Ed Coyle's paper about LA delta efficiency is a fraud.

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Mar 18, 2009
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LMaggitti said:
Yes, I am. And there is no question that he made a pretty remarkable transition from a very good one day racer/time trialist to a tour winner. But it is quite a leap to simply assume (as you do) that such leap is entirely, or even mostly, attributible to doping. Pre-cancer, Armstrong was at an age where few riders are able to contend in a grand tour. So his failure to do so is not that remarkable. Many riders have made a somewhat similar transistion (if less abrupt). Obvious the (apparent) pervasiveness of doping makes many of those other transitions suspect as well. But you act as if the transition that Armstrong made is entirely unique. It isn't.
While not being unique, it is quite rare. Recently, the only rider to go from classics winner to GT contender/winner is DiLuca. And we all know that story. There are some riders who are good at both such as Valverde, the Schlecks and Evans to name a few (and in the past many of the all-time greats competed strongly throughout the season in both classics and GTs, Eddie Merckx being the most prominent). But this is different from Lance and DiLuca because they were one-day riders and then became GT contenders and were no longer one-day riders.

LMaggitti said:
Again, let me ask you, how does a mediocre rider - even a doper - win 7 tours? You would either have to posit (a) that his opponents weren't doping - absurd, as the evidence against most of them is even stronger than the evidence against Armstrong, or (b) that Armstrong has a dramatically better ability to benefit from doping than the rest of the peleton. Assuming that you are arguing the latter, what is your evidence? I've been following these threads for a while, and I've seen none. Nor would I consider it likely, given the science.
There is plenty of scientific evidence to support massive increases in performance with EPO, even as much as 54%! See
for more information and references. One possible explanation for the difference between, for argument's sake, Ullrich and Armstrong is that different people respond differently to drugs like EPO. One person may get a 5-10% improvement while others get a 20-25% improvement. It has always been assumed, and I stress the word assumed, that Armstrong was a better responder.

For other papers which investigate EPO and performance enhancement in cycling, see:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17668232?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14551773?ordinalpos=2&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10912888?ordinalpos=8&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DefaultReportPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

Look at the standard deviations for the performance parameters and you will see that, despite significant improvements in the EPO groups, there are large differences in the degree of these responses. It's the range of responses (or standard deviation) which explains why some athletes respond better to EPO than other athletes.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
Greg Lemond, Merckx, Hinault, Contador, Ullrich, Roche, Fignon all contested at a young age.
He was never a good TT pre cancer - regularly losing 6 mins in stages of 50kms. He even dropped out in 1993. In 1995, in the form of his life (according ot him), he lost 28mins to Pantani in one stage amd 33 mins on Virenque on another stage.
Most riders who are good GT riders, are good from an early age. Andy Schleck is another example of late.
Would it ever occur to you that meeting Ferrari became a huge difference in his performance?
And others (Indurain, e.g.) did not. And yes, Indurain was probably a doper, but so were most of the people you named, including Ullrich and the sainted Merckx. Cyclists mature/develop at different rates.

As for your last sentence, see my above response. At the risk of repeating myself, it seems to me that the most reasonable assumption is that the Ferrari connection played a role, but it defies logic to assume (there's that word again) that Ferrari was by himself able to take an average rider and transform him (entirely by doping) to someone who was able to consistantly beat other dopers in grand tours, including the supremely talented Ullrich.
 
LMaggitti said:
Let's start with your comments about other posters - saying to ACoggan "You obviously have vested interests." And assuming that I don't know the science just because I'm a new poster. Just to name two.

Your assumption that Ferrari had/has some super secret doping method known only to him that gives/gave Armstrong a huge advantage over the other dopers in the peleton. Enabling him to (for example) consistantly beat Ullrich, a doper himself, who (in another comment) you held up as an example of a truly talented cyclist who was able to win at a young age. (To be clear, there is plenty of evidence that Ferrari was a dope doctor, and that his methods improved performance - just no evidence - certainly none provided by you - that his methods were significantly better - or even different - than other doping methods).

That's just this thread, and not complete even so, but I don't have all day. Add other logical fallacies (for example, the post hoc fallacy of attributing Armstrong's success entirely to the Ferrari connection).
Regarding ACoggan. I'v dealt with that.
Clearly you didn;t know about the benefits of EPO, not because you're a new poster, but because of your comments.

Well if you're going to make things up - never said Ferrari has some secret doping whatever. You may want to educate yourself though on EPO benefits, Ferrari, Lance pre Ferrari, losing half an hour to Virenque, Pantani, and cyclists being competitive at a young age. Come back to me then. :D You looked at Ullrich, but what about the other cyclists who challenged at a young age.

The reality is that Lance showed NO Grand Tour winning potential whatsoever, before he worked with Michele. And that was in three tours. Believe what you want to believe though, the results show it and there;s no 'leaps' there.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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elapid said:
It has always been assumed, and I stress the word assumed, that Armstrong was a better responder.

And that really sums up this whole debate, doesn't it? I don't dispute any of the science that you present - but what you, and a lot of other people are doing, is going beyond that science with one huge additional assumption (which in your case you admit). And the only "evidence" behind that assumption is the disconnect between Armstrong's earlier career and his tour wins. IMO that's a pretty weak basis for that assumption.

I guess what I don't understand is the need for some people to not simply assert (with, on the whole, strong though IMO not entirely conclusive evidence) that Armstrong was/is a doper, but go one step further and try to argue that he was nothing at all without doping. I mean, I suppose it is possible (though IMO unlikely). But speculative AT BEST.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
Well if you're going to make things up - never said Ferrari has some secret doping whatever.
Well let's go to the tape - did you use those precise words? No. But what you said was:

Digger said:
You aware that Ferrari is the best doping doctor in the business and Lance had an exclusivity arrangement with him, meaning he couldn't work with others. And that Ferrari boasted that he could get a 30% increase in performance.QUOTE]

I think my comment was a more than fair reference (albeit a little sarcastic) to the above quote.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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acoggan said:
A better way to judge it might be based on citations statistics.* According to the ISI, since its publication the paper has been cited on average 6.8 times/year, which is above average for JAP, but probably right about average for one of Coyle's publications. IOW, contrary to what you might be led to believe based on what is posted to threads such as this one, the paper seems to have received about as much acceptance in the scientific community as you might expect.

(*Even more telling, at least in my opinion, is how it has been cited, which recently has been by follow-up studies it appears to have inspired. IOW, despite the obvious limitations of the original dataset, publication of the paper does appear to have moved the field forward.)
I still think it would be best to do a comparable analysis of articles that have been accepted/rejected based on the scientific quality of the submissions to JAP, and what the criteria are why some have been rejected while others deserved a pass. That's perhaps impossible, and certainly beyond the scope of this discussion, but would yield a more satisfying conclusion than refering to a mere statistic. The fact that Coyle's article is citeable requires it to be accepted in the first place, which is basically a point of contention...

The latter part of your post - in bold - is worth analysing in lieue of other methods, not the mere statistics of citations. Besides that statistics are not always reliable, with current detection software, numbers in and by themselves don't say anything about the scientific quality of the paper, which was the issue at hand.

Ie the paper could have been cited 1.6 times per year on average by people trying to prove he was wrong and 1.7 times per year by people who used it to prove he was right, or 3.5 times per year by people who used it in their introduction/mapping historical endeavours in a certain field, while researching something else, only marginally related. Only those contexts reveal its importance, acceptance in the scientific community, or rejection

In a way - using the number only - you are assuming that citations are a denominator of a certain quality standard, and, perhaps, inferred from many, analogous, cases in which high citation numbers actually indicated groundbreaking or scientifically, qualitatively superb work. This however could be a black swan that contradicts that assumption...

I also don't know what the citation standard of 6.8 means in the physiological field (in social sciences you generally have lower absolute and average numbers) but if it had been ground breaking work 6.8 still seems a rather low number. However, this is based on my (unfound) assumption that he (Coyle) was one of the first to prove efficiency gains are possible. I don't know if this is correct.

Perhaps you could shed some light on the 'historical and contextual' importance of this work. I think I read somewhere that you said the article gets more attention than it merits?

thanks for your insights
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
Clearly you didn;t know about the benefits of EPO, not because you're a new poster, but because of your comments.
Really? Which comment? Where? Where did I ever deny the benefits of EPO? If Armstrong was the only rider in the peleton using EPO, you could (perhaps) fairly conclude that my comments implied ignorance of same. But ... he wasn't.

The point is that your argument is reliant upon the assumption that Armstrong has benefitted in a massively disproportionate manner from doping. But as poster who raised a similar point in response to me was honest enough to concede, that is, indeed, and assumption only, without anything like hard evidence to back it up.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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LMaggitti said:
And that really sums up this whole debate, doesn't it? I don't dispute any of the science that you present - but what you, and a lot of other people are doing, is going beyond that science with one huge additional assumption (which in your case you admit). And the only "evidence" behind that assumption is the disconnect between Armstrong's earlier career and his tour wins. IMO that's a pretty weak basis for that assumption.

I guess what I don't understand is the need for some people to not simply assert (with, on the whole, strong though IMO not entirely conclusive evidence) that Armstrong was/is a doper, but go one step further and try to argue that he was nothing at all without doping. I mean, I suppose it is possible (though IMO unlikely). But speculative AT BEST.
I have openly stated on many other threads that I admire Armstrong for his cycling achievements, as have many others. Many of us think he is/was a very good cyclist. However, the transition from a one-day rider to a GT winner in addition to many other factors, factual (1999 TdF positives for EPO - and yes we can argue about the circumstances of that until the cows come home) and circumstantial (best summarized from the SCA trial), is sufficient for many posters on this forum to conclude that Armstrong doped during some or all of his professional career. This level of evidence is not sufficient for some because they base their belief on whether he doped or not on the UCI/USADA upholding a positive result. I think this is ridiculous because this opinion is not based on any critical evaluation of the evidence and these people can obviously not think for themselves.

The disconnect between his pre- and post-cancer career is not the assumption on which we are basing Armstrong's response to his alleged EPO use and doping program. For me, if he has done this doping and won against dopers, then the assumption that he is a better responder to drugs like EPO than his competitors is a very valid assumption and, IMO, has more validity than mere speculation.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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LMaggitti said:
Really? Which comment? Where? Where did I ever deny the benefits of EPO? If Armstrong was the only rider in the peleton using EPO, you could (perhaps) fairly conclude that my comments implied ignorance of same. But ... he wasn't.

The point is that your argument is reliant upon the assumption that Armstrong has benefitted in a massively disproportionate manner from doping. But as poster who raised a similar point in response to me was honest enough to concede, that is, indeed, and assumption only, without anything like hard evidence to back it up.
Not criticising you, but I am quoting for contextual purposes.

That is one of the questions I think some/many people have: How talented were all these TdF contenders really.

Point 1: Ullrich, a youngster, could have shown excellent form at a young age, because perhaps he had been on the juice since he was young. When he grew up, and subsequently entered racing, the science of doping was being perfected. Armstrong was much older already, so he couldn't have shown such excellent form in his young years.

Point 2: How sure can we be that Ullrich was so talented, or naturally gifted, as opposed to Armstrong, who some assume was not.

Point 3: Why can't we assume Armstrong was just a mediocre rider, but responded much better to treatment, as is the case with EPO and even applies to patients who take units for actual medical purposes, their dosages are dependent on responsiveness. It could very well be, that all the other top 10 candidated were also superstrong responders, but in 'reality' or without the juice, mediocre riders. How do we know Ullrich wasn't an exceptional responder, or Pantani or Virenque? Perhaps there were 75% amazing reponders (ie Armstrong, Ullrich), and 25% medicore responders (Zulle, Pantani) who were naturally more gifted, and would have/could have won easily, clean. (I just picked random names)

Point 4: All GC contenders were all massively talented, and doping just enhanced their natural abilities.

Point 5: Some had better access to better products, regardless of their natural ability.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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elapid said:
I have openly stated on many other threads that I admire Armstrong for his cycling achievements, as have many others. Many of us think he is/was a very good cyclist. However, the transition from a one-day rider to a GT winner in addition to many other factors, factual (1999 TdF positives for EPO - and yes we can argue about the circumstances of that until the cows come home) and circumstantial (best summarized from the SCA trial), is sufficient for many posters on this forum to conclude that Armstrong doped during some or all of his professional career. This level of evidence is not sufficient for some because they base their belief on whether he doped or not on the UCI/USADA upholding a positive result. I think this is ridiculous because this opinion is not based on any critical evaluation of the evidence and these people can obviously not think for themselves.

The disconnect between his pre- and post-cancer career is not the assumption on which we are basing Armstrong's response to his alleged EPO use and doping program. For me, if he has done this doping and won against dopers, then the assumption that he is a better responder to drugs like EPO than his competitors is a very valid assumption and, IMO, has more validity than mere speculation.
This is, IMO, a much more reasonable position than (say) Digger's, who doesn't seem to think that Armstrong is/was a very good cyclist (if I am misreading him, I would be happy to be corrected). I said myself from the beginning that the evidence that we was/is doping is to me convincing. I also said that my criticism did not apply to EVERY "hater."

But as for your concluding sentence, I still fail to see the logic. Even assuming that he was doping, there are two possibilities: he won against other dopers because he is a better responder, or he won against dopers because he was a better cyclist. Why is assuming the former (rather than the latter) anything more than mere speculation?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Not criticising you, but I am quoting for contextual purposes.

That is one of the questions I think some/many people have: How talented were all these TdF contenders really.

Point 1: Ullrich, a youngster, could have shown excellent form at a young age, because perhaps he had been on the juice since he was young. When he grew up, and subsequently entered racing, the science of doping was being perfected. Armstrong was much older already, so he couldn't have shown such excellent form in his young years.

Point 2: How sure can we be that Ullrich was so talented, or naturally gifted, as opposed to Armstrong, who some assume was not.

Point 3: Why can't we assume Armstrong was just a mediocre rider, but responded much better to treatment, as is the case with EPO and even applies to patients who take units for actual medical purposes, their dosages are dependent on responsiveness. It could very well be, that all the other top 10 candidated were also superstrong responders, but in 'reality' or without the juice, mediocre riders. How do we know Ullrich wasn't an exceptional responder, or Pantani or Virenque? Perhaps there were 75% amazing reponders (ie Armstrong, Ullrich), and 25% medicore responders (Zulle, Pantani) who were naturally more gifted, and would have/could have won easily, clean. (I just picked random names)

Point 4: All GC contenders were all massively talented, and doping just enhanced their natural abilities.

Point 5: Some had better access to better products, regardless of their natural ability.
I think that these are all reasonable points - but they lead to more - tentative, speculative - conclusions than many (Digger being a prime example) are inclined to make.

In other words, you properly include a lot of "perhaps," maybes." etc., which some people tend to leave out.

In a way (and I know you didn't mean it as a criticism) you are actually making the same point that I was - there are a lot of unknowns here, and the extremes on both sides (the fanboys and the haters) tend to forget that fact.

Edit - admittedly speculating myself, but could it be that Armstrong was clean early in his career, and that explained his better results in one day races compared with grand tours? Whereas competitors such as Ullrich (as you say) benefitted at a young age from doping, and thus had better results? If true, this would support the argument that Armstrong really was an exceptionally talented cyclist, who started getting the results he "deserved" when he started doping. But I concede that this is speculative - albeit no more so that the assumption that he is a better responder.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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LMaggitti said:
I don't dispute any of the science that you present
I will, or at least his/her (i.e., elapid's) interpretation thereof. To wit:

Bicycle races are not time-to-fatigue contests, ergo it is inappropriate to conclude that EPO can improve performance by up to 54% "in the field". A much more defensible assertion (based on the scientific literature) is that EPO improves power by ca. 10%, at least as long as you stay under the current hematocrit limit.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Perhaps you could shed some light on the 'historical and contextual' importance of this work. I think I read somewhere that you said the article gets more attention than it merits?
Taking your last question first: I said that because of the obvious limitations of the dataset, as well as rather narrow field of interest to which it appeals.

As for the "historical and contextual" importance, I alluded to this previously: despite the weakness of the paper, I view its publication as having spurred others to perform more carefully-controlled follow-up studies, such that science as a whole has, to at least some degree, benefitted.

(BTW, with only 34 cites in total it is quite easy to see how the paper has been cited, i.e., positively, neutrally, or negatively. With the notable exception of the letters-to-the-editor by Gore et al., almost all of the citations have fallen into the former two categories. IOW, there is a stark contrast between how the paper is viewed, or at least publically discussed, in the scientific realm and how it is discussed on forums such as this one.)
 
Mar 18, 2009
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LMaggitti said:
Edit - admittedly speculating myself, but could it be that Armstrong was clean early in his career, and that explained his better results in one day races compared with grand tours? Whereas competitors such as Ullrich (as you say) benefitted at a young age from doping, and thus had better results? If true, this would support the argument that Armstrong really was an exceptionally talented cyclist, who started getting the results he "deserved" when he started doping. But I concede that this is speculative - albeit no more so that the assumption that he is a better responder.
We are arguing from either side of the fence, but are actually quite close in our arguments with the differences being assumptions and speculations. The only argument against the premise that Armstrong did not dope prior to his cancer diagnosis is the apparent bedside confession of PED use which was overheard by a number of people in the room at the time.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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acoggan said:
I will, or at least his/her (i.e., elapid's) interpretation thereof. To wit:

Bicycle races are not time-to-fatigue contests, ergo it is inappropriate to conclude that EPO can improve performance by up to 54% "in the field". A much more defensible assertion (based on the scientific literature) is that EPO improves power by ca. 10%, at least as long as you stay under the current hematocrit limit.
The other point is that these studies were done on non-professional and sometimes non-trained cyclists, obviously for ethical reasons. The degree of improvement is likely to be less in professional cyclists, although a 1-2% difference in the response may be all that is required to win versus losing.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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elapid said:
The other point is that these studies were done on non-professional and sometimes non-trained cyclists, obviously for ethical reasons. The degree of improvement is likely to be less in professional cyclists, although a 1-2% difference in the response may be all that is required to win versus losing.
True enough - and one reason why I do think that the preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Armstrong was not clean.

But if the margins are that thin, it undercuts the argument by others (not you) that Armstrong was a mediocre rider whose success was entirely a product of his association with Ferrari.
 
LMaggitti said:
Well let's go to the tape - did you use those precise words? No. But what you said was:

Digger said:
You aware that Ferrari is the best doping doctor in the business and Lance had an exclusivity arrangement with him, meaning he couldn't work with others. And that Ferrari boasted that he could get a 30% increase in performance.QUOTE]

I think my comment was a more than fair reference (albeit a little sarcastic) to the above quote.
I absolutely stand by my comment abotu Ferrari above.
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
LMaggitti said:
Well let's go to the tape - did you use those precise words? No. But what you said was:



I absolutely stand by my comment abotu Ferrari above.

Oh, I don't doubt it. And I stand by my responses. And I think that this little exchange is very revealing - of the difference between you and the other "haters" here - they (right or wrong) are capable of reasoned argument and logic. You ... not so much.
 
LMaggitti said:
True enough - and one reason why I do think that the preponderance of the evidence supports the conclusion that Armstrong was not claen.

But if the margins are that thin, it undercuts the argument by others (not you) that Armstrong was a mediocre rider whose success was entirely a product of his association with Ferrari.
For three years Lance was losing 20 and 30mins on mountain stages. There is witness statement that he was doping in 1995. Stephen Swart.
In Autumn 1996 he began working with Ferrari.
Next time he rode the Tour, after his sickness, he won.
Facts.
You ever hear that a doped a&& never won the Derby?...With EPO, this changed. Look at Bjarne Riis.
You say he was a good TT. Not true. He even said to David Walsh in 1994 how poor he was.
Next, you said young riders often didn't challenge for Grand Tours. Not true. One of the key indicators of PED use is a sudden jump in performance.
1990s doping was a horror show with people often winning because they had the biggest ba&&s in relation to HCT. Ugrumov, Riis, Pantani - all over 60%.

Look at the list of Ferrari clients...and you'll see the success the guy has had. When it comes to blood, the guy is a genius. Why do you think Lance wouldn't let him work with anyone else...

You say there are other reasons why Lance could've been losing 20 mins in a mountain stage...yes maybe this is possible once or twice, but three years in a row...:mad:
 
LMaggitti said:
And that really sums up this whole debate, doesn't it? I don't dispute any of the science that you present - but what you, and a lot of other people are doing, is going beyond that science with one huge additional assumption (which in your case you admit). And the only "evidence" behind that assumption is the disconnect between Armstrong's earlier career and his tour wins. IMO that's a pretty weak basis for that assumption.

I guess what I don't understand is the need for some people to not simply assert (with, on the whole, strong though IMO not entirely conclusive evidence) that Armstrong was/is a doper, but go one step further and try to argue that he was nothing at all without doping. I mean, I suppose it is possible (though IMO unlikely). But speculative AT BEST.
That's your opinion.
 
LMaggitti said:
This is, IMO, a much more reasonable position than (say) Digger's, who doesn't seem to think that Armstrong is/was a very good cyclist (if I am misreading him, I would be happy to be corrected). I said myself from the beginning that the evidence that we was/is doping is to me convincing. I also said that my criticism did not apply to EVERY "hater."

But as for your concluding sentence, I still fail to see the logic. Even assuming that he was doping, there are two possibilities: he won against other dopers because he is a better responder, or he won against dopers because he was a better cyclist. Why is assuming the former (rather than the latter) anything more than mere speculation?
Is there a possibility that you won't allude to me in every reply?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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Digger said:
That's your opinion.
And the opinion of most of the people on this forum, even among the "haters." Scroll up for at least one example. If you have been spending as much time on these forums as you appear to, you would be aware that even most of Armstrong's critics concede that he was/is a very good cyclist.
 
Apr 3, 2009
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Excuse me if this is off topic, (or covered elsewhere) but a lot of the posts I've read on this thread seem to focus on the impossibility of a one day rider winning a Grand Tour (not to mention 7 back to back). So I'm wondering what you all make of Bradley Wiggins 4th place performance at the Tour, given that he posted his blood profile and attributes his success to considerable weight loss and refocusing on road cycling and puttting the track on the back burner for the time being. Becuase and you all may find this simplistic, but if you can believe Wiggins has done what he did clean and made what some consider a major performance breakthrough. Why can't you believe Lance did it? Granted Brad is a track rider, but to my understanding and having read In Pursuit of Glory it seems that track riding while needing a lot of power and endurance is not the same as what is needed for one day or even GTs?
 
Aug 14, 2009
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cawright1375 said:
Excuse me if this is off topic, (or covered elsewhere) but a lot of the posts I've read on this thread seem to focus on the impossibility of a one day rider winning a Grand Tour (not to mention 7 back to back). So I'm wondering what you all make of Bradley Wiggins 4th place performance at the Tour, given that he posted his blood profile and attributes his success to considerable weight loss and refocusing on road cycling and puttting the track on the back burner for the time being. Becuase and you all may find this simplistic, but if you can believe Wiggins has done what he did clean and made what some consider a major performance breakthrough. Why can't you believe Lance did it? Granted Brad is a track rider, but to my understanding and having read In Pursuit of Glory it seems that track riding while needing a lot of power and endurance is not the same as what is needed for one day or even GTs?
There is indeed a lot of scepticism about Wiggins' performance (there are multiple threads on the topic). As you can see from above, I am more willing than some to accept the possibility of such a transition ... unaided. But by and large the people more sceptical about the possibility of such a transition do question whether Wiggins is clean. They WANT to believe he is clean, but they are (mostly) honest enough to express their doubts.

While it may appear otherwise from this thread, for most people sceptical that Armstrong is clean, the disconnect between his pre-cancer and post cancer results (or, if you prefer, his pre-Ferrari and post Ferrari results) is far from the most convincing evidence against him. IMO the most convincing evidence is circumstantial - his domminance over a peleton where (pretty clearly) all of the other best riders where doping (given the evidence that doping does indeed give a significant advantage). Others point to the (allegedly) positive samples, the Ferrari connection or the "confession." These are less convincing for me individually, but still part of the evidence overall.

If the only "evidence" against Armstrong was the dramatic improvement in his grand tour performance, very few people would be convinced that he was a doper.
 

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