Thor Retires and “Writes Outrageous” Book

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Thor retired and what do you know, a book is coming out.  I have no interest in either.  I wrote a post in 2010, just after he won the World Road Championships about what I thought about Thor.  It is probably just easier pasting it below.  In the book, I guess he says he didn’t know anything about drug usage in the sport before 2011.  I don’t believe that a rider can be as successful as he was and be stupid, so he must just be a liar.   There really isn’t any other option to his statements and observations.

When Lance said to Thor that he and everyone else used drugs, Thor though, I presume to himself
“I wanted to tell him that he was wrong. That it wasn’t at all correct that everyone doped themselves. That I didn’t do it. I should have said that I myself was clean, that I never used dope and would never do it. Because I think Lance believed that I drugged myself too.”

Maybe Thor’s vocal cords just wouldn’t work at the time or maybe he’s just a shy guy.  I am really not sure what stopped him from just saying the statement above?

Anyway, I won’t read the book and don’t really have anything much else to say about it.

Here’s my post from 4 years ago


I was pretty glad to see Thor Hushovd win the World Championships. But, now, after this statement, I’m less enthused. Condensed, the statement says that he has never seen drugs in the sport of cycling and that they wouldn’t help him anyway.

That is the statement of a very, very naive person. Or a very stupid person. Or a flat out liar. One of those three explain it. I have a hard time believing it could be one of the first two. A guy that gets the results that he does can’t be dumb or naive. I don’t know him, but I’ve heard he is a likable guy, so it is hard for me to call him a liar. I hate problems with answers that can’t be reasoned.

I’m not sure why the current World Road Race Champion would give an interview and say what he did. It is impossible to be at his level in the sport and not understand the situation with drugs. And to say that it wouldn’t help him since he is a “sprinter”. That is just idiotic. The only thing I can think is that it was taken out of context and that the writer screwed it up somehow. Maybe that kind of explains it.

Below is an interview I did with Mountain Bike Action (MBA) back in 1998. That was 12 years ago. This was before the Festina doping scandal. It was so obvious then, without the all the media attention.

You have to click on the pages to make them readable.
























39 thoughts on “Thor Retires and “Writes Outrageous” Book

  1. James

    Well of course he didn’t know anything. Speculation is one thing, as is rumors. But did he ever see anyone abuse drugs? Probably not. So, how would he know? My point, Steve, is that why would any sane person bring up that subject except to write a book? An omerta is one thing, but reporting on speculation and rumors is NOT a sane thing to do if you value your job and sponsors. Whatever, it’s inthe past… In the wind…

  2. dog

    Some people are 100% “See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. They think that because they put their blinders on, it somehow absolves them of culpability. The thing is, they’re not really blind to it. They just choose to stay out of it.

  3. Bee

    “In the book, I guess he says he didn’t know anything about drug usage in the sport before 2011.”

    Damn, now I have coffee all over my screen.
    Meh, just another very rich pro tour druggie riding bikes and writing books. Grand Fondo next? I can only hope!

  4. tclaynm

    I have a lot of Norwegian friends who are top-level athletes and in the same “spheres” as Thor. None of them believe his “innocent and dumb” act in the least and think it is a bit pitiful. While they do respect his talent and accomplishments relative to his peers (i.e. “everyone was doing it at that level”), there is no way he is oblivious to the whole thing.

    I had a lot of respect for Thor. I think he was great, for sure. His very rapid decline in performance level is suspect, however. Look at guys like Thomas Dekker, Stefan Schumacher, etc. There’s a reason you don’t hear about their dominance after a certain point in time.

  5. Bob

    Agreed. Hey you forgot Damiano Cunego and Basso.

    I heard Thor was considered quite a whiner by his teammates. Which always surprised me because he always struck me as a rough and tumble guy.

  6. Bolas Azules

    The old cycling half-truth “I try to get out of here with my legacy intact” book tour. Yawn. And Steve, in the article you state you’ve never seen anyone doing illegal drugs. So what do you think were in those syringes at the OTC in the 1980’s and ’90’s? The ‘wink, wink’ “Vitamin B-12 injections” that they were putting in all of the kids asses.

  7. Levi

    I agree with all the other commenters on this one. Thor Was a doper. Of course he was, he was a professional cyclist.

    Steve, what team did he ride for again? You openly admit that BMC has a long list of dopers, yet with Trudi working for them, you join in on dinners, and team bus visits at the tour, and lots more. It seems that Cadel (also a huge doper) is one of your favorite dudes to hang with. You look like an ass when you rant against dopers and then hang out with them. And even worse when you allow some of that drug money to flow into your home.

    In the famous words of the great Eddie Vedder, “If you hate something, don’t you do it too”. Maybe you’re not injecting EPO into your veins, but this half baked, conditional, protesting rant you’ve been on for years now is total bullshit. You’re part of the problem man. I call bullshit Tilly!

  8. Terri Thater

    One of these days someone with a badge and gun is going to come knocking at your flat in Topeka. Only you won’t be the one who has to answer questions under oath.

  9. Just Guy

    Glass houses, big guy. Though, the way you’re getting these days, it’s more like grumpy-guy-sitting-on-porch-yelling-at-everyone.

    And it’s funny, now, how you seem to be the only person on earth who hasn’t run into an athlete, somewhere, doping. I’VE seen it, in a damn parking lot, in KC, before a stupid local race. And you, somehow, having traveled around the world a million times, raced every race there ever was, at least twice, and literally share rooms with known dopers and doping organizers, know nothing. I guess you do just sit around and watch Hogan’s Heroes. And yell at passers-by.

  10. Freddy

    You are all *****d up in the head. Its just bicycle racing. You aint saving lifes, so go ride your bike and enjoy it.

  11. dog

    On that note, I’d like to hear a road-team member’s account of what went on with Ed Burke and Eddie B and the transfusions in ’84. That’s a story that has not been fully told.

    I already know what kind of discussion happened with the trackies. Dope or you do NOT ride. Long team at best. Grylls only got to ride because Emery crashed.

  12. Z-man


    As a long time fan and reader of your blog, I very much appreciate the expirence, knowledge and perspective that you bring to the sport that I love. I most appreciate your stories of the Northwestern woods of Wisconsin, considering that you are describing the area only 15 minutes from my own summer lake home.

    I dreamed of a pro cycling career, saw the same, very ugly side that you have seen/still see, and I walked away. Most people made ‘bad’ choices, so let them live with them. Unlike our society today, I do not blame others for goals that I did not achieve, even if it was through better chemistry.

    You have fallen into this country’s obsession with blaming others and/or pointing out other faults, which serves no purpose and achieves nothing. Take the high road, get on your bike and move forward.

  13. Levi

    Lol, I’m sorry folks I never know when to keep quiet. I have to apologize because my Mom caught me writing that comment. She is making me write this one. I apologize for being such a troublemaker. Now I can watch a lil tv. Bye.

  14. mike crum

    i just keep on praying that one day all these pro cylists will all have to use a lie detctor…

  15. an interested obverver

    After reading the rather comedic comments on this blog, I have to say that the person who posts as Levi is probably posting as Levi, Bolas Azules, Mike Crum, Freddy, Big B, and probably a few more. I think he/she writes an inflammatory comment, then supports it with other comments. Could be wrong, but that’s what it looks like.

    The other thing that amazes me is that people are still arguing over doping in cycling. Doping has been in the cycling headlines since the late 80’s. It was always there and it will always be there. That is the only thing that is a constant.

  16. Levi

    Nope. I’m only posting as Levi and not as anyone else, since thats my name. But now theres some other clown also posting as Levi. I don’t have time for that. I probably don’t have time for this much, but I do enjoy ruffling the feathers of the jock sniffers with the truth.

    But from the looks of things, the truth is far more favorable than the hypocritic drivel that ST repeatedly regurgitates.

  17. Bolas Azules

    I’m not a hater. I’ve always liked the sport, the riders, the lifestyle…heck I even like Tilly. To me though there is a lot of trashing-about going on when it comes to drugs and cycling. The old ‘oh it goes on in Europe because there is prize money there, it couldn’t happen here’ has been proven wrong big time. When multiple 50+ veteran riders get popped and five times more go on undetected you know it runs a lot deeper than has been exposed here in the US.

    I’m still waiting for some journalist to take on a big topic – the origins and evolution of the American racing drug culture. The eastern bloc coach, the flunky ‘yes-men’ trainers that he surrounded himself with, the North American riders coming back in the late 1970’s with a new way of doing things, the growth of the US trade teams and the Federation’s push for grand tour riders…all the things that gave birth to 7-Eleven, Olympic medals, Lance, Georgie, Levi, Floyd, Lexi and…and…and….

  18. Big B

    Big B is just Big B, no one else. I honestly woul just like to see Tilly address the Och situation.
    That guy is the dirties of dirty, yet his partner works for him…..seems odd to me as I would have
    nothing to do with Och and think he shouldn’t be in the sport.

  19. WC

    It would be nice if someone who was a National Team member under Eddie B, rode with LeMond, Hampsten and Hinault, has a significant other who has worked for 7-Eleven, Motorola and BMC would tell us all he knows about doping. But that’s never going to happen. Omerta.

  20. The Instigator

    Sorry but that’s bullshit logic. The idea that a bunch of cheaters took wins, sponsorship, Federation support and spots on Olympic and World Championship teams is just reality. Pointing out someone’s faults is saying that somebody can’t ride a bike very well. Someone sucking at bike racing and then justifying that by saying dopers prevented their success is blaming others. Saying that cheaters took things that would never have been theirs had they not cheated is simply telling the truth.

  21. Bolas Azules

    One would have to think Och made a sweet, sweet plea deal that has been kept under wraps. Maybe it’s time for the WSJ to expose it.

  22. Dave

    Lets stop calling them dopers and start calling them what they really are…. veloembezzlers….and stop buying their books.

  23. Joe

    You know, I guess it is just reality. I was at the OTC in the mid-80’s several times, National Team camps and stuff like that. I was always struck by the number of riders that didn’t belong there. Mom and Dad kissed the right asses or whatever. I could never figure that out, or how lesser talented riders got onto regional or national trade teams. It wasn’t always talent that got many to where they were, and that irritated me quite a bit, even to this day seeing certain riders supported or getting stuff for free, and they are not competitive or helpful. The reality is that it takes a bit of talent, knowing the right people, kissing ass, and perhaps the willingness to do what it takes to be successful. The last part is open to your own interpretation….

  24. Steve Tilford Post author

    Levi-Don’t much appreciate you comparing me to Bernie Madoff. You post a link to a website that wrote an article not agreeing with my take on JV. Please point out what that has to do with this? Think calling JV out on Ryder, or Danielson, etc. is a reach now? My post was before Vaughters outed them. I very much doubt that the twistedspoke rebuttal would happen currently.


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