Saturday, July 24, 2010

Looks like the Tour de France racers may not be doping this year...

I just read an interesting analysis of Thursday's race up the Tourmalet that suggests that the riders are slower this year and the power outputs of Schleck and Contador are more reasonable than they have been in the recent past. For example, an analysis last year suggested that Contador had an unbelievable VO2 max approaching 100! If the analysis was correct, this is strong evidence of doping. On the contrary, this year they are estimating VO2 max values in the high 80's. While also high, these numbers are more reasonable and suggest that the level of doping is significantly lower than in prior years. The author also said that when Lance Armstrong was winning around the turn of the millennium the values looked significantly higher than they do this year.  Check out this year's analysis here.

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