Friday, September 3, 2010

More on Lance Armstrong's Podium Finishers

This post is a follow up to a post from August 9th, 2010, where I discussed the eight podium finishers who joined Lance Armstrong in 2nd and 3rd place in the Tour de France during Lance's glory years of 1999-2005 (see this link). A reader commented about a similar analysis by Bicycling Magazine's Bill Strickland and found on the NBC Sports' website and I wanted to make you aware of Strickland's analysis.

First, Strickland shows that, on average, over the seven years when Lance wore yellow, five of the next seven places in the final standings were occupied by people who have been found guilty of doping! I think it's appalling to think that, on average, five of the top eight people in the Tour de France during these years were shown to be guilty of doping during their careers! Given the difficulties of catching dopers (or any fraudsters for that matter), this suggests that widespread doping existed in the peloton during Lance's glory years.

I recommend you read the article to see if you agree with Strickland's assumptions in his analysis. You may not agree with his method but I think it paints an interesting picture nonetheless.

Below are the details of who would be on the podium if they disqualified the dopers. The number on the left is the placing the individual would receive if the dopers were disqualified. The number on the right in parentheses is the place the individual finished in that year's Tour. For example, in 1999, Escartin placed 3rd but since Zulle was shown to be a doper, he would be moved to 2nd if Zulle was disqualified.

In 2000, 2002 and 2005, 7 out of the top 10 finishers were deemed dopers by this analysis. Once again, Lance is found clean and, interestingly, is the only one was never caught doping and who shows up more than twice in the results (Escartin and Sastre each would be on the podium twice).

Clearly, Lance was either a super-duper-freak-of-nature or he had an effective method of concealing his doping.

1. Lance Armstrong (1)
Alex Zulle (2)
2. Fernando Escartin (3)
Laurent Dufaux (4)
3. Angel Casero (5)

1. Armstrong (1)
Jan Ullrich (2)
Joseba Beloki (3)
Christophe Moreau (4)
Roberto Heras (5)
Richard Virenque (6)
Santiago Botero (7)
2. Fernando Escartin (8)
Franciso Mancebo (9)
3. Daniele Nardello (10)

1. Armstrong (1)
Ullrich (2)
Beloki (3)
2. Andrei Kivilev (4)
Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (5)
3. Francois Simon (6)

1. Armstrong (1)
Beloki (2)
Raimondas Rumsas (3)
Botero (4)
Galdeano (5)
2. Jose Azevedo (6)
Mancebo (7)
Levi Leipheimer (8)
Roberto Heras (9)
3. Carlos Sastre (10)

1. Armstrong (1)
Ullrich (2)
Alexander Vinokourov (3)
Tyler Hamilton (4)
2. Haimar Zubeldia (5)
Iban Mayo (6)
Ivan Basso (7)
Moreau (8)
3. Sastre (9)

1. Armstrong (1)
Andreas Kloden (2)
Basso (3)
Ullrich (4)
2. Azevedo (5)
Mancebo (6)
3. Georg Totschnig (7)

1. Armstrong (1)
Basso (2)
Ullrich (3)
Mancebo (4)
Vinokourov (5)
Leipheimer (6)
Michael Rasmussen (7)
2. Cadel Evans (8)
Floyd Landis (9)
3. Oscar Pereiro (10)

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