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June 29, 2004

The Tour for Americans

MSNBC | Why we should care about le Tour

Garrett Lai, who I remember reading in the magazine for unreconstructed roadies, Bicycle Guide, offers a top 10 reasons your average American should get into the Tour.

It's a nice little intro, that hits all the storylines that Outdoor Life Network hopes to capitalize on.

Along with the story, they're running an interactive poll, "Do you believe Lance Armstrong has used illegal doping during his 5-year Tour de France win streak?"

Voting is currently running 82 percent NO, 18 percent YES, which I found a little surprising.

Posted by Frank Steele on June 29, 2004 in Tour '04 Previews | Permalink


Sheryl Crow and Robin Williams are compelling reasons to care about the Tour? Yeah, right!

Posted by: lancefan at Jun 29, 2004 5:01:46 PM

What's surprising? that the number is low?

Posted by: Laurent Fignon at Jun 30, 2004 11:30:05 AM

Exactly. I think there's a better than 18% chance that he has.

Posted by: Frank at Jun 30, 2004 1:45:50 PM

Laurent Fignon is a sore loser(G.LeMond). The French hate Americans. They especially hate losing to them. His comment shouldn't surprise anyone.

Posted by: Chris at Jul 1, 2004 5:50:32 PM

Certainly LA uses doping. The reason the ratings are low, is because no anti-fan visits that site. Americans have an attitude of: no critics on ourselves, only on other ones, which make them seem arrogant.
I'm not French, German, nor American, so I might be a but more objective than others. Objectively: the Tour is boring, Lance is not a person who cares about fair play (he's doped) and Ulrich is surprisingly week.
Time to find another sport to love, cause cycling isn't a sport anymore.

Posted by: Lilith at Jul 21, 2004 3:05:56 PM

I think the person who is certain LA is guilty is a frustated, angry person who needs phychotherapy. Also, anyone who thinks citizens of other nations are more self-critical than Americans knows nothing about Americans. Of course, I have no idea whether LA
is a doper or not, but I'd have to see a lot more evidence than I've heard of to believe it.

Posted by: Harlow Sprouse at Jul 21, 2004 4:02:46 PM

Lance gets tested and passes more durg tests than anyone athlete alive - what else do you want him to do? How many drug tests do you want him to pass?

Posted by: jimc at Jul 21, 2004 4:37:11 PM

Lance has passed EVERY test given to him!! What else do you need to understand that he's clean?! Is it that hard to believe that Lance Armstrong is just a great athlete and cancer survivor? Those who think he doped are just jealous and hate themselves and cant give others praise. Lance is an inspiration to all cancer survivors and athletes.

Posted by: Fanya at Jul 22, 2004 6:36:31 PM

In defense of Lance:

The other riders seem to be doped too, but perhaps not as well. Dr. Michele Ferrari prides himself on building on the work of his mentor, Professor Francesco Conconi. That work is blood chemistry.

Look up big Swiss pharma Roche's new anemia drug, still in Trial Phase 2. CERA---it is targeted for chemothapy patients. The letters read: CERA(Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator).

Based on early tests--it is reported to be both quicker acting and longer lasting red-blood cell booster than EPO, NESP, Eprix and the numerous other generics used by Team Festina, Cofidis, Kelme and the Australian Junior Track Team and others.

My point is this, if you abuse this drug---you will become much stronger and reduce your weekly injections too. What top pro would not be interested, if only they could get access to it?

And, it is undectable too, so test away--which rarely happens, no positive results will you find.

AND, there are still no doping tests for:
1) No test for Human Growth Hormone
2) No test for insulin feeds & blood transfusions
3) no way to prove a racing hematocrit--because the riders never give blood w/o advance notice. (just 20-30 minutes on a saline feed---and viola, a 49.99% level!)
4) no way to DQ a rider when they carry a "medical certificate" as Lance Armstrong does for 1)corticosterois 2) testosterone

So testing is virtually meaningless because the most powerful drugs are not screened. Instead testing is a PR game which enables the public to believe whatever it wants to. It doesn't prove or disprove anything.

Instead, please do your reseach of the doping arms race. IGF-1 (insulinlike Growth Hormone is also in service today as well as Interlukin-13)

David Miller, Philippe Gaumont, Jesus Manzano, Jerome Chiotti, Eddy Plankaert, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Richard Virenque and Filippo Simeoni can't all be lying---or be the only ones doping??? And why do so many top cyclist die before age 35? Nine in the last 18 months.

Greg LeMond probably knows much more than he has said already. Listen carefully when he speaks.

These are facts, some circumstantial, but much based upon sworn testimony of admitted dopers.

Doping is here to stay--at least try and understand it.

Not everyone believes the corporate advertising slogans.

Posted by: Frank at Jul 22, 2004 8:09:50 PM

Frank, does doping not trouble you then, (especially if you think they all do it)?

If it does bother you, then I don't understand how you remain such a devoted fan of the sport. The cognitive dissonance would be too great for me!

Posted by: lancefan at Jul 22, 2004 8:25:41 PM

Hey Frankie, so you believe everyone is doping, everyone is dirty; I hope you have excluded you and me from that list. But perhaps you know better and everyone who doesn’t see things the way you do ‘believes the corporate advertising slogans’. Perhaps we live in a corrupt world and everything is corrupt and the pure effort of the athlete it corrupt and ‘testing is virtually meaningless’ - it is just a facade to placate the press and the fans. Perhaps you are right. But I believe we live in a better world if we don’t condemn a man based on innuendo, rumor, and unsubstantiated allegations. Give a man the benefit of the doubt. Truth comes from the fullness of a man’s heart, not from bitterness and jealousy. Trust those who are happy with themselves, not those who are filled with bitterness and regret.

Posted by: Terry at Jul 22, 2004 9:57:48 PM

Terry & Lancefan:

If a list is what you require, I can work you up a very long one. Here is my short list---no innuendos here, just cold hard public facts.

Admitted to persistent doping:
David Miller, Philippe Gaumont, Robert Sassone, Mark French, Jesus Manzano, Filippo Simeoni, Richard Virenque, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, Greg Strock & Erich Kaiter--Lance's ex-junior teammates, Stephen Swart--another ex-Lance mate, Jerome Chiotti, Eddy Plankaert, Paul Kimmage, Davy Thomas, Thierry Laurent, Francesco Moser, Bernard Thevenet, and today's new revelation, 27 year old American Matt DeCanio who is yet another EPO & HGH user, et al...

All these guys admitted to doping.

I have another list of 606 pro names--folks who tested positive for the old stuff (stimulants & anabolic steroids) and denied their use. btw: Nearly every TDF Champion is on that list too.

I got nine heart failure fatalities in 18 months.

I have the public works of Professor Francsco Coconi, his student Michele Ferrari, his own EPO quotes, Dr. Luigi Cecchini and all their famous cycling clients. (these performance consultants do only blood chemstry, they even brag about it)

No innuendo here, just a massive sample size of public information from which one can draw a logical conclusion.

In order for me to believe that UCI pros do not use powerful synthetic hormones and other banned substances would require me to suspend logic and statistical probability.

btw: I know plenty of amateur folks, who don't use HGH, EPO, NESP, IGF-1, Insulin feeds or stimulants to race bikes. But sadly, I also know some that do.

Recognizing what goes on in my sport--in no way disqualifies me as a tremendous fan of sport.

But my support for sport does not change these facts. I simply must deal with them.

Hopefully, you will join me in the crusade for better disclosure of these wicked trade secrets. Silence has not worked, nor saved lifes.

Never confuse the facts, some circumstantial, some testimonial, some by association, with either innuendo or lack of enthusiasm for pure sport. Just the opposite. It is though careful study that the fantacy is kept separate from the pure joy of amateur sport---which is where the real excitement remains today.

Posted by: Frankie at Jul 23, 2004 12:16:19 AM

Those who think Lance Armstrong does not use doping are just utopians.
Some pro riders say nearly 90% of the pack do use doping.
So, it would be really surprising if Lance Armstrong could beat all these guys in the Tour without taking any drugs, don't you think?

Posted by: john at May 4, 2005 3:24:41 AM

Okay so if hes using dope than why is he passing all of his drug tests....Look the whole point is...You guys need to take in the fact that lance won fairly....SO your kinda saying...Most American Athletes who have won something and beaten your countries athlete...are obviously taking dope? Hmmm....that sounds a little odd dont you think..Guys Americans win because they work hard at it and dont complain about the other athletes who beat them that they are on "dope" Get over it. Its over. He won. Deal. Thank you

Posted by: JoJo at Jul 24, 2005 3:01:28 PM

It annoys me that some people act like years of focused dedicated training can't produce results. Instead they give credit to "natural" ability or doping. I guess they'd have to admit that just about anyone can succeed if they put in the work AND have the right support system.

Posted by: Devans at Jul 24, 2005 3:21:05 PM

Yeah what I think is funny...Is how if someone as good as Lance wins so much....People all of the sudden think they are on drugs or something. So basically what your saying is that no one is naturally good at a sport? They HAVE to be on drugs if they are good. Hmm..Think about it. Anyway....another point I think the reason Lance is so strong and breathes much easier than the other bicyclists is because of his beating cancer...I think the cancer has strengthend him somehow, I dont know exactly but I was talking about it with a friend and somehow cancer strengthens your lungs or something not really sure...but cancer has made him stronger. I was watching Oprah with him on the show..And they said that when she and him were biking that he was taking in more oxygen. They did tests and showed he takes in more oxygen than normal humans. So hes kinda super human. Anyway Im happy he won he deserves it. Congrats Lance :)

Posted by: JoJo at Jul 27, 2005 9:14:18 PM

Jojo - I some important facts for you. Not testing positive in a drugs test is by no means an indicator that you are not doping. Look at Basso, Jorg Jakche, Bjarne Riis, Eric Zabel, Johan Museeuw,.... None of them were caught by failing a doping test. Shall I go on? This doesn't prove that Armstrong was doping but the fact that he has never failed a test doesn't prove that he didn't ever dope. Armstrong's nationality has nothing to do with this debate.

Posted by: PCH at Jul 30, 2007 11:38:40 PM