There will be blood: How to legally maximise your performance

The blood coursing through our capillaries is fundamental to our fitness. How can understanding it better help us – legally – maximise our cycling performance? Nick Busca and David Bradford investigate   

(Daniel Gould)

“Lance, all you need is red blood cells.” In ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary, Lance Armstrong recalled this snippet of conversation with his doctor Michele Ferrari. While the notorious doper was eager to find yet another way to leapfrog his competitors, his Italian physiologist was insistent that red blood cell (RBC) levels remained the most effective way to boost performance.

CW is ardently opposed to all foul play, but the fundamental importance of blood highlighted by this form of physiological manipulation raises a fascinating question: Are RBCs the most important component in endurance performance? And if so, what do we need to do to make sure our blood is in the best possible (legal) health to support our riding? 

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