Lance's program was superior? The evidence

Page 2 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
13,250
0
0
Merckx index said:
3) help from UCI - It has also been alleged that LA was able to avoid being tested at critical times, or that incriminating test results were covered up.
Muriel said:
That is something that puzzles me. It doesn't make a great deal of sense when you look at it. There are several maybes I can concoct, but they are all just guess work.

But perhaps I am looking at it from the wrong direction. Perhaps UCI didn't decide, as such (and never did). Perhaps it was a deal 'put to them' so to speak. I mean, if Armstrong did have a superior training programme and preparation method - is it beyond possibility that he made inquiries, spoke to the right people, made it worth their while etc etc etc??? Slowly and gradually formed mutually beneficial relations with key individuals?? It's all just conjecture on my part, not even conjecture really, it's way looser than that.

What I am saying is that there are always many possible ways to get where we are. The seemingly most obvious way is not necessarily the one that was taken.
Thats pretty much it - it was not something the UCI (or Armstrong) decided - they were forced to react to a situation.

The 99 Tour was billed as the 'Tour of Redemption' after the Fetina 98 Tour.
Add to that Pantani being kicked off the Giro the sport was in a mess.

The last thing needed was another large scandal.
As an example - when Ludo Dierckxsens won a stage he reported at drug controlle and when asked had he taken any medications he said he had taken Cortisone . This set off a some panic at the Tour and Ludo was quickly withdrawn from the race (funny part is that his test would eventually come back negative).

I don't believe that LA the cancer survivor saved him - I think it was because he was a GT contender and a TUE would get the Tour organisers and the UCI out of the jam.
 
Jul 4, 2009
9,666
0
0
Benotti69 said:
i think they may cherish a yellow bracelet and it would be right.
...thank you so very much for your prompt reply...but in fairness to all the other fanboys on this forum, what are they due?...

Cheers

blutto
 
Merckx index said:
The same could be said about the cozy relationship with UCI. There does seem to be some evidence for this. But if this is really the case, how did the relationship begin? Why LA? Did UCI just decide it wanted a cancer survivor as the poster boy for pro cycling? Was this decision made even before the 99 Tour, when LA was still under most people's radar as a contender?
Now that a lot of details of LA's entourage of clever attorneys & influential/powerful/corrupted people in the sporting business have been unveiled, let me tell you a story:

Back in 96 when he was diagnosed with Cancer, and keeping in mind that his testosterone levels were over the roof- UCI, WADA & the French Labs strangely never picked up any kind of anomalies in his urine/blood samples at all-and yes-anti-doping tests aren't meant to reveal cancer- but there is the beta-hCG compound question that could have triggered either a positive or shown a serious illness -but as we know-he was covered on all anti-doping flanks. During his recovery and the "negotiations" with Codofis & the seach for a new team, somebody from the very clever group of Attorneys & the USAC people, suggested to him that "he should be compensated for all the damages & the life threatening/hardship experience he had endured" and by default- Pro Cycling's nature to favor PED's is due to be accountable for.......... SO- A meeting with the UCI people took place & basically LA & Co. blackmailed/threatened them to expose to the world that he acquired Cancer & he could have been aware of it had the UCI,WADA, & the French Labs done their due work property-instead they have looked the other way & created a rotten system infested with PED's capable of creating serious life threatening illness........... I imagine he was asked what he wanted in return-and LA's request was to be "allowed by all means to win the most important race in the world"... I imagine there must be a tape or a written paper somewhere, so LA could come back from time to time and remain them of their commitment...I imagine at some point they dropped the instigation & became partners, since the "new star" in cycling was making so much money for everyone favoring him & big sponsors kept coming every time he stepped on the podium in Paris......
 
Jan 20, 2011
352
0
0
Lance wasn't a big deal back then for the UCI to cow-tow to his needs and create a grand conspiracy theory.

The more likely story is that he won in 99, was American (new growing market) and had a awe-inspiring story. The UCI knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to build it's base and grew complicit.
 
May 26, 2010
28,144
2
0
blutto said:
...thank you so very much for your prompt reply...but in fairness to all the other fanboys on this forum, what are they due?...

Cheers

blutto
oh i suppose a couple baggies of HGH, they look like they need it..
 
Jul 4, 2009
9,666
0
0
Benotti69 said:
oh i suppose a couple baggies of HGH, they look like they need it..
...man, this is one weird joint...but if that is freight, that is the freight...

Cheers

blutto

P.S....gardening magazines often have ads for HGH...and given the possibilities inherent in market cross-pollination, do you think a gardening thread would fly here...
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
Ferrari and Cecchini both cut their teeth working under Conconi. Before Armstrong became Ferrari's pet project, Ferrari had worked with Rominger, Bugno, the entire Gewiss team, Olano, Cipollini, and many others. Cecchini worked with Riis, Ullrich, Hamilton, and Basso. Beyond that, there was no EPO test yet in 1999--only the 50% HCT test. It really seems to me like the knowledge and undetectable drug access should have been out there for all team leaders.

Beyond this, acknowledging Lance's achievements as a Tour rider bothers me less when I think of previous winners. In my mind, when riders like Ullrich and Riis crushed a doped field, Ullrich and Riis accomplished something remarkable--however tainted. The same must be said of Lance man-handling Pantani in 2000 and Ullrich in 2001.

Lance deserves to be punished for abusing those who tell the truth and for consistently and aggressively lying to the public for his own tremendous personal profit. I don't, however, think we need to deny his cycling talent and work ethic to do this. Like it or not, only one type of cyclist wins a World Championship at age 21 and succeeds in nearly perfectly timing his form peak seven years in a row--and that is an extraordinarily talented and focused cyclist.

Honestly, isn't there more than enough to hate about Lance without making new stuff up out of whole cloth?
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
Sanitiser said:
I'm sort of inclined to think this was also a mental edge over his TdF competitors.
This argument, however, I do buy. Lance seems like the type of guy who is only comfortable and confident when he believes that he has the best everything around him--the best equipment, the best advisors, the best hotels, the best entourage, etc. Coyle's book (Lance Armstrong's War) makes this very clear in the section about Lance's constant search for "The Sh*t That Will Kill Them."

No doubt, the placebo effect works wonders on Lance.
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
MacRoadie said:
What, specifically, is from whole cloth?
Is this an honest question or just baiting?

If its an honest question, please re-read my posts and the answer should be pretty clear.
 
Aug 3, 2009
3,217
1
0
ergmonkey said:
Is this an honest question or just baiting?

If its an honest question, please re-read my posts and the answer should be pretty clear.
No, it is a very specific question to you asking you to provide support to your claim that this was made up from whole cloth. You seem to feel rather strongly about this, so providing a short, succinct listing to strengthen your argument shouldn't be an issue.

I don't have the time or quite frankly the desire to engage in pointless baiting.
 
Aug 3, 2009
3,217
1
0
Ok, went back and read all of your posts (all three of them) and this is what I got:

Thus, the "superiority" of Lance's "program" has never been an issue that has gotten me particularly excited.
So first you feign indifference.

I don't, however, think we need to deny his cycling talent and work ethic to do this. Like it or not, only one type of cyclist wins a World Championship at age 21 and succeeds in nearly perfectly timing his form peak seven years in a row--and that is an extraordinarily talented and focused cyclist.
Then we go to the "extremely talented and trained harder" card.

This argument, however, I do buy. Lance seems like the type of guy who is only comfortable and confident when he believes that he has the best everything around him--the best equipment, the best advisors, the best hotels, the best entourage, etc. Coyle's book (Lance Armstrong's War) makes this very clear in the section about Lance's constant search for "The Sh*t That Will Kill Them."
Then you sorta say Armstrong IS the kind of guy who WOULD have the best doping doctor and program available, and it sounds like you're saying he would do whatever he needed to do to make sure he had something better than anyone else, but you still say the idea that his program was better than anyone else's is speculation and "whole cloth".

In which of these posts do you refute (besuides with personal opinion) the representation (made by many here and elsewhere) that Armstrong's program wasn't superior?
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
MacRoadie said:
I don't have the time or quite frankly the desire to engage in pointless baiting.
Your tone and post count would suggest otherwise.

Nonetheless, as to arguments which have been made up out of whole cloth (which was never, by the way, directed at anything you yourself wrote), numerous arguments have been made as to the superiority of Lance's doping protocol without detailing what Lance's most important adversaries were doing.

It's hard to have even a suspicion of "superiority" without a thorough understanding of other, similar, "inferior" programs.

If you want a quotation listing of other posters making such claims, go do your own homework and/or stop pretending to be unaware.
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
MacRoadie said:
In which of these posts do you refute (besuides with personal opinion) the representation (made by many here and elsewhere) that Armstrong's program wasn't superior?
Who taught you how to use double negatives?
 
Aug 3, 2009
3,217
1
0
ergmonkey said:
If you want a quotation listing of other posters making such claims, go do your own homework and/or stop pretending to be unaware.
Oh, I'm perfectly aware.

And now I'm also aware that you won't answer the question.
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
Also, nice attempt at a burden shift, MacRoadie.

This thread is supposedly arguing that Lance's program was superior (see thread title). In other words, this thread is supposed to be persuading readers that such superiority really exists. Not the other way around.
 
Aug 3, 2009
3,217
1
0
ergmonkey said:
Also, nice attempt at a burden shift, MacRoadie.

This thread is supposedly arguing that Lance's program was superior (see thread title). In other words, this thread is supposed to be persuading readers that such superiority really exists. Not the other way around.
And you dismiss the notion out of hand as being "made from whole cloth". Others have provided anecdotal evidence, yet you simply counter with the age-old "he just trained harder than the other dopers" mantra. You even go so far as to quote from Coyle, while dismissing the Ferrari exclusivity agreement taken directly from the very same book.

Also, I believe the title of the thread is posed as a question, not an affirmation. Certainly the OP proffers an argument in the affirmative, but it still invites counter arguments. Yours is just to say it's "whole cloth".

If it IS a thread attempting to prove Armstrong had a better program, then why are you arguing against it? You shifted the burden to you when you argued that he OPs theory was fallacious.
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
MacRoadie said:
you simply counter with the age-old "he just trained harder than the other dopers" mantra. You even go so far as to quote from Coyle, while dismissing the Ferrari exclusivity agreement taken directly from the very same book.
Wrong on both counts. First, I never claimed "Lance simply trained harder." I suggested that Lance won because of a confluence of factors--two of the most important of which were training focus AND talent. To make the point even more specifically here, I believe that it demeans the efforts of many other riders (including Jan Ullrich) to constantly insist that Lance Armstrong's talent was anything other than extraordinary. No matter what drugs you take, no matter who administers them, and no matter how you train, you simply cannot achieve what Lance did without also possessing enormous talent.

Second, I never "dismissed" the exclusivity agreement with Ferrari. Rather, I argued that there was already a great deal of collaboration between Ferrari and other riders BEFORE the "exclusive agreement" with Lance and there was another very well-informed doping doctor to whom other Tour contenders turned for training guidance while Lance was working with Ferrari.
 
ergmonkey said:
This thread is supposedly arguing that Lance's program was superior (see thread title). In other words, this thread is supposed to be persuading readers that such superiority really exists. Not the other way around.
I was trying to be even-handed. I recognize that many people who post here do believe that his program was superior, and I was challenging them to provide specific evidence. I certainly welcome arguments to the contrary.

Beyond the allegedly exclusive relationship with Ferrari, and some evidence of a deal with UCI, what comes up again and again--and what I believe got many people believing in the superior program in the first place--is the notion that when LA began his career, talented as he obviously was, he was not GT material. He was a classics style rider, not a climbing/TT specialist. People point to the fact that historically, dominant GT riders have shown their talent very early, in their early 20s--Merckx, Hinault, Lemond, e.g.

I think if LA post-cancer had gone on to become one of the best one-day riders in history, sweeping all five monuments, say, and winning many other classics, even with evidence of doping, there would be far less talk of a superior program. It is the fact that his body type, at least prior to cancer, did not seem to favor him in GTs that has fueled so much of this talk, IMO. And certainly this is worth debating, though I realize there is currently another thread focussing exclusively on this issue.
 
Jan 20, 2011
352
0
0
Is there credence to the 'he lost a lost of his upper body weight due to cancer'? That in part would explain in part his ability to climb better.
 
Aug 11, 2009
729
0
0
Sanitiser said:
Is there credence to the 'he lost a lost of his upper body weight due to cancer'? That in part would explain in part his ability to climb better.
There could be, but there also seem to be conflicting reports as to the amount of weight he really lost. Some older photos definitely suggest a big change, while some of his official Tour start weights don't.

I think the truth is probably somewhere in between.
 
Aug 3, 2009
3,217
1
0
ergmonkey said:
Wrong on both counts. First, I never claimed "Lance simply trained harder." I suggested that Lance won because of a confluence of factors--two of the most important of which were training focus AND talent. To make the point even more specifically here, I believe that it demeans the efforts of many other riders (including Jan Ullrich) to constantly insist that Lance Armstrong's talent was anything other than extraordinary. No matter what drugs you take, no matter who administers them, and no matter how you train, you simply cannot achieve what Lance did without also possessing enormous talent.
The problem is, the very argument that Armstrong went out of his way to secure the best preparatore and program was exactly BECAUSE other riders also had phenomenal talent (in the case of Ullrich possibly more), trained hard, and were on programs of their own. The argument that Armstrong needed a better program actually validates the strength of his opponents, it doesn't undermine or demean them in the least.

There are two arguments made here: one, that Armstrong had a better program, and two, that without a program he was a lesser rider than his opponents. This thread addresses the former. Plenty of others address the latter.

ergmonkey said:
Second, I never "dismissed" the exclusivity agreement with Ferrari. Rather, I argued that there was already a great deal of collaboration between Ferrari and other riders BEFORE the "exclusive agreement" with Lance and there was another very well-informed doping doctor to whom other Tour contenders turned for training guidance while Lance was working with Ferrari.
Again, the literature very clearly illustrates that not only did Ferrari work with other riders before Armstrong, but that he also CONTINUED to work with cyclists while preparing Armstrong (as long as they weren't considered by Armstrong to be GT contenders). Of that there is no argument.

The issue is that at some point, by his own admission, Ferrari entered into an agreement with Armstrong wherein he would provide to Armstrong services he would not offer to Armstrong's GT opponents. THAT is where Ferrari's services and Armstrong's "program" become an edge for Armstrong. Both Ferrari and Armstrong must have felt Ferrari could offer something unavailable anywhere else, or the exclusivity of the agreement would have no value.

As far as Luigi Cecchini goes, yes, he is an excellent (depending on your viewpoint) preparatore (with Riis and MANY others), but he was still Ferrari's pupil and in the end, the relative strengths of their programs and the desire on the part of so many to secure Ferrari's services, indicates the master remained exactly that, the master. It begs the question, why did Ferrari, the man who basically taight Cecchini the ropes, have a single GT client while Cecchini had a dozen?
 
ergmonkey said:
I don't mean to put words in your mouth, and sorry to mix you up in a spat.
No problem whatsoever. The argument you and MacR are having is just the sort of thing I envisioned when I started this thread.

Sanitiser said:
Is there credence to the 'he lost a lost of his upper body weight due to cancer'? That in part would explain in part his ability to climb better.
Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that cancer did not result in a major loss of upper body weight (disproportionately--he may have lost upper body weight, but why not leg strength as well?). Certainly the people who think he was on a superior program tend to deny that this was a major factor in his TDF success.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no drug nor program out there that can increase a rider's GT performance without also enhancing his success in other races. I.e., any drug that enhances endurance, recovery, acceleration, speed, whatever, would be expected to make the rider better in flat or hilly stages as well. I don't know of any drug that selectively increases power to weight ratio. And if someone does, I welcome correction. (OK, clenbuterol and other weight loss drugs. But these hardly require a special program, I would think).

So assuming LA was on a superior program, one that took him from a DNF GT rider to one of the best TDF riders of all time, wouldn't it also make a rider who was already an excellent one day rider superlative at that discipline? If LA could dominate rivals in climbs and TTs, couldn't he even more so blow away the competition in just about any classic he entered?

And maybe he could have in those years, but just chose to focus on TDF, because of the obviously greater rewards for success there. But still, if he had this extraordinary one-day talent, I would have expected it to show up at some point. He did enter some major one day races during this period, and it certainly seemed seriously, but though he did well occasionally, he never won anything again. I think he was particularly upset when he lost that LBL, a race he always wanted to win, to Tyler. To be sure, winning any particular race is always somewhat a matter of luck. but he did not show himself, I think, to be that much better in these races post-cancer than before.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
masking_agent The Clinic 2

ASK THE COMMUNITY