The Tour de France and the mathematics of cheating

by FMOAB   July 23, 2012  

For those who would like some evidence that the tour is getting cleaner, have a listen to this excellent podcast from the BBC.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qshd

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I haven't listened yet...I'll give it a shot later on. Nerd

BUT, I shall just say what I think already, Oh shit, a Brit won the TdF, we didn't have coverage of it, ITV and Eurosport had that....What do we do, Oh yeah Wiggo wrote that blog about clean cycling. Lets talk about that and spout some facts and figures and see if we can't pick up some listeners. While the bandwagon is rolling... Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8700 posts]
23rd July 2012 - 23:30

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They did have it on 5 Live - I don't listen myself, but I've only heard good things about Simon Brotherton as a commentator. And they do have the Olympics, so I imagine we'll all be glued to that on Saturday.

I wouldn't be too harsh on them - they operate within different constraints to the commercial sector due to the funding model. It would probably be difficult for them to justify screening the Tour for 3 weeks solid.

Something like Wimbledon is different - don't have time to delve into their relationship with the AELTC but I imagine as host broadcaster they get a cut of overseas rights.

Having said that, disappointed they only had the briefest of brief highlights of the test event last year - missed opportunity.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7940 posts]
24th July 2012 - 0:26

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Well, that set me off for bed. Nothing that can or cannot be proved. Nothing about the testing of riders by their own teams to keep them clean....etc.

All based around some figures from scientists who were measuring power to weight outputs.

The one I didn't like was Nibali, his figures for stage 11, I had to look back and refresh my mind with the stage. But no-one attacked on the first two climbs, so of course it was going to be a steady output and then it was Nibali who was trying to put time into Wiggo on the final climb to the finish, His output was going to be high, infact, I was expecting it to be higher than they said.

As for other factor's "whether a rider was drafting" REALLY?? Drafting up hill is going to save you nadda Devil the only benefit of having someone infront of you on a long climb is being able to have a tempo set and you follow it.

Not a very great story and as for an evidence, I found myself with more questions than answers after listening to that. They didn't jump on the Wiggo is clean thing. Mainly I suspect because they don't have any of his data.

The one interesting thing was about the Alpe D'Huez climb getting slower over the years. What they didn't mention was anything to do with the weather, were their attacks on the climb between the GC guys. Did the winner solo away from a group? NOTHING, just the amount of time it took to do that climb.....GREAT reporting Liar and mentioning Frank Schleck's time up there just topped it off Devil Devil

All in all IMO interesting to listen to and things to think about, no facts or evidence given and go a little boring. Still worth the listen as it only lasts around 8 minutes Nerd

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posted by Gkam84 [8700 posts]
24th July 2012 - 1:04

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Quote:
As for other factor's "whether a rider was drafting" REALLY?? Drafting up hill is going to save you nadda

drafting up a hill is going to save *you* nada Wink

on a 5% climb them pros can be tapping out 25kph. that's plenty enough for drafting advantage to be a factor, albeit a fairly minor one

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posted by Dave Atkinson [7265 posts]
24th July 2012 - 8:22

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Listened to the whole half hour; interesting stuff for a geek like me Smile But the whole program seemed to be about statistics and how difficult it is to interpret them. But if as they say the riders haematocrit levels are falling then thats got to be good??

posted by SideBurn [765 posts]
24th July 2012 - 9:15

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Box Hill is 5%, and a quick look on Strava shows that in the Olympic test event, Daniel Lloyd of IG-Sigma sport went up it at 30.5 kph. It obviously doesn't go on for 15km, so that might not be sustainable effort, but even so, that's plenty quick enough to get a lot of benefit from a draft.

posted by benezeir [52 posts]
24th July 2012 - 9:19

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