Some Responses to the Lance Ordeal

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Here are some snippets I’ve had the pleasure to read this morning. They are all a bit jacked up for a variety of reasons and not because they were taken out of context.

Sean Yates – Former Lance team mate and Team Director from Discovery. Now team director for Sky and Bradley Wiggins. From
“I was with Lance in 2005, for his last Tour win. Before that I was working with another team. I’d turn up, I’d drive the car in the Tour de France, and I never ever saw an indication of anything dodgy going on. I used to jump out in the morning, go out on my bike, go back, drive the car, and call the tactics now and then, but I never saw anything that was untoward.”

Pat McQuaid – UCI President From Velonews
Are you disappointed in Lance Armstrong?
“I am not saying anymore than that. The UCI has 21 days to make its decision. That is the appropriate time to make a statement.”

Alex Dowsett – Team Sky, British National TT Champion, Wiggins team mate –
“I don’t think it matters. He is still a legend of the sport. A guy who had cancer came back and won the Tour de France,” Dowsett told the BBC earlier. “I think it’s not really important and I really don’t think it matters.”

Bradley Wiggins –From Velonews
Wiggins, who has spoken out against doping at times during his career and rode for the 2009 season with the staunchly clean Garmin squad, said he wasn’t surprised, however.

“I have been involved in pro cycling for a long time and I realize what it takes to train and win the Tour de France,” he said. “I’m not surprised by it. I had a good idea what is going on.” My main concern is that I am standing here as the winner of the Tour de France,” Wiggins said. “We are the ones picking these pieces up. For me it is about moving forward and not looking back anymore to what happened 10, 15 years ago.

From Cyclingnews – In a separate video interview on Sky, Wiggins denies having ever raced against Armstrong at the Tour de France, clearly forgetting being 37 seconds off the podium behind the third placed Armstrong in 2009 – a position which he now stands to inherit.

Stijn Devolder 2004 -07 Member of Postal/Discovery/whatever – From Cyclingnews.
I’m shocked, because I never noticed anything,” said Devolder, who was part of the American squad from 2004 to 2007, and who will join the RadioShack team in 2013. “I can hardly believe it’s true. They always insisted we had to play by the rules. The team carried clean cycling high on its flag.”

And Jurgen Van Den Broeck in the same article –

Van Den Broeck, who raced in Armstrong’s team from 2004 to 2006, echoed Devolder’s statements. “I never noticed anything forbidden,” he said. “I never heard or saw anything. I was only 21 years old then, and raced another programme compared to the big names. I raced perhaps three times with Armstrong himself.” “I was treated respectfully and patiently by Dirk Demol, always with care, never any pressure. It was ideal for a young rider with ambition for the Grand Tours.”

Johan Bruyneel- Team Radio Shack Team Director, Defendant in the Upcoming USADA case- From Cyclingnews

“I am surprised and extremely disappointed that USADA released information in the public domain relating to their pending case against me before I had been given any opportunity to review the evidence and provide my defence against it. I still hope to be able to defend myself in a forum free from bias, although I now fear that USADA’s calculated action may have irreversibly prejudiced my case. It is a troubling facet of USADA’s approach to this case that it appears not to respect basic principles such as the right to be heard and the presumption of innocence.”

Rudy Pévenage, Jan Ullrich’s Bruyneel – From Cyclingnews.
“The rivalry pushed us to give it everything to try and beat him,” Pévenage told L’Equipe in 2010. “With all the money he earned, Jan could not afford to be beaten. He was stressed out by the pressure and even put on weight because of that. Stress poisoned his career.”

Dan Martin – Garmin team mate to some of the named. From Cyclingnews.
“It’s hard to comment on it really because I haven’t really looked into the case,” Martin said in the shadow of the Great Wall of China at Badaling. “Garmin-Sharp’s philosophy is anti-doping and we’re going to stand behind those guys. We have confidence in those guys and I’ll be happy to have them back racing as soon as possible, and that’s all I really want to say really.”

Again from Velonews – Steve Johnson, president and CEO of USA Cycling, praised the five riders for their testimony.

“I would like to personally acknowledge the extraordinary courage of these riders who placed their careers on the line in order to come forward with their experiences of past doping practices.”

Heins Verbruggen Honorary President of the UCI From Cyclingnews -“I never said that Armstrong never doped,” Verbruggen stated in today’s interview with RMC Sport. I believe this was his quote translated – “I repeat again: Lance Armstrong has never used doping. Never, never, never.”

22 thoughts on “Some Responses to the Lance Ordeal

  1. Inga Thomspon

    My Favorite line I’m hearing in all the apologizes from the suspended riders is, ” I love the sport SO much I just had to dope to stay in the sport’! Pathetic! Some of us Loved the sport so much, we made the right ethical choices! Again, what a Pathetic Group. And they get to stay in the sport of Cycling and coach our new riders coming up thru the ranks! So much for trying to clean up the sport.

  2. Grant Lamont

    Clean slate starts now. Anyone caught doping from now on banned for life.
    On a lighter note one of my favourite quotes on doping comes from Michael Jordan, knida puts it in perspective.
    “As soon as they start testing all the politicians, doctors, lawyers, fighter pilots and engineers then it will be taken seriously”
    The point is that there is always a percentage of people who will cheat the system in anything in society.

  3. chuck martel

    How does your response relate to Jordan’s quote? How does using drugs “cheat the system”? A bike race has rules, not only about drug use but also about bike construction, if one doesn’t like the rules, one doesn’t have to race. But does a supposedly free individual have to leave the planet to get away from the tyrants that want to determine everyone else’s behavior? If somebody wants to put substances in their own body it’s not cheating any system.

  4. Josh

    Tilford… you are so deeply obsessed with the “Lance” thing. I honestly believe you love to see people torn down and you help in digging the hole and tossing them in. You have been talking about it for seems like forever! I guess maybe you just have too much free time so you spend a lot of time surfing the net and finding all the latest about him. I would love to see more positive on here from you. Dude… I like you man but its gets freaking old… it really does. How about going out on the trail some more and shooting some of your great photos and posting more about your adventures. Just saying… I think there are a lot of people that would rather read about good rather then bad.

    Oh… and for all of you that like the negative. Yes I know… no one puts a gun to my head and force me to read this blog, but thats why there is an area for comment! my cent and a half

  5. Wild Weasel

    so…are there any fresh memos or talking points from the BMC team? did George have to give back his retirement present? Was Och involved? What did your life-mate see back in the day? Burn all your Treks and get a new Eriksen road bike

  6. josh taylor

    2 things: 1) if I was in tilfords shoes, with his past as far as racing bikes. I would be pissed.I would feel betrayed and stolen from. Hell, anyone who raced at and near that level but didn’t quite make it or were told they didn’t have the ‘chops’ for it, I would be mad as hell! Those are the guys who got fucked. And the UCI did nothing. Hell they were in colusion and were apart of it in my opinion.that’s my .5 cents worth.

    2) the whining crying Josh from above who wrote about wanting to read positive, flower and rainbow bullshit on Steve’s blog wasn’t me!

    Josh Taylor

  7. Hobbs

    Tilly has a right to be pissed, Inga too. I’m prepared to 100% accept as “fact” that Lance cheated in a big way over a long period of time. Others did too, but the playing field was never level, that’s a stupid argument. Cheating dominated and skewed the sport and there is plenty of blame to go around, maybe even to non-dopers who kept their mouths shut when they knew the truth. I’m also prepared to say this will be a better sport without drugs so we need to do the work to clean it upn no matter how painful. Hopefully a full two cents worth.

  8. H Luce

    Yeah, without the cheating, Steve could have been in the place that Lance now occupies instead of being relegated to the role of a domestique and eventually not getting on any teams in serious contention. He could have had the fame and fortune but he was cheated out of it, it’s like the people who got screwed into the ground by the likes of Bernie Madoff and the frauds and crooks on Wall Street. To condone their actions and to just say “We should just move on” is unconscionable. Fraudsters should not be allowed to benefit from their crime, not on Wall Street and not in cycling, either.

  9. Gary Myrah

    Steve, I like your blog as much or more than Velonews or Cyclingnews. I appreciate your recaps and insight on cycling and these current issues.

    In response to the “deeply obsessed,” comment by Josh above. Dude, this thing has been going on for the last 18 years! So yeah, no shit, is has been dragging on. So it is about time and well deserved that this happened and it is discussed. Especially, given the mafia tactics Armstrong and crew used against anyone that did speak up. Sadly, I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg for professional cycling and doping discoveries.

    Steve, keep doing what you are doing.

    Inga, I had the pleasure of watching you race through out NorCal, good to see your perspective here and I hope you are doing well.

  10. mike crum

    ALL pro cyclists cheat.. they been cheating for years. and i dont buy into peoples comments saying the same guys would be winning even if they all were clean , all racing on an even do we know that?? they never race clean. maybe at age 15 but thats it..taking EPO makes rider A 10% better, and rider B takes the same amount of EPO but gets only 5% better? thats why all cheats that are caught should be banned for life..i bet a ton that EVERY pro cyclist from the 60’s to present cheated/cheats..
    steve, been reading your blog for a while now and i was wondering a few things.
    1)why do you brag so much? you start out every post with your first paragraph pretty normal then its a bragfest till your story is over.
    2) all your followers on this site seem to suck up to you, but i was just wondering, on the subject of all you done for cycling… is how many races have you put on? you have the $ and the time. a circut race where only a few volunteers are needed. out in the sticks area. a tent for registration, a few johhny on the spots, and not too much more.. i must have read a dozen posts on races you been in where you said the course wasnt hard enough or windy enough. fuck man, be thankful someone put on a race. you ever put one on? why not?get one going and make it an annual one. you are supose to be doing a lot for cycling per your followers. nothing better than a good race put on by you..3) why before EVERY race you enter, you have a cold, or was laying on the ground and you’re sore all over, or havent been riding enough. fuck man, your very good. you will do well and finish top 10 all the time. stop with the excuses before every race.. . you got a funk, or you havent been doing enough speed work.

  11. joe

    Steve enjoy reading you writing,and see how you and other riders lost out of your career’s.Drug use is rampant in all sports and cheating is common in every part of life.The truth is that if you want to be at the highest level of anything you have to be willing to go all in,wrong or right.So it comes down to money/success vs morals/integrity.Only each individual can decide witch is more important.I
    think Ryder Hesjedal might be the first clean Grand Tour winnerof this era-so there is still hope.

  12. Rich

    Joe said: “Drug use is rampant in all sports and cheating is common in every part of life.The truth is that if you want to be at the highest level of anything you have to be willing to go all in”

    Joe said: “I think Ryder Hesjedal might be the first clean Grand Tour winnerof this era-so there is still hope.”

    I’m seeing a lot of bicycle industry people, a lot of riders who seem to want to protect the sport by hiding doping & when its exposed justifying it. Fact is I agree with part of what Joe says, just not the bottom part…..numerous people get screwed in this world for being honest, the bike game is unfair because of the vast amount of doping methods available for the privileged, for those who are willing to basically sell themselves and kick old friends to the curb.

  13. Christopher Bluhm

    And what about Jim Ochowicz, recently quoted as saying he believes Lance “earned” every one of his titles? Really, Jim? How exactly were those titles earned?

  14. Bryan Perkins

    The President of USA Cycling is praising the “courage” of these newly admitted dopers? They are cheats who effectively stole money from riders who did what every licensed USAC racer should do – follow the rules of the organization Johnson is paid to lead. The racers who cheated deserve condemnation, not praise and thanks. And if Johnson thinks their behavior in admitting that they cheated ( when their admission will have no real consequences to their careers) deserves praise, then I suggest that USAC needs new leadership.

  15. BC

    Everyone always bitches about the money they stole – what about all the pussy these fuckers stole? That’s the bigger issue. We can all get jobs but it’s way more difficult to get hot pussy when you have no celeb status.

  16. tilford97 Post author

    Mike Crum – I didn’t really think that you wanted a response. I thought you were just stating your thoughts of me, which is fine.

    I’ll answer question #2, which is really the only question. Yes, I’ve helped promote events. A few actually. And nearly every time there is a race locally, and I’m in town, I go out and sweep the corners and lend a hand.

    That being said, right now, I am a bicycle racer and not a bike race promoter.

    I don’t think I bitch too much about courses. Nearly every race I go to, I thank the promoter for his efforts. I do enjoy racing courses and in conditions that are challenging. I don’t really enjoy ride arounds that much.

    Hope this addresses some of your concerns.

  17. Mike Rodose

    To Mike Crum (actually to his Adult Helper managing his comments):

    I assume you are mentally challenged, as your demands for response and attention clearly indicate.

    No worries, mate.

    To the Adult Helper for Mike Crum…you should clearly indicate to the audience on Tilford’s blog that Crum is Special. We can tailor our responses accordingly, helping you and him.

    Further, please remind Mike Crum about the Huggers at the end of his Special bike events. Seems his was busy.

  18. ron

    USADA came to these guys and said you will get lifetime bans as conspiritors have ratted you out. USADA has SMART negotiators and investigators, the Garmin cheaters would not know who said what but USADA could simply say you have to arbitrate or cut a deal. They offerred this up to Lance, he refused then sent his PR machine to the press. USADA made a deal with them all, you will get …off easy if you cooperate with us, otherwise it is a life ban……there was no honor in what they did, they simply were trying to save their skin and keep making $. Levi was not Garmin, yet he came out? Berry? But I do agree the dealers have to be gleaned and Vaughters is a dealer pure and simple, he has to go. If vaughters was honorable he would have resigned and let a known clean rider run his show.

    The entire Peleton in Europe was not dirty. Also, you cannot claim that everybody was doing it. There are clean riders that can compete, they are in the pack, you have to honor them. Lastly, Ferrari and Conconi were and still are the best $$$ could buy. If you had access to them and followed their plan along with all the other details required you would get way faster. Hincapie states this in his affidavit, he understood that the EPO et all made him WAY better.

    The only answer may be a compound that limits access for these criminals and there suppliers


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