Watts/KG take a big, big jump when you can get that oxygen to the muscles. To do that, you need to increase the O2 carrying capacity of the blood. The ultimate test of how much O2 one can get their blood to carry, is a tough climb.
Plateau de Beille ; a steep 15.9 KM climb done at the end of 197 KM long Stage 14 2007.
Marco Pantani (1998) 43:30
Alberto Contador (2007) 44:08
Michael Rasmussen (2007) 44:09
Lance Armstrong (2004) 45:30
Lance Armstrong (2002) 45:43
Martial Gayant, coach of the Francaise des Jeux team after examining the times this year:
“It’s just like 1998 all over again.”
“The sport’s credibility is ruined. I’m gutted.”
“When you’ve got times that approach those of pre-1998, obviously you’ve got to be skeptical.”
“We all thought cycling was at a turnaround, but the battle (against doping) is still going on.”
“I don’t see things changing. The scourge (doping) is haunting us, we seen that in the stage to Plateau de Beille (Sunday).”
Climbing speeds and wattages are going to have to drop to late 1980’s levels before the sport gets credible. It’s not like human evolution made a huge progression in the last twenty years, but knowledge of illicit ways to get blood to carry more O2 sure have.
If a team is not doing longitudinal blood studies and publishing the results like CSC is currently doing, then they’re not being clean. It’s time for Discovery to do exactly what CSC is now doing on the blood studies.by