Thursday, May 20, 2010

State of cycling

Dear Mark

Today Floyd Landis dropped a confession to doping during his entire racing career. Even worse, he implicated many other cyclists including Lance Armstrong. Lance responded that it was untrue. The implications even land on Jonathon Vaughters who is the leader of the Garmin-Transitions team and the annoitted poster child for clean cycling.

This news saddens me for a lot of reasons. First, as a cyclist everyone freaking asks me about it. It's like punching a bruise. I'm happy to do it but it hurts and the fact that it hurts make me do it more and more. Second, I drank the "Lance Armstrong is clean" kool-aid a long time ago. I hold to the great taste of that drink. Third, it is hard to think that a sport I enjoy so much could be so dirty.

A funny email thread ensued between myself and two friends. I'll protect them poorly by calling them "Joey-JoJo" and "Bill Wiggins" below. I wanted to share that thread. We got to the heart of the matter. Talked about our feelings of betrayal and discussed the state of cycling that we can hope for. I hope you find this enlightening and funny.

Email#1
FM: Joey-JoJo
To: Jeff, Bill Wiggins
Subject: what an a-hole

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703691804575255410855321120.html?mod=djemalertNEWS

Email#2
FM: Jeff
To: Joey-JoJo, Bill Wiggins
Subject: what an a-hol
I mean... DUDE! What the hell.

I’m torn. I want dopers rooted out. I want them kicked out and turned into cycling male servants with not fun parts. But I can’t handle allegations that the entire US Postal team did this. That everyone he knew did it.

I’m reading reactions on velonews now.
I should start searching twitter results.

I really don’t believe him, but I am also unsure how any one could ever lie to this degree. I think lying is very hard. But others can do it easily. I just don’t see what he gains by doing it.

Email#3
FM: Joey-JoJo
To: Jeff, Bill Wiggins
Subject: what an a-hole

The part that makes me think this is unbelievable is this:
""In the email sent on April 30 to Mr. Johnson, Mr. Landis said that in 2006, after leaving the U.S. Postal Service team for a team sponsored by Swiss hearing aide manufacturer Phonak, he said he told Andy Rihs, the team's owner, that he had been involved in a blood doping program in the past with his old team and wanted to continue doing so with Phonak. He said Mr. Rihs, who is the chairman of Sonova Holding AG, the Switzerland-based parent company for Phonak, agreed to pay for the same doping operations at Phonak.""

I have a very hard time believing that he just approached his new boss and said "um, can i keep cheating?" and then his new boss says "oh, sure. let me just put our entire org at risk by purchasing a new refrigerator for your closet."

anyway... more on this tonight at the Dray.
looking forward to it.

oh, and Bill, you are welcome to come to the Dray too.
same Dray time. same Dray channel.


Email#4
FM: Bill Wiggins
To: Jeff, Joey-JoJo
Subject: what an a-hole

Yeah - even if he's 100% right, he's being a fucking baby about it and comes off as a sore has-been. His credibility is shot after the 3 year campaign to convince everyone he didn't cheat. I hate the Amish, never can trust them.

I'm just going to watch the Giro and see if Vino dopes his way back pink or if grandpa Sastre can keep his advantage. I love Carlos, but man he's sucking.

I actually wonder the most about Contador, Sanchez, and Valverde - they have the protection of crappy Spanish anti-doping regulations and IMO are the best 3 GC cyclists right now.... though FABIO could probably make each of them lick his balls if he wanted too.

I've turned the corner on Evans - that guy is a stud - I used to resent his "surprise" attacks off the front of a break and his unfortunate butt-chin, but he's attacking like a pro and I hope he gets a grand tour win.

I need the Dray tonight, but might not show up until 9:30 or 10:00.


Email#5
FM: Jeff
To: Joey-JoJo, Bill Wiggins
Subject: what an a-hole

Bill,
Said wisely my friend. The Amish are not to be trusted. (He’s a Mennonite though just to be technical about it). Funny that a guy that came from a community that doesn’t use technology embraced science to cheat. There is a Mennonite pastor working on a really good sermon right now.

Perfect scenario for me in the coming months:
  • Vino wins Giro, but gets caught doping in the bedroom celebrating with Viagra and ecstasy. While confessing to this he admits he won the giro by snorting cocaine off of the podium girls.
  • Cadel Evans wins the Tour de France in a boring way. He is clean but still manages to be grumpy about it. Making Sastre’s win and interviews seem jovial.
  • George Hincapie wins World’s with a lead out from Levi and Tyler. The two said George deserves it. George tattoos them on his back with a phrase that says “Only Lance can Judge me”
  • WADA extends governance to hair styles. Vladmir Karpets and Pozzato (the mullet and perm) are immediately banned for life. Steven Cozza is put on notice to shave. Dave Z is also warned to leave the foo-Manchu on American soil.
  • Cyclocross is recognized as an official Winter Olympic Sport so that Belgians can finally win some medals.
  • Tom Boonen pulls a David Lee Roth, ditches his team, goes it alone and fades to obscurity.
  • Fabian Cancellara finally lays off the Swedish pastries, learns to climb a hill and goes on to win every grand tour he enters.
  • Alberto Contador slips and “finger bangs” himself when he wins the Vuelta by 2 hours. Such a large margin prompts an investigation that links him to a Kentucky derby horse doping scandal.
  • Carlos Sastre writes a book called “Clean in a dirty tub” and talks about his strategy to winning was to know when other riders took masking agents thus lowering their performance in that stage, and how he really only wanted to be a fiddle maker.
  • Lance Armstrong retires again, but only after beating Alberto Contador and forcing him to acknowledge the king. Miguel Indurain is on hand to finger bang Contador himself with a wet noodle.
See you tonight
Jeff

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