Lance's program was superior? The evidence

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Aug 13, 2009
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ergmonkey said:
I'm not convinced. You really think pro cyclists were too scared to take a drug for which everyone knew there was no test yet?

The only risk was getting caught red-handed either injecting the stuff or carrying it around.
The risk was going to jail

They tested both the 98 and 99 tour samples. There was a significant decrease in positives in 1999 with a large percentage belonged to Armstrong. Interestingly all of 4 riders tested in the Prologue were positive.
 
Race Radio said:
It appears some would prefer to obsess about semantics then the actual topic. The fact remains that the improvement Armstrong saw from his program was huge, on par with Riis.
You're the one who called him a "donkey" as evidence that he must have had a superior doping programme.

Thats not to say he wasn't on a superior doping programme, just to say that his earlier career was anything but ordinary.

He was never a "donkey" so the argument falters.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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andy1234 said:
You're the one who called him a "donkey" as evidence that he must have had a superior doping programme.

Thats not to say he wasn't on a superior doping programme, just to say that his earlier career was anything but ordinary.

He was never a "donkey" so the argument falters.
He may not be a 'donkey ' but he was never a GT contender.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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ergmonkey said:
I'm not convinced. You really think pro cyclists were too scared to take a drug for which everyone knew there was no test yet?

The only risk was getting caught red-handed either injecting the stuff or carrying it around.
I think '99 was a transition year. Some had the inside track on what was known (or planned) in terms of doping controls. Others were probably doped to the gills until 2-3 weeks before.

But the results in '99 showed everyone that the game was back on.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Armstrong did not show any GT capability until his comeback in 1998.

In his first Tour he had the luxury of knowing he was to be pulled right after the Alps so he could go all out and test himself and Motorola even assigned Phil Anderson to mentor him - he finished 86th @ 21:42 on the first mountain stage and 97th @ 28:47.
Hey, no quarrel with you there. It just doesn't make me jump to any particular conclusion. As you note, it was his first Tour; some talents are dynamite right out of the gates, but I don't think they all have to be.

As for his results, I think it could speak just as much to Lance's mentality (especially in his youth) as to his ability. Lance seems like the quintessential "go big or go home" type of athlete; even in his world-beating years, he tended to get some ugly results in the races where he knew he wasn't racing to win.

Even if Lance had the potential to slog out a top 20, I'm not sure he would have had that sort of mental discipline. Destroying yourself to lose to 19 other guys? Doesn't seem like the sort of thing that gets LA excited. Humiliating everybody (whether they're a cyclist or a truth-seeking journalist)? That's much more Lance's style.
 
Aug 13, 2009
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andy1234 said:
You're the one who called him a "donkey" as evidence that he must have had a superior doping programme.

Thats not to say he wasn't on a superior doping programme, just to say that his earlier career was anything but ordinary.

He was never a "donkey" so the argument falters.
It appears you prefer to dwell on the semantics. Everyone is a donkey in some sense.

Compared to Contador's climbing Tom Boonen is a donkey
Compared to Boonen's sprinting Contador is a donkey

If it helps you deflect the conversation then by all means obsess over that I have called Boonen, Contador, and Armstrong donkeys.

there is a little donkey in all of us.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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Race Radio said:
Please show us a solid TT prior to 1994 when he started using EPO. Certainly Indurain's sudden improvement had nothing to do with him working with Padilla and Conconi....


Of course you know that Lance is not the worlds youngest world champion, not even the 2nd youngest.
Does that mean he won the Worlds in -93 without EPO?

Race Radio said:
Ulrich is another great example. Bunch sprinter who was routinely was dropped in training camp climbs, Podiums at the Tour as a 2nd year Pro on the full program.
Dropped by clean riders or doped riders? Fat Ullrich or fit Ullrich?
Was he really more of a natural sprinter than TT'er?

Race Radio said:
He made 6 minutes and then some. Armstrong in 2000 would have smoked indurain by minutes
Based on what exactly?
 
Aug 1, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
He may not be a 'donkey ' but he was never a GT contender.
OK, so critics, work on the rhetoric in making convincing argument to the unknowing-believers. Saying "donkey" is a turnoff, like calling all who do not worship Milton Friedman "socialists", or all those who are opposed to abortion "jack booted violent thugs".

Donkey is a bad term. It excessively discounts the starting point in a way that requires way too much explanation to someone new to the discussion.

Armstrong was way above average on a decent team, but was unlikely to have to be selected for the cycling equivalent of the Pro-Bowl or All-Star game by anyone.

-dB
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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ergmonkey said:
Hey, no quarrel with you there. It just doesn't make me jump to any particular conclusion. As you note, it was his first Tour; some talents are dynamite right out of the gates, but I don't think they all have to be.

As for his results, I think it could speak just as much to Lance's mentality (especially in his youth) as to his ability. Lance seems like the quintessential "go big or go home" type of athlete; even in his world-beating years, he tended to get some ugly results in the races where he knew he wasn't racing to win.

Even if Lance had the potential to slog out a top 20, I'm not sure he would have had that sort of mental discipline. Destroying yourself to lose to 19 other guys? Doesn't seem like the sort of thing that gets LA excited. Humiliating everybody (whether they're a cyclist or a truth-seeking journalist)? That's much more Lance's style.
Before the EPO era it was quite easy to spot the riders who had talent for stage races - we have had that debate here before and any name offered showed their ability in their first or second season as a Pro.

1993 was his first Tour - but things had not improved much by 1995 where LA lost 17:57 (to stage winner Zulle) in the first mountain stage and a further 18:44 the next.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Jun 19, 2009
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dbrower said:
OK, so critics, work on the rhetoric in making convincing argument to the unknowing-believers. Saying "donkey" is a turnoff, like calling all who do not worship Milton Friedman "socialists", or all those who are opposed to abortion "jack booted violent thugs".

Donkey is a bad term. It excessively discounts the starting point in a way that requires way too much explanation to someone new to the discussion.

Armstrong was way above average on a decent team, but was unlikely to have to be selected for the cycling equivalent of the Pro-Bowl or All-Star game by anyone.

-dB
DB - I have never ever called Armstrong (or any other Pro) a donkey.
 
Jul 4, 2009
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Mongol_Waaijer said:
His first European pro race in Santander he was certainly at the pointy end.

Dead last with everyone gone home.

Look it up.
...please correct me if I'm wrong but this particular race was run in rather miserable conditions...a lot of people simply quit...Lance apparently decided he was not going to quit and soldiered on...and did so despite having some terse exchanges with his DS who thought this was crazy...Lance, according to legend told the DS to go forth and multiply, and finished....

...ok...he was last...but he didn't take the easy way home...

...bad Lance?...or a determined rider who finishes what he starts?...

...sometimes the map is not the territory...

Cheers

blutto
 
Aug 11, 2009
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dbrower said:
OK, so critics, work on the rhetoric in making convincing argument to the unknowing-believers. Saying "donkey" is a turnoff, like calling all who do not worship Milton Friedman "socialists", or all those who are opposed to abortion "jack booted violent thugs".

Donkey is a bad term. It excessively discounts the starting point in a way that requires way too much explanation to someone new to the discussion.

Armstrong was way above average on a decent team, but was unlikely to have to be selected for the cycling equivalent of the Pro-Bowl or All-Star game by anyone.

-dB
Yes.

I'd add, though, that I'm not even "new to the discussion," I am a "critic," and I still find the term to be off-putting.

As noted previously, I see substance in all of the following terms when used to describe Lance Armstrong: Doper; Cheater; Fraud; Bully; Liar; Blackmailer; Charlatan; Thief; (I think that'll do for now)

But, I've also been an elite athlete, and I can't deny that physically Lance seems to be pretty special. But, as Rawls would note, nobody "deserves" his or her talents. There's nothing inherently admirable about Lance's physical capacity, but it's just something he has/had. There's no reason for talent to excuse or justify any sort of indecent behavior. Conversely, there's no reason to worry that acknowledging another's talents somehow suggests your approval for that person's behavior.
 
ergmonkey said:
Yes.

I'd add, though, that I'm not even "new to the discussion," I am a "critic," and I still find the term to be off-putting.

As noted previously, I see substance in all of the following terms when used to describe Lance Armstrong: Doper; Cheater; Fraud; Bully; Liar; Blackmailer; Charlatan; Thief; (I think that'll do for now)

But, I've also been an elite athlete, and I can't deny that physically Lance seems to be pretty special. But, as Rawls would note, nobody "deserves" his or her talents. There's nothing inherently admirable about Lance's physical capacity, but it's just something he has/had. There's no reason for talent to excuse or justify any sort of indecent behavior. Conversely, there's no reason to worry that acknowledging another's talents somehow suggests your approval for that person's behavior.
Well said.
To paraphrase "he's a hugely talented doped a**hole"
 
Jul 9, 2009
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ergmonkey said:
Yes.

I'd add, though, that I'm not even "new to the discussion," I am a "critic," and I still find the term to be off-putting.

As noted previously, I see substance in all of the following terms when used to describe Lance Armstrong: Doper; Cheater; Fraud; Bully; Liar; Blackmailer; Charlatan; Thief; (I think that'll do for now)
Agreed, but you left off Uniballer.

Perhaps we could all agree to use only the term GT Donkey when referring to him?
 
Aug 1, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
DB - I have never ever called Armstrong (or any other Pro) a donkey.
Not meant to pick on you personally, you just happened to be the last in that thread at the time I posted.

-dB
 
Aug 11, 2009
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Race Radio said:
Ok, then it is agreed. "GT @SS" it is.
Sounds like it would make a good vanity license plate.

Botany Bay, got any graphics for us? The Texas Truck license plate is always fun...

Example:

 
Race Radio said:
EPO, like all doping, effects each rider in different ways. There are multiple studies that confirm this, like this one http://www.haematologica.org/cgi/reprint/86/2/128.pdf.


I haven't read through the rest of this thread, so someone else may have a similar comment, but I'm going to jump in here.

The cited study does NOT show that EPO affects rides in different ways. Except for one sentence mentioning that certain parameters of reticulocyte formation show large inter-individual variation, the study emphasizes that different individuals respond to EPO in very similar ways. The authors specifically note the similarities between men and women (though a different off score can be used for women), and the study also emphasized that they found no differences related to ethnicity.

I'm also still waiting for someone to respond to my point that there is no evidence that EPO, or any other known doping substance, would specifically enhance climbing or TT ability without also enhancing a rider's ability to perform in one day races. IOW, if a special doping program enabled a poor GT rider to win 7 TDFs in a row, why didn't he improve on his already stellar one day racing ability to sweep the monuments. I know, he focussed on the TDF, but he did ride some classics post-cancer, but he never won any.
 
Oct 1, 2010
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blutto said:
...please correct me if I'm wrong but this particular race was run in rather miserable conditions...a lot of people simply quit...Lance apparently decided he was not going to quit and soldiered on...and did so despite having some terse exchanges with his DS who thought this was crazy...Lance, according to legend told the DS to go forth and multiply, and finished....

...ok...he was last...but he didn't take the easy way home...

...bad Lance?...or a determined rider who finishes what he starts?...

...sometimes the map is not the territory...

Cheers

blutto
IIRC he was 30 minutes behind the winner and he was jeered at by some spectators. Not an auspicious start, but within a week he had won a stage of the Tour of Galicia and finished 2nd in the Championship of Zurich.
 

flicker

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Aug 17, 2009
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Merckx index said:
I haven't read through the rest of this thread, so someone else may have a similar comment, but I'm going to jump in here.

The cited study does NOT show that EPO affects rides in different ways. Except for one sentence mentioning that certain parameters of reticulocyte formation show large inter-individual variation, the study emphasizes that different individuals respond to EPO in very similar ways. The authors specifically note the similarities between men and women (though a different off score can be used for women), and the study also emphasized that they found no differences related to ethnicity.

I'm also still waiting for someone to respond to my point that there is no evidence that EPO, or any other known doping substance, would specifically enhance climbing or TT ability without also enhancing a rider's ability to perform in one day races. IOW, if a special doping program enabled a poor GT rider to win 7 TDFs in a row, why didn't he improve on his already stellar one day racing ability to sweep the monuments. I know, he focussed on the TDF, but he did ride some classics post-cancer, but he never won any.
Lance could win any race as long as their was seperation, 50 man bunch sprints are out of Lances league. He rode TdF for the money, fame and because he could. It is the only race that carries air time and fame in the US. + Lance followed in LeMonds footsteps, with Eddy Merckxs" blessings.
 
Oct 1, 2010
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flicker said:
Lance could win any race as long as their was seperation, 50 man bunch sprints are out of Lances league. He rode TdF for the money, fame and because he could. It is the only race that carries air time and fame in the US. + Lance followed in LeMonds footsteps, with Eddy Merckxs" blessings.
??? Despite the myth, LeMond did continue his season beyond the Tour de France during the years he won the Tour. Lance Armstrong did not participate in a single World championship once he started winning the Tour. LeMond was at the worlds every year he won the Tour.
 

flicker

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Aug 17, 2009
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AngusW said:
??? Despite the myth, LeMond did continue his season beyond the Tour de France during the years he won the Tour. Lance Armstrong did not participate in a single World championship once he started winning the Tour. LeMond was at the worlds every year he won the Tour.
LeMond was tour-centric, big money earner. Did he not use pre-tour races as preperations for le tour? I don't know how many post tour races he did but good on him for showing his sponsors colors, competing and winning the worlds.

I wish Lance had followed LeMonds ways a little more but se la vie.
 
flicker said:
LeMond was tour-centric, big money earner. Did he not use pre-tour races as preperations for le tour? I don't know how many post tour races he did but good on him for showing his sponsors colors, competing and winning the worlds.

I wish Lance had followed LeMonds ways a little more but se la vie.
Just when I was about to get harsh on you for the previous post...

Greg completed his first Tour at 23 (just turned one month before). Came 3rd in support of teammate Fignon, who took yellow. Had one stage win (TTT). Won the white jersey.

That part would be quite different.

Aside from this white jersey (and the yellow jerseys) he also won the Combination Jersey twice.

Trivia: Introduced aerobars as well as Ti and carbon frames.

As far as classics versus Tour-centric, perhaps you should check the Palmares.

Dave.
 
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