Unwrapping the physiology of a Tour de France champion

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Given the current spotlight on sport concerning the use and abuse of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), there is a public interest in athletes providing greater transparency with regard to what makes them elite. In this study, the investigators conducted a thorough examination into the physiological characteristics of a two-time Tour de France champion cyclist.

Several interesting results were found including: 1) some of the highest aerobic capacity values in a cyclist on record; 2) high cycling efficiency; and 3) a higher than anticipated body fat percentage. Collectively, the data demonstrated what may be the required physiological characteristics to be a Tour de France champion. While the data can neither confirm nor deny the use of PEDs, it is perhaps a step in the right direction to publicly demonstrate the type of physiology required to be one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world.

For more information, view the abstract