Official Lance Armstrong Thread: Part 4 (Post-Settlement)

Page 13 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Prepare to be offended. New Armstrong doc - featuring the Fallen One - scheduled for Sundance. Deets:
Also playing in the special events sidebar are Matthew Heineman’s human trafficking exposé The Trade, Alexandre O. Philippe’s Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on the Exorcist, James Lee Hernandez and Brian Lazarte’s McMillions and the Armstrong doc, which boasts unprecedented access to the former cyclist's world, offering a powerful study of the star who fell spectacularly and publicly from grace. Emmy winner Zenovich is well-versed in that genre, having directed two previous documentaries on Roman Polanski, including Wanted and Desired, and, more recently, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.
More deets:
The festival describes the project as an examination of 'a man who’s both winner and loser, saint and sinner,' and a 'a powerful study of that 21st century phenomenon: the celebrity who falls spectacularly and publicly from grace.'
 
OFF-Topicish, but most of readers are familiar with the "Lance used motor" insinuations of Greg LeMond:
in April 2001, at a conference I was present at, his former physician Ed Coyle revealed Armstrong's data; his thoracic capacity - 5.6 litres of oxygen, and especially his VO2 max. To me that was evidence that he had cheated.

...

When I raced, I had a VO2 max of 93, and I never developed more than 400 watts. Armstrong’s VO2 max, which Ed Coyle mistakenly revealed, was no more than 78. So, considering his weight - 73 kg, he could never produce 500 watts to ride up the Madonna as he said, or 475 watts on the climb of L'Alpe-d'Huez. With his VO2 max, he couldn't exceed 375 watts. To increase his performance by 30%, he had to dope. But did he achieve his performance only with doping? What doping did he use that others didn't? All I know is that there are 50-70 watts missing, which we don’t know the origin of. There is something that I still do not understand.
Leaving aside the fact that the SCA-case exhibits (available on the Internet) have Coyle's presentation with Lance's three INSeason or pre-season Vo2Max figures of 6.0-6.2 l/min, blogger Alex Hutchinson has written about this new(ish) Swedish(ish)[sic] line of research about why a high Vo2Max guy shouldn't extrapolate Watt outputs of other people from his own Vo2Max data:


Very easy to read (while many ideas are far from new), but the idea is this:

  • There exists is an exercise intensity where efficiency is the best (c:a 55-65 % of max-HR in trained cyclists) when the most efficient ("the point where you body first starts to abandon its most efficient metabolic mode"), therefore there is a trade-off between oxygen use and efficiency in a single exercise (ie. faster = less efficient).
  • This tradeoff exists also between high-intensity (increases Vo2Max) and low-intensity training (enhances mitochondrial activity). This gives the tendency for some people to be capable to increase their Vo2Max to high levels when efficiency simultaneously falls, for instance cyclist Oscar Svendsen improved his Vo2Max by 16 % in eleven months (6,4 to 7,4 l/min) while his Watt output at Vo2Max increased only by 5 %.
Nobody denies that LeMond competed during the era when Vo2Max was considered to have an enormous capability to predict one's performance and possibly lost many TDF victories because of bad luck (shooting accident) or because of the new era of doping. Perhaps it is Scandinavian shyness, knowing physiology better or not having vendetta against some people that Oscar Svendsen was happy with his mediocrish career, because he could've gone around yelling "My Vo2MAX was 97!! Anyone who climbed faster than me is a doper or has a hidden motor!!!".
 
This was discussed here about five years ago. There are three key parameters involved in performance: 1) V02 max; 2) lactate threshold or sustainable % of V02 max; and 3) efficiency. There was a study linked in that earlier discussion that suggested an inverse relationship between V02 max and efficiency for elite cyclists, though the sample size was very small.

From what I've read, Svendsen's threshold or sustainable power was also high, so efficiency does seem to be the problem. Still, a 97 V02max, coupled with, say, 90% sustainability, and an efficiency of up to 20.5%, corresponds to 6-2 - 6.3 W/kg, which would put him among the best elite climbers. Even a rider who is among the best in sheer physical performance may not succeed, of course, but from the published data, it seems that Svendsen had the physical ability to be a highly successful pro.
 
As I wrote, only part of the information is brand new, and there indeed is also the paper (by Michael Joyner from 1991) quoted by Hutchinson about inverse relationship between Vo2Max and running efficiency amongst elite level marathon runners.

The new finding would be the possible explanation for this phenomenon and it would be interesting if it turns out to be sound because my reading has always been that some sort of selection bias can be contributing to the inverse relationship, because elite athletes with lowish Vo2Max must by definition have superior other factors because otherwise they would be non-elite athletes and not in the studies at all.

The authors of the JAP paper on Svendsen (also dissected by Alex Hutchinson some six months ago) wrote the following about the W at 4 mmol/l (c:a 82-86 % of Vo2Max in the course of the study) of the Norwegian:
The power output at 4 mmol·L-1 correlates well with mean power output 160 during a 40 km TT and this variable peaked at 5.6 W·kg-1 (428 W) during the last test before [Svendsen] became TT Junior world champion. His relative value is actually in line with values reported for top international cyclists, but still reasonably lower than the 6.1-6.2 W·kg-1 (and the estimated 6.4 W·kg-1) that has been reported in two cyclists with multiple Tour de France victories.
The phenomenon of super-high Vo2Max's with mediocrish results isn't even a totally new one or cycling-related, because perhaps the three highest Vo2Max figures of XC-skiers of the early-1970s were Sven-Åke Lundbäck (94 ml/min/kg), an unnamed Finn (92 ml/min/kg) and an unnamed American (88 ml/min/kg).

The Swede won two individual golds (72-OG and 78-WC, the latter one very much because of luck) but otherwise none individual medals and was only one among the handful of elite skiers of his era. AFAIK, the other two never had international fame on individual events.
 
The power output at 4 mmol·L-1 correlates well with mean power output 160 during a 40 km TT and this variable peaked at 5.6 W·kg-1 (428 W) during the last test before [Svendsen] became TT Junior world champion. His relative value is actually in line with values reported for top international cyclists, but still reasonably lower than the 6.1-6.2 W·kg-1 (and the estimated 6.4 W·kg-1) that has been reported in two cyclists with multiple Tour de France victories.
The 428 W/5.6 W/kg corresponds to about 75 kg. I wondered what his weight was, definitely on the TT, not climber, side. Or maybe he should have tried out for heavyweight crew. Coggan mentioned here when we were discussing this that 90% sustainability is no big deal, but ti seems that Svendsen was only about 85%. Still, that corresponds close to 6.0 W/kg at 20.5% efficiency, which would definitely make him elite as a climber.
 
His weight is 76, ie. slightly heavy for a climber. Perhaps the literature on the topic has gone forward since 1994, but using the 0.79 mass exponent proposed by David Swain in his paper for energy cost of uphill riding (10 % grade) as an indicator of performance, 5.6 and 6.0 W/kg for a 76 kg guy would equal roughly 5.9 and 6.3 figures for a 60-63 kg rider.

Of course the grades of the toughest ascends tend to be (on average) less than 10 % and therefore the corresponding values for a lighter cyclist would be even higher (presuming the 0.79 figure is the right one).
 
That is good news because there is clear price deflation going on here, because Armstrong's rivals had to pay closer to $50,000 - $100,000 to Dr. Fuentes in order to be capable to ride with Lance.
 
Reactions: fmk_RoI
I am sure enjoying Lance's coverage of former classics. Also support him, on having cyclists stand up for themselves. Go Lance.
I admire Lance's instincts on sustaining his relevancy and marketability. He was absolutely the last rider that assisted other riders. His strategy with USAC and subsequent pro teams was to quash competition's opportunities to compete on all levels; for opportunities, sponsorship or positive press.
He wants/needs to keep his voice out there for podcast promotion and minor league product endorsements. That riders need to stand up for themselves is real but needing an assist from this sports backwash is ironic. He never shared his toys. See Contador's comments earlier this week.
 
ESPN schedules 'Lance' docu over two nights at end of the month.

From a review:
More recent footage shows Armstrong receiving an award at a breast cancer benefit… put on by Babes for Boobs. The sparse crowd talks through his acceptance speech, and Armstrong leaves through the back door even though there were barely any reporters or fans at the small step-and-repeat when he arrived. Later, he talks to his son Luke’s football team at Rice University. After spouting a few motivational sentiments about working hard, he has to ask the head coach for the team’s motto and then forgets his son’s jersey number. Armstrong appears desperate for any sort of spotlight that comes with any sort of positive recognition, even if it’s clear these opportunities aren’t the same as what he had before.
And the final take:
The film itself ultimately suffers from a similar problem. Armstrong’s story is begging for further context, given how many athletes struggle after intense upbringings birth massive egos, but the more immediate issue how simple the ending feels. Anyone interested enough in Armstrong to watch three hours of “Lance” will be entertained and informed, perhaps they’ll even form fresh opinions on the figure, but he’s still just a guy. He’s not a villain or a hero. No one is only one or the other, so maybe we should stop pretending it’s attainable — or surprising.
 
I admire Lance's instincts on sustaining his relevancy and marketability. He was absolutely the last rider that assisted other riders. His strategy with USAC and subsequent pro teams was to quash competition's opportunities to compete on all levels; for opportunities, sponsorship or positive press.
He wants/needs to keep his voice out there for podcast promotion and minor league product endorsements. That riders need to stand up for themselves is real but needing an assist from this sports backwash is ironic. He never shared his toys. See Contador's comments earlier this week.
You "admire" a sociopathic, lying, cheater who did everything within his power to ruin others, all to hide his lies for over a decade? Lmao!

Wonderboy loves.and needs fans like you, blind supporters who worship him regardless.
 
Reactions: fmk_RoI
You "admire" a sociopathic, lying, cheater who did everything within his power to ruin others, all to hide his lies for over a decade? Lmao!

Wonderboy loves.and needs fans like you, blind supporters who worship him regardless.
Sorry that you missed the sarcasm...your filter must be turned up to 11. You do understand that my post intended to point out the complete hypocrisy of his offering to "help" other riders. That's also why I used the "dead eyes" emoji to emphasize the ridiculous synergy between he and ESPN that you pointed out.
There is along history dealing with his involvement in racing and you can research my posts regarding. Go ahead....
 
Reactions: fmk_RoI
Sorry that you missed the sarcasm...your filter must be turned up to 11. You do understand that my post intended to point out the complete hypocrisy of his offering to "help" other riders. That's also why I used the "dead eyes" emoji to emphasize the ridiculous synergy between he and ESPN that you pointed out.
There is along history dealing with his involvement in racing and you can research my posts regarding. Go ahead....
Sometimes sarcasm doesn't come off as originally intended.
 
Reactions: fmk_RoI
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
masking_agent The Clinic 2

ASK THE COMMUNITY

Latest posts