The Spokesmen 82 – Hincapie’s Huge Prowess

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11 comments to The Spokesmen 82 – Hincapie’s Huge Prowess

  • Hi,

    Firstly, great show guys as ever. I’m an avid and regular listener to your show so congratulations on all your content which covers a broad range of all cycling topics.

    It’s been a busy week, especially regards the Lance news. I have to disagree with one of your contributors comments on the fact that we forget cycling’s doping past. We can’t simply turn our back on it and hope it’ll go away. It won’t, it’s here to stay unfortunately but what we must do is congratulate those, such as USADA, on pursuing the right for honest, ethical sport – a commitment I hope all your contributors would adhere to and agree with.

    Regardless of whether its Lance or another rider, we feel it is important that we pursue (doping) riders whether they are still part of the sport or not. A rider who has doped should never rest easy and to have the possibility that they will be found to have doped in future is a very effective deterrant to any athlete should they decide to cheat.

    What you didn’t cover in more detail, which we find far more troubling, is the alleged cover ups that may have occurred by the UCI in relation to athletes doping. The biggest threat to sporting integrity is corruption.

    Bike Pure are also strong believers that be it doctors or team management who are proven to have doped or administered doping to athletes should form no part of the sport and be banned unless they can repair the damage they have done to the sport.

    We believe the sport is in a far healthier place than it has been for many seasons and this is reflected in the races we see. We also have to applaud the fact that cycling as a sport is doing far more than many other sports in cleaning up its image. I feel this is something we must celebrate in order for the sport to survive. Love your sport – protect it..

    thanks again for a great Podcast…keep up the good work

    Andy Layhe
    Bike Pure

  • Steve

    I wanted to add one thing to the discussion about Valmont Bike Park in Boulder. In addition to the pump track, dual salomn, big features, and the Strider track, the park has a dedicated cyclocross course with an awesome set of well engineered stairs straigh out of Europe. The National CX Championships will be held on this course next year.

  • Robert

    I don’t feel like I am under any delusions about the past of cycling. However I am confused by USADA playing the media so much and then the only rider being named or targeted seems to be Lance Armstrong. If I recall there were a fair number of Americans on the US Postal/Discover/Astana teams and I am curious where their names are. That Lance in the only rider being targeted does raise a red flag for me.

    I will clarify that I have no problem with USADA pursuing charges against anyone. I just would prefer that they be more consistent in whom they pursue and the methods they use in releasing information.

  • Bren

    Suggestion for next week’s show: the Strava lawsuit. Jim Moss will surely have an interesting take on it, and for me and a lot of my cycling friends its an outrageous example of scapegoating. However, given your conversation about Alley cats, I wonder if there will be some differences of opinion about the “unofficial races” that Strava puts on by awarding KOMs.

    Here’s a good article on the subject, with a link to the lawsuit itself:

  • Thanks for the suggestion! We did a “live” show while Carlton, Jim, Byron and I were at Press Camp last week, and we talked about the Strava lawsuit. I should have it in the feed in a few days.

  • I thought you guys did a great job (as always) on covering the highly charged LA / USADA issue on the recent podcast. The only thing I’d object to is the trend on blogs and in the media (which came up a bit on this podcast) to label anyone that disagrees with USADA and WTC handling of the issue as being a naïve regurgitation of the ‘Livestrong Army’ or bought into the ‘LA PR Machine’.

    The reality is that some folks (like me) simply believe that USADA and WTC (like any powerful organizations) have a natural tendency to exhibit the same kind of ego-driven power. But what’s worse is when those biases are draped under the guise of an ‘impartial’ organization. We should be distrustful of all intentions in this pursuit. There are big egos and dollars at stake on BOTH sides of this equation. To assume otherwise, is truly naïve.

    At this point, whether Lance doped or not, and when, and for how long – is all opinion (and we all have those opinions). But when discussing this issue from a procedural / legal / organizational body – opinions need to be left at the door, and in USADA’s own words, “The athlete is innocent until proven guilty”. Therefore – in the state where we are at (formal accusations made), we all need to start from the premise that Lance is completely innocent. That’s not opinion – it is procedural protocol as defined by the governing body (USADA) itself.

    Personally, what gets my knickers in a twist with regard to USADA / WTC are the following specifics:

    1. I’ve read the 15 page letter and it’s long on rhetoric, short on substance. If you really, REALLY read their points and boil away the rhetoric, the letter could have been a page or two, not 15. It’s put together to create effect and promote an opinion.

    2. USADA cites concerns of witness intimidation to why it withholds the ‘list’ – (btw – whose numbers change throughout the letter). This is not a credible reason. If everyone in the cycling community can guess the ‘candidates’, then even more so could the ‘LA Intimidation Machine’. Not buying it. The anonymity of the ‘list’ makes it more powerful than actually naming the witnesses. Rhetorical tactic.

    3. The shifting speak in the letter also is unclear whether they actually have a positive sample. In one place they say they have it, in another they say the fact that they don’t is ‘proof’ that the USPS Team had ways around it – and they even list those mechanisms in detail. No references to whether those specifics are from witness testimony, or simply speculation on USADA’s part.

    4. Everyone uses the supposed 2009 / 2010 samples as an argument of relevancy for the charges – but the letter CLEARY is about his titles, not 2009 and certainly not 2010 where he didn’t even come close to podium.

    5. The timing of the announcement is incredibly suspect. Just as Lance certainly times tweets (as you guys rightfully pointed out) to game perception, USADA is composed of individuals and egos and are just a susceptible to the ‘vindication’ flaw in human ego. Release this letter a couple weeks before Le Tour, a week or so before Ironman Nice? If you were looking to ‘hurt’ Lance, you actually couldn’t pick better timing. And the matter of “We won’t post anything further” – i.e. drop a bunch of accusations without proper disclosure, and then clam up? C’mon. That’s such an overused tactic that its transparency is offensive.

    6. Finally, WTC’s handling of this is complete chicken-&$%#. In a ‘press-release’…. Errr… ‘interview’ in Lava (which is operated by WTC), Messick (WTC CEO) says that the rule to ban Lance from competing in WTC events had ‘unintended consequences’ but they just didn’t want to change the rules mid-season. Ok, first off – he isn’t formally ‘under investigation’ yet (the trigger for the rule), so there was no rush to ban him from Nice. Second, USADA’s own mantra is ‘innocent until proven guilty’, yet banning an athlete prior to even disclosure of witnesses and evidence? They are a company that is entitled to set the rules, but I think it’s complete sanction by perception to protect brand at the expense of fair treatment to the athlete.

    Again – these are my opinions on the matter. They have nothing to do with being pro or anti LA. They are about being offended by manipulative behavior on either side which doesn’t serve sport.

    What serves sport is a fact based progression to a definitive decision through lawful arbitration. Justice is not always served, but as I’m sure Jim Moss would point out, those who confuse ‘justice’ and the ‘law’ are destined to frustrating lives of desperation and bitterness.

    Thanks again guys!

  • DonB

    Good show.

    A thought about national and world pro championships. I’ve always been a bit put off by crowning a world champion, and to some extent a national champion, based on the results of a one day race. I wish the world champion could be the rider with the highest ranking at the end of the season, or at least the highest results after a series of races. Kinda like NASCAR. (Not that I follow that much at all.) Time trial champion could be the rider with the highest cumulative results in TT events over a season, or a series. National champions could, of course, be the highest ranking within each country.

    Instead, we get these races that don’t really mean the best riders are participating, necessarily, yet they get to wear a champion jersey for a year. It would seem if they get to wear a jersey for a year it should indicate a (previous) year’s worth of success. But that would make too much sense, at least for me.

    By the way, you lose me when you talk about the bike industry. I personally don’t care much about where Interbike will be. (Thank goodness for my FF button.) My preferences are discussions about pro cycling (men AND women), and general bike culture. But of course, I understand you have a diverse audience.

  • btw – I read Lance’s (attorney’s) response. It’s 18 pages (take that USADA for your measly 15 pages 😉

    Most of it was predictable. No surprises. Although I did laugh out loud in the section (page 6) where as potential proof that USADA violated US laws to procure witnesses, he quotes a section from Landis’ book (which is now known to be a work of fiction).

    The way the paragraph plays out in the letter – and the irony – I couldn’t tell if the attorney was actually making a clever joke.

    I think the letter could have been narrowed down to one phrase, “ARE NOT!!”

    Let the circus begin…… errr….. again…..

  • oboe

    So, just so we’ve got it straight: there’s no controversy when someone like Landis’ life is destroyed because of the ubiquitous culture of pro tour doping. But when it comes to Lance, we must look forward, not back! Please.

  • Hey, btw David – I was out on a run while listening to the podcast. The visualization (I forget who said it) of a bald, evil LeMond stroking a white cat made me stop in the middle of the road and bend over laughing. Classic.

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