Brandt-Sorenson Addendum

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The stories of the drug cheat, turned drug dealer, that surfaced last week is surely going to be an ongoing topic of conversation.  We have to assume that there are names of guys floating around out there that purchased items, other than clothing, from Nicolas Brandt-Sorensen.

I saw that Eric Marcotte was the rider that Nick had beaten at the Master’s Nationals in 2011. The same Eric Marcotte that went on to win the Professional Nationals Road Champions and the Professional National Criterium Championships.  I’ve raced against Eric lots and lots and if this guy beat Eric in a sprint, then red flags should have been up instantly.

Anyway, I saw an article over at Cyclingtips that really delves deeper into the whole background of Thorfinn-Sassquatch.  It is pretty good journalism, nothing like you get here.  Read it here.

It shows two sides of this dude.  I guess it is just up to an individual which side you choose to attribute as his real personality.  He is obviously a very mixed up individual.

This Strava thing is kind of a quandary.  Some people take Strava KOM’s very seriously.  I’m assuming that there are many people in Los Angeles that base a fair amount of the emphasis on Strava.  Having this doped dude destroy iconic LA climbs and hold the KOM’s seems wrong. But cheating in Strava is like cheating in Zwift or  maybe even in cycling in general.  It is very hard to get caught and there really no punishment if caught.  This guy is obviously caught, but his 800+ KOM’s are going to be there for a long while.

I have to agree with Lee Rodgers about his assessment of Bob Roll’s take on the story.  You can see Bob’s video a couple posts ago.  Cheating in cycling isn’t justified by money.  You can see Lee’s post here at PEZ Cycling News.

Anyway, it is thought provoking.  I thought I was done with it, but it isn’t the normal case of doping in sports.  It is way more complex.

Thorfinn has moved onto Strava KOM's on fatbike descents now. You don't have to stay so lean for this.

Thorfinn has moved onto Strava KOM’s on fatbike descents now. You don’t have to stay so lean for this.

Tucker plays with just about anything. He really hasn't chewed anything of real importance up yet.

Tucker plays with just about anything. He really hasn’t chewed anything of real importance up yet.

25 thoughts on “Brandt-Sorenson Addendum

  1. scott

    cheating on strava, apparently, is rampant – whether it’s doping or using leadouts or any number of ways people game the system. let’s be perfectly honest here – you have to be a douchebag to cheat at all , but a really, really mammoth one to cheat on strava.

    1. James

      Getting a “leadout” is cheating? I guess all the pros & their koms during races are invalid?

  2. Bolas Azules

    I love Bokke’s take on it…”if there is no cash involved, why cheat?” Spoken like a true 7-Eleven member indeed. We all appreciate the candor even if it’s a few decades too late.

    1. Rod Lake

      I hated Roll’s take of doing away with masters mats for five year’s the next time a master’s-aged rider gets busted. Punish everyone because of one Dopie Opie seems draconian. Plus when Bob was in the peloton I didn’t hear him calling for a five year ban on the Tour when somebody got busted.

  3. Krakatoa East of Java

    I’ve never created a Strava account. I suppose this explains why my boilerplate “fitness” rides on a local bike trail system here in Phoenix have gotten so weird in the past few years. I’ll be riding along and sense a guy behind me, about to pass. The “usual” me would always get ready to say hi as the dude overtakes. Perhaps maybe even ride WITH the guy for a while. Right? No. These guys are intent on getting around me as quickly as possible, keeping their laser-like focus on the trail ahead. Screw saying “hi’. These guys don’t even turn their heads!. I used to attribute this phenomenon to upcoming “Ironman” deals, as so often, the guys are on TT bikes. But now that I understand more clearly what Strava is, I think these schmucks are just Strava Strivers(TM).

    And the fact that Strava is filled with cheaters too? No f-ing way will I ever bother to use it. Who the fuck cares? Just ride your fucking bike!

  4. JB

    This will just force riders to take Strava results less seriously, which is good. Strava should be used to race against yourself and your friends/riding buddies.

  5. James

    Roll condeming Master’s cheaters vs pros is massive narcissism! Oh so its ok to cheat if you get paid? And wasn’t Marcotte’s masters campaign a step to becoming an almighty pro.

    Oh, oh, oh, wait, isn’t this same BR the massive enabler for LA? I guess during those legendary days post cancer, when according to all the mythology, old Roll brought LA back from the abyss of actually having to get a job, not a mention of PEDs?

    1. Krakatoa East of Java

      Don’t be too hard on Bob. The entire cycling media was throwing softballs at Lance & Co. Not even Velonews dared to ask tough questions. They all silently agreed to avoid “off limits” topics for access. I’m sure that Bob (and all the others) was under orders from TV brass to keep with the “cancer hero” mantra. Even today they avoid the topic of Lance.

      1. Larry T.

        So, just like Bobke says, it’s OK if you do it for money? When REAL money’s on the line, the REAL lack of character in these creeps comes out.
        Strava? Isn’t it like masturbating while looking at porn vs making love to a real (not an inflatable) live (non-rented) woman? Why don’t these people who want to race pin on numbers and get out there instead of fart around with these KOM’s and electronic jacking-off?

  6. Mark

    I see nothing wrong with Strava or going for KOM’s for that matter. I’m not very good at structured training so I use KOM attempts as a training/interval tool. It’s more fun than focusing on holding X power for Y minutes or what have you….On another note, it sucks that guys like this dick have to taint the system. Strava should set a presidence by erasing KOM’s set by proven drug cheats. Levi and lance included.

  7. Not going there, too many obsessive blog commenters.

    Nicholas was getting KOM’s right and left, all while serving his 2-year suspension, and as shown in the Peter Flax / CyclingTips (excellent) journalistic piece, he was being tested way more than your average US Pro Cyclocross racer (not to mention the Boulder or SoCal Masters elite crowd). He did NOT fail any further tests beyond Bend Nationals in 2011. (Yes, that was extremely disappointing for me to hear about, same for the current news headlines). I’m curious to know, from what basis, (other than hopeful assumptions and bitterness), people are using to label his Strava records as achieved via doping? When you actually have talent, it is not unusual to frequently establish records on rides, if you’re riding hard and like to test yourself. I’ve been racing for 23 years, formerly mid-pack Pro, now enjoying my Masters years. I know that you don’t come across this caliber of athlete very often. I vividly remember the first time he beat me on a climb, 2001. I also recall his 2nd place finish at the Oregon State MTB championships in 2003, still very early in his cycling progression. He was soft pedaling on the winner’s wheel at the finish, thinking he had another 9 mile lap to go. Bummer, but that was a good indicator of his physical talent. Don’t always assume the worst in people, that’s my advice. I appreciated the fairness of Peter Flax’s style of writing. Clearly he has some intelligent insight on this unfortunate situation, and is able to talk about it rationally and neutrally without inciting a witch hunt. Thank you.

    1. Not going there, too many obsessive blog commenters.

      To follow up on the Oregon MTB example I gave above, that race was won by a skinny 135-140 lb rider, known for his climbing. Nicholas weighed 180 lbs at the time.

      Even back in his early 2003 Cat 3 days, in the hilly Mt Hood Cycling Classic road stage race, he was thriving in the hills. Some times, big riders can climb, and Strava shows it.

      I say this, partly in response to Adam Meyerson’s comment. Nick has proven he could climb numerous times over the years, way before he made some poor decisions, surrounded by the SoCal influence.

      1. jeff

        I don’t get it why people assume these guys who get caught using PEDs stop using them. They don’t. It’s an addiction in their case. Alley Cats, Alley Cross, Gran Fondos, etc…. Even big group rides can have weekly stars. They keep “competing” and do what they have to do to be at the front. You don’t think Levi has put something in himself that would have gotten him popped to get it up for one of these endurance MTBs or GranFondos? And we know that testing neg means nothing, right?
        On Bob Roll, come on. As far as I know the guys livelihood is doing cycling commentary of some kind, and appearances. We forget now how scary and powerful Lance was then, but if you were in the industry and crossed him, he’d find a way to get to you, or outright smear you and win with his money and resources. He did it to a 3 time TDF winner for cryin’ out loud. A bag of money will make people do desperate things (pros cheating.) His point on master racing was that a tin medal is a really pathetic thing to cave into your weaknesses for, to do those same desperate things.

      2. Krakatoa East of Java

        180 lb guys that climb well (with and against pros)… are doped.

        I presume that he doped for quite some time before finally getting caught.

        And we’re ignoring the extreme possibility that once doped, the body continues to receive continuing and ongoing “dope benefits”, even if they stop taking the meds. I know from my own past periods of racing, quitting (and starting back up again) that once you’ve first done the hard work of “punching through” to a certain fitness level, it doesn’t require NEARLY the same amount of hard work to re-attain it.

        Once doped, always doped. To some extent (at least).

  8. shano92107

    glad we can put that behind us, now on to important stuff like – getting that boy Tucker an empty 1 gallon Crystal Geyser or Sparkletts bottle (the flimsy plastic jobs) and you’ll see what REAL fun is all about! Hours of harmless entertainment 🙂

  9. mike

    I’m glad Bob Roll got called out for being a douche. For every master’s racer who takes PEDs to massage their ego, there are dozens of humble guys who just like to ride their bike more than playing golf or driving a boat around. And everyone is well aware that no one (outside of amateur racing) gives a crap about amateur racing.

  10. Dave M

    So, he just “took the wrong path” ? How about not putting up profile pictures wearing a “stolen” national championship jersey, then? Or add a little caption “I apologize for stealing this jersey from a more deserving and ethical person.” Wonder is USAC sent a “cease and desist”..?

  11. Krakatoa East of Java

    Hey Nick B-S… I have an idea. Eric Marcotte never received a national championship jersey for beating you fair and square back in 2011. But I see from photographs that you have one.

    Why don’t you call Marcotte’s chiropractic office in Scottsdale, get his measurements, and send him a natz jersey YOURSELF? Custom, just for him. And be sure to put HIS name on the sleeves.


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