Where does Lance rank among the greats?

Discussion in 'Professional Cycling' started by derKaiser, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. ct2

    ct2 New Member

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    Armstrong will make a good politician some day.

    Who has said armstrong has one of the highest vo2 max capabilities around? Is it something armstrong lovers have started saying, or is it spin coming from armstrong himself? You could say that his vo2 max is one of the highest, because it is, but suggesting best ever is merely spin. I could be wrong, but I don't think armstrong has ever said this, or even carmichael, but they sure haven't done much to dispell the rumours.

    I enjoy watching him, and hope he wins the next tour, breaks the hour record, and then tries to win some other races next year. There's something great watching someone who is supposed to win, win. Like bettini in the olympics last year. It doesn't happen very often.

    The reality is, armstrong only takes the tour seriuosly because that's all he can do. If he could win more than just the tour, he would. This leads me to two possibilities. One, he is doped to the gills and has figured out how to avoid getting caught - but just for the tour. Or two, he is a better than average cyclist (physically) with a far above average pain tolerance and psychology that he has maximized to win the tour. Or a little of both. It's all just speculation, really.
     


  2. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    Yeah, I agree with you ct2. That sums-up how I feel about the Armstong/PED issue pretty well. I totally understand the how one could question LA's huge improvement in a such a short period of time. But I don't beleive that it comes solely down to better PED's and/or a better PED program. Unfortuantely, I believe that all of the top contenders are doing whatever they can to improve their perfomance. Right now I think Armstrong is just the best TdF rider out there. Drugs or no. As always this is just my opinion.
     
  3. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    In a sport where statistical and anecdotal information is highly valued - none of the so-called data was ever flagged by anyone in relation to Lance Armstrong during 1992-1996.
    There wasn't a pip about him between 1992-1996, much less this urban myth about VOmax at 18 etc etc.

    I follow this sport very closely and have done for years.
    I've a full library of publications like Cycle Sport dating back to 1989.
    I have a yearly susbscription.
    Cycle Sport covers physiological data about cyclists.
    None of the back issues of CS between 1992-1996 ever refer to LA VOmax,
    lactate thresholds etc.

    There were plenty of articles about him - the usual stuff about his trying his hand in the peloton etc.
    I found one article about Motorola - in a 1995 issue of Cycle Sport.
    The Motorola doctor - Dr Max Testa - discusses the physiology of the various riders and he says and I quote "Lance Armstrong is progressing well but his fitness level has begun to plateau somewhat, after showing great promise since he started here in Europe. Within the team, I would say that Lance's physiology is not as efficient as Sean Yates".

    For those of you who don't know who Sean Yates was - he was a super domestique for Motorola and a bloody good cyclist.
    No disrespect to Yates but he wasn't Miguel Indurain or Jalabert or Pantani.

    This contemporaneous account holds more weight (along with the rest of the contemporaneous data) than Lance Armstrongs (and his supporters) revisionism about losing weight, VOmax and all the rest of the other waffle they use to try to justify his "improvement".
     
  4. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    I think it is a combination of drugs and natural ability in LA's case and other cyclists case too.

    But the exception is that LA tells us that he has never taken a PED.
    He has written books extolling the virtues of his training schedule and his working harder than everyone else.

    I realise he is in a tough position - if he is asked, perhaps he has no choice but to deny drug use.
    But it seems to me that he goes out of his way to try create the perception that the he and the peloton are clean.
    That;s my issue with him.
     
  5. ct2

    ct2 New Member

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    There's no reason to doubt the authenticity of the article. Obviously armstrong is much stronger than he has ever been, it's the reason for the strength that's in question.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&dopt=Abstract&db=PubMed&list_uids=15774697

    http://jap.physiology.org/cgi/reprint/00216.2005v1

    There's also no law that says that an athletes improvement must be linear. It can take jumps, plateau, regress, whatever. A lot of junior cyclists have great potential, but since some mature faster than others, some of the best junior cyclists don't make the best pros. We could make the argument that ullrich was an early bloomer, while lance a late bloomer.

    Cycling is a ridiculously hard sport. Nothing else compares, not even close. I would argue that psychology is much more important than most people give it credit for, and lance has them hammered in that category. But physically, like I said before, he's only good for the tour. No amount of doping or training makes that otherwise.

    The whole peleton wants people to believe they are clean, not just lance. He's either doing it and lying, or protecting the status quo, just like almost all of the other riders.
     
  6. meehs

    meehs New Member

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    For what it's worth Limerickman, I've read a lot of your posts about Armstrong with regard to possible PED use and Flyer's (and some others too) posts too for that matter. Quite honestly I have a tough time arguing with either of you as you've made very good arguments. In reality I think there's a very, very fine line between what you guys think and what I think.

    I've said before that if any one rider were singled-out the way Armstrong has been and asked point-blank if he and his team uses PED's, they would have no choice but to deny it. Having said that, I guess I can see how one could be of the opinion that LA has maybe gone a little too far in proclaiming his innocence. I admit that as an American I'm probably biased in favor of LA. It's all in how we each perceive it I suppose.
     
  7. Tejano

    Tejano New Member

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    Thought this was interesting!

    2001 Road World Championships - Results

    Lisbon - Portugal: 9 – 14, 2001

    Jan Ullrich (Ger-Tel) 51.49.99

    David Millar (GBr-Cof) 6.30 (with EPO)

    Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel) 11.73

    Levi Leipheimer (Usa-Usp) 24,70

    Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun-Map) 1.00.38

    Leif Hoste (Bel-Dff) 1.04.28

    Santos González Capilla (Spa-Onc) 1.26.55

    Nathan O'Neill (Aus-Pan) 1.28.88

    David Plaza Romero (Spa-Fes) 1.45,77

    Michael Blaudzun (Den-Cst) 1.51.39




    2002 Road World Championships - Results

    Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002

    Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) 48.08.45 Michael Rich (Ger) 08.23Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) 17.15 Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) 25.53 Uwe Peschel (Ger) 33.76 David Millar (GBr) 35.32 (without EPO) Michael Rogers (Aus) 1.06.34 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) 1.07.81 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 1.15.422003 Road World Championships - Results

    Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003

    David Millar (Great Britain) 51.17.3 (with EPO)Michael Rogers (Australia) 1.25.1Uwe Peschel (Germany) 1.25.6 Michael Rich (Germany) 1.35.7Isidro Nozal Vega (Spain) 1.39.5 Dario Frigo (Italy) 1.51.5Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) 1.58.4 Marc Wauters (Belgium) 2.07.3 Michal Hrazdira (Czech Republic) 2.13.3Bert Roesems (Belgium) 2.15.8 Millar said he didn´t even need to use EPO because he won by so much! So much for the Mule to Horse theory!It helps but not that much. And can you really achieve the exact same result from an altitude tent? How many pro cyclists are using those tents?






     
  8. Tejano

    Tejano New Member

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    Thought this was interesting!

    2001 Road World Championships - Results

    Lisbon - Portugal: 9 – 14, 2001

    Jan Ullrich (Ger-Tel) 51.49.99

    David Millar (GBr-Cof) 6.30 (with EPO)

    Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col-Kel) 11.73

    Levi Leipheimer (Usa-Usp) 24,70

    Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun-Map) 1.00.38

    Leif Hoste (Bel-Dff) 1.04.28

    Santos González Capilla (Spa-Onc) 1.26.55

    Nathan O'Neill (Aus-Pan) 1.28.88

    David Plaza Romero (Spa-Fes) 1.45,77

    Michael Blaudzun (Den-Cst) 1.51.39




    2002 Road World Championships - Results

    Hasselt-Zolder, Belgium, October 8-13, 2002

    Santiago Botero Echeverry (Col) 48.08.45
    Michael Rich (Ger) 08.23
    Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) 17.15
    Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun) 25.53
    Uwe Peschel (Ger) 33.76
    David Millar (GBr) 35.32 (without EPO)
    Michael Rogers (Aus) 1.06.34
    Fabian Cancellara (Swi) 1.07.81
    Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) 1.15.42

    2003 Road World Championships - Results

    Hamilton, Canada, October 7-12, 2003

    David Millar (Great Britain) 51.17.3 (with EPO)
    Michael Rogers (Australia) 1.25.1
    Uwe Peschel (Germany) 1.25.6
    Michael Rich (Germany) 1.35.7
    Isidro Nozal Vega (Spain) 1.39.5
    Dario Frigo (Italy) 1.51.5
    Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia) 1.58.4
    Marc Wauters (Belgium) 2.07.3
    Michal Hrazdira (Czech Republic) 2.13.3
    Bert Roesems (Belgium) 2.15.8

    Millar said he didn´t even need to use EPO because he won by so much! So much for the Mule to Horse theory!It helps but not that much.

    And can you really achieve the exact same result from an altitude tent?

    How many pro cyclists are using those tents?
     
  9. musette

    musette New Member

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    LA is the greatest ever! And how can he not say the truth -- that he is clean -- when HE IS CLEAN. :eek:
     
  10. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    That's the quandry - if he's asked a direct question, can he deny it or should he admit it ?
    That's one level.

    The other level is his insistence on saying that his recent results are down to completely natural methods.

    I think he is in a very very difficult situation.
    I think the entire peloton is in a very difficult situation, over the issue of drugs.

    I think, of all the peloton he seems to be asked about drugs far more than say Ullrich or Beloki or Bettini.

    My own feeling is that the majority of the peloton probably use the stuff.
    I think the difficulty is that LA seems to be asked about this issue more than the rest of the peloton and he denies all allegations and writes books telling us that what he does is not the results of drugs.
     
  11. musette

    musette New Member

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    limerickman -- Take this example. If somebody asks you to prove to them that you are not mentally ill, how would you ever prove that to them? If you say things, they will just say you are mentally ill, but have some semblance of normalcy and may be able to interact with people, under limited circumstances, in a non-mentally ill way.

    It's the same thing with LA and his being clean. Why should the onus be on him to prove he is clean? He has been repeatedly tested. How can he prove he is not cheating if he indeed is not?
     
  12. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    There is no onus on him to prove that he is clean.
    There is no onus on him to publish books in which he claims to be clean, either.

    He has booked himself in to a difficult corner.

    He has not answered the legitimate questions raised about his improvement -
    and what explanations he has provided, don't ring true to the fans or the journalists who have followed this sport for years.
     
  13. tcklyde

    tcklyde New Member

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    LA has never tested positive (UCI definitively said no positive at 1999 Tour, so don't bother). He has repeatedly asserted that he does not take drugs.

    Of course, so did Virenque. Us fans have little reason to believe. But all the same, what more would you have him do?
     
  14. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    The fact is the vast majority of pro cyclist take drugs to improve thier performance.. why dont they (incl Armstrong) get caught? because of $$$$$
    Simple...they have better chemists that the IOC et al. Point of interst Mig tested positive for a substance in one of his tour wins (or build up to it) but that drug had not yet been banned so he was fine. I dont begrudge LA for being a drugs cheat, I believe they all are, I begrudge his big holier than thou mouth!
     
  15. micron

    micron New Member

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    Indurain never tested positive, even for a non banned substance - that was Pedro Delgado.
     
  16. Fixey

    Fixey New Member

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    Nope, twas Mig, cant be bothered watching 100's of hours of TDF tapes to see what year, but it was definatly him
     
  17. Rich Nic

    Rich Nic New Member

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    But what happens if we compare Yates (an experienced pro) and Indurain (the promising kid) head to head in the same way as you compared Indurain (the experienced pro) and Armstrong (the promising kid)?

    1988

    PORNICHET-LA BAULE, 1 km ITT
    6. Yates à 4"65
    11. lndurain à 6"56

    LIEVIN-WASQUEHAL, 52 km ITT
    1. Sean Yates en 1h03'22" (Moy : 49.237 km/h)
    38. lndurain à 2'13"

    SANTENAY-SANTENAY, 46 km ITT
    8. Yates à 1'29"
    130. lndurain à 6'54"

    1989

    LUXEMBOURG, 7.8 km ITT
    7. Indurain à 10"
    14. Yates à 13"

    DINARD-RENNES, 73 km ITT
    5. Yates à 2'06"
    12. Indurain à 3'32

    VERSAILLES-PARIS, 24.5 km ITT
    5. Yates à 1'10"
    17. Indurain à 1'39"

    Therefore, this clearly proves that Sean Yates was a far superior (flat) time trialler than Indurain. How did Miguel improve so much?

    Of course, this is rubbish - Mig's probably the best TTer ever - but it shows the stupidity of comparing an experienced TTer with a relatively inexperienced youngster.

    You also omitted the fact that two of those Mig v Lance head-to-heads came the day after Lance had won the stage (he was probably having a rest).
     
  18. Tejano

    Tejano New Member

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    That´s a very intereting point! They suffer from logic deficit dissorder! Or what´s better know as Stu Pidas´s disease![​IMG]

    Sorry Limerickman! You had that one coming! That comparison was PRETTY PATHETIC!
     
  19. limerickman

    limerickman Moderator

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    Your comparison suggests that Sean Yates was able to beat Miguel Indurain in 1988/9 in the TT's in major tours.
    I will accept to a point the thesis of new kid/older guy theory to explain it to a certain extent.

    But the context of what BigMig was up to in the 1988/9 T'sDF needs to be addressed to provide a more full context.

    In 1988, Indurain finished the Vuelta (held in April) with flu and abandoned on the last day of the Vuelta.
    He did not race between the end of the Vuelta and the start of the TDF.
    In the 52km ITT LIEVIN-WASQUEHAL, he was actually ahead of SY's time at the half way point, but died in the second half of the ITT.

    SANTENAY-SANTENAY ITT was one by - Pedro Delgado.
    Delgado beat SY's time by over a minute.
    By winning Delgado moved to top of GC and Indurain (Delgado's domestique)
    was told to not go full out.
    I quote "I did not set out to ride the stage fullout because I have to save my strength for the Pyrennees. Perico (Delgado) is top of GC. Everyone in the team has a duty to Delgado now, and so we did what was expedient"
    (Page 69 : Indurain A Life on Wheels).

    In 1989 : Indurain was domestique to Delgado who was defending his TDF title.
    Indurain was working hard for Delgado who arrived 2min 47secs LATE for the
    ITT 7.8kms.
    Indurain was beaten by SY by 3secs in that ITT.
    However, Reynolds/Banesto decided that all effort be devoted to trying to make up for the 2mins 47sec lost by Delgado before a wheel had turned in the
    1989 TDF.

    The day before DINARD-RENNES ITT (stage 5), Indurain had finished 5th on a 255km stage (stage 4) in an effort to help Delgado move up on GC (Delgado was in second last place on GC after stage 2 of the 1989 TDF).
    Between Stage 5 and the end of the 1989 TDF, Indurain worked his nuts off to try to bring Delgado up on GC (delgado finished 3rd on GC eventually).
    Indurain finished 17th on GC.

    In comparing Indurain to Armstrong, a lot of his supporters like Tejano waffle on about LA's great VOmax reading (not that Tejano would know this - he merely parrots the urban myths of other LA supporters).

    The fact of the matter is that Indurain swatted our Texan friend in stage races, during the 1992-1996.
    If the reputed VOmax was ever really there in the first place, LA would (should) have been able to complete more than one TDF out of four starts.
    LA should have been able to progress and dominate stage races during that time period also.
    He didn't.
    He wasn't even viewed as the best single day rider between 1992-1996 (Tchmil, Museeuw, Tafi, Jalabert - who incidentally managed to win one races, complete grand tours and win classement jerseys in same - were all deemed better one dayers than LA).
     
  20. Rich Nic

    Rich Nic New Member

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    Partly my point - you can prove anything with raw statistics - they don't tell the whole story (e.g. Armstrong winning stages the day before time-trials & not targeting GC, so TTs are 'days off')

    Yes Indurain swatted him, yes those riders were better one-dayers, but LA was only 24 in 1996, having only converted from triathlon at about 17/18. By 1996 he'd had some impressive results and the idea put forward by some (maybe not you) that he was a mediocre journeyman is just plain wrong (he was World Ranked 9 at the end of 1996 - and getting some decent TT results). Apart from Ullrich I can't of anyone who's challenged for the TDF Malliot Jeune at that age since LeMond (maybe Pantani).

    I have no idea whether LA dopes or not and there are good arguments on either side - but I do believe his change from 1996 to 1999 is not down to dope. If he dopes post-cancer then he doped pre-cancer.
    The change, in my view, is down to a change in season/race targets, weight loss, technique alteration and the natural progression of one of the most talented young riders of the mid 90s (and numerous other smaller things)
     
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