Contador refuses to reveal VO2 max

Jul 13, 2009
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Interesting. I thought Lemond was just an angry man yelling at clouds when it came to Armstrong. This makes it look like he is serious.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Digger said:
...if he was clean why refuse to give it...
because you give people who are uninformed about human performance but good at creating propaganda ammunition.

not saying he is clean but it's a catch 22

probably less damaging to not reveal values than to reveal them and have to defend yourself to a bunch of psuedo-science conspiracy theorists.

i think the trend is going to move more towards privacy for this reason.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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lean said:
because you give people who are uninformed about human performance but good at creating propaganda ammunition.

not saying he is clean but it's a catch 22

probably less damaging to not reveal values than to reveal them and have to defend yourself to a bunch of psuedo-science conspiracy theorists.

i think the trend is going to move more towards privacy for this reason.
This is probably it... or close to it.

VO2max ain't everything. Seriously. LeMond just wants it to be everything, because it would suggest that he should've won 15 Tours de France.

Frank Shorter, Olympic Gold medalist in the marathon in '72 and Silver medalist in the marathon in '76, had a pedestrian VO2max of 72.

Steve Prefontaine's was supposed to 84. He held American records from 2k to 10k.

Alberto Salazar's was supposedly 76, and he ran a marathon personal best of 2:08'13". He won the New York City Marathon 3x and the Boston Marathon once.

Derek Clayton's was 69.7, and he has two sub-2:10' marathons to his name... and had the world's best marathon time between 1967-1981.

Interestingly, in spite of the huge difference between Shorter's and Prefontaine's VO2max values, the difference in their 5k personal bests is only 5 seconds.
 
Jul 8, 2009
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dienekes88 said:
This is probably it... or close to it.

VO2max ain't everything. Seriously. LeMond just wants it to be everything, because it would suggest that he should've won 15 Tours de France.

Frank Shorter, Olympic Gold medalist in the marathon in '72 and Silver medalist in the marathon in '76, had a pedestrian VO2max of 72.

Steve Prefontaine's was supposed to 84. He held American records from 2k to 10k.

Alberto Salazar's was supposedly 76, and he ran a marathon personal best of 2:08'13". He won the New York City Marathon 3x and the Boston Marathon once.

Derek Clayton's was 69.7, and he has two sub-2:10' marathons to his name... and had the world's best marathon time between 1967-1981.

Interestingly, in spite of the huge difference between Shorter's and Prefontaine's VO2max values, the difference in their 5k personal bests were only 5 seconds different.
Exactly right. Lemond may very well be right about drugs, but both he and the Festina guy feeding him his info are spectacularly uninformed about VO2 max. For example, the reason why Clayton was able to run so fast was that he could perform at 95% of his VO2 max for an entire marathon. Most people can't, even elites. Then there's efficiency. By Lemond's theory, one guy who is six feet tall and another who's 5'8 but weigh the same would presumably need the same amount of energy to get up the climb (in effect VO2 max determines how many ATP molecules your body can produce for energy). But that of course is ridiculous on its face. And what about efficiency? I may be essentially the same height and weight as Lance Armstrong, but even aside from the VO2 max issue, his muscles (due to both training and genetics) can do more with the same amount of energy.

I've got nothing against Lemond - I like the guy, but this is seriously stupid.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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egtalbot said:
Exactly right. Lemond may very well be right about drugs, but both he and the Festina guy feeding him his info are spectacularly uninformed about VO2 max. For example, the reason why Clayton was able to run so fast was that he could perform at 95% of his VO2 max for an entire marathon. Most people can't, even elites. Then there's efficiency. By Lemond's theory, one guy who is six feet tall and another who's 5'8 but weigh the same would presumably need the same amount of energy to get up the climb (in effect VO2 max determines how many ATP molecules your body can produce for energy). But that of course is ridiculous on its face. And what about efficiency? I may be essentially the same height and weight as Lance Armstrong, but even aside from the VO2 max issue, his muscles (due to both training and genetics) can do more with the same amount of energy.

I've got nothing against Lemond - I like the guy, but this is seriously stupid.
I am not making excuses for Contador, but egtalbot and others are correct. The following paper was published in 2002 which showed the improved efficiency in professional cyclists makes up for relatively lower VO2 max:

Lucía A, Hoyos J, Pérez M, Santalla A, Chicharro JL. Inverse relationship between VO2max and economy/efficiency in world-class cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 34(12):2079-84, 2002.
PURPOSE: To determine the relationship that exists between VO2max and cycling economy/efficiency during intense, submaximal exercise in world-class road professional cyclists. METHODS Each of 11 male cyclists (26+/-1 yr (mean +/- SEM); VO2max: 72.0 +/- 1.8 mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) performed: 1) a ramp test for O2max determination and 2) a constant-load test of 20-min duration at the power output eliciting 80% of subjects' VO2max during the previous ramp test (mean power output of 385 +/- 7 W). Cycling economy (CE) and gross mechanical efficiency (GE) were calculated during the constant-load tests. RESULTS: CE and GE averaged 85.2 +/- 2.3 W x L(-1) x min(-1) and 24.5 +/- 0.7%, respectively. An inverse, significant correlation was found between 1) VO2max (mL x kg(-0.32) x min(-1)) and both CE (r = -0.71; P = 0.01) and GE (-0.72; P = 0.01), and 2) VO2max (mL x kg(-1) x min(-1)) and both CE (r = -0.65; P = 0.03) and GE (-0.64; P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: A high CE/GE seems to compensate for a relatively low VO2max in professional cyclists.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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If VO2max were the be-all end-all of endurance sports, we'd just show up to the startline with our VO2max test results and give out the prizes based on that. No need to get all sweaty and tired... :rolleyes:

I think it's important to realize that he was probably offended. He's establishing himself as the absolute best Grand Tour rider of this generation... and he's being questioned about dope?

If that were me, and I were clean, I'd be furious. Then again, I'd also handle the situation better. Clearly, Contador... wait for it... "HAS A LOT TO LEARN" about dealing with the press. ;)
 
Jul 14, 2009
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As you read all these numbers about VO2 max and hcrit levels I wonder what Eddie was thinking as he destroyed the field over and over.Did he look at his heart rate monitor?(no) Contador is special and gifted.Her doesn't check his heart rate before he attacks.He is winning for lack of science.Do you think he gives a @#ck about how many watts he puts out
 
Jul 22, 2009
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vo2 max is just aerobic capacity, it fails to take into account anaerobic efforts...it is possible to venture into that zone for a bit, go back to aerobic and recover; all those calculations just look at aerobic capacity. I will say that ACs current domination given his youth, does look suspect to me, but I won't go so far to say the numbers prove he cannot do it.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Alberto Contador is the most talented ever, and then some!

I ran through some of Contador's numbers to calculate his VO2max.
Contador's mass: 60.5 kg (some dehydration after hours in the saddle?)
Bike+equip mass: 8.5 kg (includes helmet, bidons, shoes, ...)
Altitude gain: 610 m (using the pessimistic figures of d=8.6 km, g=7.1%)
Tail wind: 3 m/s (or 10.8 km/h if you prefer, but the road had switchbacks, so will be less)
Crr: 0.0040 (Rolling resistance for smooth roads and good tires)

Works out to be around 390 W for the climb to Verbier.

Assuming efficiency of 25%, climbing at 90% VO2max, AC's VO2max is 5.2 L/min, or 86 mL/kg/min (whichever form you prefer).

Factor in the average altitude of ~1200 m, and a 6.3% decline in VO2max with every 1000m in altitude, VO2max = 92.5 mL/min/kg.

But this was using all favourable figures! (8.6 km, not 8.7 km, 7.1% gradient, not 7.5%, strong tailwind, though the climb has many turns, lighter weight than reported, light bike+equip, no accumulated fatigue after more than 2 weeks racing).

Using stats based on the normal calculations (d=8.7km, g=7.5%, no wind, 61+9kg):
P = ~460 W
VO2max = ~114 mL/kg/min

With those lower and upper (or mid range) estimates, I'm guessing the AC is the most talented athlete to have ever lived, bar none! His numbers are crazy-high.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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lean said:
because you give people who are uninformed about human performance but good at creating propaganda ammunition.

not saying he is clean but it's a catch 22

probably less damaging to not reveal values than to reveal them and have to defend yourself to a bunch of psuedo-science conspiracy theorists.

i think the trend is going to move more towards privacy for this reason.
Totally agree. All the sudden everyone is a performance physiologist. The real accurate measurement of VO2max is in a lab (when they actually measure the inhaled and exhaled O2 and CO2 values, there are no methods that can reliably estimate without that).
 
Jul 24, 2009
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ihavenolimbs said:
I ran through some of Contador's numbers to calculate his VO2max.
Contador's mass: 60.5 kg (some dehydration after hours in the saddle?)
Bike+equip mass: 8.5 kg (includes helmet, bidons, shoes, ...)
Altitude gain: 610 m (using the pessimistic figures of d=8.6 km, g=7.1%)
Tail wind: 3 m/s (or 10.8 km/h if you prefer, but the road had switchbacks, so will be less)
Crr: 0.0040 (Rolling resistance for smooth roads and good tires)

Works out to be around 390 W for the climb to Verbier.

Assuming efficiency of 25%, climbing at 90% VO2max, AC's VO2max is 5.2 L/min, or 86 mL/kg/min (whichever form you prefer).

Factor in the average altitude of ~1200 m, and a 6.3% decline in VO2max with every 1000m in altitude, VO2max = 92.5 mL/min/kg.

But this was using all favourable figures! (8.6 km, not 8.7 km, 7.1% gradient, not 7.5%, strong tailwind, though the climb has many turns, lighter weight than reported, light bike+equip, no accumulated fatigue after more than 2 weeks racing).

Using stats based on the normal calculations (d=8.7km, g=7.5%, no wind, 61+9kg):
P = ~460 W
VO2max = ~114 mL/kg/min

With those lower and upper (or mid range) estimates, I'm guessing the AC is the most talented athlete to have ever lived, bar none! His numbers are crazy-high.
And how do you achieve that number even with doping? How will you carry that much O2 in your blood? Or how will your heart pump so fast? What is the drug that is not tested, but is capable of doing that?
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Doping and other ergogenincs

Some source speculate that EPO can improve VO2max by 10%? There are papers published showing that tribasic sodium phosphate loading can improve VO2max by 8% or more. (This ones legal but still some doubt over effectiveness.)

There goes an 18% improvement, assuming they can work together, take a 90 mL/kg/min cyclist, add 18%, 106 mL/kg/min.

Laszlo, AWC is the ability to produce work without oxygen. If any of ones AWC is used, it's like a battery, it has to be paid back, which uses oxygen. The goal with a mountain-top finish is to deplete this stored energy before the finish line (though it'll hurt), and pay it back afterwards.

A value for a top elite cyclist is an AWC of about 36 kJ? (Wiggins is about this at his peak?) That means one can sustain an extra 30 W over Lactate Threshold (LT) for 20 mins (or 10 W for an hour). It can only be recharged when below LT.
 
Jun 13, 2009
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If I was a clean rider, I'd just publish my SRM/Powertap readings for all my races. Then I'd challenge my competitors to do the same.
That way every wannabe with a calculator could shut the f up!

But, yeah, with Peurto and all that, The Kid is dirty. So he ain't ever telling anyone anything!
 
Jun 13, 2009
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PACONi said:
But, yeah, with Peurto and all that, The Kid is dirty.
He's being smart. There is absolutely no reason to say anything that might further implicate him in Puerto, guilty or innocent. There is no reason to speak to the press or to the police ever, guilty or innocent as anything you say can incriminate or implicate you in something and you do not benefit.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Cobber said:
Maybe you should read the whole article before posting. The numbers have been questioned by a few now that they are not correct and are OVER inflated. Thats basicly what the second half of the article says, so try reading the whole picture instead of just half.

"Taking everything into consideration, I'd say that a more reasonable estimate of Contador's power during that ascent is about 450 W, which would require a sustained VO2 of 'only' 80 mL/kg/min. That is still quite high, but not so high that you can definitively state that it can only be achieved via doping."
 
Jul 24, 2009
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I just wish Lemond would shut his trap. According to him, anyone faster than him must be a doper. Let's see Lemond's proof he wasn't on amphetamines when he was racing. Honestly, to comment on such a ridiculous set of assumptive and estimated numbers just makes him look like a lunatic. I'm actually less surprised at Contador's climbing ability than his time trialing. I find it amazing that he beat Cancellara this deep into the tour and after his mountaintop efforts. That's more suspect to me than the climbs this year.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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lean said:
because you give people who are uninformed about human performance but good at creating propaganda ammunition.

not saying he is clean but it's a catch 22

probably less damaging to not reveal values than to reveal them and have to defend yourself to a bunch of psuedo-science conspiracy theorists.

i think the trend is going to move more towards privacy for this reason.
Not everyone who follows cycling is a pseudo-science conspiracy theorist though. Contador is producing performances that are bordering on the realms of human impossibility as determined by scientists. He won't reveal his VO2max because it will very likely say one of two things a) it is a score that is physiologically possible but below what is required to achieve his performances on the road, or b) it is high enough to achieve his performances on the road (which of course it must be), but is a score that could very well be one of the highest ever recorded values in history. It pretty much needs to be somewhere between 89-99 ml/kg
 

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