Indurain EPO?

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May 23, 2010
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Von Mises said:
About Riis thats not entirely true. As I understand he was decent domestique, also in mountains. He actually won a stage 1989 Giro (pre-EPO) and it was mountain stage, though not MTF.
So was Laudulino Cubino,,,won a mtn stage also..but still was a stem chewer when the climbers went ahead. Riis and Armstrong had nothing on someone like Dag Otto Lauritson.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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No we are getting into some of the more classic tours (87 to 89). Some great racing then. Indurain came 17th in 89 tour. Given that he won a stage from an all day attack and then loss a bundle of time the next day in the mountains he did okay. He did win a few smaller stage races too pre 90. So Obviously the talent was there. He still considers himself a late bloomer. I would have liked to seen how well he would have went without EPO (and a clean field) as he was definately on the improve.

Major results pre 90
Paris–Nice (1989)
Critérium International (1989)
Volta a Catalunya (1988)
Tour de l'Avenir (1986)
 
May 26, 2010
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Indurain said:
No we are getting into some of the more classic tours (87 to 89). Some great racing then. Indurain came 17th in 89 tour. Given that he won a stage from an all day attack and then loss a bundle of time the next day in the mountains he did okay. He did win a few smaller stage races too pre 90. So Obviously the talent was there. He still considers himself a late bloomer. I would have liked to seen how well he would have went without EPO (and a clean field) as he was definately on the improve.
he was too big to climb well. He might have won tours due to his time trialling but he would not have been as consistent as it seems the EPO allowed and therefore might have really bad days in the mountains, but alas we'll never know.
 
I don't put Riis and Mig into the same grouping. Riis was a top 10 potential, mostly because he was an excellent strategist and would have been very lucky to even podium.

Even without EPO I think Mig would have won the Tour, more than once. Yes, he would have lost more time in the mountains, but as I said before he benefited from Tour years with much, much longer TT distances than today.
 
Sep 5, 2009
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Prior to Indurain, winners of the Tour de France, for the most part, were very good in their first Tours. Look at guys like Hinault, Merckx, LeMond, Fignon, Zoetemelk... They either won or placed very high in their first Tours. Indurain did not. I've always thought he doped -- and as others have said here, he was such a nice guy and so quiet that no one ever said anything about it.
 
May 13, 2009
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When was the last time you saw a reasonably clean 175 lb rider climb with the best? Remember LA was around 10% lighter and Der Jan 13 lbs lighter. I don't think he could have come close to winning a TDF, even with the longer TT's, as he would have been dropped on most steep hills and lost big minutes, especially if done on consectutive days, but then we can only wonder while using history as our guide.
 
robow7 said:
When was the last time you saw a reasonably clean 175 lb rider climb with the best? Remember LA was around 10% lighter and Der Jan 13 lbs lighter. I don't think he could have come close to winning a TDF, even with the longer TT's, as he would have been dropped on most steep hills and lost big minutes, especially if done on consectutive days, but then we can only wonder while using history as our guide.
This is not quite right. The Tour and the way it was raced was different back in the day. An all-rounder could place in the top ten. Riders like Phil Anderson and Steve Bauer had top ten placings. Sean Kelly placed in the top ten numerous times, including a fourth place finish. With the longer time trial distances and the right course Indurain could have won the Tour a couple times. I certainly don't think he would have won five times in a row.

Indurain also was not some nobody who came out of nowhere. He showed great potential when he was young.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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I agree. Indurain loss quite a bit of weight between 89 and 90 onwards. Added to this he was a domestique and a great one at that. He use to sacrifice himself big time for his team leader (just look at the Alp D huez 1990 stage - prob would have won that tour if he hadn't have worked for Delgado).

So it is hard to say that he did poorly in those pre-90 tours when we don't know the circumstances of his domestique duties. A 17th place for a domestique is quite good for his 89 tour. remember this was pre EPO. He also won a mountain stage from an all day break and paid for it the next day by losing a bundle of time.

I think he could have been a contender. As could Cancellera if he concentrated on it like Wiggins did.
 
Jul 11, 2010
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hrotha said:
Merckx actually tested positive.

As for Indurain, I think the French Federation said he tested positive for something (salbutamol, maybe?) but nothing came out of it. Other than that, there's not much. His association with Sabino Padilla raises some eyebrows, and considering the epoch he lived in it's hard to think he could possibly be clean. Not that many riders took EPO in 1991 though, I believe it really got out of hand in 1993-1996.

So the answer to the original question is "probably".
Yeah, Merckx tested positive for Reactivan I think. It's a stimulant (read diet pill). Pretty common in those days from my reading.

IIRC, Lemond alluded to possibility that Indurain was on the juice. Indurain's vitals (resting heart rate, lung capacity, etc) where off the chain though. He was a cardiovascular freak. He had long femurs as well which helped his leverage in pushing big gears during those ITT's. Still though, I think that odds are against him *not* using. I his ability to defend in the mountain stages never made sense to me given his physiology (power to weight ratio). Big gears aren't as handy over high mountain passes.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Yes but he did revolutionise the spinning technique while climbing. His cadence was usually much higher than most. I guess this may mean he wasn't pushing a huge gear but rather using his lunch capacity to keep it going and conserving power in the process.

If you watch past tours the Columbians use to push huge gears. Since Armstrong adopted Indurain's style, most people seem to have tried to adopt it.
 
Jul 19, 2010
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HokieJoe said:
I his ability to defend in the mountain stages never made sense to me given his physiology (power to weight ratio). Big gears aren't as handy over high mountain passes.
Does anyone have number i.e. watts, on Indurains climbs? Wouldn't that help when determing wether he was on the juice or not?? (My opinion/belief: of course he was!!)
 
Aug 13, 2009
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Indurain said:
Yes but he did revolutionise the spinning technique while climbing. His cadence was usually much higher than most.
You may want to go back a bit further in history, look up the name Charly Gaul. Heck take a gander for Federico Bahamontes too.

Spinning lighter gears when going uphill is a technique that has been around as long as there have been at least 2 gears.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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BroDeal said:
Indurain's actual power is misrepresented there because he weight was higher than the weight used for normalizing.
Yea but weight a question mark with almost all riders. What do you figure was his actual weight?
 
BroDeal said:
Indurain's actual power is misrepresented there because he weight was higher than the weight used for normalizing.
the power is quoted as WATTS/kg, so that the actual weight hardly makes any difference.

However the values for 91-92 seems to me to be misrepresentations of the situation at the time : may be too many climbs were done at a leisurely pace, bringing down the avearge.

I also wish the 6.97 W/kg quoted for L.A. were removed as the true value up AdH was roughly 6.7 W/kg.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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BroDeal said:
This is the way I see it.

Indurain became a special project of Dr. Conconi after the Tour of Future in '85 or '86--I forget which year. Conconi developed a five year plan to turn him into a TdF winner. He, along with Bugno and Chiappucci, was one of the first beneficiaries of EPO in teh TdF. Because he was a nice and humble guy who, unlike Armstrong, was smart enough not to challenge the press to prove he was doping, no one made a big issue of what he was doing.

The pre-Festina environment was considerably different than the post-Festina environment. Until about 2000, doping bans were only a few months and were often served during the off-season.
Sorry to respond this late but you emphasize a good point: being smart. Chiappucci was another idiot that pis*ed on the entire peloton and they did not like it. He did have the smarts to fade away.
Bugno almost seem overdone (overprepared). I remember one Tour stage where the top GC guys are running into a flat finish from 1K out...Bugno was on the front and you're waiting for Indurain and the others to start the sprint. Bugno simply continued accelerating in the saddle and gapped them all off. It was pretty unimaginable.
I was supremely happy when he won a race in his last season-clean. I can't recall the event but he was loudly applauded by much of the peloton for the feat and the fact he wanted to go out under his own power.
 
Oldman said:
Sorry to respond this late but you emphasize a good point: being smart. Chiappucci was another idiot that pis*ed on the entire peloton and they did not like it. He did have the smarts to fade away.
Bugno almost seem overdone (overprepared). I remember one Tour stage where the top GC guys are running into a flat finish from 1K out...Bugno was on the front and you're waiting for Indurain and the others to start the sprint. Bugno simply continued accelerating in the saddle and gapped them all off. It was pretty unimaginable.
I was supremely happy when he won a race in his last season-clean. I can't recall the event but he was loudly applauded by much of the peloton for the feat and the fact he wanted to go out under his own power.
Along this line, I have suspected for some time that after Indurain blew all the GC contenders away for a ridiculous four minutes (Save Dl La Cuevas, who was three minutes back) in a time trial, he deliberately held back at times.
 
May 26, 2010
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BroDeal said:
Along this line, I have suspected for some time that after Indurain blew all the GC contenders away for a ridiculous four minutes (Save Dl La Cuevas, who was three minutes back) in a time trial, he deliberately held back at times.
did he hold back to avoid suspicion or out of respect for other riders?
 
Benotti69 said:
did he hold back to avoid suspicion or out of respect for other riders?
I just think that the result of the time trial was so farsical that it called into question the credibility of the sport and Indurain himself. Maybe he was smart enough to realize this and tempered his future efforts so that he did not do much more than what was required to win the overall. For example, Indurain was perfectly capable of winning mountain stages; he was happy to let others win as long as he maintained his hold over the GC.
 
May 23, 2010
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Benotti69 said:
did he hold back to avoid suspicion or out of respect for other riders?
I think he held back to not look ridiculous...I think he held back out of respect for the tour itself.. He wanted to maintain appearances..The outstanding TT specialist that covered anything in the mountains. If he had never had anyone to chase down in the mountains he would have just rode in at the front and never played that card.
 
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