Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘greg lemond’

Waiting for LeMond…

In Bicycle Racing on February 5, 2010 at 1:51 am

Nice folo from VeloNews on the Trek-LeMond settlement. You have to read between the lines here. From the judge’s questions, it looked virtually certain that Lance’s doping suspicions would be raised in the trial (Lance’s ex was barred by her attorney from answering questions during deposition about his doping).

That would have put Trek under enormous pressure from Lance to keep him out of all this at a time when the Comeback Kid least wants negative publicity.

It’s probably an overstatement to suggest that Trek caved, but put it this way: Had Trek held the upper hand, there probably would be a gag on Greg against discussing any Armstrong connection.

As the VeloNews piece makes clear, there is not.

So we’ll continue to wait for word from LeMond re Lance (memo to @greglemond: Whatever you feel about Lance, the guy knows how to use Twitter!). As we stated earlier, our preference would be a burying of the hatchet so these kings of the road could work together to promote cycling’s future in America.

LeMond “settles” with Trek; what about Lance?

In Bicycling on February 2, 2010 at 3:00 am

Lost in the white-out coverage of Greg LeMond’s legal settlement with Trek so far has been the issue of why the lawsuit occurred in the first place.

LeMond believed that Trek had stopped supporting his line in deference to Lance Armstrong, who was out for revenge against LeMond for suggesting that Armstrong was tainted by doping.

But in the “we’re all friends now” coverage of the case settlement, the backstory never made it to press. Does the “friendship” include a reconciliation with Armstrong? Are we finally going to see America’s titans of cycling bury the hatchet and work together for the sport’s future?

We at Bike Intelligencer wish it would happen. There’s much to admire about both of these competitors, including their charitable work.

But we’re not holding our breath. Somehow the media “amnesia” over the lawsuit’s origin suggests that the subject still is sore, or at the very least not closed.

Last fall LeMond told the New York Daily News (whose piece should be required reading for anyone interested in cycling doping):

“This is not just a contract dispute,” LeMond counters. “It’s about defending myself from people that are out to destroy everything I’ve done in cycling… I want to hold John Burke accountable. I want to hold Lance Armstrong accountable.”

Within the coming days and weeks and months, we should get an idea of how successful LeMond was, and how satisfied he really truly is with this settlement.

How it used to be, ye youthful brethren of the spoken wheel…

In Bicycle Racing on January 3, 2010 at 10:45 am

The recent passing of Bernie Hoffacker, founder of Palo Alto Bicycles, rekindled a lot of memories from our roadie days back in the ’70s.

When the Euro revolution was just starting to sink in, Hoffacker’s Palo Alto Bicycles and Ric and Jon Hjertberg’s Wheelsmith a couple blocks away made Palo Alto one of the coolest places on earth. Palo Alto Bicycles had the classiest mail order catalog anywhere, helping to fuel the bike boom of the ’70s, and its posters of Tour legends and local wheel-building icon Jobst Brandt riding the Swiss Alps still hang in my basement.

Where PA Bikes and Wheelsmith really rocked was during the Tour de France. You have to remember, there was no TV coverage or even mention of the Tour on newscasts. Local newspapers ran nothing, not even results.

The only way to track Tour progress was to swing by Palo Alto Bicycles or Wheelsmith for results, usually posted on a small piece of paper tacked to a bulletin board or wall. And then we’d debate about who was going to win and fantasize what it would be like to be following the peloton through the mountains.

We asked Ric, who runs Wheel Fanatyk in Seattle these days, to refresh our memory on how Wheelsmith got the results.

“Tour results, in the early days, came from the Manchester Guardian we copped at Mac’s Smoke Shop,” Ric noted. “You needed to wait until opening because they only got 3 copies. We rushed it to our store, clipped the results, and posted them. Dozens of riders would come by over the day, or call, to learn the standings.”

By today’s standards, it sounds positively Stone Age.

“Whew,” Ric acknowledged. “Was it really that primitive? Well, actually, it was!”

We never thought we’d get live coverage of the Tour each day, or be able to chatter on our keyboards via blogs and the Internet. (Thank you, Jacques, Greg and Lance!) We were happy just for the names of the stage winners and Top 10 overalls, with respective times. Thanks to Palo Alto Bicycles for feeding the mind, inspiring the soul and supplying the kit over the years. And yes Ric, we miss those days hanging out at Wheelsmith. Computers weren’t the only great things that sprang from garage shops in Silicon Valley!

Daily Roundup: Video detection for cyclists, Lemond-Trek update, Lance trains on mtb, Million Car Challenge, Happy Birthday Jacquie!

In Bicycle advocacy, Bicycle Racing, Daily Roundup, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking, Obama Bikes on December 9, 2009 at 3:16 am

Innovative use of signal-mounted cameras to automatically change light to green when cyclists are at intersection. Santa Clarita CA, named in 2007 a Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists, has requested $390,564 to fund a “Bicycle Video Detection Project.”

VeloNews: More on the LeMond—Trek legal spat, this time with backstory of Greg dissing Lance.

The secret is out! Lance and his new Team Radio Shack are training on mountain bikes!


Cyclelicio.us
: The Million Car Challenge to allow bikes to use the full right lane.

Happy birthday Jacquie Phelan!

Idaho MTB license plate? Who would kill a bike shop owner? Brotherly love loses to bicycle hate & more

In Bicycle advocacy, Daily Roundup, Lance's Chances, Mountain Biking on December 4, 2009 at 9:24 am

Boise mountain biker has a campaign supporting an MTB license plate (for cars). Hey I’d pay extra. As it is my license plate holder says, “My other car is a mountain bike.”

You know, it takes a special kind of hatred to kill a bicycle shop owner.

What happens when clueless fools pass bicycling ordinances? Just ask the riders in Philadelphia

What happens when cyclists clue in the legislative element? Just ask the riders in La Honda Creek

Helicopter airlifts injured 50-year-old mountain biker from Crystal Cove State Park south of Newport CA. It’s a great park that I’ve been riding since my late 40s and someone that age can get into trouble real fast coming down the steeps. But it’s a challenging, fun place to ride, with unearthly views, and this time of year you grab riding where you can. What puzzles me, as always, are the cruel attitudes toward cyclists in the comments queue. Where else would you see someone who’d been seriously hurt get attacked like this? Hey, Happy Holidays to all you spewsters!

Agreeing with the judge, it’d be nice to get the Trek-LeMond nastiness behind us. Subtext not mentioned in this report: Greg hasn’t been happy with Trek since he suspected Trekkie Lance Armstrong of backstabbing after Greg accused Lance of doping. The two greatest American cyclists ever seem to revile one another; it’d sure be nice to get them on the same page and help move the sport forward.

This one’s a puzzler: Australia is ending its elite mountain biking support because of lack of federal funding. This country has produced half a dozen World Cup standouts in recent years, as well as world champions in dual slalom (Caroline Buchanan), downhill (Sam Hill) and road (Cadel Evans, who started out as a mountain biker, and who is none too pleased with the cuts). What’re they thinking Down Under?

This Day In Doping: A drugless Tour?

In Bicycle Racing, This Day In Doping on July 16, 2009 at 8:34 am

It was another listless day in the peloton today, but in one respect that may be a good thing.

So far this Tour has been remarkable in one instance (and one only): No doping violations have been announced. There may be a lag factor here: Samples have to be collected, transported, tested and re-tested. That takes time, so it’s often well into the Tour before riders are implicated.

But moreso than in recent Tours, I keep hearing words like “exhausted,” “tired,” “fatigued” and “worn out” coming from riders and commentators. Those descriptions do not sound like a race full of doping. If that’s the case and indeed riders are staying clean this Tour, it may mark a significant transition for pro cycling.

Greg Lemond has commented on how, once EPO and other drugs came to dominate the ranks, cyclists’ demeanor changed. The sweat pouring off the brow, the heaving lungs, the agonized faces wrenched in pain and suffering — all became a thing of the past. Riders could do huge pulls while barely showing any physical duress. We saw that in Lance. We saw it in Michael Rasmussen (who for the record never was tagged with drug violations, simply suspicion of doping) and Jan Ullrich and Tyler Hamilton and Bernhard Kohl and Floyd Landis (not on the day he bonked, but the following day on his “miracle recovery” ride to supposed victory). We saw it in all the big names accused of doping.

Today we’re hearing more about how trashed riders are feeling. Case in point is Tom Boonen. one of the world’s premier sprinters who got himself caught in a drug scandal with cocaine but reinstated right before the Tour. Boonen has extra incentive to stay clean, and he’s complaining mightily about being tired.

The perennial excuse for doping was that everyone was doing it. Maybe this time around, everyone isn’t.

There are many new faces to the Tour, including younger riders perhaps not so beholden to the drug culture. And the younger set is turning out to be the bright spot of this year’s event — riders like Wenatchee’s Tyler Farrar and Germany’s Tony Martin.

I’m working entirely on speculation here, and it will remain speculation till violations are or are not announced, which could extend well beyond the Tour’s final day 10 days from now. But so far, the signs are encouraging. If it happens that the 2009 Tour marks the turning point of doping in professional cycling, cycling fans everywhere can only be glad.

Note: BikePure.org reported today: “This morning, Italian police arrested failed pro, turned coach, Aleksandar Nikacevic for being the mastermind behind a huge doping ring. Nikacevic, A former head of Serbian cycling was arrested with thirty others, including around a dozen pro cyclists by the Padua police in northern Italy.”

Just another sign that the curtain is coming down…hard.

This day in drugs (again)

In Bicycle Racing, This Day In Doping on June 12, 2009 at 4:00 am

Thanks to Bicycle.net for bird-dogging the cycling-illegal substances links.

Self-injecting blood cheats pose a real problem for testing. This is where the cyclist freezes his own blood, saving it for a later date, and injects it on race day. Doing this with someone else’s compatible blood is generally detectable. With his own blood, well, that’s where it gets tricky. Supposedly technology is on the way to assist in this process.

Laurent Fignon, recently diagnosed with advanced cancer, on a possible link between doping and his diagnosis: “In those days everyone was doing it.” Really? Because Greg Lemond beat Fignon in the closest Tour ever, 1989, by 8 seconds. And Lemond is the guy who keeps agitating to clean up the sport without ever having acknowledged doping himself.

Bernard Hinault (without acknowledging doping himself), in Velo News: “The French have taken as much as the others. What is not normal is that they are not treated in the same manner as other sportsmen.”

This Day In Drugs (con’t)

In Bicycling, This Day In Doping on June 11, 2009 at 11:36 am

Drug scandals are in the air over international cycling. Hmmm…must be about time for the 2009 Tour de France!

Bernhard Kohl, recently banned for two years, quitting the sport entirely, weighs in on rampant corruption among the peloton. Lots of riders involved. “What were the French authorities going to do? Delete the overall classification for the whole Tour?” Well, that’s the Hobson’s Choice right there in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Bernhard Kohl respeaks, saying he was misquoted. Really? That’s a lot of made-up quotation to misquote!

UCI warns of imminent disclosure of several prominent “suspected” cheats. Sheesh. C’mon, guys, in the pantheon of professional cycling, everyone‘s suspected. You either got the goods or you don’t!

And drug allegations still salt the wound between Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong.

It’s sad, really, where the whole impetus of cycling seems to be: Avoid getting caught while pretending to be clean. The huge money involved creates no alternative for cyclists other than to beat the system…so long as the system has laughable effectiveness.

As we’ve said before and will say again: Cycling has no credibility in self-regulation. Only an independent body, backed by all parties and with absolute authority and oversight, can clean up the mess that has become professional cycling.

Having said that, I’m looking forward to the Tour as much as the next guy. There are self–avowed cheats wearing professional baseball uniforms every day with impunity, and nobody seems to care, so let the wheels roll and let’s have no more unpleasantness!

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