Tag Archives: Christian Vande Velde

Can These Guys Quit Saying – “The Sport is so Much Cleaner Now”

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I’ve been reading all the articles on this “drug scandal”, from the riders perspective and others. And the reoccurring statement that I keep seeing is that the sport is so much cleaner now and that was a different era.

Bradley Wiggins saying Lance’s era was 10 or 15 years ago? I will state once more, Lance bumped Bradley off the Tour de France podium, to 4th, in 2009. I don’t even want to go back and link all the articles, from tons of different sources, riders, the UCI, the Pro Teams, but somehow everyone is on the same page and has this theme that the sport is in a different, cleaner, era now. Why?

I have no idea what they are using for facts to make that statement and why they are assuming this is anything more than positive thinking. Did you see the list of guys in this article that condenses the Gazzetta dello Sport report on the Padua investigation in Italy? Here are a few – Yaroslav Popovych, Franco Pellizotti, Michele Scarponi, Denis Menchov, Alexandre Kolobnev, Vladimir Gusev, Vladimir Karpets, Mikhail Ignatiev, Evgeni Petrov and Alberto Ongarato. Plus, the Italy police are investigating Liquigas, Lampre, Colnago, Geox, Androni, Katusha, Quick Step, Cnf-Inox, Farnese Vini, Acqua&Sapone, Astana, RadioShack, Vacansoleil, Isd, Csf, Lpr, Diquigiovanni, Tinkoff, Rabobank, Gerolsteiner and Milram. Plus, I could make another list, at least this long, of people’s names coming up in testimony. It is incredible.

That’s a lot of guys and a lot of teams. Many of the teams are defunct now, but many are current. But do you think it is close to all of them? Looking at that list, what percent do you think it is of the current riders still taking drugs in the profession ranks. Think it’s 5 percent? 10 ? Those are pretty big percentages. I’d say it is much less if I had to guess. Either way, whatever the percentage, the sport is still definitely in trouble and still really polluted.

Tom Bonnen from Cyclingnews.com“We must just keep doing what we do now, everything is well with us,” he said. “The only thing we can do is perhaps imagine that they follow us 24 hours a day, so the world can see what is happening in racing and so we recover our credibility.”

And here’s another Tom Boonen quote, just for fun. And it’s… USADA is also exaggerating. They’re also pretending like they’re the holiest business in the entire world right now, and they’re also full of crap.”

Everything is well with us (the sport of bicycle racing)? And, USADA is full of crap? I’d like to see the facts to back up those statements.

And here’s a beauty about Lance from 5 time Tour de France winner Michguel Indurain, from Velonews.com“Even now I believe in his innocence. He has always respected all the regulations… He has won all the cases he’s had,” Indurain told Radio Marca.“ Then he goes on to say, Armstrong “has always been a fighter. What surprises me is that he doesn’t keep fighting… I think he will come back and appeal and try to show that he played fair for all those years.” Wish I could bet him on that.

And what about the guys working with the riders. How about Allen Lim, Mr. Skratch Labs. I don’t know him personally. As far as I know I’ve never met the guy. He’s got a PhD. in sport physiologist, it seems. In this article, it states that Floyd said Dr. Lim helped him with blood transfusions. As far as I can tell, other than Lance, no one else much is calling Floyd a liar nowadays, except Allen Lim.

It goes on to say that – “While I became aware of Floyd’s attempt to dope himself and Levi [Leipheimer] in 2005, my actions were neither complicit nor complacent and I made it clear that this wasn’t right, encouraging them as much as I could at the time to ride clean,” Lim wrote.

I can’t really agree with that statement much, but he said it, I didn’t. He was employed to work personally for Lance Armstrong for 2009 and 10. He goes on to say the reason that Floyd made this up is – “I believe that Floyd made the accusations he did about me in 2010 because he knew that I knew what he had done in ’05. I also figured, but don’t know, that he was mad at me for working for Lance and that he resented my attempts to thwart his doping,” Lim wrote.

Whatever. I needed to include this in the “I Have to Call Bullshit” post from last week. It makes no sense. And here is Dr. Lim, personally training Lance Armstrong. He states that “The PowerTap was a major part of my doctoral work….” And he can’t tell that Lance is taking drugs? After he has been doing work with Floyd and Levi who he knows, for certain, that were taking drugs. He has all the numbers. And he is Mr. Squeaky clean? Bullshit.

I’m sorry Dr. Lim, but you came up with your new gig a little late. Now you have a legitimate niche in the sport, one that is probably good for the athletes. What can’t you just fess up like the others?

Taylor Phinney, Tim Johnson, Christian Vande Velde, and lots of others, train with him. I’d have to advise them that they probably shouldn’t associate with him anymore. Much like Greg LeMond suggested to Lance about Dr. Michele Farrari a “generation” ago in the sport. It makes the sport look bad.

From the original Velonews article, Mr. Lim is quoted – “I do believe that the sport has done an incredible job at cleaning itself up over the last five or six years, primarily due to the hard work and risk taken by the riders who are now coming out. There’s an entire generation of cyclists who have never been exposed to what the previous generation have had to see or deal with. Given what has been revealed in the last few months, that fact is pretty incredible and gives me tremendous hope and pride.”

Pride? He takes pride in what? I’m also wondering what Dr. Lim thinks a generation of cycling is? It must be less than 5 years, since everyone simultaneously came clean by 2007. Our new young riders haven’t been exposed to the drug issue? Here’s a guy that has been paid for years to train Floyd and Lance and bases this training on wattage. I don’t even know why I wrote this after reading what he said. It all must be true.


Why not? There isn’t anyone left to confess it’s so clean.

Vaughters Outs Danielson

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I finally get the Vaughters damage control plan. He is going to methodically, pre-release information, before it is dropped like a bomb from a B-52, hoping to help negate the bad press and astonishment from the eventual fallout of the Lance deal.

And I hate it. He can make up all the schemes and reasons for what he does as the team director for Garmin, but it is all smoke and mirrors for self preservation of himself and his riders. Here’s a link from an article from Cyclingnews.com that goes over some “beliefs” Jonathan has on doping in the sport. In this article, through Cyclingnews forums, he outs Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde and Dave Zabriskie. We’ll all heard the CVV and Dave Z. names, but Tommy D. is new to the scene. He goes on to explain why he hired Tom Danielson and not Jörg Jaksche.

This is a quote from Cyclingnew.com, which quotes Vaughters- “So, Tommy D… Here’s a guy that has used o2 vector doping, and with some success [Oxygen vector doping refers to increasing oxygen delivery to the muscles via increased hemoglobin, ed.]. But when you test him, without o2 vector doping, you quickly see this guy has massive aerobic ability. O2 transport isn’t the limiting factor with his body/mind. However, he is not a mentally strong athlete. He succumbs to nerves and pressure very easily.

“So, in looking at his physiology and psychology, the rate limiting factor is the latter, not the former. So, working on that makes huge strides. Giving him o2 vector doping is akin to putting a bigger engine in a car with a flat tire, because you want it to go faster. yes, it will make the car with the flat tire go faster, but you could just go ahead and fix the flat tire instead?”

I’m not going to rip Jonathan again for this. He is full of shit. Completely full of shit. I’m going to rip Tom Danielson. Here’s my personal observations and history of Tom Danielson, with a few jabs at Jonathan during the rant, probably.

Ever since I heard the guy’s name, Tom Danielson, it has been associated with doping. From square one. The first time I heard anything about the guy, without hearing his name even, was when I received an email from Ned from something like 12 years ago. (I’ve been looking for the email, but it must be on a different computer or hard drive somewhere.) Anyway, the email said something like what I thought about some kid from Fort Lewis, that the previous fall couldn’t even come close to riding with the group up the passes, on the local weekly training rides and then comes back the next spring, from training in Arizona, (I think) and he’s dropping everyone. I said maybe it didn’t have to be doping and some guys are natural climbers, since I had never personally witnessed or seen the guy. I didn’t realize the extent of the change.

I don’t remember when I first raced against him. I had asked around and realized that he had finished 3rd in the collegiate MTB Nationals in New York in 2000. My friend, Jed Schneider, who was living in Topeka, at an apartment in an old building of mine, was going to KU that year and finished 2nd behind JHK. When a guy struggles at the collegiate level in MTB racing and then all of a suddenly can out climb just about any rider in the US over one winter, he gathers tons of attention.

The Mercury team hired him and when I saw that he won the 12 mile TT in the Estes Park Stage race by over 5 minutes over 2nd, I put him on the, for sure, cheater, cheater pumpkin eater team. It was done, he took drugs. I remember talking to a friend from Michigan, Tinker, the next year at the Iceman Cometh and he said he was training down in Arizona with Danielson about 2 weeks before he got really good. Everyone knew.

At the time, I was surprised that Tom Schuler hired him to ride for Saturn. Danielson proceeded to fuck up race after race I competed in. Redlands, Nature Valley Gran Prix, all of them. I remember being in a elevator after the time trial in Nature Valley with Bill Stolte and Danielson gets in. I ask him how it went for him and he says something like he rode 9:10 and won. The race was 6.25 miles I think. I said something back like, “Tom, it was 10km, that would be over a 40 mph average.” He said “Yeh, I rode 9:10.” Bill and I just looked at each other and didn’t say another word. The guy was a tool.

He managed to smash, self admitted doper, Tyler Hamilton’s record on Mount Washington Hill climb and win just about every other climbing race he rode.

Anyway, it didn’t surprise me at all when he got the plane ticket to fly down to Austin and meet Lance. He didn’t sign with Discovery then. I think he rode one year with Saturn and then a year in Europe before riding with them. He stuck around the US long enough for just about everyone with any knowledge of the sport to realize he needed to leave our continent and go race with the other super charged guys over in Europe. He eventually did just that signing for Discovery, but kept coming back and cherry picking races. He kept not making the Tour team, so he would come back and win Mt. Evans hill climb. He won Tour of Georgia and then raced Tour of Missouri, California and the other races that thought it was important to have European Pros attend.

So here’s a guy that has so/so results. He can’t win the Collegiate MTB Nationals, but then wins it twice after getting on the program. Man, that title must of meant a lot to the dude. He proceeds to skip all the years of pain and suffering that Jonathan so appropriately describes in his NYT’s op-ed and gets a Pro contract after riding locally for the Sobe-Headshock MTB team. He smears everyone domestically for a couple years and then goes to Europe.

But in Europe, he isn’t good enough to make Lance’s Tour team. Even supercharged, the guy can’t do it. But, here comes Jonathan, the savior of lost soul cyclists. He has x-ray vision powers and can see the inner power that Tom possesses naturally. He also recognizes a “flat tire”. After using his 5 doctorates in exercise physiology to confirm his x-ray results, Jonathan decided that Tom is truly naturally talented. He then puts Tom through his crazy, complicated verbal skills test and voilà, he is a Garmin rider.

At this point Tom can do it. He can ride in the Gran Tours in the top ten. He has it in his ability. He really never needed to take those silly oxygen vector doping drugs to start with. He had it within his inner self the whole time. He really just needed super psychologist, Jonathan Vaughters, (I failed to mention he has a Ph.D in Psychology too) to put him on the true, honest cycling path. Jonathan also had to use some mechanic skills to help get “air” back into Tom’s tire.

I was watching the big screen at the Pro Challenge in Aspen a couple weeks ago, when Danielson was dropping everyone up over Independence Pass and I was depressed. I obviously have never had any respect for the guy. I’ve always “known” he took drugs to race bikes. They did a little exposé on the guy, showing his home in Boulder, with his mother-in-law area and kids’ play room. He was showing off his Tom Danilson branded coffee. I was thinking, man, maybe it is worth it, look what you can attain by cheating all your friends and fans. I was hoping so much that he was going to get caught coming into town, but no, he made it by a couple seconds. It seemed to me to be such a crime the guy was racing the event to start with.

I was looking through the internet for something on Tom and saw an article saying about how Tom wants to move back to Durango from Boulder. Evidently, he has a love for Maui too. I’m hoping most of the people in Durango that support cycling, think much of the same way I do. Maybe the Durango Herald reporter will feel as strongly as I do, and rip Tom a new asshole. Maybe Tom will realize that he has done enough damage to the sport, the reputation of Fort Lewis College, and decide to move to his little place in Maui instead. He can then sit on the beach and contemplate all the life stories he stole from those other collegiate guys that finished 2nd, 3rd 4th, etc. to him at MTB Nationals, over 10 years ago.

Jonathan, Tom wasn’t doing it because he didn’t have any other choice when he was “ready” to turn Pro, Tom was skipping all that. He was doing it to cheat his way into the sport. There is a huge difference there. But, he meets your guide lines, your stringent litmus test, so fuck it.

From Bicycling magazine-

By 2002 the powerhouse Mercury road squad had scooped Danielson up, and early in 2003 he won Malaysia’s Tour de Langkawi stage race, prompting famed race announcer Phil Liggett to claim the world had just witnessed the coming out party of “the next Lance Armstrong.”

Phil nearly got something correct back in 2003 I guess.

Tom Danielson, not smart enough to know how to tone it down and not draw attention to himself, winning the Estes Park Stage Race TT, which was 12 miles, by over 5 minutes over 2nd.

Below are some of his results courtesy of Wiki. I guess no one has gotten around to adding this year’s Pro Challenge results to it yet. As far as I’m concerned, they are are fantasy results. Might as well not have happened.