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Old 07-21-07, 01:46 PM   #1
blanqui
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Rasmussen on drugs? A look at his performance

So a 130 lbs. pure climber takes 11th place in a long individual time trial. Inspired by the Maillot Jaune? Sadly, I fear something more sinister. Let's examine his performance in all of his previous time trials in 2007 and 2006:

http://www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmusse...cle.php?12.255

2006
114th Stage 7 in Tour de France
85th Stage 19 in Tour de France
89th Stage 14 in Vuelta a Espana
2007
105th Stage 5 in Tour of California
79th Stage 6 in Tour of California

So he goes from 79th as best top finish in a time trial to 11th...remarkable.

p.s. I haven't seen that kind of TT inspiration from a climber since the great Marco Pantani!

Last edited by blanqui; 07-21-07 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 07-21-07, 01:59 PM   #2
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If we start suggesting every great performance in sports is due to drugs, we might as well turn the TV off and quit following it. Sometimes people work hard and improve - without drugs. We don't know otherwise in this situation, and I personally am sick and tired of insinuation that only the people doing well are taking PE drugs. We can just as easily assume everyone's doing it, and we can consider it a race tactic, or that no one but those who are caught are doing it.

Maybe most enjoy the speculation, but I'm getting so that accusations are far more distasteful than the fact that some do use the drugs.
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Old 07-21-07, 02:03 PM   #3
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If we start suggesting every great performance in sports is due to drugs, we might as well turn the TV off and quit following it. Sometimes people work hard and improve - without drugs. We don't know otherwise in this situation, and I personally am sick and tired of insinuation that only the people doing well are taking PE drugs. We can just as easily assume everyone's doing it, and we can consider it a race tactic, or that no one but those who are caught are doing it.

Maybe most enjoy the speculation, but I'm getting so that accusations are far more distasteful than the fact that some do use the drugs.
If I'm a life long short-bus rider and I suddenly join MENSA then it's sure to raise a few eyebrows....
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Old 07-21-07, 02:20 PM   #4
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weather helped him a lot today. Looked pretty dry by his finish.... but contenders going slow on downhill made a big difference to how much time they could take. The uphill also limited the length of the course they could put time on him. He lost about 1 minute in the 18k from the top of the hill to the finish. Its not so superhuman of him.

edit: last 16k after the flats, but he only lost 5 seconds to evans in those 16k... which didn't seem technical at all... so much more impressive than most would expect.

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Old 07-21-07, 02:29 PM   #5
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I dunno - I did think it was interesting that the "men in black" did startling well in the TT today. I've had my eye on Astana the whole year; at one point of the season in back-to-back "big" ProTour Timetrials (in the Giro and Dauphine I believe) Dave Z - one of the best TT specialists in the business - was beaten into third place in each by four different Astana riders. Three of them took three of the top four places today and the fourth (Eddy M***olini) got popped for doping.

But then a strong case can be made for the entire peloton being doped so........:shrug:

It's a bad time for cycling.

edit: LOL at the potty-mouth filter - Eddy M's name is a dirty word!
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Old 07-21-07, 02:31 PM   #6
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He only had one other time trial that meant anything to him, and that was the infamous one in 2005. I have posted before.

1) He had De Jan breathing down his neck
2) He had never been in that position before
3) He got nervous and cracked
4) It was some killer on the job training
5) After that he probably decided to practice a little
6) A lot of riders went down today, so they were not going all out

Richard
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Old 07-21-07, 02:49 PM   #7
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Don't really need PE, taking a pint of "clean" blood after a good-to-excellent stage, storing it, and then transfusion between the stages of one of the big races can have the same effect. But should "natural" (i.e., non-drug-based) techniques that improve blood oxygenation efficiency be regulated? As long as the blood used/reused is from the athlete themselves, it is very hard, if not impossible, to detect any "cheating". It's been used in the past in many sports and can't be considered "artifical PE" since it's naturally produced by the athlete themselves.

That being said, Rasmussen has been training at altitude for months, so it is possible his performance and endurance (so far) in the TdF can be attributed to that training. The Peloton made a mistake anyways by letting Rasmussen get away in his second attack/breakaway in stage 8. The next few days should sort out the contenders from the pretenders anyways. Stage 19 is another individual time trial and if it's still close, Rasmussen might lose it there if he's still wearing the yellow jersey before that stage.
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Old 07-21-07, 02:58 PM   #8
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He finished ahead of some strong TT'ers like Karpets, Millar, and even his teammate, Thomas Dekker. I didn't watch today, so I don't know how the course affected these guys as the day went on.
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Old 07-21-07, 03:00 PM   #9
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Past performance is virtually irrelevant, since on most of those TTs he was treating it as a rest day. If you are only going for KOM, the TT is utterly meaningless.

Is he doping? No more than anyone else.
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Old 07-21-07, 03:05 PM   #10
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Paul Sherwin said something hilarious when they were showing Rasmussen riding about 45k into the TT. Paraphrasing here, but it was something to the effect of: "He's got to dose his performance just right here..."

Very funny, Paul! I'm sure you didn't mean it that way. ;P ;P
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Old 07-21-07, 03:11 PM   #11
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Weather was absolutely on his side today. He also hasn't had to push himself all that hard the last few days.

And clearly folks have underestimated his abilities, due to the oft-repeated horrible 2005 TT. But one TT stage obviously does not mean he will always do awful TT's, any more than one bad mountain stage would suddenly make him a sucktacular climber.

Besides, a good TT run has almost as much to do with handling and proper decisions as it does power output and recovery. I don't know of any PED that will magically make you more skilled at taking corners, do you?
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Old 07-21-07, 03:19 PM   #12
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Also don't forget, before this year he never once practiced on a time trial bike. This can not be discounted.
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Old 07-21-07, 06:48 PM   #13
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Rasmussen very well might be using drugs but to use his performance in this TT to suggest it shows how little you know and follow this sport.
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Old 07-21-07, 07:31 PM   #14
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Rasmussen very well might be using drugs but to use his performance in this TT to suggest it shows how little you know and follow this sport.
Why? Back this up please! This sounds like a coming from the sky, "I-am-right-you-are-wrong" condescending botto-style pronouncement.

There is a seasoned pro out there doing commentary for the Tour, who has his doubts on Rasmussen's integrity regarding doping and he specifically raises his past performances on TT to show that today's "performance" might not have been dope-free..... What do you know that he doesn't?

That's another reason people suspected Riis of doping: he was not a Grand Tour winner far from it, and then on the tail end of his career, bam!, he wins the Tour. As it turns out, the "past performance" methodology was right on target......

Last edited by Blaireau; 07-21-07 at 07:31 PM. Reason: editing
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Old 07-21-07, 07:44 PM   #15
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I think drugs played a very big part in today's TT. I think it was obvious Cancellara was using some marijuana prior to taking the start. I mean HOW ELSE could the world champion time trialer crash multiple times. Maybe it wasn't his fault. Maybe someone slipped him a mickey.

Of course I'm being sarcastic! I understand that this doping issue keeps coming up lately and it most often is exposed when someone has had a stellar performance. But SERIOUSLY, like so many said before me, if we are going to cry wolf everytime someone does better than expected we going to be so jaded. Heck, I think it's too late. We already are jaded!

Let's just go on one of two assumptions: 1) They're ALL doing it and no one has an advantage based on the fact. 2) Only the ones who get caught are doing it and they ALWAYS get caught, so no one is getting away with.

This way we can stop throwing baseless accusations around at riders we don't like or make inaccurate predictions of their poor performance, while at the same time sheltering our favorite riders from those same accusations.
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Old 07-21-07, 07:51 PM   #16
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Well .. Sammy Sosa went from relative baseball obscurity to superman because he trained hard. So, maybe Rasmussen trained hard also.
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Old 07-21-07, 08:11 PM   #17
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Drugs do not make you more coordinated on sharp corners, more efficient in keeping a line, better aero skills, etc. I'm thinking Chicken just never focused on TTing cuz he was preoccupied with KOM and his climbing which is why he was so sloppy and inefficient at it. I think the physical strength and potential were there. All he needed to become a decent TTer was practice at improving the small details that save time.
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Old 07-21-07, 08:14 PM   #18
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Why? Back this up please! This sounds like a coming from the sky, "I-am-right-you-are-wrong" condescending botto-style pronouncement.

There is a seasoned pro out there doing commentary for the Tour, who has his doubts on Rasmussen's integrity regarding doping and he specifically raises his past performances on TT to show that today's "performance" might not have been dope-free..... What do you know that he doesn't?

That's another reason people suspected Riis of doping: he was not a Grand Tour winner far from it, and then on the tail end of his career, bam!, he wins the Tour. As it turns out, the "past performance" methodology was right on target......
As many have said, he was a KOM guy the last 2 years and TT's were an afterthought. He obviously has worked alot on his TT spin over the last year and that showed today to everyones surprise. Riskus didn't say Rass isn't doping, he said Rass's TT performance didn't just get better because he doped more, but because he put time in on the TT bike. Has and does Rass dope, sure. Did he ride his TT bike alot more in the offseason, yes.
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Old 07-21-07, 08:15 PM   #19
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The first few times I commuted I averaged under 20kph, and slid on gravel and got a boo boo. A year later I do 30kph. 50% improvement. The fact that I was clueless at first left a lot of room for improvement.

Just the fact that he had reason to try this TT compared to last year, would mean a 3 minute expected improvement over last year. In addition to big weather breaks, he also had team support for pre-race prep, and Erik Dekker in the team car behind him.

The fact that he lost only 15 seconds in the last flat non-technical 16k might be suspicious, but might be explained by taking the hilly first part easy (for him). This is within the parameters of just a good day, IMO... no whiskey needed.

If Cancellara can finish 8:45 behind on a stage he might of won, Ras can do 4-6 minutes better than last year's crusing through TT without it implying cheating.
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Old 07-21-07, 08:16 PM   #20
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I still have plenty of salt grains if you need it. Remember how stoked you were after Floyd's epic ride? Or after .. Basso (I forgot his name for a second!) crushed the field at the Giro d'Italia.

These people aren't always the brightest, but they are rich and can afford good doctors/advisors. "work on your handling. don't eat any meat or chocolate for a year .. and oh yeah, take these pills every day before and after you train, but stop 1 month before the tour. And yes, ride your TT bike in a black kit every now and then."

Yes, he did a 180 degree swing from yesteryears .. but I still wonder. Maybe if he wasn't so ugly, I'd warm up to him. Floyd was ugly, so I never really warmed up to him either ..
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Old 07-21-07, 08:18 PM   #21
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So a 130 lbs. pure climber takes 11th place in a long individual time trial. Inspired by the Maillot Jaune? Sadly, I fear something more sinister. Let's examine his performance in all of his previous time trials in 2007 and 2006:

http://www.feltet.dk/michaelrasmusse...cle.php?12.255

2006
114th Stage 7 in Tour de France
85th Stage 19 in Tour de France
89th Stage 14 in Vuelta a Espana
2007
105th Stage 5 in Tour of California
79th Stage 6 in Tour of California

So he goes from 79th as best top finish in a time trial to 11th...remarkable.

p.s. I haven't seen that kind of TT inspiration from a climber since the great Marco Pantani!
So does this mean Miquel Indurain was a doper because he could climb and was 180-190 lbs?

Contador TT'd well today and is tiny.
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Old 07-21-07, 08:28 PM   #22
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David Z isn't huge by any stretch.

Richard
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Old 07-21-07, 09:25 PM   #23
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Why? Back this up please! This sounds like a coming from the sky, "I-am-right-you-are-wrong" condescending botto-style pronouncement.

There is a seasoned pro out there doing commentary for the Tour, who has his doubts on Rasmussen's integrity regarding doping and he specifically raises his past performances on TT to show that today's "performance" might not have been dope-free..... What do you know that he doesn't?

That's another reason people suspected Riis of doping: he was not a Grand Tour winner far from it, and then on the tail end of his career, bam!, he wins the Tour. As it turns out, the "past performance" methodology was right on target......
I didnt say he isnt doping. I just said you cant base it off of this single event. Dude never cared about TTing before. He practically purposely lost time in past events so he could get away on other stages without anyone bothering to chase him.

When you are absolutely terrible at something and you never even bother to train that aspect its amazing the change that occurs when you actually make a concerted effort to get better at it.
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Old 07-21-07, 09:35 PM   #24
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i can see a couple of things to explain how ras could pull this off. what gets my attention is three of the first four places all going to the same team. that just strikes me as funny...
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Old 07-21-07, 11:16 PM   #25
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i can see a couple of things to explain how ras could pull this off. what gets my attention is three of the first four places all going to the same team. that just strikes me as funny...
Very interesting indeed.

Plus - Kloden just happens not to want to remain with T-Mobile, which is trying to clean-up its act.

I like Vino's attitude, but not the team. I seem them in some Gulag, doping along with their women swimmer friends from East Germany.
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