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July 24, 2004

As the Wheel Turns: Armstrong-Simeoni soap opera

VeloNews | Mercado wins, but Armstrong move takes center stage

Rupert Guinness offers the definitive account of Lance Armstrong's contretemps with Filippo Simeoni from Friday, with after-stage comments from both riders, and both coaches.

Apparently, Simeoni was near tears after the incident and considered dropping out of the race.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 24, 2004 in Lance Armstrong 2004 | Permalink

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Comments

While I hate to see Armstrong behave this way, it seems that Simeoni started it by talking trash during the first week of the tour.

Paybacks are a bitch.

Posted by: Unawen at Jul 24, 2004 3:13:16 PM

This is a shameful tale. Normally Lance is all class and sportsmanship; I really hate what he did to this poor guy. Just brutish and unsporting IMO. As a fan of Lance, I don't accept what he did to Simeoni at all.

Posted by: lancefan at Jul 24, 2004 3:22:49 PM

We don't know everything that has gone on behind the scenes with Simeoni.

For Lance to make the rather remarkable comment that Simeoni wants to destroy the sport that pays him makes me think that there is something more to know, behind the scenes, about Simeoni's tactics in the current case, something that probably other riders gossip about but decline to discuss publicly.

I am certain that there is a side to this personality clash, and this story, that has not been revealed, and may not be revealed ever.

Posted by: elaba at Jul 24, 2004 3:30:54 PM

The only story that hasnt been revealed is how far and deep blood doping goes on in this sport. Think about it, why does the peloton close ranks behind Lance and have to insult a rider 2 hours and 40 minutes behind the leader? Why does Lance feel threatened by a rider who testifies re: a doctor? If Armstrong had nothing to hide, why would he feel threated by allegations about his doctor? Just go to another doctor. Or defend the doctor. Funny how the Peloton closes ranks and doesnt say that Simeoni has a right to his opinion, or everyone needs to be honest in court or that they cant speak for anybody else but they are clear. No.

This sport is under serious suspicion and that incident yesterday just said more than endless volumes from shilling commentators.

Posted by: jpinmaryland at Jul 24, 2004 3:39:09 PM

Um, the guy SUED Lance.

What did he expect?

Posted by: Blue at Jul 24, 2004 5:07:29 PM

Come on folks. Have you all not worked with a complete jackass before that did nothing but tick off every body in the office. When the boss put them in their place, did anyone stand up for them? Was it satisfying? Sure it was.

Is it any sign that when Lance stood up on his pedals not a single person in the peloton reacted to go with him? They all knew exactly what he was doing and they supported it, so they let him go.

Why is it so hard to believe that there could be a valid reason beyond the obvious for someone needing a bit of a re-humbling? There are lots of ways to go about disrespecting and insulting the riders of the peloton that will get you a similar treatment.

Cipo is on the guy's team and speaks out against him. If that's not a sign that there's some personality trouble, then I don't know what is.

Posted by: andy at Jul 24, 2004 5:22:27 PM

You know what? I don't give a crap if Simeoni is universally despised in the peloton. It was very easy for Lance to do what he did. If he's in the right in the matter, then fine. Let him show he's a bigger man by treating the weaker one with some dignity.

As for this statement: "Is it any sign that when Lance stood up on his pedals not a single person in the peloton reacted to go with him? They all knew exactly what he was doing and they supported it, so they let him go." I've now read a lot of reports in English and French and listened to the OLN commentary... according to all of those the peloton was 'in a full panic' when Lance rode away. They didn't know what was going on.

"Um, the guy SUED Lance. What did he expect?"

I dunno. Lance called him a liar. What did Lance expect?

Posted by: lancefan at Jul 24, 2004 9:21:16 PM

Oh come on -- It's a *race*. If the fastest guy in the race decides he doesn't want someone to win, that is entirely his choice. It is entirely fair. This bullshit about it not being fair is just that - bullshit. The Tour isn't a special ed course where 'everyone's a winner'. As far as calling someone a liar and then having that guy sue you -- that's the type of response I would expect from a universally despised, vindictive person. For example, I call George Bush a liar every day. He doesn't sue me (nor could he expect to win if he did (well, unless it was in front of the Supreme Court) -- last I checked, I could still have an opinion about anyone I want. Simeoni's a liar. If he'd like to sue me, he can hunt me down.) Anyhow, the point is Simeoni is a despicable person and got what he deserved. He made his bed by sueing Lance over some petty words, now he gets to sleep in it.

Posted by: NoPCSillyness at Jul 24, 2004 9:54:25 PM

"Lance called him a liar. What did Lance expect?"

For Simeoni to be enough of a man not to go whining to a court, perhaps. Suing for libel over it...please. That says all I need to hear about the guy.

Posted by: Blue at Jul 24, 2004 10:47:19 PM

I agree that it's silly for Simeoni to have sued Lance. I don't know Italian law, but I suspect he doesn't have much of a case.

However I think it's equally absurd for Lance to have done what he did to Simeoni. The argument that this is a race and Lance doesn't need to 'let' anyone win make sense in a scenario such as Stage 17 where he he actually contested and won the stage... but Lance wasn't contesting a thing in Stage 18. He was denying another rider the chance to contest it though. That's got nothing to do fair play and I don't see how anyone can pretend that it is. It's more a case of 'might makes right' than anything.

Posted by: lancefan at Jul 25, 2004 9:58:24 AM

I cant even believe there are so many of you that think what Lance did was absurd and "had no class". There are certian lines of tradition and respect in every sub-culture in the world. Cycling is no differnt. If someone is going to cross those lines, he better be able to take it all the way, or be prepared to be put in his place. Simeoni had his chance, one on one with Lance that day. In enough words Lance said "let's do this." Simeoni folded. He cried about not being able to have a little stage win. He decided that, not Lance. Lance was prepared to stay up front as long as Simeoni did. He has no one to blame but himself. And he went to the back of the peleton crying and thinking about quitting the tour. What a baby. I think he needs to suck it up, shut up and race.

Posted by: Shane Phillios at Jul 25, 2004 10:40:43 AM

Simeoni's repeated attacks on the final stage, despite repeated scoldings when he's caught, point up what a lot of us have been suspecting, that he is a bad-tempered fellow who doesn't ride with a spirit of unity with the peloton and doesn't care whom he's making angry.

I'll say this much for Simeoni, he's got a high tolerance for accepting abuse from other riders, the way he keeps asking for it.

Posted by: elaba at Jul 25, 2004 2:08:41 PM

"I cant even believe there are so many of you that think what Lance did was absurd and "had no class". There are certian lines of tradition and respect in every sub-culture in the world. Cycling is no differnt".
And sport is neither. IS it so hard to understand it?Simeoni is one of the few that talked to the judges about doping. Everyone (Cipollini first) is doped in cycling so, everyone hates him.HE was going against the system. I will always stand for the one that has the courage to go against a dirty system. This same treatment of insults and so on was devoted last year to the spanish guy who spoke out about doping in Kelme (I cant remember his name).
WAKE UP !

Posted by: clean at Jul 25, 2004 2:23:59 PM

Interesting perspectives, folks, but...here's the crucial info you need to make sense of this little contretemps:

This has nothing to do with the doping/Dr. Ferrari/defamation lawsuit -- let's just saw a certain young Italian was making goo-goo eyes at a certain American pop singer. Hoo yeah, thas whut um tawkin bout. Podium girls, yes; celeb girlfriend at TdF? Trouble. Wurd.

Posted by: Hank Porter at Jul 25, 2004 3:17:15 PM

Interesting perspectives, folks, but...here's the crucial info you need to make sense of this little contretemps:

This has nothing to do with the doping/Dr. Ferrari/defamation lawsuit -- let's just say a certain young Italian was making goo-goo eyes at a certain American pop singer. Hoo yeah, thas whut um tawkin bout. LA sez, "Whut?! Whut?! Stay down, clown!"

Hmm, podium girls? Yes. Celeb girlfriends at TdF? Trouble. Wurd.

Posted by: Hank Porter at Jul 25, 2004 3:19:01 PM

Just because someone "goes against" the system, doesn't make them morally superior. Fact is, Lance and a lot of other riders test negative, have no evidence that they are breaking the rules, then some has been like LeMond (who's performance points to serious doping), and an angry at the world rider like Simeoni make accusations that they don't back up with evidence and they are the truth tellers? Fact is, if the entire peleton was breaking the rules, we would find out, that secret would be too big to keep. That theory holds about as much water as the "NBA games are fixed" theory.

Posted by: matt at Jul 25, 2004 8:57:14 PM

clean,

He didn't go against the system because he was against doping... Remember, Simeoni was caught doping himself, and was asked to name names in exchange for a lighter sentence/expulsion from racing... That makes his testimony quite suspect... And morally, I applaud Millar for announcing that he doped w/o being caught first... He wasn't forced by courts to testify. He did it because he felt shame for being a cheater and decided not to take part in it anymore and come clean... Also, he accepted responsibility for his doping decisions w/o starting to blame everyone else but himself... That requires a true character, not this 'poor act' by Simeoni pretending to be a victim now...

Posted by: rich at Jul 26, 2004 1:28:29 AM