Roubaix photo-Jakob Kristian Sørensen

The 2013 Anti-V Award

The 2013 Anti-V Award

by / / 75 posts

We reflect on another year of cycling; who has been naughty and who has been nice. The rusty chain award used to go to the biggest tool of the year but that has been folded into the Anti-V award. In years past the rusty chain award usually went to the present day dopers. Multi-year winners like Danilo “triple threat” Di Luca would now be eligible for the Anti-V award. To finally earn a lifetime suspension which should have been issued after his last infraction, that is something. To bring down a whole team because of his cretino behavior, that’s impressive. How many riders, coaches and support staff on Vini-Fantini Selle Italia lose a living because of his bad brain? But really, enough of him and his 2013 doping colleagues, let us leave them behind.

For those who did not read the Freddy Maertens recent interview, please do so before 2013 expires. It’s important to be reminded how tough he and his competitors were. They were racing more and being paid much much less. We have to admire how much Rule #5 was fueled on passion alone. This brings us to another personality in the running this year, Abandy Schleck.

We cannot criticize an injured rider. One can only compete at the professional level with mind and body working in harmony. Abandy seems to be suffering on both sides of the equation. We can criticize him for his lack of professionalism before he was injured. If you are a terrible time trialist and you want to win a stage race that might include time trials, you really should be working at that, even if it slows your awesome climbing talent. Contador was an impressive stage racer when he beat Cancellara in a TdF TT. Ha! When Freddy says today’s pros are paid too much and are too soft, he was winking at the interviewer and using international sign language to spell out “Abandy”.

Specialized threw itself in the running with it’s abysmal treatment of Dan Richter and Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio. CEO Mike Sinyard pulled Specialized out of the top spot for the Anti-V award with a personal apology to Dan and a promise to do business differently in the future. We take people at their word, let’s move on.

What really made us crazy was the notion that corporations have some legal rights to stop anyone to using the word Roubaix. Roubaix is a town in which the world’s most awesome velodrome decides the world’s most awesome bike race. Trek has a trademark on Alpe d’Huez and Specialized (and Fuji) have one for Roubaix? How clever of you. Well, keep it to yourself, leave the cycling community out of it. Cyclists made these places iconic, not lawyers so if want to have a slap fight over trademarks, do it in the privacy of your law offices. If you would like to do this in public, please make your argument in a bar in Northern France, in early April. You are not welcome to ride the secteurs of Roubaix on two wheels. Piss off. And yes, trademark lawyers, We are looking at you, you have earned both our incredulity and the 2013 Anti-V award.

// V-Announcements

  1. Somehow you managed to fall on your head and it ended straight up your ass. Happy New Year!

  2. @unversio

    Somehow you managed to fall on your head and it ended straight up your ass. Happy New Year!

    Is that the best you got? Maybe the comment about your head in the sand got you too butthurt to come up with a clever rebuttal.

    Try taking some Provigil or amphetamines bro. You’ll do better next time.

  3. The Keepers, the lurkers, and all the rest of us plebs [sic] have been told. I feel as if a weight has been lifted.

  4. @PeakInTwoYears

    plebs [sic]

    It’s a word bro Nice try with the net sarcasm though. It’s about as easy to catch as doping.

  5. @crucible

    Fascinating post. Can you now tell us why eyewear arms are worn over helmet straps?

  6. I think it is more commonly spelled “plebe.” I think this is because, given the conventions of English pronunciation, the lack of the silent “e” would suggest that it is pronounced “plehb,” which it isn’t.

    Stick around, though, and read some of the contributions to the site, if you have time, and you’ll find an interesting range and complexity of perspectives on doping. Then, maybe, you’ll begin to hear the discordant note that your initial contributions strike. Or not. It’s entirely up to you, obviously.

  7. @PeakInTwoYears

    Ha! I withdraw my spelling complaint. The Oxford English Dictionary includes both spellings. I love little discoveries like that.

  8. @crucible

    Ok, ok, jesus, take it down a fucking notch already. Believe me, this discussion is an on-going one here on this site. Is Sky or Garmin for real or not, yes we would all like to know. I would like knowing more of your background before I can believe anyone saying “Trust me, I know”. Someone close to a team doctor would have such a depth of knowledge as you. Riders might not be that smart.

    I would hope the biological passport might be of some use here. Anyone racing close to a 50 hematocrit should be highly suspect. I’ve had mine checked many, many times, as a plasma donor and I’m always around 43-44%. Never higher.

    Thanks for checking in, I’m not convinced but glad to have your point of view.

  9. @crucible Bro… I’m speechless.

  10. @Gianni

    What do you need to be convinced? For a professional team, the logic couldn’t be simpler:

    1. Will it give our athletes a demonstrable, competitive advantage?

    2. If yes, can we acquire the methods/substances employed?

    3. If yes, can we avoid detection if said methods/substances are banned?

    If you made it this far without any nays, congratulations! You just got an unfair advantage over the competition thanks to better strategizing and the tacit culture of ignorance doping “authorities” impose by rushing to ban anything and everything before they can figure out how to test for it, let alone the possibility that your team is gonna use it while the rest of the huddled masses look on.

    Anti-doping culture is willful ignorance, the complicity with elitism, and class warfare at every level. The haves and the have nots play out a rigged game for your amusement. You think Team Sky would appreciate WADA temporarily making undetectable substances legal as part of a pilot program designed to study how the drugs were being used in competitive sports, only applying retroactive bans to athletes later who didn’t come forward as part of a temporary amnesty agreement? Obviously this would speed up research for developing testing protocols, as well as help the officials and greater sporting community stay informed on who was using what.

    You see, neither WADA nor Sky would appreciate such a logical approach, because it would make doping officials look “soft” and level the playing field for elite teams. None of them want for differing reasons, so the tacit collusion remains. Better to keep everyone blissfully ignorant and make an example out of some has beens every ten years or so, since public beatings haven’t gone out of style.

    The money is on doping, no matter what perspective you look at it from, and it’s never going to stop.

  11. Logically, it seems to me that if the money is on doping and always will be it doesn’t make a ton of sense to do backflips working out new testing protocols for currently undetectable substances. Wouldn’t that be merely another instance of “anti-doping culture”? Just another escalation of an elitist, class-based chemical arms race to the bottom of something or other?

    I thought we were reaming patent lawyers, here, anyway. Way more fun. Some Assos model is about to make an appearance, I predict.

  12. The Roubaix thing is just Spesh’s most recent douchebaggery. They tried to bury Volagi a few years ago as well. Because the curved top tube and black and red are trademarked. Or something.

  13. Here here! It’s was the douchbag attitudes of Spech’s lawyers (being rude and unhelpful) that caused all the shit. It appears Dan, realising his mistake tried to work privately with the lawyers to sort it out but they apparently refused.  That being the case deserve the award

    That said; It’s moot whether a town name can be registered or not. If anything, the name that both Spech and Café Roubaix are trading, and profitingoff was brought to the status it has today by the Paris-Roubaix race and really they owe the owners of it for their sales. That said, anyone who wants to sell anything needs to take 30 seconds to do a (free, internet based) trade mark search before attaching it to a saleable good. Its not sufficient to say “oh, I never thought a town name could be trade marked, I’m a small trader so you should leave me alone”. Who’s to say he’ll stay small and if they allow him, do they allow all comers? Also fail to see what the fact that he’s a vet has any bearing on the issue. I love he fact that it’s always “oh the big guy is smashing the little guy”. Bull shit, regardless of size, it’s simply one company protecting their profits by preventing others from trading off their tm’s regardless of their size. If someone started selling, say “cafe Roubaix” coffee, or a component called “richter” Dan would be suitably pissed. Similarly if I started trading off the Velominati name without consent.

    Anyway, I’ll be very happy if this issue is never mentioned again. Yes, can we move on now?

  14. @Puffy

    Sure we can move on. Talk to @crucible.

  15. @crucible

    appreciate ur input; the tone could use some refinement, no? I mean, shit, on NYE you feel compelled to hold court, our court, with ur either god-given or insider knowledge and supposed insight. There’s actually a wealth of knowledge, experience etc already here, so save the condescension and just chat, yo.

    What I do find fascinating is the numbers of performance- they don’t come from true studies; these are “scientifical” at best, only because no institution will give the approval for such studies. So at best you are looking at observational anecdotal medicine. Not to say it isn’t accurate and borne out by practice/real racing, but it ain’t from legit studies.

    the other issue at play here for someone like me, is simply what to say for my kids generation as a moral compass.  I do believe in a moral compass, an attempt, even if futile, to show a stigma about such bad behavior. Yeah, the bad guys always are a step ahead, name the arena where that isn’t true. But you don’t give up. thats how I see it anyhow.

  16. @gaswepass You’re right about my tone. However, there is science as hard as Merckx confirming the gains possible through oxygen vector doping. The problem isn’t that we’re being directed to stigmatize anything “bad,” it’s that the people trying to direct the moral compass are deliberately pointing it at a slippery slope.

    The most morally toxic atmosphere in sports is one where everybody rightly each other’s honor, simply because officials insist on making unenforcible rules like banning a substance before a test can be devised, or even gene doping for heaven’s sake. The end result of this snipe hunt can only end badly as it becomes a witch hunt. It may initially seem well intentioned, but in the end doping authorities have us all drinking from a poisoned well. We’ll either end up banning sports altogether or implanting homogenized embryos in surrogates that will serve as future athletes.

    I’m looking at the long term picture also. We’re really trying to halt human evolution with the anti-doping thing, accepting nearly every external aid upon the body while trying frantically to prevent the emergence of Da Vinci’s allegorical perfect man. You can get legally get Lasik for a sport that requires superior vision. You can run in the Olympics with bionic legs that make you faster than normal ones can. You can participate in marathon races on this nifty thing called a bicycle, which enables a human to use less energy to travel a mile than a gliding bird. You can’t “dope.”

    In other words: we’re saying it’s okay to improve on what you do as long as you can’t improve some willy nilly concept of what you are. Then we all go take drugs anyway. It’s preposterous.

    Anyway, I shouldn’t be a dick, and yes I did misdirect my vitriol. I just get sick to my stomach seeing society try to pile chaos on something as simple and logical as a bicycle and the rider.

    Happy new year everyone :)

  17. @crucible

    welcome to the conversation.

    Happy new year

  18. … and Happy New Year to all.  Rock on.

  19. @crucible

    I’m looking at the long term picture also. We’re really trying to halt human evolution with the anti-doping thing, accepting nearly every external aid upon the body while trying frantically to prevent the emergence of Da Vinci’s allegorical perfect man. You can get legally get Lasik for a sport that requires superior vision. You can run in the Olympics with bionic legs that make you faster than normal ones can. You can participate in marathon races on this nifty thing called a bicycle, which enables a human to use less energy to travel a mile than a gliding bird. You can’t “dope.”

    In other words: we’re saying it’s okay to improve on what you do as long as you can’t improve some willy nilly concept of what you are. Then we all go take drugs anyway. It’s preposterous.

    Anyway, I shouldn’t be a dick, and yes I did misdirect my vitriol. I just get sick to my stomach seeing society try to pile chaos on something as simple and logical as a bicycle and the rider.

    Happy new year everyone :)

    I used to think that legalising doping would be the solution – and at that level I think it would work. Make the teams and doctors liable to the athletes for every drug they give them. Teams would have to include liability in their insurance and if we think patent attorneys are dicks, insurance lawyers are the Biggest Dicks in Dicklands. the whole thing would implode the first time a team was sued for killing a rider with EPO and it would be the crazy risk-averse insurance companies we would have to thank.

    unfortunately the problem I have come to realise with not at least trying to fight doping, however imperfectly, is the people outside the official and regulated circles. The people in local and age group races who will feel the pressure and invitation to dope but without proper medical advice and supervision. There are already people in lower level racing taking GW 50156 which by all accounts is almost guaranteed to cause cancer. How does your proposed scenario address the issue of relatively widespread unsupervised self-prescribed doping ?

    I would also take issue with the examples you give. I think there is a reasonable line to be drawn between procedures to restore function caused by injury or abnormality and seeking to enhance and improve on normal function. It’s not easy to write it down and codify it but just because there are some grey areas doesn’t mean we should abandon it entirely.  Sports have rules and finding a way around them is cheating – it’s not that difficult.

  20. @crucible

    Anyway, I shouldn’t be a dick, and yes I did misdirect my vitriol. I just get sick to my stomach seeing society try to pile chaos on something as simple and logical as a bicycle and the rider.

    Happy new year everyone :)

    An honourable response, and I pretty much agree with your initial arguments, anyway.

    The use of an emoticon, however, is unforgivable

    Happy New Year

  21. Oh, fine. Happy New Year, everyone. Jesus.

  22. Can’t really argue with your choice, but I would like to nominate Specialized and Big Mike for the Lifetime Achievement Award for Ultra-Douchebaggery. To me they have represented all that is wrong with the cycling industry for a long, long time.

  23. A good day gentlemen! The local impromptu 89 km New Years Day ride was a perfect day on the bike. The temperature and atmosphere stayed the same for the entire duration. Talk of chainrings and bar setups and even entirely new bikes were the only cause to speaketh. In fact the followup to today’s successful ride is to change over to a quill stem (3TTT 140mm) and 26.0 Cinelli Eubios bars this Thursday. Thanx to frank, wiscot and others offering up parts and great advice, the MX Leader will be redeemed tomorrow.

  24. @crucible

    @unversio

    You’ll do better next time.

    Let the record show that I am only drinking water.

  25. @unversio

    A good day gentlemen!

    Here, too! Just back from a few hours out with the VMH on one of our fav rides, and my calorie app has told me that I have three thousand cal’s left on the ledger for January the First! Plenty of room for IPA and ribs. The perfect start to the year. Cheers!

  26. @crucible

    I’m amazed that someone who is so amazing has the patience to sit around with us idiots and bicker. Very insightful of you that you’ve been able to discern the fact that doping is a problem. Chapeau!

    Also, you’re on the internet arguing with strangers FYI.

  27. Catching up on my reading – looks like 2014 has started well in the Halls of the Velominati

  28. @the Engine

    Catching up on my reading – looks like 2014 has started well in the Halls of the Velominati

    “We come from the land of the ice and snow,
    From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.”

  29. @PeakInTwoYears

    for an idea of what a power band they were, check out their version from the BBC Sessions.

    They hit in like a ton of bricks and build from there.

  30. Probably not a contender for the anti V award but he had a sucky year I stumbled across this picture which just about captures it all!

  31. An early contender for the 2014 Anti-V moment of the year…I don’t care how badly you need to manage your core temperature when time trialling – it should never include that much mesh.

  32. @VeloVita

    An early contender for the 2014 Anti-V moment of the year…I don’t care how badly you need to manage your core temperature when time trialling – it should never include that much mesh.

    I just need to step into the bathroom to be violently ill.

  33. @frank

    @PeakInTwoYears

    for an idea of what a power band they were, check out their version from the BBC Sessions.

    They hit in like a ton of bricks and build from there.

    Honestly. They nailed the “live version” tempo didn’t they?

  34. @VeloVita   I may need to go and be sick again.  I’ve just thought that what the pros wear today is on the street tomorrow – does not bear thinking about seeing copious amounts of white flesh trussed up like a lumpy bunch of Oranges in a string net.

  35. @VeloVita

    An early contender for the 2014 Anti-V moment of the year…I don’t care how badly you need to manage your core temperature when time trialling – it should never include that much mesh.

    I’m sorry, that’s not cycling kit – it’s friggin’ lingerie. Most definitely not for sale to the general public- please!

  36. What in the fuck?! That link to Froome…the side banner has some anime porn add, just below the R&A Cycles advert. Hmm, I don’t like that one bit. Nor do I like that skinsuit. Eck.

    Wow, one again it is demonstrated that this place is my one-stop-news destination. I just read about LeDuc in the local NC paper. And here are ya’ll talking about it. Damn.

    Also, it seems like the nuts pay us a visit twice a year, once at the start when winter is getting us Northerners down, and then at TdF time. They start arguing about something that has likely been discussed, they’re whiny and bitchy about it, they get all worked up, then they disappear. What a waste of time, energy, and keystrokes.

  37. @VeloVita

    An early contender for the 2014 Anti-V moment of the year…I don’t care how badly you need to manage your core temperature when time trialling – it should never include that much mesh.

    I am glad I wasn’t the only one weirded out by the mesh skin suit…

  38. @Puffy Not to call you out, but your seem to want an answer of the “why” on the company name and the branding of our rims. Needless to say, all and every issue that arose between the three businesses in regards to the use of “Roubaix” are all put to bed. Any and all issues were sorted out before Mike & I sat down to talk about things.

    Let’s just say, YOU @Puffy, do not have the whole picture, and most reporting was fairly accurate, but after that, that is all you really need to know. We meet up at a Cogal sometime and maybe the subject comes up over some hops & barley…

    @Tobin Yup, we’ll all be sporting fishnet teddies in the near future just like our heros…shudder

    @frank

    @crucible

    I’m amazed that someone who is so amazing has the patience to sit around with us idiots and bicker. Very insightful of you that you’ve been able to discern the fact that doping is a problem. Chapeau!

    Also, you’re on the internet arguing with strangers FYI.

    @crucible  What Frank said. Oh, and a few of us are pretty open with any credentials, especially when adding to a post or writing an article. I’d suggest you put together something for an article on our hallowed website. @Gianni does a great job helping some of the guest authors putting together coherent contributions.

    Happy 2014, put some deposits in to the pain cave early today, Spring comes soon enough.

  39. @Ron

    What in the fuck?! That link to Froome…the side banner has some anime porn add, just below the R&A Cycles advert. Hmm, I don’t like that one bit.

    Actually, I think you do – aren’t the banner ads a direct result of Google tracking what sites you tend to visit?  Just saying…

  40. @ChrisO

    I used to think that legalising doping would be the solution – and at that level I think it would work. Make the teams and doctors liable to the athletes for every drug they give them. Teams would have to include liability in their insurance and if we think patent attorneys are dicks, insurance lawyers are the Biggest Dicks in Dicklands. the whole thing would implode the first time a team was sued for killing a rider with EPO and it would be the crazy risk-averse insurance companies we would have to thank.

    unfortunately the problem I have come to realise with not at least trying to fight doping, however imperfectly, is the people outside the official and regulated circles. The people in local and age group races who will feel the pressure and invitation to dope but without proper medical advice and supervision. There are already people in lower level racing taking GW 50156 which by all accounts is almost guaranteed to cause cancer. How does your proposed scenario address the issue of relatively widespread unsupervised self-prescribed doping ?

    I would also take issue with the examples you give. I think there is a reasonable line to be drawn between procedures to restore function caused by injury or abnormality and seeking to enhance and improve on normal function. It’s not easy to write it down and codify it but just because there are some grey areas doesn’t mean we should abandon it entirely. Sports have rules and finding a way around them is cheating – it’s not that difficult.

    The answer is clear. Not legalization. Mandatory use. Player’s choice of substance; a completely uninsured, uncontained wasteland of drugs. Boonen, coked to the hilt,riding off the front, screaming at spectators. Tract marked, steel muscled sprinters. Climbers literally swollen with large amounts of additional hemoglobin.  Hopefully amateurs, collegiates et al race clean to save themselves from the massive amounts of damage the drugs are going to do them when they turn pro.

    I’ve been proposing this for baseball for years. Why won’t anyone else see the light…?

  41. I’d like to nominate a friend of mine who bought and built up a beautiful Veloforma CX bike but failed to appear at even one cyclocross race all season (leisurely long distance Sunday afternoon gravel rides in Minnesota don’t count).

    I also nominate the sorry bastards who frequent this site way too frequently when they should be riding their bikes like Jim does 365 days a year (always in the dark).

    I also nominate myself for not riding my #1 road bike until late October and only then realizing that it’s almost as much fun as riding a mountain bike (poorly) all Summer.

  42. I’m impressed by anyone that can ride that well on drugs.  When I was on drugs, I couldn’t even find my bike…

  43. @BobcatChris

    I’m impressed by anyone that can ride that well on drugs. When I was on drugs, I couldn’t even find my bike…

    You ought to credit Willie Nelson for the quote.

  44. @G’rilla

    I’d like to nominate a friend of mine who bought and built up a beautiful Veloforma CX bike but failed to appear at even one cyclocross race all season (leisurely long distance Sunday afternoon gravel rides in Minnesota don’t count).

    I also nominate the sorry bastards who frequent this site way too frequently when they should be riding their bikes like Jim does 365 days a year (always in the dark).

    I also nominate myself for not riding my #1 road bike until late October and only then realizing that it’s almost as much fun as riding a mountain bike (poorly) all Summer.

    You left off the part where your competitive goal was not getting lapped.

    And point well taken on the CX racing season. I’ll correct the problem and beat you soundly next season.

  45. @Teocalli

    @VeloVita I may need to go and be sick again. I’ve just thought that what the pros wear today is on the street tomorrow – does not bear thinking about seeing copious amounts of white flesh trussed up like a lumpy bunch of Oranges in a string net.

    I cannot imagine a more disturbingly accurate depiction.  And I don’t want to.

  46. @wiscot

    @VeloVita

    An early contender for the 2014 Anti-V moment of the year…I don’t care how badly you need to manage your core temperature when time trialling – it should never include that much mesh.

    I’m sorry, that’s not cycling kit – it’s friggin’ lingerie. Most definitely not for sale to the general public- please!

    First the sumo thing, and then this!  What is wrong with these people?

  47. Please excuse the thread revival, chaps, but I just came across this little press release:

    http://www.neilprydebikes.com/news/latest/allez-allez-nazare.html

    Thought it was relevant to the earlier discussion about ‘brand protection’.

  48. @Geraint The Big S certainly hasn’t changed it’s spots.

    Some earlier thoughts on the subject can be found in the Bikes Section.

  49. @Chris

    @Geraint The Big S certainly hasn’t changed it’s spots.

    Some earlier thoughts on the subject can be found in the Bikes Section.

    Just found that, Chris, thanks. Sorry for the duplicate post.

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