Doping gives a 40% advantage according to cyclists

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Indurain said:
With a 40% increase in power, Moncoutie would probably be as good as Armstrong at his peak. Remember also that most of the elite pro's who are sprinters probably climb faster than Elite Cat 1 climbers. You just become better at what you're naturally good at. 40% increase in power doesn't mean 40% increase in speed or time.
Point being?

The fact that Moncoutie could be so much better (as good as the best Armstrong) with doping indicates that doping is not wide spread, as no-one is as good as Armstrong in his prime (simply by comparing time and even wattages even though stages are easier now).

And indeed, sprinters in the Tour may be quicker on the mountains than Elite 1 climbers. It would be interesting to compare times from mountain time trials though to prove it. But then again, I don't think that's weird. Look at Vitaly Petrov in Formula 1, he did a good job last weekend even though he is generally regarded as a poor rider, and I am sure there are loads of talents in Formula 3, 3000 or whatever that are better than him. But just because he has been riding for a year he was able to stay in front of Alonso. Just because sprinters are professionally training and riding on the highest level they will be reasonable climbers, because in essence climbing a mountain on a bike is still cycling.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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D-Queued said:
Sustained improvements of up to 20% output seem possible. Indurain had a one hour output of 508 HP. For real humans (and 140-150 lb Tour heavywweights), maybe 400ish is possible.

Dave.
I already know you mean Watts, not HP.

Any scientists here? Are watts indicated as an "hourly" measure? They're not like poker chips that one collects. I think wattage is more like a "level" of energy output, not something you store and keep.

I suspect that what they're really trying to say is that if you we're to take periodic snapshots of his wattage output for an hour, it would average-out to a rate of 508 watts.

But I'll have to say, that seems damn high.
 
Jul 6, 2010
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I think the 10+% increase in wattage is reasonable.

Couple that with some of the other niceties of EPO, increased recovery time, etc. and that's enough to crush a clean rider with talent. Sad...
 
I initially thought 40% "output" is an exaggerated figure-but if you interpret the article in a different way, the figure is actually correct: for those Pro riders competing in any major race and finishing from the very bottom up to the top 20-they indeed require an enormous improvement, equal or near to 40% to become real challengers-although some additional aspects are involved in the equation, like the athlete's physiology & specialty, but nonetheless still constant what is required in output to make that transition....
now the figure is absolutely different among the very best-which I dare to say is 5 to 15% max.
 
BotanyBay said:
I already know you mean Watts, not HP.

Any scientists here? Are watts indicated as an "hourly" measure? They're not like poker chips that one collects. I think wattage is more like a "level" of energy output, not something you store and keep.

I suspect that what they're really trying to say is that if you we're to take periodic snapshots of his wattage output for an hour, it would average-out to a rate of 508 watts.

But I'll have to say, that seems damn high.
Watt = Joules per second, it's an instantaneous measure, or the "flow" of energy. As a measure of quantity you use Watt hours (i.e. 508 Watts average over 1 hour = 508 Wh). Alternatively you could use Joules.

Just think of Big Mig powering a high-end PC... for an hour.
 
While the 40% number and length of stages is properly being pointed out as absurd, there's a lot more to this article than that.

I haven't read every last article in the last few weeks but this seems to be the first time I have read by a verifiable source (Associated Press) that Interpol, Italian and Belgian police, the FDA, USADA, Federal prosecutors (Miller, thus likely the DOJ) and the FBI are all working together on this and sharing information. That's a LOT of heat.

AP reveals that Belgian police are also involved and that the Americans were represented by U.S. Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, U.S. federal prosecutor Doug Miller and FBI special agent Olivier Faraole.
 
Oct 8, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
While the 40% number and length of stages is properly being pointed out as absurd, there's a lot more to this article than that.

I haven't read every last article in the last few weeks but this seems to be the first time I have read by a verifiable source (Associated Press) that Interpol, Italian and Belgian police, the FDA, USADA, Federal prosecutors (Miller, thus likely the DOJ) and the FBI are all working together on this and sharing information. That's a LOT of heat.

AP reveals that Belgian police are also involved and that the Americans were represented by U.S. Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, U.S. federal prosecutor Doug Miller and FBI special agent Olivier Faraole.

Oh yeah...like the Belgian and Italian police have really done anything about doping in cycling other than their little ceremonial raids whereby none of the cyclists ever end up going to jail. Lance lived in Girona, Spain throughout his career. I can't help but notice the Spanish police didn't seem to be involved.
 

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Aug 17, 2009
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Indurain said:
I'm not sure it is exaggerated. Let say someone's natural maximum output is 900W, on a flat unassisted sprint this is worth about 58km'h

You add 40 % more power (360W) and this comes to 1260W. This is worth about 67km'h in an unassisted sprint. They've just put themselves in with a chance at getting a US pro contract as a sprinter in that with the assistance of the peleton they can now hit over 70km'h.

Likewise, if an A grade racer can hold 400W in a timetrial over 40km's he would do it in about 53.40mins at abt 45km'h. You add 40% power he can now hold 560W and do it in 47.30mins at 50.5km'h. Now he is a world class timetrialist even though he only dropped close to 6mins.

It sounds more realistic to me than what I first thought. Didn't that Festina guy that got done say something like there are Pro's out there so full of dope that they wouldn't even make good elite ameteur riders without them.
On a flat course aerodynamics is key. The fundamentals are a simple mathamatical equation. In his book Cav. explained it simply. He has much less power then Boonen but can go quite a bit quicker because of less drag area and a more aeodynamic position. I do not see doing helping a rider out more than 5 percent max on the flat. Probably >>05-2 percent.

On mountains at slow speed a completely different story of course.
 
Feb 25, 2010
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Indurain said:
I'm not sure it is exaggerated. Let say someone's natural maximum output is 900W, on a flat unassisted sprint this is worth about 58km'h

You add 40 % more power (360W) and this comes to 1260W. This is worth about 67km'h in an unassisted sprint. They've just put themselves in with a chance at getting a US pro contract as a sprinter in that with the assistance of the peleton they can now hit over 70km'h.

Likewise, if an A grade racer can hold 400W in a timetrial over 40km's he would do it in about 53.40mins at abt 45km'h. You add 40% power he can now hold 560W and do it in 47.30mins at 50.5km'h. Now he is a world class timetrialist even though he only dropped close to 6mins.

It sounds more realistic to me than what I first thought. Didn't that Festina guy that got done say something like there are Pro's out there so full of dope that they wouldn't even make good elite ameteur riders without them.
well put, 40% really isn't that many... it doesn't sound unrealistic to me at all. I can sprint at 55-60 km/h at the absolute max(52x14 as a derailleur, which would be around 900W) so I recon with more training and some dope I could easily improve that to 70km/h +
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Big LOL at the intelligence of these muppets! 40%? That's like going from 4.5 W/kg to 6.3 W/kg or 5.0 W/kg to 7.0 W/kg! Absolutely brilliant comments, no doubt stemming from some hacks attempting to justify their own doping.

Indurain said:
With a 40% increase in power, Moncoutie would probably be as good as Armstrong at his peak. Remember also that most of the elite pro's who are sprinters probably climb faster than Elite Cat 1 climbers. You just become better at what you're naturally good at. 40% increase in power doesn't mean 40% increase in speed or time.
No, he'd massacre peak Lance as well as peak Riis and peak Pantani. I'm guessing his FTP would be above 8 W/kg after a 40% increase.
 
Posting from a phone sukks.

I used to be a good sports level mtb racer. In my offseason I got a medical check. Note, I can't help being fit in winter, an allergy thing possibly which later surfaced.
82-83kg
506W aerobic max power (20min incremental test) I even felt hampered by non-clip platform pedals and short cranks (I'm tall). Also the doc wanted a steady rpm. I chose 98, but at LT I'd tested 113rpm as natural before (training that was not fun btw).
I felt confident to bring that 506W to at least 550W even without quitting my day job, and of course no doping. Even a 20% gain I don't want know about.
For lactate threshold, 45-60min for me, I think at the time I was 370-380W. Years earlier I had tested 340W (40-45min test). I at one point (less and less training) think I topped out at 400W.
My former personal trainer totally thought that possible. He quit training people but told to call him at 400W. He really quit training folks unfortunately.
Let's say at a monk I was good for 430W. Please don't evern add 15% for all the dope in the world. The temptation to win...
 
May 26, 2009
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One can take a look at times up Alpe d'Huez (according to Wikipedia). The best time before 1987 was in 1952 by a certain Italian, Fausto Coppi.

2001 Armstron 38.01
1952 Coppi 45.22

Using analyticcycling.com calculator for Power based on Speed I got 330W for Coppi and 400W for Armstrong - they both weight the same. The time difference is ~19% and the power difference ~20%. We can probably all agree that Fausto Coppi is one of the most talented riders of all time. On the other hand there are many versions of how talented Armstrong actually is.

There are many variables comparing the times: reliability of measurements (time, distance), wind, race conditions, pacing, equipment, etc., etc. I don't actually know if my power measurements are correct. But anyway the best times up different mountains seem to all be from the 90s and 2000 onwards. So comparing performances from the 70s to the ones in the 90s might give you an estimation of how much doping has improved performance.

This has been discussed before and one of my favourite comments from another poster was a comparison of times of ascending the Alpe d'Huez. Something about most of the Peloton in the 90s going up faster than the best rider 10 years before. Can anyone remember posting it?
 
RdBiker said:
One can take a look at times up Alpe d'Huez (according to Wikipedia). The best time before 1987 was in 1952 by a certain Italian, Fausto Coppi.

2001 Armstron 38.01
1952 Coppi 45.22

Using analyticcycling.com calculator for Power based on Speed I got 330W for Coppi and 400W for Armstrong - they both weight the same. The time difference is ~19% and the power difference ~20%. We can probably all agree that Fausto Coppi is one of the most talented riders of all time. On the other hand there are many versions of how talented Armstrong actually is.

There are many variables comparing the times: reliability of measurements (time, distance), wind, race conditions, pacing, equipment, etc., etc. I don't actually know if my power measurements are correct. But anyway the best times up different mountains seem to all be from the 90s and 2000 onwards. So comparing performances from the 70s to the ones in the 90s might give you an estimation of how much doping has improved performance.

This has been discussed before and one of my favourite comments from another poster was a comparison of times of ascending the Alpe d'Huez. Something about most of the Peloton in the 90s going up faster than the best rider 10 years before. Can anyone remember posting it?
Doping in the '90s was obvious. But I advice you to be very, very careful with time comparisons. Training methods have improved dramatically, take for example only the fact that Lance only focussed on the Tour. That alone will give him an advantage. Equipment improved, stages shortened (the 1952 stage was 270km, which makes a big difference when comparing times and wattages) and racing intensity was different: Again, especially during the Armstrong period the peloton was tightly controlled until the last climb on which all power was released.

Comparison over time is very difficult, and a 50 year period is way too big to say anything sensible about the difference in times.
 
Aug 2, 2010
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if coppi was riding today he would never been able to win what he won. even without doping. times are much more different, and the ones that were really winning lots of races because of doping were hinault, merckx, even coppi, etc. those were able to win sprints and mountains. those were the bigger dopers. not because they used more drugs than armstrong, but because they were the only ones (with a few more) doing it(dope). it's common sense that cancellara wont be able to beat contador in ventoux and contador wont be able to beat cancellara in roubaix.

nowadays dope can make win win OR the tour, OR some roubaix, OR sprints. but in those days, dope made them win everything. for me, real cycling began after 1990. you can call merckx or hinault as the best all rounder ever, but you cant call them the best ever. contador, cavendish, cancellara, bettini. all of them would've been able to "kill" merckx and hinault. this means that merckx and hinauld would probably had lots of good results during a year but with 0 important victories. not only that, but no one can be in shape the whole year.
 
Apr 9, 2009
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I think the 40% figure is probably conservative, if you're talking about a mental advantage. Otherwise, 5-10% physical advantage. If you're in a race and you think everyone is geared up except you, my guess is you're not gonna launch too many attacks.
 
Jul 19, 2009
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c&cfan said:
if coppi was riding today he would never been able to win what he won. even without doping. times are much more different, and the ones that were really winning lots of races because of doping were hinault, merckx, even coppi, etc. those were able to win sprints and mountains. those were the bigger dopers. not because they used more drugs than armstrong, but because they were the only ones (with a few more) doing it(dope). it's common sense that cancellara wont be able to beat contador in ventoux and contador wont be able to beat cancellara in roubaix.

nowadays dope can make win win OR the tour, OR some roubaix, OR sprints. but in those days, dope made them win everything. for me, real cycling began after 1990. you can call merckx or hinault as the best all rounder ever, but you cant call them the best ever. contador, cavendish, cancellara, bettini. all of them would've been able to "kill" merckx and hinault. this means that merckx and hinauld would probably had lots of good results during a year but with 0 important victories. not only that, but no one can be in shape the whole year.
Your argues will be better if Hinault or Merckx have not been successfull since their first year! How did they manage to dope more or best than others?
 
Jul 19, 2009
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About the 40%, everyone don't benefit as much as the the best respondant to a drug.

So the 40% is probably a too high values, but often riders have said 20, 25 or 30%.

Some research studies cites from 15% to 25% performance improvement for EPO use.
 
Aug 8, 2009
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Arnout said:
...Comparison over time is very difficult, and a 50 year period is way too big to say anything sensible about the difference in times.
I agree. The time differences are even bigger in other sports, i.e. look at marathon times from the 1950s. The Armstong/Coppi comparison is moronic.
 
May 26, 2010
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Arnout said:
Doping in the '90s was obvious. But I advice you to be very, very careful with time comparisons. Training methods have improved dramatically, take for example only the fact that Lance only focussed on the Tour. That alone will give him an advantage. Equipment improved, stages shortened (the 1952 stage was 270km, which makes a big difference when comparing times and wattages) and racing intensity was different: Again, especially during the Armstrong period the peloton was tightly controlled until the last climb on which all power was released.

Comparison over time is very difficult, and a 50 year period is way too big to say anything sensible about the difference in times.
"..there is no evidence that advances in cycling technology since WWII led to faster racing speeds. There is no systematic co-relation between the two. Some speed increases came during times when athletic performance as a whole were increasing. Others came at times when bicycle technology and innovation were stagnant. The only period where bicycling technology led to a pronounced speed increase was during the 1930's with the introduction of lightweight steel frames. "

http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2010-08-29T15:05:00-04:00&max-results=20

"It is tempting to look over the Tour de France speed curve and pick [technology] factors that appear to have caused increases or decreases in speeds. [...] However, when taken in the context of all the data, these specific examples don't add up to a compelling case that bicycle technology increased Tour de France speeds. Neither of them stand up to close scrutiny. [...] Across the whole timeframe of the last 100 years, even radical changes like the introduction of the derailleurs did not alter the trend of Tour de France speeds. Clearly, the larger pattern suggests that bicycle technology has had little, if any, effect on racing speeds, especially in recent decades."

http://bikeraceinfo.com/tdf/tdfstats.html
 
sashimono said:
I agree. The time differences are even bigger in other sports, i.e. look at marathon times from the 1950s. The Armstong/Coppi comparison is moronic.
You seem to have unknowingly made a case against your stance.

The differences in marathon and other sports are very different between 1950 and 2000.

Exactly:)

Other sports dope too. As much as cycling if not more. No wonder their times have improved vastly with the advent of epo and other drugs.
 
Jun 12, 2010
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The Hitch said:
You seem to have unknowingly made a case against your stance.

The differences in marathon and other sports are very different between 1950 and 2000.

Exactly:)

Other sports dope too. As much as cycling if not more. No wonder their times have improved vastly with the advent of epo and other drugs.
Peeps often comment that cycling gets a rough ride ( no pun intented!) re doping and is doing more than almost any other sport to clean up.
There may or may not be truth in that statement. However it realy isnt a "defence" is it?...its more a cry of "its not fair".
And perhaps it`s not, but then neither is doping and the extreeme cardiouvasculer nature of endurance cycling "benifts" more than possibly any other sport from the use of EPO.
Due to extreem high risks associated with EPO and a substantial number of deaths of young riders in circumstances that indicated EPO use this sport had to "be seen" to act.
Via the Biological Passport it has "appeared" to do so buts its become apparent that theres been cover ups and the passport has been used as doping regulater rather than a preventer.
How other sports bare up to scrutiny realy isnt our concern is it?. Should we allter integrity standards to the lowest tollerable standard?
I recently asked a pal of mine who`s realy into football what he thought of doping in football...he replied it didnt bother him and he didnt know any fan who was bothered. The perception seemed to be that doping cant give ya the skill to be a footballer..and I guess he`s right.
Cycling`s drug issue is cyclings drug issue. Whatever other sports do or dont two wrongs do not make a right.
 
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