Part III

My take on Pantani? Regardless of whether I think he doped, he was still an amazing cyclist. He did win the citizen’s Giro back in the day, which I’m assuming occurred before he started doping, so he must’ve been more physically gifted than your average Italian. It does make you wonder if, had the technology had been as up-to-date back then as it is now, and if he hadn’t started racing in Italy (home of Ferrara University), if he might’ve used altitude tents instead of EPO–which still might’ve earned him a 50+ haematocrit. But heck, he could’ve moved out to the alps or something and instead received a certificate saying he’d earned that haematocrit naturally. Maybe he wouldn’t have become the legend that he is, but you never know, maybe he would’ve.

P.S. Okay, so the hypoxic tent idea might be out. I just briefly would like to express my opinion that I think a ban on those tents would be ridiculous. Next thing you know, they’ll be requiring everyone to ride the same bike.


15 thoughts on “Part III

  1. Jay

    Wasn\’t the haematocrit test a part of Tyler Hamilton\’s case and part of why he was banned?  I have a really hard time with Tyler because of who he seems to be and what he seems to represent…

  2. Zed

    I think the test used in Tyler\’s case was specifically for homologous blood transfusions (HBT test). The idea was just to determine whether he had two populations of blood in his veins at the same time. Tyler had been told he had a high haematocrit at the Tour of Romandie that previous spring. He says he talked to the UCI about a condition he had that was doing something to raise his haematocrit to 49 or so, and that they told him he could resolve the situation after the season had ended. The HBT test hadn\’t been used in cycling up until that summer, and it was at the Vuelta that Tyler got slammed for HBT (which is what Francesco Moser had used to break the hour record, BTW). Then he got busted at the Olympics at about the same time that his Vuelta tests were confirmed.

  3. Jay

    In the name of random posting and taking things off topic, I was thinking about this today:
     I have been invloved with both Cycling and semi high performance running (at one time I ran in the 5\’s over distances up to 10k).  I seem to believe that running is more difficult than cycling to perform on major competative level.  Why? 
    1.  Running attracts more competition.  Numbers, pure numbers.  The competative pool is larger (cycling is gaining is numbers, but there are more barriers to entry).
    2.  Running is flat out harder on your body.  You take more out in a shorter ammount of time, yet to get to  the same results you must train almost as much as cycling.
    3.  Running requires more mental effort to control pain.  (albeit, shorter in its end output)
    Now, I like cycling for these reasons:
    1.  Much easier to go longer more quickly and therefore get from slug to fit  faster.  (it has been much easier for me to get to a point where I am actively working out a min of 1 hr per day 6x a week & enjoy it too).
    2.  Therefore the "high" is easier to obtain.
    3.  Its a faster sport.  More fun.  You see more countryside too.
    4.  It has more gear.  I am a closet gearhead.
    5.   It has the potential for more team invovlement (depending on the level). 
    6.  Strategy.  The existance of the peleton makes it a better spectator sport (on TV, of course).

  4. uncadan8

    I definitely agree with you on the running ACoug. Being large and having had two knee surgeries puts me out of the running.(Intended) I can\’t even begin to think of doing light jogs to the end of the driveway, much less a 10K. Even when I am at an ideal weight of 185 or less, I doubt that I will take up running. Kudos to those who can handle it!

  5. Zed

    Hmmm, I\’ll agree that running is harder on your body–it sure beats up your joints–but I think the seeming ease of cycling actually makes it more difficult. For example, I\’ve never known a runner who could hold his HR at 195 for a solid 30 minutes (though I guess I\’ve never asked you, ACoug), yet our local TT specialists can. Also, I\’ve personally never run myself into seeing stars or puking (though I know others have), and Teton Pass has inflicted both of those upon me. Never mind the fact that the record for Teton Pass is set 13.5 minutes faster than my time–and believe me, I couldn\’t have imagined riding any harder than I did.
    The longest running race I\’ve ever heard of was a marathon–26 miles, lasting anywhere from three to five hours for a non-pro. The longest cycling race I know is 206 miles, lasting anywhere from 9 to 12 hours for a normal non-pro.
    It seems like what cycling doesn\’t do to you, in the way of hurts, it makes up for in other ways–especially if you want to compete.

  6. Jay

    I cannot tell you how many times I have puked after or during running.  As for heart rate…way easier for me to get to a high rate running and sustain it than cycling.  My legs giveout quicker on the bike (relative to my heart rate).  Some may say that mean cycling is harder, I would say that it means your body is working harder running and therefore it is easier to cycle (if heart rate is the measuring stick).
    ***NEWSFLASH***  TTT results are in from the Giro:

    I can\’t even get to puking on the bike…my heart is way stronger than my legs…maybe I am freak?  I know how to work hard.  I have proven that.  Maybe my systems are better suited for cycling?  I have yet to figure this one out…I probably won\’t until I get to the place I want to be running…right now I am just starting again.

  7. Unknown

    ACoug, do you do organized road racing, and train systematically at a high level with people faster than you?  I find it pretty easy to puke if I am TT\’ing, or in the "dropped not out of contact with the pack but can\’t get latched back on" mode.  All I have to do is ride for about 45 minutes at 15-20 beats per minute over my lactate threshold, and it comes.  Sometimes I don\’t puke after that kind of effort, just as often, it seems I stumble around nauseous for a couple hours, with back and hand cramps.   
    I never ran as fast as you – I could do a low tens two mile, and could hold six minute miles for close to an hour, but I find bike racing hurts me much, much worse than running ever did.  I could never run for two hours at that level of intensity, you get deep into lactosis and the legs dont work for running.  On the bike, you can be completely racked with lactic acid, but keep moving pretty fast, perhaps because you use so many different muscles and can keep up a good pace by recruiting hip flexors, calves, glutes, hammies, quads, you can draw out the pain, switching from a pulling style of pedaling to pushing, sitting then standing, and around again.  It\’s not the worst I\’ve ever hurt, there\’s very little joint pain.  But if I\’m racing properly and being forced to go really hard, the muscle pain is searing until the endorphins take control of it, usually the first 20 minutes of lactosis.  

  8. Jay

    Al, You are correct in assuming that I have yet ride in races.  I have only done training.  I TT for personal measurements and the satisfaction of doing it, but I have not raced. 
    Running may have more to with that than I realize, just now I was thinking about it and I remembered that I quit running years ago from being "burnt out".  I did almost everything from training to competing at close to or above lactate threshold.  It wasn\’t the best plan.
    Cycling is now some 14 years later my sport by "choice" (not that running wasn\’t but it sure felt that way).  So I naturally & subconciously avoid the burn out. 
    I am able to sustain 22 mph (w/o areobars) over 10-12 mi at aerobic non lactate levels on flat ground.  I have yet to train for or try to do it anareobically.  I really feel as though I have no guage to what is "good" and what is not in terms of that speed or ability, like I had from my racing in running.
    I do feel as though I have reached my first plateau. It would be inaccurate to say that I have never gone anareobic on a bike, I clearly did a year ago when all I could do was ride 20 min of intervals and I was 35 lbs heavier.  It is much more accurate to say tha I am in much better shape now. 
    Maybe the plateau would change with group riding…I have a real challenge getting to the rides seeing as I kind of rely on flexibility in schedule too much to do it consistantly (job and family related).
    I guess it would be more accurate to say that my legs will have to go to awhole new level of "pain" to get the heart rate up there again and I  was not prepared for that.
    I do get in intervals and limbing repeats right now but everything is areobic in exertion.
    Maybe that clarifies the issue some?

  9. Unknown

    Hey AlpineCoug, are you in Alpine, Ut? I just moved to American Fork, and am looking for riding (partners?–sounds too committed. Buddies?–souds too gay), um I\’m looking for people to ride with.
    P.S. I promise puke-worthy cycling experiences.
    P.P.S. Recipe for puking on a bike: Eat nothing but Clif Shots gels, ride hard. Wait. . .wait. . . here it comes. . . BLEEEAAAAACCHCHCCHCHCCHKKKKKKKKKKKK!

  10. Jay

    Botched, yes I am in Alpine, Ut &  I am more than up for it…I am recovering from whooping cough, but I have managed to stay the trainer.  I sould be 100% soon again.  We should go next week sometime.
    Caloi, will you send Botched my email address?  Thanks, cuz.

  11. Unknown

    AlpineCoug, I\’m recovering from having my liver removed, so I won\’t be 100% next week, but we should get out anyway.

  12. Unknown

    Anyone claiming that it\’s "easier" to reach the top of cycling vs. running or any other endurance sport (xc skiing, rowing etc) simply has absolutely no idea what they are talking about.
    Take the next flight to France, I\’ll pick you up at the airport and you can follow me for an easy training week. I\’ll guarantee you will change your mind after half a day…

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