Author Topic: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong  (Read 8023 times)

Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« on: July 06, 2008, 06:30:05 pm »
Tomorrow 20:00 ITV 4 after the Tour de France

alan

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2008, 06:40:41 pm »
Thanks for that.It's now programmed into the autoview.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 03:47:39 pm »
I bet there is no mention of David Walsh's book - L A Confidential!!!!

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2008, 03:48:32 pm »
I don't think I will get to see this, I am drinking beer and eating curry this evening. Hopefully it'll be on watch again

tiermat

  • According to Jane, I'm a Unisex SpaceAdmin
Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2008, 03:49:17 pm »
I guess it's the Discovery one that's been around for a couple of years, kinda ok, but nothing spectacular.  Expect lots of repetition and exaggeration
I feel like Captain Kirk, on a brand new planet every day, a little like King Kong on top of the Empire State

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2008, 08:21:06 pm »
Expect lots of repetition and exaggeration

Yup.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2008, 10:43:51 pm »
Very tiring. And exaggerated.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2008, 10:45:34 pm »
Expect lots of repetition and exaggeration

Yup.

It's a TV program intended for general viewing so it's probably the first insight into the tour that people will get.  Too much whinging about the lack of cycling coverage on this forum to whinge when there is some I reckon.

It may also go someway to describing to non-cyclists just how incredible the fella is.

I didn't notice any exaggeration to be honest.  Here's a guy who was riddled with Cancer, Testicular, Lungs and Brain who came back to win the Tour de France 7 consecutive times.  How do you go about exaggerating something like that?  His true-life story already seems like an exaggeration.

I thought it was a decent enough program about cycling technology and about a living legend.  If it got deep into the advantages of Dura Ace over Campag Record then it would get 10 viewers and not achieve any non-cyclist exposure.

LindaG

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2008, 10:48:24 pm »
It was pretty good.  Quite dated in some ways though, most of the teams are no more, Ulrich and Basso ditto ...

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2008, 10:51:07 pm »
I think the tone and message were hyped. It was tiring after a while. The guy's good; but others were at least as good.

PS Well I'm a fluid mechanicist and that part did look staged. It was informative but did not ring totally real.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2008, 10:51:31 pm »
I didn't notice any exaggeration to be honest.  Here's a guy who was riddled with Cancer, Testicular, Lungs and Brain who came back to win the Tour de France 7 consecutive times.  How do you go about exaggerating something like that?  His true-life story already seems like an exaggeration.

"Quit? You know, once I was thinking of quitting when I was diagnosed with brain, lung and testicular cancer all at the same time. But with the love and support of my friends and family, I got back on the bike and won the Tour de France 5 times in a row."
The old Legion hand told the recruit, "When things are bad, bleu, try not to make them worse, because it is very likely that they are bad enough already." -- Robert Ruark

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2008, 11:07:06 pm »
I think the tone and message were hyped. It was tiring after a while. The guy's good; but others were at least as good.

PS Well I'm a fluid mechanicist and that part did look staged. It was informative but did not ring totally real.

I actually find it a bit insulting to say "The Guy's Good" to be honest.  In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

I struggle to find words to describe what an incredible achievement it was to win 7 Tours.  I wouldn't use "Good" though.  (I'm a good cyclist I think).

Also, I can live with a (possibly) staged fluid dynamics scene, it's not that important.  I'm trying not to use the word Anorak here (and failing).  It looked real enough for my non-Fluid Mechanicist family members to enjoy the program.



border-rider

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2008, 11:12:29 pm »
PS Well I'm a fluid mechanicist and that part did look staged. It was informative but did not ring totally real.

It's a TV show aimed at non-cycling non-engineers.  It's likely as true to technical reality as Star Trek

I was also wondering about the claims that he doesn't produce lactic acid, or need oxygen, like mere mortals.

But overall, it was OK TV and I enjoyed it.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2008, 11:23:59 pm »
I think the tone and message were hyped. It was tiring after a while. The guy's good; but others were at least as good.

I actually find it a bit insulting to say "The Guy's Good" to be honest.  In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

I think Frenchie's point was to imagine what Indurain/Merckx/Hinault/Anquetil/etc could have been with today's bicycle technology, aerodynamic advances, team tactics, training regimes, nutrition information, etc.

Purely man against man, or another way of leveling the playing field, I still think Armstrong would be in the top 10, just not #1.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

David Martin

  • Thats Dr Oi You thankyouverymuch
Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2008, 12:15:30 am »
The program was honest about that. They reckon the advantages of the technology (custom textures on the skin suit etc.) was sufficient to give him a margin equivalent to his tour wins. The preparation etc was meticulous. I liked the clip with lifting the thumb and watching the numbers rise.. OK it was staged and hyped but it was the overall message that was clear.

But yes, tiring towards the end and very leftpondian in approach (with a strange mix of interviews from different times, often after the commentary)

In short, it's not about the bike, but it is about how you sit on it.

..d
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2008, 08:41:43 am »
I think the tone and message were hyped. It was tiring after a while. The guy's good; but others were at least as good.

I actually find it a bit insulting to say "The Guy's Good" to be honest.  In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

I think Frenchie's point was to imagine what Indurain/Merckx/Hinault/Anquetil/etc could have been with today's bicycle technology, aerodynamic advances, team tactics, training regimes, nutrition information, etc.

Purely man against man, or another way of leveling the playing field, I still think Armstrong would be in the top 10, just not #1.

Yes.

Others actually won other big races too, not only the TdF, and they often added classics; when this argument is used, people are quick to point out: "Ah, but it was on another era!"; to which their bikes and science also belonged to. One cannot win, I guess, but it is worth checking the palmares of the Anquetil, Merckx, Hinault and others before using terms such as "the best there has ever been".  Maybe an anorak and a reality check are needed then, but there's no need to feel insulted. ::-)

I see why in a popular science way, they cut corners, but some of the claims were a bit irritating: It felt like Superman science at times and I think it could have been better explained. I think David also conveys why I was getting tired towards the end.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2008, 09:00:46 am »
In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

Look at other riders' records and see if you can honestly say that again.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...


LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #18 on: July 08, 2008, 09:03:45 am »
I did qualify my statment about him being the best ever by saying the best ever at winning the Tour.  I never said he was the best ever (that's a pointless discussion).  
I have absolutely no doubt that, if he'd concentrated on other events as much he would not have won 7 Tours.

My main point is that we shouldn't get hung up on a few technicalities here and there when we finally get a few TV programs aired about cycling.

I'm sure that all the Sailor-Sam types whinge about ropes not being tied correctly during Ellen Macarthur documentaries and how she isn't quite as good as she is made out to be.  The point being that documentaries about Dame Ellen Macarthur are made mainly for me, non sailing types, to marvel at her acheivements from my living room.  It's light-entertainment not reference material for some thesis.  

Maybe it just goes to show that all TV documetaries are 'glammed up' and we only notice it when it's about our specialist subject.  Like I say, it's TV, American TV at that, it's just entertainment.

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2008, 09:04:40 am »
In fact the guy is the best there has ever been at what he tried to do, that is to win the Tour de France.  Nobody was as good as him at that, certainly none better.

Look at other riders' records and see if you can honestly say that again.

I can't be arsed to be honest, you'll have to tell me who's won it more than that.

Edit.  I was arsed enough to look on Wiki and can't find anyone who won it 7 times or more so I think I can still honestly say (not knowingly lying) that Lance is the best ever at winning Tour de France's.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2008, 09:11:39 am »
Has anyone seen this show on the Watch Again/Catch Up listings, I can't find it.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2008, 09:37:44 am »
How do you define "the best"? How do you compare?

Look at Anquetil 1961 TdF victory: 21 days in yellow and a victor with a 12'+ margin over the second. When I look at this it tells me a lot about how superior to the competition Anquetil was then. And he had finished second in the Giro that year. Incidentally he won both races in 1964 too. In that context, yes, Armstong is good, but others also were.

For the record, I don't consider myself "good" when I put name in the same parag. as Anquetil or Hinault.
Frenchie - Train à Grande Vitesse

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #22 on: July 08, 2008, 09:46:00 am »
I think this was a Discovery chanel production, so...... erm, you'd expect it to be the highly polished, slick bullshit that it was.  I can't believe that loads of money was spent developing every single individual molecule of equipment that LA used, that is just the manifestation of the way that cycling changed in the Armstrong era in terms of marketing and the vast wealth that it brought into cycling. 

However, it did remind me just how good Armstrong and his team were compared to its contemporaries.  A dominance of the event for 7 years isn't a fluke.

FWIW I think comparisons with riders of 30 years ago are rather pointless.

LEE

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #23 on: July 08, 2008, 09:55:46 am »
How do you define "the best"? How do you compare?

Look at Anquetil 1961 TdF victory: 21 days in yellow and a victor with a 12'+ margin over the second. When I look at this it tells me a lot about how superior to the competition Anquetil was then. And he had finished second in the Giro that year. Incidentally he won both races in 1964 too. In that context, yes, Armstong is good, but others also were.

For the record, I don't consider myself "good" when I put name in the same parag. as Anquetil or Hinault.

Let me clarify what I'm saying about Lance, the TdF and his achievement, I didn't think it would cause confusion.

I know there are/were other GREAT cyclists.

I'm saying that he is clearly the most successful TdF rider ever with 7 wins.  Just Tour de France.  Not Indoor Team Time Trial (although he's a hell  of a TT rider) or any other discipline.
I didn't say anything about the Giro, just about Lance's record of winning the Tour.  He's the most successful Tour de France rider ever.  That's all I'm saying.  7 is a bigger number than 6 and 5 and so on.

It doesn't matter how much you win the Tour de France by, it's totally irrelevant, winning it is the objective.  Usually the Yellow-Jersey won't try and annhialate the opposition every day, rather they'll just make sure the opposition stays comfortably behind.  Winning by 1 second is winning. Possibly Lance could have won by bigger margins but there's simply no point when 1 second is enough.

Re: Heads up: The Science of Lance Armstrong
« Reply #24 on: July 08, 2008, 10:05:15 am »
You only had to open up a cycling mag during that era to realise why LA targeted the Tour de France. In terms of earning money from advertising (particularly in the USA) every other race is absolutely irrelevant.  How many of you could name this years Giro winner without googling it?