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How much blood do they use in a GT?

I'm wondering how much of a factor effective rationing/metering of one's blood store is a factor in bike racing, especially in grand tours.

For those guys who use autologous doping exclusively, their supply has to be limited to less than what they might ideally wish to have.

How much are the "bad days" explained by days on which they gamble to not "refresh" or not "refresh" as much, thinking that it won't be as critical day for the overall or whatever their goal is?

For example, without mentioning any names like Vino or Cuddles, perhaps some chose to sacrifice today's performance because they only had enough left for the Gavia and final TT?

Thoughts/comments? Any actual knowledge about this?
 
If you're just targetting one 3-week tour a year I wouldn't have thought it would be a problem given how quickly the blood replenishes itself. And I guess it helps that they tend to stack the hardest stages in the final week

One thing Landis said which I thought was quite interesting was that his first EPO use was out-of-competition to get his HCT high enough to a point where they could extract blood without it knocking him out of training for a few weeks
 
Aug 11, 2009
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This is not a qualified medical opinion, but, I don't think that blood is like food. You don't eat it and use it one day and then poop it out the next day. It's in your system for a while. So, the idea that a rider couldn't "use" blood today because he's saving it for tomorrow seems a little bit off to me. Any doctors want to chime in?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ergmonkey said:
So, the idea that a rider couldn't "use" blood today because he's saving it for tomorrow seems a little bit off to me. Any doctors want to chime in?

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the internet. The blood in this hypothesis is stored in a bag and can be saved for tomorrow.
 
May 25, 2010
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sylvan said:
I'm not a doctor, but I play one on the internet. The blood in this hypothesis is stored in a bag and can be saved for tomorrow.
Since I am a doctor, I'll give it a go: red cells last an average of 120 days without intense exercise like marathons or TdF stages, probably 1/2 that with violent exertion. Statistics show that depletion occurs at a normal rate of loss of hematocrit from say 45 percent red cells to 35 percent over a 3 week tour because the cells are being forced through the circulation so fast for 6 hours a day for say 18 stages. Therefore, a unit of packed red cells (500 cc) can raise hematocrit 1.5 percent per bag; to keep your hematocrit stable over three weeks, divide loss of hematocrit percent by 1.5 percent per bag of packed RBCs and voila- infuse 6 2/3 bags (units) over 18 stages or every 2.7 stages. To be conservative, do it every 3 stages, and micro dose your EPO and keep the Hematocrit very steady. To prove that a person is using some method of PED, keep them isolated for several days and run them up and down several steep climbs for six hours every day and do a blood profile and watch the hematocrit and red cell smear including reticulocyte count and discuss the results with a hematologist. That would be scary.
 
drtomiumb said:
Since I am a doctor, I'll give it a go: red cells last an average of 120 days without intense exercise like marathons or TdF stages, probably 1/2 that with violent exertion. Statistics show that depletion occurs at a normal rate of loss of hematocrit from say 45 percent red cells to 35 percent over a 3 week tour because the cells are being forced through the circulation so fast for 6 hours a day for say 18 stages. Therefore, a unit of packed red cells (500 cc) can raise hematocrit 1.5 percent per bag; to keep your hematocrit stable over three weeks, divide loss of hematocrit percent by 1.5 percent per bag of packed RBCs and voila- infuse 6 2/3 bags (units) over 18 stages or every 2.7 stages. To be conservative, do it every 3 stages, and micro dose your EPO and keep the Hematocrit very steady. To prove that a person is using some method of PED, keep them isolated for several days and run them up and down several steep climbs for six hours every day and do a blood profile and watch the hematocrit and red cell smear including reticulocyte count and discuss the results with a hematologist. That would be scary.
How would such a test prove a person is using a PED (you mean during the test, or to compare these results with their smears during a Tour?), and why would it be scary?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Kohl planned to use 5 tansfusions, I think 500ml cell and plasma, not spun out cells.

One prior, three intra-Tour. Matschiner missed the last appointment and sent his assistant, who screwed up the trnasfusion as the blood coagulated. Kohl believes he would have won the Tour with those additional cells and plasma.

Either the plasma does not dissipate at a rate expected, or they are using plasma expanders and keeping their crits right down.

Ashenden said that microdosing can expand blood volume, without any apparent raise in crit.

Floyd and USPS had 2.5 litres on ice.

That is a truckload of red performance enhancing stuff. Puts into perspective Fuentes' fridge, and Ullrich asking for "one more". Some riders may have had 5 bags in the fridge. What, there were 180 bags confiscated.

I thought it would have been 2 bags per on average. But this amount that Kohl, USPS and gotta assume others were doing too, that puts it into perspective.
 
Ninety5rpm said:
I'm wondering how much of a factor effective rationing/metering of one's blood store is a factor in bike racing, especially in grand tours.

For those guys who use autologous doping exclusively, their supply has to be limited to less than what they might ideally wish to have.

How much are the "bad days" explained by days on which they gamble to not "refresh" or not "refresh" as much, thinking that it won't be as critical day for the overall or whatever their goal is?

For example, without mentioning any names like Vino or Cuddles, perhaps some chose to sacrifice today's performance because they only had enough left for the Gavia and final TT?

Thoughts/comments? Any actual knowledge about this?
As predicted:

"Vinokourov gave furious chase, ..."

"Evans attacked out of the maglia rosa group with 2.8km to go in an attempt to get back some time on Basso. He soon caught and passed Vinokourov, who faded away."

2 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:16
3 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:25
 
Mar 4, 2010
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blackcat said:
Kohl planned to use 5 tansfusions, I think 500ml cell and plasma, not spun out cells.

One prior, three intra-Tour. Matschiner missed the last appointment and sent his assistant, who screwed up the trnasfusion as the blood coagulated. Kohl believes he would have won the Tour with those additional cells and plasma.

Either the plasma does not dissipate at a rate expected, or they are using plasma expanders and keeping their crits right down.

Ashenden said that microdosing can expand blood volume, without any apparent raise in crit.

Floyd and USPS had 2.5 litres on ice.

That is a truckload of red performance enhancing stuff. Puts into perspective Fuentes' fridge, and Ullrich asking for "one more". Some riders may have had 5 bags in the fridge. What, there were 180 bags confiscated.

I thought it would have been 2 bags per on average. But this amount that Kohl, USPS and gotta assume others were doing too, that puts it into perspective.

How do you extract 2.5 litres without screwing up your training? Especially if you're going to dope in other races than as well.
Do you have a link to that interview? I thought he said they recieved 2 transfusions in a GT?

I wonder how quickly you lose that extra Hb after a transusion. Where's Floyd when you need him?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Tyler'sTwin said:
How do you extract 2.5 litres without screwing up your training? Especially if you're going to dope in other races than as well.

That gets back to the root of the thread: rationing. Look at Schecklet and Spartacus at ToC. They won't be riding like that in July.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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blackcat said:
pull it out in the off-season

this is how Dekker got caught for epo, or dynepo

Don't cyclists train very hard in the off-season? In XC skiing, it is often said that "a good skier is made in the summer". 2.5 litres is just an insane amount of blood to extract (I realize they aren't withdrawing it all in one extraction). :eek:

Either the plasma does not dissipate at a rate expected, or they are using plasma expanders and keeping their crits right down

I'm sure his hct should have been higher than the low 40's, but what he's been up to obviously has a substantial effect on his hct as it didn't drop by 10% as expected.
 

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