Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The VeloNews posts its story about UCI threats against any team or rider participating in this year's FFC sanctioned Tour de France. AFLD president Pierre Bordry makes some comments that imply WADA may be undercutting the UCI:

AFLD president Pierre Bordry said that the blood passport scheme which was introduced last autumn would not be used during the Tour because the UCI were refusing to pass on elements to organisers of races outside their calenda

But he said: "I have the direct support of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) president."

There's also talk of less testing that is more targeted in the name of "efficiency".

We don't disagree with targeted testing, but think less testing is not an answer. We think there should be more testing with more randoms, so that every rider in the race is likely to have been tested twice during the tour. That translates to 10 instead of 3 tests (winner, yellow, random) on each stage. Go ahead and add up to two "targeted" tests and you get 12 instead of 3 per stage. At $500 a test, that's a whopping $4,500 a stage - about $100,000 for the whole tour - additional expense for increased coverage.

They are cutting back to save a trivial amount money ("efficiency"). That says a lot about credibility to us.

If you get on the shit list, you'll get the hell tested out of you, and if you are not, go ahead and load up because you are unlikely to get called to the pee trailer. Dumb.

The Boulder Report follows up on yesterday's suggestion by Joe Lindsey that Astana make its anti-doping program transparent to the ASO/FFC in order to gain an invite to the TdF (which the ASO reiterated today will NOT happen regardless of any action taken by the team, see the VeloNews piece above):
In an e-mail correspondence with Philippe Maertens, press officer for Astana, I asked if Astana would consider releasing results to the ASO as a means of proving bona fides on the sporting ethics front and, possibly, a way into the Tour. Maertens' answer was, effectively, "No," but he added that the UCI already has the information from Damsgaard's testing (I learned subsequently from another source that WADA does as well). "He has carte blanche," said Maertens of Damsgaard's program. "If there would have been 'problems,' the UCI would have sanctioned and the race organizers would know soon," he said. As well, when dealing with medical privacy issues and the ASO, Maertens seemed wary of releasing information to Tour authorities given the ties between Tour organizers and a certain French sports daily. "Give (results) to ASO and the next day you can read medical files of people in l'Equipe," he wrote

The Age (AU) runs a piece by Micahel Johnson, the 400M running legend who crushed everyone of his generation. He's returning his 200 Olympic relay medal because he feels the three other runners who have admitted PED use leave it sullied.


Rant is uncomfortable with the FFC contract and "rules" that riders will be subject to as they participate in this year's Tour de France. He also wonders how the UCI can be cut out of the loop if the ASO/FFC has access to WADA files. Good question. Too bad they all can't just get along for the good of the sport, but apparently that's asking too much.

FuzzyJohn caught up to the Landis group before Floyd crashed out, and finished 2nd in the Single Speed category at the Mohican.

SoulSideDown gives a second hand report, along with a link to the official results of the Mohican 100 which we hadn't seen before. Landis, from Murriera (sic) CA, is DNF on page 4.

The Bleacher Report tries to compare PacMan Jones and Michael Vick to Armstrong and Landis, suggesting a racial double standard is in play. Comments call him out on the obvious facts that the former two were busted and nailed by law enforcement, and the latter were not.


wschart said...

If Astana has released its data to WADA and UCI, I would assume, given those parties past performance, had there been anything hinky, we would know it. So, in effect, Astana has made it public.

Eightzero said...

For those of you with access to the print version of Velonews, you can find a listing (in the story regarding Vandevele's TTT pink jersey win) of those americans with "days in color." The list is all US riders that wore pink, yellow or gold in the respective grand tours. Floyd's 5 days in yellow are followed with an asterisk. I could find no explanation for that footnote, even though I fairly suspect what they are referring to. Maybe the nazi frogmen deleted it from the final copy?

BTW, who will the Rival Cycling League ASO permit to wear the yellow jersey to start the Coup de France this year? Cadel Evans?

djingal said...

It seems to me that pro cyclists are systematically being stripped of their rights, largely because of the ASO. The officials of the Tour de France act like miniature tyrants of their own little kingdom, answerable to no one and ignoring fairness and logic. Well, I guess "acting like" is wrong. They ARE miniature tyrants running the ASO and Tour de France as they please.

Unknown said...

donna is probably correct.

Under the system that will sanction the 2008 TdF and will carry out associated drug testing……., the riders will have less than the already almost non-existent levels of recourse should they be wrongly accused of anything.

Let’s not kid ourselves that the riders had much recourse before. For example Andrea Moletta was pulled from the Giro and won’t be able to start in the Dauphine because of something his father is suspected of doing. The ProTour’s Code of Conduct apparently has a “sins of the fathers” clause, or perhaps even a “suspected sins of the fathers” clause.

It’s a bad joke either way and it’s costing innocent, and not remotely proven guilty riders, their livelihoods in absurdly arbitrary ways. Thanks WADA, ASO, USADA, LNDD, UCI, ASO…………………………….

Ali said...

Apropos nothing, but what's the real deal with cadence ? My natural cadence is probably about 80 - 85. I've never grasped the value of trying to up it. You've got guys like Ullrich who have a relatively slow (but not crawling) cadence and guys like Armstrong who do the food mixing thing with their limbs.

If I were trying to seriously improve my performance, should I be trying to spin up ? (and if so, how do I get over the feeling that I'm pushing air ?). Or maybe it's horses for courses. Some people are better suited to a higher cadence and some a lower one ?

Please advise, I have a hectic schedule ahead and I want to redeem myself following my last effort.


PS. CAS, pull the finger out and get busy with the results. Some of us have better things to do than hang around waiting for you to get your act together.

whareagle said...

Ali, theoretically, higher cadence translates to more supple muscles, quicker accelerations, and 'doing less work per revolution'. But there really is a 'happy cadence' which is right for everyone, and honestly, it doesn't change more than 2 rpm unless you really, really, really try (like unde/over rgearing a fixie for the winter). If you like 80-85, don't worry about it, just measure your torque output over, say, 5 & 20 minutes, at 82 rpm, and try to improve THAT. Torque and Wattage are kissing cousins, after all.

DBrower said...

Anecdotally, it seems easier on joints to spin faster, at a higher aerobic demand. Same power at lower cadence seems to have lower heartrate at equivalent levels of aerobic fitness.

I've been trying consciously to get to higher cadences this year instead of dropping foot speed when the work gets harder. I think I'll do better to get the cadence up, then work at driving higher gears at that cadence than I was doing trying to be strong enough to push the pedals hard, then increase the cadence.

By observation, it's not my torque values that are the problem, but how many times I turn that torque, resulting in less watts than I'd like. Higher cadence works aerobic fitness harder, so for training, that's what I'm trying to work on.

Your results may vary.

Everyone should have a power meter if they are serious ... The powertap wireless is easy to move between bikes and works on a trainer. The ibike is cheap, but doesn't work on a trainer. The ones built into the crank seem inflexible to me, and I don't understand the Polar.


Eightzero said...

I just got a Garmin Edge 705 and I love it. I don't have a ANT+ Sport compatible power sensor though. I can't afford the SRM one.

I normally turn on the flats at about 70-75 rpm. This results in about a HR of 165 for me. Yeah, that's high (I'm a 1961 model), but I can roll down the road almost continuously at that. On hill climbs, I slow my cadence way down to keep my HR at 165. If I go over that, I blow up quickly. I replaced my triple with a double, since going down to the 30t CR made my HR jump. I just turn a lower cadence. Slow and steady wins the race you know. I don't have a leg issue - I have a cardio issue.

I also put 175mm cranks on. I'll go to a 180mm on a compact double as soon as I can arrange it (I'm 6'4") (Maybe when I can afford the SRM power meter with it?)

Ali said...

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I think I'll try and push the cadence a bit, but not get neurotic about it (however, just received a compact chainset for my latest venture ... damn that Contador !)

As for the power meter solution, sounds fine but currently outside my budget. However, this has prompted me to look for affordable and easily transferable power measuring solutions for your everyday cyclist. Initial investigation reveals that affordable is no problem. I could rig one up and calibrate it on my bike for less than $100 (including wireless display). Transferability is the problem which I think nobody has really addressed (other than changing wheels with PT hubs). I reckon there's a good two or three methods which would allow users to fit a power meter with no change to hub or BB or crank. However, it would require on-site calibration and careful installation (not a huge burden for a $100 power meter and display !)

I'll be working on this one (never hurts to top up your pension fund !)

Cheers, Ali

DBrower said...

Initial investigation reveals that affordable is no problem. I could rig one up and calibrate it on my bike for less than $100 (including wireless display).

Do tell... I'm unaware of anything like this. the iBike is the cheapest thing I know of, around $400. It needs calibration, but isn't onerous, and supports movement between bikes.

The cheapest things I've seen are computers for trainers. These use the known resistance curve of the trainer to interpolate the power. Not absolutely accurate, but reasonable for relative measurements on the same setup. I have this for my Kurt Kinetic.

(The Polar works by using chain speed and tension and runs $600-$700)


TiGirl said...

Check this out...

Ali said...


I'm not aware of anything commercially available sub $100 either, I just think I could create something for under one hundred of your US dollars.

I've been having a think about it and there are a number of potential external locations on a bike which would support measurement of power output and a number of different means of measuring it without having to disrupt the existing mechanics.

I was struggling initially because I was trying to think of something which didn't require calibration, but once you accept that as an unavoidable consequence of not replacing various power transmission parts, a number of different solutions become available.

Who knows, this may be a whole new career for me ... I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for me to do it though ...

The Procrastinator

Unknown said...

Don't buy the iBike! We had 4 in our shop, two came back and we sold the other two on Ebay because we weren't impressed with the product.

Unknown said...

I am sick and tired of hearing the problems between ASO and UCI. ASO are a bunch of whiny suckers that are still upset that France is not a cycling rich country anymore. I hate to say this but I would give up the Tour this year if the riders take a stand in exchange for some order and legitimacy to the sport.

Speaking of Floyd, see the new poll added here:
Vote for Floyd!

Eightzero said...

I'm starting to get a little curious about some of the other details involving the UCI/ASO spat for the Coup de France in July. Interestingly, a license application to USA Cycling includes (inter alia) a warranty that you haven't applied for a license from the UCI or another cycling federaltion. Will FFC recognize the USA Cycling license? (AFLD still refers to FL as a "unlicensed rider".) If not, there is no contractual provision that binds such US athletes to FFC/AFLD's anti-doping policies, particularly if UCI fails to recognize FFC as a "Continental or National Federation." There would have to be a separate contractual arrangement (though the teams?) to do so, and entering into that may breach the USA Cycling contract.


and (FWIW)

Anyone find that "penalty contract" the ASO will be shoving down participant's throats?

Curiouser and curiouser....