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What changed with Armstrong Post-Cancer?

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May 9, 2009
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You know, no one is a Tour de France winner until they are a Tour de France winner. A lot of cyclists are better at, say, age 27 than they were at age 25. For a variety of reasons.

Or perhaps the conspiracy theory is actually true: that somehow one guy had substances that no one else did or had a doctor who knew something no other doctors knew and yet sold such knowledge to only one cyclist, no one has ever admitted to seeing this cyclist use anything illegal, he managed to use all those years without officially testing positive, and that's why he was better than everyone else.

It seems much more likely that he put into his body (or not) the same stuff everyone else did (or didn't) and that the differences were in training, team, drive, body, whatever.
 
elapid said:
And if he did have testicular cancer for 1+ years, then his HCG levels would have been above the reference range for every single doping test during this time period.
I forgot about that. However, it did not matter to the UCI in 1996 because he never tested positive back then. Sometimes I wonder about those doping tests (???)
 
May 6, 2009
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Escarabajo said:
I forgot about that. However, it did not matter to the UCI in 1996 because he never tested positive back then. Sometimes I wonder about those doping tests (???)

Well aside from the fact that an EPO test didn't exist back then?
 
Aug 3, 2009
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As a rational thinker I have no doubt LA was on a doping regime.Think about it for a second.Basso and Ullrich were juiced to the gills and LA had no problem leaving them in the dust.(raising eyebrows)That being said I firmly believe that if you put all cyclists in a glass bubble and monitored them 24/7 LA would come out on top strictly based on work ethic,drive,motivation,desire for the limelight and a great set of genetics.After all,he was defeating grown men in triathalons when he was in his teens.
 
broken chain said:
As a rational thinker I have no doubt LA was on a doping regime.Think about it for a second.Basso and Ullrich were juiced to the gills and LA had no problem leaving them in the dust.(raising eyebrows)That being said I firmly believe that if you put all cyclists in a glass bubble and monitored them 24/7 LA would come out on top strictly based on work ethic,drive,motivation,desire for the limelight and a great set of genetics.After all,he was defeating grown men in triathalons when he was in his teens.

As much as I'd like to believe that, his early tour record shows nothing that would support this. I realize he didn't focus on the Tour, and because he wasn't competitive doesn't mean it was never going to be possible...but the facts at hand just don't show that he was a GT contender.

That he was an elite athlete at an early age is neither here nor there. No one in the professional peloton is anything but an aerobic freak. Americans are just more familiar with the Armstrong story.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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stephens said:
You know, no one is a Tour de France winner until they are a Tour de France winner. A lot of cyclists are better at, say, age 27 than they were at age 25. For a variety of reasons.

Or perhaps the conspiracy theory is actually true: that somehow one guy had substances that no one else did or had a doctor who knew something no other doctors knew and yet sold such knowledge to only one cyclist, no one has ever admitted to seeing this cyclist use anything illegal, he managed to use all those years without officially testing positive, and that's why he was better than everyone else.

It seems much more likely that he put into his body (or not) the same stuff everyone else did (or didn't) and that the differences were in training, team, drive, body, whatever.

If a cyclist wins the TdF at 27 years old, then they at least would show some inkling of this talent at 25 years old.

There is no conspiracy theory that I know of that Lance had access to different drugs - EPO, IGH, insulin, GH, etc. Same drugs as many others were probably using. But he definitely had a very good doctor and he did have exclusive access to Ferrari's services. And please don't give me the usual apologist's sob story about never testing positive - his HCG levels were through the roof (109,000 ng/ml compared to a normal level of < 0.5 ng/ml) when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He should have tested positive for HCG at some stage in 1996 but didn't. Then there are the 1999 TdF EPO positives, the magically appearing cortisone TUE after he tested positive, and the many confessions of his doping from his masseuse (Emma O'Reilly) and team mates (Jonathan Vaughters, Frankie Andreau and apparently Floyd Landis).

Is it more conspiracy theory to believe that Lance trained harder or smarter than every other cyclist in the professional peloton or had more drive than every other cyclist in the professional peloton (and remember you are talking about professional athletes who have dedicated their lives to training and winning), compared to the possibility that he was a better responder to EPO and/or other drugs which is a known phenomenon?

Few would doubt that he was on the same drugs as many of the other top contenders, but the difference is not in the training, drive or body. The team may be a factor because they were also known to be jacked up according to Vaughters and Andreau. A better (artificially) performing team means better support in the mountains.

But still I go back to my original list. Break it down and consider the factors logically. What is different and what really makes sense to explain this difference? And then consider another rider with a similar transformation from classics rider to GT winner - DiLuca. Wonder how he achieved this magical transformation - drive (he certainly has tons of it), team, training, dedication, or was it possibly drugs? We definitely know the answer to DiLuca's transformation. Why is it such a stretch to consider that doping was responsible for Lance's transformation if it was responsible for DiLuca's? It certainly makes much more sense than the other ideas proposed, especially considering Lance's rather ordinary physiology for a professional cyclist.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
Armstrong finished 12th-place in the Giro this year.

Lets thinks about the circumstances of that for a second. He did this despite his preparation being seriously set back with the collarbone break - most riders in that situation would have dropped out after the first week, as David Millar did. And he did this despite being his first GT for four years, which is always really difficult. And he was 37 years old. Plus he was not even trying his best in the last few days as he just paced himself - at the last time trial he was laughing and joking on the start ramp and came about 50th, making sure not to take any risks that could get him injuried. He could quite easily have gained a few places. And finally his blood results were 100% clean - his results then are now being used to raise questions about his ToF results, so there can be no doubt about that.

So in short, that is 12th place in a grand tour without even trying, not fit, 37 and certainly clean. Therefore nobody credible could look at the evidence and say with a straight face he would never have been in the top tens of tours without doping. He clearly would be.

And lets not forget that in those tours, all his fellow contenders were on very professional doping programmes yet he still beat them.

The bold portions of this post intrigue me. The lack of a non-negative test does not mean a lack of illegal substances. Quick quiz - which of these three men has produced a non-negative blood test, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich, or Lance Armstrong? The best doping programs have always been a step ahead of the testing, given the high standards that exist for results to be considered non-negative.

To answer the OP, my guess is that Lance Armstrong brought a whole new approach to his lifestyle, his training, and his doping post-cancer. I give him full credit for bringing focus, discipline, and a sole commitment to the TDF. I also believe that he, Ferrari, and Bruyneel had a better refined doping system that greatly elevated his ability to ride a GT compared to 1993-5.
 
BanProCycling said:
Armstrong finished 12th-place in the Giro this year.

So in short, that is 12th place in a grand tour without even trying, not fit, 37 and certainly clean. Therefore nobody credible could look at the evidence and say with a straight face he would never have been in the top tens of tours without doping. He clearly would be.

And lets not forget that in those tours, all his fellow contenders were on very professional doping programmes yet he still beat them.

What a load of crapola.

Who was it, at the 95 Tour, that Russian guy whose name escapes me right now...Ugrimav, or something like that: he broke his collarbone just two weeks prior to the Tour and finished second. SECOND!

Lance does two months before the Giro and that means he was out of shape, when you're dealing with a guy who has probably the best crew looking after his recovery. So he wasn't out of shape, just not on the top of his game. And no way Lance was clean at the Giro. No way.

That his competitors were all doped to their teeth (as we know from their convictions in court) in an arms war in which Lance was a primary participant, for all the reasons we also know (his association with Dr. Ferrari, eye witness testimony from a former teammate, his six positive blood samples at the 99 Tour, his reaction to Simeoni, etc.), means there is no way in hell that LA was clean during any time in his career. Not one year of it, and above all during his Tour wins streak. Anyone with even a modicum of rartional sense, just would be a damn idiot to think otherwise. So thanks for letting us all know what a friggin idiot you are.
 
What changed. In short, everything.

1. Better sense of belief in the cause, awareness of potential.
2. Best organized training regime, aero bike position, etc.
3. Super sophisticated PEDs, which even if his weight didn't fall, his body physiologically changed as a result (just look at Lance when he won the Worlds and when he won the Tour.)
4. Money and power buying protection from the cycling "establishment," who saw more money to be made from his pushing the propagandistic myth of the super-human athlete who even defeats cancer and comes back stronger and better than before on his dumb fanboys, than on bringing him down as they have cynically done to others, and to eventually washing their hands clean of all responsibility from doping with this ridiculous bio-passport when done within certain parameters.
 
May 9, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
Rhubroma, to go from being a civilian to an elite pro cyclist who is competing in the GC level of a grand actually takes a couple of years of training. Nobody does it in their first year. Why do you think you never see 18 to 20 year olds winning it? You have to layer up the fitness in stages and build reserves of stamina to get it at the very peak - it just can't be done in a month from someone out of the sport for years. But he was doing this at 37.

Lance wasn't coming back from lazy civilian life. He clearly had been very active and been riding a lot. His winning time at the Leadville 100 this year was only 19 minutes quicker (6:28 vs. 6:47, i.e. 11 seconds a mile difference) than his pre-comeback 2008 time.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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broken chain said:
As a rational thinker I have no doubt LA was on a doping regime.Think about it for a second.Basso and Ullrich were juiced to the gills and LA had no problem leaving them in the dust.(raising eyebrows)That being said I firmly believe that if you put all cyclists in a glass bubble and monitored them 24/7 LA would come out on top strictly based on work ethic,drive,motivation,desire for the limelight and a great set of genetics.After all,he was defeating grown men in triathalons when he was in his teens.
you mean an irrational thinker who bought the coolaid.

Cycling was the number one aerobic sport on the continent, and it was the number two sport. Think about the catchment in competitive athletes. Then think about a nascent sport in the 1980's in the US, which pulled from cycling, running and swimming. It does not even attract the best aerobic athletes, who would be drawn to the prestige and specialisation. How one could compare triathlon in the 80's and very early 90's with professional cycling, is just bloody stupid.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Scott SoCal said:
I don't think there is much doubt that Lance has genetic gifts that are rare. I also think that his childhood caused a fire in the belly that burns very hot.

My opinion is that he was never very focused pre-cancer. He was competitive based on natural talent and not work ethic. Imagine if Tiger Woods didn't practice much and spent much of his time in the bar instead of the gym. He'd still be damn good. Just not great.

So he gets the crap scared out of him with cancer. Unexpectedly, he recovers. He starts his career anew only to question weather he really wants to continue.

Enter Bruyneel, fantasies about winning the Tdf, an "enhanced" approach and a renewed commitment to training and voila, there you have it. My guess is they never really expected to win in 1999. Then when he did a whole new universe opened up and he became super motivated. It would not surprise me if his training methods were better than his competitors. But, at the end of the day, his doping program is what has become the difference maker.

If no one was doping he may still have won. Who knows? It sure does not change the fact that he's turned out to be an A-hole.

A good post with one exception the bold part and everyhing after it. Armstrong would never have beaten Jan Ullrich clean. Ask Liggett who was better. He is no better than a great deal of other elite athletes. I'll probably scream if I have to hear ever again that he was an awesome triathlete. He wasn't. Most people assume he is a decent runner. For someone with such 'amazing' physical properties his running technique blows, something a high VO2max compensates for. Not with LA. He's mediocre at best. Someone posted a link in the Clinic to a host site for a translation of LA Confidential from French to English. I grabbed a copy. Very interesting and well researched by Paul Kimmage. His interview with Emma O'Reilly revealed one surprising detail. The world was surprised Lance came out all firing in 99. USP managers and staff weren't surprised at all. O'Reilly stated they thought nobody had a chance.

So Lance's universe didn't open up other than in a financial sense. He didn't suddenly find a solid new motivation block to annihilate his opposition. He already had it and had put it to good use since his shocker at Paris-Nice in 98. His training methods were no better than any other pro GC contender, except from a pharmaceutical and chemistry perspective. I'd love someone to prove Armstrong actually rode and trained better than every other pro cyclist. Won't ever happen...the word overtraining comes to mind. The onus is on Armstrong and his team to back up their words and confession, something a measly little PR campaign titled "The Science of LA" did not do. Rather it reveals the desperation and bias some parties will sink to and display in order to maintain their nicely crafted public image and continue their grab for cash.
 
May 17, 2009
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rhubroma said:
What a load of crapola.
And no way Lance was clean at the Giro. No way.
As far as blood manipulation goes, his profile from the giro suggests otherwise.

While it's obvious that anyone who genuinely believes Armstrong to be a clean rider is either ignorant or crazy, there is a fair amount of 'having your cake and eating too'-reasoning happening on the other side. In this particular instance, the blood profile from the Tour is used a proof of doping (and I certainly agree with that), while the blood profile from the giro is not considered evidence of being clean.

It's very easy to seize on anything that confirms what you already believe to true and hold it up as additional evidence, while not even consciously registering anything that suggests otherwise. It's called cognitive bias, and most people aren't even aware of to what degree it colours their perception.

Another example of this would be a particular rider doing really well at the beginning of a GT, and people using this as 'even more evidence' that the team he is riding for are up to no good. When that rider fades hard in the second half of the race, the people using him as 'additional evidence' simply won't notice. This is a common pattern.
 
Aug 12, 2009
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BanProCycling said:
Armstrong finished 12th-place in the Giro this year.

Lets thinks about the circumstances of that for a second. He did this despite his preparation being seriously set back with the collarbone break - most riders in that situation would have dropped out after the first week, as David Millar did. And he did this despite being his first GT for four years, which is always really difficult. And he was 37 years old. Plus he was not even trying his best in the last few days as he just paced himself - at the last time trial he was laughing and joking on the start ramp and came about 50th, making sure not to take any risks that could get him injuried. He could quite easily have gained a few places. And finally his blood results were 100% clean - his results then are now being used to raise questions about his ToF results, so there can be no doubt about that.

So in short, that is 12th place in a grand tour without even trying, not fit, 37 and certainly clean. Therefore nobody credible could look at the evidence and say with a straight face he would never have been in the top tens of tours without doping. He clearly would be.

And lets not forget that in those tours, all his fellow contenders were on very professional doping programmes yet he still beat them.

You truly are a moron.
Here are some reasons why:
1. Christian Vande Velde performed better and attained a higher position in the TDF with an almost identical rest period after sustaining a physically more damaging injury. Compressed spinal fracture versus fully healed collarbone. Nice try.
2.Armstrong was trying in the last week. Leipheimer needed some assistance, or perhaps you forgot this. Or perhaps Armstrong trying to catch up with Pellizotti, Basso, Di Luca and Menchov, who all wooped his ****. Yes I do know Di Luca was juiced. Armstrong tried to gain a few places, why else go out in the hills and try and chase? He had no answer, or none that a needle and a blood bag or two couldn't provide in a months time.
3. Two people really tried in the final time trial. Menchov and DiLuca. Wow, 50th on cobblestones in the rain. Kick that brain into gear and ask yourself whether the rumoured $2million Armstrong was given by the Italians to race the Giro might have been why he was laughing.
4. Lance's blood results from the Giro are not being used to raise questions about his TdF results. His blood work from the TdF is more than capable of raising the questions. Giro blood work conveniently gives a stable reference point to critique the TdF blood work.
5. There is no ToF. Get the acronym right in future dufus.
6. Anyone you label 'credible' deserves a swift kick in the nads.
7. You end your PR spin with 'other riders doping programs.' Yes and Lance beat them clean...only in your diminished cognitive faculties is this viable.
 
Ah....a good overnight debate, hardly disrupted at all. The power of that ignore button!
Mostly, a very interesting read. I suggest those of us who haven't followed the lead, join the rest and dump BPC in the bin.
After all, the poor guy was still trying to get himself heard at 6-20am UK time!:rolleyes:

Now, my contribution, pinched from another forum. A truly great article, that explains Armstrongs released figures, so that even the newest of novices can understand. Watch out for the real kicker of a twist, right at the end.

http://www.localcyclist.com/2009/09/a-tale-of-two-cyclists/

Should leave little room for doubt, unless read by a complete fool.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Mellow Velo said:
Ah....a good overnight debate, hardly disrupted at all. The power of that ignore button!
Mostly, a very interesting read. I suggest those of us who haven't followed the lead, join the rest and dump BPC in the bin.
After all, the poor guy was still trying to get himself heard at 6-20am UK time!:rolleyes:

Now, my contribution, pinched from another forum. A truly great article, that explains Armstrongs released figures, so that even the newest of novices can understand. Watch out for the real kicker of a twist, right at the end.

http://www.localcyclist.com/2009/09/a-tale-of-two-cyclists/

Should leave little room for doubt, unless read by a complete fool.

Any way of knowing what two Tour's those data sets come from? I'm interested. :/
 
Mar 13, 2009
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flawed thesis, that just because the bloodwork looked clean at the Giro, those riders who were doing transfusions at the Tour, were clean,

no chance, if they were going to the trouble of transfusions, they would have been doing stuff within their reach that was not testable. Insulin, IGF-1 etc, and other stuff.
 
Aug 17, 2009
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East Sycamore said:
I know this topic is just begging for a troll war, but it would be nice to hear some considered answers.

I think it's generally agreed that Lance was a pretty good one-day rider before his bout with cancer and that he was unlikely to win a grand tour. Based on Betsy Andreu and others, it is has also been established that pre-cancer he was on a pretty intense regimen of EPO, HGH, Steroids, Testosterone, etc. In spite of all this doping, he was still a non-factor in the grand tours. It has also been established that he didn't really lose as much (or any) of the weight that he once claimed to lose during his fight with cancer.

So the question is, what did Lance start doing differently from 1999 on? It can't just be doping with all the same stuff he used pre-cancer because it didn't really work then (beyond winning a few stages). Was he not doing blood transfusions pre-'99 and that put him over the edge? I don't remember hearing if that was something he did pre-'99 or not. Is there something else out there he (and Ferrari) discovered? or is it just a matter of him and the Postal team taking it to a more organized level?

Yeah, its called gene doping.
 
Jun 21, 2009
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i see BPC and his muppet crew yet again have done very well at flooding every thread to drown any good points re: armstrong's doping. And the mods are fooking loving it, hiding behind the free speech bit probably, when in reality what they are up to is nothing to do with free speech, just fooking ruining the place. yet another thread unreadable.

which reminds me, how come you (cyclingnews.com) don't dare write an editorial piece on the opinions of the danish blood expert? well i guess it's to do with a certain twitter post by the one the mothership decided is cycling's most powerful man, who earlier this summer announced that he was reading cyclingnews.com and he wasn't a happy bunny

Hugh Januss said:
That is the part of the equation that probably bothers most of us "Lance haters" the most.

i don't mind him trying to tell us that he's clean, that's what they all do. what makes my blood boil is that he uses cancer to become untouchable as he plays his victim role.

craig1985 said:
Well aside from the fact that an EPO test didn't exist back then?
:rolleyes:
what's that got to do with the point that was made?
 
A

Anonymous

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Galic Ho said:
You truly are a moron.
Here are some reasons why:
1. Christian Vande Velde performed better and attained a higher position in the TDF with an almost identical rest period after sustaining a physically more damaging injury. Compressed spinal fracture versus fully healed collarbone. Nice try.
2.Armstrong was trying in the last week. Leipheimer needed some assistance, or perhaps you forgot this. Or perhaps Armstrong trying to catch up with Pellizotti, Basso, Di Luca and Menchov, who all wooped his ****. Yes I do know Di Luca was juiced. Armstrong tried to gain a few places, why else go out in the hills and try and chase? He had no answer, or none that a needle and a blood bag or two couldn't provide in a months time.
3. Two people really tried in the final time trial. Menchov and DiLuca. Wow, 50th on cobblestones in the rain. Kick that brain into gear and ask yourself whether the rumoured $2million Armstrong was given by the Italians to race the Giro might have been why he was laughing.
4. Lance's blood results from the Giro are not being used to raise questions about his TdF results. His blood work from the TdF is more than capable of raising the questions. Giro blood work conveniently gives a stable reference point to critique the TdF blood work.
5. There is no ToF. Get the acronym right in future dufus.
6. Anyone you label 'credible' deserves a swift kick in the nads.
7. You end your PR spin with 'other riders doping programs.' Yes and Lance beat them clean...only in your diminished cognitive faculties is this viable.

He isn't. He is a troll. As soon as we quit addressing his points, he will go away. There are actually some very good points here from others. His points will ALWAYS be barbed to get a response. That is why he writes things that seem incredibly stupid. He wants the reaction, not to discuss anything. I really wish people would stop taking him seriously.
 
A

Anonymous

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sars1981 said:
Any way of knowing what two Tour's those data sets come from? I'm interested. :/

While he doesn't say it directly, it is clear that the data is Armstrong's from his last two paragraphs. It is also interesting to note to those that believe his Giro profile shows he isn't doping. In reality, it shows just the opposite. The fact that it is different from his TdF profile merely highlights the fact that he has two profiles for the same type of race, which is physiologically improbable. It does not however mean he didn't dope in the Giro. It just means his program was different.

I believe one of the things many people will miss is how thorough and detailed a program like Armstrong's is. They literally have it down to a science, and it is tailored to him specifically. This was not some haphazard plan on any level.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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workingclasshero said:
i see BPC and his muppet crew yet again have done very well at flooding every thread to drown any good points re: armstrong's doping. And the mods are fooking loving it, hiding behind the free speech bit probably, when in reality what they are up to is nothing to do with free speech, just fooking ruining the place. yet another thread unreadable.

which reminds me, how come you (cyclingnews.com) don't dare write an editorial piece on the opinions of the danish blood expert? well i guess it's to do with a certain twitter post by the one the mothership decided is cycling's most powerful man, who earlier this summer announced that he was reading cyclingnews.com and he wasn't a happy bunny



i don't mind him trying to tell us that he's clean, that's what they all do. what makes my blood boil is that he uses cancer to become untouchable as he plays his victim role.


:rolleyes:
what's that got to do with the point that was made?

Who cares what these fools say? Personally, I can only laugh at the shere stupidy of what they say. They are refuted and dispatched in just about every thread.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Thoughtforfood said:
While he doesn't say it directly, it is clear that the data is Armstrong's from his last two paragraphs.

Yeah I got that..he was saying that the data sets belonged to Lance on different tours..as I understood it. I was just wondering which two tours..
 
Jul 22, 2009
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rhubroma said:
What changed. In short, everything.

1. Better sense of belief in the cause, awareness of potential.
2. Best organized training regime, aero bike position, etc.
3. Super sophisticated PEDs, which even if his weight didn't fall, his body physiologically changed as a result (just look at Lance when he won the Worlds and when he won the Tour.)
4. Money and power buying protection from the cycling "establishment," who saw more money to be made from his pushing the propagandistic myth of the super-human athlete who even defeats cancer and comes back stronger and better than before on his dumb fanboys, than on bringing him down as they have cynically done to others, and to eventually washing their hands clean of all responsibility from doping with this ridiculous bio-passport when done within certain parameters.

In essence, doping.

A cycling career is short, and the learning curve gets flatter and flatter with age. When you get to the peak age range of 27-34 there is very little you can do to improve your real basal parameters (you can ask Ulrich and some commentator's constant recommendations to improve his cadence in the mountains in order to be able to take the fight to LA). I mean, the inmense majority of TdF riders, for example, follow a set preparation routine because that is what has worked for them before.

It is only when you bring doping substances into the mix that you see these amazing feats being carried out, the suddenly found capacities in climbing capacity (Kohl & Wiggins, et cetera) and time trialing (Contador, Armstrong, et cetera).

I mean... doping is indeed part of the equation, in some riders it plays a rather large role, but in the majority of riders it is only but an "annecdote". In real terms, doping can only help you in the last 10 kilometers of the etapa reina, where you'd, if done dope-less, be putting in it on reverse... you are able to get to the finish in a decent time.
 
Jul 22, 2009
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In my opinion the powers-that-be ought not to penalize doping, but they should instead concentrate on monitoring the riders' health. I mean... we can all put our heads in the sand and play it like it's not going on, only to find out that cyclists are dropping like flies 20 years down the line.

If it keeps going this way riders will be forced to take black market stuff and do things themselves, and that spells danger.