American In YELLOW!!!!!!

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JuergenG said:
Does he have Lance Armstrong's sources ?
You see.... Was there ever a positive test? The guys who were busted using roids were still 15 MINUTES behind him... [thinking]
 

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Too bad people feel that way.

Only 5 Americans have ever worn the Yellow Jersey. Lance was exceptional, but there are a lot of very talented riders that remain. Because there isn't a clear leader this year, the tactics, breakaways, and pace setting have been very interesting to watch. Remind me of the '96, '97 and '98 tours where Induran had retired and there wasn't a clear favorite. The battle that Reiis, Ulrich, and Pantani put on those years was amazing.

Watching Lance was amazing in a different way. He was just dominating. But a lot of the tactics was missing. They are back this year and it's fun to watch.

But then, I guess you need to have a bit of knowledge into the mechanics to appreciate it. Kind of like watching football and not knowing anything about the subtle game with the clock.

Still, watching these guys pedal up the equivilent of the Mt Washington Auto Road five times today at 8-9mph over a 125 mile long course in about 5.5 hours still facinates me.

We'll see how obscure things are if Floyd holds on. We still have more than a week to go, and the Alps await.
 

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JuergenG said:
Yellow Jersey = lead man
There are actually 4 jerseys and an award.

Yellow Jersey = GC (General classification) winner based on the combined shortest time plus bonus time for stage wins.

Green Jersey = Sprinter. Sprint points are awarded to the first few men to cross certain places each day. One with the most points at the end wins.

Polka Dot Jersey = King of the hill Points awarded at the top of climbs. Again, most points wins.

White Jersey = Best young rider. Lowest overall time for a rider under 25 years of age.

Red Number = Most Aggressive. A trophy is awarded at the end of the tour to the rider who showed the most determination and agressiveness. Tyler Hamilton of Marblehead won this back a few years ago for winning a stage with a broken collarbone and coming in 4th overall.

--------------

Doping. Yes, there is a lot of issues with this. And the problem goes all the way back to the 1890's when Worcester's Major Taylor was as popular in the US Sports scene as Jeff Gordon is today. Bicycle track racing at the turn of the century was bigger than NASCAR is today. Week long races were held in places like Madison Square Garden to crowds of 80,000 people or more.

The problem is that the doping has become very sophisticated and figuring out what's natural and what is not is very difficult. It isn't just a case of testing for a chemical because that' seasy to discover. It's figuring who is doing blood transfusions to increase red blood cell density.
 

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OK, I don't care if you like cycling or not, today's stage was absolutely INCREDIBLE.

Yesterday, Floyd Landis cracked on the final climb and lost the Yellow Jersey and was 8:08 behind. All the press were saying the Tour was over for him, nobody could recover that kind of time.

Today, ON HIS OWN, with the power of the other teams chasing, he earned back 7 minutes and 38 seconds by completely riding away from everyone. The NEXT CLOSEST person was still over 5 minutes behind at the end. He even added time going DOWNHILL.

Lets not forget, we are talking about racing over 4 climbs that are roughly like the road up Mt Washington, only they are higher and longer. Oh, and you are traveling over 100 miles in the process.

30 seconds out of winning the Tour. Over 7 minutes ahead of teams of men who were trying to catch him. Not since the days of Eddie Merkx in the late 60's has the Tour seen this kind of runaway.

It all comes down to the Time Trial on Saturday. in the first time trial, Floyd was about 2 minutes faster than the two men ahead of him in the standings. This one is going to be longer and with a lot more hills. Floyd not only has the chance to win back the Yellow, but put on enough time that there is unlikely to be any kind of serious threat all the way to Paris.

GO FLOYD!!!!!!
 
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Chris said:
Today, ON HIS OWN, with the power of the other teams chasing, he earned back 7 minutes and 38 seconds by completely riding away from everyone. The NEXT CLOSEST person was still over 5 minutes behind at the end. He even added time going DOWNHILL.

GO FLOYD!!!!!!

Fantastic! After I read the reports yesterday I was really hoping he could gain some of that time back quickly.
 

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Lets just hope that the subsequent investigation shows that this is natural for him - especially after such a hard stage. The limit was just recently reduced from 6:1 to 4:1 amid some controversy that it might not be a valid limit. We don't know how far over Floyd was.

All I can say is that cycling is certianly setting the standards for other sports. I wonder how well other athletes would stand up if the same scrutiny was placed on them. It's so bad now in cycling that if you use ointments for saddle sores, you'll fail the drug tests. Even over the counter meds will register positives.
 

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Jus wondering ... Wouldn't setting low caps on testosterone levels tend to give the French an unfair advantage?

Ken
 

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A few more details that the mass media seem reluctant to report:

The exact T/E ratio measured for Landis has not been made public, and there is some debate as to whether the test necessarily proves doping. In particular, hypothyroidism, which Landis has, causes low levels of SHBG, which in turn can cause relatively high levels of testosterone (since testosterone must bind with SHBG before it can be biologically processed out of the system). The net result is an accumulation of testosterone and an abnormally high T/E ratio. Even though he is on medication for his hypothyroidism, thyroid levels are notoriously unstable in those with hypothyroidism, even if taking medication.
 

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I see that John Lott just made the same observation on this situation:

Comment on Floyd Landis testing positive for testosterone
Does anyone else find it amusing that it is the French who find elevated levels of testosterone suspicious?
[cheers]

Ken
 

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What a shame. And what a black eye for all of the other American bikers if he is a doper...
 

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He and his wife were interviewed on another show the other day. He said that the results showed his actual testosterone levels were somewhat below average, while his levels of epitestosterone (a metabolic precursor of testosterone) were significantly below average. The standards used to determine doping are based on the ratio of these two levels. Thus the ratio could be increased either by artificially increasing the testosterone level, or by something depressing the epitestosterone level. They're supposed to be doing a carbon isotope ratio mass spectrometry test on the B sample to determine whether there's any evidence of exogenous testosterone.

Even if there is, we're still left with some weird unexplained facts. Landis was tested 6 different times during the Tour, but only one day's samples tested out of range; samples from both the day before and the day after were perfectly normal. Testosterone is basically a steroid that helps build muscle mass. That happens over a long period of time, not in a single day. There's also the fact that alcohol consumption (which Landis did prior to the bad test) has been demonstrated to increase the testosterone-epitestosterone ratio by up to 300%.

Did he do it? I don't have a clue. Will he be screwed by the French? If there's any possible way, absolutely yes.

Ken
 
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