Archive for Armstrong

See you at the finish Lance

As Armstrong seems to be wearing a rainbow jersey this must be 1994. i don’t think humiliated is too strong a word to describe the Texan.

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An on line chat about Lance

Cycle of denial: The dirty world of cycling | CBC Sports Online.

Lance, say it ain’t so!  This has been around for four years and still millions of suckers can only repeat the mantra that he is the most tested athlete ever. Forget the doping for a moment, doesn’t he sound like a real twat?

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Lemond to tell what he knows to Feds.

Lemond and Armstrong in happier times

Three-time TDF winner Greg Lemond has been served with a grand jury subpoena as the US federal government continues its probe into alleged doping conspiracies on Armstrong’s teams the New York Daily News reports.

The subpoena, demanding documents and testimony from LeMond, was issued by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court of Central California where prosecutors have been building a criminal case based on evidence collected by F.D.A. criminal investigator Jeff Novitzky, who in 2003 uncovered the BALCO doping ring.

Among the materials the subpoena orders LeMond to produce are any that are related to U.S. Postal, Discovery, Astana and Radio Shack.  LeMond is also ordered to produce materials related to the Trek Bicycle company, a sponsor of Armstrong’s teams that has come under federal scrutiny.

The letter orders LeMond to appear at a federal courthouse in Los Angeles on July 30 to answer questions from a grand jury which meets in secrecy. Witnesses must testify under oath and may not be accompanied inside the room by an lawyer.

Armstrong’s people did not immediately respond to requests by the NY newspaper for comment about the LeMond subpoena. Armstrong  continues to deny allegations of doping most recently following accusations by his former teammate Floyd Landis.  Trek spokesman Bill Mashek told the N.Y. Daily News that the company is “fully cooperating with the government’s request.”

Like others in cycling who have voiced suspicions about Armstrong and his entourage, LeMond and his wife, Kathy  have long felt marginalized and mistreated by Armstrong’s supporters. They applauded the subpoena. “We are overjoyed,” said Kathy LeMond. “I hope the truth will come out.” All this is good stuff but it is difficult to see what Lemond can know about Armstrong’s “preparation” other than hearsay. He may have some knowledge about Trek as they made Greg Lemond bikes and after a big falling out with Trek over Greg’s concerns about Armstrong’s alleged doping he will, no doubt, be happy to put the boot in.

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Cancellara great rider, still a Clown

It would be, of course, churlish to offer any negative comment about today’s fantastic stage so I won’t. Who to single out for praise? well Armstrong for a start. The way he came back to the group, even if he did get more than a little help from the convoy, was fantasic. Thomas of course was super as was Evans and Andy Schleck.

Cancellara was, like yesterday, great on the bike and a burk on the mike. In a short ITV4 interview he tried to distinguish yesterday’s stage, when it was wrong to race after a crash, from today’s stage when it was OK to race after a crash. Needless to say he just tied himself in knots.

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More about Floyd Landis

I swear by almighty…the whole truth and nothing but the truth

I have just ploughed through the many e mails between Landis, Armstrong and various others and it was heavy going so I won’t inflict them on you. One thing’s for sure Armstrong is talking bollocks in claiming that Landis was attempting blackmail. There is nothing to support this allegation.

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Floyd Landis

Below is the essence of the e mail that Floyd Landis sent to Steve Johnson, the head of USA Cycling, on 30th April. Who knows what to believe but for me George Hincapie’s comment says far more than all the denials.

Saying it happened in 2002, Landis wrote that Dr. Michele Ferrari extracted a half-liter of blood so it could be transfused back into him during the upcoming Tour de France, adding that Armstrong was educating him on why the process was vital.

“Mr Armstrong was not witness to the extraction but he and I had lengthy discussions about it on our training rides during which time he also explained to me the evolution of EPO testing and how transfusions were now necessary due to the inconvenience of the new test. He also divulged to me at that time that in the first year that the EPO test was used he had been told by Mr. Ferrari, who had access to the new test, that he should not use EPO anymore but he did not believe Mr. Farrari (sic) and continued to use it. He later, while winning the Tour de Swiss (sic), the month before the Tour de France, tested positive for EPO at which point he and Mr. [Johan] Bruyneel flew to the UCI headquarters and made a financial agreement with Mr. [Hein] Vrubrugen (sic) to keep the positive test hidden.”

Armstrong and the UCI both pointed out that he did not ride in the Tour de Suisse in 2002, and the UCI strongly denied that it or former UCI president Verbruggen were, or ever had been, involved in a drug-test cover-up. Landis could have had the date of the alleged positive test wrong, as Armstrong did win the Tour de Suisse in 2001.

Landis said he was asked to make daily checks in 2003 of a refrigerator in Armstrong’s apartment in Girona, Spain, to ensure that the temperature was proper for blood storage.

“It was kept in a small refrigerator in the closet allong (sic) with the blood of Mr Armstrong and George Hincapie and since Mr. Armstrong was planning on being gone for a few weeks to train he asked me to stay in his place and make sure the electricity didn’t turn off or something go wrong with the referigerator. (sic)”

Hincapie said he was disappointed by the allegation.

Landis said he received the blood-boosting drug EPO for the first time in 2003 from Johan Bruyneel, the longtime coach and mastermind behind Armstrong’s Tour de France dominance.

“The first EPO I ever used was then handed to me in the entry way to [Armstrong’s] building in full view of his then wife. It was Eprex by brand and it came in six pre measured syringes. I used it intravenously for several weeks before the next blood draw and had no problems with the tests during the Vuelta. Also during this time it was explained to me how to use Human Growth Hormone by Johan Bruyneel and I bought what I needed from Pepe the team ‘trainer’ who lived in Valencia along with the team doctor at that time.”

Bruyneel, besides saying he can “absolutely deny everything” Landis wrote, said the disgraced cyclist has “threatened” and “blackmailed” him looking for money, a spot on a racing team, or both.

Landis said a team bus pretended to have engine trouble and stopped on a remote mountain road in order for the cyclists to receive half-liter transfusions at an undisclosed point in the 2004 season.

“This was the only time that I ever saw the entire team being transfused in plain view of all the other riders and bus driver. That team included Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie and I as the only Americans.”

Armstrong denied all of Landis’ assertions. “At the end of the day, bike fans … they know the truth,” Armstrong said.

You said it Lance!

In 2005, he helped Levi Leipheimer with doping during the Tour de France.

“I had learned at this point how to do most of the transfusion technicals and other things on my own so I hired Allen Lim as my assistant to help with details and logistics. He helped Levi Leipheimer and I prepare the transfusions for Levi and I and made sure they were kept at the proper temperature. We both did two seperate transfusions that Tour however my hematocrit was too low at the start so I did my first one a few days before the start so as to not start with a deficit.”

UCI president Pat McQuaid said Landis’s allegations were “scandalous and mischievous.” The governing body said it regretted that Landis accused former teammates without allowing U.S. cycling and anti-doping authorities time to investigate.

Landis told USA Cycling that he has “many, many more details” in diaries.

“Since the position of USA Cycling is that there have not been enough details shared to justify calling [the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency], I am writing as many as I can reasonably put into an email and share with you so as to ascertain what is the process which USA Cycling uses to proceed with such allegations.”

USA Cycling has declined to comment on the allegations.

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Words of wisdom from Wislon

L.A. at TDU 2009

Last year I was contacted by an occasional poster, Wislon of West Lancashire, who expressed the view that Lance Armstrong was sitting lower on his bike than in pre-comeback days. Oh really Wislon I thought, I can just see a perfectionist like Armstrong getting the basics wrong. I replied politely about his “interesting” observation and forgot about it.

Wislon didn’t though and he has now sent me this recent quote from Johan Bruyneel. What can I say? Respect Wislon.

“His position looks good right now. He’s currently looking very, very differently on the bike and he feels a lot better,” said Bruyneel. “There’s quite a bit of difference. Last year his seat height was a lot lower and we don’t really know why, he’d kind of lost all the references of earlier on [in his career]. Since the 2009 Tour de France finished we have started to work on his position and it’s a bit different but I think the biggest difference people see is he’s a lot smaller. His upper body is very different.”

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