February 6, 2019 § 2 Comments
After the bongshell announcement that former Tour de France ace and gadfly about town Floyd Landis had formed his own cycling team in cahoots with “Max Kash Aggro” beer peddler Roger G. Worthington, Cycling in the South Bay sat down with these two paragons of cycling wisdom and marketing wizardry to plumb the depths of their new plans to send cycling’s Ancien Regime up in smoke.
CitSB: You first, Floyd. What’s a nice boy like you doing in a shit-show like this?
Landis: It’s time to give back with more than just drugs. After getting that $750k from the Lance lawsuit, I wanted to help revitalize this sport that I love, or at least provide it with an alternative to opiates and manmade painkillers.
MKA: Hey, shut up, Floyd. It’s my turn to talk. Look, Wanky, your blog sucks, okay?
CitSB: We’ll get to you in a moment, little fellow. Floyd, you and Worthington have been friends a long time. How has that worked?
Landis: We go way back. Rog was one of the first people who believed in my innocence.
CitSB: One born every minute, right?
Landis: Pretty much.
MKA: Remember that time after you got banned that I had you announce at the Dana Point GP and you got hammered and sang all those Johnny Cash songs from the booth?
Landis: That was a gas, Rog. Good times! You are the best!
CitSB: Floyd, you’re on record as saying with regard to young people racing that “I would never encourage kids to get into it. It’s a catastrophe. It’s awful.” Has that changed?
Landis: Oh, absolutely. I totally encourage kids to get into bike racing now. It’s amazing. It’s fantastic.
CitSB: What’s changed?
Landis: The unicorns. They are everywhere now, with rainbow farts that smell like licorice and cetewale.
Landis: Middle English for “zedoary.”
Landis: Never mind.
CitSB: Okay. So back in 2017 when asked about the potential for change in cycling you said, “No, there’s no hope. There isn’t any. That’s just a fact. We can sit here and be pie in the sky, but they’re not changing.” And you described the U.S. governing body as “These are the same people, the same officials, the same USA Cycling. It’s all still just infested with disgusting people.” But things are different now?
Landis: Oh, absolutely.
Landis: Unicorns are in charge now and they are all eating Floyd’s Pot Shop cannabis products. Look! There goes a unicorn now!
CitSB: Where? Where?
Landis: Oh, dang it. You just missed it.
CitSB: Crap. Anyway, a couple of years ago you said, “In any case, the sport will never be clean and the guys who take the products will always be one step ahead.” Thoughts?
Landis: When I said “always” I didn’t add “and forever.” What I meant was “always” like “I will always love you, honey.” You know, one of those things no one believes. Come on. I was KIDDING. What I should have said is that the sport will never be clean until I and MKA get our own pro team and the riders are drinking Worthy Beer, the finest craft beverage currently produced in America.
MKA: It’s better than that!
Landis: You are the best, Rog. You rock, bro!
CitSB: A quick check of Beer Advocate has Worthy Brewing at 3.66 out of five. Just sayin’.
MKA: Those worthless sacks of shit at Beer Advocate wouldn’t know good beer if you poured it up their butts with a siphon.
MKA: It’s all a joke. Those beer rating things are scams. He who pays the most, wins! And I play to win. Our marketing budget for 2019 has quadrupled, with glossy back cover buys for 12 issues. That will increase our taste rating by a full point, you’ll see.
CitSB: MKA, in addition to your extensive background as a leaky prostate masters racer, what are you bringing to the effort?
MKA: I’m not a megalomaniac. I have, however, performed lung surgery, founded a Nobel Prize-winning institute that has cured mesothelioma and bunions, built a 50,000 square foot, zero-carbon footprint home in Bend, taught Chris Botti how to play trumpet, developed the best tasting beer hop on earth, won several football championships for Clear Lake High back in Houston, written a New York Times bestseller about hair regrowth in older men through pilates, recovered over $4,000 billion for deserving asbestos victims without ever setting foot in a courtroom, devised a plan to stabilize and re-freeze the Thwaites Glacier, mastered the comb-and-tissue paper, and personally delivered Christmas presents in a magical sleigh to over a billion people in Africa.
CitSB: So you’re thinking the bike racing venture should be pretty easy?
MKA: Who’s the winningest masters cycling team of all time? Labor Power, brought to you by MKA. Who’s the greatest brewer of all time? Worthy Brewing, brought to you by MKA. And who’s gonna win the Tour next year? Floyd’s Pot Shop, brought to you by MKA. I’m like Ceasar. I come, I see, I conquer. Got it?
CitSB: Yes, sir.
January 23, 2019 § 14 Comments
After announcing that a record number of masters cyclists were recognized for their doping achievements in the 2018 Vuelta a Miami, local SoCal crit racer Crumbs McIlhenny admitted that he had failed to fail a doping test, and issued a tearful apology to his family, friend, and fan.
“No idea how this happened,” said Crumbs behind a wall of damp tissues. “I have always doped just as hard as everyone else. Now this.”
Coming hard on the heels of SoCal’s most successful masters doping season, where doping hero Steve Strickler recently joined famed compatriots Rich “the Beaker” and “Tatty-Poo” LeoGrande, Crumbs’s dejection was abject. “I’ve demanded they test my B sample,” said Crumbs. “They gotta find something.”
When told that B-samples weren’t tested unless the A-sample revealed banned substances, Crumbs was inconsolable. “That is total bullshit!” he wailed. “I am taking this to CAS!”
After walking Crumbs back from the ledge of the open skyscraper window on which he was perched, his friend and fan tried to explain to him that CAS arbitration was only for those accused of cheating, which is a “bad” thing.
“Huh?” Crumbs said. “I failed to fail that test because the system is rigged. It’s because of my vanishing twin or some non-alcoholic whiskey I drank or an untainted steak I ate for breakfast that masked the drug cocktail that came with my Thorfinn-Sasquatch kit order. I mean, I have Joe Papp on speed dial. And now this?”
Masters cycling commentators were aghast at the non-positive A-sample. “This is killing our beloved sport,” said Htes Nosdvidad, retired masters racer and noted notary public. “People are simply not going to keep paying to race when the events are stacked with non-dopers. And for every non-doper who doesn’t get caught not cheating, there are fifty more who get a free pass. The whole thing stinks.”
Leaders of major SoCal racing squads were similarly hard-pressed to justify their continued commitment to the sport. Veteran Cat 5 masters racer Nivek Klas wasn’t at a loss for words. “Clean racing? What’s next? Not posting awesome sock and cleat photos on the ‘Bag? After devoting twenty-four months of my life and $25,000 of the club’s money to orange folding chairs, all it takes is one clean racer to ruin everything.”
Less than 24 hours after being outed as clean, Crumbs posted the following apology on his Facebook page, which has since been taken down:
I apologize sincerely to my family, friend, and fan for letting them down. They know I am better than this. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I made a mistake and knowingly raced clean. I took a risk and was just going there to support my team mates. I accept the punishment of USADA, condemning me to another season of racing, and to the judgment of my peers, who know that I really do have the desire to win at all costs even if I raced clean that one time. But I will come out of this a better man, a faster racer, and a more committed advocate for filthy sport.Crumbs McIlhenny
January 7, 2019 § 11 Comments
By now everyone, especially Steven Strickler and Rich Meeker, has heard of Carl Grove, the 90-year-old Indiana track racer who tested positive for epitrenbolone, a metabolite of the banned steroid trenbolone, most commonly used in livestock to increase muscle mass and appetite.
Cycling in the South Bay sat down with Carl to talk about his record setting doping performance.
CitSB: This is quite a milestone. The oldest cyclist to ever test positive and get stripped of a title. How did you do it?
CG: It wasn’t easy.
CitSB: How so?
CG: No one gives a fat fart about 90-year-old track racers.
CitSB: Not sure it’s limited to 90-year-olds but continue.
CG: I mean we suffer just as much as the pros. We ride the same equipment. We train like beasts. You really think Daniel Holloway is a better bike racer than I am?
CG: Well of course he is, but I mean for my age I’m just as good if not better.
CitSB: Kind of like if grandma had balls she’d be grandpa?
CG: Yeah, I guess so. But anyway, I go out and win a national title in the individual pursuit, and do you think CyclingNews or VeloNews or the Times gives a shit?
CitSB: I’ll take a flyer on that one. No?
CG: Exactly. I sent out 15,000 press releases after I won the title. Hired an agent. Posted deets on all my friends’ FB pages. Not a single interview. Not even a response to my emails or text messages saying “No, thank you.” I sent copies to the White House, to my congressman, to my great-great-grandson’s kindergarten teacher, to the heirs of the sergeant I served under in WWI, fer fugg’s sake.
CG: Hell yes, crickets. So I decided to get on everybody’s fuggin’ radar.
CitSB: With the positive doping test.
CG: Yes. And it worked, didn’t it? I’m now being personally interviewed by one of the most somewhat modest niche self-published online small circulation blogs devoted to cycling and masters doping.
CitSB: Right. Now, your critics are claiming that your motives were a bit dirtier, that you were doping in order to, you know, actually win.
CG: That’s ridiculous. I was the only guy in the race.
CitSB: But it’s a fact that you have a pretty good time. 38+kph for three minutes. Not a bad time at an age when most people have been dead for twenty years.
CG: Come on. I’m not so good that I’d have to dope to beat myself.
CitSB: And people point to your healthy teeth, full head of hair, the moistness and firm texture of your skin. Folks are saying you could easily pass for 85 or even 82.
CG: I’d never dope to beat me. Cheating is wrong.
CitSB: You tested positive.
CG: And USADA agreed that my meat was tainted. Just like Alberto’s.
CitSB: Come on, Carl. Admit it. You had to have the title. Only one other 90-year-old stood between you and delusions even bigger and more grotesque than Kevin Salk’s.
CG: Hey, fuck you, buddy.
CitSB: And so you did what bike racers have always done when they can’t get the job done with their own two legs. You doped to beat the competition. And the best part? You knew that the guy you beat would never rat you out.
CG: (Throws down mic.) This interview is a joke. Your blog is a joke. You are a joke. I’m outta here.
CitSB: Tune in next week for the next edition of “Ridiculously Narcissistic Old People Taking Drugs to Win Bicycle Races.”
November 19, 2018 § 16 Comments
When you are busted for doping you need to shut up. This is because the more you talk, the worse you sound. The best dopers are Eastern European because they say nothing when they get busted. And when they get through shutting up, you know what they do?
They shut up some more.
Sorry not sorry
I had hoped that posting about Steve Strickler and his sorry, cheating, doping behavior would help him do what he needs to do: Shut up. This is because when you are a lying, doping cheater, nothing you say is going to help your cause except exactly the thing you cannot say, which is this:
I am sorry for lying to and cheating my friends, family, fellow competitors, race promoters, and race sponsors. I am a liar and a cheat and I have tarnished all the people who believed that I was an honest athlete and who raced on my team. I am going to go away now and ride my bike and try to make sense of how I could be such a narcissistic, lying cheat.
Instead, Strickler chose to post this non-apology on Facebook, and yes, I will help break it down. It is pretty fucked up.
What it all means, line by line
- “It has been brought to my attention, that it is important for those connected to bicycle racing to understand the current situation about my recent ban.” Wanky interp: People are calling me out as a liar and a cheat, especially that asshole blogger Seth. I wouldn’t have said anything about this unless publicly pressured. I feel no guilt about this at all but I am going to re-direct you in case you have been paying attention to facts.
- “In November of 2017, I received a full knee replacement. On the direction of my doctor, and with standard testosterone therapy prescription I started to replace my low testosterone in March of 2018 to aid in my recover and for overall well-being.” Wanky interp: My cheating was medically necessary. Because my doctor prescribed me banned drugs for overall well-being, cheating is okay. Don’t you feel sorry for me now?
- “I had absolutely no intentions of racing in 2018.” Wanky interp: I didn’t plan to cheat, it just happened. Like rain.
- “Impulsively at a last moment I decided to go to the Dana Point Grand Pre.” Wanky interp: Doping is okay if it is done at the last moment and misspelled.
- “I knew I would not be competitive, I just wanted to be there to support the event and the cycling community.” Wanky interp: I was doping for YOU.
- “The results of that choice are now public and will forever be such. I can’t alter this bad choice.” Wanky interp: I got caught. FML.
- “This was the one and only race I attended this year.” Wanky interp: Cheating once is okay, and I never ever cheated before this. Really!
- “I was randomly selected in the field and yes, I tested positive for a banned substance.” Wanky interp: It was pretty unfair that I got caught.
- “I accept full responsibility for this choice and the ban that comes with my choice.” Wanky interp: I’m not going to apologize because I did nothing wrong besides getting caught.
- “However, I do not want this choice and set up circumstances to define me or my 30 years of cycling.” Wanky interp: I never cheated before, I promise.
- “I will seek to make something good from this, for me personally and for the sport that I love so much.” Wanky interp: No apologies, no refunds, just a vague promise to be a good boy while I sit in the corner.
- “I am asking nothing in return from anyone. I just feel this needs to be in context, to this situation, and was asked by someone I respect to provide that context.” Wanky interp: I didn’t cheat and my situation is really unique.
- “I am not excusing myself, just explaining.” Wanky interp: I did nothing wrong.
There are really only a couple of issues here that need to be addressed, as the whole thing is so absurdly self-serving as to barely warrant reading with a straight face.
First is Steve’s suggestion that this was a one-off, medically necessary step that he blundered into. He insinuates that the testosterone was medically necessary by juxtaposing it with a knee operation as if testosterone replacement therapy has something to do with knee surgery. Of course it doesn’t, and Steve admits that it’s simply a “well-being” thing.
This is a key part of his plea, the idea that at age 58 he suddenly needed the testosterone. He’s hoping you are stupid enough to think that putting “knee replacement surgery” and “standard testosterone therapy” in the same paragraph makes the two related.
If Steve were telling the truth, all he would have to do is find a neutral third party and authorize that party to get copies of his medical records for the past ten years, redacting them except as they show that he received the doping therapy only in March, 2018. Of course the problem with this approach is that Steve’s story may well be one big fat lie, and his medical records may well show that he has been doping for years. If he’s telling the truth, why not release the records? It would at least prove that he came to doping recently, and not, say, during the years when he dominated and, you know, won that national title. And all those races in 2017. And 2016. And 2015. And etcetera.
Second is Steve’s insinuation that he has never cheated before. As a fellow leaky prostate masters racer, why would anyone believe him? What is more believable, that he has been doping for years, or that this is the only time he doped? If someone gets busted for DUI, by the way, they have typically driven drunk 80 times before they get caught. With cycling, I’d argue that dopers use drugs even more because testing is so rare. People who wind up in the snare are much more likely to be in the Kayle LeoGrande mold than the accidental old fellow who mistakenly took the green pill instead of the white one.
It’s my opinion that Steve perfectly fits the profile of a career doper. 1) Great results. 2) Old dude. 3) Has the money to pay for the doctor and the drugs. 4) Best buddies with doping hacks like Rich Meeker. 5) Refuses to apologize. 6) Never admits to cheating even though he was caught cheating. 7) Claims it was a one-off deal. 8) Ignores the fact that he tried to cheat every other competitor in the race, and got caught doing it. 9) Claims to love the sport even as he destroys it by cheating. 10) Covers his tracks with a do-gooder foundation of questionable value.
Strickler’s education campaign on Facegag is less an exculpation of him than a Rorschach Test: How narcissistic are YOU, how much of a sucker are YOU, how deeply do YOU want to ignore facts in order to fit a phony narrative from some dude who you personally like and respect? Most importantly, how willing are YOU to admit you were completely wrong about a guy you liked? The #fakerace leaky prostate scene is irredeemable and either you see it or you don’t.
Third and most appalling is the suggestion that Steve is somehow taking responsibility by acknowledging a fact. Lance Armstrong never denied testing positive for testosterone, he simply said it was medically authorized. No athlete denies the positive test unless there was an actual problem with the testing, so saying that “I admit I tested positive” is NOT AN ADMISSION OF ANYTHING. The point is not for Steve to admit that he was busted and banned, it’s for him to apologize for being a drug cheat and all that goes with it. Lance at least finally came to grips with the fact that he cheated others, as did David Millar, Floyd Landis, and a few other notables. The rest, like Strickler, Meeker, LeoGrande, and Brandt-Sorenson, simply dissembled and slunk away.
By throwing in the bit about supporting the cycling community (through doped racing, no less), by emphasizing the random nature of the control (as if doping controls could work otherwise), and by saying that he’s not asking anything from anyone, Strickler has come up with what he thinks is the perfect formula to bring down the cognitive dissonance from its roaring boil.
Unfortunately, he does the exact opposite for anyone with even a shred of critical reasoning, namely: Cheating isn’t supporting the community, random controls work because they root out cheaters, and what kind of sociopath would be asking for something from the very people he had cheated? Isn’t it Steve who should be offering something up, like, say, an apology, a release of his medical records, and an admission of intentional cheating? What about refunding his prize money?
We all know that people who don’t apologize don’t think they’ve done anything wrong. If he was a 3-year-old, he’d have to cough up the words “I’m sorry for cheating” whether he wanted to or not. But that ain’t gonna happen.
So instead of blathering on with all the humbuggery, my personal advice to Steve is to STFU. Silence, baby, is golden.
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November 12, 2018 § 30 Comments
The worst thing about masters doping scandals is that there is nothing even vaguely scandalous about them. Outrage? At what? Some narcissistic, saggy old fart stealing money from other narcissistic, saggy old farts?
In the case of Steven Strickler, the latest in a hoary line of SoCal masters “athletes” to get busted for doping, there is not much I can add. I’ve raced with Strychnine for about ten years and have never beaten him when it mattered. He couldn’t climb but like Meeker the Beaker and Tatty-Poo LeoGrande, he could sure race an old farts’ crit.
The last few years I always wondered how a guy who looked well into his third trimester could consistently get on the podium. “Experience. Savvy. A lifetime of bike racing,” I always thought as I eyed his prodigious gut. It never occurred to me that aw-shucks, Gomer Pyle Strickler was a drug cheat, which is my way of saying “I am a complete fucking moron.”
This past year he stood on the podium a bunch, often on the top step. I was always impressed when he showed up with his monster gut, fit as a beach ball, and still somehow made the split. “Talent and a lifetime of bike racing,” It didn’t occur to me to add, “and a whole bunch of banned drugs.”
Although I always assume the very worst about anyone who races a bike, not limited to doping, Strychnine never seemed like a doper. First, my theory has always been that the vast majority of dopers are in the middle and end of the field. Second, the people who invariably get on my radar are the donkeys who grow the legs of a racehorse, like this wanker who I wrote about a while ago and is still just killing it. You know, the guy who can barely hang on one year and is dragging the field around like a tin can a few months later.
Strychnine was also disarmingly aw-shucks. Unlike The Beaker, who made you want to take a shower after talking with him, or like Tatty-Poo, who had the silent churn of a guy thinking about how to immediately exercise his 2nd Amendment rights, Strychnine was a grinning goofy dude who was savvy and quick.
Now I’m waiting for the team’s statement. Something along the lines of “Steve is a complete fuckhead for tainting all of us, ripping off promoters and competitors, and doing it in our team colors.” Uh, yeah. Ain’t gonna happen. Just like when The Beaker got the boot and everyone over at Amgen kind of mumbled and then went on about their business. “Rich who? Oh, the guy we’ve been racing with for ten years? Him? Uh, I dunno, man. I had noooo idea.”
What team is Steve on, you may be wondering? None other than the G3 Foundation, a non-profit that allegedly supports clean groundwater projects in poor countries. I say “alleged” because here’s the organization’s info on Guidestar. Oh, and super cozily, Strickler is also CEO of the company that shares the non-profit’s name. Lots of transparency here, folks.
As you cruise through G3 Foundation and Strickler’s FB page, they are simply carrying on as usual. No comment about Steve’s cheating, no comment about Steve tainting the entire team, zip. Why? Because no one on the team feels tainted? Racing with, sponsored by, and buddies with a drug cheat is no big deal? Huh.
But don’t get too bothered by this “business as usual” approach because it’s simply business as usual. Doping so thoroughly part of the SoCal masters racing scene that if it is ever eradicated, the fields will be thin, indeed. Oh, what I am I saying? THEY ALREADY ARE. As the threat of having to pee in a cup gets more real, gran fondos and The Stravver look lots better. Strickie is a cheat, a dude who would gladly dope for the thrill of a win, but what does it say about all the people who simply mumble and carry on?
Hint: Nothing good.
A brief history of SoCal Masters Doping
The illustrious list of masters cheats includes Rich Meeker, Nick Brandt-Sorenson, Kayle LeoGrande, and now Steve Strickler. With the exception of Brandt-Sorenson, whose “about” section on his clothing web site says that he “stopped racing 14 years later after competing against some of the world’s top professional cyclists” (AND WHY WAS THAT, NICKY?), these guys have won a whole bunch of races.
On the bright side, Strychnine’s demise may hasten one worthy goal, which is the total collapse of masters racing. Although I’m not hopeful enough to think it will spill over to the aged track cheaters competing for a “world champion” jersey as they out-dope two other feeble riders for their “world champion” title, perhaps this bust will add one more nail to the coffin of USAC-sanctioned masters cheating, uh, I mean, racing.
Chris Lotts, one of most offensive people to ever promote a bike race and therefore perfect for the job, had it right when he identified masters racing as the sport’s predominant cancer. Mast-holes suck time, attention, and money from the only area that can possibly sustain competitive cycling–juniors and Cat 5/4 racer recruitment and development.
Was I the only person who noted the sick contrast of having the #fakeworld #masterstrackchampionships at the same time that America’s underfunded, largely ignored elite track program was in town? The same program gunning for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with #3 in the world omnium racer Daniel Holloway? Is there any incongruity there? Guess not … better hit the boards hard to get my rainbow jersey as I beat that other 70-year-old.
Witness the absurd lengths to which mast-hole road racing has metastasized, even as events vanish and new rider numbers implode. Mast-hole teams demand and get bikes, clothing, and equipment discounts when college clubs are groveling for $500 sponsorships to defray gas costs. National road champions like Justin Williams have to compete for resources with guys who “race” in the 55+ category.
But you can feel good about your membership on G3 because they are helping poor people get clean drinking water. They say. And what’s a few injectables when we are saving lives over in Africa? Africa is a country right? Well, they’re saving people somewhere.
If anything, everyone with a USAC license who is over the age of 40, if not 35, should shred his/her license and donate the money to a junior or a Cat 5/4 rider. Why? Because you can’t possibly have any reasonable doubt left that old fart races are rife with cheaters.
Probably would have lost anyway
The fact is that the winning dopers, without drugs, wouldn’t have won as much. But they still would have won. Bike racing is too much a combination of smarts and strength for a few injections to put you over the top. Look at Icarus Wankarus, the documentary that exposed the Russian Sochi doping program, if you want to understand the old adage that you can’t make a donkey into a racehorse.
Filmmaker and super donkey Brian Fogel did everything right in his quest to dope to victory and he still sucked. Why? Because he fucking sucked, and people who fucking suck can’t buy the podium with a syringe.
Strychnine, The Beaker, Tatty Poo, and Thorfinn-Assquat were good bike racers. If they had stayed off the juice they wouldn’t have won as much, and some of the glory would have been spread around a bit more, if glory is what you call winning $50 while standing atop a wooden box and being buffeted by a sandstorm in the desert as absolutely NO ONE looks on or gives two broken fucks.
Every year ya gotta re-up
No matter what anyone says, after a certain number of years #fakeracing bikes, you find yourself asking the hard questions as you contemplate forking over money for yet another overpriced USAC racing license. Questions like this:
- Why am I such a moron?
- What is wrong with me?
- What normal person could possibly enjoy this?
- Why can’t I quit?
- Would someone shoot me now?
As the circle of douchebag cheaters gets bigger and bigger, what possible reason is there to continue? The scenery at the brokedown bizpark crit?
For this worn out old shoe, there is no reason. At least I can thank Steve Strickler for finally showing me the door.
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May 29, 2018 § 3 Comments
When Chris Froome dashed away for a little 80 km solo breakaway and “pulled a Landis” to ride himself into the pink jersey at the Giro, it seemed a bit much, even for the severely disabled #fakesport of professional cycling.
I mean, a guy who is currently in the death throes of a doping investigation that will certainly find him guilty of cheating, suddenly vaulting himself atop the Tour of Italy, from whence he will be de-throned once his doping positive is upheld … doesn’t anyone see how this will play out?
Of course they do, but like an alcoholic who knows exactly which gutter he’s going to wind up in when he takes the first drink, pro cycling can’t help itself. So Darth Froome will not only win and then be stripped of his Giro crown, but he will also win the Turdy France and have that jersey torn off his back as well. This will inspire generations of parents to say to their children, “Don’t you fucking dare start bike racing.”
So that at least is a benefit.
After being stripped of his jerseys and publicly humiliated, some second-place schmo who didn’t dope as well for as long will be awarded Froome’s victories and say, “I’d rather not have won it this way,” when what he means is “I’m sure glad that Darth got busted and not me,” followed by “Where’s my check?”
Cynicism is the new optimism
Darth isn’t to be blamed for vacuuming up the spoils and sashaying onto the next grand tour. This salbutamol thing is vexing, to be sure, but it goes with the territory, and better to win a couple of tours and have them taken away than to stay home and not ever win them at all. And who knows? Tyler’s vanishing twin theory may actually be proven true this time, exonerating Darth fully.
Darth’s ride on Stage 19 in this Giro was summed up by Sean Kelly in one word: “Unbelievable.” It’s the most that he could have said without being sued for defamation.
But Froome, laughing all the way to Milan, made no bones about the fact that pro cycling fans are the stupidest humans alive. Refusing to share his power data, which would have shown how his Stage 19 performance really occurred, Darth instead said that “It was interesting to see yesterday I made up most of my time on the descents by the looks of it.”
Ah, yes, of course. He beat the world’s best time trialists and climbers on a mountainous stage at the end of the Giro by going downhill faster than anyone else. Who needs to see actual power data to confirm that? Not Froome, the maniacal marginal-gains data wonk, that’s for sure. “No, I’m not looking at the computer, I’m riding as hard as I can.”
Yes, old school, Eddy Merckx style, exactly what Team Vader is best known for.
Fortunately, Froome and Brailsford’s Trumpian “offense always” approach is already lined up and spit-polished for the Tour. According to Froome, “I’m certainly planning to go there and give it everything.”
And by everything, I’m sure he means, uh, everything.
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May 2, 2018 § 6 Comments
In a new tell-all biography detailing his twelve-year career as a domestique for the UCI Rather Pro Continental IV Substrata team Herndy-Doo, Belgian rider Wim van der Poop admitted that he had raced clean his entire career. “Of course I’m ashamed of it,” said van der Poop at the press conference announcing his book, Bread, Water, and More Bread. “But that’s how it was at the time. If you wanted to come in last, or near last, that’s what you had to do.”
The UCI has launched an investigation into the allegations, most of which center around team manager Donqui van Hoydonck. “Van Hoydonck knew that the riders were on a non-doping program,” van der Poop alleges in his book. “He simply turned a blind eye. His attitude was, ‘If the racers are clean, that’s none of my business.'”
When Cycling in the South Bay contacted van Hoydonck about these explosive new non-doping allegations, van Hoydonck vigorously denied them. “Van der Poop was never a major factor in any race, ever. Plus, why would we endanger our team’s reputation by putting him on a non-doping regimen? If our sponsors ever found out it would have been the end of the team, twenty-two people would have been out of jobs. You think I would have risked that just to put van der Poop on bread and water?”
Van der Poop’s book details the procedures through which riders were non-doped. “It was a complicated, very organized affair, perhaps the most extensive and corrupt non-doping system in the history of sport,” van der Poop writes. “In the morning we were brought into a cafeteria and fed large amounts of bread, eggs, bacon, and water. Some riders even received mineral water such as Perrier or San Pelligrino. I couldn’t ever bring myself to swallow the bubbles, but many did. I personally saw them do it.”
Team Herndy-Doo folded in 2017 after failing to find a sponsor when its top rider, Wouter Spouter, was expelled from the most important race on the Rather Pro Continental IV Substrata race calendar, the Tour of the Bill’s Plumbing Supplies Parking Lot. Spouter tested negative for thirteen different performance enhancing substance and was judged “physically, and perhaps mentally, unfit to race.” Team Herndy-Doo, a charter member of the Incredible Movement for Credible Cycling, was forced to withdraw its entire team under the cloud of suspicion that non-doped riders were participating in UCI-sanctioned events.
“There’s an omerta in cycling about non-doping,” says van der Poop. “But the madness has to stop. Until someone is willing to admit that riders non-dope at all levels of the peloton, we’ll continue to have people like me who chase their dreams only to retire, bitter and disillusioned, and facing a lifetime of not having a single drug addiction or horrible health-related disability as a result of never using banned drugs. It’s just not right.”
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