While noted anti-doping critics Antoine Vayer and Frederic Grappe remain unconvinced by the physiological data just released by Tour champion Chris Froome, they are not the only disbelievers.
Phil Heitz, an elementary school math teacher in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, has also looked over the data and remains highly skeptical that the Sky captain is riding clean. In his detailed assessment, he lists ten issues that raise significant red flags.
1 There are too many numbers
“Jeez, I mean, look at all this data? It’s confusing. There are tons of numbers on every page. Is this calculus or algebra — they don’t even say which one. This is very fishy to me.”
2 VO2 max only half the story
“Why did Froome and Sky only release his VO2 max? That’s incomplete data and really makes me suspicious. I mean, where is the VO1 max? It’s like they left out half the data on purpose. Seems like a doping move to me.”
3 Self reported exertion skewed
“Those science guys only pushed him to 17 on Froome’s “I’m getting tired” numbers. What’s up with that? Why not push him to 50 or even 100? That’s how you get the real truth. Again, they just let him do anything he wants and he just picks a number out of the air. Is that scientific?”
4 Why lactate threshold?
“Of all the data they collected, this is what bugs me the most. I mean, it just makes his claims a joke and all the numbers are bogus. He’s a man and he didn’t just have a baby. So why measure his lactate threshold? Who cares how much breast milk he has? I dunno. His wife is pregnant and maybe they just got their tests confused. Still, suspicious, right?
5 Test way way too short
“It seems to me that you’re trying to figure out if he’s doping in the Tour de France. That race is three weeks long. I’m no exercise physiologist but this doesn’t add up. He should be in the lab on that bike for three weeks. Put a bed next to the bike in the lab and test for 21 days. Why am I the only person who figures this obvious stuff out?”
6 Wattage numbers are crazy low
“So, yeah, his max is 525 watts. Is that a big number? That’s only three digits. I’m a math teacher and I can tell you, that number is super small when you look at 4-5-6 digit numbers. If a lightbulb is 60 watts, you’re telling me a Tour de France champion is only putting out less than 9 light bulbs? Divide that by two legs and that’s 4.5 light bulbs. Seriously, what kind of science is that?
7 Who uses an OFF score?
“This just shows you how backward this whole test is and why it means nothing. OFF score? Does that tell you whether Froome is doping? They make up a number for when he’s off the bike, for when he’s off relaxing, doing something else? This is a stupid, pointless number.”
8 Kilograms, really?
“This actually makes me mad. So they’re clearly trying to trick us with the numbers by using measures that make no sense and mean nothing to anybody in the United States — which by the way is a huge country with lots of pro cyclists. Kilograms? Watts-per-kilograms? How about POUNDS! Make the data meaningful so we can evaluate it. Instead they resort to trickery and an obscure measure they only use in the rest of the world. I call that willfully misleading.”
9 Where is the competition?
“My buddy Rick Sonnet, who teaches 5th grade science, pointed this mistake out to me. Froome is in a lab with a bunch of technicians in lab coats. Again, accurate numbers are the key to this whole doping question. Rick said they should have put another bike on a trainer just in front of Froome and had Nairo Quintana ride it. It’s like nobody is thinking these tests through.
10) They let him bring his own bike?????
“There is such a thing as scientific protocol. Instead they let Froome show up with his own bike and let him put it together himself!!!! That’s tainted data right there, end of story. Did they even check it over for a hidden motor? This is like Amateur hour.”
“I don’t know. I’m kinda thinking that Grappe guy at FDJ and that Vayer guy might be right. I’m not buying these test results AT ALL!!!!!. Poorly done, sloppy planning, compromised data, lots of things that just don’t add up. I like Froome — he seems like a nice polite person — a lot more well-mannered than the kids in my math class — but sorry, I’m not ready say clean as whistle.”