Timing of EPO in early 90's that doesn't add up..

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I do really want to park this convo for now, I think we've made our points and we're not going to get much further without fresh data. However, I'd be gratfeul if you'd indulge me with this and talk about Giovanetti, the odd one out in the 1990 Italian renaissance given he rode for a Spanish team. Over on another thread you said this about his Vuelta victory:Fortunately, among the few cycling books that made the house move with me before lockdown was the Fallon/Bell Vuelta book. Their version of the story of that year's race is consistent with what you said. They say there was little foreign competiton and the Spanish teams managed to screw it up by keeping their aces and kings in reserve and just playing their jacks, even as the race slipped away from them. They played a cautious game and lost.

Given that he is the odd one out and that you suggest his performance can be rationalised and doesn't need EPO - and that he never really added to that one magical spring - would you be happy with removing Seur from our little list of possible pioneering teams should we return to it in the future if new info arises?
I think if you took the Vuelta as a single point, then yes EPO may not have been a factor. But then when he backs that up with 3rd at the Giro a fews later, his best result at the Giro to that point, it looks a little more suspicious and with all the other Italian results. But I am not wedged to the view he was definitely on EPO, though he does have better GT results post 1990 than pre 1990.

If he were on EPO, then to me, it would have been someone outside the team anyways. Maybe he took EPO in Italy before the Vuelta, didn't get a recharge during the race, but managed to hang on and then re-upped for the Giro. To me, Giovanetti and Ballerini are a little less suspicious than the other three from that year.

Bugno and Chiappucci we covered.

Argentin coming back to form whilst hitting up with Ferrari is highly suspect. He had been previously considered a canny rider, a Valverde type rider using his sprint and tactical nous, but from 1990 on he was more aggressive, his win at Fleche Wallone 91 was a 70k solo and his stage wins at the Tour were long solo victories. Even his win at Flanders, he bridged to the winning group solo and then away went with Dhaenans 30km from the finish to contest the win. He destroyed everyone on the Poggio in 92, but was outfoxed by Kelly.
 
I think there are a few key moments that can attributed to EPO, but maybe incorrectly.

  1. Greg LeMond had an 'iron shot' at the 1989 Giro
  2. Gianni Bugno dominates the 1990 Giro
  3. Chiappucci rides to Sestrieres in 1992
  4. Bjarne Riis comes 5th at the Tour 1993
  5. Gewiss Balllan at 1994 Fleche Wallonne
  6. Laurent Jalabert becomes world no.1
 
I think there are a few key moments that can attributed to EPO, but maybe incorrectly.

  1. Greg LeMond had an 'iron shot' at the 1989 Giro
  2. Gianni Bugno dominates the 1990 Giro
  3. Chiappucci rides to Sestrieres in 1992
  4. Bjarne Riis comes 5th at the Tour 1993
  5. Gewiss Balllan at 1994 Fleche Wallonne
  6. Laurent Jalabert becomes world no.1
Those might be some of the more famous ones, but the likes of Gewiss & Jalabert are quite far into the EPO era. There were loads of performaces, Mauri & Chioccioli at the 91 Vuelta & Giro respectively. Argentin with a 70km solo to win Fleche Wallone the same year. Indurains Luxembourg TT 92, Ariostea in general, the rise of Piotr Ugrumov, Fondriest's amazing 93 season. The list could go on and on. It became the era of riders popping up from nowhere to become champions. Ironic that in modern cycling the transformation of Froome outdoes them all.

Interesting that you believe EPO transformed guys into better riders than they had ever been, except LeMond who was a poorer version of his previous best.
 
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Back when Cycle Sport magazine first was published in 93, they did a team profile each month that included the list of team staff like soigneurs, mechanics, doctors etc. Many will be known, some less so.

Wordperfect: Peter Verstappen/Ignace Van Meerwijk
ONCE: Nicolas Terrados/Jose Aramendi
Banesto:Sabino Padilla
Gatorade: Fabio Bartalucci/Gugielmo Pitrolo/Pietro Ronchi/Vittoro Vescovi
CLAS: Benjamin Gonzalez/Vicente Gonzalez
Mecair: Walter Polini
Telekom: Andreas Schmidt/Georg Huber/Josef Keul
TVM: Andrei Mihailov
Motorola: Max Testa

For other teams, we are heading into 1994. To be noted that Conconi or Frerrari were not noted as official team doctors, but were probably looking after more riders than anyone else. This caused some controversey at Mecair when their official doctor Polini raised questions about the role of Ferrari who was looking after Argentin, Ugrumov, Berzin, Bobrik, Volpi. This was because Volpi tested positive after wining the Leeds Classic, the British round of the World Cup. Argentin declared he wouldn't go to Polini even if he had a cold. Ferrari was official teamn doctor in 94, before being sacked for his infamous EPO v Orange Juice remarks.

Also in 1989 Daniel Tarsi was doctor for Pepsi-Cola and Carlo Guardascione was doctor for Polli Mobiexport, two teams co-sponsored by Ivano Fanini. In 1990 Franco Gini who was boss at Pepsi Cola set up the Gis team that would evolve into first Mercatone Uno 92-94 and then Saeco thereafter, Tarsi was doctor for this team in 1990-92 but was then at ZG Mobili, by 94 Guardascione was doctor at Mercatone Uno.
 
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So as a little survey I conducted on Italian performances in major Classics. This included all individual World Cup Races, Fleche Wallone & Ghent Wevelgem.
So 89 includes 13 races and thereafter 12 due to demise of Montreal GP.

89
Victories: 0
Podiums: 2
Top 10s:11

93
Victories: 6
Podiums: 19
Top 10s: 51

95
Victories: 4
Podiums: 19
Top 10s: 63

The drastic change in numbers is obvious, by 93 Italian riders were filling over 50% of Podium places and in 95 over 50% of Top 10 finishers as well. That doesn't even include foreign riders on Italian teams like Museeuw, Sorensen, Richard, Berzin, Bobrik, Gianetti which pushes those figures even higher. Was cycling ever so lopsided to one nation?
 
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This Indurain-related Wikipedia paragraph is actually very interesting:

I'd be interested if anyone has the original source for this data and whether this information is accurate and conducted in the same series of tests for two reasons:

1) If it is accurate, it shows an enormous aerobic capacity, because 88 ml/kg/min is considered a very rare figure for someone with a body mass of 80 kg, because absolute Vo2max doesn't tend to scale linearly but allometrically with mass exponent of c:a 2/3. Therefore this relative figure is as unique as a figure of 97 ml/kg/min for a 60 kg cyclist.

2) The figure is very likely an un-blood doped one because if the 50 l/min output is accurate, one can calculate that each liter of his blood "left" only some 140 millilitres of oxygen on average (0.140 x 50 = 7 litres) to his muscles and therefore his resting Hb concentration (Hct) was around 12.5-13.0 g/dl (37-40 %).
Here is the Vo2Max of 88 ml/min/kg for a 80 kg guy in visual form vs. world class XC-skiers of the 1970s and 1980s showing how relative Vo2max tends to fall with body size (as interesting anecdotes, the absolute left orange circle is the former relative WR of 94 ml/min/kg of Sven-Åke Lundbäck, the uttermost right orange circle of 77 the current absolute WR of Juha Mieto, 7.4 l/min):

If it ever turns out that Indurain's figure is accurate and was measured not under rHuEPO (as the alleged cardiac output indicates), it is not unreasonable to think that "Big Mig" rode clean.
 
Here is the Vo2Max of 88 ml/min/kg for a 80 kg guy in visual form vs. world class XC-skiers of the 1970s and 1980s showing how relative Vo2max tends to fall with body size (as interesting anecdotes, the absolute left orange circle is the former relative WR of 94 ml/min/kg of Sven-Åke Lundbäck, the uttermost right orange circle of 77 the current absolute WR of Juha Mieto, 7.4 l/min):

If it ever turns out that Indurain's figure is accurate and was measured not under rHuEPO (as the alleged cardiac output indicates), it is not unreasonable to think that "Big Mig" rode clean.
Yeah...I've heard there are some who believe that "Big Mig" won those 5 Tours clean and was one of the most genetic freaks in the history of the sport. However, I'm skeptical: 5 consecutive Tours at the start of the full-throttle EPO era where riders could dope with impunity. If he was clean, then that means the first Tour champion to have used EPO is Riis - and that's only because he told us! Lol.

It's my understanding that Dr. Concini had worked with Banesto in the 1990's. I wonder if he was he affiliated with the team as early as 91? (Indurain's first Tour win).

Also, a former rider with Banesto, Thomas Davy, testified at a hearing in 2000 that systematic doping was present at Banesto when he rode with the team from 95 -96 (which would include Indurain's last Tour win):


I'm sure many here have already seen this article:

 
I don't "believe" in anything relating to Indurain, just stated an observation not evident to everyone about Indurain's Vo2Max.

And Indurain's collaboration with Dr. Conconi goes back to 1987, there is another layer of suspicion.
 

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