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Contador vo2max?
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Enchantress



Joined: 24 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:04 am    Post subject: Contador vo2max? Reply with quote

It looks like the eyebrows have been raised by Contador for his mountain performances.

Writing an opinion piece in Le Monde, Greg Lemond noted:

"Alberto Contador established a speed record: he went up the 8.5 km climb in 20:55. How to explain such a performance?" wrote LeMond. "He would have required a VO2 max [maximal oxygen consumption] of 99.5 ml / min / kg to produce the effort. To my knowledge, this is a figure that has never been achieved by any athlete in any sport."

I'm not sure if Lemond's math is exact, but I am pretty certain nobody has had a figure that high - at least in cycling. i think Indurain was around 90 or so in his prime. Even pharmstrong had a value of around the mid-80's if I recall.

Not to mention Contador's vam surpassed that of Mr. 60% himself as well as Liestrong. Then again, I think Contador passed that too on last year's ride up the Angliru in the Vuelta - vam = 1900+ on that climb.

And all this was already out there before today's shocker. I mean, contador beating cancellera? And saying he took it easy over the last few km's? I mean contador has been at the front of the climbs, hammering his rivals while cancellera has been sitting in the grupetto on most of the climbs. Yet contador beats Fab easily?

If that isn't extraterrestrial then I don't know what is.

So is he going to get busted? Will it be another post-tour bust like "ROID" Landis? Will there be a doping scandal in the making here?

Oh yeah, I'm a long time lurker, first time poster Smile
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Beasley



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One the usefulness of vo2 max, for those interested (&/or with Athens access):

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Vol. 32(12) Dec. 2002, pps. 2079-2084
Lucia A (et. al.) Inverse relationship between VO2max and economy/efficiency in world-class cyclists.

Beyong the conclusion, goes well above my head, but might make sense to some.

More user friendly alternative:
http://www.sportsscientists.com/2...t-cycling-in-mountains-apart.html

Contador was asked, but refused to comment.
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kathy



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, Contador didn't say he took it easy at the end of the TT.  He said he took it easy on the last few km of the previous stage in order to preserve some energy for the TT.
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Enchantress



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kathy wrote:
Actually, Contador didn't say he took it easy at the end of the TT.  He said he took it easy on the last few km of the previous stage in order to preserve some energy for the TT.


Yes, the previous stage where he put 2+ minutes into everyone not named Schleck.
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SlowRower



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the way the the estimated VO2 max is quoted with a decimal place. There must be a whole raft of assumptions underlying the calculations, so making a "point" estimate of such precision seems a tad un-necessary.

So, LeMond in implicitly stating that Bertie is doping? Who'd have thought that? Smile

More interesting questions are:

1) How much of Bertie's performance is dope related and how much is naturally powered? (and likewise for the Schlecks).

2) How much has Bertie's implied VO2 max changed since 2007 based on climbing performance and is this consistent with the observed improvement in his TT performances?
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HuwB



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some doubt about LeMond's calculations, now. He may have pulled a "Coyle". Embarassed

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/c...s-climbing-credibility-questioned

Enchanted by that first post, btw! Smile
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Slapshot 3
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:
I like the way the the estimated VO2 max is quoted with a decimal place. There must be a whole raft of assumptions underlying the calculations, so making a "point" estimate of such precision seems a tad un-necessary.

So, LeMond in implicitly stating that Bertie is doping? Who'd have thought that? Smile

More interesting questions are:

1) How much of Bertie's performance is dope related and how much is naturally powered? (and likewise for the Schlecks).

2) How much has Bertie's implied VO2 max changed since 2007 based on climbing performance and is this consistent with the observed improvement in his TT performances?


Greg questioning someone else that rides a Trek.......
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SlowRower



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slapshot 3 wrote:
Greg questioning someone else that rides a Trek.......


Treks are very light and have a responsive, dynamic ride though. This could explain Bertie's performances. Smile
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Slapshot 3
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
Greg questioning someone else that rides a Trek.......


Treks are very light and have a responsive, dynamic ride though. This could explain Bertie's performances. Smile


Wink

Don't want to get into the semantics of this really.

Unless every rider has a power meter strapped on to the bike how can anyone say with certainty what power numbers were being generated hence implied Vo2 max. If "pundits" and gobshites whatever you want to call them want to use science then get it right instead of using implication and random numbers to create a story.
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SlowRower



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Slapshot 3 wrote:
SlowRower wrote:
Slapshot 3 wrote:
Greg questioning someone else that rides a Trek.......


Treks are very light and have a responsive, dynamic ride though. This could explain Bertie's performances. Smile


Wink

Don't want to get into the semantics of this really.

Unless every rider has a power meter strapped on to the bike how can anyone say with certainty what power numbers were being generated hence implied Vo2 max. If "pundits" and gobshites whatever you want to call them want to use science then get it right instead of using implication and random numbers to create a story.


Even if the 99.5 figure is correct, it doesn't prove that Bertie was doping, as there's no analysis provided of the range of VO2 maxes for elite athletes known to be clean, so we can't work out the probability of 99.5 occurring naturally. (Logic dictates that Bertie along with the Schlecks and many others are doped to the eyeballs, but elite athletes are strange things, noted for achieving what strikes normal mortals as impossible.)

What would be very interesting would be put the top guys on a static bike to measure their power output accurately and their oxygen consumption directly and for the results to be published. (The testing happens routinely, just in private though.) Porcine aviation come to mind here though. Smile
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Jackov



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ignore my post
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mayofan



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

you dont need dodgy sums to prove that AC is doped to his eyeballs.
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The Lemondheads



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mayofan wrote:
you dont need dodgy sums to prove that AC is doped to his eyeballs.


Exactly. I propose a hotline like for swine flu, with telephone operators asking questions from a prepared script. First question: "Are you a skinny little guy that weighs about 60kg?"; Second question: "Did you just beat Fabian Cancellara in a 40km ITT?" "Right, you're a doper." "Que? No speeki goood inglese."
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mazda



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to be clear, for people like me.

VO2 is the amount of oxygen *used* by the body in burning it's fuel ?
(as opposed to, say, the amount inhaled)

So what is Greg suggesting ?
Bertie can burn fuel for long periods without using oxygen ?
He has an oxygen cylinder implanted inside him somewhere ?

I thought that, for these guys, power output over time was limited by the amount of fuel the body can mobilise rather than oxygen supply.
Or am I wrong, do they always have loads of fuel available in the cells, just waiting for the oxygen to arrive ?
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SlowRower



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mazda,

Very simplistically...

VO2 max measures oxygen used.

Fuel supply is not a problem unless you "bonk", "hit the wall" or whatever the term is for running out of gas. At this point, body fat has to be used, and this can only be converted to a useable form slowly; certainly slower than it can be consumed aerobically by even a weekend warrior.

If you've eaten properly, the supply of fuel isn't an issue. On the oxygen side, the limiting factor varies between supply of oxygen to cells, the amount that the cells can actually use once its there and how efficiently they use it.

For normal mortals, its how much oxygen the cells can use that is the issue and most people get more oxygen than they can use. For freakish endurance types, the cells can use more oxygen than normally supplied, so extra blood supply is good. As you can't really increase your heart volume much, the way to go is to increase your red blood cell count.

I don't think there's much you can do about the efficiency of oxygen use in the cells. Wasn't this what Coyle claimed for Armstrong, to explain his pre and post cancer performance levels in the face of a broadly unchanged VO2 max?
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Enchantress



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Lemondheads wrote:
mayofan wrote:
you dont need dodgy sums to prove that AC is doped to his eyeballs.


Exactly. I propose a hotline like for swine flu, with telephone operators asking questions from a prepared script. First question: "Are you a skinny little guy that weighs about 60kg?"; Second question: "Did you just beat Fabian Cancellara in a 40km ITT?" "Right, you're a doper." "Que? No speeki goood inglese."


Ha! Just like a famous american baseballer said.

The calculations aside, it just seems completely implausible - dominating your rivals in the mountains and crushing everyone, including Canc, in the time trial. I know they are almost certainly all doped around the top of the GC, but Contadope must have the special brew!

Anyone think there will be a high profile positive (re: top 5 or top 10 GC rider), either during or after the tour?
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Bartali



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly not Bertie simply because he IS on the special brew.  Same special brew that saw LA go from a good late spring classics guy to an unbeatable GT machine.  Same brew that turned  that other 10 stone 'weakling' (LL) into one of the best ITT men in the world.

Kloden will probably get busted for pre Astana matters.  Shreks maybe .... but not Bertie.
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SlowRower



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bart - If I were to lapse back into WUM mode I'd ask why the Special Brew doesn't work on Armstrong any more...Smile
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Boogerd_Fan



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:
Bart - If I were to lapse back into WUM mode I'd ask why the Special Brew doesn't work on Armstrong any more...Smile


Stupid questions deserve stupid answers:

because he's proving he never doped, by dragging his ass around Euro Cycling again, but this time without any wins Smile Laughing

of course in hindsight we could say.... that..... oh dear.
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Bartali



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:
Bart - If I were to lapse back into WUM mode I'd ask why the Special Brew doesn't work on Armstrong any more...Smile


It does!  He's 38 years old and retired for three years .... and he's mixing it with the best in the world - and you are suggesting he's not on the special brew  Confused

Think what he'd be like on the regular brew ...  Rolling Eyes
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