Come on Velonews, Just Ask the Question!

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I just saw this title to an article at – Christian Vande Velde training and hoping ahead of Tour de France

I had to click on it to see it was all fluff and bullshit about how these guys are climbing a ton before the Tour. Whatever, they are professional cyclists and the Tour is the biggest race of the year. What are they supposed to be doing, laying on a beach somewhere, drinking margaritas?

Where is the question about why he opted out of an Olympic slot along with Levi, George and Dave? Why isn’t anyone reporting on these guy’s requests to decline to ride in the Olympic games. In an earlier article reporting the riders decision to withdraw their names from potential Olympic slots, they said “USA Cycling will not speculate on the reasoning behind their requests and will not have further comment on this topic; any questions related to their decision should be directed to the individual athletes.”

So, when is someone going to direct their questions to the individual athletes? I can’t believe that Velonews writes an article with quotes from Christian Vande Velde and there isn’t one mention of what we all want to know, why he doesn’t have his name in the hat for the Olympics, along with the 3 others. Christian’s team mate, Teammate Dave Zabriskie, who also is one of the guys not wanting to ride the Olympics was also at this little, impromptu training camp. I guess they didn’t feel it was important asking him either?

Christian is a great guy. Dave too, for that matter. And the guys at Velonews might be their friends, but as an cycling publication, they have an obligation to ask them the tough questions. Eventually it is going to be addressed, but it seems everyone is going to play nice before the Tour.

It is just shoddy journalism, plain and simple.

I guess once you make the cover of Velonews, that gives you a get-out-of-jail free card when it comes to uncomfortable subjects?

17 thoughts on “Come on Velonews, Just Ask the Question!

  1. Touriste-Routier

    Anyone can ask questions, getting the individual to answer (and completely honestly) is the challenge.

    Sometimes it is pointless to even try, as it may hinder your ability to get interviews in the future. Everyone stare at the elephant in the corner…

  2. Dwayne

    Any chance the interview was done before the announcement? I haven’t read the article, so I don’t know.

  3. Gary Boulanger

    Steve, you bring up a valid point. I’m also curious about this extended Boulder camp; last I checked several of the participants (CVV, Phinney, Johnson) have high-profile nutrition sponsorships, so isn’t their affiliation with Scratch Labs a conflict of interest?

  4. Mike G

    The story and cover must be from about a month ago, since the cover subhead doesn’t include “and hanging up his pro cleats” for George’s pic…
    Otherwise, we haven’t seen anything but softball questions out of VN in years…

  5. JB

    @ Logan:

    As a journalist, you still ask the question and allow them the oppty to answer, “I’m not able to.” or the like.
    If it ends an interview, then as a journalist you write that the questions were raised and the interviewee declined to continue.
    it’s pretty basic and Velonews is notorious for giving “bro passes”.
    We want to know why these Medal contenders voluntarily opted out of pretty sure selections.

  6. channel_zero

    First, if it’s in print, then the interview was done weeks and weeks ago and sent to the printer way before most of the recent developments. This is one of the reasons print is dying. The same content is on the Internet almost instantaneously.

    Second, if it was online content, you are expecting way too much out of VN. The editorial policy there is to bend over backwards to support the Doping/Armstrong/Magic powers of Tenerife myths.

  7. Logan VonBokel

    And printing that we asked the question, resulting in the end of the interview only adds to “the doping myths” as you say.

    Thank you for the free journalism lesson though.

  8. Bri

    How could you not want want to represent your country in the Olympics? Two of those riders are on the “clean team” that was all about transparency. Where is it now?

  9. cl

    There was a longer version of this piece that concentrated on Lim up most of the week, so this camp may have happened before the announcement.
    There are ways of asking an interview ending question so that it doesn’t end the interview. For instance it can be asked at the end of the interview. It doesn’t have to be the first thing out of your mouth.
    VeloNews is a magazine and may be working on a bigger story to publish in the mag.
    Or they dropped the ball.

  10. Andrew

    cl, did the longer version ask Lim about his involvement preparing Floyd Landis for the 2006 Tour? And about his time on Radioshack in 2010? It bothers me how Lim seems to get a free pass even though he may have been involved with two different PED scandals.

  11. Mark

    It’s been referred to as the “Boulder Bubble”. If you want un-biased story’s about certain riders, especially any domestic pro that spends a significant amount to time riding and/or living in Boulder, you will not get it from Velonews. The most you are likely to see about it is a funny cartoon by Patrick O’Grady.

  12. cl

    Andrew, no it was even fluffier than this little piece. I had the same thought about Lim. Landis, then Slipstream, then RadioShack. That path begs a lot of questions. And is running clips of him and his chef promoting their book. Not the best idea.
    Listen, Steve raises an excellent point, media covering cycling is way to beholden to its sources and seems from the outside to be easily pushed around. But VeloNews seems to hold itself to a higher standard than other outlets. Note that I said “seems”. I’m not interested in getting into an internet parsing match about this. I’m just saying we don’t know what VeloNews asked these guys and what the riders did or didn’t say.
    I wish we did.

  13. channel_zero

    It’s fair to say the journalist may actually be doing a better job than we know. Bottom line is what appears either in print or online doesn’t reflect that and hasn’t for years.

    Using what’s printed as the metric, VN is the UCI’s propaganda outlet with Tenerife and beet root juice somewhere near the top of the current ridiculous doping excuses.

  14. shaun w

    The sport of cycling, it’s own organizations and its media, go after their own sport more than any other. I used to criticize NFL, Triathlon etc, but now I realize THEY got it right and cycling’s got it wrong.
    I wonder how many people who criticize riders who were busted, some without even failing a test (Rasmussen, Miller, now trying for Armstrong) sit back on SuperBowl Sunday and cheer on their favorite team’s ‘roided-to-the-limit players?


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