George’s Gran Fondo

This entry was posted in Comments about Cycling on by .

There is plenty of media attention all ready surround George’s Gran Fondo this weekend.  Lots of people commenting on Facebook about Lance’s supposed appearance, along with a bunch of their old USPS team mates.  I was going to wait until next week, after the fact,  when we all see what USADA, USAC and all current pros that are attending, decided to do, before  commenting.

But, once again, Crankpunk once again, wrote a post that mimics most of my thoughts, way more eloquently than I ever could.   He covers pretty  much  everything I am thinking.  Here is the link to his post today. 

There are so many things going on here, that it’s super hard to address it all.  Having Lance in the equation sure focuses a lot of attention on an already controversial deal.   We’ll see how it all plays out.




63 thoughts on “George’s Gran Fondo

  1. San Fransisco Jacks

    Helluva jerk off party cumming our way too. It would be interesting to be there and experience this mating ritual of sorts. You have all these big doper guys and a bunch of wanna-bees, unaware of their erections poking through their lycra shorts, all clambering to get a picture with the big dicks. I bet the whole place smells like jizz!! and not one hot chick in sight.

  2. Jeff

    I personally could give a rats butt who is going to be there, I just think its a shame that USACYCLING has found a way to cash in on century rides, yes I know there are timed segments but really its just a century ride!

  3. Linda

    Did you read Teejay’s comments in Velonews about Lance (who he trains with now)? Reads more like someone from the doping generation…

    “I don’t think he is the evil guy he’s been depicted to be, in all these books and movies, but I suppose that is ultimately going to be left up for people to decide for themselves. Lance took the brunt [of the USADA investigation], much harder than anyone else, and in my opinion, he might deserve a bit of a break. To say whether he deserves equal punishment to everyone else, that’s not up to me to decide.”

  4. Bolas Azules

    Love USA Cycling take the hard line approach to a bunch of washed-up druggies that they helped to create.

    “We love talented young riders; we need grand tour boys; come on over here and talk to your trainer; oh these injections take time to work; we need full schedules; take your ‘vitamins’ like a man; you’re off to the pros!; look at those results we helped to create!; please mail a check to our “development program” in Belgium; look at those results we helped to create!; WHAT? THEY WERE TAKING DRUGS?!??! When did this happen?; We will sanction you with a lifetime ban!; Well, some of you but not all of you…

  5. Chago

    Whatever, who cares. It’s in the wind. I, for one, did NOT get to where I am ethically…
    I inherited college tuition money, a trust fund, a stake in my family business in a foreign country that my family sold for a several million, blah blah…
    Does that make me a dick? No, I’m a teacher and student and love it. That’s my job(s). Have I offended others with my fortune? Absolutely, but that’s their loss. Not my problem. I’m humble. No thanks, I will not pay for this round… your turn, dude.
    The money and success wasn’t earned, and I plan on continuing to donate very, very little to charity. I prefer to volunteer instead and help out people I meet. Hanging at the local food bank is fun. I recently picked up a hitchhiker for the first time, and anonymously dropped a small check to help a co-worker.
    I appreciate it what I’ve been given… even though I feel ambivalent about it and DEFINITELY do not deserve it.
    But it’s not who I am, it was something that occurred in the past that I benefited from. I have regretted this many times.
    I’m not sure where the hate towards these folks is coming from… Well, maybe I do and maybe I think it’s really, really silly. Maybe what happened to me is similar–I unfairly benefited from laws and fortune that benefitted me and excluded others. Whatever.
    Life is unfair. So, just shut up, have fun, and ride your bicycle!!!

  6. Nage

    Does being a convicted doper mean you can never ride a bicycle again? Or, never be invited to ride with a group of your friends? Does riding with someone who had doped make you less clean? From what i understand, there are 2 types of people in the world, people that think Lance is an ass and people that have never met Lance. But the other pros going to the fondo are probably descent people. Everyone should cut them some slack. The days of wearing a scarlet letter for previous discretions are passed. Its just a bicycle ride in the woods. Lighten Up!!

  7. jeff

    Not getting how your personal story is similar to the story of cyclist who made fortunes by cheating and taking illegal drugs Chago. Good for you. Shame on them. And the whole point here would be that it’s not “in the wind” because these guys won’t go away.

  8. Fred Hampton

    I guess there’s nothing left to do but wait for the inevitable BOLAS AZULES VS. LEVI TROLLFIGHT. I guess San Francisco Jacks will be off to the side doing his thing, too.

  9. channel_zero

    The way USAC handled this is one more clue they are very happy with dopers and doping, even ones that got a lifetime ban. Just win!

    All those people showing up for the ride, like Levi’s just means they too are perfectly okay with the doping.

    And the whole charity argument should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s very big money skimmed off organizing cycling/running/etc events that benefit “charity.” For example, $10,000 is generated in entry fees, $1000 goes to charity, $5000 to operate the event, $4000 is profit to the organizer. Charity in name only.

  10. Mark

    Banning Lance from attending George’s Gran Fondo isn’t to keep him from riding his bike. Pretty sure he still rides every day. Its impossible to promote a positive, drug free, cycling scene in the US when race promotoers/cycling event organizers continue to invite/pay celebrity pro’s that happen to be suspended for drugs and/or banned for life AND benefit from it by having more people pay to do that event and having more sponsors flipping the bill. There are too many hard-working, clean male and female pro’s that they could invite (and help support the career of) but instead they choose to support their own wallets by supporting dopers than cant race anymore.

  11. Bill

    USAC is just as much to blame for the drug problem in US cycling as Lance and friends are, they had their chance to clean it up long before he even arrived.

  12. Doubting Thomas

    This is not just a bike ride in the woods- this has clearly become a gigantic “fuck you” to all the clean riders out there. Who would support these guys or their sponsors- not me! Now let me go for a ride on my Cannondale in my nice new Hincapie team clothing…damn!

  13. Jim Ochowicz

    Steve, tell your readers the story about how you and I presented George with his golden retirement bike back towards the end of the 2012 season. Trudi even signed the card that went with it

    For the record, I shook George Hincapie’s hand just one time over the years…I ended up contracting herpes. Don’t shake his hand or sleep in a bed at his hotel or you could suffer the same fate

  14. channel_zero

    Those cheats can ride around all they want. They are cheats and have been handsomely rewarded for stealing from clean riders. All but one served their sanction and can even ride USA Cycling sanctioned events like George’s ride. That one guy, however, cannot. He’s serving a lifetime ban.

    Are you indifferent to the possibility that getting the gang of cheats back together and bringing along some young ones, currently racing who celebrate the old cheats, raises doubts about the integrity of the sport?

  15. kx

    it is quite funny to hear all the opinions people say about doping riders and clean riders. if you have ever raced at a high level anywhere in the world , you have trained and raced many hours with all types of people… if you never put 1+1 together , that yeah people dope then you are not paying attention. either be better than they are or play the same way , those where the options you had/ have. all level of sport has the same problem, someone will try to gain an upper hand the right or wrong way.we all want to win/be the best…most will do whatever they can, many outside the regulations . that is just the way the game is. you can either play or not play. if you do play ,you can play however you want , it’s really up to you…but you shouldn’t complain about it all after the fact.

  16. KerryL

    Herpes? That’s seriously the best you can do to slam someone? How classy and elementary of you.
    Meanwhile, an Ochowicz family member puts on the ToAD race series in Wisconsin, where it’s known dopers from around the country show up to race and, despite being a sanctioned event, no testing occurs.

  17. Robear

    Steve, please. Your own hypocrisy when it comes to this issue is bizarre. Like so many other “disenchanted fans” you would still drop a friendly hello if YOU were introduced to Lance or George or any of the others. Your blind spot with Trudi as a longtime BMC soigneur illuminates this nicely.

  18. Bee-an-Key

    Can’t blame people for wanting to make a clean break from the past and be done with it. LA, Postal, big George and USA cycling, Och, etc etc etc. Disappointing that the new young guns don’t have the common sense and media savy to stay away from the tainted reunion. The explanations sound like the old school explanations of their old Italian Dr. friends. Cut the cancer out and be done with it, I think ethics and sport can mix and hopefully the percentages are moving in the right direction. Keeping the old school around only helps them and keeps the sport down with the pro wrestling reputation.

  19. A. Garcia

    I’ve met Lance, and he was an ass both times.
    I know a guy who used to beat him from time to time when they were juniors.
    That guy says he was always an ass.
    So I have to agree with the “two kinds of people” part of your comment, but I disagree with rest.

    It not “just a bicycle ride in the woods”.
    They are charging common people an obscene amount of money for the “privilege” of riding with them.
    I’d bet that the BMC boys did not have to spend a single dime of their personal cash on this farce.

  20. A. Garcia

    Steve would drop a friendly “hello”, because Steve is not an arrogant jerk.
    Steve will drop a friendly hello to anyone who acknowledges his presence.

    A local around here who LA once described as his “best friend”, was in my friend’s bike shop recently.
    He says that he ran into LA while mountain biking, greeted him, and was promptly cold shouldered.
    For LA, friendly is something you are to someone while they are useful to you.

  21. channel_zero

    The systems is broken. It’s unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean doping is a choice.

    You do the best you can with what the genetic lottery gave you in the existing system. Either things line up to varying degrees, or they don’t and move on to find something that works better.

    That’s life.

  22. Bill K

    Is George stupid, or something?
    Why did he get his insurance through USA Cycling ? There are many other places to get covered.
    No USA Cycling , No problem.

  23. M12

    Where did you find out that Tejay trains with Lance? Because in the article, Tejay says, “We’ve gone on some rides together.” That’s a lot different than actually training with the guy. Get your facts straight before making such strong implications. Just because cycling has seen some ugly days doesn’t give us the right to assume people of cheating.

  24. channel_zero

    Right back at you Och: How much were the bribes passed to Verbruggen at Wiesel’s firm?

    You may as well win. Oh, wait, no. That’s not you, that’s another sports fraud. It’s hard to tell you all apart. It’s pro cycling after all.

  25. dog

    Not sure how USAC can “sanction” a non-competitive event and then ban riders that come from the “competitive” side. My guess is that USAC is letting George use their insurance policy to satisfy the local public safety folks. So f they are going to prevent those serving suspensions (or bans) from riding, then I guess they’re gonna charge everyone a “one-day-licence” fee as well?

    This whole thing smells dirty.

  26. andy

    I am curious what the powers that be use to enforce the ban or punishment if the perps do ride “poor” George’s fondue.
    And fuck Chris Pharmichal! That weasel is such a fraud, plagerizing his “system” from the #1 US dope coach, Eddie B.

  27. Matt

    Let the “common people” spend the money the way they want. We let folks spend money on stupid things all the time.

  28. Chago

    No. I think the integrity of the sport is improved if you involve everybody.
    No old guy is going to make the mistakes he regretted as a younger man…

  29. John Parker

    What’s the old hippy line about what if there was a war and no one showed up? Well what if a bunch “dopers” had a grand fondo and no one came? Not the case here so clearly a bunch of folks don’t seem to care which is probably what gets most folks dander up more than anything is this air of ambivalence (at best) about the past that many have.

  30. Levi

    It’s all fucked. What I don’t get is how lots of you still don’t get it. Pro cyclist doped in the past, they dope now, in the present, and they will sure as hell dope, probably more than ever, in the future.

    Ethics? No such thing in this day and age, especially in sports. In a world where people serve a few years or less for murder, priests rape small children, young girls are kidnapped and turned into sex slaves, ISIS is beheading innocent people on video, towel heads are flying airplanes into buildings and cities, the police are corrupt, the politicians are corrupt etc etc etc. Whats the big deal with a the athletes doping up? We like the entertainment value better when they do it. Fuck it, you can’t beat it. You never will. The sooner you give up the quest for fairness and clean sport the sooner you can get on with your lives.

    In this country football players serve a short ban for a drug policy violation then come back into the huddle. No one cares. In Europe its the same way for cycling. I think Sven Nys is the mother fucking bomb. He destroys the competition all year and has done it for decades. Guess what? He’s doped to the gills. Whatever, its his body, let him destroy it. ST destroys his in a different way, but you all have his back.

    Lance, George, Tyler, Frankie, Levi, Vaughters, CVV, Julich , Horner, Floyd, Pantani, Festina, Indurain, Lemond, Del Gado, Hinault, Merckyx, Simpson, Ulrich, Basso, Riis, Menchov, DeLuca, Cippolini, Van Petegem, Museau, DeClerq, Team Saturn, 7-11. What fucking ever! It’s never gonna change. They’re all in a different club than the rest of us. Like Horner said, “It isn’t cheating if everyone is doing it”. Now a couple Astana riders get popped for EPO and everyone is shocked and angry. Not me. I just look at it as “well that’s certainly no surprise” and I go about my day.

    The list above could go on for days, weeks, months. The truth is we could not come close to naming as many clean cyclist as we can doped ones. That’s proof that its widespread and not gonna stop.

    ST likes to defend Lemond as a gifted athlete. He sure as hell was, thats for sure. But ST also likes to remind people just how incredibly EPO makes you light years better. All of Lemond’s tour victories had proven dopers in 2nd place at the end of the tours. EPO was a lot more prevalent then than people wanna admit. Do the research. How is it that Lemond beat these other phenoms while they were “super charged”? How is it that Lemond still has the fastest average speed in a TT in tour HISTORY?

    Dope. That’s how. Who cares? It’s the way of the world nowadays. It makes people rich beyond their wildest dreams, gives them a voice, gives them friends in high places, every luxury in life. Why wouldn’t they dope? Because a few angry, has beens, or never was’ write comments on a blog? That’s supposed to discourage anyone? Pah-Lease.

    Do any of you listen to music? Stupid question right? Do you think any musicians or rock stars ever took any drugs? Another stupid question right? Do you like the music any less? NO. That’s where you need to let your thinking go. Its just something that group of people do. Never gonna change. Let it go.

    Its not cheating, they all do it. If you try to compete in sports without peds you’re just a fool. Why go through the frustration?

  31. San Fransisco Jacks

    That’s it! I’m hosting a jerk off party at Restaurant 17 in the Hotel Domestique on satuday evening post Fondo.. cum one, cum all..

    fucking “it’s not cheating if everyone cheats” fucking bullshit.. makes my fucking blood boil that there is that mentality out there.. right up there with crooked pedophile priests and dog fighting NFL player and wife beaters. I have more respect for crazy fuckers in the desert cutting heads off than i do for fucking doping cheaters. Towelhead’s statement is clear. Dopers are children who find the path of least resistance to benefit A number fucking one.. themselves. I say a little prayer every night:

    Dear Lord, please spread cancer rampantly through the peloton of dopers, and dear Lord, may they feel the pain of that cancer until the bitter end.. and dear lord, let my jerkoff party at Restaurant 17 be a huge success..”


  32. Barb

    For most of us, century rides/gran fondo is a platform through which to interact with our fellow riders, and just have fun. Who shows up is of little consequence in the bigger picture, because presumably everyone is there for the same reasons. Because riding just feels good. As for Lance and Hincapie and the comments about wannabes in spandex, hasn’t Lance been roasted enough, or are all the rock throwers going to continue forever, until there’s nothing left? What he did was wrong, but the exposure of his doping has pretty much destroyed his life, and it’s not over yet. He’s not allowed to compete in ANYTHING, but what is the harm of riding in what 99% of the participants consider a social ride? I hope he comes and has a great time, and that the rock throwers can find it in themselves to show some tolerance and forgiveness and let Lance get on with his life (not to mention the millions of dollars he helped raise for cancer – minor detail the people crucifying him are conveniently excluding from their analysis.) I know I’m sure not perfect, are any of us? Live and let live is my take. Personally I’d be thinking more about trying to finish in faster than 8 hours. LOL

  33. Barb

    People who are attacked by everyone, learn not to trust anyone. You cannot presume to know what LA was thinking in that situation, and you weren’t even there. What always amazes me is how people just love to perpetuate vicious gossip like this– and you need to ask yourself that question –why are YOU doing that? It sure serves no constructive purpose other than making someone else look bad for what reason? One more question, movie stars and rock stars do the same thing when their fans bug them, are they users and awful people too?

  34. Barb

    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.—Eleanor Roosevelt

    Now let’s go out and ride! :o)

  35. Levi, you're an idiot

    Dude, you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re likely some fat wannabee you has spent WAY too much time composing that novel. Shheesh, you’re worse than Bolas Azules.

    FYI, the reason LeMond’s TT is still the fastest is because it was on a slight downhill and wind aided. This is very common knowledge and only an imbecile cites his record as evidence of his having doped. If you’re going to slander someone, get your facts straight or keep your moronic thoughts to yourself.

    The music analogy doesn’t hold water at all and is ridiculous. The difference is that sport is a competition and music is an art where some of the artists are high.

    Crawl back in your hole, you loser.

  36. Jim Ochowicz

    Eleanor was the owner of a WNBA team, so that immediately opts her out of the concept of attempting to discourage the concept of one talking about others. she had too much at stake to think otherwise. the statement is merely a beard – like the one she sported on her face

  37. John Parker

    LA is free to live his life as such, but I will forever feel free to throw rocks at him any time he steps near organized cycling or try’s to make something out of his past “glories”

  38. Levi

    So Lemond had a slight downhill and a tailwind, while Lance et all had EPO, HGH and every other thing flowing through their veins and they still didn’t go as fast? Not to mention far greater technology in the TT bikes and wheels, wind tunnel testing, position refinement, and even some courses with, yes a slight tail wind. Seems a little out of wack no? There were also lots of TTs that happened a lot earlier in the race than say day 21!!!!

    And Lemond beating guys in a 3 week race that were doped to the gills also seems right to you?

    Ya, I’m the idiot…..

    Pull your head out of your ass and deal in reality man. Cycling and cheating have been married forever, and always will be. You think Teejay is clean? No way! After all he rides for BMC.

  39. mike crum

    The standard flat-rate all inclusive polygraph test fee is $450 dollars per test. Results follow the test in a seperate room.

    this is way cheaper than the “testing” they currently give the pro cyclists..
    hey lance, you ever cheat with drugs? no way man.. take this test.. 20 mnutes later lance is busted..

  40. marko

    An event like this just shows how pervasive drugs are, and how naïve we are to reject that fact. It’s not even a thought for them and to have deserved indignation is normal. Now the other fact is that it is no different in amateur racing here or abroad. They know it’s so bad they even conduct doping controls at Gran Fondos. There who cares, but it shows just how pervasive it is. I’m getting some HGH just to play catch with my son, I’ll show em.

  41. channel_zero

    Yes, we’re a bunch of low-brow he-said-she-said trash talkers. Pardon me if I don’t join you in pretending elite cycling is not the equivalent of a festering sore.

  42. channel_zero

    Giving money to an organizer who clearly supports dopers and doping is of little consequence? No consequences when USA Cycling wants your son or daughter to dope or get off the team?

    Lance is free to ride in events not sanctioned by USA Cycling. Go, ride Lance!

    Since when is Lance’s life ‘destroyed?” He’s living the good life in Aspen yet sadly appears to have fallen so far as to fly commercial for his tropical family vacations.

    Where is this millions of dollars raised for ‘cancer?’ It didn’t go to research. Millions of dollars were raised, but for what remains an open question. Because I wasn’t aware of cancer before Armstrong. At all.

  43. Dog

    “How is it that Lemond still has the fastest average speed in a TT in tour HISTORY?”

    A) 10 miles long

    B) Downhill

  44. barb

    Imagine the mind and body together are like a field of infinite dreams and possibilities. There are any number of options and wonderful opportunities and places to go and people to see inside of oneself. Inside that all-encompassing wonderland within each of us however, are some ugly places that most people tend to stay away from. There’s the place where you dump bad memories and there’s the place where doubt lives. There’s the lack of impulse control place, and the place where we keep hidden secrets. Then there’s the back alley in our minds, where we go when we want to do things we wouldn’t normally do, things that are outside our character. This is where I would say dwells that part of people who attack others. I think there is something wrong with getting off on instigating a nefarious process (by gossiping or badmouthing someone behind their back for instance), just so that one can sit back and enjoy the show they created or, in other words, satisfy their own ego. And the “mob mentality” is this concept egged on and aggravated by a mass mentality of viciousness, which is exactly what LA has been the target of. He’s the scapegoat for every cyclist whose ever doped and lied about it.
    IMHO, to use one’s position as a friend or even worse in a forum, to try and convince others how to think and feel by plugging their minds with negative destructive ideas about others is a character-eroding behavior which assists in feeding the sociopathic megalomaniac that lurks in one of those darker corners of the human mind.
    So Lance cheated. He’s not a child molester, or a murderer, he’s not out abusing the elderly or robbing liquor stores. He isn’t singly responsible for global warming, the crisis in the middle east or GMO foods. You could pick a lot more worthy targets to hurl rocks at if you absolutely feel compelled to hurl rocks for no good reason other than you can.

  45. dog


    It was the final stage and Lemod was down 50 seconds on Fignon. He wore an aero helmet and Fignon went with NO helmet. He went with aero bars and Fignon went with cow-horns (despite having access to aero bars). He had a downhill and a tailwind, and he went balls to the walls and won (using a 55×12). Fignon used dual discs, while Lemond used only a rear disc (everyone knows that double discs are very hard to control and keep in a straight line). Lemond did not use time-splits while Fignon was updated often (further psyching him out).


Comments are closed.