Cadel Evans: Yay or Nay on EPO

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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.
Well while that may be true in cases of fresh test subjects, the circumstances at the end of a third week MTF after a 200km stage are almost impossible to research.

I would think a lot of effects would cascade simply by increasing the fatigue resistance. And while I do think VO2 max and to a lesser extent FTP are a bit overrated, a higher oxygen carrying capacity would definitely be beneficial at every exercise intensity.

The one thing that's to be said about pro riders though is that they sorta simulate blood doping with altitude camps.
 
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I would think a lot of effects would cascade simply by increasing the fatigue resistance. And while I do think VO2 max and to a lesser extent FTP are a bit overrated, a higher oxygen carrying capacity would definitely be beneficial at every exercise intensity.
Absolutely. Blood carrying more oxygen means more power from the same HR or the same power from a smaller percentage of max. effort. This should increase cyclist' efficiency in a broad range of efforts: from 3-min VO2max intervals to hour long solo attacks. This is the case because cardiac output is usually the limiting factor for oxygen efforts and blood doping helps utilize lungs capabilities (which are usually higher than heart's) more efficiently.
 
Well while that may be true in cases of fresh test subjects, the circumstances at the end of a third week MTF after a 200km stage are almost impossible to research.

I would think a lot of effects would cascade simply by increasing the fatigue resistance. And while I do think VO2 max and to a lesser extent FTP are a bit overrated, a higher oxygen carrying capacity would definitely be beneficial at every exercise intensity.

The one thing that's to be said about pro riders though is that they sorta simulate blood doping with altitude camps.
Good post. Also, assuming (fairly in my view) the oxygen-vectored athletes' muscles have the mitochondria to utilize the increased oxygen supply, this should translate into greater mobilization of fat during the less intense parts of the race. Which should increase fatigue resistance both in the immediate term and also over GTs as glycogen is spared. Quite relevant imho.
 
The one thing that's to be said about pro riders though is that they sorta simulate blood doping with altitude camps.
Thanks for mentioning. Evans like all the GC contenders did a stint of altitude training before grand tours. Completely legal. You make a good point about EPO boosting fatigue resistance late in grand tours.

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?
Well I do know 2011 TdF looked more believable to watch. Who could forget the popgun “attacks” by the Schlecks in the Pyrenees. Not so the previous two editions of the TdF and particularly 2009.

Well it seems I may have overstated the boost of blood doping to elite GC riders but I see another poster with knowledge of the science agrees with my view that a clean talented rider can beat doped less talented rider. Most of those using EPO in the 90s were not that special compared to the cream. Only special compared to the average male. The bell curve and outliers. It won’t mean much to you but Cadel’s VO2 max result whilst still a MTBer was plastered on the wall at the AIS lab because they were astounded.

The other thing is Evans didn’t ride on the road in that unrestricted EPO era. So we can’t compare what Evans had to contend with to poor Greg Lemond.

Post EPO test EPO micro dosing is used to fool the passport not to provide the actual performance boost which came from infusions.

Evans career trajectory isn’t only explained by his new mindset after his worlds win. Before the passport Evans was holding on on HC climbs so obvious at 2007 TdF when he was accused of wheel sucking. The passport likely encouraged him to attack.

Regarding Cobo I doubt too many were surprised by that outcome 8 years later but only thanks to the Bio passport. So not “evidently true” as you put it.
 
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Interesting thread.

I don't think Evans' quirky personality has anything to do with this.

Yes, it's tough to believe that a totally clean rider could be that competitive. Even look at 2006. Evans lost a fair bit of time on Alp d'Huez (crazy times from Klöden and Landis), but the next day (unless there was a rest day maybe) he was very competitive on another brutal stage. EPO/blood doping helps recovery more as the race goes on, right?

His final ITT there though was fairly 'human' I think.

Something quirky about Cadel's career that can be an argument for cleanliness, is his T-Mobile period (03-04). One season he did break his collarbone, but the other year he was fully fit (as far as I'm aware) but wasn't selected for the Tour (and apparently he wanted to do it). This I find baffling. Surely he would have been a possible co-leader or at least super domestique? One can suggest that he wasn't fitting in with the program.

Slight side topic: Schleck/Contador 2010 Tourmalet is often underrated.
 
Evans career trajectory isn’t only explained by his new mindset after his worlds win. Before the passport Evans was holding on on HC climbs so obvious at 2007 TdF when he was accused of wheel sucking. The passport likely encouraged him to attack.
The passport was in for a long time before Mendrisio, and I think your interpretation is overly optimistic. The passport was in force before the 2008 Tour, and certainly in force before the 2009 Vuelta, the last hurrah of the 'old' Evans, who whined and sulked about perceived injustices rather than going out and righting the perceived wrong, since Cuddles didn't even remotely try to gain time back after his mishap with the neutral service car, and also did his usual job of going too deep into the red on the chase and blowing up (he was in Samu's group even after the botched wheel change, but while Samu then limited losses to a few seconds, Evans dropped far further back - although not by enough to actually make that stage decisive despite what his fans protested for years later as he lost 1'08 to Valverde +8" time bonuses, and was 1'32 down overall. Plus, 2007-8 was the cleaner era, 2009 was the start of a return to dirtier times with Bordry losing his job, AFLD being relieved of testing duty and Armstrong's return.

He (Evans) had a habit at the time of having a go, and if it didn't succeed, throwing his arms up and going "oh well" and then waiting for the race to come to him, resulting in his not acquiring the palmarès his talent level suggested he should. The fact that at Mendrisio he actually managed to win with his move - thanks to a combination of factors including but not limited to the significant strength shown by Cancellara making teams wary of towing him, that Spain had marked the move with Rodríguez who had been in the break earlier and was therefore less likely to be able to respond than Samu and Valverde in the group behind, and that Evans had great legs that day and timed his attack far better than he had in previous races (remembering, for example, Flèche '08 where he was the strongest but went too soon and lost it at the end of the Mur) - seemed to completely overhaul him psychologically.

Now well into his 30s and facing up to the prospect of retiring with nothing like the palmarès he ought to have had, and rejuvenated by a change of scenery (even though the support team he had at BMC in 2010 at least was no better than he had had at Lotto), he went out there and started taking the risks he never dared to before, and it worked. He was handed a once in a lifetime chance to make good on the Tour in 2011 due to a range of convenient factors - the heavily backloaded parcours meaning lots of riders were crashed out before they got to any serious part of the race, Contador doing the Giro which he likely wouldn't have done without the ban hanging over him, long time nemesis Valverde being banned, the Schlecks racing like worthless cowards - and he took it. I thought he'd wasted his last chance to win the Tour in 2008, and said as much.

Evans was a quality rider in the pre-passport era, a quality rider in the early passport era and that cleaner stretch from 2007-8 when the Riccòs and di Lucas of this world stood out like a sore thumb, and he was a quality rider as the sport started to get ever faster and shadier again. I feel the real change in Evans' palmarès is nothing to do with the external factors of the péloton getting cleaner or dirtier and everything to do with the man himself changing in mindset from a man who accepted his fate to a master of his own fate.
 
The passport was in for a long time before Mendrisio, and I think your interpretation is overly optimistic. The passport was in force before the 2008 Tour, and certainly in force before the 2009 Vuelta, the last hurrah of the 'old' Evans, who whined and sulked about perceived injustices rather than going out and righting the perceived wrong, since Cuddles didn't even remotely try to gain time back after his mishap with the neutral service car, and also did his usual job of going too deep into the red on the chase and blowing up (he was in Samu's group even after the botched wheel change, but while Samu then limited losses to a few seconds, Evans dropped far further back - although not by enough to actually make that stage decisive despite what his fans protested for years later as he lost 1'08 to Valverde +8" time bonuses, and was 1'32 down overall. Plus, 2007-8 was the cleaner era, 2009 was the start of a return to dirtier times with Bordry losing his job, AFLD being relieved of testing duty and Armstrong's return.

He (Evans) had a habit at the time of having a go, and if it didn't succeed, throwing his arms up and going "oh well" and then waiting for the race to come to him, resulting in his not acquiring the palmarès his talent level suggested he should. The fact that at Mendrisio he actually managed to win with his move - thanks to a combination of factors including but not limited to the significant strength shown by Cancellara making teams wary of towing him, that Spain had marked the move with Rodríguez who had been in the break earlier and was therefore less likely to be able to respond than Samu and Valverde in the group behind, and that Evans had great legs that day and timed his attack far better than he had in previous races (remembering, for example, Flèche '08 where he was the strongest but went too soon and lost it at the end of the Mur) - seemed to completely overhaul him psychologically.

Now well into his 30s and facing up to the prospect of retiring with nothing like the palmarès he ought to have had, and rejuvenated by a change of scenery (even though the support team he had at BMC in 2010 at least was no better than he had had at Lotto), he went out there and started taking the risks he never dared to before, and it worked. He was handed a once in a lifetime chance to make good on the Tour in 2011 due to a range of convenient factors - the heavily backloaded parcours meaning lots of riders were crashed out before they got to any serious part of the race, Contador doing the Giro which he likely wouldn't have done without the ban hanging over him, long time nemesis Valverde being banned, the Schlecks racing like worthless cowards - and he took it. I thought he'd wasted his last chance to win the Tour in 2008, and said as much.

Evans was a quality rider in the pre-passport era, a quality rider in the early passport era and that cleaner stretch from 2007-8 when the Riccòs and di Lucas of this world stood out like a sore thumb, and he was a quality rider as the sport started to get ever faster and shadier again. I feel the real change in Evans' palmarès is nothing to do with the external factors of the péloton getting cleaner or dirtier and everything to do with the man himself changing in mindset from a man who accepted his fate to a master of his own fate.
The 2011 Tour win is maybe 10% better mindset and 90% a combination of external factors that starts with Contador testing positive in the 2010 Tour leading to him riding the Giro, and the fact that Schleck was too occupied with getting his brother onto the podium.

The 2011 Tour was also not without insane outliers in performance, like Gilbert and the whole Lotto team that year, as well as Voeckler and Europcar.
 
The passport was in for a long time before Mendrisio, and I think your interpretation is overly optimistic. The passport was in force before the 2008 Tour, and certainly in force before the 2009 Vuelta, the last hurrah of the 'old' Evans, who whined and sulked about perceived injustices rather than going out and righting the perceived wrong, since Cuddles didn't even remotely try to gain time back after his mishap with the neutral service car, and also did his usual job of going too deep into the red on the chase and blowing up (he was in Samu's group even after the botched wheel change, but while Samu then limited losses to a few seconds, Evans dropped far further back - although not by enough to actually make that stage decisive despite what his fans protested for years later as he lost 1'08 to Valverde +8" time bonuses, and was 1'32 down overall. Plus, 2007-8 was the cleaner era, 2009 was the start of a return to dirtier times with Bordry losing his job, AFLD being relieved of testing duty and Armstrong's return.

He (Evans) had a habit at the time of having a go, and if it didn't succeed, throwing his arms up and going "oh well" and then waiting for the race to come to him, resulting in his not acquiring the palmarès his talent level suggested he should. The fact that at Mendrisio he actually managed to win with his move - thanks to a combination of factors including but not limited to the significant strength shown by Cancellara making teams wary of towing him, that Spain had marked the move with Rodríguez who had been in the break earlier and was therefore less likely to be able to respond than Samu and Valverde in the group behind, and that Evans had great legs that day and timed his attack far better than he had in previous races (remembering, for example, Flèche '08 where he was the strongest but went too soon and lost it at the end of the Mur) - seemed to completely overhaul him psychologically.

Now well into his 30s and facing up to the prospect of retiring with nothing like the palmarès he ought to have had, and rejuvenated by a change of scenery (even though the support team he had at BMC in 2010 at least was no better than he had had at Lotto), he went out there and started taking the risks he never dared to before, and it worked. He was handed a once in a lifetime chance to make good on the Tour in 2011 due to a range of convenient factors - the heavily backloaded parcours meaning lots of riders were crashed out before they got to any serious part of the race, Contador doing the Giro which he likely wouldn't have done without the ban hanging over him, long time nemesis Valverde being banned, the Schlecks racing like worthless cowards - and he took it. I thought he'd wasted his last chance to win the Tour in 2008, and said as much.

Evans was a quality rider in the pre-passport era, a quality rider in the early passport era and that cleaner stretch from 2007-8 when the Riccòs and di Lucas of this world stood out like a sore thumb, and he was a quality rider as the sport started to get ever faster and shadier again. I feel the real change in Evans' palmarès is nothing to do with the external factors of the péloton getting cleaner or dirtier and everything to do with the man himself changing in mindset from a man who accepted his fate to a master of his own fate.
Thanks. I am familiar with your views on Cadel as a neutral observer and agree with much of what you have written. But I think you are overly harsh on his reaction to adversity, some true but not all particularly those clueless Lotto teams. But glad that you admit his palmarès fell way short of what a rider of his quality should have retired with - that actually supports my view with regard to his possible EPO use and beating less talented dopers.

On his worlds win I think the Australian team deserve a mention? His teammates got him into position to latch onto the back of the Cancellara group on the final descent. It was satisfying to see him thwart three Spaniards that day. Yes Cadel timed his attack perfectly whilst they were all looking at each other. But that day certainly changed his self belief and he wore the rainbow Jersey through 2010 with distinction.

Evans also learned from the 2007 TdF regardless of doping. For the 2011 Tour he would let attacks go rather than react immediately and wind them back with his Diesel engine. He did that for the two Alpes stages then delivered a great performance in the TT.
 
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Clinic conversation aside, I don't see Evans as really underachieving throughout his career (though he didn't do much at T-Mobile). Solid result in 05 Tour, even better the next year, than second in 07 despite struggling to stay with Rasmussen and Contador in the mountains. Second again in 08 (and maybe should have won), but 09 was a hopeless situation and he backed up with 3rd at the Vuelta. Then 5th in the 10 Giro (again battling a much stronger team), led Tour briefly, before victory a year later (planets aligned as mentioned), and then gets arguably a lucky Giro podium when well past his best in 13. Evans also had notable results in one week and one day races. I would argue that his palmares was a little better than Menchov, and probably much better than Klöden.

Consider that Richie Porte could probably climb and time trial as well as Evans, yet his palmares is dwarfed (no little jokes please) in comparison. Obviously his bike handling was far inferior, but looking back I think that Porte could have achieved similarly to Evans in GT's, though perhaps I am over influenced by him looking more attractive on a bike.
 
Well while that may be true in cases of fresh test subjects, the circumstances at the end of a third week MTF after a 200km stage are almost impossible to research.

I would think a lot of effects would cascade simply by increasing the fatigue resistance. And while I do think VO2 max and to a lesser extent FTP are a bit overrated, a higher oxygen carrying capacity would definitely be beneficial at every exercise intensity.

The one thing that's to be said about pro riders though is that they sorta simulate blood doping with altitude camps.
There is a reason for interest in altitude camps. It is that blood doping works and increases performance.

It is true that there likely never will be a study where the special conditions of e.g. TDF have been taken into account. On the other hand, the increased "fatigue resistance" or other mostly submaximal and other mechanisms (EPO allows a higher training load / increases thermoregulation) are mostly speculation in existence or magnitude. Of course just intuitively a few blood dopers can be less fatigued and fresh if they just follow 90 % of the GT time (non TT, non-mountains) the slow(ish) non-doped speed of the Peloton with their lower submaximal heart rate. But the speed of a generally doped group tends to increase to not allow the low RPE.

Here is an interesting illustration on time-to-exhaustion at different watt outputs (=exercise intensities) after EPO-administration in non-elite cyclists. Even when Vo2Max and Watt at Vo2Max increased by some 13 %, sustaineable power outputs only a fraction of that figure. strongly depending on the shape of the power/duration - curve.

 
There is a reason for interest in altitude camps. It is that blood doping works and increases performance.

It is true that there likely never will be a study where the special conditions of e.g. TDF have been taken into account. On the other hand, the increased "fatigue resistance" or other mostly submaximal and other mechanisms (EPO allows a higher training load / increases thermoregulation) are mostly speculation in existence or magnitude. Of course just intuitively a few blood dopers can be less fatigued and fresh if they just follow 90 % of the GT time (non TT, non-mountains) the slow(ish) non-doped speed of the Peloton with their lower submaximal heart rate. But the speed of a generally doped group tends to increase to not allow the low RPE.

Here is an interesting illustration on time-to-exhaustion at different watt outputs (=exercise intensities) after EPO-administration in non-elite cyclists. Even when Vo2Max and Watt at Vo2Max increased by some 13 %, sustaineable power outputs only a fraction of that figure. strongly depending on the shape of the power/duration - curve.

I've read this article. There are some interesting conclusions indeed. TTE increases by half for the same absolute power values (80% of pre-administration VO2 max) and decreases when applying 80% or power relative to the current VO2 max which shows that maintaining bigger power (even if it's still 80% of VO2max) is more difficult and depends on non-VO2 max factors as well. Still, 50% addition of TTE is important - for medium-length climbs a cyclist usually losses 2-3% of average power (i.e. 0.2 w/kg) when increasing duration by half. It would be good to have numbers for 30minute power comparisons. And I also think these numbers could be different for top pros - possibly bigger differences due to their large oxygen demand (effective muscles), which (alongsite lungs) can use EPO even more efficiently.
 
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what do you mean by this? As in EPO micro dosing just kickstarts the reticulocyte count to keep that up after a transfusion and transfusions are the only major source of blood doping today?
As I understand one aspect the passport looks for are changes in reticulocytes (new red blood cells) over time. I think microdosing can fill in the troughs when blood is withdrawn to be reinfused later (eg before a major mountain stage or TT)?

If EPO microdosing can kick start reticulocyte production then that would be a good way to avoid triggering an adverse finding? It would fill in any troughs in total RBCs but not reticulocytes? RBCs transport the oxygen from the lungs to the legs. reticulocytes are detectable.

I am simply sharing what I think. Others might confirm better than I can. But I do get tired of fans saying the peloton has found a new substance. But I am glad this thread was created.
 
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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.
I thought Contadoper was caught(with positives) & stripped of what that 2010 title?
 
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Absolutely. Blood carrying more oxygen means more power from the same HR or the same power from a smaller percentage of max. effort. This should increase cyclist' efficiency in a broad range of efforts: from 3-min VO2max intervals to hour long solo attacks. This is the case because cardiac output is usually the limiting factor for oxygen efforts and blood doping helps utilize lungs capabilities (which are usually higher than heart's) more efficiently.
Agreed! Probably why Wonderboy looked inhuman throughout his 7 titles. What he did on a bike, is simply not humanly possible "clean", it's just not. He was embarrassing excellent riders throughout too. All the signs of his doping were there, I think the media turned a blind eye to it.

How does a guy go from having some DNF's & what, a 24th(wrong here?) Best finish in the tour, to somehow "suddenly" lapping guys & just blowing everyone else away winning 7 in a row & no one thought he wasn't doping?
 
Lol, a 174cm 67kg guy podiuming grand tours and winning world champships in the dirtiest years of the sport. This thread is a joke
He had an Hinault type build which was unusual for a Tour winner but both of them were on the short side although not as short as someone like Van Impe or Sastre who were pure climbers not diesels like Evans. It also meant that on their day Evans and Hinault were pretty decent sprinters especially against climbers and other all rounders.
 
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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.
Other riders seemed to believe in him like Tom Boonen, and Rasmussen is such a trustworthy source...........all I know is that Prudhomme and others seemed to be much more complimentary and happy about Evans win than many of the others. Not sure why unless they were friends of his...........
 
Clinic conversation aside, I don't see Evans as really underachieving throughout his career (though he didn't do much at T-Mobile). Solid result in 05 Tour, even better the next year, than second in 07 despite struggling to stay with Rasmussen and Contador in the mountains. Second again in 08 (and maybe should have won), but 09 was a hopeless situation and he backed up with 3rd at the Vuelta. Then 5th in the 10 Giro (again battling a much stronger team), led Tour briefly, before victory a year later (planets aligned as mentioned), and then gets arguably a lucky Giro podium when well past his best in 13. Evans also had notable results in one week and one day races. I would argue that his palmares was a little better than Menchov, and probably much better than Klöden.

Consider that Richie Porte could probably climb and time trial as well as Evans, yet his palmares is dwarfed (no little jokes please) in comparison. Obviously his bike handling was far inferior, but looking back I think that Porte could have achieved similarly to Evans in GT's, though perhaps I am over influenced by him looking more attractive on a bike.
Porte's flaws are too well known. he's two levels below Evans except on raw ability. Evans was a much a more complete professional in every way and much more versatile. Porte did nothing in one day racing or at the worlds. Porte has a good TT and is a great climber in short stage races, not quite as good in the longer versions but his problem was always how to get to the finish physically, tactically and mentally............
 
Clenbuterol isnt blood doping.

Also Contadors most nuclear years were all negative tests
I think we all suspect how that clen got there. Plastisizers etc. It may have been inadmissible but it was certainly very plausible. And whilst he could still win GTs Contador’s strongest years were certainly pre ban.

IMO he was a more exciting rider post ban or at least when under physical adversity because he was more tactically daring. This stage of his career earned him many more admirers. I know this is drifting off topic just sharing my opinion based upon what you posted.
 
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