Not just Lemond is suspicious

Jul 23, 2009
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I agree with those in other threads who discount Lemond's suspicion of Contador's performances in this Tour because of Lemond's long history of "I have the highest VO2 Max, and everyone else must be a doper" and so forth.

But other analyses of his performance on Verbier also raise suspicions:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/07/tour-2009-contador-climb.html

They perform a very thoughtful analysis of Contador's climb of Verbier, and conclude that his VAM on that climb was 1864 m/hr, the highest ever recorded at the Tour. The next 6 highest VAM's ever recorded at the Tour were by Riis, Pantani, and Leblanc, all from the mid 90's. Two of these guys were notorious for their use of EPO. Don't know about Leblanc. Ferrari's analysis of the same performance yields a VAM of 1852, which would still be a record. It is suspicious to be outclimbing athletes known to have Hct's in the 55-60% range during competition.

So OK, maybe he's the best climber ever. What about the TT today? One 4K climb. 90% flat or downhill. Since when does a 62 kg climber win those? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Without judging the Schlecks either way, I would say that their TT performance is more like that you would expect from skinny climbers.

I'm not saying he is or isn't. Simply that his performances raise eybrows. Like Ricco flying away last year. Like DiLuca attacking nearly every day in the Giro. Like Schumi winning the final TT last year.

Check out the link and see for yourself.
 

Dr. Maserati

BANNED
Jun 19, 2009
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Apologies I know you are new - and good to see a well thought out post but there is a seperate forum called The Clinic where doping can be discussed.
There are some threads discussing this subject there.

Professional road racing A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Man, I love all these math geniuses ... Sure there is SOME value to it but not all factors are considered here

What about the fact that he us using 30% - 40% less energy from riding behind a couple of team mates (that as a matter of fact shown the same kind of performance) and then fire over the last 2 km's?

Everyting is not always math and proof with some magic formulae
 
Apr 9, 2009
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ridley said:
Man, I love all these math geniuses ... Sure there is SOME value to it but not all factors are considered here

What about the fact that he us using 30% - 40% less energy from riding behind a couple of team mates (that as a matter of fact shown the same kind of performance) and then fire over the last 2 km's?

Everyting is not always math and proof with some magic formulae
Not saying any of the calculations above are correct, but you're not going to get a 30-40% energy savings on a climb at 15 mph.
 
Jun 22, 2009
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ridley said:
Man, I love all these math geniuses ... Sure there is SOME value to it but not all factors are considered here

What about the fact that he us using 30% - 40% less energy from riding behind a couple of team mates (that as a matter of fact shown the same kind of performance) and then fire over the last 2 km's?

Everyting is not always math and proof with some magic formulae
this very article has been discussed at great length already elsewhere in the forum but you are correct in the VAM does not take into account environmental conditions and overall is a weak analysis.

i don't know of any "magic" formula but there are definitely better formulae than this one.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Here is a much better look at, the above link also has made errors in its math. Geez. Two such articles in one day, unfrickingbelievable. Taking into account that the length of climb he calculated with is incorrect. That the stepness doesn't affect the pace of ascent? That the time climbing doesn't affect the ability to go faster is even a bigger error.

Translated from here.
http://cyclismag.com/article.php?sid=5184

Collaboration of Frédéric Portoleau


15th-stage PONTARLIER VERBIER

For the first time, the Tour de France arrives in Verbier in the canton of Valais in Switzerland. It is rather a medium mountain stage. The altitude does not exceed 1,500 and the runners must climb before the final climb some ribs in the massif of Jura Romandie and then the Col des Mosses. There was enough in this region offer a finale more difficult by adding for example the Col des Planches and Champex rise in step.

A breakaway of 10 riders develops early stage with Moncoutié, Moinard, Fedrigo, Astarloza, Spilak, Gutierrez, Van Den Broeck, HESJEDAL, Flecha and Cancellara. The maximum advance is 4min50s in the ascent of the Col des Mosses. But the peloton reacts in the Rhone valley. The Slovenian Spilak deals only posted the final climb with only 1min10s ahead of the pack.

535 watts for 4'30''

In front of the pack, Jens Voigt began its final ascent to 30 km / h on a slope of 6%. It passes the baton to Sorensen then Cancellara who has left hook group escaped. The pace is still supported, all the escapees are exceeded. Frank Schleck accelerates. After 2.7 km climb, they are more than 5 in mind: Frank Schleck, Andy Schleck, Contador, Armstrong and Wiggins. The average power is 550 watts for 6 minutes.
Contador attack violently after 3 km climb. He left alone. Andy Schleck is only in second position. Contador rapidly widening the gap by supporting an average power of 535 watts for 4min30s. A 4 km from the summit, Contador has 18s ahead of Andy Schleck and 46 seconds on the group led by Armstrong Klöden with the presence of Sastre, NIBALI, Wiggins and Evans.
At the end of the climb, Contador continues on a pace to 440 watts. Armstrong falters. The U.S. is content to 390 watts for the last two kilometers. It is distanced by Sastre, Wiggins, NIBALI and Evans.

STRONGER THAN CONTADOR BASSO AND ARMSTRONG TO MONGIE

Contador achieves exceptional performance with 490 watts of average "power standard" for 20min55s. It develops 445 watts in real power with 62 kg of body weight is a power of 7.2 W / kg. Undoubtedly, his finest achievement in the mountains. For relatively short climb between 20 and 30 minutes on the Tour de France, we have not found more than 460 watts (Armstrong and Basso to La Mongie in 2004) but this type of end is not so common on the Tour . We usually climbing between 30 and 45 minutes. The "world record" belongs to Bjarne Riis with 480 watts for 34 minutes to Hautacam in 1996. Contador's performance is lower.

CONTADOR IN POURSUITEUR

The beginning of the climb was exceptionally fast at 550 watts, as in the great moments of the U.S. Postal (Alpe d'Huez in 2001). Contador showed phenomenal acceleration capacity identical to that of Lance Armstrong (between 1999 and 2001) and Marco Pantani. Recall on accelerating Contador (535 watts for 4min30s) is the equivalent of a prosecution on track but made globally on the rise collar after 200 km. Often, poursuiteurs feel the need to recover after such a long effort ...
The wind was favorable in the valley before the final climb. But the rise took place in laces with successive portions of wind and wind. Contador took the suction in the first two kilometers of the climb. But once alone, the Spaniard still developed 470 watts average.

ARMSTRONG AT KIRCHEN IN 2008

Lance Armstrong is a clear improvement compared to the Tour of Italy. He has made a good climb to almost 450 watts of average. This will probably not be enough to win the Tour this year. It seems no longer able to accelerate as hard as during his great years and it fell on the end of the rise of Verbier.

Verbier has been a stage finish in the Tour de Suisse 2008. However, the comparison can not be performed directly by the time of ascent. Last year, the arrival of the stage was higher in the station at the station of the cable Ruinettes. Kim Kirchen won the stage after a climb of 25 minutes to 9.7 km (445 watts in power standard). Kirchen's performance in 2008 is equivalent in power output to that of Lance Armstrong this year. 8 riders have done better than the Luxembourger.

The French have no demerit in the very statement of the Tour de France. They were spared in the morning. Best performing in the rise of Verbier Le Mevel were Casar and with 425 watts of average. With this beautiful climb, Le Mevel retains a place in the top ten in the overall rankings.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Possible....???

There is a former Norwegian CC skier (Bjørn Dæhlie) who's VO2 max was measured (wikipedia) at 96 in the off season and estimated to probably be over 100 in season.

Could Contador be such a person? There could, I suppose, be more than one on the planet!

Or maybe the Norwegian fellow was dirty too - like Riis, Pantani et al? He was competing in the "good 'ol" 90s too after all!

I hate that any time someone is reported to be extraordinary, everyone just gets suspicious. We only believe in the ordinary now.

Confused and cynical.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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I hate that any time someone is reported to be extraordinary, everyone just gets suspicious. We only believe in the ordinary now.
The past few grand Tours have been harsh in this regard. That's why purportedly objective measures of the limits of performance like VAM are attractive for putting things in perspective for the uncertain fan. The list at sportscientists.com seems to be self-validating when you look at who made the previous top 6 (I am purposefully avoiding discussion of LA, a chump compared to these guys, esp. when his top performance came in the Alpe D'Huez TT rather than after multiple cols).
 
May 13, 2009
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Your calculation also doesn't consider that bike-human combination nowadays are 5-6 pounds lighter, big difference if you are 134 pounds @ 4-6 % bodyfat
 
Jul 9, 2009
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Old Crank said:
There is a former Norwegian CC skier (Bjørn Dæhlie) who's VO2 max was measured (wikipedia) at 96 in the off season and estimated to probably be over 100 in season.

Could Contador be such a person? There could, I suppose, be more than one on the planet!

Or maybe the Norwegian fellow was dirty too - like Riis, Pantani et al? He was competing in the "good 'ol" 90s too after all!

I hate that any time someone is reported to be extraordinary, everyone just gets suspicious. We only believe in the ordinary now.

Confused and cynical.
dählie doped.
 
Apr 1, 2009
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Old Crank said:
Could Contador be such a person? There could, I suppose, be more than one on the planet!
While we all would like to believe that there are these special individuals who are genetically more gifted and train harder etc., the realities need to be considered.

In a race like the Tour, you are taking the best of the best. The differences in natural physiology between the best of the best GC candidates is not huge. If Contador or Armstrong were just naturally more gifted, they might be 1 - 2% better than their competition. We could even stretch that to 5%, just to say that they are head and shoulders above their opposition. Now, put those competitors on a systematic doping program, as we have now found out is the case for pretty much every serious GC contender in the last 15 years. These programs will give them an extra 20 - 30%.

So do you really think the clean but naturally gifted freak, who is 5% better without dope is going to beat the doped cyclist who is getting a 20 - 30% bonus? Only if you still believe in the Easter Bunny.
 
indurain666 said:
Your calculation also doesn't consider that bike-human combination nowadays are 5-6 pounds lighter, big difference if you are 134 pounds @ 4-6 % bodyfat
I took into consideration, tail wind, drafting, weight, position, etc. I have Contador with the following:

435 W @ 61 Kg (7.14 W/kg). No wind considered.
414 W @ 61 Kg (6.8 W/kg). Some tail wind considered.

Remember that inertia is more important than drag for the climbs, so the impact of drafting will be minimized.

Now I also believe that this topic belongs to the CLINIC FORUM.
http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=2314
 
Mar 10, 2009
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After Lance wins the '10 tour, AC will win the next 7 in a row, juice free.*



*Providing the Tour somehow circumnavigates around; the catastrophic, global economic meltdown, the swine flu vaccine doesn't kill a billion people, fraud Obama is exposed and the Zionists don't nuke Iran.
 
Old Crank said:
There is a former Norwegian CC skier (Bjørn Dæhlie) who's VO2 max was measured (wikipedia) at 96 in the off season and estimated to probably be over 100 in season.

Or maybe the Norwegian fellow was dirty too...
Dæhlie started to show out of this world performances as a junior, before EPO really came along, and continued them throughout his career. None the less, it's widely assumed that just about everyone in XC Skiing was as doped as cyclists by about 1998 or so, and he was likely no different.

None the less, his numbers speak for themselves. He was an extremely powerful and gifted athlete.

By the time 2002 rolled around, Per Elofsson was by far the best XC skier on the planet, but trying to go clean. He didn't get very far. One Bronze medal in the Salt Lake Olympics, and 5th place in his specialty, the 30k.

So yes, XC skiing has had as many problems as cycling.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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Contadope will get dinged once he parts with Astana. Until then, he will be totally clean. AC should have been more subservient to LA. Oh well, he will suffer the consequences. He has a lot to learn.
mrbadog said:
I agree with those in other threads who discount Lemond's suspicion of Contador's performances in this Tour because of Lemond's long history of "I have the highest VO2 Max, and everyone else must be a doper" and so forth.

But other analyses of his performance on Verbier also raise suspicions:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/07/tour-2009-contador-climb.html

They perform a very thoughtful analysis of Contador's climb of Verbier, and conclude that his VAM on that climb was 1864 m/hr, the highest ever recorded at the Tour. The next 6 highest VAM's ever recorded at the Tour were by Riis, Pantani, and Leblanc, all from the mid 90's. Two of these guys were notorious for their use of EPO. Don't know about Leblanc. Ferrari's analysis of the same performance yields a VAM of 1852, which would still be a record. It is suspicious to be outclimbing athletes known to have Hct's in the 55-60% range during competition.

So OK, maybe he's the best climber ever. What about the TT today? One 4K climb. 90% flat or downhill. Since when does a 62 kg climber win those? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Without judging the Schlecks either way, I would say that their TT performance is more like that you would expect from skinny climbers.

I'm not saying he is or isn't. Simply that his performances raise eybrows. Like Ricco flying away last year. Like DiLuca attacking nearly every day in the Giro. Like Schumi winning the final TT last year.

Check out the link and see for yourself.
 
Jul 20, 2009
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Thanks Indurain666; FINALLY someone mentions advances in bike technology. Not only are bikes lighter now they are far stiffer (frames and wheels) and therefore better at transferring the power a rider outputs in to forward movement and therefore speed (or so their marketing materials claim). If manufacturers are to be believed these differences are measurable and offer significant gains. Not measurable but also significant would be advances in training programmes and diet. Has sports science come up with real and legal advances in the 12 years since Riis did his ride? You would sure hope so!

All of the maths above seems to be so full of unknowns as to be virtually useless. All the talk of theorised power outputs is frustrating when you consider that Contador would certainly have had an SRM or similar which would give definite numbers from which to work. I suppose the next step is to force riders or teams to produce the data at the end of each day. If anything that seems easier than constant urine tests!
 
Jul 10, 2009
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mrbadog said:
So OK, maybe he's the best climber ever. What about the TT today? One 4K climb. 90% flat or downhill. Since when does a 62 kg climber win those? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Without judging the Schlecks either way, I would say that their TT performance is more like that you would expect from skinny climbers.

I'm not saying he is or isn't. Simply that his performances raise eybrows. Like Ricco flying away last year. Like DiLuca attacking nearly every day in the Giro. Like Schumi winning the final TT last year.
I am not saying either way either but before these "lightweight climber cannot TT" claims, please take a minute to search for the weights of other TT riders (copy from another thread):

Some superb timetriallers:
From letour.com

Contador 61 kg
Leipheimer 62 kg
Klöden 63 kg
Evans 64 kg

(quick google elsewhere)
Marco Pinotti 66 kg
Chris Boardman 69 kg
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Watch this video and then tell me Contador is not extremely doped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4ZUeAx38OU

Start at the 7:45 point and watch his cross the finish line. That stage was 210km long and they had to go over 3 cat 1 climbs before they went up the Angliru which is one of the toughest climbs in Europe. Contador does not look the least bit tired when he crosses the finish line.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Designcycle said:
Thanks Indurain666; FINALLY someone mentions advances in bike technology. Not only are bikes lighter now they are far stiffer (frames and wheels) and therefore better at transferring the power a rider outputs in to forward movement and therefore speed (or so their marketing materials claim). If manufacturers are to be believed these differences are measurable and offer significant gains. Not measurable but also significant would be advances in training programmes and diet. Has sports science come up with real and legal advances in the 12 years since Riis did his ride? You would sure hope so!
hogwash

I reckon the Pegoretti Ullrich rode to victory in the Tour, may be his best bike. Close enough to the UCI limit, everything else, declining economies. Geometry is #1, then everything else is marginal.

Obscuring the source of improvements.

Atleast you acknowledged marketing, there is a reason there are new models every year, they need to move units.
 
May 20, 2009
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mrbadog said:
I agree with those in other threads who discount Lemond's suspicion of Contador's performances in this Tour because of Lemond's long history of "I have the highest VO2 Max, and everyone else must be a doper" and so forth.

But other analyses of his performance on Verbier also raise suspicions:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/07/tour-2009-contador-climb.html

They perform a very thoughtful analysis of Contador's climb of Verbier, and conclude that his VAM on that climb was 1864 m/hr, the highest ever recorded at the Tour. The next 6 highest VAM's ever recorded at the Tour were by Riis, Pantani, and Leblanc, all from the mid 90's. Two of these guys were notorious for their use of EPO. Don't know about Leblanc. Ferrari's analysis of the same performance yields a VAM of 1852, which would still be a record. It is suspicious to be outclimbing athletes known to have Hct's in the 55-60% range during competition.

So OK, maybe he's the best climber ever. What about the TT today? One 4K climb. 90% flat or downhill. Since when does a 62 kg climber win those? I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Without judging the Schlecks either way, I would say that their TT performance is more like that you would expect from skinny climbers.

I'm not saying he is or isn't. Simply that his performances raise eybrows. Like Ricco flying away last year. Like DiLuca attacking nearly every day in the Giro. Like Schumi winning the final TT last year.

Check out the link and see for yourself.
Hi all

This may have been said already, and not sure this is the most specific thread for it, but in the light of the latest articles around the analysis that found Contador's VO2max to be 99ml/kg/min and Lemond's accusations based on them, I think it's important to give the context as well - there are a few confounding factors that partly explain the performances on the Verbier (because Contador was "only" 43 seconds ahead of Schleck and 63 ahead of the next group). They include length of the climb, and the wind (which I believe to be very important), and they formed a big part of the article that mrbadog has linked to.

In terms of the Vayer calculations that his VO2max might be 99ml/kg/min, I agree with Andy Coggan's assessment that there are some errors in the assumption, and I think the main one is the potential of a following wind to greatly reduce the power one calculates. Escarabajo's power output calculations are pretty solid, i think, but just to illustrate how the assumptions can affect the physiological calculation, consider the following:

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2009/07/tour-de-france-2009-contador-vo2max.html

I think Greg is onto a potentially valuable tool here - certainly, there will be long-term indicators of performance that can be teased out. However, there are a lot of factors that impact on what we can calculate, and if those variables (like the wind) aren't factored in, it can lead you down some strange alleys! Certainly, I agree that it's not just Lemond who is suspicious, but if it's "proof" one is after, it's not found here...

It's a fascinating area, but still just out of 'reach', I believe...!

Ross
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Our anger should be focused on the UCI they are testing only a few people per day and then the results take months and years for confirmation.Every post is full of cynical critics about guilt of every rider.Simple solution 5 years 1st offense 15 years for second time,have a list of testers with ID cards so Lance can't take a shower before JB can make sure the testers is legit.Most posts are saying the same thing,wait a couple of months to give out the yellow jersey and even then we could have to wait for another Landis moment.Is the sport really so minor that it need be run like a children's soccer club.The UCI will further let pro cycling turn into a circus and where sponsors are afraid of putting their name on anything that could be later drug related.Unibet should start the odds of who will come up positive.
 
Jul 11, 2009
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Epicycle said:
Watch this video and then tell me Contador is not extremely doped.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4ZUeAx38OU

Start at the 7:45 point and watch his cross the finish line. That stage was 210km long and they had to go over 3 cat 1 climbs before they went up the Angliru which is one of the toughest climbs in Europe. Contador does not look the least bit tired when he crosses the finish line.
Wow what a total revelation, I am absolutely convinced that he's got to be on dope from the look of his face, its just so obvious. :rolleyes:

What a load of crap dood.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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ridley said:
Man, I love all these math geniuses ... Sure there is SOME value to it but not all factors are considered here

What about the fact that he us using 30% - 40% less energy from riding behind a couple of team mates (that as a matter of fact shown the same kind of performance) and then fire over the last 2 km's?

Everything is not always math and proof with some magic formulae
Certainly everything is not about math including your 30 to 40 percent calculations on energy saved while climbing. Depending on the steepness of the climb he is saving, at best, 5 to 8 percent drafting. If you don't believe me, try it. He would probably save about 20 percent on a flat in one rider's draft at 30 mph.
 

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