The 2015 Tour de France winner's numbers were revealed on Thursday night by Esquire magazine

Data from physiological tests Chris Froome underwent after the Tour de France this year was released on the Esquire website on Thursday night, with his VO2 max described as “close to the upper limits for VO2 peak in humans.”

Froome recorded a VO2 max, the body’s rate of maximum oxygen uptake, of 84.6 (88.2 in his Tour de France condition) in the physiological tests, which stands in contrast to the VO2 max of fellow riders which would reportedly start from about 70 upwards with some having reached the 90s in the past (Greg LeMond for one).

>>> Opinion: Don’t get too excited about Chris Froome’s data, it’s only half the story

A regularly active person would normally have a VO2 max in the 40-50 region, with one of the scientists testing Froome saying that “We’ve never had anything close to that in the lab” and that “Froome’s values are close to what we believe are the upper limits for VO2 peak in humans.”

The Team Sky man underwent a VO2 max test and a submaximal test (testing his sustainable power) in the weeks following the Tour, at the GlaxoSmithKline Human Performance Lab in Brentford, London. As well as the GSK staff, Froome also had an external scientist in Jeroen Swart from the University of Cape Town to analyse his results.

>>> What can we learn from Chris Froome’s physiological test data?

Froome’s peak power during the test was 525 watts, with a sustained power of 419 (a power he should hold for 20-40 minutes). It correlates to 5.98 watts-per-kilogram at his test weight, and 6.25w/kg at his Tour weight of 67kg.

He is reported to have been carrying around 3kg more weight when the test was taken than in the Tour (67 to 69.9kg) and had a body fat percentage of 9.8.

“I’ve seen a value of 5.8w/kg being spoken of as the upper limit of human performance for a 40-minute effort,” Swart told Esquire. “But 6.2w/kg is definitely doable for Chris for 20 minutes if not longer.

“The [sustained] figure of 6w/kg — which is basically what he produced in the lab — is 79.8% of his peak power. That’s a completely reasonable percentage,” he added.

The two-time Tour winner had said he wanted to use the tests to try and dispel suspicion of doping, having coming under heavy scrutiny at the 2015 Tour from the public and the press.

He also claimed he was just curious about the numbers, saying earlier in the year that the tests are to “understand what makes me the athlete I am.”

However, it is consistently clear the tests are aimed at addressing questions on doping, particularly surrounding those put forward by former Festina trainer Antoine Vayer, who has openly accused Froome of using performance enhancing drugs, calling his performances “mutant”.Froome tests

“It’s hard not to get angry,” Froome said on the accusations. “You think, hold on, what people are actually accusing me of is so severe — it’s basically calling me a complete fraud.

“I know what I’ve done to get here. I’m the only one who can really say 100% that I’m clean. I haven’t broken the rules. I haven’t cheated. I haven’t taken any secret substance that isn’t known of yet. I know my results will stand the test of time…”

Results were also analysed from similar tests taken by Froome at the UCI World Cycling Centre in Switzerland in 2007 (the document of which you can see here) for comparison. However these results don’t adhere to the Athlete Biological Passport criteria started in 2009, so can not be used as a direct comparison.

>>> Watch: Chris Froome talks about pushing his body to its limits in physiological testing

Froome did produce more peak power of 540 watts in those results, carrying almost 8kg more weight. His VO2 was recorded in those results as 80.2, which Swart says means that “the engine was there all along. He just lost the fat.”

Further to that, Froome also released blood data from the ABP taken in controls on July 13, the day before he rode to victory on La Pierre-Saint-Martin at the 2015 Tour, and on August 20 in a random test shortly before the Vuelta a España.

Neither of the results produced an Off-score in the ABP that could be read untoward.

The Off-score indicates the balance between the haemoglobin concentration and the percentage of reticulocytes (a measure of the rate of red blood cell formation), with Froome showing 15.3 grams per litre and 0.72% of his red blood cells as immature (a normal adult range is 0.5–2.5%) in the July 13 test.

His Off-score of 102.1 sits within the often quoted 80-110 boundary.

Likewise, his haemoglobin on the August 20 test was 15.3 and he had 0.96% immature red blood cells. Froome’s Off-score for that test was 94.21, again sitting within the range.

Froome said on the tests: “At the end of the day, whatever the number is, I’m not going to be able to change it.

“But hopefully, it’s going to satisfy some of the questions that have been asked.”

The full set of data is available in the new Esquire magazine, out on Monday, December 8.

  • MrHaematocrit

    It is significant that Froome managed to produce 419 watts on the day of the 07 test despite bilharzia & asthma and then never again until 11.

    Froome’s own figures on weight in his biography bring question marks over his performance improvement being due to weight loss.

    http://veloclinic.tumblr.com/post/134870267983/swart-gsk-froome-study-quick-thoughts

  • RobTM

    If you saw pictures of young Froome, you’ll see he was relative soft and fat. Then again he also had a tropical parasitic disease.. plenty of reason to explain better form. Frankly, think Wiggo is post rationalising, he won TdF had an accident, put on weight, was out of peak stage race form.. then decided to focus on the flat

  • jpwins

    Yeah I know I am. Thanks

  • J1

    Don’t mention Astana in a doping argument, that’s another story!

  • ummm…

    Don’t know why you would assume I am disturbed. I personally am not talking about getting hit by cars, there have been a slew of articles recently. I think those articles can be helpeful, just saying I have noticed more. Just mentioning Stalin and admitting it was tongue in cheek makes me a crazy loser? It all makes sense now. Thanks JP your so smart.

  • Gunner Grimpeur

    Vayer is a fraud. He thinks anyone that rides a bike faster than the French is doped..He accused Team Sky of using motorised bicycles. He basically resents the fact that British Cycling has left the French in the dust when 15 years ago all we had was Boardman falling off…Jalabert is totally unrepentant about his doping past. Matt Rendell cornered him during the tour & asked him to quantify his insinuations against Froome. Like the lying coward he is, Jalabert denied he had made them, clearly forgetting he said them into a recording device. Pot Belge messed with his short term memory? Yeah, sure, we should trust they’re extensive knowledge, MrHaematocrit

  • jpwins

    You’re so strange. I take it you have a poster of Ted Bundy on your wall. No lets not talk about people getting hit by cars its almost Xmas, stop being a massive loser.

  • Stevo

    He was never “average”. He was winning races as far back as 2005.

  • MrHaematocrit

    How did Froome lose so much weight with no loss of power? – by contrast Wiggo is putting on weight to increase power for the track.

  • MrHaematocrit

    I would think that people who have been involved in the reality of doping, across riders, teams and a sport would have more understanding and awareness of the signs of doping than all of us put together.. If sky or froome wanted to address vayer they could have invited him to attend the testing to prove him wrong, they did not.

  • MrHaematocrit

    Do you believe a clean rider can outperform & dominate Dirty Bertie and lead riders from Astana for three weeks? – the froome data is incomplete and the reasoning for froomes performance improment continues to change, first bilharzia, then asthma, now its weight loss with no loss of power. While wiggo is putting on weight to gain power for the track.. Something’s not right, what that is I’m not sure.

  • MrHaematocrit

    Yea passing dope tests, really proves someone is clean, ask Lance Armstrong.. Froome went from an average rider about to be dropped by Sky to the dominant tour rider of a generation. With the history of the sport it is wise to question this.

  • ummm…

    Yeah a bit hyperbolic I was. Well he shhhhh’d me on another article and now he is shhhhhh’ing Josh. I was drawing a comparison between him and Stalin, because Stalin did a lot of censoring and silencing. It was tongue in cheek. And, yes please lets go back to freely conversing about dopers, and people getting hit by cars. Sorry to spoil your fun.

  • jpwins

    Ummm… do you ever say anything of context in any conversation ?? Your link to Froome and Stalin just shows how much of a fool you really are. Plus why do you want to know what’s on his wall? That’s more creepy then telling somebody to shhh!
    Back to cycling please.

  • JoshLyons

    Did I say anything about Wiggins? Anyway, if you have been watching you know that Wiggins has also been winning since early days and put in stellar grand tour performances before joining Sky – 2009 TdF was very impressive – Olympian too. Show me one single impressive performance from Froome before he joined Sky? Show me Froome’s medals and his winning record?

  • Gunner Grimpeur

    Wiggins turned into a grand tour contender at the age of 30. Hardly evidence of doping, unless you’re French. I started watching cycling in 1990. I’ve done quite a lot of hand wringing since then, believe you me. I sincerely believe that we’ve had 4 clean TDF winners since Armstrong. Sastre, Evans, Wiggins and Froome.

  • Gunner Grimpeur

    No, just an evidence based one, actually

  • JoshLyons

    I missed you comment John. Anyway, there’s nothing to refute because You will have your views and I will have mine. What I do like is that your facts are all spot-on although I don’t particularly agree with your perceptions – how you view the whole situ – but I do respect your view.

  • JoshLyons

    Actually, I have…and I agree with you that losing weight is hugely significant but…. 😉 (shakes head).

  • JoshLyons

    Don’t you think it’s strange that Contador was nicknamed “Pantani” when he was just 17yo and he won every event in Spain (Also U23 TT Champ), but Froome never won anything until he turned 27??? Froome’s best achievement was a 17th place in a TT in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, not Olympics, and was rated as UCI B-Level rider until joining Sky in 2010. Then suddenly, out of the blue and at the jolly old age of 27, he turns himself in to superman and a grand tour contender? Laughs! Go over to Wikipee’ and compare Contador’s (and other GT past winners) careers with Froome’s…you might be in for a shock.

  • llos25

    You are in a dream world .

  • Stevo

    Hilarious. Anyway, in your expert opinion, what “dope test” should “they” have done, and when? What would this test prove that wasn’t proved by the countless tests Froome has already taken?

  • JoshLyons

    See, you can’t even write that sentence correctly and you’re coming to talk to me about intelligence. Grow some braincells buddy.

  • Stevo

    Has anyone ever tested you for evidence of intelligence? If they haven’t, though should have.

  • Stevo

    Indeed. I think Bradley Wiggins’ approach during the 2012 Tour, i.e. calling them “f****ing w*********s” and “c******s” and leaving it at that is all, or more than, the idiots on twatter etc. deserve, even if it is not very polite.

  • Gunner Grimpeur

    Froome’s off scores before La Pierre St Martin are extremely revealing because they defy all the accepted logic of how a blood doper gains an advantage, because he ain’t blood doping. Antoine Vayer’s article on France 2 during the tour was a travesty. Quack data provided by the man that enabled the systematic doping program at Festina, echoed by Laurent Jalabert, a true doping “mutant”.

  • Gunner Grimpeur

    Contador doesn’t want anyone to know his values because he’s a doper. Has been since the Discovery days. That much was established by all the American riders that were subpoenaed during the Armstrong investigations beacuse they ALL said the WHOLE team was in 2007. Hats off to Froome and Dumolin for publishing. They’re giving the right info to prove they don’t have the type of profiles a doper has whilst not providing info that enables competitors to set appropriate training targets

  • llos25

    Sky bothers, its publicity.The figures mean nothing by themselves a very good article in Velo news worth reading.

  • elan

    Love to have seen Eddie Merx data.And Contador because they have won more grand tours than Froome,so whats the big deal here.

  • Craig Ross

    My VO2 max twenty five years ago was 5.02 total, and 62 per kg, measured in a university lab. Obviously I’ll have declined quite a bit in two and a half decades. Recently I’ve managed 306W for over twenty minutes on the Wattbike. So what’s surprising is how low Froome’s sustained figure is. Last night – trying to get myself in decent condition for a 3,000m effort – I did a 47kph two minute effort and then straight into a few one minute 47s with one minute recoveries. It wasn’t that hard, I’m old, I don’t do that much training and it isn’t my job.

    With his ability these results really aren’t that surprising.

  • RobTM

    Try losing 8Kg, in climbing that makes a huge difference

  • John Westwell

    Well, I’m not a sports scientist or a physiologist, but I suspect neither are you. there’s plenty of evidence about the drop off in performance in grand tours. Say you have a haematocrit level of 45 naturally, by the end of a three week tour it will have dropped by maybe 7 or 8 points. this in turn affects your ability to recover, as the red blood cells carry oxygen round the body. So you would expect to be able to make fewer efforts at a lower intensity with longer recovery between each effort. That seemed to be the case for Froome at the end of both his winning tours.

    If he was blood doping, you’d expect that not to be the case. That’s why Lance Armstrong had ‘moto man’ driving his EPO and later his bags of blood around France, to ensure that he could remain ‘topped up’. He probably did the same in 2009, when he went from struggling on even the lesser climbs to dropping people on the Col de la Colombiere.

    Presumably, if he didn’t have bilharzia, Froome has been falsifying his medical records, as he’s on record as having received treatment for it (and he had a recurrence a couple of years ago). Plenty of people have had undiagnosed illnesses and ailments in the past. Laurent Fignon rode for three months with an undiagnosed tapeworm which wriggled its way out during the tour in the 1980s, which as he says, explained his mystifying loss of form.

    as the article makes clear, Froome’s improvement is largely down to weight loss. he’s jettisoned the equivalent of 8or 9 bags of sugar since he was tested in 2007, whilst not losing any power. As Tyler Hamilton revealed in his book – which deals in unremittingly eye watering detail his doping practices when he was a GT contended in the mid-200s – more than EPO, more than blood doping, more than corticosteroids, the biggest single cause of his improvment as a rider was down to weight loss. Armstrong’s doctor Michele Ferrari insisted his riders lose weight as part of his discredited taining regime, and if youz look at photos of Francesco Casagrande in 1994 and compare them to how he looked in 1998, you’d barely recognise him as the same rider, such was the weight loss.

    However, as I don’t know much about doping, I’ll await the examples that you can undoubtedly marshal to refute my arguments.

  • ummm…

    ? we are both here and have the time it appears.

  • Magwister

    Your reply? Yep, it certainly is…as have all your other comments been. You have too much time on your hands.

  • ummm…

    tell the cyclists that were run out of the sport that they have sour grapes

  • ummm…

    why do these guys go to such lengths do disprove their doping if the argument of the other side is just about jealousy?

  • ummm…

    sad Gerard. far fetched and completely detached from reality

  • ummm…

    what? lame

  • ummm…

    no it doesn’t. Are you a brit? Nationalism much like religion is the opiate of the masses

  • ummm…

    heeey it is Harri. He is just “shhhhhhhh” everybdoy. He shhhhh me on the Froom article yesterday. What is your deal? Kinda creepy Harri. You have Froome posters on the wall, or Stalin?

  • ummm…

    haha

  • Harri

    shhhhhh Josh

  • Magwister

    You’re an ‘endurance athlete’ except not very good, at least to CF’s level…there’s a reason to be jealous.

  • JoshLyons

    Bilharzia is a cool convenient excuse – and ‘undiagnosed’ is just a joke. Also, your assessment of how doping ‘should’ work is complete nonsense.

  • John Westwell

    Maybe because he was suffering from undiagnosed bilharzia? Which caused his performance to go up and down from one race (or even day) to the next. It seems unlikely that Sky would have employed a ‘donkey’, as you would have it, in order to develop him into a grand tour contender (which was their stated aim). And given that he’s been near or at the top of the grand tourshe’s completed since 2011, you’d have to say that his results since he was diagnosed and treated have been pretty consistent.
    In both the Tours he’s won, he’s been strong in the early stages in the mountains, and then his performance has fallen off in the final week – this year was almost an action replay of what happened in 2013. If he is doping, you would expect he would arrange to boost his blood cell counts as they naturally begin to fall due to the exertions of the race. That’s what has happened in the past.
    If you contrast his performance with, say, Ivan Basso in the Giro in 2006 (when he appeared to get stronger and his winning margin increased as the race went on), or any one of a number of wins between the mid-90s and mid-200s, that’s what I’d expect to see happen when a doped ahtlete is competing against people who aren’t (or who aren’t doing it very well).

  • Gerard Miller

    EXACTLY!

  • JoshLyons

    Not really. I for one have no reason to be jealous of CF and in fact have every reason to like him, however, as an endurance athlete myself I cannot understand how such a performance increase is even possible to go from a less than mediocre donkey to grand tour winning race horse in such a short period.

  • GoatHerd

    This whole Froome/doper story mostly smacks of jealousy & sour grapes.

  • JoshLyons

    I wonder if they did a dope test too. They should have if they didn’t.

  • K solo

    Not sure why he bothers tbh, the n’haters’ will always find something to question