"It's a quiche Florentine, I swear..."

"It's a quiche Florentine, I swear..."

Evanescent Riders: L.E. ‘Juan’ Gunderson

by / / 112 posts

The name Laurence Ernest Gunderson is not one that the general public know too well, at least before the events of the past week. The US cyclist was relatively famous within the sport, but ask Joe Average who he was and you’d be met with a blank stare. But now, he’s back-page news on newspapers on lawns, campuses and in those bins out the front of general stores everywhere a bin is placed.

Gunderson’s story is one that polarizes opinion almost as much as whether the moon landing was faked, which by a twist of fate we may never know, as the ‘other Gunderson’, astronaut Buzz Gunderson died this week, taking his firsthand knowledge of what went on up there (or in the Paramount Studios) with him. But Gunderson the cyclist’s story has been hogging the limelight all week, which shows that celebrity and scandal is more relevant to the fat masses of consumers than a history making event will ever be.

Born to parents when he was less than a day old, Gunderson’s father reportedly took one look at the slimy, bloody mess that was his illegitimate son and left immediately, muttering something along the lines of ‘ooh, he looks a bit nasty, I’m off”, leaving mum Marjie to raise the little devil as a single parent. This would prove to be an invaluable tool later in Gunderson’s life, constantly citing the fact he was raised by a single mother as something that only he had the indignity of suffering from, and how his horrible existence of three meals a day (compared to the usual five of most US children) left him thin and weak. As he developed slower than other kids his age, he took to cycling as that sport seemed to be filled with thin and weak individuals. He felt he could fit in with, and then look down upon, this group of social misfits.

After not showing any remarkable talent for cycling, Gunderson decided that if you can’t do one sport well, may as well do three poorly, and entered his first triathlon. As is customary for anyone new to this hybrid sport where you swim in your cycling shorts, cycle in your running shorts, and run in your own excrement, Gunderson was required by the governing body to have one of his testicles removed, as anyone with balls wouldn’t be seen dead in Speedos on a bike. His coach ‘Calm’ Chris Michaels reassured Gunderson that he was no less of a man than any other triathlete, and that in a few years he should be able to ‘grow a pair’ and look other athletes in the eye and lie through his teeth. Michaels would present Laurence with a morning ‘breakfast cocktail’ of vitamins which he said would help grow back the missing appendage within a few years, at least by the time he was ready to be having sex with women who looked like his mother. Gunderson soon earned the nickname ‘Juan’, referring not only to his woman-who-look-like-his-mother-izing ways, but also his solo stone.

But something didn’t feel right to Gunderson; he was 16, had one nut, was riddled with acne and hair was growing from places it hadn’t before. Like his palm. But he was beating triathletes with many more years experience and talent, and could lift a small car off the ground using only his tongue. Coach Michaels thought that this sort of power could be better used being channelled into one sport, rather than three, so he gave Gunderson the choice. He chose swimming, but after ten minutes of “are you kidding? that’s not even a sport, it’s like cooling off on a hot day”, Gunderson accepted the threats and chose cycling.

The time was the early 90s, and looking back now we know that it was a period of upheaval in the sport. New training methods were being used, and cyclist’s bodies were changing too. Many were getting physically bigger, a phenomenon put down to widespread consumption of red meat in this formerly clean and healthy vegetarian-dominated sport. Gunderson hated meat, he couldn’t even touch it, as it made him feel ‘icky’. He likened it to some people’s fear of hypodermic needles, yet this wasn’t a problem for Gunderson. Meat though, eww. Gunderson vowed he would take on those ‘frog-leg eating… frogs’ on their own turf, on his own terms, and show them. A few good results came in the first year, but in his second season he was constantly getting dropped by the Euros, and he became increasingly desperate for a solution. He sought  out the services of infamous Italian butcher ‘Dr’ Aldo Lamborghini, and his results started to pick up again. Many believed Lamborghini was administering red meat to his his riders, a claim he refuted by saying all he gave them was litres of orange juice a day. “It’s no worse than injecting EPO” he said, before retreating into a walk-in freezer marked ‘juice storage only’.

Juan was now making a name for himself as a cyclist of some talent, winning semi-Classics like Flesh-Wallow and the Palmolive Gold Race, but his big break came when he took out the Whirled Championship road race at the tender age of 21. Only 16 other riders had accomplished this feat, so the calls of next big thing had been heard before and seemed more like a smokescreen for his remarkable rise from good rider to fairly good rider. He managed to win a stage at the biggest race in the world, le Lap de France, after a teammate died from an orange juice overdose and the peloton let Gunderson ride away the next day as a mark of respect. Even though Gunderson celebrated like he’d done something truly remarkable, everyone knew this would be as far as he would get in the biggest race on the calendar. He was never touted as a future Lap winner.

Then, in 1996, Juan started to feel something wasn’t right with his health. Had all the orange juice that Lamborghini administered been having a negative affect? He’d always wondered why the juice was colored red rather than orange, and tasted like blood. Lamborghini would always just shrug and say the juice was from blood oranges, a feasible explanation as far as Juan was concerned. Anyway, the Euros were doing it, so Juan had to do it to keep up. Then, one morning while out training, Gunderson’s lone testicle started to ache and swelled to the size of a cashew. Was it from something the 16-year-old-who-looked-like-his-mum that he’d banged the night before had done? Had he made one too many bad cyclocross remounts while he practiced riding across a field dodging fallen Spanish riders ‘just in case’? Gunderson had no time to think of the causes, and found himself in Bostin, Taxes hospital that afternoon.

The doctors were concerned, and asked Gunderson if he’d ever tried to enhance his testicles by false means, by injecting silicone, golf balls, Kinder Surprises or by eating red meat. Witnesses such as teammate Andy Frankeu (conjoined twins who were later separated to become the Schleck sisters) claim they heard Gunderson tell the doctors he had eaten “steak, sausages, 2 or 3 lamb chops a day, even experimented with liver and kidneys but they were ‘kinda gross'”. He was given a 5% chance of being a likable person again. Gunderson liked those odds.

After six months of intense colonic irrigation, glasses of wheatgrass every morning, and an apple a day, the doctor was finally kept away. Gunderson returned to training and racing, and sucked from the get go. This is where any man with any respect should’ve just given up and gone to live on the ranch with his mum and his wife-who-looked-just-like-his-mum. But no, Gunderson was made of sterner stuff, and decided that he’d not only race the Lap of France, he would win a stage. Others laughed. “Haha, Gunderson? He can’t climb, or descend, or time trial, or even stuff his jersey with bidons properly.” So when in 99 he took out 4th in the prologue, the cycling world sat up and took notice. And so did the rest of the real world. The man with no balls, who’d survived and beaten his horrible affliction of being a meat-eating asshole, was now the media darling, the miracle man, the saviour of this once meat-tainted sport. And all on orange juice. When he was caught with a sirloin in his shorts after a stage, he escaped sanction when he explained the cut was only there to ease pressure on a saddle sore.

Coming 4th in a stage of the Lap is a huge achievement for any pro racer, but doing it with no balls is remarkable. So when Gunderson won another stage the next year, the cycling world really went into a spin. Which was what Gunderson put his amazing transformation down to. He had not only lost half a kilogram when he was in hospital, but he’d been advised by ‘Calm’ Chris Michaels that he should slow his pedaling down to around 32 rpm, using a low gear and hanging on to the window sill of the Lap director’s car at every opportunity. They wouldn’t care, they’d turn a blind eye because they wanted the miracle man to be the story, not the means as to how he became a miracle man. Everyone saw him do it, and no-one said a thing.

The next year was even more astounding, as Gunderson proved his stage win was no fluke by taking another, this time on the famed Alp d’Ooze. He flashed his now famous ‘look’ at the most talented rider in the race, and known meat eater, Lars Ullrich. Not wanting others to feel bad that he was the best (even though he’d tell anyone who’d listen otherwise) he ‘made a donation’ to rival Paolo Mankini on the Von2, allowing him to roll over the line first while pointing and yelling out “I let him win, I’m still better.”

When Gunderson equalled the record of 5 stage wins held by the greats Edward Smirkx, Benny HeyNow, Michael Injuredbrain and Jack Drunketil the fairytale was complete. The poor kid raised by a single mum, with no balls and only orange juice and talent on his side had equalled the best. No one would ever top that, ever. Not someone who was a semi-Classics specialist. No way.

But as we found out this week, Gunderson did go on to win a further two stages, and etch his name in the visitor’s book at the Lap museum in Tournai, rural France (or is it Belgium? Not sure, somewhere close to the border). But questions were being asked; how could someone do this all on orange juice, when the rivals he was beating were known meat eaters? Was it really the half a kilogram he’d lost when he had his second testicle removed? Was it the slower cadence? Or the hour and a half of training he put in every Tuesday, Thursday and two hours on Saturday, if there wasn’t something else on? Gunderson repeatedly repeated what he’d been repeating before; he’d never eaten meat, and had never tested positive for likability. Former teammates, who had been caught with their own hands in the freezer, started to give accounts of Gunderson’s rampant carnivorism. Tales of barbeques at the team hotel, ham sandwiches on the team bus, rendezvous’ with strange men on motorcycles in the night carrying mini chilly bins, plastic cutlery found in rubbish bins… the evidence was mounting. All the while Gunderson maintained the line, “never eaten a steak”.

That his teammates all say they’ve seen him eating meat didn’t seem to matter to the public, so admiring of his work with the Eatstrong Foundation he helped set up they are. Former leiutenant and bestest buddy Big Harry Georges has even stated that “Juan cooked for me all the time. Usually steak, after he saw RdV in A Sunday in Hell mucking down on a t-bone before Paris Roubaix. He became obsessed. “If that’s what the Euros do to win, then that’s what I’m gonna do” he’d say, poking me in the chest with a tenderizer to emphasize his point. It got scary. I had to eat meat too, or Juan said I was off the team and would never be able to walk into a butcher’s again.” Another, Tylor Phony, said Gunderson actually ate the unborn twin foetus from his pregnant dog, slicing it open and ripping it from the dying pet in front of Phony’s eyes. “It was like he was possessed, he just kept screaming “We’re gonna win tomorrow, we’re on a mission from Dog!” It really freaked me out, and I was too scared to tell anyone.”

So after years of rumors, which became hearsay, which became sworn testimony, it should’ve been no surprise to anyone that Gunderson was finally charged with meat doping offenses this week. The writing has been on the specials blackboard for years, and now his goose was cooked. In a nice sherry sauce with baby potatoes and spinach. So why do the public still seem divided? It’s easy. There are two types of people in the world; carnivores and vegetarians. The carnivores rule the earth, due to their belief they possess superior strength from all the blood, gristle and fat. The vegetarians are morally pure and in better health, but find it futile to offer any defense. Therefore the carnivores feel like they are right because they can yell louder, for longer, all while maintaining a facade of purity and do-gooding by using their meat-funded lifestyles to prop up charities like Eatstrong, and hiding their rampant abuse, killing and eating of animals. Gunderson still maintains that he “never ate a steak” and he has done more to support community gardens in Bostin than any other former pro cyclist with no nuts. He calls the meat-doping investigation a “which cunt?” and that he’s the cunt which they are unfairly targeting.

I don’t think we’ve heard the last of L.E. Gunderson. He may have lost his 7 stage wins, but he’s still a winner in the duped public’s eyes. He’s always stated; “I’ll never give up, because not finishing something is kinda like quitting, and I’ve never left even a strip of fat on my plate, ever.” If this makes it to the Pie Court, it could be a bloodbath.

// Evanescent Riders

  1. @itburns

    @scaler911

    But yes, let’s move on. I could give two shits about Lance.

    When did you double your amount of admiration?

    Just recently.

  2. @itburns That’s right, there was some discussion about the “could give” vs “couldn’t give” thingy recently. But more to the point, rather to clarify my position: it’s old news, and I don’t care about Lance except to correct statements like “he never failed a drug test”.

  3. @the Engine

     

    I threaten my malfunctioning stuff with a revolver and if it still doesn’t work I shoot it and buy a new one

    There’s just not enough situations where you can use the term ‘revolver’, salute sir!

  4. @Ron

    (1) tubualars for cross

    (2) ride to the start of the ride

    (3) V-meter.

  5. If you are still interested in where this whole thing is going (I am), listen to this. If you’ve had enough already, don’t listen as you’ll just get depressed.

    http://velocastcc.squarespace.com/race-radio/2012/8/27/lance-armstrong-special-edition.html

    Highlights include:

    1. The UCI is fucked. If they ratify the USADA decision, the admit their own corruption. If they don’t ratify, cycling is out of the Olympics.

    2. The US federal case was ALLEGEDLY stopped via pressure from a congressman with family ties to LA.

    3. LA was introduced to Dr Ferrari by Eddy Merckx.

     

  6. @meursault

    @the Engine

    I threaten my malfunctioning stuff with a revolver and if it still doesn’t work I shoot it and buy a new one

    There’s just not enough situations where you can use the term ‘revolver’, salute sir!

    One always uses a revolver – automatics are unsafe and ungentlemanly

  7. @scaler911: and guys like you are the reason that guys like me are, 40 years after Merckx was tossed from a Grand Tour for doping, still confronted in America with idiots screaming at us out of car windows.  There’s no chance for a bike culture to establish itself in America because cycling people can’t let go and get the problems solved.

    Put it to you this way:  Football had its doping problems.  Lyle Alzado probably used so much hgh and steroids that he grew an extra ball or two.  The league figured that was bad for business and got something done about it.  It wasn’t a huge effort but it was enough.  When a running back or receiver has a great game theres never a shadow or question hanging about….nobody is wondering if drugs were involved.  I don’t believe coverage of the Tour made it past the prologue before that skeleton came rattling out of the closet for all to see.

    Football and baseball managed to establish a regimen (not perfect by any stretch) without destroying the entire enterprise.  I don’t care what the details are but I can tell you this: I’m tired of just finding it easier to deny I follow professional cycling than to explain it to friends.  This entire debate is idiotic.  Fix it for fucks sake!

  8. @Doodles

    I’d wager my right nut that there is far less doping in professional cycling today than there is in the NFL.  Hell, my left nut too. The difference between the NFL and cycling is that one is well run under a single league authority and everybody has a collective interest in keeping the story under wraps.  The governance of professional cycling on the other hand is a complete mess.

  9. @Doodles

    @scaler911: and guys like you are the reason that guys like me are, 40 years after Merckx was tossed from a Grand Tour for doping, still confronted in America with idiots screaming at us out of car windows.  There’s no chance for a bike culture to establish itself in America because cycling people can’t let go and get the problems solved.

    Put it to you this way:  Football had its doping problems.  Lyle Alzado probably used so much hgh and steroids that he grew an extra ball or two.  The league figured that was bad for business and got something done about it.  It wasn’t a huge effort but it was enough.  When a running back or receiver has a great game theres never a shadow or question hanging about….nobody is wondering if drugs were involved.  I don’t believe coverage of the Tour made it past the prologue before that skeleton came rattling out of the closet for all to see.

    Football and baseball managed to establish a regimen (not perfect by any stretch) without destroying the entire enterprise.  I don’t care what the details are but I can tell you this: I’m tired of just finding it easier to deny I follow professional cycling than to explain it to friends.  This entire debate is idiotic.  Fix it for fucks sake!

    1. you do realise that “non-cycling” people are the ones who brought this action against Lance. “Cycling people” like Pat McQuaid have been doing their darndest to let it go.

    2. You can only blame Scaler if transvestites yell shit at you when you ride – dont worry, you will understand soon enough.

     

  10. @Doodles

    Guys like me are the reason you’re getting yelled at out on the road? You’ve been cycling for a whole 4 years? I met LA in the early 90’s when he was an amateur for Motorola and I was on the Chev/ LA Sheriff development team. He’s a egomaniac, that’s why I don’t like him. Don’t care about wether or not he used PED’s, he’s a dick.

    Bike culture is established here in the US more than ever (did you happen to see the crowds at TOC or the recent US Pro Challange? Rivals some Euro races). Most of that is, IMHO, directly attributed to Lance. That doesn’t mean I have to like him.

    If you find it easier to deny being a fan than to explain pro cycling and it’s ups and downs to your buddies that follow NASCAR, then it’s you that are contributing to the misunderstanding of our sport, not me.

  11. @Marcus

    Nipple lube!

    That’s just going to follow me around forever isn’t it?

  12. @scaler911 (Doodles) Could really use a guy like “911” riding up to yell shit at me about my riding. It would help my form.

  13. @scaler911

    @Marcus

    Nipple lube!

    That’s just going to follow me around forever isn’t it?

    and then some.

    Pretty sure Marcus will try as hard as possible to make sure your headstone reads:

    “He couldn’t tell a boy from a girl, but hell he could ride a bike”

  14. @scaler911:  and exactly.  Thanks bro!  You’ll always be right and cycling will always be limited to 5,000 fans in a population of 300 million.  Brilliant.  I appreciate your dedication to your hatred of a single figure in what could be a huge sport.

  15. @Doodles You are heading into trouble here.

  16. @Doodles

    @scaler911:  and exactly.  Thanks bro!  You’ll always be right and cycling will always be limited to 5,000 fans in a population of 300 million.  Brilliant.  I appreciate your dedication to your hatred of a single figure in what could be a huge sport.

    Take a pill champ – in spite of the current lance drug issue, cycling is growing, even in your insular country upon which you seem to be solely focused. Take a look across the pond and elsewhere. Cycling is already a huge sport. And there have always been drug issues in it – long before your domestic sports like US football, baseball and NASCAR started juicing.

    Around here, you should temper your sarcasm/aggression with humor – lest someone give you a whack for spouting on about cycling from a position of extreme ignorance.

    And your attitude towards Scaler is unbecoming. You wouldn’t treat a woman like that, would you?

  17. Really funny piece, though the part referring to Casartelli I didn’t particularly enjoy

    @Bianchi Denti

    It was more than that, Merckx had to persuade Ferrari to work with him. Can read all about the good doctor here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/32068763/Paging-Doctor-Ferrari-by-Bill-Gifford

  18. @daniel

    Really funny piece, though the part referring to Casartelli I didn’t particularly enjoy

    Yeah, that was a hard one to write in, wasn’t sure about it, but then I thought the orange juice od didn’t seem too harsh. It is satire, after all, and even in satire, people die.

    @Doodles

    Llamas.

  19. @Marcus

    @Doodles

    @scaler911:  and exactly.  Thanks bro!  You’ll always be right and cycling will always be limited to 5,000 fans in a population of 300 million.  Brilliant.  I appreciate your dedication to your hatred of a single figure in what could be a huge sport.

    Take a pill champ – in spite of the current lance drug issue, cycling is growing, even in your insular country upon which you seem to be solely focused. Take a look across the pond and elsewhere. Cycling is already a huge sport. And there have always been drug issues in it – long before your domestic sports like US football, baseball and NASCAR started juicing.

    Around here, you should temper your sarcasm/aggression with humor – lest someone give you a whack for spouting on about cycling from a position of extreme ignorance.

    And your attitude towards Scaler is unbecoming. You wouldn’t treat a woman like that, would you?

    Doodles, if there was anyone to learn from in regards to ranting towards others it’s Marcus.

    Perhaps work on building a little more of a profile among the community (and perhaps get a little credit in the bank) here before coming in swinging…lest you come across as a complete knob
    .

  20. Can I also recommend to Doodles and others this piece at Sports Scientists.

    http://www.sportsscientists.com

    Stepping away from the analytical side where they clarify some of the bullshit, they make an interesting point about the “It’s all in the past, let’s just leave it” argument.

    Given the common knowledge that dopers are usually one or two steps ahead of testers, samples are now kept to be tested in the future – so the message from letting LA of the hook now would be that it’s OK to dope as long as you don’t get caught any time soon.

    Until I thought about it that way I was all for letting him keep his titles but it’s a good point.

  21. @Doodles

    @scaler911:  and exactly.  Thanks bro!  You’ll always be right and cycling will always be limited to 5,000 fans in a population of 300 million.  Brilliant.  I appreciate your dedication to your hatred of a single figure in what could be a huge sport.

    WTF are you even talking about? At the Santa Rosa stage of the TOC, there were 35,000 people there. Shit, at a local crit here in Portland, there were 12-15,000 lining the course. The Cross Crusade series draws over 2,500 athletes per event. Cascade Classic in Bend, the whole town basically shuts down (Population 76,000).

    Quit focusing on me and my (and many others here) dislike of Lance. Fuck him, and unless you’re going to bring something relevant to the conversation, fuck you too.

    Like a few others here have said, you’re new to the sport and really new to following it. As such there’s a great wealth of information to be learned here and shared. And unlike the title of a certain book; it IS all about the bike.

  22. @daniel

    Really funny piece, though the part referring to Casartelli I didn’t particularly enjoy

    @Bianchi Denti

    It was more than that, Merckx had to persuade Ferrari to work with him. Can read all about the good doctor here – http://www.scribd.com/doc/32068763/Paging-Doctor-Ferrari-by-Bill-Gifford

    Fascinating article. Thanks @daniel.

  23. @Mikael Liddy

    @scaler911

    @Marcus

    Nipple lube!

    That’s just going to follow me around forever isn’t it?

    and then some.

    Pretty sure Marcus will try as hard as possible to make sure your headstone reads:

    “He couldn’t tell a boy from a girl, but hell he could ride a bike”

    Perfect. So long as he, Frank and Minion are there and some of my ashes get spread around alp d’huez, I’ll be happy.

  24. dude. I’d probably be taking a leak off the side of the cliff while your ashes are being scattered. (“Mingling”.) I’ve got a knack for incredibly poor timing, just ask anyone who has met, conversed, worked with or heard of me.

    Doodles did bury a good point in there, but there is a lot to this topic and frankly I find the whole thing fascinating. There’s no doubt Lance is a massive cunzor and cheated his arse off. The two sides of the conversation, IMO are irreconcilable, the Lance fans are going to think he’s been treated unfairly, while the rest of us have probably been expecting it for a while and think he’s getting what he deserves. There is an absolute shitstorm of information brewing around Lance now though; not just related to his doping, but there seems to be a race to publish anecdotes and stories about Lance that make him look a right arrogant wanker c**t. Makes me think there’s a lot of people in cycling with an axe to grind, and now that Lance’s influence is waning, it’s time to take a good crack at him.

    As far as cycling being restricted in popularity in the USA because everyone is being mean to Lance, rest assured the rest of the world doesn’t give a shit. Without a cheating ex – 7 time TDF champ, and Floyd Landis, you’ve got one grand tour win and possibly a couple of world championships. Roughly the same as Canada. 99 percent of our day to day riding has absolutely nothing to do with the pros, so don’t let what they do have any impact whatsoever on how much you enjoy your pastime.

  25. @minion

    dude. I’d probably be taking a leak off the side of the cliff while your ashes are being scattered. (“Mingling”.) I’ve got a knack for incredibly poor timing, just ask anyone who has met, conversed, worked with or heard of me.

    Doodles did bury a good point in there, but there is a lot to this topic and frankly I find the whole thing fascinating. There’s no doubt Lance is a massive cunzor and cheated his arse off. The two sides of the conversation, IMO are irreconcilable, the Lance fans are going to think he’s been treated unfairly, while the rest of us have probably been expecting it for a while and think he’s getting what he deserves. There is an absolute shitstorm of information brewing around Lance now though; not just related to his doping, but there seems to be a race to publish anecdotes and stories about Lance that make him look a right arrogant wanker c**t. Makes me think there’s a lot of people in cycling with an axe to grind, and now that Lance’s influence is waning, it’s time to take a good crack at him.

    As far as cycling being restricted in popularity in the USA because everyone is being mean to Lance, rest assured the rest of the world doesn’t give a shit. Without a cheating ex – 7 time TDF champ, and Floyd Landis, you’ve got one grand tour win and possibly a couple of world championships. Roughly the same as Canada. 99 percent of our day to day riding has absolutely nothing to do with the pros, so don’t let what they do have any impact whatsoever on how much you enjoy your pastime.

     
  26. @scaler911

    @Marcus

    Nipple lube!

    That’s just going to follow me around forever isn’t it?

    I sure hope so!

  27. @Doodles

    @scaler911: and guys like you are the reason that guys like me are, 40 years after Merckx was tossed from a Grand Tour for doping, still confronted in America with idiots screaming at us out of car windows.  There’s no chance for a bike culture to establish itself in America because cycling people can’t let go and get the problems solved.

    Put it to you this way:  Football had its doping problems.  Lyle Alzado probably used so much hgh and steroids that he grew an extra ball or two.  The league figured that was bad for business and got something done about it.  It wasn’t a huge effort but it was enough.  When a running back or receiver has a great game theres never a shadow or question hanging about….nobody is wondering if drugs were involved.  I don’t believe coverage of the Tour made it past the prologue before that skeleton came rattling out of the closet for all to see.

    Football and baseball managed to establish a regimen (not perfect by any stretch) without destroying the entire enterprise.  I don’t care what the details are but I can tell you this: I’m tired of just finding it easier to deny I follow professional cycling than to explain it to friends.  This entire debate is idiotic.  Fix it for fucks sake!

    You’re catching a lot of shit, and its been amusing as hell, but as @Minion said, there are some good points buried in what you’re saying.

    This thing you’re talking about is the classic perception issue; Cycling has shown over and over that it’s profoundly good at dropping the soap in the prison shower of Public Opinion.

    Football, baseball, etc test just enough to shut people up and, from what I’ve understood, provide ample notice to the athletes to ensure they have sufficient time to clear the air prior to the test. Kind of like a stoner and the drug test to pass an interview.

    I think if you want to look at how Cycling and other sports differ, you have to look no further than Hope Solo’s positive for a diuretic days before the Olympics and Fränk Schleck’s positive for the same during the Tour. Schleck was thrown off the Tour at a minimum, and will likely serve a ban of some kind – two years at the maximum. Solo, on the other hand, was given a warning and was allowed to compete in the Olympics (and help the women’s football team win Gold.) Not only that, but even the US press was all over Schleck, and hardly a word was breathed about Solo – and I certainly heard no mention of it  during any of the actual matches.

  28. Great piece Brett! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    @frank

    @Doodles

    @scaler911: and guys like you are the reason that guys like me are, 40 years after Merckx was tossed from a Grand Tour for doping, still confronted in America with idiots screaming at us out of car windows.  There’s no chance for a bike culture to establish itself in America because cycling people can’t let go and get the problems solved.

    Put it to you this way:  Football had its doping problems.  Lyle Alzado probably used so much hgh and steroids that he grew an extra ball or two.  The league figured that was bad for business and got something done about it.  It wasn’t a huge effort but it was enough.  When a running back or receiver has a great game theres never a shadow or question hanging about….nobody is wondering if drugs were involved.  I don’t believe coverage of the Tour made it past the prologue before that skeleton came rattling out of the closet for all to see.

    Football and baseball managed to establish a regimen (not perfect by any stretch) without destroying the entire enterprise.  I don’t care what the details are but I can tell you this: I’m tired of just finding it easier to deny I follow professional cycling than to explain it to friends.  This entire debate is idiotic.  Fix it for fucks sake!

    You’re catching a lot of shit, and its been amusing as hell, but as @Minion said, there are some good points buried in what you’re saying.

    This thing you’re talking about is the classic perception issue; Cycling has shown over and over that it’s profoundly good at dropping the soap in the prison shower of Public Opinion.

    Football, baseball, etc test just enough to shut people up and, from what I’ve understood, provide ample notice to the athletes to ensure they have sufficient time to clear the air prior to the test. Kind of like a stoner and the drug test to pass an interview.

    I think if you want to look at how Cycling and other sports differ, you have to look no further than Hope Solo’s positive for a diuretic days before the Olympics and Fränk Schleck’s positive for the same during the Tour. Schleck was thrown off the Tour at a minimum, and will likely serve a ban of some kind – two years at the maximum. Solo, on the other hand, was given a warning and was allowed to compete in the Olympics (and help the women’s football team win Gold.) Not only that, but even the US press was all over Schleck, and hardly a word was breathed about Solo – and I certainly heard no mention of it  during any of the actual matches.

    I think Frank is getting at a really important point here. Anyone who thinks that pro baseball, football and, as much as it pains my Canuck heart to acknowledge it, hockey have a good handle on doping in their respective sports is, in my opinion, delusional. However, these sports have addressed the issue of doping very differently from how it is being addressed in cycling. Last year, George Laraque (former NHL “enforcer”) made accusations in his book about widespread doping in the NHL. Not only were his accusations summarily dismissed and his credibility immediately questioned, but the media devoted precious little attention to the story and quickly swept the whole matter under the rug.

    Personally, I still have trouble figuring out what I think should happen to LA and his titles. Having just read The Death of Marco Pantani, my mind has been on questions of doping in cycling over the past few days. But, as that book and many other books and articles (including JV’s recent piece in the NY Times) show, the issue is extremely complicated. And simple solutions (i.e. “just throw the rider under the bus,” or “let’s just forget the whole mess and move on”) seem incongruent with the vast web of issues and actors that are, or were, involved.

  29. @scaler911

    Genius! Laffin my fricken ass off. SWMBO asked what I was laughing at and had no idea scattering of ashes could be so funny.

    @frank

    Cycling has shown over and over that it’s profoundly good at dropping the soap in the prison shower of Public Opinion.

    I think that phrase sums up volumes.

  30. @minion

    @scaler911

    Genius! Laffin my fricken ass off. SWMBO asked what I was laughing at and had no idea scattering of ashes could be so funny.

    @frank

    Cycling has shown over and over that it’s profoundly good at dropping the soap in the prison shower of Public Opinion.

    I think that phrase sums up volumes.

    The Dude Abides. On a related note, my first name is Don (relatives and a few friends call me Donnie).

  31. Liggett has lost the fucking plot.

    Someone needs to drag this dinosaur before a court and get him to open his Suitcase of Corruption. He’s in this up to his eyeballs.

  32. @brett agreed – usually his stupidity is harmless. Here are a few pearls:

    – he said Hamilton committed perjury (!?)

    – He says Eddy has a clean record – except for testing poz…
    – He calls USADA a “nefarious local drugs agency”.

  33. @brett Yarp. The emperor’s clothes have gone, so to speak and now you’re seeing the people who have skin in the game, or are massively naive, make fools of themselves. Wonderful to watch, it’s not something you get to see in public very often.

  34. @Marcus

    @brett agreed – usually his stupidity is harmless. Here are a few pearls:

    – he said Hamilton committed perjury (!?)

    – He says Eddy has a clean record – except for testing poz…
    – He calls USADA a “nefarious local drugs agency”.

    Hopefully he has commentated his last bike race (outside America anyway). I bet Paul keeps his mouth shut – the empire will soon be his (mwah ha haaaa).

  35. A couple of retorts, from Podium Cafe and Michael Ashenden

  36. Liggett & Armstrong are both partners in Sherwen’s gold mine, safe to say there’s every reason you need to never take anything Phil & Paul have to say on Lance seriously…

  37. Hmmm, it seems his interviewer isn’t exactly running high when it comes to journalistic creditibility at the moment…he just got fired for a rascist slur during his radio show.

    http://www.channel24.co.za/News/Local/Racism-got-Darren-Scott-fired-not-pressure-20110915

  38. @brett

    A couple of retorts, from Podium Cafe and Michael Ashenden

    The Ashenden article is particularly good.

    A little part of me died last night when I read what Liggett had to say, and for that matter having Merckx defend Armstrong a few days ago.
    I don’t think i’ll ever listen to a bike race in the same way now…

  39. I couldn’t believe how many simple facts he got wrong. Even if you are an Armstrong supporter or a Liggett fan most of the things he said sounded like he was making them up as he spoke, and even the most cursory follower of the saga would have known more about the issue than he appeared to.

  40. Take a few days off from posting and miss all kinds of action around here! Lesson learned.

     Anyway….poor,poor Phil.  I’ve been thinking about this Lance stuff for a couple days and my feeling around this is just numbness.  I know he doped. I believe that dope alone won’t win you grand tours, though,  I think many others doped, too. I’m surprised that he has people defending him, as I thought all assumed guilt.  I think he is scary, cut throat, step on your corpse to get what he wants (this win at all costs mindset is often adored in the states).  I think he inspired many. I think he lied often.  All these things are obvious, but it leaves me in a weird camp: not th “love lance” group, but not the “hate lance” group. Just the disappointed.

  41. @brett

    A couple of retorts, from Podium Cafe and Michael Ashenden

    Good stuff there Bretto.

  42. @Mikael Liddy

    Liggett & Armstrong are both partners in Sherwen’s gold mine, safe to say there’s every reason you need to never take anything Phil & Paul have to say on Lance seriously…

    yeah, the COTHO knew his business when he bought Auntie Phil and Uncle Paul.  I guess his multimillion dollar PR team that  he has had on payroll for over a decade has paid off.  But what a bummer as I own soooooooo many WCP DVDs and have to listen to them onthe rollers over and over again.

  43. @huffalotpuffalot

    @All Whilst surfing youtube during a busy day at work today i found this little beauty. That is what I call big ringin’ it.

    Can you imagine the speed Chris Hoy would have reached?

  44. BTW Fuck Velonews. Cyclingnews has had significant new developments on Lance and increasingly the doping situation every day. Velonews has a leading story about how a baseball organiser got the players into a lobby group. Almost unbelievable, but fucking useless anyway.

  45. @minion

    Yes, cyclingnews seems to be pretty well balanced on the whole… here’s a well written article on the Omerta from Daniel Benson.

  46. A statement from George Hincapie:

    http://www.georgehincapie.com/news/Statement-from-George-Hincapie

  47. @G’rilla
    Picture 7 is the keeper, BIg Jens in the background looking cool as cucumber and patently not eating anything!

  48. I haven’t watched this, but apparently this is an Irish TV interview with Pat McQuaid where he denies a bunch of stuff and makes up stories about doping during his tenure. Starts halfway through:

    http://www.rte.ie/playerxl/#v=10156917

  49. Opening this week: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/sony/thearmstronglie/

    Some filmmakers followed Mr. Gunderson during his comeback in 2009, then used that footage to make a documentary after he came out to Oprah.

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