Cadel Evans: Yay or Nay on EPO

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Is there some kind of advantage in being taller riding uphill presuming the same weight of course?

Maybe there is, but I honestly can't think of any.
Larger chest and thus likely a larger heart and lung volume, and therefor higher capacity to oxygenize blood and pump it around.

Now why are the best climbers not super tall and lanky as it would mean bike weight becomes a smaller fraction of the total weight? I haven't read the literature, but I presume it's because at smaller sizes the total distance from the heart to the lungs and legs and back is lower.

Now lastly sprinters tend to have shorter/stockier legs in cycling, but I'm not really sure why longer, leaner limbs are more associated with aerobic performance.
 
If find it extremly hard to believe that what Evans achieved is/was achievable natural. And the Ferrari-link obviously does not help at all.

That said, the timing is indeed somehow making a case for him. Had the best years in the most normal years of the 2000s (after Puerto, before Sky) and still had good results already in the Armstrong years (8th at the TdF) but lacking the "extra" gear.

In the end, that might as well also only mean that he was on a lesser program, a bad responder or whatever. Other insights I do not have personally.
 
I find the notion that in a population with blood doping a clean rider can get 2nd in an event like the Tour de France completely hilarious.

I think it was Rasmussen who admitted how much PEDs he was on in the 2007 Tour. You don't get near that without some rocket fuel of your own.
Not true. simply because blood doping does not give the same boost to everyone who uses it. The absolute max boost EPO gave to any rider was about 15% to FTP I assume blood infusions would be similar. When I was racing amateur there was greater than 15% spread in ability between blokes racing in my own grade and that wasn't doping. You underestimate natural variability.

Rasmussen was a good responder. Cadel wiped the floor with Chicken in MTB. Chicken was not capable of riding for GC before 2007. Remember the 2006 TdF culminating in his implosion in the TT when riding for a possible podium. For 2007 Rasmussen seems to have decided "what the hell" and went for broke. Even too much for his team to stomach so they yanked him to avoid the bad PR. At least Conti was plausible.

BMI also means nothing. Watts per kilo mean everything. Anyone who saw Evans in the flesh would notice he wasn't carrying any fat.
 
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He led the Giro in the 3rd week in 2002, until his collapse there.

There's nothing about Evans that suggests cleanliness apart from having a fanbase more desperate to believe so
The bold. He came 14th. And 2002 was shortly after the EPO test became available and before the doctors had figured out how to circumvent it. 2009 was obviously a supercharged year, but 2010 and 2011 lower. Contador and Andy looked pedestrian in the 2010 TdF compared to the year before.
 
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Not true. simply because blood doping does not give the same boost to everyone who uses it. The absolute max boost EPO gave to any rider was about 15% to FTP I assume blood infusions would be similar. When I was racing amateur there was greater than 15% spread in ability between blokes racing in my own grade and that wasn't doping. You underestimate natural variability.

Rasmussen was a good responder. Cadel wiped the floor with Chicken in MTB. Chicken was not capable of riding for GC before 2007. Remember the 2006 TdF culminating in his implosion in the TT when riding for a possible podium. For 2007 Rasmussen seems to have decided "what the hell" and went broke. Even too much for his team to stomach so yanked him to avoid the bad PR. At least Conti was plausible.

BMI also means nothing. Watts per kilo mean everything. Anyone who saw Evans in the flesh would notice he wasn't carrying any fat.
It's very basic statistics that in a population with well responding blood dopers clean riders aren't gonna be remotely close to winning. 15% is an insane difference, with the implication basically being that Evans, if clean but hypothetically a good responder, could basically crush Pantanis AdH time.


The bold. He came 14th. And 2002 was shortly after the EPO test became available and before the doctors had figured out how to circumvent it. 2009 was obviously a supercharged year, but 2010 and 2011 lower. Contador and Andy looked pedestrian in the 2010 TdF compared to the year before.
The same Andy Schleck and Contador who have a total of 0 positives for EPO or blood doping? Basically after Morzine they were destroying everyone on the big climbs at will. Schleck and Contador went full nuclear on Tourmalet and took a full 1'30 before they slowed down to look at each other.
 
It's very basic statistics that in a population with well responding blood dopers clean riders aren't gonna be remotely close to winning. 15% is an insane difference, with the implication basically being that Evans, if clean but hypothetically a good responder, could basically crush Pantanis AdH time.



The same Andy Schleck and Contador who have a total of 0 positives for EPO or blood doping? Basically after Morzine they were destroying everyone on the big climbs at will. Schleck and Contador went full nuclear on Tourmalet and took a full 1'30 before they slowed down to look at each other.
  1. It would take a lot more than 15% to crush Pantani's AdH time. As for Andy explain 2009 Andy with 2011 Andy? 2010 was definitely a lower level.
  2. You are comparing with other riders in the 2010 TdF subject to the same doping paradigms. I am comparing to 2009.
 
  1. It would take a lot more than 15% to crush Pantani's AdH time. As for Andy explain 2009 Andy with 2011 Andy? 2010 was definitely a lower level.
  2. You are comparing with other riders in the 2010 TdF subject to the same doping paradigms. I am comparing to 2009.
Evans' fastest time was in 2006, when he did 40:14, which is under 10% slower than Pantani's record time.

It's very curiuos how Evans' climbing times declined when the overall blood doping usage declined if he wasn't on EPO/blood doping himself.
 
The shorter guy has bigger muscles for his frame size and bigger muscles consume more oxygen/the blood has more volume to cover when it travels to your muscles.
Leverages probably also play a role.
I dunno. Assume that both guys have the same VO2 max then (at the same weight obviously).

Leverages, I think a taller guy would have longer leg length, so there could be some inertia disadvantages there for a taller guy, but I am just guessing here.
 
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Larger chest and thus likely a larger heart and lung volume, and therefor higher capacity to oxygenize blood and pump it around.

Now why are the best climbers not super tall and lanky as it would mean bike weight becomes a smaller fraction of the total weight? I haven't read the literature, but I presume it's because at smaller sizes the total distance from the heart to the lungs and legs and back is lower.

Now lastly sprinters tend to have shorter/stockier legs in cycling, but I'm not really sure why longer, leaner limbs are more associated with aerobic performance.
See my response to Mayomaniac (why not assume the same VO2 max as well).
 
Simply age. Evans’s peak physiological year on the road was 2007. By 2011 he was 34.
So in an even field, Evans wins and I'm supposed to believe that in 2011 everyone just stopped using blood doping? Or was he beating riders who got a 10-15% boost from blood doping?

Cobo lost his Vuelta for a Bio passport violation, so evidently the former assumption isn't true. Contador also completely stomped the Giro. Either he was blood doping and didn't get caught, or he was cleanz and in that case I might believe he never blood doped at all.

Maybe everyone stopped doping just for the Tour?
 
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So in an even field, Evans wins and I'm supposed to believe that in 2011 everyone just stopped using blood doping? Or was he beating riders who got a 10-15% boost from blood doping?
One pertinent question is if there is any basis for the 10-15 % boost in FTP with blood doping? I am more on the skeptical side, mainly because:

1) The calculated Vo2Max boosts are at most ~ 15 % (with some outliers) in the EPO/transfusion papers with recreational / amateur level athletes. Perhaps athletes can in some circumstances use significantly larger amounts of blood/EPO than are used in academic papers (in the 1990s).

2) in the rare meta-analyses and reviews of many studies, there is a clear pattern of elites getting a smaller boost than the more mediocre athletes.

3) There are also other factors than oxygen availability and Vo2Max setting the FTP, OBLA and running/cycling speed, and these do not tend to increase in tandem with elevated Vo2Max in the published papers. In the few transfusion papers measuring running speed, a 10-15 % increase in Vo2Max has increased running speed by only by some 2-4 %.

In any case, even if the increase in FTP was only 3-5 % or 6-9 % instead of 10-15 %, one still should at least question the possibility of clean athletes beating dopers in the past.
 
One pertinent question is if there is any basis for the 10-15 % boost in FTP with blood doping? I am more on the skeptical side, mainly because:

1) The calculated Vo2Max boosts are at most ~ 15 % (with some outliers) in the EPO/transfusion papers with recreational / amateur level athletes. Perhaps athletes can in some circumstances use significantly larger amounts of blood/EPO than are used in academic papers (in the 1990s).

2) in the rare meta-analyses and reviews of many studies, there is a clear pattern of elites getting a smaller boost than the more mediocre athletes.

3) There are also other factors than oxygen availability and Vo2Max setting the FTP, OBLA and running/cycling speed, and these do not tend to increase in tandem with elevated Vo2Max in the published papers. In the few transfusion papers measuring running speed, a 10-15 % increase in Vo2Max has increased running speed by only by some 2-4 %.

In any case, even if the increase in FTP was only 3-5 % or 6-9 % instead of 10-15 %, one still should at least question the possibility of clean athletes beating dopers in the past.
Even if it's as low as like 3% the statistical likelyhood of clean riders winning when a significant% of riders is doping and natural ability varies by only a small% becomes miniscule.
 
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Even if it's as low as like 3% the statistical likelyhood of clean riders winning when a significant% of riders is doping and natural ability varies by only a small% becomes miniscule.
If a large portion of the peloton dopers would get a 3 % increase in FTP and you measured the lab scores of all the cyclists, the likelihood of a clean rider having the highest score would be low, but not impossible.

But race performance is a factor of many things besides just FTP that vary more-or-less -- natural day-to-day variance in performance, pain tolerance, equipment, strategy (drafting can reduce energy consumption by up to 30-40 %) etc, some of which even out or accumulate in effect during multi-week races.

To put the boost in terms of actual speed, if the boost in FTP via blood doping is only 3 %, the increase in speed in flat courses is ~1 % and ~2 % in ascents.
 
If a large portion of the peloton dopers would get a 3 % increase in FTP and you measured the lab scores of all the cyclists, the likelihood of a clean rider having the highest score would be low, but not impossible.

But race performance is a factor of many things besides just FTP that vary more-or-less -- natural day-to-day variance in performance, pain tolerance, equipment, strategy (drafting can reduce energy consumption by up to 30-40 %) etc, some of which even out or accumulate in effect during multi-week races.

To put the boost in terms of actual speed, if the boost in FTP via blood doping is only 3 %, the increase in speed in flat courses is ~1 % and ~2 % in ascents.
That's assuming 3%.

In reality, climbing times on AdH went down by over 10% from before the EPO days to the mid 90s.
 
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The speculation is fair and probably not avoidable, considering the period in which Cadel raced. I sometimes think that his TDF victory in 2011 was done with a "cleaner" peloton than in years before or years after. After Contador got popped for the 2010 TDF, there seemed to be a pause in crazy nuclear detonations, almost as if they toned it down for a few months--probably still micro-dosing and what not, but not sure who might get nailed, since the #1 GC guy got busted.

Edit: By the time the 2011 Vuelta came along, the peloton was off to the races again.
 
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This is gossip and hearsay as well as ancient history so take with a huge grain of salt but a friend of mine was a minor pro mountain biker and happened to be in the same car as Cadel when he was at Sea Otter circa 1998 and said Cadel was pretty loose with the doping talk. My friend was fairly naïve and came away quite disillusioned and quit riding as a pro not long after that.

Not sure why Cadel has always had a clean reputation? Because he was a diesel?
Two reasons: 1) A lot of people really, really wanted to believe that cycling was clean after 2007/Contador, and 2) These same people were in the english-speaking media who were all but dying to crown an Anglophone champion over the despised Contador.
 
That's assuming 3%.

In reality, climbing times on AdH went down by over 10% from before the EPO days to the mid 90s.
No disagreement here about faster Alpe d'Huez times.

Yet there are zillion factors affecting the ups and downs in the ascent times, therefore it is next-to-impossible to know how much can be explained by one factor (doping) alone. I just don't see blood doping likely boosting FTP (and not certainly speed) by 10-15 % from the controlled blood doping research data, quite to the contrary.
 

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