A Different Kind of Retrospective

Jun 29 2009

3308938869_460dbfbe01Velonews has started posting video retrospectives in recognition of the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s first Tour win.

They’ve still got some work to do on page layout, and the voiceover isn’t quite synced, nor up to How The Race Was Won standards, but it’s good to see they’ve taken my advice and begun embedding the videos in HTML pages so Google can see them.

Anyway, I thought I’d post my own retrospective here. Since Livestrong.com now posts Armstrong’s test results (BTW, charts should be saved as PNGs, not JPGs), I figured I’d try to compare it to some older data on Lance’s blood work.
I wish I had some actual numbers, but “fit to start” was apparently all the vampires recorded during their hematocrit tests.

Now, this isn’t a particularly significant finding. As I’ve mentioned before, hematocrit is variable to the point of being useless; prone to deviating upward, and easy to manipulate in the other direction. Lance himself was quite sensitive to the possibility of misinterpretation of hematocrit figures when he began releasing his test data.

That having been said, it sure is tempting to watch how Armstrong rode in the Giro and think that it might just be how’d you’d expect an athlete of Lance’s size and relatively pedestrian hematocrit to ride. I certainly think, given that Lance has been racing since January, it’s more likely than the Astana party line of Armstrong being slow following his collarbone injury in Spain.

Guess it’s just another question we’ll hopefully get an answer to this July.

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