Kinda amusing going back and reading stuff like this...http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/archive/ ... -pros.html
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By Dr Jamie Pringle
"These riders will be sustaining a power output between 450 to 475W (6 to 6.6W/kg). At speeds of 50kph-plus and in a race of this duration, each 10 seconds faster requires about 8W more power, so at face value, this means a difference between Armstrong’s and Ullrich’s sustainable power of about 50W! Could he really have been a whole 10 per cent fitter than all his major competitors? I think not — the difference in their physiological capabilities is probably not as great as that time margin suggests.
That is, I suspect Armstrong has optimised every single aspect of his equipment and body position to generate more speed for his power compared to Ullrich. Little gains in speed here and there really do add up — optimising the weave and cut of the rider’s skinsuit can save up to a second each kilometre — that’s perhaps 20 seconds of the margin between these two.
Last year, Armstrong’s physiologist Professor Ed Coyle, gave us an insight into the progression of fitness across Armstrong’s career (Coyle 2005, J. Appl. Physiol.; 98: 2191-6). Coyle reported VO2 max values ranging from 5.5 to 6L/min which is 76 to 83mL/kg/min when this value is expressed relative to the rider’s body weight. Although no figures are reported for Armstrong at the peak of his powers, Coyle commented that he would expect a VO2 max of 6.1L/min or 85mL/kg/min at the time of his Tour wins.
But I contend even that has to be a considerable underestimate of Armstrong’s capacity, as Coyle’s numbers don’t add up; in every test conducted in the previous two years, Hutchinson has generated VO2 max values in excess of this.
.........I’ve suggested here that Armstrong can find some 20-60W more than our top Commonwealth riders (and most of his competitors in that 2005 prologue). We also know that every watt requires oxygen to produce and, even with Armstrong’s efficiency, this extra output will still ‘cost’ him around 0.6L/min of VO2. This suggests that Armstrong would have required a VO2 max of about 6.7 L/min at Grand Tour fitness. At his racing weight this is about 93mL/kg/min, which not only exceeds the highest values ever published for cyclists, but nudges firmly against the ceiling of physiological ability as we know it. Increases beyond this are beyond the highest capacity of the heart, lungs and circulation of a normal man of equivalent size. It is unlikely we’ll see anything like this again any time soon
I hope you're right....