Race Radio said:
If you read my posts you will see that I very clearly said this is just one element. I also spelled out very clearly what the other elements were.....multiple times.
You are welcome to pretend that someone is saying muscle density is the common denominator but I am clear that it is one of multiple elements.
So here are the multiple elements:
There were 4 key elements to success in the EPO era
1. good Hct to Vo2 ratio
2. Muscle mass to weight ratio
3. Good doctors willing to take risks
4. Connections to the UCI to cover up questionable test
Jan had the first 3. Without them he never wins the Tour or gets on the podium. The level playing field you are referring to does not exist.
1) is mostly a low HT, which is not unique to Ulle or LA. About 15-20% of males have a HT around 40 or lower, IOW a select group but not an elite group. Another aspect of it could be a larger than average increase in V02 for a given increase in HT, but you haven't provided any evidence that Ulle exhibited this, nor indeed, even said that this was another aspect of it.
2) All climbing specialists seek to maximize this. You have not provided any evidence, other than a little anecdotal, to show that Ulle was naturally more endowed than his contemporaries in this respect. If, as you claim, Ulle clean was a relatively poor climber, this certainly doesn't support the idea that naturally he had a much higher than average muscle mass/body weight ratio.
But more to the point, there isn't any evidence that a high muscle mass to weight ratio increases the response to blood doping, which has to be the case if this element is a major factor in your assertion that Ulle was the best responder of all time. There is no theoretical basis to this claim that I'm aware of, nor any studies to support it.
3) I don't believe you have provided any evidence that Ulle was more willing than most riders to push the envelope, a la Riis. Maybe your contacts claim this. But in any case, you also concede that “Once the 50% level became the rule the Hct/Vo2 equation became far more important then the level of risk a rider was willing to take.” So for most of Ulle’s career, risk in this sense would not be a major factor, and we’re back to point 1), which is mostly a naturally low HT.
So your multiple elements boil down to:
1) a naturally low HT, but not that one that would make him unique in the peloton, by any means
2) better doctors
But you also say that the need for better doctors is mostly to take advantage of the superior muscle mass/body weight ratio:
add in the cocktail of drugs, under expert supervision, that when administered correctly and on schedule add lean muscle mass that can put that additional RBC to good use
Since, as I have noted, there is no evidence that this is possible, that differences in muscle mass can result in better response, the contribution of better doctors becomes questionable as well.
So your elements mostly boil down to 1), a naturally low HT. You yourself imply this when you say “There are many elements but the most basic is Hct/Vo2.”
Yes, prior to the passport, riders with naturally low HTs could increase their HT by more than riders with naturally high HTs. Common knowledge, though a low HT is not everything. Cunego and Contador reportedly have natural HTs greater than 50%, but both were able to win a GT prior to the passport.
While I'm at it, I just want to add that though I'm agnostic on the question of Ulle, I find it ironic that while a key argument that LA had a major doping advantage was that he never showed GT promise at a young age, the fact that Ulle podiumed in the TDF at age 22 is dismissed by his critics here.
Sure, he could have been super-responding back then, in 1996. But at the same time, LA couldn't even finish a TDF. Was this because of his cancer? Or because Ulle had found the right doctor and LA hadn't? But if it's mostly about a naturally low HT, the right doctor wouldn't make much difference.