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Basso - too strong to be true...........


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..............is the heading on an article in the latest Pro-Cycling Magazine.............

 

it reads............

 

Having watched Basso and done his own sums to calculate Bassos power output, FDJs trainer Frederic Grappe felt uneasy.He double checked the figures : AVERAGE power output of well OVER 400 WATTS on the final ascents of six mountain stages.!!!

 

Grappe frowned and forwarded the info to Christiaan Prudhomme (TDF Organising body) with the comment ........."to warn that Bassos athletic performance at the 2006 Giro are over the limit of whats "humanly possible" for a man of his physical potential.

 

Said Prudhomme "If I can see it by comparing data then so can others" and Basso was put under immediate investigation.

 

6 weeks later he was banned.

 

Prudhomme said " simple biological drug tests are no longer enough, in future we will look at biomechanical data as well to get an accurate gauge of someones natural physical ability.!"

 

.....................I posted this because it sort of ties in with Bikemax post on WATT output and the data he posted.

 

From what Bikemax said and from the data from elite cyclists like Basso, it seems that around 400watts is an absolute max for the majority of athletes and is not sustainable for long periods - certainly not 6 mountain stages.

 

...................So, is Simoni vindicated for calling him "extraterrestial" - I would say so and I would think Basso has a lot to explain away.

 
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..............is the heading on an article in the latest Pro-Cycling Magazine.............

 

it reads............

 

Having watched Basso and done his own sums to calculate Bassos power output' date=' FDJs trainer Frederic Grappe felt uneasy.He double checked the figures : AVERAGE power output of well OVER 400 WATTS on the final ascents of six mountain stages.!!!

 

Grappe frowned and forwarded the info to Christiaan Prudhomme (TDF Organising body) with the comment ........."to warn that Bassos athletic performance at the 2006 Giro are over the limit of whats "humanly possible" for a man of his physical potential.

 

Said Prudhomme "If I can see it by comparing data then so can others" and Basso was put under immediate investigation.

 

6 weeks later he was banned.

 

Prudhomme said " simple biological drug tests are no longer enough, in future we will look at biomechanical data as well to get an accurate gauge of someones natural physical ability.!"

 

.....................I posted this because it sort of ties in with Bikemax post on WATT output and the data he posted.

 

From what Bikemax said and from the data from elite cyclists like Basso, it seems that around 400watts is an absolute max for the majority of athletes and is not sustainable for long periods - certainly not 6 mountain stages.

 

...................So, is Simoni vindicated for calling him "extraterrestial" - I would say so and I would think Basso has a lot to explain away.

 
[/quote']

 

Don't forget that power is relative to weight and so it is more accurate to talk in terms of power/weight.

 

Certainly 6.5 w/kg for an hour has been achieved by Armstrong and Indurain - equating to ~460w for LA and ~500w for Big Mig.

 

That was a max performance estimate but certainly was repeatable up climbs like Alpe D'Huez etc.

 

7 w/kg has been touted regularly by the physiologists as the the "magic" number that a tour winnner needs to be at or about.

 

So, 400w for Basso at around 70k is, I reckon, possible on those ascents at only .. 5.7w/kg.

 

Are any of these figures clean...I do not know.
BikeMax2006-09-18 08:17:27
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Well Widget,

Hasn't it been proven time after time in the last two or three years where you have somebody that, out of the blue or unexpectedly, produces an "extraterrestrial" or unbelievable performance, that they are soon thereafter caught or implicated in some doping scandal or dabbling with EPO.

Raimondas Rumsas

David Millar

Tyler Hamilton

Santiago Perez

Roberto Herras

Ivan Basso

Jose Enrique Gutierrez

Floyd Landis

 
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Not sure about that list Cruxie - Hamilton, Heras, Millar, Basso and Landis did not produce extraordinary results for the races they were riding as they were the favourites in the events they were racing.  Rumsas, Perez and Guti certainly came out of nowhere (and disappeared as quickly).

 

Bikemax, the question probably is, is 7w/kg the magic number that is not attainable without enhancement?  Basso's numbers remember were average numbers for the entire ascent, most of which he spent behind teammates before launching attacks that no one could follow.
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Yep, crux I agree.

 

Bikemax, theres no other real data given by Pro Cycling except to say that "Bassos performance was not humanly possible given his physical potential"!

 

So perhaps he is lighter 65kgs? or he can not normally achieve these stats constantly over 6 days of mountain stages?

 

I think a climb like Alp D Huez is quick (well relitivelyDead) so achieving a high watt output over a short period is acceptable, but from what I can understand from the editorial is that this kind of output is not repeatable over 6 days over 6 mountain top finishes - which seems logical to me - no matter how good an athlete is there is a maximum human point which is not normal to exceed.

 

Perhaps if you read the article in its entirity, you could glean a bit more from it??Perhaps I am missing something??

 

If you like, I will scan it in and copy you in - save you buying the mag unless of course you want to? 

 
widget2006-09-18 09:08:06
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That Article does not really tell us much except that the Doc's think that 7Wper Kg is the maximum a cyclsit can produce.

What about the mental factor?

 

The truth is that the quacks know very little about the brain's influence on human performance and ophyscial recovery but they have to create the impression of authority so that a standard can be set.

 

Look at EPO levels in the blood stream. They say 50% is a maximum yet there are riders out there with naturally higher levels...

 

to sa that Basso's watt output for his build is beyond his phycial capability  is probably only correct with a 90% confidence level and thats not good enough for a guilty verdict.
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Yep' date=' crux I agree.

 

Bikemax, theres no other real data given by Pro Cycling except to say that "Bassos performance was not humanly possible given his physical potential"!

 

So perhaps he is lighter 65kgs? or he can not normally achieve these stats constantly over 6 days of mountain stages?

 

I think a climb like Alp D Huez is quick (well relitivelyDead) so achieving a high watt output over a short period is acceptable, but from what I can understand from the editorial is that this kind of output is not repeatable over 6 days over 6 mountain top finishes - which seems logical to me - no matter how good an athlete is there is a maximum human point which is not normal to exceed.

 

Perhaps if you read the article in its entirity, you could glean a bit more from it??Perhaps I am missing something??

 

If you like, I will scan it in and copy you in - save you buying the mag unless of course you want to? 

 
[/quote']

 

Thanks for the kind offer, I have the mag (subscription) and have read the article. I remember thinking at the time that it was a bit sensationalist as the figures were just not that high (Landis was pulling ~370-390w up the final climb of his epic stage win and this after a shocking day the previous stage)

 

I checked his profile and he is 70kg apparently.

 

Repeatability, well if you have the form and you are getting recovered then it is possible to repeat high power output over a week or so - we see it fairly regularly in the mountains at the tour.

 

Alpe D'Huez is actually about a 40 min climb (38 min record I beleive) and the power outputs up there were ~440-460 for the top guys.

 

Power will obviously reduce over time (duration) but we usually use the 60 min power as a guideline (FTP) and it is this figure that 6.5 - 7w/kg is the magic number.

 

I think that this is within his ability (maybe chemically aided) as it is also likely that the 400+w figure was not for the entire climb.

 

 
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[quote name=

 

Bikemax' date=' the question probably is, is 7w/kg the magic number that is not attainable without enhancement?  Basso's numbers remember were average numbers for the entire ascent, most of which he spent behind teammates before launching attacks that no one could follow.
[/quote]

 

My gut feel is that those numbers are very unlikely to be attainable without "help"

 

I have seen figures of ~5-5.2 w/kg from very good amateurs and these guys are flying..

 

Top TT riders like Michael Hutchence in the UK can sustain ~5.7w/kg

 

Only supposition though..
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Developing these ideas further, Antoine Vayer has provided some concrete

examples, Knowing the physiological facts of Lance Armstrong (1.77m, 71 kg,

(his weight during the Tour de France,) combined with the results recorded

by the SRM, it is possible to measure the power output of the rider. "Take

the climb of Alpe D'Huez, a climb of 13.8 KM at an average inclination of

8.11%. Take into account the parameters already indicated with the race

conditions that sort them selves out into four categories:

 

 

 

1. The solitary victories from attacks which began

at the foot of the climb (Armstrong in 2001, Marco Pantani in 1994, Lucho

Herrera in 1987.)

 

2. The solitary attacks which began toward the

summit.

 

3. The victories which emanated from groups which

escaped before they arrived at the Alpe D'Huez.

 

4. Those that were acquired as the result of a

sprint from a little group. This example took place in the years before EPO,

or in the first years of EPO.

 

 

 

According to him, the "extraordinary" are the riders who developed wattage

in excess of 450 watts, with attacks at the bottom of the mountain. That

would be the case with Marco Pantani, who realized a record time of 37

minutes 15 seconds after having toiled through an Alpine stage. Even

without a bold attack in its first switch backs, Alpe D'Huez requires, in a

climb of 41 minutes 20 seconds @ 20 km/hour, a development of 400 watts fpr

a rider of 70 kg. David Moncoutie on a good day could get there. The record

to beat is 36 minutes 50 seconds, established by Marco Pantani in 1995, at

an average of 22.48 km/hr, having developed an average of 461 watts after

having crossed the Madeleine and Croix de Fer passes. Lance Armstrong lays

claim to the fifth best time (the three best were achieved by Pantani, the

fourth by Ullrich) in 2001 in 38 minutes 5 seconds, at 21.74 kh/hr. for an

averagee of 442 watts, after having crossed the Madeleine and Glandon

passes."

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More..(don;t read this Jason Wink)

 

explains Antoine Vayer: "The VO2 max of the American, otherwise known as the
blood's oxygen consumption. As always, our foundation is the known physical
characteristics of the rider- 1.77m, 71 kg in weight, bicycle weight of 8
kg, air resistance, the route's profile etc. That day, Lance Armstrong was
given a time of 1 hour 8 minute and 36 seconds. In order to achieve that
time, he would have needed a V02 max of 89-90. I have worked with the
physical parameters given by half of the members of the Festina team in
their great era, that of EPO to be precise. EPO, more than any other oxygen
transporter in the blood, reduced the importance of other physiological
characteristics that would have been important to a rider. And Lance
Armstrong did even better than that, for during the eighth stage, he had to
maintain an average power output of 450 watts. If we consider an index of
endurance corresponding to that of the best athletes in the world, these 450
watts, which he maintained for one hour, corresponds to a VO2 max of 89, the
standard being a sprinter who is at 100% of his maximum over a distance of
100m. In the discipline of track and field, if he had been a quarter miler,
he would have been able to run 125 quarters at practically the same level as
he ran the first. To be always at your maximum, without suffering, is
unthinkable. His performances are unreal."

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Not sure about that list Cruxie - Hamilton' date=' Heras, Millar, Basso and Landis did not produce extraordinary results for the races they were riding as they were the favourites in the events they were racing.[/quote'] Have to disagree slightly Linnega, Yep some of them were favorites for some of the races, but stil produced extraordinary rides in stages of those races, eg.

Heras was favorite for the Vuelta true, but after his fall and being down on Menchov, rode an extraordinary stage, to get the yersey back and then not being known as a supreme timetrialist, riding the second fastest timetrial ever... subsequintly being busted for EPO.

Basso was strong the year before, but at Giro, he was really playing with the others, producing crushing rides day after day... promting Simoni's remark of an "extraterrestrial" performance

Landis's 17th stage ride was also (IMHO) superhuman, even the other team managers didn't think that he would be able to sustain that effort & pace for the duration of the stage. And then of course his abnormal test result was for exactly that specific stage... All in all it just does not add up to a clean ride!!! (for my logic anyway)
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More..(don;t read this Jason Wink)

 

explains Antoine Vayer: "The VO2 max of the American' date=' otherwise known as the
blood's oxygen consumption. As always, our foundation is the known physical
characteristics of the rider- 1.77m, 71 kg in weight, bicycle weight of 8
kg, air resistance, the route's profile etc. That day, Lance Armstrong was
given a time of 1 hour 8 minute and 36 seconds. In order to achieve that
time, he would have needed a V02 max of 89-90. I have worked with the
physical parameters given by half of the members of the Festina team in
their great era, that of EPO to be precise. EPO, more than any other oxygen
transporter in the blood, reduced the importance of other physiological
characteristics that would have been important to a rider. And Lance
Armstrong did even better than that, for during the eighth stage, he had to
maintain an average power output of 450 watts. If we consider an index of
endurance corresponding to that of the best athletes in the world, these 450
watts, which he maintained for one hour, corresponds to a VO2 max of 89, the
standard being a sprinter who is at 100% of his maximum over a distance of
100m. In the discipline of track and field, if he had been a quarter miler,
he would have been able to run 125 quarters at practically the same level as
he ran the first. To be always at your maximum, without suffering, is
unthinkable. His performances are unreal."

[/quote']I didn't read it BikeMax, just read the bits about how great Lance is/was... but then again I already knew that WinkBig%20smile

 

Jason2006-09-18 12:22:23

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More..(don;t read this Jason Wink)

 

explains Antoine Vayer: "The VO2 max of the American' date=' otherwise known as the
blood's oxygen consumption. As always, our foundation is the known physical
characteristics of the rider- 1.77m, 71 kg in weight, bicycle weight of 8
kg, air resistance, the route's profile etc. That day, Lance Armstrong was
given a time of 1 hour 8 minute and 36 seconds. In order to achieve that
time, he would have needed a V02 max of 89-90. I have worked with the
physical parameters given by half of the members of the Festina team in
their great era, that of EPO to be precise. EPO, more than any other oxygen
transporter in the blood, reduced the importance of other physiological
characteristics that would have been important to a rider. And Lance
Armstrong did even better than that, for during the eighth stage, he had to
maintain an average power output of 450 watts. If we consider an index of
endurance corresponding to that of the best athletes in the world, these 450
watts, which he maintained for one hour, corresponds to a VO2 max of 89, the
standard being a sprinter who is at 100% of his maximum over a distance of
100m. In the discipline of track and field, if he had been a quarter miler,
he would have been able to run 125 quarters at practically the same level as
he ran the first. To be always at your maximum, without suffering, is
unthinkable. His performances are unreal."

[/quote']

 

Not sure that you can make those type of comparisons, pro cyclists train and are expected to repeat above normal efforts for days on end, whereas track and field athletes generally train for a few short maximal efforts.<?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

One thing Science cannot take into account and quantify is the strength of the mind and a individuals personal motivation. 

 

Back to the topic -  Mr. BASSO and his GIRO efforts, anyone notice how easy it seemed for him to ride away from the competition? If you had to analyze his performance based on his external appearance without a reference to the other riders dropping back, he does not seem to be taking major strain OR look like someone achieving a superhuman effort, imo and with hindsight that is SUSPECT.

 

Perhaps he had training from the Dali Lama's  Schoolofrelaxationwhileunderextremeduress?Wink

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Cruxie - I understand the cynicism, but I think there needs to be some level of giving the benefit of doubt to the riders.  On your list, I am not saying that they deserve the benefit of the doubt, but that is only after other evidence has come to light that supports the suspicion.  If you were to suspect every performance, you would have to question Boonen's dominance last year in the Spring classics, and Valverde's Fleche - Liege double, or what about Voigts superhuman performance in the Tour of Germany, and semi-classics around the same time.  What about Bettini's ride in Zurich Metzgete last year in the rain, or Cancellara's ability to ride everyone off his wheel in Roubaix this year.  Cycling is made up of superhuman performances - some less believeable than others granted - but we really need to not over anlyse every performance or automatically believe the performance is tainted because it was great.  It is for that reason that I don't believe Basso owes Simoni any apology.  Whether Basso did or didn't take anything, the fact that Simoni had no evidence other than getting beaten by a stronger (enhanced or not he was stronger - just like LA) rider is not reason enough to say what he said.  If he some evidence that would be different, but he did not, so he was out of line and appropriately reprimanded.

 

Swiss -  I think Basso's expression is deceptive.  That easy grin is actually a grimace.  Granted he was superior at the Giro, but then so was Lance at every Tour he won.  He never looked like he was struggling - except when he was lieing.

 

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More..(don;t read this Jason Wink)

 

 
I didn't read it BikeMax' date=' just read the bits about how great Lance is/was... but then again I already knew that WinkBig%20smile [/quote']

 

I knew you wouldn't LOL
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Dr. Michele Ferrari's Comments - 53x12.com

 

 

 

 

../img/spacer.gif Giro d' Italia 2006 - first part

 

By: Michele Ferrari

 

Published: 22 May 2006

 

 

At the Giro d? Italia, absolute domination of Ivan Basso on all his rivals.

 

After

the victory in the TTT, Ivan strongly climbed over the Maielletta (940m

of difference in height, gradient of 8.4%) in 31?48?, expressing a VAM

of 1775m/h.

Paolo Savoldelli, in rather evident respiratory troubles, climbed at 1642 m/h, that is about 8% slower than Ivan.

 

In

the ITT a few days after, Basso rode the flat 50km at an average speed

of 50.6 km/h, Savoldelli at 49.9km/h: supposing a similar aerodynamic

efficiency, the difference in power output is about 3% in favor to

Basso.

 

On the tough Colle di San Carlo (10.5km at 9.8%) Ivan

bettered himself: VAM = 1820m/h, equal to 6.27 w/kg, notwithstanding

the rainy conditions and the almost 2000m of altitude.

Paolo lost more than 3 minutes, with a VAM of 1670 m/h (5.75 w/kg), approximately 9% slower than his rival.

 

Since

Savoldelli conceded an additional 5-6% in climbing performance, we can

deduce a difference in body weight between the 2 riders of about 4 kg.

If

this is the case, imagining a weight of 67kg for Ivan Basso, his

average power output on the climb was 420 watts. Savoldelli, with a

weight of 71 kg, pushed 408 watts.

A difference of 2.9% that would confirm the result we saw in the Time Trial.

 

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