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So Suddenly the Tour is clean. Where did this idea come from

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Dec 21, 2010
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V3R1T4S said:
I would advise you to read my first post as I asked...

There are a couple of qualms. No, it is not guaranteed his data is more or less accurate, but objectively looking at the points raised, statistically speaking, more likely than not his data would be farther off than CAS's to the "truth".

Fair enough - somehow I had not seen your first post, despite thinking I had followed the thread closely..... Getting slow in more ways than just on the bike :eek:
 
acoggan said:
Given the apparent breadth of his shoulders and his down-angled arms, even ~0.22 m^2 seems a bit optimistic to me.
Well I was thinking same but thought perhaps he's really nailed it somehow. He's been doing the arms down thing for many years.

acoggan said:
EDIT: Obviously, the reason that Evans' estimated power:CdA goes down as his power:mass goes up is because the course wasn't flat. You might be able to narrow things down a bit more if you knew how long it took him to reach certain points on the course.
I might, but I won't. At least not at this time.

The method of estimating power & CdA differences would be a little tighter if I applied the full optimisation modeling to each scenario, instead of using average power across segments. That takes a fair while as the model takes quite some time to run.

The mass difference alone accounts for about 70-75 seconds of the time improvement, since it was hilly. The higher the CdA difference, the more the mass/hills impact the result.
 
acoggan said:
...which means that my initial estimate of 460 W was very close (amazing how well the R.O.T. works, eh?).

BTW, for point of reference Kraig Willett has estimated Armstrong's CdA on a TT bike to be 0.266 m^2 and his power for an hour-long effort to be 466 W, meaning that his power:CdA in TTs was just over 1700 W/m^2:

http://www.biketechreview.com/performance/supply/493-la-cant-do-it

(Note that Kraig's estimate of 466 W for ~1 h in the TT position is entirely consistent with Armstrong's self-reported power of 495 W for 30:47 min up the Col d'Madonne.)
I missed that one (or forgot - my memory ain't as good as yours), thanks.
1700 W/m^2. Interesting.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
I missed that one (or forgot - my memory ain't as good as yours), thanks.
1700 W/m^2. Interesting.

Indeed. What is also interesting is that, like you, Kraig independently came up with a value of ~6.4 W/kg for Armstrong's l'Alpe de Huez TT, vs. the ~6.7 W/kg bandied about by some. If correct, that would mean that Armstrong's maximal power:mass for 40-60 min was the same as that of Indurain, Boardman, Contador, and at least one other rider whose data I've seen but cannot share.
 
May 26, 2009
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Alex Simmons/RST said:
Of course, this is an academic exercise, however I am making relative comparisons, rather than being concerned with the absolute numbers.

Game, set and match. You showed me clearly how you made the estimate and more importantly shown where there are uncertainties but why you made the necessary choices.

This is what I saw. Dr Coggan said nothing about Lemond or Lance or their day. I think some are reading things that just ain't there.

You glanced over it it seems. Mr. Coggan clearly connected Cadel's performance that not much seems to have changed:

it would appear that a 74 kg rider of average build/position/aerodynamics would need to produce about as much power to win ITTs as was true in, e.g., Armstrong's day

This without even giving us wattages of Armstrong on a similar TT, but that's the least of my objections. My real and enduring objection is that as an authority to make such a statement you have to be transparent and give a range of wattages. If then you proceed to point out the likely one it makes a world of difference.

A statement like that demands an accuracy within a few percent, considering with just 4% lower it's not at all like in LA's day. Mr. Coggan than proceeded to say that considering his research on average CdA he can make that calculation... well, a scientist playing loose and fast with data like that... wow. It's simply one of the things statistics are not precise enough for.



acoggan said:
Franklin then started in with the ad hominen attacks, leading us to where we are now.

Ah yes, the innocent claim "not that much seems to have changed" ;)

I'm having a hard time apologizing for calling you out on that one. Especially since the new estimate seems to hit a lower Watt per Kg which makes it changed quite a lot.

And sure, Alex has shown me exactly how you get the numbers, taught me where I was being obtuse and ignorant. And yes, your estimate isn't far off. But it's exactly off on the side of the not much has changed. If that was taken out of context, please explain what the real context of this thread and forum is. Explain compared to what "it did not change much".

Oh, I still want to point out that researching the average CdA of a group of cyclists might give you great insight in the mechanics and great pointers in what range it could be. But you used it to apply on one of that sample and then proceeded to just give one value (which coincidentally was a high value), added with the completely innocent, unrelated, context free and not fixed in cycling history "not that much seems to have changed". It just goes straight in the face of how you should use statistics*, but I know you don't see the problem with it, so good luck with that.

* What would have been fine: "Statistics gave the average CdA of XXX, with outliers YYY, ZZZ. Considering these outlier we get these values *list of values*. If we look at the more likely range *-refers to research* not that much seems to have changed.

You might find that over the top, but you are the scientist here who made the claim: " it would appear that a 74 kg rider of average build/position/aerodynamics would need to produce about as much power to win ITTs as was true in, e.g., Armstrong's day". The data certainly isn't so clear cut depending on interpretation and quite a few "ifs".
 
Franklin said:
This without even giving us wattages of Armstrong on a similar TT, but that's the least of my objections. My real and enduring objection is that as an authority to make such a statement you have to be transparent and give a range of wattages. If then you proceed to point out the likely one it makes a world of difference.
You may remember 2yrs ago acoggan was piercing in his criticism of anyone who dared to estimate power for Contador and compare to LA based on VAM, stating repeatedly that its just not accurate enough to come to a meaningful conclusion (often citing the large effect changes in wind speed and direction make on power estimates), yet amazingly now, even though we still live in the same universe with the same laws of physics it has magically become possible for him to estimate power on a flat TT stage and then compare Cadel's wattages to LA's and then make a conclusion "not much has changed since Armstrong's day". Maybe acoggan was actually referring to the wind speed and direction there which never changed when Cadel or LA raced in an ITT 8-10yr apart and that's how he can calculate the power with such accuracy?

Sounds very similar to the time acoggan attacked me regarding cycling efficiency. I posted that Dave Martin from the AIS says that cycling efficiency doesn't improve over time and he would know because he has 15yrs of this data measured using an automated douglas bag system on Cadel Evans (and many other elite cyclists). Asker Jeukendrup agrees with Martin that cycling efficiency does not increase over time and he worked with Rabobank for a number of years. However, acoggan said "NO it doesn't count if its not published", but then goes on to "prove" his point that yes indeed it does increase because he has UNPUBLISHED data on n=1 middle-aged recreational cyclist (ie: himself) and cites a bunch of papers all of which use BxB VO2 measurement which is known to underestimate VO2 at higher ventilation and thus overestimate efficiency.

A double lesson on the science of pot, kettle, black from the lord of cycling science :eek:
 

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Franklin said:
I'm having a hard time apologizing for calling you out on that one [blah. blah..].
.

I've been reading this thread - you sound like a jackass in it. Stop taking up so much bandwidth with your stupid comments.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Franklin said:
Ah yes, the innocent claim "not that much seems to have changed" ;)

I'm having a hard time apologizing for calling you out on that one. Especially since the new estimate seems to hit a lower Watt per Kg which makes it changed quite a lot.

And sure, Alex has shown me exactly how you get the numbers, taught me where I was being obtuse and ignorant. And yes, your estimate isn't far off. But it's exactly off on the side of the not much has changed. If that was taken out of context, please explain what the real context of this thread and forum is. Explain compared to what "it did not change much".

Oh, I still want to point out that researching the average CdA of a group of cyclists might give you great insight in the mechanics and great pointers in what range it could be. But you used it to apply on one of that sample and then proceeded to just give one value (which coincidentally was a high value), added with the completely innocent, unrelated, context free and not fixed in cycling history "not that much seems to have changed". It just goes straight in the face of how you should use statistics*, but I know you don't see the problem with it, so good luck with that.

* What would have been fine: "Statistics gave the average CdA of XXX, with outliers YYY, ZZZ. Considering these outlier we get these values *list of values*. If we look at the more likely range *-refers to research* not that much seems to have changed.

You might find that over the top, but you are the scientist here who made the claim: " it would appear that a 74 kg rider of average build/position/aerodynamics would need to produce about as much power to win ITTs as was true in, e.g., Armstrong's day". The data certainly isn't so clear cut depending on interpretation and quite a few "ifs".

The only people to whom I'm obligated to reveal my reasoning on this, or any other, question, are those who pay me for my thoughts. No one here qualifies as such, so I see no reason not to continue to share them as I see fit. If you wish to dispute my musings - and, in fact, that is all that they are, since I consider anything that I do related to cycling and cycling performance to be merely a hobby - then by all means, feel free to do so. As this thread exemplifies, though, I am rarely wrong on the facts, even when I'm merely engaging in a bit of trivial pontificating.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Krebs cycle said:
You may remember 2yrs ago acoggan was piercing in his criticism of anyone who dared to estimate power for Contador and compare to LA based on VAM, stating repeatedly that its just not accurate enough to come to a meaningful conclusion (often citing the large effect changes in wind speed and direction make on power estimates), yet amazingly now, even though we still live in the same universe with the same laws of physics it has magically become possible for him to estimate power on a flat TT stage and then compare Cadel's wattages to LA's and then make a conclusion "not much has changed since Armstrong's day". Maybe acoggan was actually referring to the wind speed and direction there which never changed when Cadel or LA raced in an ITT 8-10yr apart and that's how he can calculate the power with such accuracy?

Sounds very similar to the time acoggan attacked me regarding cycling efficiency. I posted that Dave Martin from the AIS says that cycling efficiency doesn't improve over time and he would know because he has 15yrs of this data measured using an automated douglas bag system on Cadel Evans (and many other elite cyclists). Asker Jeukendrup agrees with Martin that cycling efficiency does not increase over time and he worked with Rabobank for a number of years. However, acoggan said "NO it doesn't count if its not published", but then goes on to "prove" his point that yes indeed it does increase because he has UNPUBLISHED data on n=1 middle-aged recreational cyclist (ie: himself) and cites a bunch of papers all of which use BxB VO2 measurement which is known to underestimate VO2 at higher ventilation and thus overestimate efficiency.

A double lesson on the science of pot, kettle, black from the lord of cycling science :eek:

Boy. neither you nor Franklin can let go after getting your *** kicked in a debate, eh?

With respect to your 1st paragraph above: I never attempted to estimate Evans' power, but rather estimated how much power Flecha would have had to produce to contend for the stage win. It then struck me that said power (power:CdA, actually) was similar to that of prior ITT stage winners of comparable size, e.g., Armstrong, causing me to comment that "things don't seem to have changed all that much". I never claimed, nor do I believe, that it is possible to estimate power in ITTs or even up climbs to better than +/- ~5%. More importantly, I do not believe that estimated, or even directly measured, power outputs can be used to definitively identify who is or isn't doping, and as such should not be used even to speculate about such matters. At the same time, however, it is possible to estimate such values precisely enough to have at least some feel for how much things have/haven't changed over time - hence, again, my comment that "things don't seem to have changed all that much" (which, as Alex and Kraig Willett's number-crunching reveals, appears to be correct).

With respect to your 2nd paragraph above: I stand by my conclusion that cycling efficiency does indeed seem to be trainable, a perspective that is shared by others:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19941249

Indeed, recent studies have demonstrated that the mere ingestion of ~5 mmol of inorganic nitrate can significantly alter gross efficiency in a matter of hours...so much for the immutable "holy grail" as it has been termed by Ashenden, eh? (Indeed, I continue to find it ironic that Ashenden, Martin, Gore, et al. will claim that efficiency is essentially fixed while at the same time publishing studies reporting that it changes in response to hypoxic exposure. Of course, I also find it ironic that Asker has co-authored letters-to-the-editor criticizing the efficiency data report by others while simultaneously publishing obviously flawed data of his own.)

EDIT: BTW, the next time you run into Dave Martin please give him a pat on the back for taking my suggestion and publishing Evans' data. You might ask him, though, why he opted to send it to a lay e-magazine instead of submitting it to a scientific journal for peer review.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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acoggan said:
I never claimed, nor do I believe, that it is possible to estimate power in ITTs or even up climbs to better than +/- ~5%. More importantly, I do not believe that estimated, or even directly measured, power outputs can be used to definitively identify who is or isn't doping, and as such should not be used even to speculate about such matters. At the same time, however, it is possible to estimate such values precisely enough to have at least some feel for how much things have/haven't changed over time

Or to put it another way: as rchung pointed out previously in this post:

http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showpost.php?p=629938&postcount=43

the apparent benefit due to doping does not rise above the background "noise" that exists in estimated power outputs. Hence, the reason that I commented that "things don't seem to have changed all that much."
 
Why 2011 TDF is cleaner?

This thread is for whose believe 2011 TDF is cleaner.
---------------------------------------------------
If you believe 2011 TDF is cleaner, could you suggest also

- Why riders stop to cheat in 2011 TDF?
 
Mar 13, 2009
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http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/saxo-bank-sungard/2011-tour-de-france/stage-20.aspx
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/races/team-sky-races/2011-tour-de-france/stage--20.aspx

the short story
Sorenson
334w average power 346w normalised power listed weight 64kg (training peaks)
5.22w/kg or 5.41w/kg normalised
final TT time 59:30, 3:58 down on the winner.
Flecha
397w average power 410 normalised listed weight from team sky site 72kg.
5.51w/kg or 5.69w/kg normalised
final TT time 59:52,4:20 down on the winner.

Just data, draw from it what you will.
 
Jun 27, 2009
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Very interesting thread.

I realize it doesn't damn Evans one way or another, but for me the biggest reason to be skeptical about Evans is his team. How can he possibly claim to be clean when he teams up with a management group that was run out of the sport just a few years back for being a notorious doper haven? Phonak/BMC surely saw more positive doping cases then any other team from 2000-06, and they hired many many dopers.

I would feel the same way about any rider with Bruyneel or Riis as a coach...how can anyone realistically expect these riders to compete clean, when their coach/mentors helped pioneer the present day culture?

All this indicates is that BMC/Evans' credibility on doping is suspect to non-existent.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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ludwig said:
Very interesting thread.

I realize it doesn't damn Evans one way or another, but for me the biggest reason to be skeptical about Evans is his team. How can he possibly claim to be clean when he teams up with a management group that was run out of the sport just a few years back for being a notorious doper haven? Phonak/BMC surely saw more positive doping cases then any other team from 2000-06, and they hired many many dopers.

I would feel the same way about any rider with Bruyneel or Riis as a coach...how can anyone realistically expect these riders to compete clean, when their coach/mentors helped pioneer the present day culture?

All this indicates is that BMC/Evans' credibility on doping is suspect to non-existent.

The dirty team refrain is getting a little tired. Just may be things have and/or are changing. Would Thor go to a "dirty" team? Would Gilbert aspire to do so? Has Anne Gripper no credibility? Time we all started being a little more open to the prospect that we might get our sport back.
 

Dr. Maserati

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Nearly said:
The dirty team refrain is getting a little tired. Just may be things have and/or are changing. Would Thor go to a "dirty" team? Would Gilbert aspire to do so? Has Anne Gripper no credibility? Time we all started being a little more open to the prospect that we might get our sport back.
Change you say?

Let's see - Phonak 2006, Andy Rihs, John Lelangue, Jim Ochowicz.
In 2011 BMC is Andy Rihs, John Lelangue, Jim Ochowicz.

When Ochowicz said he didn't know who Ballan used as his trainer do you think that is a team that has changed from 2006?

What has changed within that team?

Anne Gripper - how many people have been sanctioned since she left? A. Zero
 
Oct 25, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Change you say?

Of attitude/methods, not people .... and I am not saying we should not be skeptical but rather be more open to the possibility that real change is occurring.

Even if we are talking people then are not the Hushovd's, Gilbert's and yes, Evans's half reasonable bellwethers of this change?
 

Dr. Maserati

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Nearly said:
Of attitude/methods, not people .... and I am not saying we should not be skeptical but rather be more open to the possibility that real change is occurring.

Even if we are talking people then are not the Hushovd's, Gilbert's and yes, Evans's half reasonable bellwethers of this change?
I am open to the possibility that real change is occurring - however it isn't at BMC.

Why would you expect the likes of Rihs, Lelangue or Ochowicz to change attitude or methods when they are not held to account?

What happened when Thomas Frei went positive last year to that same set-up? Frei gets canned and these guys continue on.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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Dr. Maserati said:
Anne Gripper - how many people have been sanctioned since she left? A. Zero

whats the relevance of this Dr? Her opinions on Cadel and other riders are based on her working experience with their profiles. I think she'll have a good idea who's dirty and who's not.
 

Dr. Maserati

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unsheath said:
whats the relevance of this Dr? Her opinions on Cadel and other riders are based on her working experience with their profiles. I think she'll have a good idea who's dirty and who's not.

It was in the context of this quote:
Nearly said:
.......
Has Anne Gripper no credibility?........

Anne Gripper is no longer with the UCI, so any information she had is already dated - regardless of her credibility her relevance stopped then.
 
Dr. Maserati said:
I am open to the possibility that real change is occurring - however it isn't at BMC.

Why would you expect the likes of Rihs, Lelangue or Ochowicz to change attitude or methods when they are not held to account?
IMO the complex issue of determining who is/isn't doping is all about probabilities. It could indeed be argued that any cyclist who rides for a team containing Rihs, Lelangue or Ochowicz is more likely to be exposed to a doping culture and thus is more likely to be involved in doping. However, my argument is simply that the creators of the bio passport system are saying that it is having a positive effect (and they are publishing data to back up their opinions), and we are also seeing only this year the first successful prosecutions get through the legal quagmire. Thus, now that a method is being established it makes it far more risky to engage in blood manipulation, there is an increased likelihood that dopers are either ceasing their doping programs for fear of getting caught, or they are being forced to microdose. Hence just like everyone else, Rihs, Lelangue or Ochowicz would be forced to change methods. Now, the important point regarding microdosing is that it does not enhance performance as effectively which means the risk/benefit ratio has been increased. Some riders/teams may decide it simply isn't worth the risk anymore because the performance improvements just aren't good enough.

Since I know personally some of those whom are the creators of the bio passport, I trust their honesty and scientific integrity, and therefore, my logical conclusion based on their testimony in addition to the published data, in addition to the court cases, is that a) the bio passport is having a positive effect and consequently b) there has been an increased likelihood that large magnitude performance gains resulting from blood doping have become more rare this year for the first time in a very long time.
 
May 26, 2009
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acoggan said:
As this thread exemplifies, though, I am rarely wrong on the facts, even when I'm merely engaging in a bit of trivial pontificating.

Your and Alex estimates are now facts.

Okay, understood. I'm glad you keep perspective about yourself in this area.
 
Dr. Maserati said:
Change you say?

Let's see - Phonak 2006, Andy Rihs, John Lelangue, Jim Ochowicz.
In 2011 BMC is Andy Rihs, John Lelangue, Jim Ochowicz.

Yet they are managers, not drug addicts. They won't try to dope at any cost. They have a team to run. They will make decisions based on what (they believe) is best for their team. If the risk is too big, or the reward is too small, these guys will rethink their strategy and try to be successful an other way.

I'm not saying they changed, but for them, doping or not is more of a businesslike decision.