Sunday, January 31, 2010

Did Landis Threaten to Write Tell-All Book if no Support Comes from Armstrong? Warning: Contains Attempted Humor

According to a former professional cycling team director who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Floyd Landis may have issued a barely-veiled public threat to write a book exposing [enter your scandalous topic of choice here]. For example: "Floyd Landis may have issued a barely-veiled public threat to write a book exposing what could be his knowledge of less-than-ethical behavior on at least one of his former teams - most likely, Lance Armstrong's old USPS squad." (Of course, the topic of the hypothetical book is mere speculation at this point, as Landis has not revealed who or what would motivate him to again put pen to paper. As an aside, anyone else notice that used copies of "Positively False," which listed at $24.95 new in hardcover, are now fetching $0.88?).

After a race in the Bahamas in which he bested an individual time trial course record set by current Garmin pro and US National Time Trial Champion David Zabriskie (a teammate of Landis' at USPS and a former holder of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France), Landis first touted his "victory." On his blog Brown Eye, Neil Brown quoted an exuberant Landis:

"I beat the course record set by Zman [David Zabriskie] two years ago and I was on somebody else's road bike with clinchers and no aero clothes. Take that f@*#ers!" 

Pappillon applauds the rider who once won such cycling monuments as Paris-Nice, the Tour of California and the Tour de Georgia (all in 2006 - the same year he "won" the Tour de France, only to be stripped of his crown for doping) for his successful comeback and a return to his winning ways - and for raising the profile of the Bahamas cycling scene along the way! But victory in that TT  may not be enough to ensure Landis's return to the European pro peloton.

Before Landis left for the Tropics, Brown asked him what might become of him in 2010, given that Michael Ball's Rock Racing, the team he had been rumored to join, was rejected for Professional Continental status by the Union Cycliste Internationale without comment (after Rock appealed an earlier rejection of that same application!).

Brown specifically asked Landis, "What is the status for the rest of the year?" to which Floyd responded cryptically:

"I honestly don't know. I don't know even if Ball has thought about the team these last two weeks. I don’t know what is going on. I’m focusing on my training and my bowling. I need to think of my future after cycling and bowling might be it.

Perhaps stating the obvious, Brown commented that "After the Tour of the Bahamas his [Landis's] future is not so crystal clear." He goes on to quote Landis delivering either a shot across the bow of some of the most moneyed interests in cycling, or engaging in nothing more than what one commentator here described as gallows humor about his cash-flow situation and poor future prospects [in cycling]. But let's hear Landis's own words:

"I have no clue what's going on. After the Tour of the Bahamas I'm going back to my shack behind the car wash. Maybe I'll write a book."

Keeping in mind that Landis broke terminated a contract for 2010 with his previous team in order to sign with what he thought would be an upgraded version of the Rock Racing squad (at the UCI Pro Continental level) - only for the UCI to deny team owner Michael Ball the required license - others are speculating that that, if not offering gallows humor, Landis may be warning his former leader Lance Armstrong, who now captains the team known as "The Shack" (which is sponsored by US electronics-retailer Radio Shack) that he expects some help from the Texan in exchange for his years of silence on the topic of doping, blood bags and motor cycle couriers at USPS. [We publish an excerpt from the infamous Vaughters/Andreu IM conversation at the end of this post.]

According to our source, the now-retired team director, the message Landis may have actually intended to deliver to his exclusive audience was:

"Hey, you cock-knocker, I covered your ass [by refusing to acknowledge the existence of doping in the pro peloton after I tested positive in 2006 when I won the Tour de France and was suspended for two years]. Now get the UCI to approve [the Pro Continental license request for] Rock Racing, or get me on Radio Shack, or [get me] something [equivalent that will pay me a salary capable of sustaining me in the lifestyle to which I'd become accustomed to as your domestique]. Floyd must eat - don't make me write a tell-all book to be able to do so [that is, purchase food]."

Oh My. Will Landis rejoin Lance at "The Shack?" Pappillon doubts it, though we wish Landis well and think the spectacle of his returning to the Continent alongside some of the most notorious riders of the past 10 years would be nothing short of - surreal. A veritable rolling peloton of Pablo Picasso paintings, if you will. And as for Rock Racing, without a Pro Continental license the project is as good as dead.

[DISCLOSURE: Pappillon's Joe Papp directed the Rock Racing team at the 2007 Redlands Classic, where Kayle Leogrande won the points competition, after having been offered full-time employment from Rock & Republic to direct the team for the remainder of the season. However, the offer was rescinded without cause and Frankie Andreu hired instead. Andreu himself departed the team in January 2008, unhappy that his role as a director was being undermined.]

Excerpt from an instant message between Frankie Andreu (FDREU) and Jonathan Vaughters (Cyclevaughters) the morning of July 26, 2005.

...Cyclevaughters: from how floyd described it, i know exactly the methos

FDREU: explain that, classics to climber

FDREU: when did you talk with floyd

Cyclevaughters: i don't know - i want to trust George

Cyclevaughters: but the thing is on that team, you think it's normal

Cyclevaughters: or at least i did

FDREU: i guess. anything with blodd is not normal

Cyclevaughters: yeah, it's very complex how the avoid all the controls now, but it's not any new drug or anything, just the resources and planning to pull of a well devised plan

Cyclevaughters: it's why they all got dropped on stage 9 - no refill yet - then on the rest day - boom 800ml of packed cells

FDREU: they have it mastered. good point

Cyclevaughters: they draw the blood right after the dauphine

FDREU: how do they sneak it in, or keep it until needed

FDREU: i'm sure it's not with the truck in the frig

Cyclevaughters: motorcycle - refridgerated panniers

Cyclevaughters: on the rest day

Cyclevaughters: floyd has a photo of the thing

FDREU: crazy! it' just keep going to new levels

Cyclevaughters: yeah, it's complicated, but with enough money you can do it

FDREU: they have enough money. Floyd was so pissed at them this entire tour

Cyclevaughters: anyhow - i just feel sorry for floyd and some of the other guys

Cyclevaughters: why would lance keep doing the shit when he clearly has nothing to prove - it's weird...

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Doping (is) for Dummies with Joe Papp - Asian Edition

From Asia comes this reinterpretation of my anti-doping BikePure message, penned by Lin Ruobai. I'm privileged to be able to share my story as a warning to other athletes and policy makers who might not realize the danger posed by doping in sports, and hope that others can avoid the terrible path I mistakenly followed.

I appreciate the support I've received from those who realize that I love cycling - even though I took decisions that harmed the sport and made it impossible for me to continue there as a rider.Heck, I even loved being in Asia to race my bike, regardless of having to eat pickled chicken's head (true story)!

Another Reason Not to Dope

By Doping you subject yourself to hate mail like what follows (whether delivered directly or published anonymously, or even sent to you directly by an anonymous commentator! lol), which showed up in a thread on the forum. I'll post a snippet, though you should read the entire thread and watch how what starts as a fairly cordial exchange of information and discussion of a specific issue within cycling can be hijacked and polluted with hypocrisy and personal attacks that are spiteful and without merit - especially as the attacker hides behind the cloak of anonymity. I appreciate everyone who stands up for me, or at least refrains from piling-on, as the original hater is so disconnected from the reality of doping in cycling and its consequences to almost not merit this post. But, given the foulness of what he says and how he says it, this can be another one of those "scared-straight" learning experiences for other athletes who might consider the needle. Here is an excerpt from the hater's first post. Others follow in the original thread:

"...Maybe it’s different when it’s close to you but I don’t forgive him and probably never will. The way some people in the forum respond to him, praising him for coming clean is beyond me. Thanks for coming clean but just saying you’re sorry doesn’t cut it for me. Justice will be served when he benefits in absolutely no way from cycling. He should not have a career as a celebrity confessor/blogger/author/speaker because of a cycling career that was a hoax. Can we allow a dishonest racing career to be parlayed into a successful career as a blogger? You admitted your mistake, you’ve told us everything that’s at all helpful (not much), now…" and:

"joe's nickname is mr. 58%, but you're right, he's a good guy, forget all those bad things i said about him he didn't dope to stay competitive, he egregiously took every shortcut he could find. dare i say, hog-like. isn't joe's admission self-serving? the quickest way to turn around public perception is to confess. he's now got people lined up in this forum to defend him. for the life of me i can't figure out why but it seems to have worked beautifully.

naming names? he testified against landis (who would have gone down anyway) and leogrande who i have to admit i've never heard of. it sounds like he may have made a bargain for leogrande so he himself didn't get busted for trafficking. it seems he was a supplier in this case. i don't care to dig anymore, i'm disgusted. either way he should get a nobel prize. what are the valuable insights again?..."

It's laughable, of course, to think that I've become a successful blogger because of doping, or that I'm in any way earning a comfortable living as a result of having cheated in the sport I love, been caught, admitted to the full scope of my dishonest activities and those of scores of others, and agreed to testify in various proceedings. While I brought it on myself, if you're a young rider just starting out in cycling, you have the chance to avoid the same tragic ending by steering well-clear of doping and the idiots who would try to convince you that you needed it.

Think about it - do you really want to read shit like the above (which is only the proverbial "tip-of-the-iceberg") four years after your career ends in shame? lol - no, of course you don't! So just say no to doping and instead Bike Pure!

Mavic "Ergo Cleat" Alignment System

Having always depended up on the services of foot-guru Bill Peterson (FootFitness) for cleat-alignment and placement services, I'm wondering if anyone knows more about the Mavic "Ergo Cleat" that was featured recently on Is this something that US shops will even be able to buy? And does it seem to anyone else like the device can't determine biomechanically-correct cleat placement - it can only replicate cleat placement from one pair of shoes to the next? Thoughts? Details? Insights?

If you know anything about the "Ergo Cleat" beyond what you read in VeloNews, please leave a comment with the details! Thanks.

Zirbel's B-Test Confirms the First: POSITIVE!

Though hardly a surprise for most of us, Tom Zirbel's B-Sample is reported positive for DHEA. When the B-Test comes back positive, confirming the validity of the original A-Sample and substantiating the evidence that DHEA was indeed present in the sample - the rider is f*s&keD. reports more on the story here, with an excerpt to the full text:

"Just a month after he announced he had returned a non-negative test for DHEA at the 2009 USPRO TT championships, American rider Tom Zirbel has confirmed that his B-sample analysis is also positive. “As expected (though hope plays funny games with your mind), the 'B' sample of my urine has come back confirming the presence of an exogenous anabolic in my system from the Aug. 29, 2009 test,” Zirbel wrote on his online blog.

“I expect USADA to come back with a two-year sanction any day now but I'm tired of waiting for them so I decided to let everyone know what's going on.”

31 year-old Zirbel took his second-consecutive silver medal in the USPRO championships at the end of August, finishing behind Garmin’s Dave Zabriskie.

He then took fourth overall behind Zabriskie in the Tour of Missouri, going on from there to represent USA in the world championships in Mendrisio. He was fourth in the time trial, finishing 2’47 behind the winner Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) and 17 seconds off the bronze medal of German’s Tony Martin..." contd.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Craziest Advertisement I've ever seen

Minyard vs. McKenna for Coroner in New Orleans

Ode to the Lives of Vania Rossi, Riccardo Riccò and CERA reports that Riccardo Riccò's partner Vania Rossi tested positive for the CERA-variant of EPO. Not missing a beat, a poster to the CyclingNews "Clinic" forum penned this ode to the duo, and their magic potion:

"When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said.

Que Cera, Cera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours, to see
Que Cera, Cera
What will be, will be."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

ONCE was Probably Cleaner than this Team

Kelme leads the 2002 Vuelta a España (c)

ONCE era el equipo más limpio - Manolo Saiz

In an interview appearing on, Spain's most-acclaimed cycling team boss "Manolo" Saiz claims ONCE was the cleanest team in the peloton and states his willingness to return to cycling at the conclusion of Operation Puerto. Saiz is a legend - but figures notoriously in the biggest blood-doping scandal in the history of cycling.

Wikipedia describes Manuel "Manolo" Saiz Balbás (born 16 October 1959, Torrelavega, Cantabria) as the former team manager of one of the most successful Spanish professional road bicycle racing teams, first called Team ONCE, then Liberty Seguros-Würth, Astana-Würth, and lastly Astana Team.

Saiz is further described by the online encyclopedia as a hands-on manager and directeur sportif. He consolidated his riders' training and hired staff to manage their coaching and racing. Despite not having a racing background, he nurtured ONCE to become one of the biggest teams. His riders included Frenchman Laurent Jalabert and Swiss Alex Zülle; both dominated the Vuelta a España, each winning the general and other classifications. In 1995 Jalabert achieved the trifecta by winning the general classification along with the points and King of the Mountains. Saiz's next riders included Spaniard Abraham Olano, Igor González de Galdeano and Joseba Beloki (pictured below). ONCE dominated team time trials in the Tour de France.

Joseba Beloki leads Aitor González in the Vuelta a España's 15th stage,
from Gijón - l'Angliru; 22 September 2002 (c)

At the end of the 2003 ONCE discontinued sponsorship, saying penetration was 100% in Spain, meaning every Spaniard knew what ONCE was. Saiz brought Liberty Seguros (the Spanish branch of the US company Liberty Mutual) and Würth, a German assembly technology company to be co-sponsor.

Manuel Saiz anuncia que está dispuesto a regresar al ciclismo cuando concluya la "Operación Puerto"
Original story in Spanish.
En las dos últimas semanas Manuel Saiz, ex director del equipo Once procesado en la Operación Puerto, ha aparecido en varios medios de comunicación después de cuatro años de silencio. Saiz, que ahora regenta una cervecería a la espera de que se resuelva judicialmente el caso que comenzó el 23 de mayo de 2006. Asegura no tener nada que ver con la trama del doctor Fuentes y el hematólogo Merino Batres.

"Esta experiencia me ha hecho más inseguro, he perdido mucha confianza en mí mismo", dijo el lunes por la noche en El Larguero. "Esto no me ha despertado ningún tipo de rencor, porque no sé tener rencor".

El director del equipo ONCE cree que el fenómeno del dopaje se da tanto en el ciclismo, como en otros muchos deportes. "El dopaje en el ciclismo existe y no podemos decir otra cosa. Pero no tan generalizado como se cree la gente, esa idea no es veraz", explicaba el técnico cántabro. "Estoy convencido de que la ONCE era el equipo más limpio del mundo".

El ex director de la ONCE aseguró no saber qué es la EPO "porque no es médico". En el transcurso de la entrevista del Larguero, Manolo Saiz dice que las declaraciones de Manzano no son apropiadas y cree en la inocencia de Alejandro Valverde "como en la de todo el mundo", y aseguró que ya no tiene relación con Eufemiano Fuentes.

La idea de volver

Desde que explotó la Operación Puerto saiz permanece alejado del ciclismo, pero piensa en volver. "Hasta hace poco no tenía intención de volver al ciclismo, ahora me lo he empezado a plantear", explicó Saiz, que reconoció haber sido votante solcialista y que ahora vive de lo que ha ahorrado y de una cervecería que ha montado. "A mí el resto del ciclismo me ha defendido, cuando yo sí que le he hecho con ellos".
Translated copy of original story.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Another Great, but Sad Quote: Botero

From VeloNews:

...His career was cut short when his name was linked by Spanish media to the Puerto blood doping ring. Botero denied the allegations and he was later cleared following a probe by the Colombian cycling federation in late 2006, but he could never returned with a major European team.

“I was in the best moment of my career. I left with this regret. I didn’t even want to look for a team. I don’t know if I could have found a team, because I didn’t even look,” he said. “My best years were at Kelme. In Telekom I had a health problem due to a biopsy they did on my liver, which left with me a big hematoma that was slow to be absorbed.

I started to feel better at Phonak, above all at the Olympic Games in Athens. From June 2006 to February 2007, I couldn’t race because of Operación Puerto. After that, I’ve continued in Colombia. This all [cycling] ends, just like everything in life.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Support Andrey Sartasov as he Rebuilds his Career

My friend the Russian Andrey Sartasov is currently racing the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Like many of us, he was caught-up in the doping system but served an honorable two-year suspension and is back in the sport. He's currently competing against all manner of ProTour riders in Argentina, and was caught on film by yesterday.

Sartasov has lived in Chile since 2001, and has a family there. He was once one of the top riders on the best team in that country, Lider-LaPolar, where Edgardo Simon once raced, but has since had to look to Brazil for a ride (the global financial crisis brought cycling in Chile to its knees).

Andrey (r) leading Edgardo Simon (center)

Andrey rides second-in-line as Lider controls the race

Lider-LaPolar presented at the 2004 Vuelta Ciclista Lider in Chile

If you're a cycling fan but jaded by what you've seen in Europe, why not consider following Andrey and lending him your support as he makes his comeback while racing against guys like Danilo Napolitano, Vincenzo Nibali, Filippo Pozzato, Santi Botero and Victor Hugo Peña? You can find Andrey on Facebook here. And as a side note, Michael Rasmussen is also competing anew at the Tour (de San Luis!) with ANOTHER ex-doper and former teammate of mine, Alvaro Tardaguila. Livin' the dream...

- January 20, Stage 3: Fraga - Buena Esperanza 199.7km

1 Alberto Loddo (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli 4:34:52
2 Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Katusha
3 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
4 Weimar Roldan (Col) Colombia
5 Edgardo Simon (Arg) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
6 Anibal Borrajo (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
7 Enrique Mata (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
8 Pierpaolo De Negri (Ita) ISD-Neri
9 Luis Mansilla (Chi) Chile
10 Francisco Pacheco (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
11 Luciano A. Pagliarini (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
12 Ignacio Maldonado (Uru) Uruguay
13 Simone Campagnaro (Ita) Miche
14 Crischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
15 Jorge Martin Montenegro (Arg) Andalucia-Cajasur
16 Pablo Pintos (Uru) Uruguay
17 Arnols Alcolea (Cub) Cuba
18 Rafael Valls (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
19 Jose Serpa (Col) Androni-Giocattoli
20 Nicholas Frey (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
21 Freddy Buergos (Cub) Cuba
22 Francisco Ramon Chamorro (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
23 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Katusha
24 Manuel Vazquez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
25 Henning Bommel (Ger) Germany
26 Carlos Alzate (Col) Colombia
27 Denys Kostyuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri
28 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
29 Jorge Giacinti (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
30 Gonzalo Miranda (Chi) Chile
31 Walter Perez (Arg) Argentina
32 Vidal Celis (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
33 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha
34 Kim Lachmann (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
35 Jackson Rodriguez (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli
36 Martin Garrido (Arg) Argentina 0:00:08
37 Cesar S. Vaquera (Mex) Mexico 0:00:13
38 Raul Granjel (Cub) Cuba
39 Alien Garcia (Cub) Cuba
40 Dmytro Krivtsov (Ukr) ISD-Neri
41 Jose A. De Segovia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
42 Flavio Cardoso (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
43 José Angel Gomez Marchante (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
44 Gustavo Rodriguez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
45 Daniel Diaz (Arg) Argentina
46 Moritz Milatz (Ger) Germany
47 Roberto Pinheiro (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
48 Yosue Moyano (Arg) Argentina
49 Yasmani Martinez (Cub) Cuba
50 Ignacio Pereyra (Arg) Argentina
51 Alfredo Lucero (Arg) Argentina
52 Emanuel Vona (Ita) ISD-Neri
53 Magno Nazaret (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
54 Philipp Mamos (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
55 Gerardo Fernandez (Arg) Argentina
56 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Liquigas-Doimo
57 Marcel Kalz (Ger) Germany
58 Jesus Rosendo (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
59 Carlos Ochoa (Ven) Androni-Giocattoli
60 Jose Rodrigues (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
61 Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Miche
62 Mariano De Fino (Uru) Uruguay
63 Ramiro Cabrera (Uru) Uruguay
64 Breno Sidoti (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
65 Jairo Perez (Col) Colombia
66 Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Katusha
67 Yennier Lopez (Cub) Cuba
68 Santiago Botero (Col) Colombia
69 Matias Medici (Arg) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
70 Michael Rasmussen (Den) Miche
71 Marco Arriagada (Chi) Chile
72 Javier Moreno (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
73 Fernando Cardozo (Uru) Uruguay
74 Fortunato Baliani (Ita) Miche
75 Juan P. Suarez (Col) Colombia
76 Edgar H. Treviño (Mex) Mexico
77 Carlos Ospina (Col) Colombia
78 Armando Camargo (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
79 Emanuel Guevera (Arg) Argentina
80 Tiago Fiorilli (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
81 Fabricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
82 Alberto Fernandez (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
83 Marcos Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia
84 Alessandro Colo (Ita) ISD-Neri
85 Guido Palma (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
86 Pedro Merino (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
87 Pascale Muto (Ita) Miche
88 Javier Ramirez (Spa) Andalucia-Cajasur
89 Luca Solari (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli
90 Luis Mate (Spa) Androni-Giocattoli
91 Mauricio Morandi (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
92 Sergej Fuchs (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse 0:00:25
93 Rafael Escarcega (Mex) Mexico
94 Marco Bandiera (Ita) Katusha
95 Leonardo Pinizzotto (Ita) Miche
96 Robert Bengsch (Ger) Germany
97 Luis Sepulveda (Chi) Chile
98 Roderick Asconegui (Uru) Uruguay
99 Pablo Seisdedos (Chi) Chile
100 Luis Carlos Amorin (Bra) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
101 Victor H. Peña (Col) Colombia
102 Edwin Avila (Col) Colombia
103 Vicente Muga (Chi) Chile
104 Stefan Schafer (Ger) Germany
105 Dirk Muller (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
106 Sebastian Forke (Ger) Nutrixxion-Sparkasse
107 Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr) ISD-Neri
108 Brian Vandborg (Den) Liquigas-Doimo
109 Carlos M. Hernandez (Mex) Mexico
110 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo
111 Gianpaolo Cheula (Ita) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
112 Tayler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
113 Duarte Gregory (Uru) Uruguay
114 Andrew Guptill (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home
115 Arles Castro (Col) Colombia
116 Antoni Aldape (Mex) Mexico
117 Ricardo Guedes (Uru) Uruguay
118 Ariel Lucero (Arg) Argentina
119 Juan Est. Arango (Col) Colombia
120 Pedro A. Nicasio (Bra) Funvic-Pindamonhangaba
121 David Gutierrez (Spa) Footon-Servetto-Fuji
122 Gonzalo Garrido (Chi) Chile
123 Alvaro Tardaguila (Uru) Uruguay
124 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo 0:00:35
125 Andrey Sartasov (Rus) Scott - Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos
126 Demis Aleman (Arg) Jamis-Sutter Home
127 Maximiliano Bade (Arg) Argentina
128 Pedro Palma (Chi) Chile 0:00:54
129 Frank Travieso (Cub) Jamis-Sutter Home 0:01:05
130 Rodrigo Garcia (Spa) Xacobeo-Galicia 0:00:13
131 Sebastian Lazo (Chi) Chile 0:04:08

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cuba Photos

Cuba Ingenuity: lost en route, there was no faceplate for my Deda Newton stem when I arrived in Havana one spring, and my $5000 Ti/carbon SRM-equipped wonder-bike was neutered. Cuban mechanics stepped in, however, and for $2.00 forged a new face plate made of iron and steel (lol) that I used for the next two weeks. Coño!

Following Photos (c) Chris Milliman - Reproduction Strictly Prohibited. Please respect the artist's rights.

Thanks to Chris Milliman for the photos he provided. And thanks to those amazing Cuba mechanics for saving my ass with their great metalworking skills! More Cuba images to come in the next few days.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Cycling Inquisition - Latin America

Recently published is this interview I gave to Cycling Inquisition, which primarily focuses on my experiences racing in Latin America. Thanks to Lucho for the opportunity to share some great memories with his readers. Excerpt below.

"Joe Papp is known by many for having been a key witness in the Floyd Landis USADA arbitration hearing. Papp was called on during that hearing because of his experience with taking testosterone as a cyclist. While that portion of Papp's career is of great interest to some, I think it's been well documented already (see here and here). As such, I felt that there were other things that I'd rather ask him about. Plus, as I've stated before, the subject of doping is not of great interest to me, particularly when more important topics like De Vlaeminck's hair plugs can be discussed. As a matter of fact, I can tell you that my mental list of things I'd rather not do reads like this:

1. I don't want to discuss doping, it's more boring than listening to Sean Kelly do race commentary

2. I don't want to split my scrotum in half while trying to hop over a parking meter, I suspect it would be more painful than listening to Sean Kelly do race commentary

3. I don't want to sniff Sean Kelly's freshly used chamois, because I fear that it will actually be more pleasant and exciting than listening to him do race commentary.

Even if we put my list aside for a second, I feel that the mere mention of doping seems to bring out the uninformed, as well as the (seemingly over-informed) conspiracy theorists. You see, my interest in Papp's career is based on his ample experience racing in Latin America, which I find to be highly unusual for an American cyclist. After all, how many American cyclists can say they've been to Cuba, let alone raced the Vuelta A Cuba five times? Although I'm Colombian, I know little about the inner workings of races in South America, and I imagine that few people in the English speaking world do. Joe is certainly unusual in that respect, and I thought others would enjoy his insights and observations. Some of you may think that interviewing Joe and not asking him lots of questions about doping would be like:

Interviewing Michael Jordan and not asking him about basketball, or

Interviewing the singer from the Crash Test Dummies and not asking him about their groundbreaking and inspirational hit "Mmm, Mmm, Mmm" , or

Interviewing Miguel Indurain and not asking him about his Muppet-like unibrow.

If that's your opinion, you're entitled to it...but you're also wrong. Because I said so.

Also of interest to me, I must admit, are Joe's efforts to be reunited with his Cuban wife (who is also a cyclist). It's a complicated subject, since politics, travel restrictions and general international craziness are a huge factor in any dealing with Cuba and Cuban citizens. Having lived in southern Florida around plenty of Cubans, I can tell you that prior to September 11, Cubans were perhaps the only people in the world who had a harder time traveling than us Colombians. For us, getting a visa in order to take a vacation in the US (or pretty much any other country) could take up to a year, and that's if you got approved. Few ever did. Cubans had it worse, and they never even stood a chance, and still don't.

So, in my attempt to continuously shed some light on the subject of Latin American cycling, I contacted Joe to ask him a few questions. I'd like to thank him for agreeing to do the interview."

Read the complete interview here.

From the Archives: Pittsburgh Power, 1994

Pittsburgh Power National Cycle League Assos team-issue skinsuit (note dual, front/rear zips!)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Another Great, but Tragic, Quote: Sinkewitz

Excerpt from a Der Spiegel interview with Patrik Sinkewitz discussing the fall-out from his positive control and the hypocrisy of the sport:

Der Spiegel: Are you still in touch with some of your old fellow riders?

Sinkewitz: Almost all contacts ended from one day to the next. Some of the people I used to see almost every day contacted me once to see how I was doing. It was if I didn't even exist anymore. Before I tested positive, I had a three-year contract, a private sponsor and a house. And there were constantly people who were supporting me. Now I've lost my profession and I have nothing left but my house. I could use help now, but there's nobody left. Everyone knows that people pat you on the back when you're successful, but it comes as a shock to realize what it's like when the success is gone. It yanks the ground out from under your feet.

Der Spiegel: Are you ruined?

Sinkewitz: I don't make any money anymore, and I have to pay fines and lawyers. Besides, I didn't exactly make a fortune during my first few years as a professional. At least the house is paid off.

Der Spiegel: Under the terms of your contract with Team T-Mobile, you might have to pay back part of your salary.

Sinkewitz: I try not to think about that. It's something my attorney will deal with. I don't want to talk about it. Besides, what do they want from me? Haven't I been punished enough?

Der Spiegel: Mr. Sinkewitz, thank you for this interview.