Contador refuses to reveal VO2 max

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Jul 7, 2009
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Funny thing is, while I think AC is a big time doper, I don't see any issue with his not revealing his VO2. I would simply put that down to private info and competitive "intelligence" - I would not want to give my competitors any edge. And, as many have stated, while VO2 is important, it is not the only significant factor in racing (and I don't want to even comment on the ridiculous 'estimates' of VO2 based on the climb).

Of course, that was not the only question he would not answer. Even a newbie to PR would have cringed at his responses ;)
 
Jul 13, 2009
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Izoard said:
Funny thing is, while I think AC is a big time doper, I don't see any issue with his not revealing his VO2. I would simply put that down to private info and competitive "intelligence" - I would not want to give my competitors any edge. And, as many have stated, while VO2 is important, it is not the only significant factor in racing (and I don't want to even comment on the ridiculous 'estimates' of VO2 based on the climb).

Of course, that was not the only question he would not answer. Even a newbie to PR would have cringed at his responses ;)
I agree .
 
Jun 16, 2009
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cody_57 said:
Sorry, what did happen to him? (Not meant sarcastically!)

I was under the impression that he got thrown out for lying about his whereabouts - did he test positive at some point during or after that escapade?
No he didn't test positive but missing out of competition controls means you are hiding something.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Why laugh at science?

egtalbot said:
I just laugh when I see the attempts to estimate what VO2 max was required to do the climb.
Why? Sport scientists know the relationships, the problem is the errors. I made a rough calculation, based on the parameters floating around the web, and I got 93+/-15 mL/kg/min. That means that Alberto Contador probably has a VO2max in the range of 78 to 108 mL/kg/min. Not very useful to know though, I'm sure that won't really surprise anyone. But if there was data for 10 climbs, or 50 climbs, or Contador simply told us, then the uncertainty would decrease.

But if Contador is smart he won't tell us. He gains nothing. Just like when talking to cops, anything he says maybe twisted around and used against him later, he'd be nuts to comment on this.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Izoard said:
I would not want to give my competitors any edge.
i'm pretty well informed, you'll have to trust me on that for now, i don't see how this info is in any way an advantage to competitors.

what are they going to do with contador's VO2 Max? bupkis! it's entirely about PR.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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lean said:
i don't discourage the effort to calculate VO2Max in real world settings. it's admirable but compared to laboratory analysis its the difference between a hack saw and surgeon's scalpel. to then base an opinion of doping on it starts to look very foolish.
Sure, but as a sport scientist who knows the limitations and error associated with those calculations, I personally am still interested in a ball park figure.

cycling is a unique problem in exercise science. there are a lot folks who are very knowledgeable in the areas of biomechanics and physiology but who do not understand the strategy of actually racing a bike at a high level. at face value it appears to be mostly a steady state when in reality intensities vary widely. we rightly assign physiologists credibility but they often make assumptions that are downright embarassing. racing IQ and a formal education in exercise science is a rare but very valuable combination.
lol sure but if you don't understand what you just wrote above ie: that road racing is highly intermittent in nature, then you're not a cycling physiologist. There is an abundance of literature on this topic, and there is also an abundance of unpublished SRM data. This stuff is bread and butter for physiologists working closely with elite cycling programs.

Also, if you don't know who Andy Coggan is, then you're not a cycling physiologist either, you're probably not even a cycling enthusiast ;)

there is an obvious fallacy in the examination of verbier. the assumption is that contador is 100% motivated. he is not. he will take out an advantage for the day and then ride comfortably when he has a margin he is content with. he will have to back off in the interests of riding successfully the next day. (a rest day following the stage mimimizes this but not entirely, a GT rider is always conserving if he can)

I would expect these calculations to actually be a little low as scary as that sounds. (you can extrapolate max VO2 with a submaximal test pretty reliably but how motivated was he? what a mess)
Agreed, one of the biggest sources of error in the calculations is the assumption that he maintained an average of 90% VO2max.
 
Mar 19, 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 is only 5 seconds.
The reason those runners all went fast with lower V02 maxes is economy in running. Running stride & efficiency is very important, similar to skiing (XC). In cycling everybody gets a narrow range of pedaling efficiency. Mechanical efficiency. The most you could gain is a couple of percent with a great pedal stroke. Runners can gain a lot more.

By the way... >>Even if Contador could maintain 100% of his V02 max for an hour he'd never win the Tour de France clean or even be top 30. His V02 max power undoped would be lower than his doped FTP (presumably very high threshold percentage.)

You just have to look at the 88 V02 max test Contador did a couple of winters ago with Liberty before they were all busted in Puerto. He had an 88 undoped. His V02 max for this Tour was like 102. His FTP per kilo like 6.7 watts per kilo. Clean he'd have like 5.6. LOL
 
Jun 22, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
Sure, but as a sport scientist who knows the limitations and error associated with those calculations, I personally am still interested in a ball park figure.
i am too, but most of the forum is not sport scientists, it's important for them to know that these figures cannot be accepted blindly as fact and used to assassinate character. (not accusing you of this, but there are forum users who i worry about)

Krebs cycle said:
lol sure but if you don't understand what you just wrote above ie: that road racing is highly intermittent in nature, then you're not a cycling physiologist. There is an abundance of literature on this topic, and there is also an abundance of unpublished SRM data. This stuff is bread and butter for physiologists working closely with elite cycling programs.
you can assume that i understand what i write. i don't always understand what others write:D

bread and butter to that population, I agree 100%. That paragraph was written so that the leap to talking about intensities and strategy wasn't so hard to grasp. don't make too much of it. (i should have said that intensities vary widely and not just for the obvious reasons like changing gradients, wind speed/direction, etc.)
 
Apr 11, 2009
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BigBoat said:
The reason those runners all went fast with lower V02 maxes is economy in running. Running stride & efficiency is very important, similar to skiing (XC). In cycling everybody gets a narrow range of pedaling efficiency. Mechanical efficiency. The most you could gain is a couple of percent with a great pedal stroke. Runners can gain a lot more.
+1 Agree with that.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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lean said:
you can assume that i understand what i write. i don't always understand what others write:D
i wasn't referring to you in particular, more like "you" as in "anyone" or "someone" ;)

i can tell you understand what you write. good discussion amongst knowledgable sport scientists on such topics is always fun and interesting :)
 
dienekes88 said:
Walsh has a tendency to question things based on performance alone. I wonder why he has been so quiet about Wiggins, the real revelation of this year's Tour.
No if you read his articles and books, this is definitely not the case. But he has seen too much not to have his suspicions, and for one thing AC shold never have been racing in 07 anyway. So that would clearly have been the starting point for David Walsh and that interview.
David Walsh hasn't even been writing about this year's Tour, to question Wiggins...I don't even kow if he is there. That interview is from 07.
I'm not sure why you're questioning why he is not commenting on Wiggins, I get the feeling it's because you believe it national bias. If that is the case, and it may not be, Wiggins is English, Walsh is Irish.
 

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