Thursday, June 14, 2012
The RadioShack Debacle...
Johan Bruyneel, derisively nicknamed "The Hog" for his propensity to ingest mass quantities of steroids during his pedestrian cycling career, is in trouble. His team is rumored to be on the verge of being left off the Tour de France starting line due to the charges leveled at him by USADA, his best stage racer Andy Schleck is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured pelvic bone, and he is catching monumental shit from the screeching hyenas that make up the Chris Horner Fanboy Brigade because he had the audacity to leave him off the Tour roster when Horner didn't show up for the Tour de Swisse, a mandatory run-up race for anyone wanting a place on the Tour team.
Let's recap Bruyneels's less than auspicious cycling career. His only two highlights were-
1) 1994 when he gracelessly sucked Miguel Indurain's wheel for what seemed like an eternity during a Tour stage into Belgium, only to rob him of the win in the last few meters to the line, a tactless and graceless act that showed what a two-bit snake he is, and...
2) 1997 when he skidded off the road and plunged 80 feet into a ravine like a bitch during the infamous Tour stage when Miguel Indurain finally cracked after five years of domination. That about sums up Bruyneel's life as a professional cyclist.
Here is the crash in glorious non-HD...
The other only outstanding feature of his bullshit life as a rider was studying the refined art of organized team doping under the tutelage of master doping guru Manolo Saiz, who thankfully has never gotten another job running and administering a team ever since is last team, Liberty Seguros, ran aground. But Bruyneel took up the mantle and ran with it, and for those who say "what's the big deal", or "this investigation is a witch hunt", take a good look at what this man is being accused of-
Rule Violations-Numerous former riders and employees of the United States Postal Service, Discovery Channel, Astana, RadioShack, Phonak and/or ONCE cycling teams will testify that the below individuals committed anti-doping rule violations as follows-
By Johan Bruyneel (Team Director):
1) Possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices) testosterone, HgH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
2) Trafficking of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HgH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
3) Administration and/or attempted administration of EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HgH, corticosteroids, and masking agents.
4) Assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rules violation and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.
5) Aggravating circumstances justifying a period of ineligibility greater than the standard sanction.
The UCI have been made aware of these formal charges. They can keep Bruyneel from attending the Tour this year, or they can ban the whole RadioShack team altogether. Let's see what those cowards do. Meanwhile, due to circumstances beyond his control, Bruyneel may wind up giving a team spot to Chris Horner after all due to Andy Schleck's injury.
Everyone who follows cycling knows the rancor that existed on the Astana team in 2009 when Armstrong tried to bully Alberto Contador into letting him win the race and the subsequent interviews by his asshole teammates who took Armstrong's side, but this interview I hadn't seen until today and really shows the distinct lack of character exhibited by Horner-
Horner is another one of the Armstrong groupies who are convinced Lance never doped. Unlike his fans, who love him despite his spotty and clearly PED-fueled performances, I never took to this guy. He couldn't hack it as a Euro pro when he first rode for La Francaise de Jeux and came crawling back home to ride for various domestic teams. He then miraculously drank from the purifying waters of the Bruyneel Fountain of Youth and started winning races at the age of 38 that he couldn't when he was twenty-five. He is at an age right now when most other riders are either winding their careers down or have retired. This guy's palmares stinks of doping to high heaven, but don't ever say that to his fans. They'll tell you how much integrity he has and what a wonderful example he is of the prototypical hard-working cycling domestique who has enough class to win a race on his own merits. All total and complete bullshit.
Juxtapose the comments Horner makes against Alberto Contador in the video to this hypocritical rant against felolow RadioShack teammate Andreas Kloden. Kloden tweets a comment about Horner's Tour non-selection with pragmatic honesty, which Horner obviously doesn't appreciate-
"If you want to ride a big Tour, you have to ride also some races with the team. Watch Team Sky, BMC...3 weeks racing isn't a one week race"-Andreas Kloden via Twitter.
Here is Horner's hypocritical response-
"Horner didn't respond to Kloden on Twitter, but when asked about it, he said he found the German's comments to be "unprofessional".
"I was surprised," Horner said. "I thought it was unprofessional for a teammate to talk badly about another teammate like that. It's certainly unprofessional for your sponsor to read something like that. Certainly there are times you ride with teammates you don't like; it's happened to me several times in my career, but I try to never talk about a teammate like that. It was disappointing to see, and it was very clear to see who it was addressed to. I was quite surprised to see a veteran of his age and experience write something like that publicly."
These comments are galling seeing how gleefully he threw Contador under the bus during the Tour in 2009, and all because Contador refused to let Armstrong beat him when he was clearly the better rider.
I will be updating this page as events warrant. We'll find out soon if the UCI has the cojones to do the riight thing and ban RadioShack from the Tour. I highly doubt it, but one can hope. Stay tuned for further updates on this volatile situation.
*UPDATE-There are reports that the Schleck brothers are looking to sign with another team for next year, and have hired a lawyer to sort this out. Bruyneel has to meet with the UCI to receive "clarification" on his status as team director in light of the allegations being leveled against him, and Tour organizers ASO may cancel the team's invitation to the Tour.
06/16/2012-George Hincapie, David Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde and Levi Leipheimer have all opted out of the London Olympics, leaving the US Men's road cycling team with retreaded bum Chris Horner, newbie Taylor Phinney and two other anonymous dickheads who probably won't have the strength to finish the course. I wonder why these guys would refrain from representing their country at such a prestigious event?
06/18/2012-Not that this is in any way news one way or another, but Chris Horner will indeed be riding the Tour. He received one of the final spots.
06/22/2012-Johan Bruyneel will officially not attend the Tour de France. Of course, this was probably a decision that was made for him in conjunction with the ASo and UCI, but at least they let him save face...