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First EPO users in the peloton?

Jun 12, 2010
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Given the performance gains from using EPO apparently being of the order 5 to 10 % ( estimates vary) who and when do forumiites think may have been the first EPO users?
It occurs to me that its unlikly to have been widespread in the first season(s) of use cus those first users would lose there advantage.

Gert Jan Thenisse and Stevan Rooks in 89 would seem to me to be the most likely candidates.

Any one think of any other nominees for this dubious " trailblazer " honour?
 
Jun 12, 2010
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Darryl Webster said:
Any one think of any other nominees for this dubious " trailblazer " honour?
Evgeni Berzin seemed to have a few years where he was ahead of the curve.
 
THISISIT said:
Evgeni Berzin seemed to have a few years where he was ahead of the curve.
I doubt Berzin started doing EPO before 1994, unless absolutely all Mecair (later Gewiss) riders were put on EPO immediately and regardless of their perceived potential, which is entirely possible too.

Chiappucci probably qualifies, but that'd be in 1990 so it's not before the examples Darryl brought up. As for Bugno, no idea.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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LKing25 said:
Gianni Bugno
Totally agree - unless you want to accept that the reason he managed to win the 1990 Giro while wearing pink from start to finish was because he had a condition in his ear that effected his balance treated just before the race....am which made him climb faster....
 
Jul 11, 2010
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Dr. Maserati said:
Totally agree - unless you want to accept that the reason he managed to win the 1990 Giro while wearing pink from start to finish was because he had a condition in his ear that effected his balance treated just before the race....am which made him climb faster....
Is it true that Bugno nearly died in his hotel room in 1992 after taking a shot of EPO before he went to sleep?
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Guys
EPO was first outlawed because cyclists were dropping dead on the road.

The first epo user is probably one of them DEAD.

Too many to name one
 
Jul 23, 2010
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brianf7 said:
Guys
EPO was first outlawed because cyclists were dropping dead on the road.

The first epo user is probably one of them DEAD.

Too many to name one
that right there
 
Mar 20, 2009
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brianf7 said:
Guys
EPO was first outlawed because cyclists were dropping dead on the road.

The first epo user is probably one of them DEAD.

Too many to name one
Well yeah but as far as I know the dead ones aren't famous.
 
Jul 23, 2010
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Major Taylor said:
Well yeah but as far as I know the dead ones aren't famous.
title says nothing about famous.

But, Im sure to their loved ones they were plenty famous.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Darryl Webster said:
Given the performance gains from using EPO apparently being of the order 5 to 10 % ( estimates vary) who and when do forumiites think may have been the first EPO users?
It occurs to me that its unlikly to have been widespread in the first season(s) of use cus those first users would lose there advantage.

Gert Jan Thenisse and Stevan Rooks in 89 would seem to me to be the most likely candidates.

Any one think of any other nominees for this dubious " trailblazer " honour?
Rooks writes in his book that he first got a hold of EPO in late 1991. There was talk of a small group of Dutch Amateurs who supposedly got some in 1990. Some died but the real details of this are limited and seem to change as we get father from the time.

1994 was the year that it became fairly widely used and by 1996 it was mandatory.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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jimmypop said:
Rominger certainly made effective use of EPO early on.
Why would you say that? EPO first surfaced in the early 90s. By then he had major placings in all types of GT stages, had won the biggest one-week stage races and a couple of major classics
 
issoisso said:
Why would you say that? EPO first surfaced in the early 90s. By then he had major placings in all types of GT stages, had won the biggest one-week stage races and a couple of major classics
I imagine it's because he hadn't done anything in a GT until the 1992 Vuelta he won, at age 31. Before 1989, it would seem he was just a good time-trialer.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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hrotha said:
I imagine it's because he hadn't done anything in a GT until the 1992 Vuelta he won, at age 31. Before 1989, it would seem he was just a good time-trialer.
In the late 80s and early 90s, before that Vuelta, he had quite a few podiums in stages of all 3 GTs. Be they time trials, breakaways and mountain stages. Not to mention stage wins.

Simply he was working for someone else the entire time, so he couldn't quite go for the GC. Which is why he eventually moved teams, and subsequently had his breakout year in 91.

Also, Federico Echave, his teammate at CLAS, once said that when Rominger joined CLAS, the team were amazed that he suffered so much from allergies yet had never done anything to treat them. He underwent treatment that year and....well, he won the Vuelta.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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I think the interesting thing about Rominger is how he used to say that he couldn't perform well in the summer b/c of allergies...then, sometime in the early 90's he was "cured".

This seems to fit well with what I've heard, that a lot of the drugs they used to take had a lesser effect in the hot weather, but seemed to work just fine in the spring/fall.

Anyone else have a take on this?
 
Mar 19, 2009
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bobbins said:
Wasn't it first available in 1987. What super human performances happened that year?
A good friend of mine is about as well informed as anyone regarding which products "help", legal and illegal, although he's not into masking agents or change of being caught, specializing in WADA-legal additives. He had an eye on EPO already in the mid-80's, predicting it would ruin professional sports for all the reasons we now know as facts.

He didn't point out a lot to me, but he was suspect of Yvonne van Gennep's (speed skater) performance at the 1988 Calgary Olympics. She came from a nasty injury, trained alone, and beat all the (admittedly but passively doping) East-Germans. Setting world records.

Recently the East-Germans in questions somehow were convinced to be filmed about their trianing volumes and the way they were given "things" by their superiors (coach is the wrong word). It was Dutch documentary, pretty much singing the praise of how Van Gennep managed to overcome her injury and required surgery to beat the doped up all-favorite German girls, while riding squeeky clean herself. I got a bad taste in my mouth from it, despite having a small boy's crush on her. She's just such a cute Dutch girl, now woman.
the German girls were baffled to see how fast Yvonne was, and ended up skating well under their regular level, from having been broken mentally. They were expected to make up the podiums amongst themselves, were mentally unprepared to fight for best of the rest.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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issoisso said:
In the late 80s and early 90s, before that Vuelta, he had quite a few podiums in stages of all 3 GTs. Be they time trials, breakaways and mountain stages. Not to mention stage wins.

Simply he was working for someone else the entire time, so he couldn't quite go for the GC. Which is why he eventually moved teams, and subsequently had his breakout year in 91.

Also, Federico Echave, his teammate at CLAS, once said that when Rominger joined CLAS, the team were amazed that he suffered so much from allergies yet had never done anything to treat them. He underwent treatment that year and....well, he won the Vuelta.
Are you suggesting he was somehow clean?

Who on Chateaux d'Ax was he working for in the tours before 1990? Don't say Bugno b/c he was nowhere before then.
 
issoisso said:
In the late 80s and early 90s, before that Vuelta, he had quite a few podiums in stages of all 3 GTs. Be they time trials, breakaways and mountain stages. Not to mention stage wins.

Simply he was working for someone else the entire time, so he couldn't quite go for the GC. Which is why he eventually moved teams, and subsequently had his breakout year in 91.

Also, Federico Echave, his teammate at CLAS, once said that when Rominger joined CLAS, the team were amazed that he suffered so much from allergies yet had never done anything to treat them. He underwent treatment that year and....well, he won the Vuelta.
When I said "do something" I meant in the GC. I know he was a good rider before he became a GT contender.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Hairy Wheels said:
Are you suggesting he was somehow clean?
Where did I suggest such a ridiculous idea?

Hairy Wheels said:
Who on Chateaux d'Ax was he working for in the tours before 1990? Don't say Bugno b/c he was nowhere before then.
No need to be agressive there mate ;)

1987 Giro: Nobody. He was a neo-pro on a team with no contenders. Yet he was just 5 seconds from the pink jersey after 16 stages.

1988 Giro: Working for Bugno, until Bugno crashed and broke a shoulderblade.

1988 Tour: Rominger was the leader for once. In Bugno's words:

Rominger suffered badly in the heat that year, severely affecting his performance.

http://bikeraceinfo.com/oralhistory/Bugno.html
1989 Giro: Working for Bugno who was very high up on GC and would've finished on the podium if not for a major collapse on stage 21
 

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