Power Data Estimates for the climbing stages

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he was afraid. he thought why the hell would i risk with this blood medicine all my career and life? he got lot of money and lot success. of course if he knew that epo wasn't that risky(piotr and bjarne and pistore still alive) he would have take it too.

sirles, watch cime de la bonette in 1993. you won't need more evidence. they sprint from the start and up to 3000 meters or whatever. just crazy. there is no way in absolute hell, you could follow that clas cajastur train jet fuel-free. no way
 
Hampsten's time, like Nibali's, corresponds to just under 6.0 watts/kg by VAM, quite believable clean. That doesn't mean he was clean, but if this is the best evidence that he wasn't, it's not very compelling.

There are times up climbs that certain riders aren't capable of clean, and of course I don't know if that applies to Hampsten here or not. But there are times up climbs that no rider is likely capable of clean, and Hampsten's time does not fit that category.
 
Merckx index said:
Hampsten's time, like Nibali's, corresponds to just under 6.0 watts/kg by VAM, quite believable clean. That doesn't mean he was clean, but if this is the best evidence that he wasn't, it's not very compelling.
Because that was done before epo at the end of long hard stages (in the third week)?
 
SirLes said:
Hampsten was always a natural climber, has been outspoken about drugs and I believe suggested that the increased use of epo hastened his retirement from the sport.

None of those things are conclusive of course.
For the record, Hampsten categorically denied taking drugs last night on the 'Slaying the badger' documentary on ESPN. That is his story, but those numbers are pretty revealing.
 
Firstly I believe comparing year to year is a bit pointless.

However, just for the fun of it, interesting to note that the top times from 40 years ago would still have seen those guys in the top 20 times today.

For example Nibali was 30.32 so Konig/Gadret were 33.40 and the fastest time in 74 was faster 33.20 and the first 3(33.34) in 78 were all faster than that. Factor in all the improvements in 40 years, bikes, clothing, road surfaces, training and the oldies would be even quicker.

There are plenty here who believe a clean rider could win in the pre EPO era so based on that, chances are a highly talented clean rider could easily be Top 10/15 in todays stage. I think that is a lot higher than a lot of people would consider possible for a clean rider regardless of others doping.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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pmcg76 said:
Firstly I believe comparing year to year is a bit pointless.

However, just for the fun of it, interesting to note that the top times from 40 years ago would still have seen those guys in the top 20 times today.

For example Nibali was 30.32 so Konig/Gadret were 33.40 and the fastest time in 74 was faster 33.20 and the first 3(33.34) in 78 were all faster than that. Factor in all the improvements in 40 years, bikes, clothing, road surfaces, training and the oldies would be even quicker.

There are plenty here who believe a clean rider could win in the pre EPO era so based on that, chances are a highly talented clean rider could easily be Top 10/15 in todays stage. I think that is a lot higher than a lot of people would consider possible for a clean rider regardless of others doping.
Did you look at the parcourse details of the stage, who was doing those times, and where they were positioned in the race on time, or just the finish line results?

Top 20 in one stage is not that big a deal, to be honest. 3 minutes is 10% and that's a huge margin in terms of power output.
 
pmcg76 said:
...Factor in all the improvements in 40 years, bikes, clothing, road surfaces, training...
the difference being that there is no discernible improvement prior to EPO:
1974 33:20 18.72 km/h (Raymond Poulidor)
1978 33:29 18.64 km/h (Mariano Martinez)
1981 33:40 18.53 km/h (Lucien Van Impe)
1982 33:13 18.79 km/h (Beat Breu)

then EPO is introduced and this :eek::
1993 29:35 20.89 km/h (Jaskula-Rominger) -RECORD


And Lance with his competitive juices ;) flowing:
2001 29:48 20.74 km/h (Lance Armstrong)
2005 30:34 20.22 km/h (Basso-Armstrong)

So where does this performance fit? In the new cleans era of cycling?
2014 30:32 20.24 km/h (Nibali-Peraud)

:rolleyes:
 
Netserk said:
If it's tailwind 100% of the time, no?



Hardly going directly south the whole climb...
Unless you are measuring wind speeds and directions along the way, you or I cannot know.

All that geography, both natural and man made, changes how air flows (e.g. just look at all the roadway retaining walls that can easily direct air around corners and in different directions), even though a prevailing wind may be generally from one direction, what it actually does on the road where the riders are, well who knows?

Fluid dynamics, and atmospheric air flow around varying sized and shaped objects around the boundary layer is very complex and often counterintuitive.

e.g. watching final climb on yesterday's stage it appeared wind was not all that much, but when I could see a fixed flag, they were always lightly flapping in a favourable direction for the riders, while leaves on nearby trees at rider height were not moving.

All I am pointing out is how sensitive estimated climb wattage is to a wind vector. Even barely noticeable wind affects the calculation. We don't know the wind vector.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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sittingbison said:
the difference being that there is no discernible improvement prior to EPO:
1974 33:20 18.72 km/h (Raymond Poulidor)
1978 33:29 18.64 km/h (Mariano Martinez)
1981 33:40 18.53 km/h (Lucien Van Impe)
1982 33:13 18.79 km/h (Beat Breu)

then EPO is introduced and this :eek::
1993 29:35 20.89 km/h (Jaskula-Rominger) -RECORD


And Lance with his competitive juices ;) flowing:
2001 29:48 20.74 km/h (Lance Armstrong)
2005 30:34 20.22 km/h (Basso-Armstrong)

So where does this performance fit? In the new cleans era of cycling?
2014 30:32 20.24 km/h (Nibali-Peraud)

:rolleyes:
Doesn't fit very well does it. How long were the stages the other times were set on though? I guess 80-100k do make a huge difference. This years stage was very very short. Ridiculously short actually.
 
Rechtschreibfehler said:
...This years stage was very very short. Ridiculously short actually.
I'm purposely not mentioning the difference in race conditions, because the data suggests it didn't matter one iota. Long, short, rain, didn't make any difference. There is a remarkable consistency in those times.

That said, as someone else said above in one of the longer stages they dawdled the first 100km. For these elite athletes thats a warm up. Last night they hammered the first hour at 50kmh. It seems that the final climb of 10km is the only variable that matters....and that variable is a constant :D
 
red_flanders said:
Why exactly is that?
It's like the difference between weather and climate.

One data point compared with last year doesn't mean global climate change, it's about the longer term trend. Next year might be quite cool compared to this, but that doesn't mean the trend has changed. It just means there's some level of natural variability in weather. That weather is still operates within global boundaries and the variability will be either side of the trend.

Likewise climbing speeds from one year to the next will naturally vary about a longer term trend line depending on a few things, such as environmental conditions, the way the race was conducted, point in the race it occurred etc. It might also be due to doping. However you can't parse that out of one data point the reason for the variance.

But over a number of years, those individual data points will show a trend, and trends are usually due to more global factors, rather than localised ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBdxDFpDp_k&list=PLivjPDlt6ApTTlCgjANQf3fpx369B8pSZ
 
Mar 19, 2009
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sittingbison said:
I'm purposely not mentioning the difference in race conditions, because the data suggests it didn't matter one iota. Long, short, rain, didn't make any difference. There is a remarkable consistency in those times.

That said, as someone else said above in one of the longer stages they dawdled the first 100km. For these elite athletes thats a warm up. Last night they hammered the first hour at 50kmh. It seems that the final climb of 10km is the only variable that matters....and that variable is a constant :D
But a 100k, relativly soft pedaling or not, do make a difference, and a big one I am sure. I'm not trying to make a case that this is a believable time, but if we are going to compare times, if ALL the other times were set after hugely longer stages, this must be taken into consideration.
 
Alex Simmons/RST said:
All I am pointing out is how sensitive estimated climb wattage is to a wind vector. Even barely noticeable wind affects the calculation. We don't know the wind vector.
And yet as the post just preceding yours points out, the winning times in the four Tours preceding the EPO era were within seconds of each other. Hardly any variation at all. Nobody ever broke 33 minutes. And look at Hinault's times, the three times he rode it: 33:34; 34:07; 34:06. There are several other riders who rode it twice very consistently, but I don't know if they rode much more slowly in other years.

The drop in winning times to 29-30 minutes is unquestionably the result of EPO. I don't think anyone can dispute that. But as SB notes, it is really curious that Nibali/Peraud just did times that would have decimated the field prior to EPO.

So two things to explain here. First, why, if there is so much potential variation due to weather, were the winning times, and also the following times, so consistent for four straight races involving that stage? It seems to me this fact virtually demands than any wind conditions be cancelled out by the twists and turns of the stage.

Second, how can clean riders today be so much better than those of the past? Is this supposed to be evidence of clean racers eventually doing better than dopers of the past, as heralded by JV and others?

By VAM, the older winning times were about 5.50 watts/kg., and I believe this is about what riders of that period also did on other climbs, allowing for differences in the length of the climb. But according to most thinking today, a non-doped rider can greatly exceed that. The curves at your site imply that large numbers of riders probably have the physical potential to do better than 6.0. That's not to say they will, of course, but that certainly underlies the view that power outputs in that range could be clean. So why are riders today so much faster than those of the past? There may be some technological improvements, but I believe we discussed on another thread these, and came to the conclusion that bike weights, e.g., could not account for the difference.
 
Alex Simmons/RST said:
It's like the difference between weather and climate.

One data point compared with last year doesn't mean global climate change, it's about the longer term trend. Next year might be quite cool compared to this, but that doesn't mean the trend has changed. It just means there's some level of natural variability in weather. That weather is still operates within global boundaries and the variability will be either side of the trend.

Likewise climbing speeds from one year to the next will naturally vary about a longer term trend line depending on a few things, such as environmental conditions, the way the race was conducted, point in the race it occurred etc. It might also be due to doping. However you can't parse that out of one data point the reason for the variance.

But over a number of years, those individual data points will show a trend, and trends are usually due to more global factors, rather than localised ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBdxDFpDp_k&list=PLivjPDlt6ApTTlCgjANQf3fpx369B8pSZ
There are many climbs in a race in each year. You can generate enough data from enough riders over the years to see trends and ouliers.

From this one can form an opinion.

I don't see the issue. I'm not looking to prosecute anyone, I'm looking to gain an understanding of what's happening. If you're asserting there's not enough data for that over the last 30 years I disagree.
 
I've re-ordered your post for convenience:

Merckx index said:
And yet as the post just preceding yours points out, the winning times in the four Tours preceding the EPO era were within seconds of each other. Hardly any variation at all. Nobody ever broke 33 minutes. And look at Hinault's times, the three times he rode it: 33:34; 34:07; 34:06. There are several other riders who rode it twice very consistently, but I don't know if they rode much more slowly in other years.
Merckx index said:
So two things to explain here. First, why, if there is so much potential variation due to weather, were the winning times, and also the following times, so consistent for four straight races involving that stage? It seems to me this fact virtually demands than any wind conditions be cancelled out by the twists and turns of the stage.
It's a mathematical certainty that coincidences will occur, if you look at enough data you'll find them. It's called the improbability principle.

I'm not saying that these were coincidences, but it's entirely possible that both the weather conditions and form of those riders on those days was the same. Or it might be form was somewhat different but conditions were different and happened to net such things out so that ascent times were the same. e.g. 5% more power but worse conditions. It happens.

Merckx index said:
The drop in winning times to 29-30 minutes is unquestionably the result of EPO. I don't think anyone can dispute that. But as SB notes, it is really curious that Nibali/Peraud just did times that would have decimated the field prior to EPO.
And that's an example of a trend change, which is probably a combination of several global things, e.g. EPO, better quality road surface, lighter equipment and quite possibly better prepared riders. There can also be some natural variation that happened to coincide and amplifies the change or indeed suppressed the actual change (i.e if those years happened to have crap conditions then they may well have gone even faster).

I note that the "EPO era" times had quite a bit more variation.

Merckx index said:
Second, how can clean riders today be so much better than those of the past? Is this supposed to be evidence of clean racers eventually doing better than dopers of the past, as heralded by JV and others?

By VAM, the older winning times were about 5.50 watts/kg., and I believe this is about what riders of that period also did on other climbs, allowing for differences in the length of the climb. But according to most thinking today, a non-doped rider can greatly exceed that. The curves at your site imply that large numbers of riders probably have the physical potential to do better than 6.0. That's not to say they will, of course, but that certainly underlies the view that power outputs in that range could be clean. So why are riders today so much faster than those of the past? There may be some technological improvements, but I believe we discussed on another thread these, and came to the conclusion that bike weights, e.g., could not account for the difference.
We can only imagine there could be a range of possible reasons:
better training and more targeted preparation
better nutrition and diet
better training approaches overall, as well as support
better roads
lighter bikes
better aerodynamics
better talent pool to choose from
better doping
etc

I think attributing an overall improvement in athletic performance over generations to one cause and one cause only (e.g. doping) is foolish.

Equally I think that these things don't exclude the possibility that doping is also a factor in today's performances. We already know it has been.

IOW what I'm saying is we don't really know.


BTW - I just watched a video of the 2005 stage up Pla d'Adet and there was a headwind based on the flags I could see. The flags were moving more than those I saw for yesterdays tailwind.

So this year's time with a slight tailwind was about the same as the 2005 time with a headwind. Who knows but that could easily be a 0.5W/kg difference for the same time. Or not.

Massive difference between the crowds then and now. Far fewer now.
 
Apr 20, 2012
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jens_attacks said:
mejia, hampsten and millar all on epo
pretty much all the guys who dropped fignon on telegraphe riding like motorbikes were on jetfuel.
Isnt that a bit overdoing it?

http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.com/preview/1993/07/15/pagina-12/1282509/pdf.html#&mode=fullScreen

http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.com/preview/1993/07/16/pagina-12/1282565/pdf.html#&mode=fullScreen

http://hemeroteca.mundodeportivo.com/preview/1993/07/20/pagina-12/1468320/pdf.html#&mode=fullScreen

Nah, your statement doesnt hold too much ground, wasnt Fignon domestiqueing Bugno?
 
Jul 24, 2014
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sittingbison said:
the difference being that there is no discernible improvement prior to EPO:
1974 33:20 18.72 km/h (Raymond Poulidor)
1978 33:29 18.64 km/h (Mariano Martinez)
1981 33:40 18.53 km/h (Lucien Van Impe)
1982 33:13 18.79 km/h (Beat Breu)

then EPO is introduced and this :eek::
1993 29:35 20.89 km/h (Jaskula-Rominger) -RECORD


And Lance with his competitive juices ;) flowing:
2001 29:48 20.74 km/h (Lance Armstrong)
2005 30:34 20.22 km/h (Basso-Armstrong)

So where does this performance fit? In the new cleans era of cycling?
2014 30:32 20.24 km/h (Nibali-Peraud)

:rolleyes:
What about the differences in bike weight and perhaps more importantly rotating wheel weight? Certainly a difference there...
 
ralphbert said:
What difference in power are we talking in moving from the 33:30 level to the 30:30 level?
Assuming same:
- rider mass
- bike /equipment mass
- wind conditions
- rolling resistance
- 8% gradient
- same aerodynamics

then that's about a 9.4% (give or take) difference in power.

If however you add say 2.5kg to the bike and equipment (think bike, shoes, clothes etc), 2.5% higher drag and rolling resistance coefficients (probably conservative) to the older bikes and rider kit then the power gap reduces to 6.1% (give or take).
 
Jul 29, 2009
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The first 4 times were set over an 8 year period. How much improvement was made in terms of equipment, training methods, diet, road surface, quality of field, etc etc in that time? It is perhaps not surprising times were reasonably close although I am surprised that they are so consistent as, without having checked, I assume stage lengths, race situations, weather and whether the stage was early or late in the tour all varied.

32 years later it's 3 mins quicker. I would have expected an improvement due to improvements in so many variables over 32 years. How much, I don't know.

There does not seem to have been any improvement (in fact times have slowed) in the last 20yrs.

I don't know what that's says but I wouldn't feel comfortable making a deduction regarding doping based on this evidence.
 
don't be a gumby said:
What about the differences in bike weight and perhaps more importantly rotating wheel weight? Certainly a difference there...
Wheel rotational inertia is one of the least important physical properties that affects speed of a cyclist for a given power. For steady state cycling its impact is precisely zero.

It only factors in accelerations, and even then its impact is at least 2 orders of magnitude smaller than absolute mass, and is swamped by aerodynamic differences.
 
Jul 29, 2009
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Thanks Alex.
One question. How much difference does drafting make? When I see old footage of the tour the main riders seem to spend a lot more time on the front.
 
Table of TDF winner's bike weight:
http://felixwong.com/2010/11/tour-de-france-bicycles-historical-bike-weights/

Today's winner's bikes are on average 3kg lighter than that used in that earlier era. Not sure about the rest of the kit (shoes, clothes, bidons etc) but hard to believe it would be heavier now (although compulsory helmets now).

If I use a 3kg difference in equipment weight, then the power difference for those speeds narrows a little more to 5.5% (give or take).

Don't know about everyone else, but 5% more power compared with 30-40 years ago when choosing from a better and larger talent pool who have much greater support and resources at their disposal, with much better training regimes, targeted plans, power meters, superior diet/nutrition and so on isn't out of the realms of plausible.

Doesn't rule out doping either.
 

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