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.

5 Responses to “A Different Kind of Retrospective”

  1. Al June 29, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    “charts should be saved as PNGs, not JPGs”

    What is the reason for that? I’m curious.

  2. Josh June 29, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    Nice note on VeloNews making pages more ‘findable.’ I use Bing to Google now.

  3. Colin R June 29, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Al — JPGs use lossy compression which makes text look like crap. PNGs are lossless, so your text stays crisp. WOO I’M A DORK

  4. rainbow June 29, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    Whatever the format of the material is published in is immaterial. What’s more important is to have the original files to work with. pfd, png, jpg, dumbdiddlyd it won’t make it manipulatble (do not read changeable, but rather to have ability to be graphed and ranged compared against other results to get a better perspective of the data). The data we are reading is dumb data and not really interpolatable in the formats provided, it’s the truth without repercussion.
    I’m still waiting to see Lance’s promised comprehensive independent drug-testing program the BEST the world has ever seen yada yada yada. Whatever happened to that? Cost! What? Who are we talking about here? Logistics! Ha? Just follow the twitter, flapping feeds! It doesn’t take a genius to take blood. The most tested athlete of all time needs to compiled all the tests and have them released. that would prove his point. What’s so special about just 2009? Or would that cost him too much and test our credulity to beyond belief?

  5. Al June 30, 2009 at 9:15 am #

    Colin- thanks.

Leave a Reply