How good would you have to be to win the Tour undoped?

Jul 24, 2009
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Pretty simple question..

One reason I always suspect the top riders of doping, even when there is little or no evidence of it, is this:

Given that a lot of the riders are doped out of their minds like the cartoon images of pop eye after he consumes a few cans of spinach, I cant imagine a clean rider being able to give away the dope advantage and still win. In relation to the usual topic (LA), I find it almost impossible to believe that a rider could own the race 7 years in a row without PED's.

But I do not know much about these sort of things, so I hand it over to those who know something about cyclig.

Also I hate to have to adopt the mindset that winning = doping. I don't want to mistrust excellence I really don't. But I can't help it.

How much talent would you have to have to be a clean winner of the tour? Do you think its possible?'

(btw, yes I do know that cycling is not just le Tour. Im just using it as an example because it is the hardest race to win and there for probably the most doped)
 
Aug 6, 2009
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sars1981 said:
Pretty simple question..

One reason I always suspect the top riders of doping, even when there is little or no evidence of it, is this:

Given that a lot of the riders are doped out of their minds like the cartoon images of pop eye after he consumes a few cans of spinach, I cant imagine a clean rider being able to give away the dope advantage and still win.

But I do not know much about these sort of things, so I hand it over to those who know something about cyclig.

How much talent would you have to have to be a clean winner of the tour? Do you think its possible?'

(btw, yes I do know that cycling is not just le Tour. Im just using it as an example because it is the hardest race to win and there for probably the most doped)
Simple question, hard to answer. What you're really asking is how much a rider can dope without being caught, but for obvious reasons there has never been a proper scientific study of the effects of doping on Professional bike riders. I know of one study of EPO on trained amateurs, indicating that boosting your hematocrit to 50% gave 9-17 % increase in Aerobic Performance. This is clearly far more than the difference between the top GC contenders, but there are problems with the study.

Most obviously the test subject weren't professionals and as such might react differently. One might plausibly argue that even clean Professional riders would have a higher natural hematocrit and would therefore gain less. Also while it's know that some riders in the 90's doped higher than 50% I'm not sure it would be possible today under the Bio-passport. Also of cause the study only considered EPO, not other performance enhancers.

My personal conclusion is that no way in hell could a clean rider win the tour in the 90's and early 2000's under normal circumstances (eg. no free 30 minute head start like Óscar Pereiro got). Even after that with the tighter doping controls I'm extremely skeptical that it's possible, but I won't entirely rule out the possibility. Other who know more than me, will probably have a better idea.
 
Buying the effectiveness of bio passport now, even if it is effective not necessarily to prevent doping but just to limit the amount of performance gain that can be obtained from doping, I have serious doubts that it is possible this season. I think it was impossible from 1991 to 2008 because the advantage given by EPO/blood doping is so large.

There is a good article on the Science of Sport website that discusses this subject.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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sars1981 said:
Pretty simple question..

One reason I always suspect the top riders of doping, even when there is little or no evidence of it, is this:

Given that a lot of the riders are doped out of their minds like the cartoon images of pop eye after he consumes a few cans of spinach, I cant imagine a clean rider being able to give away the dope advantage and still win. In relation to the usual topic (LA), I find it almost impossible to believe that I rider could own the race 7 years in a row without PED's.

But I do not know much about these sort of things, so I hand it over to those who know something about cyclig.

How much talent would you have to have to be a clean winner of the tour? Do you think its possible?'

(btw, yes I do know that cycling is not just le Tour. Im just using it as an example because it is the hardest race to win and there for probably the most doped)

Actually I will use your post as an example to clarify as to how doping in general has evolved throughout the last 20 years as I believe it will answer your question.

Up to the late 80's doping was rather unsophisticated - there was wide use of amphetamines and corticoids - but it was still possible for a clean(er) rider to beat a doped rider.

However with the introduction of EPO in the early 90's it became impossible for a clean rider to compete - in any race, not just the Tour.

Of course EPO was not a forbidden substance for most of the 90's and a test did not become available until 2001. This allowed riders to raise the HT to very dangerous levels.

In 1998 there was the Festina Affair - usage of EPO was limited also because of the 50% 'Health' rule.

As much as I am critical of the Bio-Passport - as I feel it does not do what it was designed to do - it has limited the riders who continue to dope to micro-dosing and to using other PED's away from competition.

This has allowed 'clean(er)' riders the opportunity to be competitive.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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without going into the science too much I think the most naturally talented guys are so close to one another in terms of talent, hard work and ambition that the moment one of them gets an artificial performance boost it's impossible for the others to compete.

It then comes down to a "who responds better to drugs?" and "who has the best medical program" which in my opinion has also seen some previously average riders like Lance and DiLuca benefit enormously from blood boosting procedures.

In fact, although completely unsupported by any scientific research, my completely unqualified assessment is that there is a general maximum zone of human cycling power output, and you can either get there through massive talent and moderate doping, or moderate talent and massive doping depending on what you're born with and what you take - and how well you respond to what you take.

I think that in the same way that a real freak of nature like Lemond can come along with a cricket score VO2 max there can also be a guy whose major natural talent is responding effectively to the best doping strategy and thus achieves similar dominance over his less "gifted" rivals.

I mean, you have to wonder how a guy like Lance suddenly started destroying established "talent freaks" like Zulle and Ullrich who would have started their careers with much more "talent" than Lance.

Of course now I open up a can of worms and the usual suspects will hit me with "Lance won a world championship at 22" (in the cold rain) and "Lance beat grown men in triathlons as a teenager" etc. as if just because Americans haven't heard about European cyclists youthful athletic exploits they were obviously sitting around not training at all.....yawn.
 
BroDeal said:
Buying the effectiveness of bio passport now, even if it is effective not necessarily to prevent doping but just to limit the amount of performance gain that can be obtained from doping, I have serious doubts that it is possible this season. I think it was impossible from 1991 to 2008 because the advantage given by EPO/blood doping is so large.

There is a good article on the Science of Sport website that discusses this subject.
You mean this one:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/effect-of-epo-on-performance-who.html
 
Mar 13, 2009
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ahhh, but they are putting out just as many watts

nice try BPC

At worst the top names are micro dosing these days.
that's funny. What about the blood bags? That is better? So not worse?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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but they are at 50% effectively. They deliver the same o2 capacity to the physiology. You are using the arbitrary measure, like when Armstrong says "I think 41 is a compelling number" which just blows up his 49 number in 1999.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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You would have to be as good as Contador. He won and was given a "no dope" stamp on his forehead. PED is anything used including the food you eat to get faster, if it comes in a tablet or or needle it's probably a PED. that's right everybody is using.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
Why would blood doping taking your crit to 43% be the same as doping yourself at to 50%? Surely there is a major difference between the two, given the natural crit is around 43 anyway.
crit is a factor in the function of hemoglobin, the o2 carrier. The riders have managed to get an o2 capacity, in practical terms, that is like the late 90's prior to the 50 cut-off.

I thought that was clear.
 
Aug 3, 2009
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This has become a fruitless endeavor.Doping will never cease.Someone will always find a way to beat the system.I say let them ALL juice.May the best man win.After all,we watch cycling to be entertained.Well fellows,if you don't mind compromising your health I don't mind watching you climb mountains at 25 M.P.H..Go ahead,entertain me at your expense.I won't feel any ill effects from your drug use.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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I'm being simple here but isn't a 2-point move in an "average" 43 hemotacrit a huge advantage? I've got horrendous allergies in the spring and run a 49 hemo. It does me no good because I can't breathe; the doc thinks it's a systemic compensation. The hemo should drop as my body naturally (naturally!) overcomes the allergy period.
 
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sars1981 said:
Wow, that was a good read.

This thread was going so good b4 BPC posted :( (nothing bagainst you blackcat ! :p )

Thats his whole game. He just wants to disrupt and make threads unreadable.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
Not very fair. At worst the top names are micro dosing these days. They're not off their faces anymore. It's marginal.



Bernard Kohl said:
"....the caffeine, pseudo-ephedrine, painkillers, EPO, human growth hormones, insulin, I took all that before, not during (the Tour)"....

"The cycling milieu was persuaded that this EPO (CERA) was not detectable...I obtained [CERA] from another cyclist and I injected myself three days before the start of the Tour."

&#8220] Confessions Of A Fallen Juicer[/url]




However you want to define the above type of doping plan, with the combination of out of competition doping as well as blood transfusions during the tour, you can't tell me it doesnt accord a massive advantage.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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I think we've been encouraged to not take the obvious bait and bog the discussion down in repetitive responses. Everyone's familiar with the advantages. The initial question was valid: How good would you need to be?
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Oldman said:
I think we've been encouraged to not take the obvious bait and bog the discussion down in repetitive responses. Everyone's familiar with the advantages. The initial question was valid: How good would you need to be?

Yr right. BPC is going on my ignore list. This article posted earlier:

"The effect of EPO on performance: Who wouldn't want to use it?"
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2007/11/effect-of-epo-on-performance-who.html

..basically implies that it would be nearly impossible to compete just without EPO, let alone a multifacited doping plan like what Kohl detailed.

That's only one article though, perhaps there is some conflicting science.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
But they're micro dosing on the blood bags too. Nobody is anywhere near 50% anymore.

You are still just about the only sane person on this forum. The thing I don't understand is why you waste your time arguing with these excellence haters and conspiracy theorists. You are certainly not going to change their minds. You do get their goat a bit, which may make it worthwhile. Keep up the good work.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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Oldnell said:
You are still just about the only sane person on this forum. The thing I don't understand is why you waste your time arguing with these excellence haters and conspiracy theorists. You are certainly not going to change their minds. You do get their goat a bit, which may make it worthwhile. Keep up the good work.

I see you are back making claims against everyone on this forum who expresses an opinion opposite to yours - yet you have not offered an alternative explanation or appear unwilling to engage in debate.

I don't believe there is any need to to use these personal terms and I feel that for someone with your age and experience it is against good crm.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
I see you are back making claims against everyone on this forum who expresses an opinion opposite to yours - yet you have not offered an alternative explanation or appear unwilling to engage in debate.

I don't believe there is any need to to use these personal terms and I feel that for someone with your age and experience it is against good crm.

This is the modus operandi of those who oppose all us crazy conspiracy theorists. Pure Ad Hominem without engagement, or engagement at only the most simplistic level. Personally I'm DYING to hear from somebody that can refute the cynical views on doping. Haven't been impressed but the callibre of argument on show so far.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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The key issue that separates EPO/Blood doping from old school PED's is the vast differences in response from rider to rider. There was an Australian study that showed one person may only get a 3% increase while another get 18%. I do not think the results would be as extreme for Pro's but if one rider gets 13% more power then another it is a game changer. Riis, Armstrong, both could not climb before using EPO. Suddenly they are two of the best ever.
 
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sars1981 said:
This is the modus operandi of those who oppose all us crazy conspiracy theorists. Pure Ad Hominem without engagement, or engagement at only the most simplistic level. Personally I'm DYING to hear from somebody that can refute the cynical views on doping. Haven't been impressed but the callibre of argument on show so far.

Yea, don't hold your breath though. All we have are the troll brigade lead by BPC and his many sock puppets. Its enough to make me wish I could meet the guy in person.
 
Oldnell said:
You are still just about the only sane person on this forum. The thing I don't understand is why you waste your time arguing with these excellence haters and conspiracy theorists. You are certainly not going to change their minds. You do get their goat a bit, which may make it worthwhile. Keep up the good work.

How many sock puppets do we have in this place?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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BanProCycling said:

Really?

Where did he make that comment? You do realize TFF is one of your finest admirers for trollcraft? .... I am suprised you are soo sensitive.

Anyway as you pointed out on another thread best to get back on topic.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Oldnell said:
You are still just about the only sane person on this forum. The thing I don't understand is why you waste your time arguing with these excellence haters and conspiracy theorists. You are certainly not going to change their minds. You do get their goat a bit, which may make it worthwhile. Keep up the good work.

So true.

BPC is clearly a genius who intellect is wasted on this forum. He should find a place where his knowledge is appreciated, instead of ridiculed.

Let us know when you two find this place of higher thinking, we will be sure not to visit.