Ascension rates and power outputs



bbrauer

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Feb 27, 2007
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Alex Simmons said:
New blog post for interest.

Check out Ric's blog items on the Tour as well while there.

:)

Who is responsible for that 6.4 W/Kg 1 hour effort? Boardman?

One of Lemond's arguments is that the levels of performance of top level cyclists exceed the highest theoretical VO2 max levels that a human can achieve. I don't know that he's enough of an authority in exercise physiology to say with any certitude what is the maximum VO2 a human can achieve, but one can calculate estimated VO2 from power to weight. I did that once with Lance's time trail up L'Alpe in 04, and I think I came up with a figure around 83.....very high, but not implausible for one of the best endurance athletes in the world.

My main difficulty with setting some sort of limit on human performance to judge "plausibility" is just that, it sets a limit on human performance. There was a time when breaking the 4 minute mile was considered not only implausible, but impossible.
 

Alex Simmons

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Mar 12, 2006
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bbrauer said:
One of Lemond's arguments is that the levels of performance of top level cyclists exceed the highest theoretical VO2 max levels that a human can achieve.
But ignores the two other primary variables: metabolic efficiency and the % of VO2max one can sustain at threshold, which can and do vary between individuals, and the latter is also highly trainable.
 

bbrauer

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Alex Simmons said:
But ignores the two other primary variables: metabolic efficiency and the % of VO2max one can sustain at threshold, which can and do vary between individuals, and the latter is also highly trainable.

Not contesting....and I agree with you, and find Lemond's idea of using power improvement as a way to red flag potential cheaters as flawed for this reason, as well as a host of others.
 

11ring

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Apr 22, 2006
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Alex Simmons said:
But ignores the two other primary variables: metabolic efficiency and the % of VO2max one can sustain at threshold, which can and do vary between individuals, and the latter is also highly trainable.

Is the latter that variable at the super elite level ?

As in, the very best athletes will be at threshold around 88-89% of Vo2max, which is probably near the limit of human potential. You may see some push 90, maybe 91 or so but not much more is physiologically possible. Of course there is very big scope for variation downwards.
 

lanierb

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Aug 12, 2004
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Nice post Alex. Measurement is a real issue. However, I think the problem with Lemond's idea is even more fundamental: you can't use performance itself to detect cheating. You need to measure at least two variables to separate out who is best from who is cheating.

IMO Lemond just wants to argue (indirectly) that anyone who is faster than he was must be doping.
 

Alex Simmons

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Mar 12, 2006
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11ring said:
Is the latter that variable at the super elite level ?

As in, the very best athletes will be at threshold around 88-89% of Vo2max, which is probably near the limit of human potential. You may see some push 90, maybe 91 or so but not much more is physiologically possible. Of course there is very big scope for variation downwards.
It's still trainable but yes, the super fit have less head room to play with.
 

smaryka

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Aug 18, 2009
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lanierb said:
IMO Lemond just wants to argue (indirectly) that anyone who is faster than he was must be doping.
Well considering Lemond wasn't a doper and nearly every guy who came after him was, he's not exactly wrong there. :D