cycling.
 
Feb 21, 2010
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Well, I am not sure how you define "twig thin" but Contador, Schleck, Sastre would all fit that definition for me.

I am not sure if you have been up close to any of them but they are very, very, very thin and slightly boned and jointed.

I appreciate Mongol's description, and that fits it for my understanding as well. it comes down to control. As a comparison, a rider could win a grand tour with a 10kg bike but since it can be less (something that can be controlled) it is taken down to the bare minimum. There is a point of diminishing returns but that is the fine line. Finding that line and keeping it there is no different than training for a peak.

The message it may be sending to juniors is part of a maturation process. For most young riders, they will never see a Pro Tour roster, but giving them the understanding that if they eventually get there, their weight is just another component that will need management to maximize their performance. There will always be individuals that develop issues with their weight, be it a condition or defect.

Clearly weight is an important item relating to performance and finding the point of diminishing returns wrt body fat/BMI is just another management item like aerodynamic and equipment.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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Colm.Murphy said:
that aspect ratio look askew, or a special camera lense.
Correct, a super wide angle lens was used which exaggerates his thinness. It is even more apparent in the other photo of Wiggins after finishing Paris-Roubaix.

Having said that he is no fat a$$.
 
Mar 9, 2010
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Look at everything in the picture around Wiggins... All looks just fine aspect-ratio-wise, shoes, helmet, pant legs, the woman, even Wiggins's shoes.

No hiding from the fact that, yes, he is that frighteningly thin.
 
He's very thin, but that photo is a little deceiving. I would however say that some of the riders today are maybe 5% lighter than thin men like Gert-Jan Theunisse or Franco Chioccioli were two short decades ago.

Still hoping at least one of the GTs winds the clock back next year and gives us some 200km of TT distance for riders to chew on like they have in the past. It would be really interesting to see a shift to where a TT specialist may lose 10 minutes in the mountains, but might be able to make all that up in the TTs.

BTW, I like the new avatar BroDeal, it's you. With the way the last week or so went around here for me, I'm thinking of changing mine to something like this:

images
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images
 
Mar 13, 2009
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kbiker said:
Look at everything in the picture around Wiggins... All looks just fine aspect-ratio-wise, shoes, helmet, pant legs, the woman, even Wiggins's shoes.

No hiding from the fact that, yes, he is that frighteningly thin.

fs010.jpg

wigginsa.jpg

wigginsd.jpg
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Wigans has thin legs (especially calves). He has definitely lost a few kgs, but not more than a few. Most from upper body, his flanks/glutes. About 3-4 kgs on those Cofidis rides in 2007. He gave the track away in 06, but he put on a few kgs for Beijing, his quads and flank/glute area was significantly bigger. But not in 2007. He was leaner there in those pics.

And he was in the autobus in 2006 and 2007.