If you followed the post, you would have noted that I stated the conditions quiet clearly.
Again, on the assumption that Merckx' 6.2 w/kg for one hour in a 1975 lab test is accurate, 6.5 w/kg for an hour is quite plausible. Even if Merckx' test was only 30 minutes, 6.5 w/kg today in race conditions is plausible.
Since you don't have a closed mind you might be interested in this exchange from the JV1973 thread.
Originally Posted by Le breton
Race horses' performances, as far as I know are not any faster now than they were 50 years ago.
How about humans? How about cyclists? How about lab equipment for VO2 measurement?
Anyway, over the last couple of weeks, in my spare time, I started a long-term project : determine the W/kg for some racers of the past.
I started with arguably the most outstanding climbing performance of the past 50+ years : Bahamontes' win in the Puy-de-Dôme TT for the 15th stage of the 1959 TdF on July 10th.
1. Federico Bahamontes en 36'15"
2. Gaul à 1'26"
3. Anglade à 3'00"
4. Rivière à 3'37"
5. Anquetil à 3'41"
6. Brankart à 3'59"
7. Saint à 4'01"
8. Huot à 4'17"
9. Mahé à 4'35"
10. Adriaenssens à 4'40"
What is striking is the huge time gap between BAHA and the likes of Gaul, Rivière or Anquetil. 10% faster than the latter!!!
I had to track down the exact course of the race but was lucky to enlist the help of Bernard Piguet - he won Paris-Brest-Paris in 1979 and 1983 - who has lived nearby for many years and has timed himself and others on that climb. Google map was a help, my memories of the place also.
Anyway, this is what I gathered :
Start at 455 meters (+/- a couple of meters) Rue canrobert, Intersection D942.
Finish of course at 1415 m after a little less than 100m of flat road.
Weight : Baha 65 kg
Bike + the rest : I guessed 12 kg
This being just outside "Michelin city" I have to assume that the road in 1959 was already very smooth, unlike Ventoux.
I took Crr = 0,0045
According to weather archives it was a very hot day. For the air density I took 1.09 at the bottom and 0.97 at the top ( Historic note : this is the place where Blaise Pascal showed that the air pressure goes down with altitude).
Near the start there is a short flattish section, but I figured it was short enough to be lumped with the rest of the first 4 kms.
CdA ----If you look at old ina.fr films of Baha you can see that he was almost sitting straight up on his bike.
I took 0.375 m^2 for the climbing sections and 0.34 m^2 for the flatter mid-section.
1) 0 - 4 km D+ = 310m air= 1,06 CdA = 0.375 m^2
2) 4 - 7,5 km D+ = 105 m air = 1,04 CdA = 0,34
3) 7,5 -12,4 km D+ = 545 m air = 1,0 CdA 0 = 0.375
I excluded the last 80 meters or so and reduced his time to 36'05
I also accounted for the start from 0 speed by reducing his time to 35'55" for the calculation.
With these data you get an SRM-like power output of 413 watts, ie 6.35 watts/kg (including a 2.5% transmission loss)
To estimate his VO2 I took 1 litre O2 <==> 78 watts which gives us 81,5 ml/mn.kg.
Now, what about VO2 max? If he was at 90-92% of his max, that would have been 88-90 ml/mn.kg.
Reminder : with 0-days of cycling 68-69 kg Boardman in 1996 did 442 (Keen) watts for 1 hour, ie 6.4-6.5 watts/kg.
I had just about finished my calculations when I read in "Pouvez-vous gagner le Tour" ( Polar - authors Portoleau and Vayer, page 47) that they had totally independently calculated a power output of 407 watts for Baha!
How about the wind?
It so happens that over the last 4.1 kms (4.2 - 0.1) from the toll house at 927 m to the summit, the roads circles around the mountain, and the gradient is a nearly constant 12%.
The split times at that 8.3 km mark was 19'42"
which means that over the last 4.1 km of climbing Baha needed 36'15" (-10sec) - 19'42 = 16'23" ( I exclude the last ~80 m. of flat road).
A calculation of the corresponding power output gives me 413 watts for that last section where the wind could not be a real factor. On that section the power exerted against the air amount only to about 3.5%! So it's really hard to be very wrong.
I insist on this as some forumers like Python from the height of his expertise in the manufacture of power meters look with utter contempt at calculations such as mine.
Doing the same 10 sec subtraction for the last 80 meters, the times needed for the top racers over that 4.1 km section were
Baha 16 : 23
Gaul + 59 sec
Anglade + 2 : 10
Rivière + 2 : 02
Anquetil + 2 : 21
Again excluding the last 80 m. or so, the total energy expenditure for Bahamontes was 898 kJ.
Out the 413 watts,
359 were against gravity, 21 watts account for the road and 33 for the air ( with the 2.5% transmission losses included each time)
You have enough info to estimate the errors on your own.
I gave you plenty of information to destroy my argumentation if you think i am full of ***.
Finally what about VAM?
section 1 at 413 watts over 7.75% slope 1640 m/h
section 2 ..........................3% incline 1035 m/h
section 3 ..........................11.1% slope 1780 m/h
(Note that last section includes 800meters before toll house).
A possibility for error that I can't exclude concerns the last 4.1 km : I don't know if the split time was measured exactly at the toll house or a short distance from it.
Anyway, I have done similar calculations for the Ventoux assuming no wind and got about 6.6 watts/kg for Vaughters which of course means :
1) that I would be extremely interested Jonathan in reading what your own measure /estimate is
2) that on EPO Bahamontes with the shape he was in on July 10th 1959 would have shattered Iban Mayo.
THIS IS FASCINATING. Thanks.
I didn't have an SRM on for Ventoux, but I would say 6.6 would be about right, perhaps a bit low, as Ventoux tends to be windy and the cx might be a bit higher than on other climbs. Also, I had been testing on 15-20 min climbs in more the 6.8 region, prior to race. Mayo was on a newly paved road and an oddly zero wind day. I know, as I was there for OLN to interview Mayo (Phil and Paul don't speak Spanish, oddly enough)..
That's not to say Mayo wouldn't have beaten me, but maybe by a bit less!
But 6.35 vs 6.7 leaves us with a .35 difference or around 5-6%... Which would make sense as my natural hct at this time of year would be 48%. For Ventoux it was doped to 52%. So, an 8% gain in hb mass. This would lead to a 4-6% increase in power at FTP, considering the high density of the blood already (as to say 38% to 42% would lead to a slightly more linear relationship gain, as O2 delivery efficiency is greater, per red cell, in a less crowded blood stream)
This is a great example of why I do rely on numbers to give me an indication of whether doping is happening and whether its effective, more than I rely on rumors etc etc. The rumors can sometimes prove to be correct on IF doping is happening, but whether it's method is effective is another story.
Clearly EPO in 1999 was effective.