‘The last thing I’ll say to the people who don’t believe in cycling, the cynics, the skeptics: I’m sorry for you. I’m sorry you can’t dream big. I’m sorry you don’t believe in miracles.’
The World according to Lance
Last Monday saw Four Corners on the ABC feature an article on Lance Armstrong. See it here.
Four Corners reporter Quentin McDermott talks to people who worked for Armstrong, rode with him and some who raced against him. What they reveal will shock you.
The story they tell describes a ruthless competitor who will do anything to win races and earn millions of dollars in prize money and endorsements. These people tell a story that details over ten years of drug use, that began before he was diagnosed with cancer. They also tell a story of a man prepared to vilify former friends and employees if they dare to cross him.
Who is Paul Kimmage?
Paul Kimmage via chasingwheels
Paul Kimmage is an Irish journalist working for the London Times.
Paul has become famous for his crusade against doping in cycling. He was also that man that elicited a venemous response from Lance at the 2009 Tour of California Press Conference. This exchange has become legen……………….wait for it……..derry!.
More of that exchange later.
Paul Kimmage was a professional cyclist with no major titles under his belt. He represented his country in the World Youth Championships where he finished sixth in 1986 and represented his country in the 96 Olympics .
He finished ninth on stage 7 of the 86 TdF before completing the Tour in 131st place (his only finish in three participations of the Tour). He represented Ireland at the 87 UCI Road World Championships that ended with a win by his compatriot Stephen Roche.
As a professional, he began to find that many cyclists he was beating in his amateur days were now leaving him for dust. He always struggled with injury and he retired with no wins, blaming systemic doping in the peloton.
Dissilusioned with professional cycling, Paul eventually retired and became a journalist.
His first book Rough Ride, is his account of his attempt to cut it in the world of professional cycling. Written in 1990, the book has since been revised and updated, and details his experiences as a domestique which included references to drug use, including that of his own. Kimmage admitted to using amphetamines to ride non controlled criteriums on a few occasions, and caffeine suppositories, but says he stayed away from more powerful and dangerous drugs that other cyclists were using.
Kimmage was vilified within cycling as having “spat in the soup” (a colloquial phrase denoting betrayal, from the French, cracher dans la soupe), and within Ireland for having slurred Kelly and Roche.
Initially ridiculed by many within cycling that systematic steroid abuse could not take place, Kimmage was eventually vindicated as the 98 TdF became mired in one of the world’s biggest drug scandals of all time.
The Festina and TVM teams were found to be facilitators in doping.
It’s eventual winner Marco Pantani died in 2004 from a cocaine overdose after years of systematic steroid abuse.
Pantini via sketching
Later on, in a 2008 interview, Paul Kimmage was quoted as saying:
“This guy, any other way but his bullying and intimidation wrapped up in this great cloak, the great cancer martyr…this is what he hides behind all the time. The great man who conquered cancer. Well he is the cancer in this sport. And for two years this sport has been in remission. And now the cancer’s back.”
At the Tour of California 2009 press conference, Paul Kimmage from the Sunday Times asked Lance a question, which rubbed Lance the wrong way.
“What is it about these dopers you seem to admire so much?” (in reference to why Armstrong appeared to show such tolerance for riders who had previously tested positive rejoining the circus).
Well, that started an extraordinary exchange between the two.
Armstrong went on the offensive. He blasted Kimmage over comments made during an Irish radio interview last year – the “The cancer in this sport” quote referenced above.
“I’m here to fight this disease,” Armstrong said in reference to cancer. “You are not worth the chair that you’re sitting on with a statement like that with a disease that touches everybody around the world.”
And then it goes on. No point in pasting the full extract here, have a look at it yourself at this location:
The events that have transpired over the last few months have certainly vindicated Paul’s stance on Lance, and has given him some degree of satisfaction.
Unfortunately, he is being attacked on another front.
The UCI is now pressing ahead with a legal action against Paul Kimmage.
The Irishman has received a subpoena from the Tribunal D’Arrondissement de L’Est Vaudois in Vevey, close to the residences of both Pat McQuaid (current UCI president) and Hein Verbruggen (previous UCI president).
The claim from these two is that Kimmage was ‘dishonest’ in accusing them of ‘having knowingly tolerated tests, of being dishonest people, of not having a sense of responsibility, of not applying the same rules to everyone.’
It is thought that the complaint against Kimmage relates in part to an interview carried out with Floyd Landis. Both that rider and Tyler Hamilton have claimed the UCI shielded the Texan.
The same accusation is leveled by Hamilton and Coyle in The Secret Race, and has been further corroborated in the USADA case against Armstrong.
To help out Paul, Cyclismas.com and @Digger_forum have set up a Chipin for Kimmage’s defense fund.
Hats off to Paul Kimmage, a modern day hero standing up to the cheats and dopers that have tainted our sport
Lets hope this is the implosion we had to have.
Beam me up Scotty
What would Spock and Kirk think of the current implosion if they were to travel back in time?
See it here at Cyclismas
After all that’s been going on – WORLD TOUR 2012 – Final rankings
via cycling time
1 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER Joaquin, KATUSHA TEAM (KAT) 692
2 WIGGINS Bradley, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 601
3 BOONEN Tom, OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP (OPQ) 410
4 NIBALI Vincenzo, LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE (LIQ) 400
5 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro, MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 394
6 GERRANS Simon, ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) 390
7 FROOME Christopher, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 376
8 SAGAN Peter, LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE (LIQ) 351
9 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel, EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI (EUS) 332
10 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto, MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) 320
11 BOASSON HAGEN Edvald, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 317
12 CONTADOR VELASCO Alberto, TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK (STB) 290
13 HESJEDAL Ryder, GARMIN – SHARP (GRS) 241
14 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen, LOTTO BELISOL TEAM (LTB) 237
15 URAN URAN Rigoberto, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 199
16 MARTIN Daniel, GARMIN – SHARP (GRS) 196
17 ROGERS Michael, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 194 (???)
18 MOLLEMA Bauke, RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM (RAB) 194
19 HENAO MONTOYA Sergio Luis, SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) 194
20 KREUZIGER Roman, ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) 189
248 riders finished with at least one point.
1 SKY PROCYCLING (SKY) GBR 1,767
2 KATUSHA TEAM (KAT) RUS 1,273
3 LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE (LIQ) ITA 1,197
4 OMEGA PHARMA-QUICKSTEP (OPQ) BEL 1,162
5 MOVISTAR TEAM (MOV) ESP 952
6 ORICA GREENEDGE (OGE) AUS 920
7 BMC RACING TEAM (BMC) USA 917
8 RABOBANK CYCLING TEAM (RAB) NED 799
9 GARMIN – SHARP (GRS) USA 762
10 ASTANA PRO TEAM (AST) KAZ 645
11 LOTTO BELISOL TEAM (LTB) BEL 625
12 RADIOSHACK-NISSAN (RNT) LUX 619
13 EUSKALTEL – EUSKADI (EUS) ESP 555
14 LAMPRE – ISD (LAM) ITA 435
15 TEAM SAXO BANK-TINKOFF BANK (STB) DEN 401
16 VACANSOLEIL-DCM PRO CYCLING TEAM (VCD) NED 364
17 AG2R LA MONDIALE (ALM) FRA 315
18 FDJ-BIG MAT (FDJ) FRA 246
A pretty damn fine effort in their first year – shame Matt Whites involvement in the UPS Doping scandal has tainted a brilliant team effort. Well done lads.
1 SPAIN 1,889
2 GREAT BRITAIN 1,163
3 ITALY 1,115
4 BELGIUM 1,014
5 AUSTRALIA 962
6 NETHERLANDS 733
7 UNITED STATES 530
8 NORWAY 449
9 GERMANY 447
10 PORTUGAL 412
Blogof the Week – Pop Dot Blog
A great little design blog covering a wide variety of themes.
Toy of the Week – Lamborghini Torino Coffee Machine
Italian luxury sports car giant released this sexy Lamborghini Tonino Coffee Machine. Each machine has been crafted by hand and with a US$1750 price tag it would have to be the most affordable Lambo on the market.
Till next week
Oh yeah, that quote at the top – you guessed it. Lance Armstrong.