The Lexicon: A Retraction

The Lexicon: A Retraction

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The recent headlines being made in the cycling world have honestly not garnered a whole lot of attention at V-HQ, at least where a certain COTHO is concerned. Yes, The Keepers have added to the usual discussions on the topic here, read the news, and given it some thought. But we really don’t feel the need to take any sort of official position, recap the whole sordid mess, or offer up any ideas on how to move forward. Just as you all contribute positively to this place in ways we couldn’t possibly have envisioned when we started, the cycling community as a whole will contribute positively to our sport as we grow through this. COTHOS, governing bodies, PED’s, and corruption be damned. We’re here to live La Vie Velominatus.

That being said, we feel the need to retract LeMelvis from the Lexicon as a result of this whole mess. Perhaps the COTHO‘s reach into public opinion went far enough to cloud our judgement of the greatest American cyclist and only American winner of the Tour. It went far enough that we thought it was okay, if not funny, to besmirch his more recent public image. We were wrong and for that we are sorry. Where has LeMond been in the recent tumult? Quiet, letting things speak for themselves. That’s class. The same class he showed when he turned up in Europe as a neo-pro to race with the best as a virtually solitary American. The same class he showed winning three Tours. The same class he showed in the above picture. Vive La Vie, Greg. You’re the man.

As point of clarification, Greg LeMan has maintained its honorary place in the Lexi. We might even put it in bold now.

// General

  1. I don’t know where that link to donate to Paul Kimmage came from or how it came up but that’s awesome! I donated a meager amount, but I hope it helps.

  2. @Oli

    @wiscot Exactly. The words may be a bit clunky but the message is a good one.

    And to @ChrisO , what he’s trying to do here is galvanise the rank and file cyclists via social media, which by his own admission he is unfamiliar with. The tone of the rant was much more understandable when you say it on Facebook! The impact it’s having and the speed with which it’s spreading mean it may be just the call to arms that’s needed…hopefully, anyway.

    Good on him, I reckon.

    YES! I thought that too. “Hey, the guy is a world-class athlete. I’ll forgive him a writing error, or two.” Yup, that just makes it all that more awesome that he thought about it, wrote it, and let it fly. Who needs editors when you’re LeMAN?

    Oli – yup, good on him! For fucks sakes, I’d rather he writes what he feels and shows how much he cares about RIDING BIKES than issue a “statement” through his lawyer or rep. Fuck you guys. Be honest or fuck off.

    And riding bikes..well, those old photos of him show how pumped he was to ride a bike, anywhere, anytime. Ha, riding because he can’t run in road shoes. Avvesome.

  3. @Marko – great post, and one that has finally motivated me to post.  LeMan was my first inspiration to get on a bike, a used cromoly Nishiki job with Suntour components.  While he may have been long exiled as a voice crying out in the wilderness for the last few years, he has certainly been vindicated.  Chapeau!

  4. @Ron I can’t work whether lemond was Ronning or you were Lemonding. His sentiments are spot on but he has a voice that could have been (and hopefully wil be) conveyed far more effectively than something that appears to have been written by one of us on a bad day.

  5. @David the best piece I have reason this…

  6. @David The best piece I have read so far. From the coal face – with a suggested solution

  7. @David Strong first post.

    It’s odd how some peoples words come across without raising any doubt at all while others complete fail to convey any truth.

    Brad McGee would also seem to strengthen the bit in David Millar’s book where he says he had given up doping before he was caught because he was sick of how it had left him feeling mentally. It probably also supports the suggestion that he may have felt that he needed to be caught.

  8. Just to be clear, my objection is not to the composition or how well it was or wasn’t written. I agree entirely with the sentiment.

    It’s that I think Greg Lemond can do a lot better than ranting on FB. That’s for people like us.

    Look at how many have been coming out and criticising McQuaid et al from Vaughters and the AIGCP to Skins, to the Pure Cycling Movement, Rabobank, even the Aussie cycling federation (although I think that’s just arse covering), David Millar, Robert Millar and many more.

    How much more powerful would it be for Lemond – as one of the primary victims of the Armstrong-UCI cabal – to gather all those anti-McQuaid forces and be a figurehead for a clean-up movement. Write a letter, endorse a statement of principles e.g. independent testing, no-needles, truth and reconciliation, whatever and get 100 people to sign it – he could do that.

    Telling McQuaid to fuck off just allows them to dismiss him as slightly deranged, even if it does get a lot of coverage.

  9. He’s trying to gather forces! He’s deliberately gone for social media, which he’s not a regular user of, to try to get a groundswell behind him…and it’s working! I think you’re being a bit harsh on him, and you should wait to see what results from his open letter.

  10. @David @Marcus it’s another of those great pieces of writing on the subject that both makes you happy for its existence & sad for the fact that the situation existed to drive such a thing to be written. What I don’t get is how that someone with that moral standing (assuming all of what’s written there is legit) then goes on to work with Mr 60 & Clenbutador?

  11. Vindication – for the man.

    Merckx, and anyone else from the old guard should wind their necks in.  They were part of the acceptance of pharmaceutical means of improvement.  Whereas the man pointed to the dirty past and then called out his dirty successors.

    Shame on those who venerate those in the past ‘because they all did it'; you perpetuate the problem by your hero worship.  For cycling to grow we have to call these past dopers out, and say they are not worthy of fandom.

    Condem, clean up, then move on.

  12. @Mikael Liddy

    Bobby Julich says he never saw anything untoward at CSC. http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/10/news/262597_262597

    Also, Contador tested positive with Bruyneel before signing with Saxo.  I wonder though if he wasn’t still on something for the Vuelta, just didn’t get caught.

  13. @Symo

    Shame on those who venerate those in the past ‘because they all did it’; you perpetuate the problem by your hero worship. For cycling to grow we have to call these past dopers out, and say they are not worthy of fandom.

    Condem, clean up, then move on.

    Shame on me for my hero worship and fandom!
    It too easy to condemn. To see the world as black and white. Makes one feel good as well, to wrap oneself in a comforting blanket of condemnation and self righteousness.  No need to analyse, to understand, to think about context.

    But I would argue that that approach is simplistic and blinkered. If you want to condemn Merckx, Simpson, Anquetil, go ahead.  But to do so is to ignore the context and the shades of grey. And the fact that humans and their flaws have been bedfellows since Adam decided he fancied a tasty snack as he wandered naked around the garden of Eden in search of refreshment.

    So yes, I revere them and their exploits at the same time as I can see that (for example) taking amphetamines wasn’t right. Because there was a context. Yes they were doing everything in their power to win. And they went well over the dividing line  between right and wrong in doing so.  But equally the demands on the top cyclists in those days were brutal. The lengths of the races and the numbers of days raced each year was insane. No wonder they looked for stimulants to pick themselves up day after day and be able to race. No wonder they drank alcohol to help dull the pain.

    They also didn’t have the benefits of modern sports physiology to help them.  To the extent that the received wisdom of the day is summed up by the following quote attributed to Tommy Simpson in the excellent book “Put me back on my bike”:

    “Avoid drinking when racing, especially in hot weather. Drink as little as possible, and with the liquid not too cold. It is only a question of will power. When you drink too much you will perspire, and you will lose your strength.”  Little wonder he died.

    It was a different time and place. Does that make it right? No, of course not. But, I’ll continue to worship my heroes and admire their exploits that contributed to illuminating cycling’s history.

    And at the same time, I’ll continue to advocate that cycling needs to clean itself up. On that, we of course agree.  Is that contradictory?  No doubt.. But contradiction is at the heart of the human condition.

    And those shades of grey:  all part of life’s rich tapestry.

  14. @ken Latest song from Rush reminds me.

    “The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect

    So hard to earn, so easily burned.

    In the fullness of time

    A garden to nurture and protect.”

  15. @unversio

    @ken Latest song from Rush reminds me.

    “The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect

    So hard to earn, so easily burned.

    In the fullness of time

    A garden to nurture and protect.”

    Nice one…

    Your reference to Rush was like a blast from the past – used to listen to them in a heavy metal phase in the late 70’s!  Didn’t realise they were still at it.  Life in the old dogs yet!

  16. @ken

    @unversio

    @ken Latest song from Rush reminds me.

    “The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect

    So hard to earn, so easily burned.

    In the fullness of time

    A garden to nurture and protect.”

    Nice one…

    Your reference to Rush was like a blast from the past – used to listen to them in a heavy metal phase in the late 70′s! Didn’t realise they were still at it. Life in the old dogs yet!

    Rush tried so many experimental* approaches to music that they always ended up with a good direction to go in. The song that I referenced The Garden sounds somewhat like their final act — farewell.

  17. @ChrisO

    Just to be clear, my objection is not to the composition or how well it was or wasn’t written. I agree entirely with the sentiment.

    It’s that I think Greg Lemond can do a lot better than ranting on FB. That’s for people like us.

    Look at how many have been coming out and criticising McQuaid et al from Vaughters and the AIGCP to Skins, to the Pure Cycling Movement, Rabobank, even the Aussie cycling federation (although I think that’s just arse covering), David Millar, Robert Millar and many more.

    How much more powerful would it be for Lemond – as one of the primary victims of the Armstrong-UCI cabal – to gather all those anti-McQuaid forces and be a figurehead for a clean-up movement. Write a letter, endorse a statement of principles e.g. independent testing, no-needles, truth and reconciliation, whatever and get 100 people to sign it – he could do that.

    Telling McQuaid to fuck off just allows them to dismiss him as slightly deranged, even if it does get a lot of coverage.

    I can follow with you on this. The sentiment of LeMan is correct and well worthy of statement, but with his legendary status, history of social/media persecution (too strong a word?), and subsequent vindication, he has the real chance to spearhead change and truly gather forces. The best way to do this is not on FB (albeit probably therapeutic), but to create some sort of “coalition of the clean” or some such group (pick your own stupid name), where it can be a sounding board for those speaking out, but also a watchdog for the future of the sport. A third party that says we have our eye squarely on you Pat and Hein. Point being use you LeMan-ess, to formally pull people together, it could also serve as a sign off sheet for the public to have an outlet vs corruption. He should think bigger.

  18. @RedRanger

    Kittel “sick” of Armstrong supporters
    I like this kid

    Yep, awesome.  Putting Marcel Kittel on my favorite riders list….alot of slots came open recently….

  19. This is a good outline.

    L’Equipe, Gazzetta, Het Nieuwsblad and le Soir joining for concerted action with a simple, supportable manifesto.

    No doubt Option B was “No, forget the manifesto, just tell McQuaid to fuck off”.

  20. @RedRanger

    Kittel “sick” of Armstrong supporters
    I like this kid

    Yeah, I like the cut of his jib. Or however Navy fruits say that.

    So who is next on the defend LA farriswheel? Or has it only been the Spanards so far that still have residual kool-aid in the beef?

  21. Don’t know if these made it to the site earlier in the year…but it’s really cool seeing how passionate he still is about bike racing.

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