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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 9:44 pm 
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Alpe d'Huez - Fastest Climbs:
1997 - Pantani 37 minutes and 35 seconds
2004 - Armstrong 37:36
1994 - Pantani 38:00
2001 - Armstrong 38:01
1995 - Pantani 38:04
2003 - Mayo 39:06
1999 - Guerini 41:52

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 10:47 pm 
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I miss Pantani's non-analytical approach as well. As I watched Armstrong going up the Alpe with all the wind tunnel, HR, power, equipment research etc. I kept thinking that despite all the hi tech approach for Lance, Pantani was still faster despite refusing to even use a HRM in racing preferring to just go as fast as possible and not worry about what his lactate levels or HR were.

I am glad Armstrong has won 4 stages (and probably 5 by Saturday) so that he will at least demonstrate some flair in breaking the record. I definitely didn't want to see him boringly calculate his way into history.

As far as how high you can get your HCT and RBC from altitude - High enough to kill you, particularly combined with dehydration. One climber died on Everest from the combination of acclimatization and dehydration and was measures at over 70 HCT. People as base camp there routinely test above 60.

Using EPO to boost red cells does not decrease immune function. It decreases the relative % of white cells but not their absolute number so immune function is not altered (as long as the blood is still flowing anyway).

The problem with the new EPO test is that it can only detect the recombinant EPO metabolites in urine for 3-4 days post injection and since the effects can take 2-6 weeks to reach maximum it's not that hard to avoid detection so there is still a use for the 50% "health" test.

I think people erroneously blame/credit drugs for all of Pantani's wins. He was a terrible time trialist until late 97 and at the time I had thought the improvement in the 98 Giro was drug related, but if you accept the "evidence" of all his court cases he was on EPO basically his entire career so the dramatic improvement in TT must have come from training and position changes rather than EPO. While it may have been a trememdous mental crutch he didn't need drugs to climb well either. At only 56kg or so he would only need to produce around 370 watts to beat Armstrong's time on the Alpe. Although that's quite high it's certainly not superhuman.

I sometimes wonder if the people that get so upset about drugs in the peloton are that way because they like to think that they could have been there too if only "everyone" wasn't doping, rather than facing up to the more likely conclusion that they just don't have what it takes and never could.


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Posted: Thu Jul 22, 2004 10:47 pm 


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 7:04 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 12:32 pm
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mises wrote:

I sometimes wonder if the people that get so upset about drugs in the peloton are that way because they like to think that they could have been there too if only "everyone" wasn't doping, rather than facing up to the more likely conclusion that they just don't have what it takes and never could.

You make a very good point. WHen I raced I didn't have the talent to 'make it'. So, no I don't have hang up and realise that even the drugged cyclists are very good athletes. To some extent there is probably a status quo at the top where nearly everyone's on something. Where I have a problem with it all is that some top riders who were potentially champions never made the step to the top because they wouldn't dope. Even if Lance was on something it still doesn't hide the fact that he's the best. And, I doubt that most of the other riders haven't had some help.


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