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Cancellara

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Jul 28, 2009
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"I believe Cancellera is clean and I've always believed it. While I wouldn't claim to be a "friend," I've met him on several occasions on a social basis and you cannot imagine anyone on earth less likely to be a doper."

Given this glowing endorsement I can't believe they even bother testing him. From now on we decide everything by popularity. The law courts should take a leaf out of that incredibly disturbing book.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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various information

karlboss said:
Your ball park power figures calculating using speed as the basis are going to get close, but reveal frustrating little. I could guess his power would have been up around the 500W mark. Any wind on an out and back or loop slows you down, not cancel out.
You can't tell how hard a guy is going by watching. Think about all the times you see someone sitting comfortably on a climb and then all of a sudden they aren't there any more, or the other way a guy who struggles but hangs in forever. It takes plenty of effort not to rock your shoulders so the guy sitting still is just better disciplined not going easier.
Most impressive TT for me Ullrich 2003.

Hammer curling 100lbs at 152...I know some gymnasts, they couldn't do it and still call it a hammer curl. I see your point, little different for elite athletes supposedly already close to that ideal mark of power and weight.

I think sparticus could be a tour rider, but he'd have to take a chance and drop muscle. It has worked for some in the past, but he is on the gravy train able to reliably win TTs and take the odd classic.

+1
Some riders look to be doing it easy especially on TV others dont it isn't very reliable. AC live when you watch him live looks to be gasping almost dying on a bike yet on TV looks to be at ease. Cameramen and editing distorts the effect. Cancellera looks good in both but I haven't seen him live putting in the awesome performance and again some people just make less of a face when they are blowing anyway

Power calculations are harder to estimate in a time trial as the wind and body position make so much difference. Have to agree with Bigboat though that the Wattage was probably closer to 500 as there is loss on corners inconsistent speed mechanical loss variables that are hard to estimate and when estimates are compared to power meter data like Indurain, Mercx etc they tend to give a higher output.

Maximum power possible without doping is hard to determine because the EPO and blood doping era extends so long so recent results are skewed. Surely riders now are naturally faster than Merckx and Le Mond with training preparation and nutrition improvements.

While smaller riders do have an advantage climbing hills requiring lower power output there is no weight benefit in time trialing. The Watts/Kg ratio is a good measure of climbing performance I dont think it is relevant to Time Trials. Larger riders will tend to have lower Watts/Kg than smaller

One other point of interest is he seems a lot leaner than the Vuelta and people have posted recently about whether weight loss means loss of power

For a relative performance benchmark when David McCann broke Boardmans England and Wales 25 mile record of 45:57 this year all of the top 10 in the same race did under 50 mins and many were amateurs unlikely to have access to EPO. These speeds are all ballpark similar to Cancelleras speed on an easier course.

I like him as a rider so want to believe he is clean like a lot of people. I have an element of doubt with every rider in the peloton as more than half of all proffessional victories have been made by riders who used or have used performance enhancing substances. I still believe he is the greatest Time Trialist in history but have bias as I am a fan of his.

I dont believe Cancellera will make a tour rider though even if he loses the weight like Wiggins did. He doesn't have the recovery rate required for tour riding.
2007 TDF he anihilated everyone in the prologue in London then in the last TT lost over 2 mins to Leipheimer and a similar amount to Cadel Evans. This year he was dominant in the prologue and yet lost 3 secs to Contador and only gained around 1:30 on Andy Schleck who is no great TT man. Even less on Moreau and Armstrong who are near 40 years old.
 
_frost said:
Explain?

Example out and back 20km route, CdA 0.25, mass 80Kg, windspeed 5m/s, slope 0, Rho 1.226, crr 0.004, constant power 300w

Headwind speed: 9,02m/s, time spent 1108.65 s
Tailwind speed: 15.35m/s, time spent 651.55 s
Total time: 1760.20 s
Average speed: 11.36 m/s

Same with no wind: speed = average speed 11.97 m/s

More wind - more difference until at some point the headwind is so strong that you actually move backwards (well in theory)

(Calculated with my own Vba function so might be a bit inaccurate)
I did an example with my own rides and I think you are right to some extent. But it is difficult to tell exactly because you would have to know exactly how much you slow down from the windy section. But for whatever is worth I got the following:

First Trial
Variable ---Units --- Ride --- First --- Second
............................................Section Section
Distance --- km --- 110.00 --- 55.00 --- 55.00
Time ------ min --- 190.00 ---100.00 --- 90.00
Speed --- km/hr --- 21.59 --- 20.51 --- 22.79
Wind ----- km/hr --- 0.00 ------ 5.00 --- 5.00
Direction ---------------------------- head --- Tail
Power --- Watts --- 258.59 --- 287.52 --- 234.62
Average -- Watts --- 258.59 --- 262.46 --- 262.46

Second Trial
Variable ---Units --- Ride --- First --- Second
............................................Section Section
Distance --- km --- 110.00 --- 55.00 --- 55.00
Time ------ min --- 190.00 ---100.00 --- 90.00
Speed --- km/hr --- 21.59 --- 20.51 --- 22.79
Wind ----- km/hr --- 0.00 ----- 10.00 --- 10.00
Direction --------------------------- head --- Tail
Power --- Watts --- 258.59 --- 318.78 --- 213.49
Average -- Watts --- 258.59 --- 271.68 --- 271.68

Crr= 0.004
No Mechanical losses
CdA= You don’t want to know (0.432)

So the bigger the wind the bigger the difference, I guess. The friction came up quite a bit in the second trial second section because of the speed. That made the difference bigger.

In reality you have a problem with the physiology in the body. That's why I prefer to have the wind at the beginning of the ride. I would also take more advantage of my position in the tail wind section, but if we keep all variables the same you are right.

In the case of Cancellara the power number could be even bigger if we take into account the wind. The exercise would be more accurate by sections in the time trial. Doing the exercise in the Verbier looked a lot simpler because it is only going up the mountain and inertia becomes a bigger factor. besides I did it by segments.

Last conclusion with this exercise is that now everybody knows how slow I ride in my bike.:(

(Why is it so hard to post a table in this Forum?)
 
Jun 19, 2009
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dimspace said:
but today.. good god, he went past people like they werent there, peddaling at speeds i dont think ive ever seen, effortless, without even trying, no breathing, nothing, i have never seen someone so easily and singlehandedly destroy everyone...

Happens all the time. Usain Bolt, Jeff Gordon, Eddy Merckx, Mickey Mantle.

Sometimes the good ones pay off like they're supposed to.

Fabs keeps killing in the TTs and keeps passing the urine tests.

I read a story today that said there were a few hundred tests of riders in 2006 and they turned up 47 positive results. This year there were over 7000 tests of riders and turned up something like 32 positive results. Clearly the incidence of attempts to cheat has been reduced by increased verification.

I think it's time to for people to start presuming innocence, if you haven't already. And it's time for cheaters to be banned in perpetuity when the evidence is incontrovertible. Lock it down for good.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Personally, I would like to think that reason that Cancellara keeps winning, is because this is what he trains for, it is his strength, his speciality.

For whatever reasons, when someone dominates a sport, or discipline, people become suspicious.
 
msjett said:
Personally, I would like to think that reason that Cancellara keeps winning, is because this is what he trains for, it is his strength, his speciality.

For whatever reasons, when someone dominates a sport, or discipline, people become suspicious.

Unfortunately true and not necessarily the rider's fault, but that of past riders.
 
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Anonymous

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i have to say that i think cancellara is clean (of course i dont have power numbers to back this up - you guys are pretty good with these calculations)

whilst he did blow away his competition, i think that how successfull you are perceived to be depends on your opposition - think about the time trialists that werent there: zabriskie, leipheimer, rogers, evans, dave millar..

i'd say that the 1:30 deficit to 2nd place may have been smaller had other top contenders been there (especially DZ), which would then mean that this thread probably wouldnt have started. given cancellaras dominance in TT's since a wee little boy, its a pretty consistent, and therefore believable career progression
 
derailleur said:
...

Fabs keeps killing in the TTs and keeps passing the urine tests.

I read a story today that said there were a few hundred tests of riders in 2006 and they turned up 47 positive results. This year there were over 7000 tests of riders and turned up something like 32 positive results. Clearly the incidence of attempts to cheat has been reduced by increased verification.

I think it's time to for people to start presuming innocence, if you haven't already. And it's time for cheaters to be banned in perpetuity when the evidence is incontrovertible. Lock it down for good.
This statistic might mean nothing if there is a new drug or if they are blood doping. You could be right that it is coming down, but the numbers sometimes lie when the peloton discovers new methods. Remember the nineties, there was no test for EPO, so how can a rider turn in a positive urine test if there was no test for it? I hope the peloton is cleaning now but for the moment I am prepared for anybody turning positive anytime.
 
Jul 25, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
I think you are right to some extent. But it is difficult to tell exactly because you would have to know exactly how much you slow down from the windy section.

I'm convinced _frost is right whichever way I look at it. If the rider compensates for wind by adjusting their power and maintaining a constant speed... their speed through the air mass varies and mean power required goes up due to air resistance non-linearity. If the rider compensated for wind by adjusting their speed and keeping power constant... average speed goes down because they spend longer at the lower speed. I plugged some numbers into the air resistance power equation you posted earlier on this thread. If speed is 50k/hr and wind is 10k/hr, the power required to overcome a 60k/hr effective head-wind was too large to be sustained.

The magnitude of these air resistance effects is quite interesting. Can either of you point me in the direction of some CdA data for different cyclists?
 
I Watch Cycling In July said:
I'm convinced _frost is right whichever way I look at it. ...

I think by now we all agree with Frost. I made my calculations myself and could not get an scenario of perfect cancellation of the drag. That tell us that we need to consider doing the analysis by segments whenever we can.


Can either of you point me in the direction of some CdA data for different cyclists?

Use all the range of CdA's discussed in this thread. Frost gave me a couple from Indurain and Boardman. I had the one for Moser and included sevral ones for drafting, climbing and pure racing on the drops. I also included a formula for th esimation of the front area for anybody. my numbers come from a book and a paper. I worte them down because I take forever attaching files to this forum.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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It's interesting. I post that I hammer-curled 100 lbs at 152 lbs bodymass and people deny it's possible.

But I know it's possible because I done it.

I didn't just join a gym and start tossing triple-digit dumbells around. That was after about 3 years of work, following a couple years of just dieting. I wasn't big, but there wasn't a wasted ounce on me. And things like this taught me a lot about strength and muscular adaptation.

You can't tell someone is cheating just because they kick everyone else's ***.
 
derailleur said:
You can't tell someone is cheating just because they kick everyone else's ***.

You can when everyone else is doping and the effects of doping are so large that there is an extremely extremely small probability that someone is so better than other elite athletes that he can compete clean against others with similar talent who are doping.
 
Back to the topic of Cancellara's drag coefficient. I remember reading the article earlier this year called "Fitting Saxo-Bank" where Bjarne Riis took all of the main Saxo riders to be fitted by Specialized on both their Road and TT bikes.

The article had quotes from the physiologist who did the fitting on the position and flexibility of each of the riders. While the Schleck brothers had terrible flexibility and range of movement on the TT bike (especially Frank), Cancellara was at the other end of the spectrum, able to hold a position that most riders could only use for a short prologue for nearly an hour. The quote from the Specialized physiologist was along the lines of "this guy was born to be a Time Trialist"

I know this doesn't explain everything but it is surely something that helps explain his domination of Time Trials.
 
Jul 10, 2009
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I Watch Cycling In July said:
The magnitude of these air resistance effects is quite interesting. Can either of you point me in the direction of some CdA data for different cyclists?

I don't think there are real CdA numbers of competing pro-riders available in public domain but with some calculations/comparisions you may end up with an educated guess.
The formula that Escarabajo gave, gives some kind of ballbark figure to start from. Note however that CdA is very sensitive to even minor changes in position. Eg. my own CdA (tested with powermeter and Chung-regression method, not tunnel) in a TT-position is ~0.27 while riding on the basebar/hoods it goes up to ~0.34. That's about 70w difference to maintain 40kmh!
 
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What does it say about performance when Dr. Ferrari is blown away?

World Champs 09 - Time Trial
By: Michele Ferrari
Published: 24 Sep 2009

A STRATOSPHERIC Fabian Cancellara impressed everyone on the roads of his home country, summoning a performance (51.6 km/h, V2=2663) 5% higher than the second placed (Larrson, 50.3 km/h, V2=2533) and 8.8% higher than the third (Martin, 49.5km/h, V2=2450).
And all the other rivals even further down.

Imagine the same happening in a Half-Marathon World Championship (an event that is about 1h long, much like today's TT), where the second placed athlete would lose 10"/km to the winner, and finish the race with a 3' gap, with the third athlete at more than 5'...

Perfect in his position as usual, very skilled in handling the bike, he was going at over 55 km/h on the flat parts, with cadences between 115-120RPM, pushing at least an average of 500w: after all, when developing such high power outputs the ideal cadence is above 110RPM .

He even gave the impression of holding it back in the second half of the event, getting across the line in evident freshness.

He looks impressively thin, with the upper body much lighter than in the past and arms that really looked like broom sticks.
So light and powerful, he clearly becomes a favorite for Sunday's road event.



Do you think he was admiring a pupil or perhaps a programme he did not design?
 
derailleur said:
It's interesting. I post that I hammer-curled 100 lbs at 152 lbs bodymass and people deny it's possible.
But I know it's possible because I done it.

I didn't just join a gym and start tossing triple-digit dumbells around. That was after about 3 years of work, following a couple years of just dieting. I wasn't big, but there wasn't a wasted ounce on me. And things like this taught me a lot about strength and muscular adaptation.

You can't tell someone is cheating just because they kick everyone else's ***.

Yes you're so right, because being able to hammer curl is the new VO2 Max test for entry to cycling. Have you been signed up by a pro team yet?
 
Jul 22, 2009
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Derailer has a valid point citing his own experience as an example. No one would expect a new cyclist to be able to match the strength or endurance of an experienced fit rider. Lance and other champions are known for their work-ethic and heavy training schedules as opposed to their competitors- Ulrich being a prime example.
 
Laszlo said:
Derailer has a valid point citing his own experience as an example. No one would expect a new cyclist to be able to match the strength or endurance of an experienced fit rider. Lance and other champions are known for their work-ethic and heavy training schedules as opposed to their competitors- Ulrich being a prime example.

Ullrich was an exception.
Everyone else trained very hard, although I know that the propoganda would have you believe that Lance was the only one who trained hard.
The reality is that they all train hard at that level, except most of them don't have camermen following them around.
 
I really hope he's clean. I love to see a time triallist win stuff being a one-speed kind of diesel myself and always getting beaten in the low level road races I used to do.

But he did look just so superior and at ease at Mendrisio, and I've seen too much to put away doubt. And I find that sad.

Did you examine that bike though? I don't know what the drag of that would be, but there abd absolutely no "bits" on it. No external cables and no external brakes. There's a few seconds on the guys using regular braking systems immediately.