Och and the $1,000,000 Triple Crown

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I received a few texts, emails, and comments here about the “revelation” that Och knew about the exchange of money between Lance and the Coor’s Light Team after the Triple Crown in 1993.

Even Alexi came out from hiding to make a comment.  Alexi called Och a liar, saying he was there when the Coor’s Light team voted to sell out.  Here’s Alexi, confessing to having a “paper bag” full of money, calling Jim Ochowicz a liar.

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I think that really Velonews started this whole cascading surprise.  Velonews wrote this article about Lance’s testimony last week about “the deal”.

For me, this isn’t anything new.  I wrote a post about this whole episode nearly 3 years ago to the day.  You see, I was there and witnessed the whole thing.   It was so obvious that the race/races were fixed that it didn’t take a brain surgeon to know about it immediately.  What was/is amazing that they actually kept the whole thing quiet for nearly 20 years.

I think Velonews was being pretty dramatic in their headline –

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 9.49.18 PM

I very much doubt that is the truth.  I very much doubt that Jim Ochowicz fixed the Triple Crown, himself, as the headline implies.  I don’t know really, but this isn’t how these things work.  And really, it is impossible for one guy to do that.

Deals are made all the time in racing.  Vino is in trouble right now for buying a World Cup.  He is being charged in Belgium.  But, this one was different.

There was a million dollars at stake, maybe not really a million, but a big chunk of money.   And when this deal was made, there was the problem of insurance fraud. That is different than the normal trading of prize money, the guy sitting on saying he won’t sprint or any of a ton of different reasons that a race might seem fixed.

I wrote another post about a time when I was having some public issues about what seemed to be a bought race.  This is the link.  Buying and selling races has been going on forever.  But there is an etiquette involved and normally the best rider, or the rider that was going to win, will win.

Anyway, do I think Alexi is right.  Partially.  He is kind of implying that Och was at a team meeting of the Coor’s Light team and presented a deal.  Or at least that knew that Och knew of the deal.  He really doesn’t know that.  He knows he received some money from a deal made there, but I very much doubt he talked to Och or actually knows, for sure, that Och was involved.  I think that would be very had to prove.

I think what happened was exactly what Stephen Swart said.  I think that Phil Anderson probably came up with an idea to help Lance’s odds of winning all three races.  I assume that it wasn’t only in Philadelphia.  I think Lance won the first  race in Pittsburg on his own.  But, in West Virginia, the racing seemed screwy when Lance got away with Michael Engleman, Coor’s Light again.  From then on, it was pretty apparent.

These deals are usually done on the road, rider to rider.  This one was different because the million was awarded to whoever won two one day races and a stage race.  So, the negotiations probably took place off the bike, which isn’t normal. But, I still think it was riders to riders, not team director to riders.  And I don’t think it was team director to team director.  I think it was the “normal” way, rider to rider.

So do I think Och knew of the deal made during the Triple Crown to help Lance win all three races?  Absolutely.  Do I think that Och masterminded this whole thing?  No way.  If I were Jim Ochowicz, would I say to the media that I was knowledgeable of committing  insurance fraud 22 years ago?   Fuck no!

There are a ton of people involved in this whole thing.  All the riders and most likely most of the support of both the Coor’s Light and Motorola teams at the race.  That would include Alexi, Roberto Gaggioli , Michael Engleman, Davis Phinney, Roy Knickman, Ron Kiefel, Stephen Swart, Andy Bishop, Phil Anderson, Lance, obviously, plus other Euro guys.  Plus Len Pettyjohn, director of Coor’s Light and Jim Ochowicz.

I’m not sure why they decided to single out  Jim Ochowicz.  They, as being Lance and Velonews. Lance must have his own agenda, which no one really knows.  Velonews, I’m not sure.  They could have just called up anyone of a few guys on the list above, that live either in Boulder or nearby.  Can you imagine the headline, “Davis Phinney fixed $1 million Triple Crown”?  That would be wrong, because, it didn’t happen.  It didn’t happen anymore than Och did it himself.

All the parties above were complicit in the deal. Anyone of them balks, then it doesn’t happen.One guy says he’s going to go public, then and there, it doesn’t happen.

I think it is strange that Swart and Gaggioli can’t come up, within $50,000, how much money they received.

And then the smoking gun. Lance’s statement –

Question: And how is it that you believe that Jim Ochowicz did that?

Armstrong: Because I heard that.

He said he heard that? And he went on –

Armstrong: — I don’t know if they competed — I don’t think they threw the race, but I don’t know — I was so new to the sport, and that side of the sport was so new to me, I wasn’t very clear on how that worked.

He was so new to the sport that he couldn’t understand if Coor’s Light was racing to win or not? That wasn’t the best answer.  Remember, Lance won the Pro World Road Championships later that year.  And he doesn’t know if they threw the race,  yet he paid them somewhere between 50-100K?

Lance saying that he was “so new to the sport” to understand the fix, is asinine.   I would have understood that deal when I was 10 years old.  Here’s money, let me win.  Pretty simple.

Anyway, check out the links above.  The first one explains what I saw originally.  You know, I’m sort of thinking that Jim Ochowicz wasn’t even at those races.  Don’t quote me on that, but I know that no one from the Motorola team wanted to leave Europe and go to the  US to race. Andy Bishop told me that.  He said that after Lance won the first two races, the rest of the team started getting real interested in the results, so ultimately, the prize split got diluted.  And kept getting more diluted as they had to pay out more and more of it.

There were a ton of guys, like 95% of the field, that was still trying to win that race.  I would have loved to have been in a position to win any one of the three races,  but wasn’t.  Obviously, this exchange of money increased Lance’s odds of winning a ton.  But it really wasn’t completely fixed.  Not like two boxers in a ring and one flops.  He still had to ride away from the field up Manayunk Wall.  And he did this like he was on a motorcycle.  (I’ll post about this later.)  Still, the odds were changed by money exchanging hands in a sporting event, so for sure, it fits the category of being “fixed”.

Anyway, I hope the statute of limitations is over for the legal aspect of this whole thing.  No one needs to go through any hardship because of what was done 22 years ago.  I’m not trying to make excuses for anyone here, especially not Och.

A lot of those guys are my friends.  It was, and is part of the sport, the behind the scenes part of the sport.  I realize, and they probably do too, that they stepped over the line. At least a line that had been made throughout the years in cycling.  I know I’m going to take a bunch of shit for that view, but that is how I feel.





74 thoughts on “Och and the $1,000,000 Triple Crown

  1. ST

    Amazing, really, for all you know, and everywhere you’ve ever been, that you NEVER seem to have first-hand knowledge of ANYTHING that is the slightest bit shady.

    And for this comment, you will F bomb, since you seem to be doing that now, when people get too close to the sun (known as you).

    Meanwhile, I’ve been involved in four or five “big” sports in my life, ten or twenty “big” businesses in my life, and around 50-100 “important” people in my life, and have knowledge of bad/evil throughout, because I SAW things.

    Yet you can remember every shred of everything bicycle ever done by you, but not the bad stuff you’ve never seen. Just this weirdo Teflon thing you do.

    Now, you don’t need to ever tell the truth, nor do you need to post stuff on a Website named after yourself, nor do I need to read the stuff you write. But your dog and pony show is wearing thin.

    Tick-tick-tick for more than a few reasons.

  2. Steve Tilford Post author

    ST- Isn’t this post and the post I did 3 years ago, first hand knowledge of observations I made? I’m not sure what you’re implying here? I write about “bad stuff” all the time. Not as much as it bothers me, but more than I probably should.

    For you being involved in lots of big sports and big businesses, witnessing shit, maybe you were hanging out with a bunch of “bad/evil” people. I try to personally avoid that situation, but sometimes it is hard.

  3. Chris Froome

    Hey Cycling Fans and Mr. Tilford, Chris Froome, truth-teller and TdF Champ here to chime in with Steve that the Glory Days of this kind of behavior are behind us! Pro Cycling has changed from those days and the level of corruption is so much better! Omertà is finally dead. Paper sacks and cake boxes filled with cash is as passé as selling used team bikes to raise money for doping. As Tilford reminds us, this is old news you should have all known about… Just because this post may well be the first time you hear the names of your old heroes like Andy Bishop, Len Pettyjon, Alexi Grewal, Ron Keifel and Davis Phinney being complicit in doping and fraud and money grubbing doesn’t mean it’s not old, boring news! Duh!

  4. euro

    What is Trudi’s involvement here? Since she is so high on BMC’s team structure, and has been buddies and work associates with Och for so long, she must be involved in some way.

  5. Rod Lake

    Steve: “I know I’m going to take a bunch of shit for my view…”

    You are right except it’s all been DUMB shit from the frequent offenders. I love your blog but my new personal rule is to stop reading the comment section. Steve’s tolerance level for mean-spirited people is remarkable.

  6. Bill Laudien

    Here’s why it matters….Ochowicz is the most influential figure in American cycling in the last 30 years. Och worked for Weisel as a “broker” for ten years while at the same time he ran USA Cycling, he worked for Phonak ( Hamliton…Landis), got rid of Gerard Bisceglia, and allegedly managed funds for UCI president Hein Verbruggen, and (allegedly) had first hand knowledge of doping at Postal. Yeah this is old school shit, and no surprise at all – anyone paying attention figured it out the day it happened – and I’d be happy to let sleeping dogs lay, were it not for the fact that he continues to run the biggest US team with the best young US talent. I don’t wish Och bad, I just wish he’d go away.

  7. Steve Tilford Post author

    euro – Trudi’s involvement? She wasn’t working for Motorola in 1993. She was working for Specialized as the road manager of their MTB team. So, her “involvement here” is non-existent.

  8. velomonkey

    ^^^^^^ What Bill just said.

    Och is the most powerful figure – it’s basically go through him or you got no shot at going to Europe. Who runs BMCs junior program? Och’s wife.

    The little time he took out of the sport (when Vaughters and what’s his name from Columbia – HTC) were getting their starts Och was at Weisel as a broker – whose funds did he handle – Vebrugger (or however it’s spelled) the head of the UCI.

    You peel back the layers on this onion and it just worse and worse. Och needs to go and he needs to go now.

  9. channel_zero

    Once again, USA Cycling shown to be defrauding anyone who shows up with some money. The national federation ran at least two completely dishonest projects, the “triple crown” lottery insurance scheme and US Postal. And once again, the statute of limitations kicked in so long ago there’s nothing to be done.

    Meanwhile, all of the federation’s management has moved to USACDF, where there is even less transparency and accountability.

    It’s very odd that VeloNews is going after someone as protected as Och. There is probably much more to come.

  10. Rod

    Everyone knew something but no one knew everything. Sounds like partial knowledge can be either your best friend or worst enemy depending on which side of the finger-pointing fence you are on.

  11. Gordo

    Steve, It is your blog and it is refreshing that you write whatever goes through your head and it is not “sugar coated”. It is too bad there are mean spirited comments written but sometimes they are entertaining and they reflect different views of different people in the sport good or bad. Why did Velonews target Och, probably because he is a top tier person to take down, he may even be guilty and involved but as you noted, so were many others. Cheers, Gordo PS.. you get a lot of kudos for not censoring the comments, some may say you are a Hypocrite but the fact that you leave the comments shows you are not.

  12. jpete

    I am not sure Velonews is “targeting” anyone. It is news that LA is implicating someone still involved as having been involved in controversial behavior in the past. There is precedent for this as this story has unfolded- Hamilton implicated Riis, and Rihs. Others have as well. Velonews is not the only ones reporting this item either. I don’t think this is a witch hunt, but it is significant in telling the whole story. I think it is better to have the truth, which trickles out slowly, people are only as honest as they can be, than continue to live in a fantasy where we think one guy was responsible for all of it. I have to admit, this whole, damned story is fascinating. Reads like a really intriguing spy saga.

  13. brian

    So, what are the exact parameters of the ‘fix’. Is the money only payable if he (Lance) eventually succeeds? Or is it payment simply for a bit of passivity on Coors part, regardless of the possibility that a rider not in on the deal might win?

  14. bob

    Steve, you say you aren’t defending Och, but in multiple places you say that you doubt that Och had the involvement everyone is saying he did.

    That’s fine, but you need to back up your opinion with something. For example, you mention that Lance was going up Manayunk like he was on a motorcycle. And you back it up by pointing out that “you were there,” and in your older article you affirmatively state that you were in the race. That’s perfect. I can take your word for it. Coupled with the knowledge that Lance was probably doping that early in his career, it is a very credible statement that you make.

    But all of your defenses of Och fall flat. What are you basing any of your suppositions on? Your personal relationship with Och?

    I think Lance is very believable when he says he was “so new to the sport” and didn’t understand “that side of it.” I don’t think Lance is suggesting that he didn’t understand what it means to fix a race or to cheat. I believe he is saying that he didn’t have the connections and maturity that Och had at that point to close the deal, so to speak. Would anyone have taken Lance seriously had he called Coors Light up? Lance was 21 in 1993, a god damned kid! So I disagree with you that he was saying he didn’t know right from wrong, I think he was saying he was new and didn’t have the sophistication yet that Och had to facilitate the Triple Crown.

    Later in Lance’s career, it is clear that he had developed his own “sophistication,” the way that others describe how he ran USPS. Where do you think he learned that? From Och, of course.

    The only reason Lance went down in flames and Och hasn’t, is because Lance let his ego (and probably sociopathy) get in the way. Och is simply smarter and more in control of himself.

  15. Krakatoa (East of Java)

    Velonews knows that “we all know” that they always went easy on Lance… to be able to have continued “occasional” access to him and the team.

  16. channel_zero

    Why would Lance be telling the truth now? The guy committed perjury in the SCA case. He’ll have no problem committing perjury again. None.

    Do not ever believe him.

  17. channel_zero

    You have to question the source’s credibility. The source has no problem committing perjury.
    These guys are cockroaches. Shine a little light and they run!

    What’s true? I certainly have no idea. We know the race series was fixed. The more the actors talk, maybe we can get to some of the truth. But, know that there will be lies told by some in the stories.

  18. jpete

    Channel Zero, I have worked for a number of years with folks with secrets, who have had to protect their lies, and have reached a point where they can no longer do so. There is a process, and I suspect LA is somewhere on this path. He may not be completely honest now, but I think he is gradually becoming more so. He has less to protect. Doesn’t seem there is much to gain here, other than shifting the blame squarely off his shoulders (not like anyone really thought he was the only one responsible in that culture). I think he has been a patsy, and maybe, like Floyd, he is going to stop protecting these people. You could have made the same arguments about Floyd, Tyler, etc, and in the end, they were being honest, but it took them awhile to get there.

  19. Joe

    Holy Smokes somebody screenshot this reply from Steve! He actually acknowledged trudy/bmc comments. He typically wont touch any of these.

    Och is a scumbag Steve. Your wife works for a scumbag. We understand not all of us have the greatest jobs, I think your anti doping stance though is very one sided. I mean it must suck for you because trudi works with what sounds to be a nice gig. However, the fact that she works for this scumbag is always going to be in your readers mind. I am sure it’s in the back of your mind as well.

    Keep up the thick skin. Not all comments are always going to be on your side. That’s one of the main reasons I read your site.

  20. Chad D

    Just to clarify the $ situation, Lance was offered either $50,000 a year for 20 years, or a $600,000 lump sum payout. Makes sense that he took the $600,000 lump sum to pay off the other guys. So he really didn’t take home as much as people think, still a lot of money though.

  21. Robo

    Steve, I’m a loyal reader and fan, but this is complete bullshit. I don’t think you realize just how incredibly biased you are when it comes to Och. You are clearly conflicted by yours and Trudi’s relationship. I don’t fault Trudi for working for BMC – it’s a good job with a great team. But I do fault you for not being objective when it comes to Och.

    You’re essentially using same of the same defenses that Lance did: It’s a witch hunt! Everyone was doing it, why are you singling me out? It’s being going on in cycling forever! He’s being singled out because he’s the most prominent name. There may very well have been others involved, but that doesn’t make him any less guilty. And just because there’s a history of it doesn’t give him a pass. He cheated and/or helped others cheat. He manipulated the results, which casts doubt over whether or not the strongest man won.

    How is this different than doping? If you’re manipulating the outcome of the competition, does the medium/method really matter? I might even suggest that this is worse – there’s no guaranty that a doped rider will win. But when you pay other riders not to challenge for the victory, you have definitely ensured the outcome (at least where the complicit riders are involved, not necessarily the rest of the peloton).

  22. channel_zero

    I think he has been a patsy

    He’s got you fooled. But, this is Armstrong’s magic. The guy commits perjury with ease. Why would anything out of his mouth be truthful?

    We agree he’s been made a patsy. Will he shift some blame onto Carmichael? How about Thom Wiesel? Verbruggen? His lawyer Stapleton? Other Tailwind officers? Others at the UCI? No. Much like Oliver North, he’s taking the heat for a bunch of people with more power and influence than he and will likely be viewed kindly by them as a result. That is, unless he starts telling the truth.

  23. channel_zero

    Yes, but Alexi has some credibility problems that make it easy to attack his opinion. I believe him in this case.

  24. Robo

    I don’t know if Lance is telling the truth. But between this and the recent flare up with Andreu, I get the sense that he’s sick of being the whipping boy. He wants to take as many others down with him. Lance was/is a colossal prick and benefited the most, so I don’t feel bad about the way he was treated. But if he wants to share more about those involved, that’s fine with me. It’s unreasonable to think that more dirty laundry wouldn’t come out. Hell, I believe they even offered him the opportunity to testify and cooperate. So what’s it matter if the truth comes out now vs. as part of a plea bargain?

    Hang’em all.

  25. Bill K

    If it happened, where did all the pay-off money come from, and where did all the winnings go. In sure that Armstrong paid taxes on his winnings, but did all of the people who received pay-offs hide the money and defraud the government??

    We are talking about huge amounts of pay-off money. $100,000 in a cake box, to one person????
    Doesn’t add up.

  26. TL

    Steve you need to step off your soap box for a minute and consider all the facts – not just post one line from the interview to suit your argument. First, Jim Ochowicz did not have to be there in person at the races to make the deal happen (and that is always a good excuse – your honor I was wasn’t even there at that time). Two you have Roberto Gaggioli stating that LA brought him $100,000 in a cake box to his home in Italy (so where is your confusion about the sum of money exchanged). You have Alexi Grewal sending you a SMS to the fact that everyone on the Coors Light Team voted on it and he received his share in a paperbag delivered Ron Kiefel – this is from the Olympic Road Race winner himself – not some domestique on the Coors Light Team – and in all reality – do you really think Jim Ochowicz had that type of resources back in 1993 – that sum of money was the yearly budget for a lot of small race teams.
    You have to step back and open the curtain and see who the wizard really is – Thom Weisel – even Jim Ochowicz was employed by his firm Montgomery Securities as a broker. You just need to connect the dots.

  27. velomonkey

    Also, I can’t be totally certain, but if I recall correctly Och WAS at Philly. They had a lot of heavy guns at that race. Yates and co were there, not sure Andy was (though didn’t he retire the year prior, or was it that year).

    What else did Och have going on in Europe aside from building up wonder boy? Lance was Och’s big signing on day one, it was, without a doubt, a big deal to ensure the guy got the triple crown and nationals.

  28. Krakatoa East of Java

    Where exactly is this Alexi Grewal post located? It’s not from his twitter or instagram accounts.

  29. Krakatoa East of Java

    Payment would have come later, just like the prize money came later. And any payout would have been contingent on Lance’s winning the remaining two races.

    Apparently Och was good at brokering deals. Perhaps this led to him becoming a professional broker with Thom?

  30. Larry T.

    This quote -” If I were Jim Ochowicz, would I say to the media that I was knowledgeable of committing insurance fraud 22 years ago? Fuck no!” reminds me of a certain Floyd Landis when asked if he doped, “I’ll say no” or something similar was his answer. Didn’t the guy who paid out all the loot to Tex and Co. when he won X number of tours just get his money back from that insurance fraud? Perhaps they’re going after Tex on this one too? And he shared the spoils so now he wants some others to share the shame and cough up some of the dough, even though it’s pennies on the dollar compared to his $100 (rapidly shrinking) million, most of it gained through fraud?
    Correct me if I’m wrong here Tilford, but what I’m getting from your post here is for you DOPING 20+ years ago should result in the culprits being banned from the sport for life while insurance fraud from 20+ years ago is “just business”?

  31. mark

    If Lance really wants to come clean, and take people down with him, then he can explain exactly what took place in 1990 on the USA Cycling Junior National team. Greg Strock, Erich Kaiter , Gerrik Latta, and David Francis would really appreciate it. Chris Carmichael definitely wouldn’t.

  32. Krakatoa East of Java

    To tag along on this… Steve hopes that there is a statute of limitations. I would all be fine and dandy with that sentiment if it were merely about a standard prize list payout (even a big one). Why? Because no matter who wins, the promoter is going to have to pay it out.

    But the $1MM “triple crown” prize was not a payout that was even close to a guarantee. And because of this (just like Lance’s SCA Promotions-backed $5MM TDF bonus) it was insured. An insurance company (willing to gamble that no one wins all three events) plays the (damn good) odds that they’ll not have to pay out the million bucks, as it is very unlikely for one to win three big races in a row. But then, one day, a bunch of people got together and (without serious reflection on what they were doing) committed felony insurance fraud. All of them.

    If these guys are not still criminally liable, I have no problem at all with them facing civil liability.

  33. Krakatoa East of Java

    ” Didn’t the guy who paid out all the loot to Tex and Co. when he won X number of tours just get his money back from that insurance fraud? Perhaps they’re going after Tex on this one too? ”

    Uh, if it’s SCA Promotions that also insured the triple-crown, I’d be willing to take that bet.

  34. Lionel

    Steve has written mean spirited blogs about people without having all the facts, just his prejudice and news scraps. So it goes both ways.

  35. Krakatoa East of Java

    Deep reading here, but it looks like if there is a conspiracy (which this sure sounds like), a prosecution could very well happen:


    Michael Steven Pollok
    Federal Crime Lawyer, Red Hook, NY

    Posted on Jan 29, 2014
    The statute of limitations for most federal crimes, including insurance fraud is 5 years. This is the time within which the government must indict you from the date the crime is “completed”.

    However, if you absent yourself from the jurisdiction, the statute of limitations is tolled (stopped) while you are absent because the law simply states that, “No statute of limitations shall extend to any person fleeing from justice.” 18 U.S.C.A. § 3290.

    To complicate matters further, the statute of limitations can be extended beyond five years if it is an ongoing (uncompleted) crime or a conspiracy is charged. A conspiracy, in simple terms, is an agreement between two or more people to commit a criminal offense. When conspiracy is charged, the agreement must still have been ongoing within the five-year period preceding indictment and at least one overt act in furtherance of conspiratorial agreement must have been performed within that period. “Statutes of limitations in criminal cases normally begin to run when the crime is ‘complete.’ ”With respect to conspiracy offenses, the government must “allege and prove at least one overt act that occurred” within the statute of limitations. If the indictment is not found by the last day of the statute of limitations, then the indictment will be time-barred unless the government can establish that it effectively tolled the statute of limitations. United States v. Kozeny, 493 F. Supp. 2d 693, 702 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) aff’d, 541 F.3d 166 (2d Cir. 2008). There is also a provision to toll the SOL if the government has to obtain foreign evidence and makes an valid application to the court. 18 U.S.C.A. 3292

    Yes in federal court it is possible although unlikely you will be tried in abstensia even though the statute of limitations is tolled while you absent yourself. See United States v. Celestino, 04-2638(L), 2005 WL 2076972 (2d Cir. Aug. 26, 2005), Echendu v. United States, CIV.A. CV-02-1255DGT, 2003 WL 21653370 (E.D.N.Y. July 14, 2003); United States v. Mackey, 915 F.2d 69 (2d Cir. 1990) see 18 U.S.C.A. 3282 (statute of limitations) and 18 U.S.C.A. 3146 on penalties for failing to appear. I get the sense that you have not yet been charged and a defendant may only be tried in abstention when he “kn[ows] the precise time and place he [is] to appear for trial, and that the consequence of his failure to appear [will] be a trial in absentia ” and then fails to appear on the scheduled date, he waives his Sixth Amendment right to attend the trial. Cuoco v. United States, 208 F.3d 27 (2d Cir. 2000). So it more likely that the government will just let the statute of limitations toll until you return or are arrested and brought back.

     Mark as helpful

    6 lawyers agree

  36. channel_zero


    if he wants to share more about those involved, that’s fine with me.

    The SCA depositions were perjury. The current depositions are filled with lies. It’s all lies. Lies, lies, lies until he gets what he wants.

    For me, the goal is a cleaner, less corrupt, more transparent sport I can recommend to parents. Armstrong will never provide the means to that end.

  37. Krakatoa East of Java

    I doubt he was any kind of “architect” when he was a junior. That was the “you strong like bull. Do this, do this, bend over take injection” era. All he’d be able to say is “yeah, me too”. No way he’s going to proactively rat-out new stuff.

  38. channel_zero


    It would be great if someone, somewhere would pursue some kind of criminal charges, but it’s not going to happen.

    This is just one reason why sports is so great. You can get away with perjury, frauds, and conspiracies.

  39. TL

    Actually it should the US Justice Department because this is an oligarchy orchestrated by many people but led by one – Thom Weisel – who not only owns USACycling – the sanctioning body for bike racing in the United States, but the also major calendar UCI Races – Amgen Tour of California, NBC TdF announcers (shocking in itself). All your race fees go to support this holding company (30 companies all together) – even the UCI 2015 World Championships rights were owned and controlled by these people.
    What Ochowicz did in 1993 is a petty crime compared to what the potential for abuse exists now (refer to the flow chart published by velorooms.com above).

  40. The Answer

    Steve, man you’re way off on this one brother. So let me get this straight, because it happened so long ago why can’t we just let bygones by bygones. Buying and selling of races has been going on forever ya’know, just follow the proper etiquette; well so has doping my friend, and there is etiquette with that as well, i.e., omerta). Why is Ryder H. doping while racing mountain bikes back in the day any different then this then? Oh, because you got screwed and your whole career with it? Bet you’d feel differently if you were in that final break with Lance and those Coors Light riders, jersey pockets full of cash, and you moved to chase and they just sat on you then soft pedaled through. Bet you wouldn’t be so cool about it now dude. See, being such a zealot on one aspect of cheating makes it hard to be soft on other aspects. Just something you might want to think about. Late.

  41. Touriste-Routier

    USAC/USCF/USPRO didn’t run the Triple Crown It was organized by the company owned by Dave Chauner & Jerry Casale, who were the event organizers.

    It was a novel idea, but the opportunity for something like this to happen was rife.

    On another note, I recall the lump sum payout to be in the $325k – $350k range, not the $600k+ number cited by some sources, but I could be wrong.

  42. Touriste-Routier

    In pro sanctioned races it is common for prizes to be paid to the teams, who distribute prize money to the riders and staff per their agreed upon split system

  43. channel_zero


    Och was running USA Cycling at some point, all the events were USA Cycling/UCI events. In my opinion, USA Cycling folks like Weisel and Och would be perfectly fine fleecing a promoter.

  44. mike hanley

    Joe, who are you? What is your involvement/history with the sport of professional cycle sport?

  45. Levi

    This whole Tiford/Och subject is just so goddamned ridiculous. I’m sure Steve has been told by Och to shut the fuck up some time after posting this lame attempt at a defense of the biggest scumbag in cycling. At first he was replying to comments, but all is quiet now. It’ll be one of those deals where he just clams up and tomorrow posts about riding on gravel to Lawrence and seeing a turtle or a duck or some stupid shit.

    Steve Tilford you have absolutely zero credibility left. Look at your reader’s comments. It’s not a 50/50 kind of thing. It’s a landslide against you. You’re someone who likes calling bullshit on people you don’t like, that do some shady things. I have no problem with that, I enjoy it actually. But when you completely lose your back bone and just shy away or clam up when tough questions are asked of you, there is no room for respect of any kind. The fact that you have called out some in the past only makes you look worse and clearly hypocritical. That word is a strongly reoccurring thing here at your blog. Every time I read this drivel you write, I come back to Eddie Vedder’s words. “If you hate something, don’t you do it too”.

    You’re such a huge part of the problem in the cycling culture. An ex racer with a girlfriend that’s been in the sport as long as you and still currently working in it, for, of all people, Jim Ochowitz. The dopers and those that keep quiet instead of speaking up all need to go. But the problem with that is that no one is left. The sport is completely fucked, ruined beyond repair. They call it a beautiful sport, there is no bigger lie in the world today. It is a despicable, dirty, seedy, drug dealer culture with every kind of drug and cover up imaginable, all swirling around the top of a 100 year old sewer full of doped, crooked, dead riders and directors.

    I hear you talk about crits “growing the sport” and I can’t even believe what you still believe. You go to a few crits that have a cult following where it’s all about getting plastered in the streets and spraying water on some guys riding up a hill. A good time sure, but no one there is actually a cycling fan, unless they came there with a fellow racer. It’s the most insignificant sport in this country. No one cares that isn’t already a cyclist or related to one, and no one ever will care. In fact the glory days are well back in the rear view mirror. It’s hopeless!

  46. Krakatoa (East of Java)

    I just want to know why Grewal (who was actually ON Coors Light) would know less about Och’s brokership than you (Steve) did. He was a beneficiary of the deal and contributed to the decision to accept it… that and the fact that he just admitted his own complicity in the fraud.

    Why do you doubt that he’d know which dude from Motorola brought the proposal to them? Why would you know any better?

  47. Larry T.


    $600K in cash from Lloyd’s of London + interest over 20+ years is a lot of dough. With the fraud and chicanery in this guy’s career pretty much from the start RICO statutes ought to apply, negating the statute of limitations? That would be sweet!
    Selling a race might be “business as usual” in pro cycling as someone has to win and collect the prize money, but there would have been ZERO money for anyone in this case without the fraudsters allowing Tex to win the last of the three events.

  48. Steve Tilford Post author

    Levi – For one, I was packing, then driving 5 hours, then pre-riding a MTB course, so that is why I wasn’t responding to the comments.

    Two, Och hardly knows I have a website and would never contact me to tell me anything.

    Three, I didn’t lose any backbone. I knew this would cause conflict. I wrote about this 3 years ago and no one said a word really.

    I’m sticking with my statement that Jim Ochowicz wasn’t any kingpin in organizing “the fix”. That’s all this was about. Not him related to any other team, rider or any other situation.

    If I were “clearly hypocritical”, do you think I’d waste my time responding to your comment? Very doubtful.

    What I don’t understand, if you think that bike racing is even 1/2 “as bad” as what you described above, why do you spend any time following it one bit? And why would you waste your time reading anything I write?

    To me, that seems pretty hypocritical.

  49. James

    Always enjoy your perspective, sir.
    Just FYI: It’s Coors Light, no apostrophe. And it’s an its not a they.
    Keep after the scoundrels.

  50. channel_zero


    Carmichael was doping Armstrong alongside Kaiter and the others mentioned.

    Look it up: “60 minutes” “dope and glory”

  51. jake

    You said: “Anyway, I hope the statute of limitations is over for the legal aspect of this whole thing.  No one needs to go through any hardship because of what was done 22 years ago. ”

    Let me get this straight, a 22 year old felony fraud for $600,000 cash (which is $990,000 in 2015 dollars) should be forgiven just like that – no punishment at all for anyone involved. But leaving a tube on the side of the road “is so wrong on so many levels.”

    Time to take a step back and look at this with some rational, ethical logic. You are way, way off base on this one and no amount of racing experience can change the legal and ethical facts of it.

  52. Matt

    There is a lot of really mean spirited language in the comments. It doesn’t seem so much a discussion as a sound off for some real anger and frustration. I dislike that a lot of it is directed at Steve personally.

    Steve, you seem like a good human being, and I appreciate and have appreciated (for 3 or more years) reading your blog. As many others have written, I don’t always agree with your opinions, but I support your writing this blog and wish you the best. Thank you!

  53. Fpa

    I too think you bring a great perspective to the sport we all dig. I think we come to you “house” to read your blog, you’re not on some stool preaching in our face. Far more interesting than boring articles in the pub’s (in my opinion). So I think the anger I read I these comments are a little harsh.

    Regardless; what’s going to happen next? Anyone want to predict?

  54. nancy

    If you were in the winning move at the end and felt you still had decent legs, what would have done if Lance offered you the money? Would you to say to fuck him and you want to try to win the race or took the money?

    If you answer yes and most guys, it’s part of the problem. Lance probably don’t need Och for it but I am sure Och knew about it. He could have called the other DS in the end. And probably the insurance knew about it but could not have proof and consider it as lesson that not being involved anymore.

    Also, everything that is coming out from Lance is quite bad and cycling looks as horrible sports. Please don’t give too much publicity about it.

  55. Chris Froome

    Hi Krakatoa East of Java, Your Honor, Chris Froome here to share that I’m also a bit of a legal expert. For example one time Sir Dave let me read Richie Porte’s Team Sky Contract (because I INSISTED!) But I really got good at this legal stuff after I studied the Doping confessions of Levi Leipheimer and four other riders — George Hincapie, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie and Tom Danielson because they all lied and claimed that, for no apparent reason, they, each of them, spontaneously and simultaneously (despite being on different trade teams) quit using EPO and other PEDs in April of 2006. Their “confessions” then skirted the statue of limitations for stiffer doping penalties because then the USADA would not be looking at the real picture of continuous doping throughout their careers right up to the confession date! All these riders who were stars just because of doping ended up with just the 6 months ban. But I’m guessing that these guys probably didn’t CONSPIRE to have identical testimony because I believe in serendipity, I mean coincidence. But if they DID all agree to lie in their confessions in the same way to avoid punishment, or if someone in a policing type roll who REALLY wanted to nail a certain patsy (by making him look WAY worse, although he was the SAME) I will say they did this using math and absolutely SPLENDID legal planning- but I don’t need to tell you that because you are clearly a genus.

  56. Krakatoa (East of Java)

    That’s fraud. When it happens during the race itself, it’s called “professional bike racing”.

  57. Steve Tilford Post author

    Matthew – No. And I pretty much agree with Krakatoa’s comment above. There are all sorts of deals being made in a race. Whether to let someone into an echelon is really somewhat of a deal. Or deciding to pull or sit on at any time when you’re in a break. The “deals” in bike racing is what makes it interesting. There is a big difference between someone conceding before the end of a race and pre-arranging the outcome. Pre-arranging before the race starts, that is. I know it seems like the same to some, but it is really completely different as you become familiar with the sport.

  58. Julien

    “No one needs to go through any hardship because of what was done 22 years ago”

    This was not the selling of a race, this was theft. Insurance fraud. In a race the organizer gives prize money no matter who wins, not the case here.

    If someone stole $1,000,000 from you are you saying you would be OK with this as long as it took 22 years to figure it out? This was theft. Pure theft.

  59. David Arnold

    Wow…..that stirred up some comments/emotions!!! Selling races is very common place in Belgium, both PRO and Elites. In a working class sport making money is making money. You have to be very good to begin with . Combine Kings have been around from the very start of cycle sport. My Dutch friend Adrie de Maesschalck made 800.00-3,500.00US a month riding in combines. He won 153 Kermis races and 600x in the first 3 places. A lot more if he had wanted to win himself. He was on the Dutch National team 5yrs and came from a working class family. My take is that you make the money when you can with the ability you have….is it right??? I’m not the one who has to live with it…..cycling will never be on the same level as other sports money-wise….just sayin not hatin

  60. Max


    What about Bromont’s level of involvement?

    What did he know and when did he know it?

    Or was he just a young pup at that time?

    I hate to get ruff about this but we need to know.

    Or am I barking up the wrong tree?


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