## Not Safe For Cycling Fans: Physiology Analysis Stage 14

did the rain really put out the fire works?

the DpW/kg analysis says:

not really

with the performance from

Nibali and Horner

still splitting bars on the cold wet stage

…

starting with the eW/kg

in standardized W/kg terms (for a Froome sized rider)

Nibali and Horner put up

5.9 W/kg (standardized)

with a spread of

5.8 - 5.9 W/kg (full draft - no draft condition)

Valverde (edit: valverde’s time was updated based on a 35 second gap at the start of the climb)

5.8 W/kg (5.7 - 5.9)

Rodriguez

5.8 W/kg (5.7 - 5.8)

and

Pozzovivo

5.6 W/kg (5.6 - 5.7)

given the rain and the extra weight in wet clothes

a second simulation adding 1 kg

basically adds 0.1 W/kg to the estimates FWIW

…

in more specific physiology terms

split bars indicates that the performance was

faster than what would be expected

of a clean rider with a VO2max of 90 ml/min/kg @ 23% efficiency

but

slower

than the same rider doped with the equivalent of 700 ml of blood

up to a VO2 max of 95 ml/kg/min @ 23% efficiency

…

using Horner again as our guinea pig

another way to look at the physiology of the performance

is to calculate the VO2max necessary pull of the performance

rerunning the W/kg estimate

specific to Horner’s height 1.8 meters

and published weight 63.5 kg

the simulator gives rider size specific estimates of

5.9 w/kg for the half draft condition

(5.8 - 6.0 for full - no draft)

the total power can then be broken down into

a critical power component

and

a reserve component

(critical power for simplicity can be thought of as the aerobic threshold and the reserve as the anaerobic contribution)

in Horner’s case

critical power contributes 5.7 w/kg

with the reserve contributing the remaining 0.3 w/kg

(note that the extra 0.1 w/kg with rounding)

once the critical power is isolated

the VO2 required to produce the wattage can be calculated

at 70 ml/min/kg

and assuming that critical power is 85% of VO2max

(note that Vaughters thinks 85% is low and provided me with lab data showing at least one rider hold 86% at lactate threshold)

the 70 ml/min/kg at altitude

works out to a sea level

VO2max of 91 ml/min/kg at an efficiency of 23%

…

as a recap

Horner’s performances so far

would have required sea level VO2 max of

Stage 8: 92

Stage 10: 97

Stage 14: 91

assuming 23 % efficiency and CP at @ 85% of VO2max

to perform at the level observed

if that level is regularly beyond the plausible limits of human physiology

then doping has to be considered a possibility

for perspective

running through the same exercise

on Vayer’s data set for Lemond

put the vast majority of his performances

below 90 ml/min/kg VO2 max 23% efficiency

or well within the limits of his known physiology.

## Notes

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