Bust the bubble …

Check out today’s Cyclingnews {{LINK}} headlines …

High-Road moves from Germany to the US (SLO-town, no less!) …

Basso courted by Barloworld (2nd tier euro-team) …

Riders complain about midnight drug testing …

Swiss cycling hurting for money …

TourdayFrance won’t pay out last year’s prize monies until drug tests resolved by UCI …

Astana still shit-listed for Giro (maybe they should move to the US?) …

Vannoppen busted for … DUI, too?

– – – – –

money_gets.jpgI think it’s worthwhile to remember that the highest amounts of cash started coming into the sport right around the same time (it’s rumored) that the real performance enhancing drugs started moving themselves into riders’ veins and coating chamoises.

Before the influx of real money into euro-cycling, cyclists used drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and maybe some horse-shot action. It was doping, clear and simple.

But, once money started rolling into the sport in a more corporate, TV-revenue oriented sort of way … the horizons expanded to include all those tales of EPO and HGH and specialty steroids and whatever else they’ve dreamt up since then.

It was a bubble created just like junk bonds and high-tech stocks. Cycling after Lemond took off in a direction that invested a lot of money into a sport that didn’t have the infrastructure to handle it. The cash was fought for like meat tossed into a hungry pack of street dogs. They fought and snarled at each other, made alliances and burned matches … all to get themselves a piece of action that the Post-Lemond Cycling Bubble created.

And now it’s time to burst that bastard.

– – –

The headlines in the CN link above hint at financial problems for cycling in Europe. And that is the ONLY real incentive for killing off drugs in our sport … money.

We have to make it profitable for teams to compete clean. And we have to make it cool for riders to race clean …

thecleaner.jpgbut hey, i’m not spouting holier than thou crap here. I’m not saying life is a blanket of mormons smothering anything fun or mischevious. Hell no! Go out there and party a bit, Vannoppen. But, try to do it in moderation. Snort some coke, smoke a doobie, have your foo-foo euro-martini drinks … or whatever belgie party boys suck down.

Party all you want, but don’t make them ENHANCERS, ferchrissakes. I’m not someone who wants all to walk a straight and pure line … that’s just not my style. But, I do espouse personal responsibility and the decision to act honorably.

Acting honorably means lining up to the start line knowing that you’ve put yourself on an equal playing field with your competitors. It’s that clear, honest look in a rider’s eyes that makes all the difference in this sport. As fans, we all respond to it. We hunger for it. We reward those who have it.

tugboat.jpgWe were hooked when we thought Lance had that look. That clear, determined, hungry look in the eyes. And we thought it of Hamilton and Landis. And we still hope for it, i suppose.

So, let’s take some money out of the sport … or, lets FORCE these people to move away from enhancin’ … and more towards partyin.

We’re only here for a short time, folks. Let’s enjoy it and do it right.


10 Responses

  1. With the new “Uninhibited Racer Awards”, couldn’t alcohol be considered a performance enhancer?

    I can’t sprint but I like wine, so there’s some incentive to do more crits. Now if I can just figure out how to race uninhibited.

  2. everyone can sprint

  3. Oh, you had to bring religion into this. Those mormon doods know to partay… they’re krazy!

  4. Ulrich got busted for X. Does that count?

  5. So let me see if I got it right…

    LeMond was caught doing coke with Ulrich and a bunch of mormons and now they all have hungry eyes and the only way to bring $$$ back to cycling is to burst LeMond.

    Got it. Let’s go.

  6. everyone can sprint, some animals are just better sprinters

  7. How much money is in track racing? Ask Mr. Steve Alfred, it must be enough to juice to the gils in the little leagues. Your Hell-ye-righters still hold him up like a GOD. Now his is banned for life, so should all his results still stand? GO! Druggies! GO!

  8. Nail on head hit.

    You have to get outside the procycling bubble and look at prosports on the whole to see the link.

    Baseball, football, basketball in the States means millions. These guys are in a closed loop that takes them to elite circles where the common meeting point is the gym, the place they maintain their fitness.

    Weightlifters and bodybuilders run gyms.

    Baseball, football and basketball players hang out with weightlifters and bodybuilders and tap into the dealers and networks of supply that provide for the heavily-muscled.

    Baseball, football and basketball juicers have enough money to pay a guy $50k a year to bring them dope, and they get even better access, meaning closer to the doctors and labs, with more money.

    Witness Balco, where Bonds and Giambi and Jones could all fork over big coin to buy untraceable stuff from leading chemists.

    In cycling Armstrong and the USCF embarked on an early program (pre-Atlanta olympics) to do something medal-wise on hometurf.

    Didn’t work. Jamison crapped out, Storck got overdosed and Armstrong, well, speculation is that his cancer was the result of overzealous steroid self-application.

    Speculation. Speculation.

    As such, when he recovered and won the TdF and became everybody’s darling, he had a team of former sponsors and USCF inner-circle indebted to him for having turned him on to the bad stuff that lost him his ball.

    And so they went out and secured multi-million dollar advertising contracts for him. So much that his team salary was a mere pittance.

    Witness the contract bonuses he got from bonded insurance companies, to the tune of $5 million, if he went out and won five in a row.

    And so, Armstrong showed the rest of the peloton, most of them struggling with the UCI minimum of 30,000 euros (I mean , like 60 percent of the peloton lives on that) that there was in fact a lot of money to be earned on the bike, particularly in America, if you could hide your dope and make your mark in July.

    Armstrong also made it clear inside the bubble that if you had enough money you could just buy the same stuff the NFL-MLB-NBA and probably NHL guys were using. Undetectable, invincible.

    Witness Hamilton. Witness Millar. Witness Basso, Heras, Ulrich, Vino, etc. etc.

    So it’s the money. And it all starts in the gym, where the weightlifters and bodybuilders, non-athletes to the man, seek to make a little bit of cash on the side selling what they use to the skinny ballsports dudes and endurance freaks who only spend four hours a week with the weights to maintain their fitness.

  9. High school football. Masters racing. Ultra cycling endurance events.
    Not too many millionares in those disciplines, but still quite a lot of drugs. Where there is the (ill) will, there is a way. You guys are WAY off base thinking it takes bunches of money to dope. At a professional level maybe, but at the lower ranks, no way. A little druggin’ goes a long way.
    And by the way Hernando, what a hypocritical viewpoint you have on recreational drugs compared to performance enhancing drugs. Drugs are drugs. Respect yourself. Are you clean or not?

  10. again with the “they all dope” …

    i get so tired of hearing that. if i can win, what… 25 races in a year, and do it hungover and bleary eyed most the time … than all those you fear dope need to spend more money on their ‘enhancers.’

    or just train.

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