August 17, 2012 § 12 Comments
I wish Captaintbag would come out of the closet and identify himself, mostly because then I could stop having to deny I’m him. I wish I had a nickel for every wanker who’s sidled up to me and said, “Hey, dude, I saw that Captaintbag link on your web site. That’s really you, isn’t it?”
Fuck no, it isn’t me, and any idiot ought to know it isn’t.
For one, I can’t write fuggin dna spel like capn. Even if I trid I coul’dnt
For another, I don’t pseudonymize.
And for another, unlike my gasbag opinions that are founded on sand and thin air, Taintbag is a razor sharp, analytical bastard who knows the nuts, bolts, pins, needles, and science behind human performance. If you think that’s me, you’ve never fuggin ridden with me for even five minutes.
The biggest news to hit the Internet since Bukka White’s “Poor Boy A Long Way From Home” got uploaded to YouTube
Taintbag is a wicked cross-examiner because he knows his stuff and doesn’t back down. So I was surprised when Jonathan Vaughters decided to respond to him in a Twatter exchange. Of course, Vaughters considers himself a “Jedi” at indirection–his word, believe it or not–which is a kind of hubris that will serve you mighty fucking poorly when you’re lying to a skilled questioner.
Sir Jedi, in a halfhearted attempt at transparency, tried to explain to Taintbag the actual details of his doping and how it related to his career and decision to quit and ultimately cause him to become the Jedi in shining armor for clean cycling.
In a brilliant takedown of this sagging and lead-filled balloon of lies, Taintbag extracted on Twitter the key elements of JV’s explanation, and then dismantled them. Unfortunately for some readers, there were two problems with his analysis. First, it was written in Taintbagese, a language that requires years of study to understand, a special dictionary, and the ability to conjugate “fug,” and is therefore not accessible to the general cycling public. Second, although Taintbag shredded Vaughters’s explanations from a scientific and logical vantage point, there was an even bigger sleaze that didn’t receive the full attention it deserved.
So I’m going to offer my services, which is kind of like a 150-lb weightroom newbie offering tips to the 295-lb Mr. Olympia.
But since I do go the gym…
The JV post-confession confession
Vaughters admitted to doping in the Times. Then he explained on the Twatter that he had a naturally high hematocrit of 54, which limited his EPO doping to a small amount because a heavier doping regimen would have raised his hematocrit such that it would have earned him a yellow card. After locking himself into this box, Taintbag exposed JV’s contradiction that a little dope don’t help, but nevertheless that this small amount of doping drove him from the sport, as he couldn’t stand “living the lie.” Vaughters also threw in, offhandedly, that it just got “old” getting top ten placings in one-week stage races.
If that level of performance is the best you can do, he admonished the pabulum licking wank-and-file on Twatter, it’s time to “shit or get off the pot.”
Wow. And there I was hoping for a top fifty placing next week in Ontario’s 45+ bizpark crit.
And that’s when I realized that pros must really be different from you and me, even though every one I’ve ever met–and I’ve met a bunch–seem pretty flesh and blood.
And when I realized that Vaughters had made a really good point, I knew something was terribly wrong, so I did a little Intersleuthing.
How many riders in Vaughters’s current stable, I wondered, regularly pull in top-ten placings in any ProTour event, much less one-week stage races?
On the Pro Tour’s 2012 calendar, Vaughters’s squad got zero top-ten placings in the Tour Down Under, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, MSR, Gent-Wevelgem, the Ronde, Tour of Pais Vasco, the Dauphine, Tour of Poland, and Eneco Tour. With the exception of Hesjedal’s Giro win, which was massive, the remainder of the 2012 ProTour results were a fourth, (Tour of Catalan), fifth (E3-Harelbeke), ninth (Paris-Roubaix), eighth (Amstel), sixth (Fleche Wallone), fifth (Liege-Bastogne-Liege), second (Tour of Romandie), seventh (Tour of Switzerland), and fourth at San Sebastian.
Oh, and no top ten placing at the Tour de France.
Guess it’s time for Martin, Danielson, Talansky, Wegmann, Van Summeren, and Vanmarcke, the guys with those lousy top-ten finishes, to find a new team (Oopsie! Vanmarcke just did!). And what of the bone idling, highly paid dudes who never even got a crummy top-ten? Time to get off the fucking pot and start their own transparent team dedicated to clean cycling, I guess.
In other words, that part of Vaughters’s explanation was a big, stinking pile of lying shit.
The reason it’s pointless to analyze the Jonathan Vaughters doping confession based on his NTY op-ed, his Tweets, and his “numbers”
There’s one reason only. The guy’s a complete fucking liar. If you haven’t gotten the memo by now, and your stupid hat is that tightly affixed with a chinstrap, I’m putting it down for you here in black and white: Habitual liars lie habitually.
Good. Which leads to the next step: If a habitual liar is explaining something to you that exculpates or mitigates his wrongdoing, assume that every single word is a lie unless he can demonstrate otherwise. Note that nothing in his Twatter exchange or NYT op-ed is substantiated with regard to the how-and-how-much of his doping history. It’s just his word. And what do we know about habitual liars? (Go back and review).
This methodology leads to a supplemental analysis:
- JV has a naturally high hematocrit? He’s lying.
- JV only took small doses? He’s lying.
- JV’s top-ten placings were unsatisfactory to management? He’s lying.
- JV’s hematocrit gains from doping didn’t help him? He’s lying.
- JV’s moral struggle from doping drove him from professional cycling? He’s lying.
So we’re left with a very different narrative now that we know that we’re speaking with Jedi Liar, and the new narrative goes like this:
Jonathan Vaughters was a talented bike racer. He had a normal hematocrit. When he turned pro during the Wild West of EPO use, he took massive doses of drugs with zero risk of detection. Even with a well-funded, scientifically executed doping and test avoidance strategy, and a fat salary, he couldn’t close the deal. Vaughters realized that even with a top-notch drug program he didn’t have what it took to win. He also saw the handwriting on the wall with regard to stricter drug enforcement, which would further depress his results, and increase his cognitive dissonance: Not the cognitive dissonance of a moral failing, but the dissonance caused by his fear of getting caught, and, perhaps, the dissonance of knowing that such a massive and long term drug habit might harm him. So he quit and embraced “Clean Cycling,” a/k/a Inmates Running the Asylum.
That’s the narrative, folks. And it has the added benefit of ringing true, and not requiring you to believe anything that Jonathan Vaughters says.
And now, Captain, with all due apologies, back to you…