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Wiggins' blood values

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Jul 10, 2009
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Turner29 said:
Most likely not accurate enough to support an argument. Personally, both in myself and others, I have never seen a loss in absolute power resulting from weight loss, if done gradually.

Me neither and I can honestly say that I don't know the mechanism (at least a clear one) but it goes without saying that if you keep losing weight even gradually, eventually it will happen. The question is when.
 
Jul 12, 2012
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Here is my assessment of the whole Sky situation:

1) "Clean" riders, especially physically gifted ones, are going to benefit the most from more stringent doping controls.

2) Doping is not a "leveler" -- some individuals benefit more than others due to a combination of dose-response and willingness to accept risk (Armstrong).

3) There is an upper limit to doping-induced performance enhancement and even if not 100% clean, current controls further limit the ceiling for doped riders.

4) Trying to prove suspicion of doping by an equation unsupported scientifically due to accuracy issues.

5) There still are legal methods for hematocrit and BV manipulation, including hypoxic exposure, hyperoxic exposure and training and dangerous but legal carbon monoxide exposure. Glycerol is a prohibited substance but I am not sure if any testing is performed. Sodium Phosphate, when correctly used, can provided a substantial performance benefit.

Given these, under current rules, using the methods I outlined in #4, a responder individual would see a substantial performance benefit. Back in the days of EPO, many tried hypoxic exposure with inconsistent results. And some were non-responders. In addition, "medical" methods provided a more reliable, consistent way to increase hematocrit.

However, now that EPO and blood boosting are risky methods, for a responder more "natural" methods of hematocrit manipulation offer a substantial advantage over a non-responder. Thus, a person like Wiggins could simply be in the right place at the right time, with a combination of genetics and training that confirms him an advantage previously not seen.

Do I think Wiggins is 100% clean to the letter of the law? No. For example, if glycerol is not tested, I would certainly be sipping glycerol and he and Sky probably employ other "grey area" techniques, given their defensiveness.
 
Jul 12, 2012
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_frost said:
Me neither and I can honestly say that I don't know the mechanism (at least a clear one) but it goes without saying that if you keep losing weight even gradually, eventually it will happen. The question is when.

At some point, yes of course. This is why historically, Grand Tour winners typically fell into a very narrow window of physical characteristics, given the need to excel in both time-trials and climbs, plus endurance. Once the EPO era begins, this is blown out of the water, with very large riders winning (Indurain) and very small riders winning (Pantani, Contador). Even Armstrong and Ullrich were larger than the norm.

You take Cancellara back to 1989 and he wins 5 TdFs...
 
I didn't quote your first reply to me.

I think our fundamental difference of opinion does in fact stem from my skepticism of your cited PhD's research. I'm going to post this blog article as the source of my skepticism: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2009/12/fallacy-of-vo2max-and-vo2max.html . If it matters, he's not a PhD, but I believe has his masters, and has been coaching world class runners since. (and a follow up post: http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2009/12/practical-implications-of-fallacy-of.html ). It is apparently a paper he wrote for one of his classes. Some poor grammar, but he gets his point accross

From his conclusion

Vollaard et al. may have put it best when they came to the conclusion that “Moreover, we demonstrate that VO2max and aerobic performance associate with distinct and separate physiological and biochemical endpoints, suggesting that proposed models for the determinants of endurance performance may need to be revisited (2009, pg. 1483)”. There (sic) recognition that aerobic performance and VO2max are not direct, equals or even well linked is a step in the right direction and needs to be acknowledged to a much greater degree.

That was what I meant in my first sentence. Fitness data and testing numbers cannot be substituted for performance; performance on race day depends on too many biological systems, and other factors, to be boiled down to a few data points. So we're going to inherently disagree on the value of many different analyses.

Dear Wiggo said:
It's rough, but this is attacking the puzzle from the other side of the coin...

bloodvolume200420092011.png


Input regarding expected % of VO2max sustainable for the durations listed welcome.

That being said, the sport I'm familiar with (running), and what we are discussing are different. Obviously, there are many more measurements you can take with cyclists.

So this chart is pretty cool. Just to be sure, you use it to point out that Bradley's performance gains over the course of 8 years and two fundamental shifts in training/preparation/focus are not right? More specifically, that his ability to sustain high power outputs do not match the expectations due to his weight loss (and subsequently BV and Hgb mass)?

I want to ask about the numbers above the tables in each group thing. Are these parameters (weight, %VO2, % aerobic) you used to calculate the resulting VO2 data from his power? I'm skeptical of some of them. The claim that both his 10 mile and 46k TT are both 99% aerobic doesn't seem right. As far as I am aware (running), a ~18 minute race is about 86-90% aerobic, and an hour long race probably 95%. Different sports, so the energy demands are different, but shouldn't the two cycling distances be proportionately scaled with more distance? Similarly, are the efforts at those distances really only 1% different in % of VO2 max? I find it hard to believe that anyone can sustain 97% of their Vo@ max for an hour, doped or not. But maybe thats just my running background (and hour's/HM effort is at about 80% VO2max).
 
Dear Wiggo said:
Nadler's formula says this:

TBV = 0.3669 * (Ht in m)^3 + 0.03219 * (Wt in kgs) + 0.6041

if we simplify the formula, given changing your height is not easily doable, we have

TBV = K + n x weight
where
K = 0.3669 x (Ht in m)^3 + 0.6041
and n = 0.03219

This formula basically says: if you lose or gain weight, you lose or gain TBV.
:

Basically i does'nt.

I guess you forgot to google scientific theory when you started as a google scientist. I will not take the task to teach you scientific theory, but some hints:
- use of population statistics at individual level
- correlation vs. causality

Happy googling!
 
Sep 29, 2012
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Knutsen said:
Basically i does'nt.

I guess you forgot to google scientific theory when you started as a google scientist. I will not take the task to teach you scientific theory, but some hints:
- use of population statistics at individual level
- correlation vs. causality

Happy googling!

Here's how my logic went:

Blood volume and Hgb mass are fixed to provide a certain Hgb g/dL (see transfusion / withdrawal observations).

As a 75kg athlete, you need X amount of oxygen at a bare minimum, to feed your muscle when at rest.

If you work out and boost your muscle mass, at 100kg, your body now requires more oxygen to sustain the body while at rest. More muscle = more oxygen requirement.

Furthermore, your muscle has blood transport tubes (veins and things). More muscle = greater veinous, etc space. If your BV does not increase, your BP is low. Your body seeks equilibrium and increases BV to maintain BP.

All these arguments were applied in the reverse also, where you lose weight, veinous space and oxygen requirements reduce, leading to less BV required by the body.

Therefore, your blood volume changes due to change in muscle mass (~= weight for an elite athlete). That's the process I went through after seeing the formulae.

I am curious, however, as to the tone of your post. You seem a little uptight, given we have no posting history like KC and I do. Are all scientists as testy? It seems strange that you visit a forum and then attempt to push someone out of it (go google stuff) rather than continue or commence a discussion. You're clearly upset about something, almost as if you are taking it personally.

Ah there you are... Froome wrote a convincing letter to the editor - so he's clean, Leinders at Sky is completely harmless, but Froome showed disrespect because he called out Wiggins sandbagging on a mountain stage. Good. Got some context on you. Sky fan, glad we're clear on that.
 
Sep 29, 2012
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gheizhwinder said:
I think he's saying you can't necessarily apply a trend observed in a large population to make firm conclusions about an individual.

In the second most derogatory manner possible (compared to Krebs Cycle). He's also a Sky apologist.

I then responded by saying I didn't necessarily jump straight to the conclusion that you could apply a population trend to an individual. I used some deductive reasoning to explain the phenomenon, and only then extrapolated a population observation to an individual.

Note that the formula used was used with a caveat - it might not apply unchanged. Clearly with athletes as cited in the study, their BV is significantly higher than Nadler's formula would suggest.

The hypothesis (which is what I am presenting) is essentially weight affects BV. An example used (Cadel Evans) matched the hypothesis.

I am sorry this is not scientific method enough, but it is currently all I had to go on, and is also what they use in the lab.

Hypothesis + observation. Granted, I don't have a large sample size to test my hypothesis more reliably, but I do find it interesting that all these good TTers (that thumped Wiggins for years) don't drop 5kg and continue to thump him but climb with him as well. Are they all that lazy and unmotivated that a few kg is too hard to deal with for the untold wealth of winning the Tour? My non-scientist spidey sense smells BS.

What I find telling most of all - primarily with the scientists of our forum - is that they refuse point blank to engage unless you agree with them.

This is pathetic.
 

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