Simeoni, victim of Armstrong’s bullying, takes tricolour jersey

I well remember the feeling of disgust when, on the 18th stage of the 2004 Tour de France, Armstrong chased down a six man break that included Filippo Simeoni.  This move would, of course, ensure that the break would be neutralised by  Ullrich’s T Mobile team. Showing himself to be a far better man than the Texan Simeoni agreed to go back to the peloton so that the break could succeed. When back in the bunch Armstrong, showing his support for the code of Omerta that has brought the sport to its knees, made a zip the lips gesture. On the final stage a defiant and brave Simeoni attacked continually but was, of course, chased down by Armstrong’s lackeys.

And what was the cause of Armstrong’s ire?  Simeoni used to be treated by doctor Michele Ferrari, who was also Armstrong’s doctor, and had testified in court that he had doped since 1993 and that Dr. Ferrari had prescribed him doping products such as EPO and Human Growth Hormone in 1996 and 1997. Simeoni was later suspended for several months for doping use. Armstrong was, of course, under pressure because of his association with Ferrari and reportedly called Simeoni a liar in an interview with Le Monde in July  2003.  Unsurprisingly Simeoni lodged a charge of defamation   asking for damages that he would give to charity.

On Sunday Simeoni showed his true worth when, with a late attack after 255km, he beat the cream of Italian cycling to take the the road championship. The thirty six year old from Milan repaid the faith of his small team with the best win of his career.


1 Comment »

  1. I remember the day well. I admired Simeoni for speaking against Ferrari and also having the audacity to attack Armstrong on the final stage. He probably attacked Armstrong more than anyone else. Very please he won national championship. Thanks for sharing.

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