“Average speed races drops due to doping”
The Swiss scientist based his research on the average speed of the top 5 in the three Grand tours. From 1990 to 2004 the peloton rode 0,18 km/h faster than the year before. From 2004 the average speed dropped by 0,17 km/h per year. The results from the Vuelta were even more significant. In that race the speed dropped by 1 km/h per year. The Giro is the exception to the rule. From 2004 to 2009 the average speed increased by 0,12 km/h.
Perneger sees the use of EPO as a possible explanation. “It was in 2004 that the use of EPO peaked. EPO increases the blood’s capacity to transport oxygen which translates into 2,8% more speed, or 1km/h faster. That is the same as the loss of speed in recent years.”