Power Data Estimates for the climbing stages

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Antoine Vayer has published a second and last article on LeMonde.fr about power outputs in the Tour de France.
I'll translate it tonight, if I can. To sum it up : 4 riders above or at 410 W average. Voeckler suspiciously strong (and thin).
I'll be looking there tonight and copy the translated article here.

Original in French is here:
http://www.lemonde.fr/sport/article/2012/07/23/tour-de-france-c-est-schleck-qui-a-raison-le-poison-agit-encore_1736926_3242.html

Wiggins and Froome approaching Pantani/Armstrong/Contador in their best days.
 
Dunno...still not convinced, either by the conclusions or the tone (fortunately not as ridiculous as the other day with the political analogy)... I mean they conclude that doping is back because the TOP 3 had an average 415 watts in the climbs vs last year when these guys concluded doping was gone because no one passed 410 ?! It's so poorly written that they didn't bother reminding us of what that average was last year, but it was likely just about there given the way they look at numbers.

I'm the first to call a doper when I see one (Sestrieres 1999, Hautacam 2000, etc...) but frankly there comes a time when you have to use your brains, if Cadel was at 405 last year and that was ok, I would have no problem believing that the two Sky guys are "ok" at 415 with the perfect lead-up they had and also being able to stay together at all times and being pulled by a terrific team.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Sophistic said:
Didnt Wiggins say in an interview he's at 71kg?Sounds more realistic, guy is 190cm tall and he doesnt look thaaaat skinny(except for his legs).
Andy Schleck is 4cm smaller, looks much skinnier and is listed at 68kg, no way Wiggins is just 1kg heavier.
Some of you really should read up on both power training and elementary maths. For the calculations of power from ascending times and VAM the weight of the rider doesnt matter if the goal is to express the performance in w/kg.

Hence, if halamalas calculations showed that Rogers were climbing at app 5,9 w/ kg this number would be the same whether he weighs 70, 75 or even 100 kg. incidentally this number ads up with Rogers stated watts if he weighs 75 kg (with some differences due to bike and gear weight, but this would be negligible)

Also, this figure cannot be faked by the rider, it has some uncertainties, but it can't be faked. Add in the absolute watts we have from some of the riders and you have built a pretty strong story.

As has been stated in the Sky thread numerous times, the w/kg are what you would expect of the worlds best cyclists. This of course is not conclusive evidence of non doping for any individual rider, it is however conclusive evidence that a clean rider now would be able to win the TdF
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Sigmund said:
As has been stated in the Sky thread numerous times, the w/kg are what you would expect of the worlds best cyclists. This of course is not conclusive evidence of non doping for any individual rider, it is however conclusive evidence that a clean rider now would be able to win the TdF
It's been stated several times, but how do we actually know what a clean rider can produce over a 3 week tour? I asked earlier, but didn't get an answer. The Science of Sports guys use "best case scenarios" so they're basically defining the limits of what certainly can't be done, not what certainly can be done.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Cerberus said:
It's been stated several times, but how do we actually know what a clean rider can produce over a 3 week tour? I asked earlier, but didn't get an answer. The Science of Sports guys use "best case scenarios" so they're basically defining the limits of what certainly can't be done, not what certainly can be done.
No, the Science of Sports guys use reasonable assumptions for an outlier. Best case scenarios was what was given by one of the "power gurus" (I forgot which of them) in the comments thread from some of SoS guys postings last year. That results in a vastly higher number for a theoretically possible w/kg for a freak.
 
Sigmund said:
Some of you really should read up on both power training and elementary maths. For the calculations of power from ascending times and VAM the weight of the rider doesnt matter if the goal is to express the performance in w/kg.

Hence, if halamalas calculations showed that Rogers were climbing at app 5,9 w/ kg this number would be the same whether he weighs 70, 75 or even 100 kg. incidentally this number ads up with Rogers stated watts if he weighs 75 kg (with some differences due to bike and gear weight, but this would be negligible)

Also, this figure cannot be faked by the rider, it has some uncertainties, but it can't be faked. Add in the absolute watts we have from some of the riders and you have built a pretty strong story.

As has been stated in the Sky thread numerous times, the w/kg are what you would expect of the worlds best cyclists. This of course is not conclusive evidence of non doping for any individual rider, it is however conclusive evidence that a clean rider now would be able to win the TdF
Do we really know if clean riders can sustain their output after one, two, three weeks of racing?
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Do we really know what a clean rider can do? Difficult to say. If you take Coppis climb time of the Alpe Dhuez, assume the total weight of water bootles, clothing, bike etc is approximately 16 kg then you end up with something like 5,6-5,9 w/kg. And that was after 260 km of racing. Dont know how many mountains they crossed but someone else here might?

But for me, this combined with Herreras climbing time of 41:50 is enough to conclude that 5,9 w/kg is at least achievable at the end of a long stage.
 
Aug 6, 2009
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Sigmund said:
No, the Science of Sports guys use reasonable assumptions for an outlier. Best case scenarios was what was given by one of the "power gurus" (I forgot which of them) in the comments thread from some of SoS guys postings last year. That results in a vastly higher number for a theoretically possible w/kg for a freak.
Yes they use "Best case scenarios". The reason I put it in quotes is because it's a direct quote. They also as far as I can see, don't consider the effects of riding a three week tour as opposed to an isolated effort. Which is reasonable if you're defining the limits of what can't be done, but not if you're defining the limits of what can be done.

Sigmund said:
Do we really know what a clean rider can do? Difficult to say. If you take Coppis climb time of the Alpe Dhuez, assume the total weight of water bootles, clothing, bike etc is approximately 16 kg then you end up with something like 5,6-5,9 w/kg. And that was after 260 km of racing. Dont know how many mountains they crossed but someone else here might?

But for me, this combined with Herreras climbing time of 41:50 is enough to conclude that 5,9 w/kg is at least achievable at the end of a long stage.
For Coppi the thing is that assuming your number is accurate you have a span of 5,6-5,9. If the true number is 5,6 then the current performances are still some way of clean. That confirms what I though, namely that while the current efforts aren't clearly impossible, they aren't clearly possible either. As for Herreras I must admit I don't know who that is or when he rode. A Google search shows several riders called Herrera
 
Jul 30, 2009
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Ferminal said:
Do we really know if clean riders can sustain their output after one, two, three weeks of racing?
Surly recovering without risking blood manipulation to the point where power output goes beyond human capacity (i.e. what Wiggo suggested) is where the focus of doping practices are now.

I still cringe when I see references to 'clean' riders. My guess is that there are riders capable of being pure and finishing the Tour but that the majority of riders are still using methods to aid in recovery so that they never have a 'bad day' and are able to sustain power outputs that are theoretically human on any given day.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Seems an extra s snuck in there. Luis Herrera was the ultimate Colombian climber of the 80s, I believe he also was the auhtor of the following quote: when riders with asses fatter than my grandmother started climbing cols like airplanes I knew what was happening. Apparently he retired for partially that reason.
Actually, depending on your assumptions you could argue for 5.6 - 6.2 w/kg. and remember that is at the end of 260 km on crappy roads in week two with no recovery shakes, sleeping in dormitories and so on.

And you are not seriously arguing that cycling is one of the few, if not the only sport, with no improvement in 60 years?
 
Jul 28, 2010
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http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/07/tour-de-france/power-analysis-sorensen-tears-up-week-three-of-the-tour_231551

A small selection:

What was most impressive was Sørensen’s steady increase of watts per kilogram over the day’s four climbs:
Col d’Aubisque 4.8w/kg 53:58 308W
Col du Tourmalet 5.1w/kg 58:10 330W
Col d’Aspin 5.3w/kg 29:36 345W
Col de Peyresourde 5.4w/kg 26:46 347W
Producing 386W and 6.0w/kg on the first climb of Col de Mente, he spent nearly 30 minutes over his threshold to maintain his presence in the lead group along with producing many of his peak power outputs for the stage. Disaster struck at the start of the dangerous descent following the Col des Ares climb when Sørensen crashed and badly cut his fingers. The serious injury saw him receive treatment from the Tour doctor and return to the chasing peloton. He was scheduled to undergo a skin graft procedure on Monday.
 
Sigmund said:
Some of you really should read up on both power training and elementary maths. For the calculations of power from ascending times and VAM the weight of the rider doesnt matter if the goal is to express the performance in w/kg.

Hence, if halamalas calculations showed that Rogers were climbing at app 5,9 w/ kg this number would be the same whether he weighs 70, 75 or even 100 kg. incidentally this number ads up with Rogers stated watts if he weighs 75 kg (with some differences due to bike and gear weight, but this would be negligible)

Also, this figure cannot be faked by the rider, it has some uncertainties, but it can't be faked. Add in the absolute watts we have from some of the riders and you have built a pretty strong story.

As has been stated in the Sky thread numerous times, the w/kg are what you would expect of the worlds best cyclists. This of course is not conclusive evidence of non doping for any individual rider, it is however conclusive evidence that a clean rider now would be able to win the TdF
One of the best posts I've read on here.

I'm seeing parallels here with the way mountain runners operate. Staying aerobic is the key. Even when the power outputs have gone up to 6.4kw/g it has only been for limited periods. No superman stuff this year.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Cerberus said:
Yes they use "Best case scenarios". The reason I put it in quotes is because it's a direct quote. They also as far as I can see, don't consider the effects of riding a three week tour as opposed to an isolated effort. Which is reasonable if you're defining the limits of what can't be done, but not if you're defining the limits of what can be done.

No, they are not best case scenarios but a probable case scenario. If you read they re original article you can clearly see that they use middle assumptions for cycling efficiency, and the percentage of VO2 max which can be achieved after a long day in the saddle. Below is the original article.

http://www.sportsscientists.com/2010/07/cycling-performance-what-is-possible.html
 
The translation of the article

It's Schleck who is right, the poison still works
Fränk Schleck, the excluded doper, is right : le Tour is "poisoned". It has been for a long time, but the poison still works. To get convinced, comparing the power outputs of riders, in Watts, is enough. We noticed four of them that are particularly shocking this year. The first one kills more than it wounds. It's about the crowds' pet, Thomas Voeckler, who, as his clone, the Virenque of the greatest Festina years, holds the king of mountains polka dots jersey up, and the French hearts. Saint Thomas, in his own admittance, neglecting the will of his almost fleshless calves that seem so thin that they look like they're reduced to (the size of) his shin bones, is capable, like Richard once was, to perform mountain raids, maintaining over four mountains an engine power of "375-390" Watts, without weakening, accelerating whenever he wishes. He was first to cross the line atop Aubisque, Tourmalet, Aspin, Peyresourde, in 5 h 32 min 2 s, victorious concluding, fresh as a daisy, the 197 km at an average of 35,59 km/h.

This Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon is a classical Tour de France stage (1980, 1983, 1998). In 1998 - always the Festina affair -, Marco Pantani let Massi win in 5 h 49 minutes 40 s on 196,5 km at 33,72 km/h : almost 2 km/h slower. Another reference got broken the next day by Thomas Voeckler : Menté, 9,3 km at 9,1 %. In 28'20", with an alien power of 442 Watts, he's carving his name on the tables, on the biggest chain ring in the last 300 m, on an 8 % slope. There, he is rather looking like the Rasmussen-Contador duo of the Great Years. It's the second important comparison : it knocks down more than it scares.

With an average of 430 W, the favourites swallowed, like during the great days, Peyresourde in 26 min 45 sec. From Saint-Aventin, they only conceded 34 seconds to the unreal time of Contador and Rasmussen in 2007 (23 minutes and 26 seconds), who were trying to drop each other with many sprints, just like as many injections. From there on, Froome and Wiggins then accelerated in the last climb, Peyragudes. They produced 470 Watts during 7'03" (2,95 km at 7,93 %). Froome waited for Wiggins, but was capable of getting near 500 Watts. If he doesn't restrict his engine any more to wait for his leader, he could enter the caste of world record owners, the best "performers" of all times : Pantani, Armstrong, Contador.

The third comparison, which makes smile more than it surprises, is to be credited to a suspended rider "Stronger Than Before", title of a book by Virenque. Alejandro Valverde won in Peyragudes, achieving a performance equal to Vinokourov's in 2007. The two riders, with a 5 years interval, climbed the Port de Balès and Peyresourde at the same level of power output, managing 285 then 405 Watts on both these ascents. Vinokourov, who had left the peloton with the morning break, won it solo in Loudenvielle. The Kazakhi was then excluded because of a blood transfusion.

The last comparison is more thrilling than bluffing. In 2011, after 16 years of scrambling for heavy doping products, we were at last cheering, in these columns, for the absence of riders performing above an average of 410 Watts on the last ascents of mountain stages : the detection threshold of poison. Alas ! There is again four of them, this year who crossed that bar : Wiggins, Froome, Nibali and Van den Broecke, with 415 Watts for the first three of the classification, and 410 Watts for the fourth one. We are now longing for 2013 and the return of Contador and his tainted meat ! Until then, it's doubtful a cure will have been found.

Former coach of Team Festina, Antoine Vayer is a performance specialist.

Antoine Vayer


***
 
goggalor said:
The extra blood comment is just weird. Is he saying, "if you beat us you're doping"? :eek:
That got me too. I'm not saying he is definitely doping or otherwise but the 'tour is more human now' comment is practically saying that they are riding at the human limit and therefore no one can gap them and maintain it.

Just what we know about climbing (i.e that a smaller rider can produce a better power to weight ratio than a bigger rider) would suggest that a lighter rider should be able to climb faster than two relatively big (69kg-70kg) riders.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Dekker_Tifosi said:
The translation of the article...
Cheers for that.

What they give for Voeckler makes 6.7 W/kg for 28 min. (!)

Wiggins and Froome: 6.2 for 27 min, 6.8 for 7 min.

Using 66kg for Voeckler, 69kg for both Sky riders.

But presumably those figures were arrived at by converting VAM i.e. estimates :confused:
 
Aug 18, 2009
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roundabout said:
Isn't that the theoretical 70kg rider on an 8kg bike as usual?
IDK is that what the conversion is based on? What sort of a function is W/kg of VAM in reality anyway?
 
May 20, 2010
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I am at a loss as to understand why:

absolute power figures (410W, 450W etc) are used?

Surely the parameter that could be applied universally is W/kg??

I do acknowledge, if rider data is published, then it is rarely expressed as W/kg. Commentators then need to use riders mass to obtain W/kg. However to use absolute power figures, with a reasonable level of validity, across a group of riders, knowledge of rider mass is an imperative anyway.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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If you look on other stages where Jani's FTP is set its set right around 360-70. That's 5.6-5.8 w/kg probably closer to 5.8.....

Wiggin's FTP would be set around 6.0-6.2 w/kg based on a couple of the climbs (sports scientist running the speed/power estimate based on Jani's power). Now it could have been even higher, Wiggin's could have backed off on some of the climbs knowing he had the race in the bag.
 
Oct 16, 2009
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So did the top riders go faster in the third week than in the first? The numbers seem really high anyway, like 2007 high, as Vayer points out. I guess his calculations could be off, but the times should be accurate, and the groupe maillout jaune going almost as fast as the Chicken/Pistolero up the Peyresourde is crazy. They were going mental on that climb: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WRqxW9Jyt8

Edit: actually, looking at that video, Evans' group isn't far off the 2012 time.
 

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