15 Years

by CycleChick on August 29, 2012

Regardless of what you choose to believe, what fight you are fighting right now with your cycling buddies and bike mechanics, these are the sad remnants of 15 years of rampant cheating, as demonstrated in the podium results of the Tour de France. I chose the word cheating, because somehow “doping” has become open to interpretation. Cheating is not. And regardless of why, when, or how rampant it was, the fact is that there is no honour in cheating. There is even less honour in lying about it.

I have read so many articles about Lancegate I am starting to go blind. There is no mistake that opinions about this topic run as hot as Cippolini in a zebra skinsuit. Do I have an opinion? Yes I do. Does it matter? Not at all. So please, if you have comments (and I hope you do), do not make them about Lance. This post is not about Lance Armstrong, the USDA, UCI, WADA or YM fucking CA. It is about something bigger. It is about fighting the good fight for our beautiful, wonderful sport.

2012 marks the first year in a very long time that the podium has no x’s. At least not so far. Perhaps this is the start of a new era – an era where there is all the excitement and drama we have come to expect from the Grandest of the Grand Tours, but all of the honour as well.

Infographic by Tétro Design


The era started about 5 yrs ago. Look at the X tally and note that in the preceding 5 yrs, 01-06 there are about 2x as many X’s as 07-12; so it has begun. It just takes time. And hard work. And continuing the battle. There are cheats everywhere; look at pro baseball this past couple of weeks. As in life, there are no shortcuts. Society these days wants instant results as we seem to have lost patience in a time shorted lifestyle. We want it now; get it anyway we can and then bathe in the accolades or rather some do. Rather than waste more time on the negative, we should spend more time on the positive; don’t forget the past, but don’t dwell on it. Change is happening for the good and we can see it. It is just slower than we would like, but it is happening. We all need to support it and blast those who are impatient. Good things happen to those who work for it. Keep up the great thought provoking and inspiring blogging.

by rick on August 29, 2012 at 3:26 am. Reply #

As long as we keep score, or in our case, time, there will always be people who look for an advantage. Someone will figure out something that enhances your performance, that can’t be detected until 3 years down the road.

Also, who of us can really say “I wouldn’t dope”? We all would like to think we’d make the ethical decision but until you’re in that situation, you really don’t know.

If someone said: take this shot, you’ll win several huge bike races, you’ll be a household name across the world, you’ll make millions and millions of dollars and date celebrities, etc… Or, we’ve had our eye on this new up and coming cyclist who could probably fit into your spot quite nicely…

I’d like to think I’d take the higher ground, but I’m sure glad the option was never made available to me.

by Chris on August 29, 2012 at 3:49 am. Reply #

I’m less concerned with what the podium looked like than with what the peloton looked like. Can’t help thinking of all the promising young riders discarded by the wayside because they weren’t willing to “do what it takes” to carve out a career in that environment.

by James Walford on August 29, 2012 at 6:24 am. Reply #

What was noticeableat this years tour were the times. Hill top finish times were down on previous years proving that something has gone. I’m all for a clean fight and I whole heartedly believe drug / doing chests should be banned for life. Sadly this years mens Olympic road race was won by a convicted unrepentant drug cheat which can’t be allowed to happen. These are the people our children will look up to and try to emulate.

by Chris on August 29, 2012 at 7:54 am. Reply #

And even Andreas Kloden has been under investigation:


Recall the great Robert Millar commenting how people suddenly became quick in the mountains around 1991 and passing him.

by Kevin on August 29, 2012 at 8:13 am. Reply #

The trend is to make our athlete’s clean because we as a society want that. Also testing is much improved. Thus finding those who chose to cheat is easier. It’s great that cycling and society has chosen this direction. We soon will be able to view athletic events for what they should be. A test of the body & spirit and not a chemistry experiment. It’s getting better thank goodness.

by Phil on August 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm. Reply #

Really? 200+ names on the Operation Puerto list and on the cyclist’s have been outted.
G.W. Bush took the USA to war in Iraq on a lie.
Many alternative energy sources have been available but quashed over the years because those who make $$ from BIG OIL shut them down.
Do you honestly believe that most of today’s movie stars are natural beauties and ruggedly handsome guys?

Cheating in sport is as old as well … cheating on spouses. NEVER going to stop.

Sport is all entertainment. All about Fantasy…. Not meant to be about TRUTH.

by Kate on August 29, 2012 at 6:20 pm. Reply #

Ah, a true pessimist. I admire the darkness in you, Kate.

Sure cheating is old. Sure it is everywhere. Does that make it right? Should we stop caring? Stop making rules or ignore it when they are broken?

We, the devoted tifosi will never accept the notion that cycling bears any resemblance whatsoever to George (ug) Bush or boob jobs. Perish the thought.

by CycleChick on August 29, 2012 at 8:43 pm. Reply #

I just get so tired of cycling being the whipping boy of the USADA’s, WADA’s etc of the world. Cycling is supposed to be ‘pure’ and riders torture themselves doing ridiculous events like the TDF – racing with no assistance but ” bread and water ” – so we fans can ‘live the glory’ of a clean winner. BAH!

Other sports have been and are as dirty as cycling’s past, but no one (fans, WAD, USADA) seem to care.!!! They go after the low hanging fruit. I want a level playing field. If cycling has to be clean and to out its history so do all the rest. Until then, yes I will remain a pessimist

by Kate on August 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm. Reply #

I don’t know how I feel these days. When the Lance news broke I felt as if he had been a fraud all this time. Many of you totally believe this is confirmation of your belief(s) from day one. After reading Lance’s rebuttal, I am still holding on to a sliver of belief that this didn’t happen to my hero, awaiting further evidence. It sucks, no matter which side you’re on. I can’t see how this is good news to anybody.

I agree that it really doesn’t matter, after a lot of thinking about it.

by Steve B on August 29, 2012 at 5:50 pm. Reply #

I feel your pain. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I don’t think the evidence would have been very easy to swallow. Many have speculated that is exactly why things went the way they did.

You’re right. It isn’t good news. If Kloden is busted, that won’t be good news either. More x’s.

Trust is a hard thing to earn back once it’s been lost. I’ve lost hope for the past. My hope is for the future.

by CycleChick on August 29, 2012 at 6:00 pm. Reply #

I still want to hear the evidence. It’s like you been told somebody died in a plane crash but they won’t show anybody the body.

Next thing you hear about is he showed up in the Bahamas with his picture next to a fucking sailfish.

by Steve B on August 30, 2012 at 12:31 am. Reply #

Haha! Great analogy.

Closure would be so gratifying, but I’m afraid now that the defence has been dropped, the evidence (which sounds to be considerable) will never see the light of day.

I’m sure he’ll send plenty of postcards from the Bahamas though. : )

by CycleChick on August 30, 2012 at 2:58 am. Reply #

I recently saw G taking cold medication before a race. And he wasn’t sick. He should have an X for his Butter Belt.

Just sayin’.

by KK on August 29, 2012 at 6:26 pm. Reply #

How could you G? My image of you is shattered forever.




by CycleChick on August 29, 2012 at 8:47 pm. Reply #

Nicely put, Andrea…

by Robert L. Peters on August 29, 2012 at 7:36 pm. Reply #

If the prize money, bonuses, fame and fortune were not hung like a carrot in front of these poor slogs, then maybe there would be no cheating. If cyclist raced for the pure love of racing and kicking ass rather than to get that pot of gold at the finish line, then maybe we would have had a “cleaner” sport from the start. Look at the para-olympics in London – there’s cheating going on there even and it’s called “boosting” instead of doping. It’s human nature to want to cheat though; we all did it from the first time we played Monopoly! We all want to win. (I never ever cheated at anything in my life; but maybe I will just slip an extra house on to Park Place when no one is looking)

by Drewm on August 30, 2012 at 1:39 am. Reply #

Great comments Drew.

Of course, we all like to win. We all want more money than we have. But I wonder at what level does cheating become, if not expected, even commonplace? How much money does it take for someone to willingly disregard their morals (assuming they had some to begin with) and do something they know is wrong?

I don’t sleep with my clients to get more business, and I don’t go through my friend’s wallets when they aren’t looking. Maybe if the stakes were higher I would, but I doubt it.

by CycleChick on August 30, 2012 at 2:54 am. Reply #

Money and fame have little to do with cheating. When I was I wheelchair racing in the 80’s when there was no money and no audience cheating was rampant.

by Stefan on August 30, 2012 at 3:33 am. Reply #

Really? How interesting. I’m assuming you mean with PEDs, yes? I believe cheating says more about the person than the sport. As it’s been pointed out, this is not something that is unique to cycling. Not by a long shot.

by CycleChick on August 30, 2012 at 3:39 am. Reply #

I have said it all along. He was either the hardest working, most focused angry man on a bike, with a huge chip on his shoulder. Or he was the greatest doping experiment alive. If some of what is coming out is true, then the deception runs way beyond just Lance.

by Steve the Viking on August 30, 2012 at 4:16 am. Reply #

He could have been both.

by nathan on August 30, 2012 at 7:46 am. Reply #

Both is likely the right answer.

Steve, I have been thinking a lot lately about the idea of conspiracy. The scary thing is, there has been a massive conspiracy – either to cover up, or to unjustly persecute. In either case, it has been massive, nefarious, international, and very, very expensive.

by CycleChick on August 30, 2012 at 11:24 am. Reply #

I’ll go with “He was either the hardest working, most focused angry man on a bike, with a huge chip on his shoulder. Or he was the greatest doping experiment alive” from Nathan.

Conspiracy on such a grand scale? Doubtful. As more people get involved the likelihood of mistakes, leaks, etc., increases exponentially. Think about committees you’ve worked on. The larger the committee the better the quality of thinking? Not in my experience. “A camel was a horse designed by committee.”

Finally, I saw a quote, “The absence of evidence proves the conspiracy is working.”

Doped, didn’t dope. I don’t really care. The guy STILL had to ride and train like an absolute freaking demon to win. When he was at his peak even his peers were in awe of his training regimen.

by Grant on August 31, 2012 at 2:38 am. Reply #

It makes me all the more proud of what we “non” cheaters have accomplished with our own true grunt power. I will polish my own medals once again….

by Nettie Neudorf on August 31, 2012 at 4:33 pm. Reply #

Not sure if this quote is attributed to Harvey Smith the olympic equestrian or Harvey Smith of the Washington Senators, but the fact that it was said in 1967 really struck me: “Without the use of drugs our athletes are like drivers of a racing car with one gear less than their rivals.” – Harvey Smith (1967)

It is time to end this and I’m not sure how, but something tells me that we need to consider not making so many millionaires out of star athletes.

by RJ on August 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm. Reply #

Refresh my memory on Levi’s failed test or whatever? Please.

by Dennis on September 1, 2012 at 1:33 am. Reply #

Hi Dennis

I’m no expert, but I don’t believe Leipheimer has ever tested positive. HOWEVER, he is one of the riders that was reported to be ready to testify in the USADA case against Armstrong, which would include an admission to doping that would garner him a six month ban.

by CycleChick on September 4, 2012 at 2:32 am. Reply #

This all makes me very cautious about having heroes to look up to.

by ED W. on September 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm. Reply #

oye, I just read Tyler Hamilton’s book. That just about put every nail in the US Postal coffin (uh, Lance, you are in there, right?). It’s depressing because I was duped for many years and depressing because it’s such a systemic corruption between management, UCI, sponsors and the riders getting faaaacked.

by Gianni on October 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm. Reply #

Oye is right. I haven’t read the Hamilton book. Yet. I suspect I know how it ends. On a lighter note, I’ll share my break up note to Lance. The moment I realized I too had been duped.

by CycleChick on October 2, 2012 at 12:19 am. Reply #

That is perfect. Very well done.
Us guys can’t write a nice hand written missive to our ex.
One, we can’t write nice hand written missives, period.
And two, we are too lazy. I do recommend reading TH’s book to fully understand what a douche your ex really is. You are luck to be done with him.
Georgie isn’t like that.

by Gianni on October 2, 2012 at 1:15 am. Reply #

Just to let you know that we like to share the love on Velominati, your site is listed under Keeper Sites. Oh how exciting, eh?
We dig your site, and your graphic design and your love of La Vie Velominatus! cheers. Gianni

by Gianni on October 2, 2012 at 1:44 am. Reply #

Holy shit! That is very exciting indeed! I’m a superfan of the Velominati (as you could probably tell) – to be listed as a Keeper Site is most flattering – I thank you! *scampers off to tell all her friends and pour a celebratory cocktail* or two*

by CycleChick on October 2, 2012 at 2:06 am. Reply #

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