Monday, August 9, 2010

Lance Armstrong's 8 Podium Finishers Includes 7 Dopers

(Thanks to Reed Dempsey for emailing me the figure above. Reed saw a link to Fraudbytes on Greg LeMond's facebook page where Greg said: "Very interesting blog." We are honored to have Greg as a fan of our Fraudbytes' Facebook page.)

This analysis shows the eight riders who finished on the podium next to Lance during Armstrong's seven yellow jersey years. These eight riders include three very gifted riders who finished more than once next to Lance including Jan Ullrich (on the podium four times), Joseba Beloki (on the podium three times), and Ivan Basso (on the podium twice) along with five other riders who finished one time on the podium including Zulle and Escartin (1999), Rumsas (2002),  Vinokourov (2003), and Kloden (2004).

Interestingly, seven of these eight individuals have been shown to have doped and five served suspensions. The only one who was never associated with doping was Escartin. Reed also mentioned in his email that the power data over the past 25 years shows a "bubble" over the last 15 years as:

wattage and speeds steadily went up, up, up, with no significant technical or 'training' breakthroughs that could be attributed.  But this past year at the TDF, with the advent of the 'biological passport', the wattage levels on the major climbs went back down to pre-Armstrong & Indurain levels.

In addition, Reed pointed me to an analysis of the power outputs in this year's Tour de France. Similar to the analysis I linked to earlier, this analysis shows that power outputs are down this year relative to the early part of this millennium when cyclists were putting out unbelievable watts per kilogram on the climbs. The author of this analysis implies that when Lance and others were putting out "37 minute efforts at 6.4W/kg, including attacks" the performances were evidence of doping.  He points out that the time for this year's first climb up the Col du Tormalet took
"56:30 for the Yellow Jersey, compared to that huge day in 2003, when Armstrong and Ullrich did it in 44:30. And yes, the race situation was different, but 12 minutes?  That's too big to be accounted for by strategy alone, even weather conditions (yesterday may well have been more favourable anyway)."
This is all a rehash of what we've observed before but I found it interesting to have specific names and data for what has been said before: Lance was beating a team of convicted dopers who were pushing unbelievable watts / kilogram. Coincidentally, the wattage levels jumped significantly higher around the time that EPO was developed and stayed higher until recently when more stringent controls were put in place.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very revealing chart. This guy goes further by eliminating everyone implicated in doping (except that one dude who just wins "miraculously"):