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 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, 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.

83 thoughts on “Vaughters Outs Danielson

  1. TomasC

    I actually think Jonathan didn’t plan this. I suspect he just couldn’t resist answering questions in that forum (some intelligent, some less so). In this way he engaged himself in the same gossip he claims to dislike in that very forum. I doubt he’s now happy about what he wrote there 🙂
    Serves him a lesson I guess.
    If it was planned, well, I’m wrong 🙂

  2. Michael

    Really have a hard time with all thats coming out now about bike riders I have admired over the years riding dirty. Can’t understand how/why they were allowed to get away with it. If riders like you and others KNEW they were this way than EVERYBODY knew. Maybe riders getting cheated should have taken this guy and beat the ever loving shit out of him @ 1st race he stole. Would that have stopped him?

  3. Bill D.

    Wow, that’s sickening, what he did, what JV is now saying, something’s nor right here and I guess JV has more of a vested interest…

    Good point made in the previous comment though, why didn’t the guys who were getting cheated get on his case instead of turning their head the other way. I don’t that…were they also taking “stuff” that didn’t work as well, there must be a reasonable explanation!

  4. Ben

    Great post, Steve. I really appreciate your candor. I used to race semi-pro (or “elite” or whatever the hell they were calling it back then) mtb in the northeast. Most of these races were small enough that they’d run the semi-pros and the pros together. TD would show up once in a while and crush everyone.

    I never even considered he might be doped; such was my naivete at the time.

  5. devin

    quite simple,,,sucks,,stupid…Looking to send my daughter to Ft Lewis for cycling and school and the scholarship that is offered is the Tommy D scholarship…. Lame!

  6. 1speed

    Steve – your perspective is very interesting and apparently overlooked. The media angle on virtually all of these cases is always that of the rider letting down the fans, but I would argue that your stake is much higher: a guy like Danielson is stealing your paycheck. I guess stories like what happened to Simeoni are the reason not that many others speak up, and that’s a shame. I think the righteous anger of clean pros needs a loud voice rigth about now. Nice post.

  7. Pingback: More doping stories to come…

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  10. John

    Steve-It’s great to read your thoughts on this. Obviously, you’ve been ‘inside’ the sport for a long time and have access to information the public doesn’t.

    Two questions. If you knew back then about TD, what did you do about it?

    And if there are other doped riders who have not come out/been outed as dopers that you’re aware of, why aren’t you shouting their names from the rooftops?

    Just wondering why, with the wealth of insight into Danielson’s performance for so many years, you didn’t say anything publicly until Vaughters spoke?

  11. Joe

    I agree with John. I have followed cycling for years and actually thought things were getting cleaner as of late… If Tom, Dave Z, Christian V, and other are all doping, Who isn’t? It appears, based on your analysis, that everyone in the top 100 of the Tour de France has to be on something to perform at that level.

  12. Paul

    I remember back in the mid 90’s TD showing up to Mtn bike races as a 16 year old and competing with the top guys in the Pro/Semi-Pro class. I had hoped he was clean, but we are all learning things now.

  13. -kw

    Think of all the dudes who’ve doped (and are doping now) who still got beaten into the ground by clean riders.
    Money well spent, right cat 3s?
    Suck it, you kooks.

  14. Hiero

    I think it all gets down to one thing – how much you want to trust JV. How much you like or dislike him. A manager, any manager, trying to protect his company AND his employees is a marvelous thing. Especially when he is trying to protect his employees. Steve, you obviously have seen things I have not – you were there. I think you have good reason to dislike TD – but it also seems that this is clouding your rational judgement of TD today. And I think you are letting your judgement of TD affect your judgement of JV. You could be right, of course, but if we can’t believe that Garmin is clean, then how could anybody be clean? Anybody at all? Yet that does not jive with power data and bio passport data. Perhaps JV’s admission was clever and premeditated. But that makes a simple act a very complicated one – and that does not pass Occam’s razor.

  15. Joe Beer

    Paul, are you saying TD was on the gear at 16? Seems impossible, right? Maybe he’s got a little talent? I’m not saying Steve’s analysis is incorrect, I have no idea.

    One thing that Vaughters seems to have said that makes sense to me is that it’s totally hypocritical to treat admitted/caught dopers from the 2000’s differently than other top riders from that era BECAUSE THEY ALL PULLED THE EXACT SAME STUFF. One group got caught, one group didn’t, but the offenses were the same and everyone knew/knows it. So it’s dumb to say that Millar shouldn’t be around but CVV should. Or that JV shouldn’t be around, but Jens Voigt…there’s a true hero. Please. I don’t know the way forward here, but lets at least be internally consistent. Is TD worse because he juiced earlier, and skipped the steps? Should we think more of Horner, the true pro? What a messed up sport we’ve got here. It’s crazy.

  16. Josh Barrett

    Well done. Jed and his family are friends of ours and out kids go to the same school. We even ride together a good bit. This will be topic of discussion on Saturday morning’s ride. Thanks for keeping it real, Steve.


  17. Sam


    In regards as to why someone would not ‘shout from rooftops’ their suspicions about someones drug use, it’s quite clear: the suspicions are just that: suspicions. Gossip. Unsubstantiated rumor. Hearsay.

    Until you have some sort of confirmation about those suspicions there really isn’t any point in discussing them publicly. All it does is label you a rumor monger.

    I’m willing to bet that you have your own unsubstantiated suspicions about the morality or legality of the conduct that people in your own life. Imagine how you would look discussing these suspicions in a public forum (facebook, blog, party) without any concrete proof.

  18. Kent

    It’s just as easy for a 16 year old to buy PED’s at the local gym as it is to buy a bag of pot. Drug dealers don’t typically discriminate based on age.

  19. John

    The guy does have natural talent. To dismiss him completely and imply that he would never have amounted to anything if he didn’t dope is stupid. Dude finished in the top 10 of the Vuelta in a VERY doped time. Sure he did it doped, but so did everyone else. Take all the dope out, and he still would have done a good ride. Yeah, beating up on domestic racers is lame. But as Joe Papp has clearly shown, half the domestic racers are doped too.

  20. Huntie Cakes

    Steve makes some good points, but there is a reason why it is here on his personal blog and not mainsteam media.
    Yes, a lot of what was said ( all of it ) was unsubstantiated opinion.

    Steve, are you saying that TD was supercharged for Colorado? It certainly sounds like that is what you are saying.

    To dismiss strong rides from the past is one thing, to talk about a race that just happened, given the current climate, is completely another.

  21. P Parker

    Perhaps Mr Vaughters is trying to expose that not just Lance, but everyone, at some point in the past, has used doping to cheat, and therefore, prove the point that there’s nothing more to talk about. No one villain is sticking out; all for one and one for all; none of it matters; let’s just move forward with a “clean” slate.

  22. John Meyers

    Hey there,
    I’ve always have had respect for you, your blog, and the way you race. I’ve rubbed elbows with you many times and wouldn’t mind doing so in the future. I think it’s reasonable to be pissed at dopers. Further, it’s reasonable to be pissed at hypocritical dopers.

    The one thing that kind of surprised me is that we were so quick to nail Tom D for doping early in his career. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know for sure and maybe only TD himself knows–but the guy clearly has world class talent (in my, and apparently JV’s opinion), and I doubt seriously that he has doped since being on Garmin. He’s still riding into the top 10 of grand tours. Conceivably, even those fields still have a bit of doping in them at the top. That’s a legit rider.

    Respectfully, while the fields at collegiate nationals are strong, they are no World Class, Grand Tour winning fields. These are guys who are young, working their way up, and some have a lot of untapped potential that go to improve and race at a higher level. A lot don’t. This does not necessarily add anything to the discussion, but Josh Carter won a collegiate jersey. A fantastic athlete, and great guy. But he’s no top 10 in a grand tour… What I’m getting at is that winning or not winning a collegiate title, or a local hill climb (who was at this Estes Park hill climb anyhow?), doesn’t mean a whole lot.

    I think it was a sad culture of the time, and reaming/demonizing athletes who were stuck in a bad culture doesn’t really add to the health of the sport. “Liers, cheaters, dopes” may be true, but my guess is that TD is a good guy, and probably doped on Discovery (Tour de Georgia that one year, anyone?) but that shouldn’t mean that we default to taking away everything he attained as an athlete. This is what continues the omerta–people are afraid of the reaction they will get. “You dope?!?! Well eff you!” I think that there were clear examples of truly admirable people, the guys who made it to Europe, and then high tailed it back when their conscience (or perhaps their fear of needles) got the better of them. Then there was the rest of them: hard working people who were stuck in a scenario, a time of regression, an era of error.

    I can quickly name a name who had similar trajectory, and has been a midwest poster child for rapid improvement: Matt Busche. He came from a running background, and out of nowhere he is a Cat 1 SMASHING it, and next thing we know he’s on RadioShack. My own experience too, is that by learning how to train smart you can go from a 300 watt cat 4 to a 395 watt cat 1 in just over a year–I did it, and without the sauce. Sounds like Busche did it too, plus a few watts, and maybe a few more tins of Buttonhole chamois cream.

    What I’m getting at in a long winded response is two things: 1) True natural talent rises to the top fast. 2) Demonizing an entire era of cyclists who were caught in a culture of cheating may not be the most constructive way to support our sport and it’s athletes.

    This is said with the utmost of respect for your opinion, and for your (reasonably) charged emotions for guys that cheat. You are someone who has been around the scene, and has a highly regarded opinion, and so I thought I’d share this, maybe the perspective might seem reasonable and above all, help our sport out.

  23. jed schneider

    When I was a semi-pro mountain biker Danielson was on Devo with me. That year at big bear he was like 16 and smashed the semi-pro field by several minutes. There is no doubt in my mind that he was clean then and had a pile of natural talent.

    Tom is a super nice guy, and I’ve seen him use his position to help others and give back to cycling. I feel awful for him, that JV outs him like that. There was a time that my jealousy for his success would have made this news intolerable as I tried to eek out a career at the bottom. Now I just feel sad for everyone involved and only wish the best for Tom going forward with this burden, true or not.

    As a small correction, I think Tom actually beat me in New York, but I did beat him in Helen, Idaho, and I think Wisconsin nationals. I think I’m most proud of beating him at road nationals on the 86 worlds course in the Springs after coming from sea level to race: solo’ing the last 9 miles with FT Lewis chasing me.

  24. Mark

    Just when you think this whole thing stinks worse than any other doping story in the history of cycling, wait a day. It will get worse by tomorrow. For the most part, CVV, Tom, and Dave all made it through their respective careers unscathed (rumors aside, no confirmed positives or direct links) until the whole Lance issue forced them into “coming out” (Fed grand jury testimony?). The writing was on the wall when they all bowed out of the Olympics. My hunch is they will all retire, more or less, with clean records. Maybe book deals are already in the works. Hamilton’s book is selling great, so being a doper is sorta paying off for him 🙂

  25. Dennis C

    I want to see Tommy D and the other riders “take care” of Jonathan Vaughters. The problem with JV is that he was never a very good cyclist, and I think he is very resentful of other cyclists over his failed cycling career. He talks about Tom D not dealing well with stress. Who quit his European Cycling Team in a hissy fit years ago ,LOL ? JV is a coward who has to work now with brave men. This kills him. He is in conclusion a vindictive, nasty, unsympathetic un-manly , little man. JV owed his men, something better. He is not a leader of men. My perspective is very different from others I am sure. I am a 60 year old man. In my time, there was honor among men. There was a man code.

  26. JV'sGhost

    Wow what guts it takes for you to come out and lay out all these revelations that you’ve known for so many years Tilford….

    Oh wait, you only piled on when it was confirmed what “you knew all along”. Yawn. Another washed up ex-cyclist (Greg Lemond is calling Steve) that can’t admit he should be racing the geezer class is firing away on the internet in an attempt to get recognized and retweeted or called out by Lance or Vaughters or one of the cyclist.

    Are you relevant yet Steve? Nah, didn’t think so….

  27. PooBah

    “Man code”? Jesus – what the shit are we talking about??? We shave our legs and wear tight rubber pants while talking about what kind of cream we use to butter our asses with. Wake up, fellas – you hang up your “man code” at the door when you check into the world of bikey chasing.

    John Meyers and Jed Schneider – excellent, excellent comments – chapeau to you both.

  28. jza

    Steve, you’re a great voice for real bike racing, but where has this been for the past 10+ years?

    You’ve been around the NRC, raced against Zajicek, baldwin and Toyota U, Escuela and the Vit Cottage/Succ Living.

    The Boulder scene has been rotten for a long time. Why keep quiet until now?

    Sure, JV’s politics can be frustrating, but he’s fighting the good fight. It’s the guys that show up on a full program to win from a field that’s 80% amateurs that kills me.

    I saw plenty of good riders pushed to the breaking point, and good regional teams fall apart because they couldn’t compete with the NRC bullshit circus.

    Funny that all the sudden Decanio isn’t the crazy one any more.

  29. Dennis C

    Poobah, The man code goes way beyond the silly, largely irrelevant, doping sport of cycling. It is how men act in general, or did act years ago. You are probably too young to know that at one time, men were men, not the effeminate sensitive creatures they are today. Most young guys today don’t even deserve to have a penis.

  30. Toby

    Steve, I’ve just found your blog and I’m glad I did. I agree with your view and your tone. I’ve been directing American junior racers for 20 years and have held little hope that any of them could be grand tour level in a doped world. We won’t do it. I select my guys based on character over CV’s and try to teach them that a doped win is no win, it’s nothing, hell, less than nothing. Jonathan Page was my first national champion and we’ve talked at great length about doping. He would rather be 15th ranked in the world and the first non-doped cross pro than 1st but doped. Plus his wife Cori would cut his jinglers off if he ever considered it.

  31. Joe Banks

    You people all need to stop focusing on who did and who didn’t. Most did, unfortunately.

    The problem is at the top of cycling, the UCI. And don’t fall into the trap of heaping blame on one or two people, Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid.

    The entire institution must be reformed if it can be taken so far off track by one or two bad apples.

    There will always be ambitious people ready and willing to push the limits. The trick is to raise the bar higher, and actually enforce your rules.

  32. Dooode


    Thank you, thank you for saying what has needed to be said for a very long time. JV has been using nuggets of truth to establish credibility for buckets of lies. He is a different side of the same coin. He’s figured out how to stay in D1 cycling, get paid (well), and keep a lot of people believing in him. But he only dishes the truth in very calculated, self-serving portions. Dare to criticize him on The Clinic and you’ll get your head bashed-in my his defenders.

  33. PeterE

    Vaughters wrote the op-ed with the obvious purpose of admitting to crap after the 8-year Statute of Limitations under the WADA code had run, which oh-so-coincidentally ran last year. He then writes this piece in advance of USADA releasing information that they said they were getting ready to release and to somehow justify his silly-ass explanation of how the culture “back then” forced everyone to use PED’s or get out of the sport. That doesn’t jibe with what Steve brought up about Thomas Dekker and why guys who haven’t pranced around as Anti-doping Poster children like Miller, are on Garmin, so hence, the spin and damage control from Vaughters. Well played but Steve’s analysis is probably pretty good. But then Vaughter’s DS, Weltz, is in denial mode concerning Hamilton’s claim he was the USPS EPO courier. Man it only gets worse.

  34. spencer

    So, you ‘knew it all along’ about TommyD and you can blast him on here… but you didn’t have all that anti-doping rage when it was your friend Dewey accepting a life time ban, and admitting to using PED’s all the time…

    Dude, help me understand- are you full of piss and vinegar abt doping, or just dudes you don’t like doping? (since you very clearly do not like TommyD).

    All in, or not big guy?
    Genuinely curious.

  35. channel_zero

    Toby and Steve,

    You guys know exactly how broken the sport is at this point. Something tells me you are in the minority of USAC members though and since Armstrong’s pimp Weisel owns the federation, I don’t think it’s going to get better.

    Keep up the good work and direct posts.

  36. channel_zero


    I’m a parent of an athletic kid too, except in a different sport. Unfortunately, once the kid reaches a certain level, the doping is there.

    It’s really scary because it’s parents and coaches in on the cheating together in most cases. I’ve seen too many sudden physical transformations along with the dramatic results improvement at this point to suggest it’s not doping.

    The only thing that can be done is to keep the boundary. They can cheat, but it’s not okay in this family.

    I hope your kid has a great college experience.

  37. Toby


    I think it’s getting a lot better, and quickly too. Just look at the young guys, the young Americans, Ben King, Ian Boswell, Gavin Mannion, Nate Brown, Lawson Craddock, these guys I can speak about because I know them. They are the new future I never thought would happen. You want to fix it, figure out how to get lifetime bans for doping. No coming back as a rider, not as a director, mechanic, sponsor or doctor. I don’t care what good you think you can do, now that you know better. The fans will adopt new hero’s quickly that are more worthy of adoration. This applies to the UCI as well, you covered up something or took money, gone, for good.

  38. Mike Andrews

    With any respect Mr Tilford, but there’s not a lot of substance. Firstly, I think JV had done a great job with Garmin, I am convinced that his stance led to all his riders confessing and telling the truth under oath. On the other hand, a mistake like outing TD in a cycling forum is really bad, and should definitely not happen. If I can believe all the W/kg figures I see, pro cycling is significantly more clean than during the last 20 years. JV has been a very important contributor in turing things around and helping riders to come out and turn around. In your text I see numerous accusations against TD, but nothing is based on the slightest evidence (correct me if I am wrong), just based on his stellar performances in some races. While this definitely raises suspicions, it does not justify these allegations.

  39. Clay Moseley

    Great commentary!

    I looked at his palmares you included above. I was a co-organizer and course tech (and of course I raced too =) for his Tour de Los Alamos victory when he came here in 2002. It was FREAKIN’ unbelievable what he did the to all of us in the pack that year.

    We had some pretty good up-and-coming guys here that year (from whom he likely took prize money), and several of us bitter, washed-up, not-making-the-grade ex-pros doing the race too. It was depressing to have him just squash us like a bug and solo away while we all worked HARD together in a well-organized pace-line to try (and fail) catch him.

    That was a real eye-opener and a slap-in-the-face reminder (after being out of it for 3 yrs) of what the mentality is and limits are for those who are so determined to do what it takes to be at the top. It was depressing; really sad stuff.

    At that point I totally and completely quit cycling and gave triathlon a go even though I couldn’t really swim. It was refreshing to see folks at a more natural level and having fun at training hard to get results rather than turning to the short-cut methods (I like how you put that — “he skipped all of that”). Despite not running in years and having to learn how to swim, I was instantly at a much higher level in a completely new sport — that was very telling: people were much more natural. I don’t know how it is now, but that was a very drastic comparison.

    Anyway, nice commentary– it really rang a bell with me. I raced and hung out with a lot of these guys, including Vaughters. They were all so, SO strange in those dark years. I truly hope all of the stories and evidence comes out. It was a very depressing thing to have to quit cycling the way I did, but faced with those crappy decisions, there really was no choice. It took some years to get over the feeling of being a quitter even though I turned myself inside out and coughed blood to get to my level and get the modest results I actually attained.

    One last anecdote on something that struck me as interesting a few years after the fact: in 1995, I won the gold medal in the Pan American Games time trial. In the 3 yrs prior to that event, I had race in Central and South America on several occasions. I knew the top riders and was just amazed at how strong they were; just absolutely amazed. I’d gutted out several 2-week “Vueltas” and other leg- and lung-busting 200+ km races on their home turf. When it came to the Pan Am Games in ’95, there was REAL drug testing. It was serious business. Those very same guys were only shadows of themselves. I can say that they were like cat-3 powder puffs in comparison. We had raced all those hard races totally clean they were doped to the rafters. They had no confidence or power when they knew the field was level. In subsequent years, I read how many of those guys were getting caught and couldn’t help but think of how much they damage the sport.

    So take that little story and multiply it by 100 and you get what all went on with Armstrong & Co.

  40. Mike Andrews

    @channel_zero I highly respect your stance and wish, there were more parents like you. I fully understand and support you. Even if everybody does it, it doesn’t make it right. But as Toby says, me too, I think it is getting better, at least in cycling. Nomatterwhat, JV has done an excellent job, although the TD outing as it happened is not appropriate.

  41. Mark Teruki

    Steve, I raced with/against you back in 1986 when I first got to the ‘States. I am sure back then sometime you had the opportunity to make the decision that JV talks about…namely to take drugs and make it in the Pro ranks, or stay clean and do your best without rthem. I would be interested to read what you decision making process was…why/how did you say no, while others say yes. Was it a moral decision, a health decision, or other. I think it would also be great for junior riders to see what your process weas and understand they too can make a decision to say no and still pursue the sport they love. Thanks for your perspective Steve.

  42. Boulder

    I live and ride in Boulder, and I hope he leaves. Don’t worry, I think we think everyone dopes. everyone. this guy is known for being a tool, but has gotten a lot better in the last few years. well, at least on TV. i wonder how much he made riding dirty, so odds of coming clean seems rare. if he gets a divorce soon, that will be a sign. good article, i hope you are right. still love riding, but even the cat 3’s out here probably dope. who am i kidding, probably every single racer does…..test them all.

  43. Carson

    Thanks for this. It’s the best piece I’ve read of the recent proliferation of doping articles. Finally, a clean rider who is upset and vocal about it. Finally.

  44. Honesty

    I am a cyclist. I am a fan of bike racing. But this sport is more ridiculous than professional wrestling. There is not one ounce of legitimacy in professional road bike racing, and to suggest otherwise is disingenuous..I hope that pisses a bunch of you off. Because the only people who can change it are those who might read Steve’s blog.

  45. Dylan

    Mr. Tilford writes in today’s post: “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.”

    Mr. Tilford writes in yesterday’s post: “I’d won the Nationals in ’83 and ’84 and did not race them again for 7 more years. The reason was I wasn’t getting enough feeling of personal accomplishment anymore…. And I was winning the races by huge margins.”

    Check. Winning by huge margins = doping. Everyone got that? It’s just that simple….

  46. channel_zero

    All these demands for “evidence” are either naieve (SP!!!) or strategic denial. If there’s evidence in the form of a positive, how would anyone outside the UCI ever know?

    -We know the UCI suppresses positives. see Contador and Armstrong
    -We know the bio-passport system, as operated by the UCI, permits non-life threatening levels of doping.
    -We know the only organization with any influence over the UCI, the IOC is more anti-doping controversy rather than anti-doping.

    FWIW, as the quotes show, JV is mostly anti-doping controversy too.

  47. Wilk

    I’ll second Jed’s comments.

    NY was 2001, but that’s irrelevant. There were two XC-related events and Tom destroyed one of them. JHK wasn’t there, he had graduated. The STXC went Tom, Adam Craig, and Schneider. The XC was in the cold and snow and it basically who could survive. That went Schnell, Craig, Tom. Tom certainly had his struggles in collegiate races, but it wasn’t at that event.

  48. Olbiketech

    It amazes me that fans of this sport can’t seem to understand why doping is so ingrained in cycling. Folks this is BIG business. The money generated by professional cycling is enormous. Not just the riders contracts, endorsements, kick backs, under the table payoffs, television rights, retail sales, and on and on. Money has ruined the sport and there is no solution. Don’t expect this sport to ever recover.

  49. Man Code

    Dennis C: “Man code”? Really? I’m not defending JV, as he is a small and insignificant person outside of this little world. But so is every single other name mentioned on this page. They are, in the minds of most, either guilty or suspect. The entire sport is a violation of your code, and all of these little details are meaningless. Riders cheated 10 years ago. Riders are still cheating now. The code you talk about doesn’t allow cheating.

  50. Dennis C

    Honesty, you are right on target with your comments. The Professional Cycling Establishment has absolutely no interest in ending doping in professional cycling. If they did, they would change the first time doping suspension from two years to four or five years. How about a fine of one year salary thrown in for good measure.
    Also, they would allow the major races like the TDF to decide to not allow anyone to race in the TDF who had ever been suspended for a doping offense. Profession al Cycling is like watching the fake wrestling on TV.

  51. Doug Campbell


    What a blast from the past! I remember that race in 2002. I remember we were drilling it for a full lap (20-ish miles) trying to catch Danielson; seemed like 7 or 8 of us rotating together for at least an hour and we never saw Danielson again. I remember Blickem was flying then too (killing us in other road races) and he ended up a very distant 2nd at that race!

    I certainly have no inside information about whether or not Danielson used PEDs. I will say that I have always found him to be very friendly and approachable. And he was also a pretty fast mtb-er before he switched over to road…

    Jed, great to see your name too. Another blast from the past!

  52. Dennis C

    For those of you cycling fans and cyclists who believe that these doping allegations are going to adversely impact cycling in the US, relax and take a deep breath. The allegations are only of interest to the niche serious cycling community. 95% of Americans have no idea that Boulder, Colorado is a cycling hub. 90% of Americans think Boulder is a Flintstones Cartoon Community. This sport is not very important. The only impact on Lance Armstrong so far is that he has 70,000 more Twitter Followers. 99% of Americans have no idea who Jonathan Vaughters is, and could care less. To Americans, Lance Armstrong is the cycling god. When it comes to cycling, LA is the earth, the moon and the stars. Everyone else in professional cycling is utterly irrelevant. LA is the tide that lifts all boats. If you hurt LA, you hurt cycling. Give the man a two year suspension. Give the other dopers a two year suspension, and let us call it a day. Don’t cut off your own arms. LA is sitting in a chair on a porch in Austin and is laughing. He just made a joke to Chris Brewer: “Who is Jonathan Vaughters, he asks ? Both he and Chris Brewer laugh out loud.

  53. Clay Moseley

    Doug! Yeah, you, Blickem and that other dude from the Rio Grande team (Denver/Boulder) who came were the ones I was thinking about when I wrote that. How funny!

    You’re right about Danielson’s approach-ability and obvious natural talent. Further, he wasn’t a total tool as others have said (except you), but the fact remains, man…you know how hard all of rode and how strong some of those guys were. That is what we’re talking about, and on a grander scale in the “big show.” When something *seems* too good to be true, like *WAY* too good…then it probably is. I’ve seen some great shows of force, but he was just out for a cake walk and we were all somewhere else. You guys were super-strong and there were some other great guys in there: Doug Loveday, Jacob Rubelt, etc. Too weird. I didn’t think too much about it at the time, just that it had that crappy feel to it that I had been dealing with throughout the ’90s. It’s kinda hard to explain and even talk about. But Doug, I do believe you were witness to what a rider is like on the juice, vs. when one isn’t. Now, imagine a whole peloton like that. That’s exactly why I quit when I did even though I was probably at the top of my physical abilities and potential. It was sickening and heart-breaking at the same time.

    I know lots of “really good guys” who surprised me by becoming dopers. Most notably, look at Tyler. I got to him pretty well and I’ll tell you this: he is one GREAT guy. He seemed to the typical stand-up guy who would be just about perfect as a role-model and all around American Hero. But, he was a competitor and a fighter with ambitions and obviously didn’t care if he had to cross the line to win. It really doesn’t surprise me that he couldn’t live with that person he had become.

    Anyway, to all of you who are on this thread– it is a good thing that someone like Steve Tilford (who IS the real deal, I can say from first-hand experience) has finally cleared his throat and spoken his mind on the matter. It is his very expert opinion and it has volumes of merit, let me tell you. It really sucks that so many great [clean] riders have had to deal with this crap.

  54. Vincent

    The anti doping system is setup to fail due to corruption. We have no transparency mixed with testing and prosecution all under the control of one group. Someone will see an opportunity for money and power and someone else will see opportunity for money and glory.

    Part of the fix.
    First transparency. Results (raw data) should be made public immediately after testing.
    Second: Teammates and team should be suspended (for some amount of time)
    Third, there needs to be a third party that has a stake in it. For example if getting caught resulted in a 50% salery penalty and you HAD to buy insurance against this penalty then the insurance company would do it own testing to protect itself against having to pay the fine. There are issues that would need to be addresses, like if an insurance company found an insured rider was doping then they would need to have a way to withdraw them from competition without having to pay the penalty. Oh and what do you think would happen to a persons insurance rate if they are know to be or have been doping.
    Fourth. There really should be different levels of drugs. There are to many and any sign of any drug should not be treated the same.

  55. Mike Rodose

    Tool Danielson has always drawn suspicion because of his meteoric rise from the shadows.

    Bike racers everywhere, icnluding Steve Tilford thought, heard or experienced and questioned this. Nobody has evidence so nobody can do anything other than gossip and observe unrealistic results.

    Anybody blaming Tilford or other clean riders who were skeptical, but not “acting on it” is a complete idiot. Or it’s JV trolling and commenting.

    Only Lance acted upon his suspicions, as it turns out! By turning in his comeptitors to his UCI bribees. Lance declared war on Tyler and Floyd and their ability to earn a living.

    Lance has lost that war. His flimsy soldiers mutinied and now Johnathon Frauders is pre-releasing the disgusting truth to soften and normalize it. Does JV have a degree in Psychopathy, Sociopathy or Pathological Lying?

    Lifetime bans needed for Johnathon Frauders, Tool Danielson, Christian Van de Fraud and Drug Zabriskie!!!

  56. Jerry Tilford


    This is your blog and you’re at liberty to write what you want to write about. However, given the general tone of your blog these days, I’m expecting you to show up to races with blue hair soon. You’re becoming a caricature of a little old lady complaining about whatever suits her (the weather, her health, her sisters, you name it), or making note of who died on any given day after a quick scan of the obits, etc. Except, instead of complaining about the weather and your sisters you constantly mope and gripe about your health, doping, sponsors, and negative racing tactics. Fine and dandy, but it’s all a bit hypocritical and quite frankly, a bit of an illusion on your part. Why you ask?

    1) Doping. You still haven’t answered the question posed to you by JV and others. You constantly rail against LA, JV, Tommy D, and anyone else that’s been caught with their hand in the cookie jar You’re a bit obsessed over JV these days. Except you barely (if ever) say a peep about a team that’s right on your doorstep. BMC if I need to spell it out for you. Did you miss the various LA connections w/in BMC? Or maybe you missed all of the Phonak connections there? That’s not to say that any of those guys did anything untowards, but you were the one a few weeks ago that posted the Lance web and referred to all the guys that were connected to LA somehow. Seems like there’s a whole lot of guys caught in the Lance & Phonak teams on your own front doorstep, yet you barely make a peep about them. And don’t you dare say that it’s “unfair” or below the belt like when you responded to JV’s line of questioning a few weeks ago. You want to rail against doping. Fine. But let’s not conveniently ignore one set of uncomfortable connections while highlighting another set of more comfortable connections. Stop avoiding answering the difficult questions posed TO YOU. And, oh, let’s not forget to mention the riders on BMC that are mentioned every year in connection with ongoing investigations in Italy and who knows what other connections you’ve conveniently glossed over.

    2) Sponsors. Isn’t one of your sponsors Trek? Don’t they sponsor a team led by the Schlecks and Bruyneel? Isn’t that the team LA rode for for oh so many years and is STILL sponsored by? Doesn’t that team have a number of holdovers from the USPS/Disco/Astana years? So how much money do you receive from Trek? Or, how much equipment & support do you receive annually from Trek? It’s a bit disingenuous for you to say people shouldn’t buy bikes from manufacturers that supply teams that dope, yet YOU receive bikes (and money?) from a team that sponsors a team like USPS/Disco/RSNT. They pay, you get it for free or reduced cost. Yet, it’s okay for you, but others shouldn’t buy their products.

    3) Negative Racing. Again, a bit disingenuous too for you to complain about the tactics of Bissell and United Healthcare and their negative racing on the national level when you ignore the fact that your own Tradewinds team and the Mercy team do the same thing in local races in the KC area! I’ve seen it with my own eyes and I’ve heard other racers point it out. You guys do on the local level what you accuse bigger teams of doing on the national level.

    4) Health. If the doctor gives you a certain set of orders and then you ignore it, maybe you should stop complaining about your health all the time. Don’t you have DVT? And the doctor told you to rest and take care of yourself? Not a shocker then when you write blogs about how crappy you feel since you don’t follow trained medical advice.

    Don’t worry. No need to respond, because I won’t be expecting a response to any of the questions I’ve posed to you. You haven’t answered most of them yet when they’ve been posed by anyone else. Plus, I won’t be reading anymore. I’m sure your fanboys will post a few “good riddance” posts to me after this and I won’t see those either, boys. Oh well. Adios.

    All the best,


  57. Bradley

    And let me be the first to say “thank you” Jerry. Your comment was spot on. I’d like to hear Steve address these issues as well…..especially those regarding Jim Och and the other LA defending BMC cronies. But that would hit a little too close to the wallet, I guess.

  58. Mark

    Disclaimer, this story is third hand but it rung true at the time because it was told to me by people on the inside without motivation to fabricate. In 2008, I was having lunch with another domestic rider. At that time Slipstream was a mostly domestic team and my old training partner had several friends on the team (I had recently quit racing).

    The story goes like this. My training partner’s friend gives him the play by play of Slipstream’s training camp. The highlight that stood out was Tommy D. He was was just flying at camp, beating guys by minutes up the climbs. He stood out like a sore thumb. The story goes that one night at dinner, JV says that someone on the team has tested positive (on an internal control). That positive rider knows who he is, that everyone knows who he is. That rider has two options, clean up right now or quit. Nobody knew whether or not Tommy D had actually tested positive or if JV was just scaring him into sobriety.

    2008 was not exactly a repeat of 2006 when Tommy D proclaimed that he rode 7.0 watts/kg up the climbs at the Vuelta and was stronger than Vino. But then again 2007 wasn’t a standout year either, and that was a year before he got to Slipstream.

    If the training camp story is true, it doesn’t seem like JV identified a diamond in the rough. He took on a doper that continued to dope when he was at Slipstream until he was scared into riding clean. Good for Slipstream and JV for running a clean team but it is a different story than JV is telling about how Danielson joined Slipstream as a clean rider.

  59. FHG

    Since there is no way for me to contact Vaughters and get a response about something he posted on the cycling news forum, I will do so here and hope that he reads this post and responds.

    Mr. Vaughters you wrote 0n Sept 04 2012 that “Andrew Talansky finished approx 1 minute down on the top guys. This over a 40+ minute climb. Talansky’s VAM was sub-1600, or around 5.9 w/kg, this would put the leaders at perhaps 1650 VAM and 6.1 w/kg. This is not exceptional. 6.1 w/kg gets you around 15th place in 2001 Tour de France.”

    Immediately afterwards someone wrote that 15th place in 2001 was Roberto Heras.

    On your team website the description for Andrew Talansky states that he is 175 cm tall and weighs 63 kg. That is 5 feet 8 inches and 138 lbs. Lets say that for the Vuelta his racing weight is 60 kg which is 132 lbs.

    At 5.9 watts per kg that comes out to 354 average watts for the 40 minute climb.

    Since you are an analytical person and well immersed in number crunching and physiology of riders, can you explain how a 132 lbs rider can generate a force capable of producing 354 watts (which is equivalent to a 1/2 hp motor like the one on a garage door)? And that too at the end of a very long stage two weeks into a very tough Vuelta?

    There is just not enough muscle on that person to produce that kind of power. Considering that force/power is a vector quantity, the power number displayed is the magnitude of the vector and on a gradient some of that power is used to overcome inertia and force of gravity to propel the rider forward which is factor of their weight.

    Care to elaborate on how a skinny kid like Talansky can generate that much power?

    PS: By the way I think VAM is a red herring.

  60. FHG

    And I am sorry but I have to question the statement made above “My own experience too, is that by learning how to train smart you can go from a 300 watt cat 4 to a 395 watt cat 1 in just over a year–I did it, and without the sauce.”

    It is not realistic to gain 95 watts in a year no matter how smart you learn to train.

    Considering that a cycling season that includes interval training and racing is about 7 to 8 months, thats about a 10 watt per month gain. Sorry but that is just not possible.

    A couple of years ago there was a cyclist that went from the lower category all the way up to cat 2. In one 20k time trial as a cat 3 in March I beat him by 56 seconds, a few months later in July he beat me by a minute over the same distance on the same course, that was almost a 2 min turnaround. Around that time in July he boasted that he had average 335 watts in the time trial held in July.

    Based on someof the analytical tools available and also using my power numbers as a reference, I calculated that his average in March was about 250 watts and that was almost a 70 watt turnaround in 4 months.

    There were always suspicions about him which were further flued when he would be a no show at races where there were rumers that USADA was going to show up or did show up.

    He ultimately left town and moved out of state and is racing elsewhere as he became a pariah as no one believed his claims that his meteoric rise was a result of hard work and “smart training”.

  61. Eric Riggs

    “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.”

    God that shit makes me sick. Not even just Tom Dan, but all the dopers who have stolen clean rider’s potential “life stories”. I feel like such a sucker right now.

  62. Rygar

    Great post on the “great white hope”. For years and years, the media and other idiots in the cycling community were saying how Tommy D was the next guy. It is sad how much money was wasted on his salary year after year. His salary alone is more than all the professional women in the US combined. Sad. I remember hearing from his teammates at Saturn at how bad he was at pack positioning leading into climbs. I guess when you get up to speed, “on speed”, it is hard to really figure out the how to save energy. I remember seeing him show up at Mount Washington with some fancy bike with only one chainring. Who cares! Mount Washington, the Ironhorse Classic and Mount Evans are all great events that would bring out the best in all of us domestic, weekend racers. At the same time, some doped up guy on top level Pro-Tour team shouldn’t be treating them like the pinnacle of their season. I’m sure that Tommy D learned some of his habits in his early days in Durango. He probably figured he’d always revert to mediocrity without the stuff. How he’s doing it now is still a bit puzzling to me. Oh well. Thanks for your openness and candid opinions Steve!

    Also…Phil Liggett is the biggest wanker out there!

  63. Derek

    I sense JV has been on the most feared drug in the peleton, the dreaded truth drug. Side effects include an uncontrollable urge to cleanse the soul and out the cheats. I wouldn’t be surprised if he took to the pulpit any day soon or at the very least a soap box.
    I for one never took TD seriously or as genuine. Meanwhile Boulder must be a den of iniquity, send in JV to clean it up & save them….

  64. Dennis C

    Derek, I am not a great expert on cycling like many of the posters on this website. Can you or anyone enlighten me on why so many Professional Cyclists from the Boulder Area can’t climb mountains ? Take Taylor Phinney for example. In the Giro, he finished over five hours behind the winner. You would think that guys from Boulder could climb mountains, wouldn’t you? The amazing thing about this drug scandal is how many of these guys doped and still were not very good. By good, I mean successful in the major European Races.

  65. Tom Smith


    It appears to this reader that you fancy the ability to connect the dots of doping where others cannot. Using the same dot connecting skills, let’s examine your cycling history. By your own admission, your belief is that nearly every pro racer in the 80’s and 90’s doped, and certainly anyone who won a race in that era MUST have doped. Additionally, anyone wining by “huge margins” clearly was on “a program.”

    Now correct me if I’m wrong, but you raced in that era, won a few races, and even a few, by your own admission, by a huge margin? Humm…Maybe people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones Steve. So clearly you were on “a program” too.

    Now, when you read my accusations above and get annoyed (and you should), think about your own blogging tendencies. I’m calling you out with no more insight about your training and ability than you have about others in the professional peloton today.

    So why should we believe you Steve? How can we have faith in your own accomplishments without skepticism? Please set us straight, and proclaim to all your personal history on doping. Make your next post a proclamation of YOUR history on doping. It won’t take long, and in fact I’ll write it here so you can just cut and paste it: “I Steve Tilford have NEVER used performance enhancing drugs.”

    Of course if you refuse, then we as readers will just assume that at one time you too were on “a program” and you are just the hypocritical old curmudgeon that we all suspect you are.

  66. Dooode

    JV uses truth sparingly, like a gormet chef uses expensive truffles. Strategically placed sprinkles of this rare commodity are used intelligently to create the illusion that he is an anti-doping champion.

    Never is/was the full-truth released, because once that is out there, people will use their minds and draw their own conclusions, and when people are doing that, JV can’t properly position things to his advantage.

    JV was unwilling to risk what Frankie did by just up and admitting his past. At least we can respect that. JV has created a serious divide. Those that are gullible and buy hook-line-sinker into his version, and those who see the bigger picture and have a VERY healthy level of distrust for the guy.

    Anyone remember that NZ rider who caused a scene last year about having visited a certain doctor in Spain? JV was paying the bills without reading them? Without looking who the name of the doctor was (in plain sight on the invoices)?

  67. John Meyers


    Sadly, I haven’t reached the maturity level where I’m above arguing with strangers on the internet about trivia. Perhaps it’s still the “elbows out the last 3 laps” bike racer in me that still hasn’t exited my soul. Once a racer, always a racer. Tenacity is in the breed. Whatever. One day I’ll grow up.

    “At 5.9 watts per kg that comes out to 354 average watts for the 40 minute climb. Since you are an analytical person and well immersed in number crunching and physiology of riders, can you explain how a 132 lbs rider can generate a force capable of producing 354 watts (which is equivalent to a 1/2 hp motor like the one on a garage door)? And that too at the end of a very long stage two weeks into a very tough Vuelta? There is just not enough muscle on that person to produce that kind of power.”

    Force ≠ power. In fact, pushing 354 watts can take very little force at a high cadence. Well within the reach of the average 13 year old girl. Muscle mass is not the limiter in producing sustained power. We all know this instinctively–body builders with huge quads don’t show up and beat us in our sport. The limit is cardiovascular. The limit is a function of aerobic fitness. 354 watts just isn’t that much. 5.9 watts/kg, especially for lighter guys (lung size is relatively larger in smaller people, that’s one reason why small guys climb better), is attainable at that level. LA, considerably heavier, would do 6.8 watts/kg. That’s 15% more.

    The point is, why question Talansky? This is the problem: the guys who did dope (almost everyone) will get massively punished by admitting, so they don’t. So the stories slowly leak out or they are caught when the testing catches up. Then we think even the young clean kids dope (because “the whole sport is dirty”), and then we rag on them too. It’s a terrible setup, and the people who lose (and are *still* losing to the dopers, but in a different way) are the young clean kids. Let everyone admit, consequence free, and from that moment on, nail dopers with lifetime bans. Leave the young hard working kids alone. Trying to race bikes for money is a hard existence. Don’t make it harder on the young American banging his head against a wall training and racing while adapting to live in European culture, living away from his family, yadda yadda yadda.

    “Considering that force/power is a vector quantity, the power number displayed is the magnitude of the vector and on a gradient some of that power is used to overcome inertia and force of gravity to propel the rider forward which is factor of their weight.”

    Again, Force ≠ power. Force is a vector entity. Power is a scalar entity. But yes, the laymans translation of what you said is what we all know: more watts = going uphill faster.

    “And I am sorry but I have to question the statement made above “My own experience too, is that by learning how to train smart you can go from a 300 watt cat 4 to a 395 watt cat 1 in just over a year–I did it, and without the sauce.””

    OK, you win:

    I guessed at the numbers because I haven’t opened Cyclingpeaks for 2 years. Close enough. If you want to be neurotic, you can add ~3% to all the numbers because I did it with a Powertap, and there are drivetrain losses secondary to friction.

    As you keenly pointed out, ability to put out wattage is a function of body size (mostly the surface area of your lungs, actually). So, for someone like you (I’m going to presume you are short, and small), 10 watts may be a larger % of your maximal genetic wattage potential. Whereas someone like me 6’4″, with big lungs, that might be a smaller percent. To lay it out: Let’s say our genetic peaks are both the same: 5.9 w/kg–because we’re both as naturally gifted as Talansky, and we would never dope. You weigh 60kg, I weigh 85kg. That’s 354 and 501 watts at genetic max. So, the 312–>387 Mean Max Normalized Power I picked up from 2005 to 2006, (75 watts) would make you 21% closer to your genetic max, and 14.9% closer to mine. For a brand new athlete, big gains are reasonable. An absolute wattage number can’t just be pulled out of the air with improvement above it proclaimed “impossible”. My progress quickly flattened, as you can see.

    I’m limiting my internet pedantics to this post as a dedication to my own maturity, so I won’t be answering questions about whether or not I actually rode all out for 20 or 60 minutes in 2005, or whether I fudged the graphs, or whether I too am a “doper”.

    I just want to say: have faith in hard working kids of today. They are growing up in a different time. Have faith in our sport, and support the athletes in it: they live tough lives. Have faith that the sport of the 80’s and 90’s will change, because progress has been made, and progress will continue to be made. The young guys will see those asterisks next to those names, and they won’t want one next to their name.

  68. tilford97 Post author

    Tony Smith – I was planning on doing a post on your very subject, but I don’t want you to have stress over the answer until then, so here you go-

    “I Steve Tilford have NEVER used performance enhancing drugs.”

    Thanks for saving me the time of typing that myself.

  69. FHG

    @ John Meyers:

    Apparently you do not have the basic knowledge of physics for me to discuss with you how force relates to power and what the equations are. Hence having a discussion with you on this point is mute.

    As far as difference between normalized power and average power, normalized power is the area under the power curve which is obtained by intergrating power over a time interval. Average Power is just the average of the power from the ride period. Once again basic calculus.

    Lungs do not generate power, they only deliver oxgen to the combustion process for coverting chemical energy (fuel) to do useful work (mechanical energy) through the muscles to generate force. And a power meter does not measure power, it measures force. There are strain guages in power meters and they measure force which is converted to power.

    Stick to the keeping those elbows out.

  70. FHG

    @ John Meyers:
    You wrote “I just want to say: have faith in hard working kids of today. They are growing up in a different time. Have faith in our sport, and support the athletes in it: they live tough lives. ”

    Sorry I don’t and here is why – a few years ago at a cat 3 race in early March, one that Steve has done many times too, on the last lap of a course that has a stair step kind of climb on the back side of a 6 mile loop, a young kid rode away from the pack that was going all out. I was naive then and considered him as a bright future of the sport. A few months later there was a story in cycling news about him being busted for doping. The evidence was so obvious he did not even ask for his B sample to be tested.

    If he had not been caught at that young age, he would have been the next Tommy D.

  71. Berzin

    Just wondering-where was this righteous indignation when Armstrong rode up Sestreire in 1999 like it was a Sunday club run?

    Since you have been riding for so long, I was wondering if you could recall your impressions at what was probably the most improbable feat by a pro rider we’ve ever seen.

    Because it’s real easy to throw stones at guys like Danielson this late in the game, but Armstrong is another matter.

    I don’t recall seeing in print such a vitriolic tirade when Wonderboy was winning seven Tours in a row, another grand feat that went absolutely unquestioned by 99.99999% of the viewing public, the cycling media at large and bloggers such as yourself.

  72. Dennis C

    Berzin,please get over your anger please, it is not healthy and doing you any good.. LA cheated and his top competitors cheated. LA won. LA transcends the regular sport of cycling. LA has over 3.7 million Twitter Followers, JV 50,000 followers. All American Cyclists with the exception of LA and Greg Le Mond are superfluous and irrelevant to 98.5 or 99 % of the American People. So many of the posters on this site are just pathologically jealous of LA because in cycling he is god. They won’t admit or accept that they are not good enough for the LA League. The American People don’t care that LA cheated, they love the guy. He is the poster boy of hope.

  73. Jack Watts

    @ John Meyers

    John, are you sure your power tap was calibrated correctly…

    On a more serious note, you’re obviously correct, your 100 lb grandma can generate enough “force” to put out 400W. That doesn’t mean Talansky is clean, dirty or anything else. All we really know is that JV seems to engage in a sort of moral relativism that makes putting full belief in him difficult; it’s become more difficult when guys like Pate and Tuft leave/are cast off, and guys who doped their way to big careers (and UCI points) are brought in.

    JV’s “just trust us” approach needs a lot more transparency to be believable, because at this point no one involved in cycling is all that believable.

    To Tilford, props for speaking up.

  74. MTB-fan

    Tilford, I don’t get it. Tommy D is an ass for cheating his way into sports, instead of cheating after being selected cleanly, and then realizing the true nature of sports later.
    Ever since EPO came into sports in the early 90s, heavy circumstantial evidence surrounds all the subsequent Tour de France winners. You can hardly find a top 5 in the last 20 years that hasn’t been supplied and supported by a doping doctor, hasn’t had a wife who got caught with huge epo stash, hasn’t been ratted out by any former teammates, or hasn’t flat out gotten caught.
    Considering that, at the current state of the game, with the current control and punishment, doping is the winning game strategy of all people wanting to achieve something in cycling. You point a finger at Tommy D, but Tommy didn’t create that game. In fact, cycling fans like myself create that game, because we support competitions and organizations with our money and viewer interests. This means that if you are determined to become a tour contender, why wait until you secure a spot on a top team before doping? What is the rational argument?
    Is the problem here that Tommy D cheated his way in by not being a “natural?” Doping is only okay if you are good enough to join a pro team in the first place?
    Such a subjective morality strikes me as self-righteous and egotistical. It reeks entitlement. Some people have a right to dope and have a right to bee seen as “better,” because they were born with the right genes, responding to training in a better way, having the right muscle fibre composition, the right mediastinum acommodating huge growth of their hearts, have a huge amount of mitochondria in their muscles and so on.
    Why should that be of any moral superiority compared with those who are born with a bigger potential for brains, for cheating smart? Who said that competing clean was the right thing? We all know that people don’t have the same means, the same chance, the same adaptability. Who are you to say people shouldn’t dope?

  75. Pingback: Will Amnesty Save Lance Armstrong? | Easy As Riding A Bike

  76. G

    pretty wild stuff. from the Tom Danielson affidavit:


    102. After I had signed a one year contract for 2007 the blood program began.
    103. My hematocrit turned out to be relatively low, and Pepe Marti gave me more EPO
    and tried to get me to be more aggressive with the EPO to boost my hematocrit. However, I did
    not want to change my EPO protocol due to my concern over testing positive. I started to worry
    that Johan, Pedro and Pepe had waited until too late in the summer to start a blood program for
    Thereafter, I went to Valencia to meet with Pepe and Dr. Pedro Celaya and they
    took out 2 bags of blood.
    I returned to Girona and attempted to increase my hematocrit by using more EPO.
    By now it was August and the Vuelta was coming up August 26 through September 17.
    Johan suggested that I keep my reported whereabouts at my Girona home but that
    I not tell USADA and go to stay at the Hotel Fontanals Golf in Puigcerdà, Spain, where he said
    that Lance Armstrong had gone in the past to avoid drug testing.
    Over the coming weeks I returned to Valencia twice more to have blood re-
    infused and re-extracted in order to keep the blood fresher.
    108. I found this process to be both physically draining and mentally terrifying.
    109. To give your blood to a guy who places it in a plastic cooler takes it away and
    then comes back a few weeks later with a bag of blood that he says is yours I found to be very
    nerve wracking.
    Page 14 of 18
    I began to worry that my blood would be mistaken for someone else’s. When I
    first had blood extracted Pepe asked me to come up with a symbol to put on the blood bag to
    make sure that it did not get mixed up with someone else’s blood and this seemed very
    amateurish to me.
    The more I thought about it the more worried I became. I began to wonder if I
    could die if they gave me the wrong blood or did not handle my blood correctly, and I remember
    staring to think, “I don’t like this.”
    112. I found the whole process to be almost emotionally paralyzing.
    113. I did receive my blood transfusions at the Vuelta but the whole process had been
    so emotionally draining that I believe it prevented me from being a serious contender for the


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