“Just because one of us stopped before the others doesn’t make him a better person.” – George Hincapie

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Note to self George, don’t do interviews about doping. But, he must have missed the memo and decided to go ahead and do an interview with the Detroit Free Press that has some interesting takes on Frankie Andreu and doping in the sport.

One of the reasons that George has stayed pretty immune to the ridicule others have received, is that he has stayed relatively quiet through this whole affair. He gave his testimony to USADA and stayed loyal to Lance. I don’t think it is in his best interest to go on record and slam Frankie Andreu.

Frankie is one of the good guys in this whole mess. He got sick of lying to his friends and family, quit racing in Europe and then came clean publicly, without having to be threatened by legal means to do so, as George was.

So yes George, that does make Frankie a “better person” in this regard.

George suggests that Frankie hasn’t told his wife Betsy about all involved when he said, “A lot of what Frankie did, I don’t know if she (Betsy) even knows.” What was that statement all about. It seems like George is more pissed at Betsy than Frankie.

He states, “I know Frankie was part of the whole system as well. Once he left cycling, he was very opinionated about the system, as was Betsy. For me, it was hard to accept that. It was hard to understand why he was so opinionated about it when he was part of it.”

Okay, he doesn’t think that Frankie should have an opinion about doping in cycling because he was part of the system. That doesn’t make any sense, but I’ll let it go. But, using George’s own logic, Betsy, who wasn’t part of the system, should get to be “opinionated about it”. And she is. Very.

At the end of the article, they actually get a quote from Lance in there. He uses an example of a Dallas cowboy football player that crashed his car that resulted in a death of a team-mate. He implies that Frankie, and Betsy, need to take some responsibility for their actions.

I think that is exactly what Frankie did back in 2006 when he came clean publicly. If Lance and company would have left it alone, it probably wouldn’t have gotten to this unamicable state. Frankie lost his job at Trek, was the recipient of a smear campaign within the professional ranks of the sport and suffered some hard times. Just for telling the truth. The truth about himself. Nothing about Lance, just himself.

These guys need to quit talking so much about each other and just concentrate on their own situations. And George’s situation is that he has a book deal and owns a gazillion dollar hotel, with a world classic restaurant, which he so appropriately named 17, I assume, for his “record” 17 Tour finishes. It seems to me that he is as much in denial, and as arrogant, as when Lance tweeted the photo of hanging out in Austin with his 7 yellow jerseys from the Tour.

These guys just don’t get it at all. If they are pointing fingers, they need to be pointing more back at themselves and like Lance implied, take some responsibility for their own actions.

Frankie and George back in 1996, when they still were friends.

Frankie and George back in 1996, when they still were friends.

Lance just hangin'.

Lance just hangin’.

45 thoughts on ““Just because one of us stopped before the others doesn’t make him a better person.” – George Hincapie

  1. donkybhoy

    Hincapie doped till he retried. He lied about stopping in 2006.

    As you say Steve, these guys (Hincapie and Armstrong) must point the finger at themselves for a long, long time before they can think of pointing it at Frankie.

    This interview all seems to have been to try to undermine Betsy Andreu more than anything. They Failed.

     
  2. The Cyclist

    Has George been stripped of his 17 Tour finishes yet? Not yet? Why not? Where’s USADA, WADA, ASO? What are they waiting for, or is there a rule that it’s ok to dope as long as you don’t win anything? Provided that you don’t get caught. Nothing of this makes any sense anymore.

     
  3. scott

    unbelievable, sad postering by a guy who escaped almost entirely unscathed, despite a career fueled by doping. please god, just make these assholes go away!

     
  4. OGS

    When I saw the headline and briefly read the summary of the article I also had the same reaction.
    However, after thinking about it a bit, I think there is something hypocritical about Andreu’s stance also. They demanded that others admit fully the details of doping, meanwhile it appears that Frankie wasn’t even honest about the degree of his full involvement with Betsy. To me, this is an interesting twist, and a lesson in human psychology.

    Frankie wasn’t just an innocent bystander, he was actively recruiting and teaching others, including young George. We probably all knew this already. This is understandable to me – but it appears he couldn’t admit this to others, including his wife Betsy. So from her perspective, Frankie was an innocent victim in all of this, which made the whole thing much more black-and-white to her, even though it obviously is not – it is much more complex than that.

    So is it any more surprising then that many other actors in this drama – including George himself, but also Garmin boys, Leipheimer etc. were also less than enthusiastic about coming completely clean unless forced to do so.

     
  5. Paul

    Spot on Steve. All these guys (named in USADA docs) deflect every other sentence… They never take full responsibility and all seemed to have magically stopped doping around 2005/2006.

     
  6. San Fransisco Jacks

    i wanna hear the stories about Lance and George jerking off to raise their testosterone prior to booster shots! you know, the dark side of doping.. heard they have girls help out and have little jerk off parties.. not sure how it worked with no-nutz but george i suspect blew like a donkey.

     
  7. channel_zero

    Frankie wasn’t just an innocent bystander, he was actively recruiting and teaching others, including young George.

    That’s a very strong claim that you can’t make without some facts to back it up. Please post some corroborating evidence or you too will be dismissed as another Armstrong troll.

    Don’t mistake my reply as suggesting Frankie is some virtuous, clean rider, he wasn’t. But, as Steve mentioned, he disclosed his use at great professional cost at a time when that was forbidden. That takes a courage that folks like Hincapie and Armstrong simply do not possess.

     
  8. Andrew

    He was disqualified, but I guess he can still say he started 17 Tours, he just didn’t finish all of them. And I think he finished 16 Tours before getting disqualified from 2004, 2005 and 2006. So I guess he really only finished 13 Tours. And we all know you can’t name a restaurant “13” because that is bad luck and he would have to pin the restaurant number on upside down.

     
  9. Jeff

    You would think when you cheated to get almost everything you have in life and you got out with pretty much all of it you’d be happy to move on and live life.
    When I see things like this: http://hoteldomestique.com/events/experience-domestique/cycling/ I have to shake my head and wonder if any of the pasts bothers him at all. $5k to ride with George and stay at his hotel? It seems so ridiculous I can’t believe it’s actually an option. I must be dreaming…

     
  10. donkybhoy

    Why isn’t Hincapie pointing the finger at Chris Carmichael who was doping young cyclists including Hincapie and Armstrong.

    Hincapie is trying to paint it that Frankie introduced him to doping. This is far removed from the reality.

    Hincapie got rich being a cheater. People should remember that the 17 represents a lot of years cheating.

     
  11. Evan Shaw

    A criminal is a person who only thinks about himself does not care about others and is able to rationalize everything they do. They are indeed criminals

     
  12. Not A. Cyclist

    Steve,

    You missed the whole point of the article. Both LA and George have told the same story at separate times.

    Frankie was not fired (or quit the sport) because he was sick of doping. He tried to make up some BS story that he got a $300k offer from another team. And then when Johan called him on it, FA was left without any deal. So Frankie had to retire… end of story. It was only AFTER he left that he made up the “I quite because I didn’t want to dope” story.

    Not A. Cyclist

     
  13. Steve Tilford Post author

    Not A. Cyclist-I don’t really care why Frankie quit. But, I do care that he decided to come clean, without naming anyone other than himself, nearly 8 years ago. That put him in a class of his own. He is a good guy, as many of these other dopers might be too. He made a big sacrifice and got lynched for it by the cycling community for a number of years. I don’t think George should be criticizing him or his wife for their actions. Their actions are part of the solution, not the problem.

     
  14. spinner

    There is NO HOPE for George and Lance so nothing they say surprises me…..
    The whole mess is beyond sad……

     
  15. Not A. Cyclist

    Steve… where in the article did it seem that George or LA was being critical of Frankie? The article I read just said we aren’t hearing the whole story. Frankie hasn’t come entirely clean about the story. FA is claiming he quit cycling because he didn’t want to dip anymore. I think its highly more likely FA wanted more money, was told to go get it if he had a deal somewhere else.

     
  16. Not A. Cyclist

    … and one more thing. Did you not read the part where George said “I would like to sit down sometime with Frankie and try to figure that out. I would like to sit down and try to figure out what happened with all of this … and have a rational conversation.”

     
  17. Steve Tilford Post author

    Not. A Cyclist-I think Frankie would probably sit down with George. He’s that kind of guy. But, I don’t get why the dude would do an interview with Frankie’s hometown paper and make Frankie look like he was covering information up at the least and maybe lying. Saying that Frankie’s wife, Betsy, probably doesn’t know the extend of Frankie’s involvement. I wonder if anyone knows any one other’s personal, inner ,secrets. I think Frankie made it pretty clear, he when he confessed to doping in 2006, that he took EPO to race bikes. I don’t really care how much EPO he took. It doesn’t really matter. What did matter is that he took a big risk and paid for it pretty dearly. That is enough for me.

     
  18. OGS

    Drug-mentorship of Frankie to young George – that’s the whole summary of Hincapie interview – or did you not bother to read the article we are discussing here?

    None of it has anything to do with Armstrong, by the way. Bringing up Armstrong is like Godwin rule of cycling discussions.

     
  19. channel_zero

    If you had read Hincapie’s affidavit, you would realize these new claims don’t fit in the timeline presented in his own sworn testimony.

    So, which story am I to believe from Hincapie?
    -The one from his testimony that has him doping under Carmichael and the **next** year on Motorola with Frankie.
    -The new one where he was somehow riding with Frankie on Motorola a year or more before he’s hired by Och and Frankie’s the EPO doping mastermind???

     
  20. OGS

    Steve, you really mean when you say “I don’t care why Frankie quit”?
    In one version of the story, Frankie got fed up with doping culture and quit despite being invited to keep riding, on principle, and disclosed his doping.
    In “Not A Cyclist” version (also happens to be Bruyneel/Armstrong version, I know – there must be a giant conspiracy to get Frankie) – he was 35 year old disposable (by then) domestique with declining results who bluffed himself out of the contract. Only THEN he decided to change his story and claim he is quitting to protest doping culture.

    You really don’t see any difference between these two scenarios?!

    It’s sort of like people who idolize David Millar for admitting the truth, not realizing he denied denied denied even after being arrested, and admitted only after police revealed they taped his phone, put surveillance on him for quite some time prior to his arrest, and found EPO vials in his apartment.

    It’s easy to do the right thing when the right thing is THE ONLY thing left to do.

    Similarly, you don’t see anything strange with the fact that Frankie has not even told Betsy the whole truth?

    I don’t blame Frankie – he is a upstanding and entertaining commentator and does a good job at running Kenda team. I give him some credit for coming clean (only after about 6 years of doping! – by his own account).

    But to paint the whole affair in black-and-white, Frankie is good, Hincapie (and everyone else) is bad – is precisely the problem with the doping issue. There is no good or bad. It’s all grey. Inability to see grey is what annoys me the most. Hincapie doped longer than Frankie. Both admitted to doping after their careers were effectively over and both (perhaps surprisingly to most, not to me) continue to make a living based on their cycling careers and the name and reputation they build for themselves during their doping years. It’s not like Frankie is selling used cars and Hincapie is a real estate agent.

    To make one into an angel and another into devil is wrong. It’s more complicated than this.

     
  21. Not A Cyclist

    Steve. Again you change your subject and don’t answer. When and where did George criticize FA?!?

     
  22. Not A Cyclist

    Hey donkhyboy and Zero:

    And where do you find ANYTHING that Carmichael doped them as Juniors??

     
  23. H Luce

    LOL – the author of this weblog – Steve Tilford – got cheated out of a stunning pro career in nearly all aspects of the sport. If he hadn’t run up against an entire peloton of cheaters and dopers, *he* might have ended up with 7 TdF yellow jerseys…

     
  24. hicadence

    The link to the Detroit Free Press article states that FA admitted to “experimenting with EPO in 96-97 and then using it on a more regular schedule in 1999.

    In the Walsh book “From Lance to Landis” the FA chapter has him saying that he used in 99 only in a run up to the TDF. Nothing about any earlier usage. The chapter also states that Betsy found a vial in the refrigerator and went nutso. Does anyone have background on this? When he confessed to using it was right ahead of the release of the book. I will admit that I do not remember the details of his admission but even occasional use in 96-97 strongly contradicts what was in Walsh’s book. Strongly.

     
  25. davidh

    The concern trolling of the likes of “Not a Cyclist” and “OGS” is precisely why Hincapie’s interview with Frankie’s hometown paper seems so black-hearted. After the USADA decision, LA’s confession and everything else in the past two years, why does any sentient person care to debate whether Frankie used EPO 5 times or 50 times during a career that ended 13 years ago? Only if they want to kick up enough dirt to cloud Frankie’s character, which is precisely what George is doing.

    If I recall correctly, at the time Frankie confessed he was one of like three cyclists (another was Chiotti) to voluntarily admit to doping, not to extend a career or under duress. When it comes to character, I agree with Steve that this is what matters.

    The interesting question is what George’s problem is. Getting played by LA as part of his grand rehabilitation/self-justification strategy? Glad I don’t own any Hincapie cycling clothes, because they would be going in the trash…

     
  26. Oldster

    The most positive thing to come out of all of this is the cold reality that George’s hotel/resort/bike tour thing is a pipe dream and a money pit. Sure, he made a bundle riding but a venture like this can quickly make a small fortune out of a larger one. He’ll be broke, wife will hit the road back to France with the kids and he’ll have to get an actual job outside of cycling. Probably as a ditch digger or something as Big George is the personification of the phrase “hard legs, soft mind”. You can always count on economics to average things out over time

    Wonder if BMC wants their golden retirement bike back?

     
  27. Nathan

    Hope you all are able move on some day……. Life’s not fair ( still working on undoing the belief that it’s supposed to be, thanking the parents for that one ya). I want to be aware , educated…… But at some point the negativity of this becomes pointless. We could change the names and occupations above and have the same story…… Same human soap opera…… Go play in the snow or have a glass of wine you aren’t going to live forever….. At least that’s what I envision Bromont saying 🙂

     
  28. Not A. Cyclist

    Man oh man… where to start.

    Do any of you think for a second this was George’s doing? Do you think George called up Frankie’s hometown paper to build a smear campaign. I bet its more likely Ms. Shamus probably reached out to George to get comment or reaction to her original piece. Its just plan wrong to anyone to insinuate that George did this as part of a smear campaign or to try and damage Frankie.

    I also don’t get where anyone thinks that Frankie should not be considered in the same light as the rest. Quite honestly he’s probably worse. He’s trying to downplay his role in doping and trying to cover up the real reason he didn’t renew with USPS. Its quite convenient to say it was because he didn’t want to dope.

    Whether you believe George or LA’s version of the story or not, I encourage all of you to read David Millar’s book. David very clearly implicated FA and his systematic doping (well beyond what Betsy would have you believe). From his book “I remember… watching my roommate Frankie Andreu opening syringes and breaking ampoules…”

    So don’t go trashing George or Lance or whomever. Why should Frankie not be held to the same standard as coming completely clean?

     
  29. Fred Taylor

    Honestly Steve, I raced and dope ner could have made me a winner, winner, a far flung fantasy. Actually I could have won big time with PEDs, even a career in cycling, I was that good. End of story I paint Frankie, Lance and Hincapie with the same tainted brush. Dopers, black and white, some were more sucessful. I could call out a few who never were busted, but cycling is tainted enough. Bury it my friend, time to move on. Talked to a local pro the other day, the way he described doping, i felt like bitch slapping him, what phony douches these days.

     
  30. channel_zero

    Hey Lance,

    You are apparently still in the business of launching personal attacks. It’s not going to work. The truth finally won out.

    Things have worked out good for you anyway. Raise the kids you’ve got, seek therapy for yourself as it will only help you and your kids. It’s all over.

     
  31. channel_zero

    Uh, well Not A Cyclist,

    There’s Hincapie’s affidavit on page 3.

    And then there’s that troublesome 60 minutes news segment called “Dope and Glory” Lance was on that team with at least George. Google the phrase “60 minutes dope and glory” The CBS segment should be the top search result.

     
  32. chris

    I can remember reading a letter to the editor in an old Bicycling magazine where some unknown nobody was trying to point out that Hincapie was as dirty a cheater as could be, as a junior. I guess he showed us.

     
  33. Dog

    Another “Lance” post. Lance knows that the best way to get to Frankie is to push the “Betsy button”. To drive a wedge between Betsy and Frankie is the sweetest revenge Lance and GH can come up with. Because they still live in the isolating darkness and are miserable themselves. They blame their pain on Frankie.

     

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