Discussion on the best recent performances at The Tour on the Alpe d'Huez

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Dec 7, 2010
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PCutter said:
An interesting article on this topic about times on the alp and if they are physically possible

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/11/sports/cycling/11climb.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1
Thanks for that, it was a good read. I'm surprised I hadn't seen that one before. This last bit is interesting:
The reasons behind amazing performances cannot necessarily be proved, they said. Sometimes, they just happen.


I always have to think back to some amazing baseball pitcher's performances.

June, 12, 1970, Dock Ellis pitches a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates...while tripping on LSD!
Ellis had been visiting friends in Los Angeles under the impression he had the day off and was still high when his friend's girlfriend told him he had to pitch a game against the Padres that night. Ellis boarded a shuttle flight to the ballpark and threw a no-hitter despite not being able to feel the ball or clearly see the batter or catcher. :eek:
April 29, 1986, Roger Clemens, with the Boston Red Sox, became the first pitcher in history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning major league game. This, after getting stuck in traffic on the way to the game, having to run to the stadium, and not going through his usual meticulous pre-game preparation.


May 17, 1998, David Wells of the New York Yankees pitches a perfect game after being hung-over and otherwise unprepared for anything spectacular.
Wells has claimed to have been "half-drunk" and suffering from a "raging, skull-rattling hangover" during his perfect game.
Different sport, different factors--obviously. But peak human performance in sport can be a very unpredictable thing.

It's all very interesting.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dock_Ellis
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_game
 
Sep 10, 2009
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I find the yearly pattern more interesting than the relative times or who the rider was - of the top ten "fastest" times up the Alpe, seven occurred during the period 1994-1997, when EPO use was probably at its most rampant. Somehow I don't think that's a coincidence.
 
May 13, 2009
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gregrowlerson said:
1. Pantani 36’50″, 1995, 22.5 kph
2. Pantani 36’55″, 1997
3. Pantani 37’15″, 1994
Ulrich was never as fit as he was in 1997 where he even rode tempo for about half of the climb after Virenque was dropped and realized Pantani was flying, I think he could have done better if Virenque would have been able to stay with Pantani, something he could never do during his career whenever Pantani was fit.

D aside, Pantani's performance were done on "heavy" 21-22 lb aluminum Willier and steel Pinarello's. He could have gone <35 min using Armstrong's 2004 15 lb Trek. Which only shows how fast those guys were going in mid to late 90s.

How does Pantani's Power to weight ratio compares to Riis 96 Hautacam's ratio?
 
Nov 12, 2010
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Thats not true. Pantani's bike would have been at the very most 17lbs. If you read his biography you will see that he was super peculiar about his bike weight and would even throw jewelery off his body to "be lighter".

That amount of sh!t people make up on forums is unbelievable.
 
Mar 15, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Ulrich was sick on the Alp d'huez stage in 2003, he had a fever and serious stomach issue. Even had to make a "Pit stop" on the side of the road. He lost 3:36 that day to Mayo because of it. likely would have won the Tour if he had not be sick
He wouldnt have been sick if he werent having a transfusion reaction like the
Ricco illness?

Cause only what... five days later he destroyed Armstrong and everyone else in the ITT.
You rarely get over a febrile illness from a virus or bronchial infection on antibiotics while racing 200 km a day, then destroy everyone 5 days later.

I mean, have you ever been sick with a fever and then five days later had you absolute best day ever on a bike?

1 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Bianchi 58.32.92 (48.178 km/h)
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 1.36
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 2.06
4 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.40
5 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 2.43
6 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 3.26
7 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Credit Par Telephone 3.55
 
Aug 13, 2009
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davestoller said:
He wouldnt have been sick if he werent having a transfusion reaction like the
Ricco illness?

Cause only what... five days later he destroyed Armstrong and everyone else in the ITT.
You rarely get over a febrile illness from a virus or bronchial infection on antibiotics while racing 200 km a day, then destroy everyone 5 days later.

I mean, have you ever been sick with a fever and then five days later had you absolute best day ever on a bike?

1 Jan Ullrich (Ger) Team Bianchi 58.32.92 (48.178 km/h)
2 Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal-Berry Floor 1.36
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Team Telekom 2.06
4 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 2.40
5 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC 2.43
6 Uwe Peschel (Ger) Gerolsteiner 3.26
7 David Millar (GBr) Cofidis, Credit Par Telephone 3.55
Not sure how a transfusion gives you the craps. I could go into detail but this is a family forum. If you ever meet him ask him what he did with Tobias Steinhauser hat that day

There is a story of a bad transfusion at the 2003 Tour....but it involves Armstrong the day before he lost a minute in the TT
 
Dec 7, 2010
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lean said:
the article was discussed here in excruciating [emphasis added] detail when it was first published:

NYT's Juliet Macur doesn't seem like a fangirl
Yes, I just finished plowing through that entire thread...that spanned nearly an entire week...and over 300 posts. So, Dr. Coggan engaged in all of that, in this particular sub-forum, but apparently has no personal investment, whatsoever, in whether or not the worlds top cyclists are dopers. Silly me.
I'm not sure how much of that thread actually pertained to Macur's article though. :rolleyes:

Not surprisingly, the most interesting and relevant contribution came from Le breton's first-hand account of climbing d'Huez. Good stuff.

Thanks for that link though. Seriously.
 
May 13, 2009
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ancientdude said:
Thats not true. Pantani's bike would have been at the very most 17lbs. If you read his biography you will see that he was super peculiar about his bike weight and would even throw jewelery off his body to "be lighter".

That amount of sh!t people make up on forums is unbelievable.
Jeez, forgot your Prozac?? :D

Please send us a link with Pantani's bike weights. I would love to see proof of a 1995 columbus tubing bike weighting less than 17 lb. I recall reading an article back in the 90s about Pantani's Willier and it was about 20 lb but I could be wrong...no need to get emotional about it :p
 
Good thread, bottom line is we'll have to wait till Ullrich decides to come clean...if he ever does. Common sense would tend to indicate that he decided to go to Fuentes after the 2004 tour fiasco after being convinced he'd win the tour after coming so close in 2003.

On the other hand his 2004 and 2005 tour performances may have been hampered by his huge muscles, compared to the lean and mean look of 1996 and 1997, does anyone know his TDF weight for each year he participated? He looked closer to that in 2006...
 
Feb 1, 2010
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eleven said:
Doping questions aside, the first post is a reminder of just how great a climber Pantani was. Troubled, doped...but perhaps the most exciting and explosive rider in the peloton.

To the question of comparing times: Other than ITT's, it's hard to know what was going on tactically that impacted times. That's why I'm amazed that even in an ITT (where effort is 100% for the whole ride), Armstrong could not reach Pantani's pace at the end of a mountainous stage.
The thing is, if you talk about exciting and explosive you can't really put the doping aside. He was explosive because of the doping. Since people all respond differently to the sophisticated blood doping, Pantani may have been quite an average racer that had an unusually exceptional response to EPO. Yes he was exciting to watch, but I find it very hard to put the 'why' to one side.
 
dougzz99 said:
The thing is, if you talk about exciting and explosive you can't really put the doping aside. He was explosive because of the doping. Since people all respond differently to the sophisticated blood doping, Pantani may have been quite an average racer that had an unusually exceptional response to EPO. Yes he was exciting to watch, but I find it very hard to put the 'why' to one side.
Pantani was very talented as an amateur though, a few years before EPO became really widespread among the pros. The likes of him, Gotti, Simoni or Rebellin were consistently up there.
 
Feb 1, 2010
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hrotha said:
Pantani was very talented as an amateur though, a few years before EPO became really widespread among the pros. The likes of him, Gotti, Simoni or Rebellin were consistently up there.
I thought that there was plenty of evidence that Pantani had doped since he was very young. Doesn't Matt Rendell's book pretty much establish that?
 

jimmypop

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Jul 16, 2010
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Granville57 said:
Yes, I just finished plowing through that entire thread...that spanned nearly an entire week...and over 300 posts. So, Dr. Coggan engaged in all of that, in this particular sub-forum, but apparently has no personal investment, whatsoever, in whether or not the worlds top cyclists are dopers. Silly me.
Coggan is an example of a self-deluded academic; these people are feared in skeptical circles because the weight of their prior works bring the naive along for the ride into fantasyland. He's bordering on illegitimacy with his assertions.
 
webvan said:
Good thread, bottom line is we'll have to wait till Ullrich decides to come clean...if he ever does. Common sense would tend to indicate that he decided to go to Fuentes after the 2004 tour fiasco after being convinced he'd win the tour after coming so close in 2003.

On the other hand his 2004 and 2005 tour performances may have been hampered by his huge muscles, compared to the lean and mean look of 1996 and 1997, does anyone know his TDF weight for each year he participated? He looked closer to that in 2006...
Someone mentioned that Ullrich was sick on the Alp du'ez in '03, though I've never heard that. Thought it was just one of his bad days - and quite typical of Jan to have that on the first big day in the mountains.

That differed to his poor performances in the first mountain stages of '04, when he was definitely sick - it has been documented that he picked up a flu/virus right on the eve of The Tour.

Even if Ullrich had joined Fuentes before the '05 Tour, it wasn't really going to give him a chance of winning as even Basso was too good for him in the mountains, and I thought that Jan's form was good in that race except for his typical struggle to Courchavel (excuse my bad spelling, can't be bothered looking up exact names and often I don't remember them anyway!) which was the first high mountain stage. But then there was '06......

I can remember seeing Jan looking extremely lean and mean when the OP scandal hit. I think that Ullrich was the likely winner of his second Tour then. Nice ITT win at The Giro, victory in the overall at the Tour of Swiss - and Basso may have already burned himself out from The Giro (though on/in that form Jan could not have beaten him). Plus, as we saw in the actual race, T-Mobile had the strongest squad. Imagine all of those guys (with all that extra help ;)) supporting Ullrich! And as a minor example, on that Alp du'ez stage, when only Landis could ride with Kloden, imagine if Ullrich was working alongside of him? Though of course the same could be said for the Sastre/Basso partnership, among others.
 
Yep, good points. I didn't remember Ullrich being sick in 2003 up the Alpe either but our friend seems to have some pretty specific info! Mind you I had forgotten about him being sick in 2004 too. I guess he never made a big fuss about that and manned up. Not something the OneNut wonder would have done...remember the 2003 ITT where he got trounced and came up with all kinds of silly excuses, like "break was rubbing", "it was so hot I lost 10 pounds", etc...not to mention the "he didn't wait for me" (after he made a mistake and ran into a spectator)...

Forgot to comment on the good point made above about the 40 (42?) seconds lost in the TTT, without that he would indeed have been in yellow and wouldn't have had to work as hard to drop LA.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Granville57 said:
Yes, I just finished plowing through that entire thread...that spanned nearly an entire week...and over 300 posts. So, Dr. Coggan engaged in all of that, in this particular sub-forum, but apparently has no personal investment, whatsoever, in whether or not the worlds top cyclists are dopers.
Ineed, I don't - I just like to argue. :D
 
Mar 18, 2009
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jimmypop said:
Coggan is an example of a self-deluded academic
And what did I ever do to you to deserve this ad hominem attack?

jimmypop said:
; these people are feared in skeptical circles because the weight of their prior works bring the naive along for the ride into fantasyland. He's bordering on illegitimacy with his assertions.
If you care to describe the specific assertions of mine that you question I'll be more than happy to explain the basis for them.
 
Granville57 said:
Yes, I just finished plowing through that entire thread...that spanned nearly an entire week...and over 300 posts. So, Dr. Coggan engaged in all of that, in this particular sub-forum, but apparently has no personal investment, whatsoever, in whether or not the worlds top cyclists are dopers.
It was the same in rec.bicycles.racing. No matter how outrageous the performance, there was always an explanation. I guess Dr. Coyle trains 'em well.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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BroDeal said:
It was the same in rec.bicycles.racing. No matter how outrageous the performance, there was always an explanation.
Please do not attempt to put words in my mouth/distort my position.

My point was, is, and likely always will simply be that the uncertainties surrounding such calculations are too large relative to what is/is not known about human physiological capababilities for this approach to be used to definitively determine who is/isn't doping.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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acoggan said:
Please do not attempt to put words in my mouth/distort my position.

My point was, is, and likely always will simply be that the uncertainties surrounding such calculations are too large relative to what is/is not known about human physiological capababilities for this approach to be used to definitively determine who is/isn't doping.
What is the point where the uncertainties are not too large? 6.7 w/kg for 40 minutes?
 
Granville57 said:
Yes, I just finished plowing through that entire threadNot surprisingly, the most interesting and relevant contribution came from Le breton's first-hand account of climbing d'Huez. Good stuff.

Thanks for that link though. Seriously.
I don't remember what I wrote to deserve such a compliment, but thanks:)

In 2004 I watched the AdH TT on TV at home (near Geneva), but exchanged emails afterwards with Frédéric Portoleau (cyclismag.com) who was present on the climb.

BTW cyclismag.com decided to stop all new activity. It really is a loss, although the old articles remain accessible.
 

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