MVDP numbers at Strade BIanche

Maybe it was just MVP doing a leg opener :sweat_smile:

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At the end of the day, he ‘could’ have a junk power meter, as could the rest of us…

I prefer to think that I’m privileged to watch such a talented crop of young bike racers going at it.

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Mvdp postet a screenshot from his Garmin-app some months ago saying FTP=480.

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That seems more reasonable if he’s doing 440np for a long ass time at the end of the race, and if he’s doing 380+ np for almost 5hrs.

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Normalized Power is pretty poor metric as it does not take into account the rider’s ability above FTP. MvdP has an absolutely massive W’, FRC, HIE, or whatever else you’d want to call it, so NP busters probably aren’t uncommon for him, whereas a rider with a much lower W’ couldn’t get to anywhere near that.

Mike

Yes, I believe the French call it extraterrestre. People love a good story…

Now let’s have a guess at what cocktail of stuff he’s taking

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It’s unfortunate that we can’t enjoy his performances w/o these questions being raised…but the sport has brought it on itself in many ways, so this is the world we live in.

I’d be lying if I said I never thought “Hmmmm…” when watch MVP…and Wout last year. If the sport has taught us anything, it is that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

But no credible allegations have been raised and until that time, I’ll enjoy watching the wattbombs, if maybe just a touch cynically.

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At this point, pro cycling is what it is. It’s not a matter of believing or not believing, but a matter of understanding. Fun to watch though!

Are there allegations out there, links?

Not that I have seen…

The numbers are pretty compelling on their own.

A good analysis of numbers from the 2020 TdF:

At the end of the day, the numbers are what they are. I mean, it’s lovely to believe that humans have achieved some sort of evolutionary leap in the last decade or two–surpassing the best efforts of riders who raced in the era of unlimited doping–but at some point you have to believe what the numbers tell you.

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Does anyone know if Mathieu favors a polarized or sweet spot approach?

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I’ve hit those numbers.

Well, the max HR at least…

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The numbers are mind boggling but, best of all was the entertainment value of the race itself; it made compelling viewing which is what gets more people especially younger children to want to participate in the sport.

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That’s what everyone said about Armstrong’s year is cycling

It was more enjoyable then say the sky train

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I don’t really subscribe to the view that you can pick out individual dopers based on numbers or dominance. On the numbers front I don’t think we have a good enough understanding of how the body works to define set limits beyond which we can say “he’s definitely doping”. On the dominance front I don’t believe that doping would be the key factor in one rider dominating, for the simple reason that if one rider has discovered a way of getting away with doping offering that big a performance benefit, then you can bet he’s not the only one. There’s enough movement of riders and staff between teams that it would be all but impossible to keep it a secret, other teams and riders would find out and either follow suit or be dropping thinly veiled accusations on social media.

So my view is when you see a rider dominating races, you’re probably either seeing a clean rider dominating a fairly clean peloton, or a doped rider dominating a mostly doped peloton. It wasn’t Lance’s dominance that convinced me he was doping, it was the fact that the riders he was dominating were all proven dopers themselves. If MVDP was putting in these sort of performances at a time when there were big names and teams getting embroiled in doping scandals and bans, then I’d be hugely sceptical. Seems relatively quiet on that front though, which makes me at least somewhat optimistic that we’re seeing riders who are mostly clean, or at least exploring marginal grey area stuff that isn’t on the radar of the doping authorities yet. Maybe ketones are the secret sauce? Maybe there’s genetic doping already going on? If so then we’ll almost certainly found out at some point in a few years time when the autobiographies come out!

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He’s not doping. If he is, it’s not that much.

  1. Looking at his 5min power (lets call that VO2 Max), his FTP is ~425w
  2. MVP has 15lb on LA’s pre-cancer weight. His bio says 165lb, but he’s a clear size larger than a lot of “165” lb guys and a bit larger than Wout (172lb, Wout might be stockier) , making 80w less. He’s also got a big frame.
  3. He held 80% of FTP for 4hours. That’s a fuel line supporting ~325w of fat burn. The only thing that’d amp up your fat burn would be something like what Wiggins accused of - Triamcinolone . He’d look thin skinned /bloated with that I’d assume. Everyone was pushing him for the first 3 hours, then he just out lasted them. His super power is his high energy pipeline complimenting his FTP.
  4. He doesn’t have the muscle capacity to over stain his plumbing in any case. He could be a much bigger dude. Pro cycling is a contest to see who can be the most underdeveloped given their genetics. He could probably have a much higher FTP (on shorter tests) if he focused on shorter term power, adding some muscle.
  5. He’s got the pedigree
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That’s not how it worked back when the Postal train had their classics specialist (Hincapie) dropping the world’s best climbers, and it’s unlikely that’s how it works now that the team is Jumbo and the classics specialist is Van Aert. Everyone really needs to read “The Secret Race”

I’ve read The Secret Race. That was exactly how it worked in the USPS days. The world’s best climbers and most of the peloton were on EPO as well. USPS just had better doctors, a bigger budget, and a willingness to focus all those resources on winning the Tour - structuring their whole season around it and having a team of super domestiques who were prepared to sacrifice everything for Armstrong.

That’s a great model for winning Grand Tours regardless of whether you and everybody else are doping as they were in the 90s and 00s, or whether you and everybody else are clean. It’s the model that Sky used for years and that Jumbo Visma nearly emulated last year. The reason that a Hincapie or a WVA or a Kwiatkowski can drop the world’s best climbers is because they know they don’t have to ride to the finish so can empty the tanks early, they get days when they can take it easy, and they don’t have the pressure of being leader. It’s also why riders like Poels or Porte can drop nearly everybody when working as a super domestique but can then struggle to make the final selection when riding as leader.

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