Jens’ Last Race Sunday

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I guess Sunday will be Jens Voight’s last race? The peloton is going to be just that much less exciting without having him around.

I have to admit, I like the way the guy throws it all out there. He does ride and tries to make the best of his abilities.

I do understand that Jens “has” to do a ton of interviews. And in each interview, he needs to say something.

I’m not big on his acknowledgment of doping in the sport. A guy that has been racing for as long as him and he says this about doping – ” However – and this is important – I never saw anything firsthand.”

For me, that one statement overshadows many of the accomplishments he’s had on the bike.

Maybe the guy rode all those Tours with his eyes shut, because witnessing what the whole peloton was doing for years, especially on the climbs, from inside the race, would have been firsthand. Jens rode the Tour on CSC and on Johan Bruyneel’s teams. Saying that he didn’t know that doping was prevalent in the sport, for virtually his whole career, is just idiotic.

Jens and Thor Hushovd are good friends I guess. I wrote a post about losing respect for Thor when he said that he had “never seen any drugs in cycling“. Plus, that drugs wouldn’t help a sprinter like him.

When guys like these make these stupid, imaginary statements about drug usage in the sport, it just adds to the problem. They are in the spot light and have an obligation to tell the truth when addressing the issue. Or just shut up and not say anything. Either would do, but making up shit doesn’t work.

I can hardly wait for a time when the sport is clean enough that we don’t have to judge riders by their views, observations, or anything to do with doping. But, Jens had the misfortune of racing virtually his whole career when the sport was seriously polluted. That is a shame.

Anyway, it’s hard not to like Jens. Funny, happy guy that rides his heart out. The US racing fans have really taken a liking to him and he is honoring that by retiring here at the Pro Challenge. He will be missed.

Jens was pretty done finishing in Aspen the first stage.

Jens was pretty done finishing in Aspen the first stage.

The Vail TT course is ready for Jens on Saturday's stage.

The Vail TT course is ready for Jens on Saturday’s stage.

Trek gave Jens a new custom bike to ride his last race.  It's not going to have many miles after this, if Jens sticks to what he says in the video below, and lets it grow cobwebs in the corner.

Trek gave Jens a new custom bike to ride his last race. It’s not going to have many miles after this, if Jens sticks to what he says in the video below, and lets it grow cobwebs in the corner.

30 thoughts on “Jens’ Last Race Sunday

  1. OGS

    Sorry, Steve, but you really don’t see a HUGE double standard here? Or even hypocrisy?

    You hate on Levi for not telling you, what you and everyone else already know. You hate on Hincapie (who IS telling you what you already know) for daring to make a living off of his cycling career. Like Vandevelde, Millar, Voigt and everyone does. How many people are buying Bassons’ and Simeoni’s “Shut up legs” t-shirts?

    But then you should put Jens and Hushovd in the same if not worse category – at least Hincapie admitted what happened – Jens and Hushovd never did.

    Did Jens and Hushovd of this world really do the right thing you think? You seem to say that Jens is a great guy and you like him (with just a few minor flaws, like lying for 20 years).

    So let me get this straight:

    Evil Guys: Lance, Levi, Hincapie, Horner, Danielson
    Good Guys: Vande Velde, Zabriskie, Jens, Hushovd, Millar (a hero, really!).

    How do you reconcile this seemingly random division?
    And where are Landis and Hamilton in all of this? Probably evil, but Hamilton at least is a really nice likable guy. Landis is a tool and a head case.

    A cynic in me says that Millar is a hero only because he was caught early and was forced to admit everything (they taped his phone and got him red-handed, and he had no choice, but somehow people think he is a wistleblower and volunteer boyscout).

    It all has to do with how photogenic (handsome) and folksy people are. Or not. You either like them or not.
    Doping, morality, repentance, regret, is all irrelevant.
    You either like them or not. Just say so then. Instead of twisting yourself into a pretzel trying to explain why Zabriskie or Jensie are so much better than Hincapie or Levi. Not seeing this is a real sin. At least Lance appears to be honest when he says he would have kept lying if he wasn’t caught, and that he still thinks he won all those tours.

  2. channel_zero

    Lance, either you are missing the point, or you are intentionally trying to turn the issue into some kind of false dillema.

    Steve’s being honest and trying to explain his opinion on the various riders. Nothing more.

    I didn’t see the riders under your “good list” going to extreme lengths to perpetrate fraud. They also appear to have actually modified their behaviour post-ban. The same cannot be said for the riders on your “evil list.”

    Morality, repentance, regret, is not irrelevant. Without them in varying degrees, where are we as cohabitants on this planet?

  3. Bolas Azules

    “I never saw anything firsthand” = “Omerta Dude, I’m the last one that wants to discuss it. Next question, allow me to tell a joke and be funny for a while.”

    Why couldn’t they subpoena Jens & Ochowicz? They know where the bodies are buried more than some of the flunkies they questioned.

    As for Evil Guys: Lance, Levi, Hincapie, Horner, Danielson. I think first Lance and Hincapie profited wildly and flaunted it and that gets them to evil. As for the others they were hardly believable talents and made it solely on their drug abuse and that get’s them to the evil camp as well.

  4. Just Crusty

    Maybe Jens is writing one of those tell-all books on doping. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve seen one.

  5. WC

    Nice guys doped and a**holes doped. But they’re all the same, they cheated and have no place in the sport. Jens,enjoy your retirement with all the money you stole from clean riders, good riddence. Now we need Danielson and Horner to go away.

  6. donkybhoy

    Jens blood samples conveniently went missing from 1998s TdF retests otherwise it would have confirmed what all with half a brain know.

    Jens is a super responder to dope.

    His departure is long overdue.

    Good riddance to another unrepentant doper.

  7. Doubting Thomas

    I am with the crowd on this one- he is such an obvious cheat that his attacks were not exciting just infuriating! And I have to also agree that you/me/we can’t have it both ways- either we want ALL THE CHEATS to go away or all of them to stay, I can not see a middle ground here. Does anyone really think that the current crop, TJ and the Hincapie kid (never heard of him), are riding clean?

  8. carlos flanders

    Jens would have won a lot more if he could ride his bike straight. Hard to join him in a break when he waggles all over the place.

  9. Gordon

    “I can hardly wait for a time when the sport is clean enough that we don’t have to judge riders by their views…”

    Pretty much sums it up. Unfortunately, it is human nature to be judgemental, so rants will never stop. Drugs today, something else tomorrow. There will always be lovers and haters. Forgivers and condemers. Let’s all work (including me!) on be lovers and forgivers.

  10. mike crum

    dude, ask trudi about what goes on in her team camp. shes right there. all camps are the same.. we all know that…if she dosent tell you, you going to be mad at her too?

  11. Jim

    I have to wonder if the Hincapie kid you mean is Joey Rosskopf?
    Just because you never heard of him doesn’t mean he hasn’t worked his way up properly.
    He rode for the final edition of Jittery Joes, Mountain Khakis in 2010, two years with TT1, and last two years with Hincapie. He has been successful all over the world. This is just a bigger stage.
    I would stake my life on his being clean, I am that sure of his ability.

  12. Levi

    OGS…..very well put. Venting frustration about doping is never gonna get anyone anywhere. It works! You get paid all the time you’re racing, and then when you retire you get a job on NBCsports to commentate on the tour. What could possibly be more clear? The message is loud and clear in the professional world. Doping is just fine, just don’t get caught. But if you do we can do some serious PR and repair the damage. America loves to forgive.

    Some day Lance will be back in the spotlight as a hero. You just watch and see. He did win the tour 7 times after all. Sports fraud you say? Bullshit! Every man in the peleton was juiced to the gills, just because he was an asshole with a huge ego doesn’t mean he didn’t win. HE WON THEM ALL and we all LOVED watching it. Cycling went through the stratosphere in America during those years, so Thank You Lance. Thanks for the memories.

    Oh, and Channel Zer0, can you please pull your nose out of S.T.’s ass for a few minutes and come up for air? You’re embarrassing! Who else are you gonna call Lance?

  13. joriverdog

    Voight…Like Ulrich…he came out of the East German system..Need I say more!?? Look as much as I dislike ”Levi”’s attitude….he does have a point. Follow the Money! Who besides the early fuck ups got hurt besides Lance? Hamilton and Landis were disgraced because the officially got busted…the rest who copped pleas have skated into continued fan adulation. Most of the public don’t even know they were ”sanctioned”. Hincappi, MultiMillionaire, Horner.(although never caught but looks pretty dirty)..probably a million and counting….Levi..millions….T.D. at least a million..etc etc…Crime pays obviously. The dog and pony show of Ligget and Sherwin…add Bobby all cashed in with Lance and are the biggest ”Beards” in the business. C. VV….is living proof that you can do this then get on TV like it never happened. It Stinks…and just says to new young riders…”Hey why not?”

  14. channel_zero

    and we all LOVED watching it.
    Uhh. No. Watching a guy go from doped to the ears one-day racer to grand tour destroyer was absurd. Riis? Absurd. Chicken was terrible to watch. Conversely, with Froome and Contador out this year, places 2-10 in GC were great watching. The third week did not look pretty for most of those guys. The Giro was surprisingly natural-ish this year too.

    Cycling went through the stratosphere in America during those years, so Thank You Lance.
    Are you sure? What exactly went through the stratosphere? Demographics shifted, years of bicycle industry lobbying paying off with bigger budgets fundng bicycle access, Meanwhile, the industry “discovers” flat bar road bikes, and “flat foot” bikes take off. Did Lance’s fraud help? Himself mostly. The industry was on a successful path without him.

    If you are so confident about doping, why not make it official and give it to the kids. What year do they start? 11? 13? You can beat Carmichael’s doping teens by a few years. C’mon tough guy. Doping is for winners. You dope the kids. What’s first? Hgh/Test? EPO? Turn the kids on to the cool peptides. When do you start? What’s the program? How early to start?

    Conveniently, you seem to ignore the consequences of your views. Well now is your chance to do the job right.

    If the UCI has their way, you will be back. IOC’s Bach feels just the opposite. Maybe it goes like Pete Rose. Baseball is certainly not squeaky clean. Lots of maybes left.

    I won’t be shamed by your comments. Opinions are just like a__h0les, everyone has one.

  15. Brian

    I agree that basically the entire pro peloton was on the juice for a very long time. It has been proven over and over and they’re still getting caught even today. Less often though. Does that mean it’s cleaner? Who knows, but my opinion is that it’s at least cleaner. Is there doping? Just give it a month or two and you’ll have your answer with the latest moron to get nailed.

    BUT, there IS the possibility that Voigt and Hushovd are actually clean. Have you even considered that? Do you people automatically judge everyone without any evidence at all other than some great rides? What about Greg LeMond? That guy used to stomp everyone in his path. His performances made everyone look bad. Everyone. Are you saying he was doped, too? Personally, I believe LeMond was the real deal. There are others who were or are clean. Very few, but some.

    I’m not naive at all. I’m all too aware of what actually goes on and of the very real presence of a “pharmaceutical ceiling” in the pro ranks. Hell, I’ve seen plenty of juiced riders in the amateurs, too. But, are most of the commenters here frustrated cat5 guys who are 5’6 and 195lbs? Pissed off at the world?

    Not one single person commenting here knows if Hushovd or Voigt is doped or not. Not one person. That’s the 100% truth.

    Hushovd and Voigt might be clean. They also might be doped. No one on this blog knows

  16. Francisco Mancebo

    You need to ask these questions of the people that can answer them, you’re close to the Godfather of American doping? Hint, hint

    He even signs your lady friend’s pay check

  17. chuck martel

    If indeed, during Lance’s glory days and seven Tour victories, the peloton was “juiced to the gills” and everyone knew it there’s a couple of possible interpretations. If everyone was on some kind of dope program then so what? The races included a pharmaceutical element as well as fitness, technological and tactical ones. If, on the other hand, there was a segment of the peloton that eschewed drugs and competed without them, while knowing full well that they could not beat those using them, those riders are just as guilty in that they gave credibility to a sport that should not have had any. Moreover, competing with the knowledge that it was impossible to win, they weren’t really competitors but merely camp followers basking in the glory of events in the outcome of which they could play no significant part. The supposedly clean riders, and the fans that supported pro cycling, are just as guilty as the dopers for allowing the charade to continue as long as it did.

  18. Bolas Azules

    Francisco Mancebo is right about “…the Godfather of American doping?” Why has there never been any mention as to the early 7-Eleven Cycling Team ‘program?’ Strikes me as odd that no journalist has worked on connecting the dots back to the origination of the US doping program. With so many of the same books being written, time for a new angle.

  19. OGS

    they perpetuated Omertà until it was no longer possible for them to do so, for legal reasons (subpoenas, grand jury).
    They doped when it was convenient and now making money off of their cycling fame.
    Fundamentally, morally, ethically etc. – there’s absolutely no difference between Millar, Vandevelde, Zabriskie, O’Grady, Cancellara, Voigt, Horner, Andreu, Hesjedal (all likable guys you would all love to have a beer with, right?), and Lance, Leipheimer, Landis, Hincapie, Valverde, Schlecks, Vino, Contador, Basso, Heras, Menchov, Ulrich, Danielson, etc.
    In fact, throw in Vaughters, Riis, Zabel, Carmichael, Lim (yes of Scratch/Lim rice cakes fame – are you supporting Scratch with your $? That’s as good as staying in Hincapie’s hotel while registering for Levi Granfondo while reading Danielson’s book on core exercises and donating to Landis defense fund).

    All I am saying is very simple: buying “Shut up Legs!” t-shirt or “Feed Zone” book, or watching Universal coverage with Vanedevelde commentating is morally reprehensible if you really take the stance of blaming Hincapie for opening a hotel, a clothing line, supporting a development team etc.
    Or Leipheimer winning some dinky MTB race that he is technically allowed to race, and organizing his own gran fondo.

    I, for one, don’t care too much. They cheated fair and square. It’s not all black and white. It is what it is – let them be.

    But if you do consider Danielson, Vino, Lance, Levi and others the “scum of the earth” for doping and not willing to admit it right away, then you must extend the same treatment just about to anyone from that era. And if you think people should boycott Levi’s granfondo and Hincapie’s hotel and clothing line, well, then the same should go for NBC Sports, Lim ricecakes, management of most teams (BMC, Astana, Omega Pharma, Tinkoff-Riis-Saxxo, Trek, Belkin, Cannondale etc.), because they all employ admitted dopers who gained fame and built up their resume from doping.

    In many ways, people like Voigt, Horner, Schleck, Hushovd etc. are worse than Lance, Landis, Hamilton – at least the latter group admitted their guilt (when they had no other choice, of course, but the same applies to Millar, Andreu, Zabriskie, Vandevelde and many others), while the former keep on lying while the truth is so obvious to just about anyone by now. It’s like a child with a hand still in the jar, caught red-handed, still denying it.

    There is just something pathological about it. Steve, do you really think Jens Voigt is a more admirable role model, a more honest individual, than say, Danielson, Levi or Landis or Lance even? Do you think he will ever admit and repent – like so many have done? Or will he just keep quiet, make money off his fame and hope nobody ever raises the issue or point fingers at him?

  20. OGS

    good question – and Cadel is not even liked by his own teammates all that much. How many times did he have a flat in grand tour while being in serious contention, no team cars around and his own teammate would just keep riding away from him? Hint: more than once.

  21. James

    Seriously? That’s a pretty cynical response.
    Are the pros really THAT good that even all the couch potato, internet junkies have to berate them just to feel “normal”? Why don’t you stay positive… you do not even have any inkling for a shred of doubt except your own disbelief at another’s abilities. Respect.

  22. Judge

    Weird, Steve bitching about something in cycling. Just as predictable as the sun coming up each morning.


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