the curious case of George Hincapie

I do not know where to start when it comes to George Hincapie. Ex-Lance Armstrong teammate, ongoing Lance apologist, ex-doper, supergrass, writer, hotelier, clothing entrepreneur, and team sponsor.

George wears so many hats that we really shouldn’t be surprised that even he gets confused from time to time as to which one he’s wearing.

Let’s start then with the facts. George was a pro rider from 1994 to 2012. He rode for Motorola, US Postal, Team High Road and BMC Racing.

His didn’t win a great deal apart from Gent-Wevelgem and came close in a big Classic or two, though he was national road race champion of the USA three times over his 18 year career. He also finished 17 Tours de France.

He is most famous as being, for much of his career, Lance Armstrong’s faithful domestique and for being a fully committed doper for (according to him) at least a decent chunk of his career.

He was doped good too, by the best. The very best.

His status on Wikipedia, next to ‘Team:’ reads ‘Retired’.

Whereas his former team leader received a lifetime ban for using illicit substances, George got nothing more than a 6 month ban thanks to ‘co-operating’ with the federal investigation into US Postal and Discovery.

‘Co-operating’.

Funny how people ‘co-operate’ when they could potentially be facing a prison sentence for perjury if they fail to ‘co-operate’.

And so, once his ban ended, George retired.

Before he retired though, Hincapie was afforded the luxury of leading the peloton onto the Champs Elysees in his 17th and final, record-breaking Tour de France.

A fairytale ending in every sense.

Except that, well, by October, George, whom had stayed clear of doping accusations more or less throughout his career, ‘admitted’ to having doped for many years.

“It is extremely difficult today to acknowledge that during a part of my career I used banned substances,” read George’s statement at the time.

“Early in my professional career, it became clear to me that, given the widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by cyclists at the top of the profession, it was not possible to compete at the highest level without them. I deeply regret that choice and sincerely apologize to my family, teammates and fans.”

And yet, what George doesn’t seem to realize is that ‘that choice’ was one he made every single time he pushed the needle into the vial and every time he popped a pill.

This is something that just about every doper tries to do: to claim that they came to a point where they had to make a choice, and that once that terrible, shocking moment came and they decided ‘I will dope’ – there was no turning back.

Rather than face up to what they were doing and stop, retire, or – shock horror – tell the truth, they chose instead the far easier route of doping continuously.

I feel sorry for them, I do, these poor guys who had to dope, had to deprive honest riders from a living, had to collect salaries, prize money, adulation and admiration from the fans, and then retire to nice houses in beautiful places.

One of the many problems I have with the Legend of George is that he went on dragging the sport through the mud and breaking records when he already knew the guillotine was being sharpened.

In his statement about his doping past, released in October 2012, he wrote:

“Three years ago [2010], I was approached by U.S. federal investigators, and more recently by USADA, and asked to tell of my personal experience in these matters. I would have been much more comfortable talking only about myself, but understood that I was obligated to tell the truth about everything I knew. So that is what I did.”

“Obligated” to tell the truth. Forced might be far more apt.

Anyway, George therefore knew for at least his last two Tours de France that he would, at some point very soon, be outed for doping. He knew it was coming, and yet he carried on regardless, taking in the accolades and leading the peloton into Paris with an EPO-eating grin on his face.

I asked Hincapie why he didn’t retire in 2010 when he knew the truth would out eventually.

“Because I had been racing clean since 2006,” he replied. “Helping others win some of the biggest races in the world. I still had a lot to give to my teammates and cycling.”

What of those who believe that he had a greater responsibility to bow out of the sport immediately, and that those who have been caught doping should not be involved again in any way with the sport?

“Everyone has a right to their opinions,” he replied. “I am just trying to help young riders make it to the next level. Cause I believe in cycling and love cycling and want to give back to the sport.”

In an interview after his career ended in Paris, in front of an adoring public, he spoke about how he’d conducted himself in his career.

“I’ve always tried to do the right thing for the sport. Right now I’m here to do my job and I’m going to try and focus on that.”

No George, you haven’t always tried to do the right thing for the sport.

You did the right thing for George. Always. In Armstrong you had the perfect mentor for that, too.

And the sport got screwed every which way regardless.

In his statement where he reacted to his ban, he wrote:

“While I understand that the choices we made were wrong, I understand why we made them and why, at the time, we felt justified in making them. I do not condemn Lance for making these choices, and I do not wish to be condemned for the choices I made.”

And so, it seems, dreams really do come true. Why?

Well, because George is still doing very well for himself. Book on its way out, hotel doing well, getting freebies from bike brands and sponsoring a team. And, in line with George’s wish, very few seem ready to condemn what he did.

The team that George is funding is the Hincapie Development Team, whose motto is ‘Building the Future of Cycling.’

This, from a man who admitted in his own admission statement, when you think a bit of contrition might finally be called for, said that he ‘felt justified’ in doping.

‘Felt justified in making choices’. Yet more obfuscation.

The Hincapie Development Team has a whopping 36 sponsors, including Giro, ParkTool, Shimano and Lake Shoes. I’m all for new backers coming into cycling, but might there be something of a skewed message being sent out here? Might George’s past not be enough to bar him from being connected with a professional cycling team, and one aimed at ‘developing’ young riders?

No, of course not – because such a rule does not exist.

Imagine an Armstrong Development Team? A Pantani Development Team? An Ulrich Development Team?

Impossible. So why is there a Hincapie Development Team?

“I am just trying to help young riders make it to the next level,” said Hincapie in response to my question as to whether a former doper should be funding a cycling team. “’Cause I believe in cycling and love cycling and want to give back to the sport.”

Regarding his doping past, there are some inaccuracies with some important elements in his timeline.

On page 219 in Juliet Macur’s book, Cycle of Lies, Macur writes that “Hincapie said he and Andreu were on Motorola in 1996 when he found a thermos filled with glass vials in [Andreu’s] refrigerator. Andreu first said the vials were substances that would help recovery. Hincapie got him to admit that it was EPO.”

” ‘He was my role model, and I started doing EPO because of him,’ Hincapie said.”

Hincapie very clearly here states that it was Andreu that provided him with the motivation to dope.

Yet on page 345 of the same book Hincapie contradicts himself, by stating that the decision to take EPO came about in 1995 and had very little or indeed nothing to do with Frankie Andreu.

“When Hincapie sat with investigators after that Tour [2010], he quoted Armstrong from 1995.  ‘This is bullshit,’ Armstrong told him.  ‘People are using stuff.’ “

“Hincapie said he had understood that to mean Armstrong wanted the Motorola team to us EPO. So Armstrong went to Ferrari, and Hincapie eventually followed.  He recounted Frankie Andreu telling him where to buy EPO and how to use it…”

Perhaps Max Testa can shed some light on these contradictions, perhaps not, but much like the admissions of other dopers about how and when they doped, inaccuracies and contradictions exist that lead us to doubt the validity of these statements, and, therefore, of everything else too.

Intriguingly, in Hincapie’s deposition to the federal investigators, which ran to over 1000 pages, there is only one mention of Andreu and EPO, and that Hincapie did not say that it was Andreu who had introduced him to the drug.

However, Hincapie clearly states, when talking about 1995 (and not 1996) that “I understand that he [Lance] meant the team had to get on EPO.”

George replied to my question regarding these contradictions, saying that “The timeline may be off. Since it was so long ago, but that happened.”

He also said that he did not start to dope when Lance Armstrong did, but a year later, in 1996.

Hincapie, as it is well known, is an Armstrong apologist, one of the posse of former associates that see little or nothing wrong in what the Texan (and by extension they themselves) did in those days.

Could George still be digging in for Lance? Still be hoisting bottles up the side of the pack for his old boss? Could he be deliberately trying to besmirch Frankie and Betsy Andreu?

When Hincapie gave an interview, one of very few he’s done, to the Detroit Free Press journalist Kirsten Jordan Shamus in January of this year, it seemed an odd choice.

Was it a coincidence that the paper is based in the same hometown of the Andreus?

Was it also a coincidence that it was in this interview that Hincapie first contradicted his statements to the federal investigation about it being Andreu, and not Armstrong, that had introduced him to EPO?

I asked Hincapie why he would choose The Detroit Free Press of all papers to give an interview, when it is a newspaper located in the Andreu’s hometown.

“Am I not able to make my own choices? I am an adult. I do regret it, and wish I could of just spoke to Frankie.”

For the record, Betsy Andreu has claimed that she contacted Hincapie on three separate occasions since the article came out, but has not yet received a reply.

In his blog, Steve Tilford recounts a conversation with Armstrong in which he recalls asking Lance about the Detroit Free Press interview.

“I didn’t understand the upside for George to be talking to Frankie’s local paper and throwing rocks,” writes Tilford. “I asked Lance why George did that and Lance said he didn’t really know why.”

And yet Hincapie confirmed that it was indeed Lance Armstrong that put the pair in touch.

“He [LA] gave her the number, does that mean he put me up to it?” asked Hincapie.

In the epilogue of Juliet Macur’s book, on page 396, Lance is quoted as saying this:

“I hated those motherf***ers – the Betsys, the LeMonds, Walsh, I hate him….I STILL hate them.”

In email correspondence, Frankie Andreu stated the following:

“As for the Detroit paper, George and Lance are out to smear me. Before everyone talked about themselves but recently they are talking about me. They are not speaking about others in the USADA report, just me.

“After the Detroit paper [article], George called me and we spoke. He apologized to me and said he shouldn’t have done the interview. I told him that I didn’t teach him how to dope and that he knew that was a flat out lie. He agreed he shouldn’t have said that.

“Lance put him up to it and it’s typical to try and discredit us because we have been outspoken and won’t back down to the never ending smear campaign.”

Hincapie, for his part, denied that he ever agreed that he agreed that it was not Andreu who taught him to dope, nor that Armstrong put him up to making the original claim.

“Lance didn’t put me up to anything,” says Hincapie.

“Also he said if I remembered it that way then it very well may of happen that wayI just don’t agree with last two things he said. It’s not true. I don’t want anyone to suffer anymore. Pointing fingers won’t help anyone. That is why I apologized for [the] interview. I asked him to please meet with me and clarity exactly what happened, cause that’s how I remembered it. We still haven’t met or spoke, since then. Hopefully one day.”

I do feel that Hincapie regrets the interview and that he is genuine when he says that the Andreus have suffered too much already, but regret counts for little to nothing when the damage is long done.

Hopefully one day, our sport will sort itself out. With characters like Hincapie still around, that may take quite some time.

 

 

95 comments

  1. Not A. Cyclist

    I suggest you talk to some of George’s former team mates. I suggest you talk to the guys on his development team. Why are you, some second-rate blogger, failing to ignore the present, and by present I mean since 2006. I love how you fail to mention that those guys, like Taylor, all admit to having George in the peloton those years to be good for the sport and how George mentored them and how his past experiences have helped them make the right decisions.

    The funny thing is that you seem to be of the minority about your hate for George. Like it or not, George is well respected both with his fans and within the peloton today. I’ve ridden with George, I’ve shaken his hand. I’ve watched him endlessly pose for pictures with people, sign autographs and even push them back the group when they got dropped.

    You can continue to hate George, but I for one are of the majority, the silent majority that likes George and everything he has done and continues to do for the sport. He donates his time, money and personality to make sure the sport continue to grow. Wouldn’t you rather someone that has made money in the sport use that money to keep the sport alive, to use his own money to sponsor one of the winning-est teams of 2014 on the domestic circuit? Or would you rather him just go away and not use his money and influence to change the sport from within.

    But hey, Im not worried about the few people that read your blog. I instead choose to be of the many people that support George and what he has done for cycling.

    • crankpunk

      thanks for the comment. appreciate your thoughts but have to disagree. i did speak to GH and he seemed alright but, i don’t think there should be dopers involved in the sport. no contradiction in a career doper behind a development team? really? shall we vote McQuaid back in too? and how about Levi, he seems to be doing ok too, more power to him! i’ll take ‘2nd rate’ too – i thought i was 3rd…

      • Dana Hikk

        Ha! 2nd rate bloggers is way better then an Armstrong hack. This Not A Cyclist is an Armstrong shammy sniffer or I’d even hazard a guess and says it’s Armstrong himself.

    • Velomonkey

      I read the article – I agree with the author and I, for one, think you have an agenda and need to take it somewhere else.

      F. George. Hincapie.

      Anyone who goes to his hotel, buys his clothes or sees him as a model is an idiot.

      I’m not good at math, but from where I am sitting, you seem to be in the minority – now place your head back in the sand.

    • David Huntsman

      Not a, cut the crap. If GH just wanted to do something for the sport, he could do it anonymously with a tax-deductible cash contribution to any number if junior cycling programs around the country. Our kids don’t benefit from his name at the races. His presence in the sport only makes us parents leery.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        Um. David if its anonymous then you don’t know if he also does anonymous contributions now do you?

    • Ted Lewandowski

      GH was a domestique – he’s only famous because of his association with LA – who right now is regarded as the biggest sports fraud in history (so what does that tell you?) – is that the guy you want coaching your 18 year old son or daughter?
      Personally I think he should have been banned for life from the sport as was LA – but he chose to be a rat and received 6 months suspension. Andreu was nothing more than a domestique as well – only got famous for being a journalist (an expert cyclist that doped!) – for which he became black-listed.

  2. Fred Astaire

    Too bad it’s not “his” money that supports the sport. He receives money for appearances and what not, but “his” money stays in “his” pockets. BMC, Hincapie (the company, “his” brother) are the ones who dole out the the devo team. To be honest, the lot of those kids on the team are little rich kids who don’t need the free ride. There’s a small handful of companies out today that are trying to make a difference and they aren’t using celebrity to change the sport, their not doing it to remain in the limelight, they are doing it because they are good people who truly want to see the sport grow. I too have met George and he is a very nice guy. That being said, he made a decision and that decision led to “his” pockets becoming larger and larger, opportunities growing bigger and bigger. Had he not made that decision, he wouldn’t have the big pockets, big celebrity and big opportunities. Maybe he would but we’ll never know because he made “his” decision.

    • Jim Rocheleau

      Well put. “To be honest, the lot of those kids on the team are little rich kids who don’t need the free ride.” True of almost all junior cycling, in my opinion.

      • Greg Miller

        Not, one of the juniors’ dads owns a bank. I think that qualifies as “rich”:, no? I know a lot of the devo team, and most are from well-to-do families. But I disagree with the sentiment that kids from well off families don’t need help and support to enter the pro ranks. Most bike racers have above average incomes or come from families with such. Not relevant.
        I am absolutely ambivalent about Hincapie’s involvement with U23 and Junior riders. How can they not see his success, despite his admitted doping, and not have that success affect their own attitudes toward cheating/droping/lying?

      • velomonkey

        I can’t lame claim to this – but here is a talk at the hincapie development squad

        OK kids, today were gonna take it to the next level. So put your bike down and take out the vial from your musette. Now with the needle just pierce the skin so your shirt sleeve covers it. Finally remember that if the testers come by, make sure you tell mom or dad to say you’re not home for the next three days, after that you’ll be OK. Next week, well do a trial blood transfusion, so this week make sure you fill this bag up and put it in the refrigerator. And don’t forget your extra testosterone, just sprinkle it on your Cheerios every morning.”

  3. camille

    I disagree that there is such a big contradiction in Hincapie statement regarding who « introduced » him to epo. The ‘This is bullshit, People are using stuff’ line in 95 and him understanding that Armstrong wanted the team to get on epo program doesn’t mean that this is what convinced him to take epo. It’s just his interpretation of one Armstrong’s sentence. It doesn’t necessarily go in contradiction with the fact that discovering that Frankie was using epo in 96 had an impact on his decision to get on epo too. Whether this is the true or not is another story. A story beyond my knowledge.

    • Not A. Cyclist

      Absolutely 100% correct. Lance said they needed to get on EPO in 1995, but George didn’t dope until 96. AFTER seeing Frankie use it. I am sure that these details will be in George’s book.

      • Not an Apologist

        How can you be so sure of what will be in GHs book? Are you writing it?
        If GH can’t remember the timeline (assuming one can believe anything he says), what makes you think that you know it?
        Blowgut…

      • camille

        Hello crackpunk! I have no informations of any sorts about the content of Hincapies’s book. But I still think you’re inacurate about Hincapie’s inaccuracies. He could very well be lying (that’s another story. When it comes to indirect influences it’s very hard to prove anything as everyone can feel and react differently to a same situation) But he doesn’t contradict himself as you claim. The Armstrong’s part is from the usada report. But Hincapie never claimed that this line from Armstrong was the thing that decided him to get on epo. In fact if he is to be believed (big IF), he didn’t start using epo until a year after. I see no moral ground on that. My belief is that he didn’t started before because he wasn’t selected for the tour in 95.
        Anyway, there is no contradiction between understanding that Armstrong wanted the team to get on “stuff” in 95 and giving in in 96 after realising that his mentor Andreu was doing epo too.
        I love accuracy ^^
        Best regards

  4. Jertzee

    Nice write up.
    I am with you in the George Hincapie camp.
    I am sure he comes across as a nice bloke…I remember the Yorskshire Ripper in the UK was said to be a nice bloke by his neighbour, lol (Not at all suggesting GH is like the YR!).
    The bottom line is I wouldn’t my kids anywhere near the GH Foundation or be associated with someone who has earned his money from ill-gotten gains.

    Why doesn’t he repay some of his winnings back tot he riders who he defrauded, the clean ones?

    • Not A. Cyclist

      Seriously? Come on. All of you on here are just on a witch hunt. Where is the smear piece against Pantani, Ullrich, Contador, etc , etc. Shit Contador was banned recently and he’s still racing. Why not go after O’Grady. He took the same accolades as George with 17 TdF finishes, and just days later admitted to doping.

      The sensationalism going on here is amazing. The funny thing is the guys that raced from 1996 – 2006 arent calling for this continued flogging of everyone during that era.

      And if you claim you just want all of this (George, included) to go away, then why continue to write about him. Yea I know why, because thats how YOU make money, by writing controversial articles about stuff that took place almost 10 years ago. Crankpunk, you are just as much a hypocrite as the people you are trying to defame.

  5. camille

    And about the smearing campaign towards the Andreu’s : this is sad for them but really they shouldn’t be any surprised. Things like this happens in every book. In « the secret race », Hamilton witnessed many riders dope, yet –apart of his own doping- he heavily focused on Armstrong and everybody is ok with that. So being mad at the Andreu’s, it’s very likely that Armstrong and Hincapie will try to put as much dirt on Frankie as possible in their own book (Hincapie’s and the one Armstrong will inevitably write one day). They will be much more willing to talk about Andreu than to talk about other people who were probably more involve in doping than he was but who they don’t dislike as much. And they have every right to do it as long as what they are telling is the true. (important condition) It sucks, but it’s part of the game.

    Nice article anyway :-)

  6. Anello Grande

    Personally, I have a bad taste with Och, Hincapie, and the development team. Maybe they are doing great and mentoring riders like Taylor well. But their past (cloudy or confirmed) will always make me question. Just like I can’t stand CTS and the coach living off of peoples dreams built on the lies of a dopers performance.

    I think it’s fair to ask why Hincapie didn’t retire and come clean in 2010 when he knew everything was going to hit the fan. How can we trust a doper to help the next (current) generation of riders to ride clean? How can we trust that they aren’t developing better means to cheat in order to continue the cycle?

  7. Baby Diego

    Now someone please correct me here if I’ve somehow got it all wrong, but what appears to be an appropriate template for the rehabilitative nature of former riders may well be seen in Jaques Boyer. He’s not selling timeshares at his development, pimping his (brother’s) clothing line, being a celebrity guest at gourmet 5-star fondos. No, he’s trying to develop young riders and give an entire people a sense of pride and direction. (PS Crankpunk though I’m not always in agreement with you, you are a great blogger and don’t take any guff from the Livestrong bracelet crowd.)

  8. Not A. Cyclist

    So Crankpunk. How come you’re so anti-George and the rest. Yet none of the peloton or the UCI agrees with you?

      • Not A. Cyclist

        Its not what I say. Have you looked at all the pros that have attended George’s GF? Ted King, Cadel Evans, Taylor Phinney, Dave Zabriske, CVV, Mick Schar, Tom Danielson. Teejay, and the list goes on. So Crankpunk if you think Im wrong… go talk to George’s old team mates. Lets see their quotes on here.

        I still stand behind my sentiment because I have witnessed it personally. I never see anyone chastise George in person, everyone I have seen him interact with does nothing but sing his praises. Shit even his online haters, like Tilford and Mercier are more than happy to take photos with Big George.

    • Not an Apologist

      ‘None of the peloton’?? Seriously?
      1) How would ‘Not A. Cyclist’ know what anyone in the peloton thinks? Maybe one of two members of the peloton are clean, and think dopers suck – not a possibility you’d acknowledge?

      2) UCI? You mean the turds who colluded with LA in his grand TdF fraud? Who are you going to throw out as an authority figure next, Pantani?

      • Not A. Cyclist

        Hey Apologist. Check out the attendee list of the Hincapie GF. Kind of reads like a who’s who of professional cycling. Both past and present. How about you start calling those pros out? Oh yea, ya know what? They don’t give a rats ass what you say or any Crankpunker does.

      • Steve Tilford

        Not. A Cyclist – Don’t be talking for me. You won’t see me riding any Gran Fondo of any of these guys and, for sure, won’t see me taking any photos with George Hincapie.

    • Ted Lewandowski

      Not A. Cyclist – why are you hiding under a fictitious username – which actually tells us everything we want to know about your expertise.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        There’s plenty of anonymity on the internet. I needn’t justify what I do.

        Maybe we should be questioning Crankpunk on his quotes from George. I seriously doubt George would be giving interviews to a known hater.

      • Not an Apologist

        A ‘Who’s who of professional doping’, did you say? Yes, they don’t care what I think, any more than I care what you or the other apologists think. Doping is dirty. GH is a doper. GH is dirty. He’s a hypocrite, a serial liar, and he has no place in cycling. I do look at his site, and I see his sponsors, and I will write to them (and I won’t buy anything from them, and I actually am a cyclist, chump). You’re wasting your time and energy, cheerleading for a scumbag – but don’t let me stop you, I get a laugh from every post!

    • mythbuster

      Hahahahahhahahahhaha….wheeze….hahahahhahhahahhahah. Sorry, that must be a joke right? Nobody agrees…. Mate, EVERYBODY with a shred of ethics and a firing brain cell agrees with crankpunk.

    • velomonkey

      Dude, what, exactly, are you trying to change here? Crank Punk laid out a simple & easy to follow narrative on how George effectively escapes his drugged years and how even today his a shill for Armstrong. You got a problem with that, take it up with George – not the people who tell the truth. All this guy is saying is that if you associate with George you need to know what you’re associating with – again, if you have problem with that take it up with George.

      The guy just literally went and shilled for Armstrong by dishing dirt on Frankie – shit he knew not to be true and shit he knew had an intention behind it – namely to drag Frankie’s name through the mud. Screw the guy – he was a doper and a liar – any narrative that doesn’t include that is just noise. I always kinda thought, dope or not, he was a boring racer. Only time I enjoy seeing George was when he got worked over by other dopers from DOMO in Paris Roubaix – perhaps his junior team can watch that DVD (i.e., 2001 Roubaix) and learn how NOT to race (both tactically and then, again, there is that doping thing).

      I mean, you actually pointed to article where a doper former winner says another doper former winner should get his title back.

      So far, all I see from you is that doping is fine. Got it – your logic stinks, but I got it.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        I guess it depends on who’s story you believe. Im sure Frankie’s quote about how he admitted to doping in ’96 will be in the book along with some other new disclosures.

        Everyone that worked for USPS back then, knew all too well that Frankie lied about getting a new offer, and tried to leverage USPS for more money. Now FA conveniently likes to say he left because he didn’t want to dope. He left because he didn’t get the salary he wanted.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        So tell me, who should we ask then? It seems to me that just about the whole peloton was doping back then.

    • david huntsman

      Are you just a bunch of drunken college students killing time at the Apple Store until the bus to Louisville arrives?

  9. Cycling can be great agian

    Thank you for your write-up, I was wondering when someone would write about how wrong it is for George Hincapie to sponsor a development team . . .it is as equally wrong for Axel Merckx, whos own father, hooked Lance up with Michele Ferrari, because Axel was a client of Ferrari. Yet, people are all for Axel working with U23 riders on the Bissell development team. I understand veteran riders bring a wealth of strategy to the sport for young riders to learn and develop, but we need to be consistent, either we turn our noses up on all dopers or we grant amnesty to all. Right now we have such mixed messages going out, that I do not think the sport will totally clean itself up. Also, accountability goes a LONG, LONG way in my book, don’t blame others for your doping, you did it, you had a choice, you claim it and man (or women) up and take the punishment.

    • Not A. Cyclist

      So if you want to banish everyone that doped or took part in the doping from back then, Who would be left with pro peloton experience? Shit by your own litmus test… the last time I check Frankie is still running a team. What about Julich, what about Bjarne, what about just about EVERYONE thats a DS or high-level manager in the sport.

      • Cycling can be great agian

        And that is my point, be consistent, either everyone is a x- number of year banned or everyone is given amnesty.

      • mythbuster

        Yes. Ban them all. Also ban the sponsors who knowingly supported dopers from sponsoring anyone else for a fair while, and afterwards only under supervision of very strong codes of conduct. Clean them out. Start again.

  10. Evan Shaw (@Tideplay1)

    Regular people know we have to pay our rent, or we lose our apartment. Pay our health insurance or lose it. Not speed in a school zone or run over children. Not cheat or commit fraud or people get hurt. We don’t do these things not because we don’t want to be punished but we know they are wrong and we don’t want our children doing them as an example from us.

    George is a life long cheater, a fraud. He made hundreds of thousands by fraud. He helped LA destroy others deny others their careers. He rode that gravy train as long as possible. These were his moral choices. They are moral turpitude. We all know it is wrong. They are crimes. These things hurt people. Would he teach his children to rationalize these things. To keep the ill gotten gains from these endeavors.

    Would he say that people who want him to be accountable for his choices are “haters” a very slick Lance term to deflect anyone from every seeing clearly that people who cheat as a pattern over years are indeed irresponsible and destructive.

    It is ridiculous to say he is a nice person and defend him. His behavior was wrong. Plain and simple. Athletes have learned to live in a separate universe of over entitled behavior where people live vicariously thru them and hero worship them and give them a free pass. George saw how Lance did it and has somehow wrapped himself in this magical blanket. A youth development team? Lead by a lifetime fraud cheat and destroyer of people’s careers, a man who now sets up an ex team mate and tries to slander him yet again. Nice. Gee I don’t thin I am sending my son to his fond.

  11. prorider

    This is for Not a Cyclist:
    You are right that other people besides George should be talked about in this manner. George should not get all the blame, but you need to remember he made his career by cheating. And if you say others in the Euro peloton were cheating too, remember GH raced here in the US against riders who chose not to use drugs, myself being one of them. So I have actually have money and contracts stolen from me from riders who used drugs. Please tell me why I should not be upset.

    • Not A. Cyclist

      prorider,

      See this is what you miss. Read the books. Doping wasn’t something that was done all year long and before every race. It was done strategically during grand tour races, not the one day domestic races. So Im sorry to say if you got beat by George he probably beat you when not doping. And if you raced him posit 2006, he was clean then.

      • prorider

        ok, Let’s say that is true. But he did get to ride Tour after Tour after Tour and gain all that training and racing in his legs and then come over here and ride away from riders in the US. And he did those Tours because he used drugs.
        Do you understand that? It seems very simple to me and I am baffled that other people can not see it also.

      • velomonkey

        Cripes boy, someone needs to tell you straight up: You. Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.

        This isn’t a scenario where there are multiple viewpoints – there is fact and then there is fiction. You are clearly talking fiction.

        So, doping was only for tours (you just said that – you specifically said it was NOT done for one day races). But wait, didn’t Johan Museeuw admit to doping? Yes, yes he did. And he was a . . . wait for it . . . one day racer. But wait, I thought they were all on it? But then they all weren’t tour riders – so, by your logic, how could they all be on it? Your logic is lower than that of my 3rd grade son.

        And wait, didn’t Landis, who doped, have a bad day in the tour and lose the jersey and then had an epic day and came right back? The key word here, being “day” AKA “stage” – the point being the effects can be over weeks or immediate as in a day. Also, I did read the books and, yea, you totally can dope for a one day race. Jeez, boy, you need to get your head checked.

        I seriously hope George is putting you up in his hotel for like a year – cause the amount you shill for him you deserve it. And for the record – Bradley McGee specifically wrote about how “dopers” stole the best years of his career. Dopers. Plural. This includes your boy George.

        http://www.theage.com.au/sport/cycling/how-dopers-stole-the-best-years-of-my-career-20121026-28aif.html

        And if you think, for a second, that George suddenly stopped dope in 2006 you are a hack.

        Here is what we all have to remember, even without dope McGee dropped Hincapie’s ass all the time. ATMO – Brad.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        So velomonkey. You’re telling me that George was truthful about doping to USADA until ’06 and then started lying to USADA? All you nay-sayers are quick to point out that they started talking when rising perjury. So why would they risk perjury and lie about post 2006?

  12. David

    I have to agree with CrankPunk.
    Though Hincapie and others may have lots to teach the new generation about cycling.. they should be doing this under the auspices of USADA, or WADA,or the UCI. Not as a moneymaking opportunity. If GH wants to open a hotel and run Fondo’s fine by me. But don’t associate him with a devo-team.

    I have a serious issue right now with the ex-Posties releasing ‘tell-all’ books now they are ‘retired’ and making further bucks off their doping past. Michael Barry has his 3rd auto-biography where he fills in all of the omissions in the first two. So all the guys who were forced to come clean get 6month bans and are now making money off the story yet there is still a witchhunt for Lance (who I hate to admit, I’m starting to feel sorry for based on what’s happening). He’s still a pompous SOB but treat them all fairly.

  13. Scott Miner (@ClimbnPrana)

    Good points regarding GH coming out unscathed (like so many others), but is Frankie Andreu being made out to be smeared… as if he wasn’t a doper? C’mon, this isn’t an editorial mistake, this is intentionally misleading. Frankie doped, so fine, he didn’t introduce George to EPO, so you’re going to mislead people into thinking he didn’t use everything everybody else used?

    • crankpunk

      hi Scott, thanks for the comments. i certainly had no intention of doing that, Andreu’s doping is well enough known i think that i didn’t need to recount that – what i tried to establish was that George’s account of events are inconsistent. i’ve spoken to Betsy also about this and she knows my view, that ex-dopers simply should not be involved in the sport on any level.

    • TTT

      Frankie stopped doping by his own volition and admitted to it without a gun to his head. That makes a difference. Dopers are not irredeemable, but Lance and George want to be “redeemed” without paying any price.

  14. Jon

    Don’t forget Axel Merckx who ran Trek’s devo team and has a Gran Fondo in Canada that provides him with a million dollar lakeside home. Doping pays, don’t tell me he didn’t take another non doping Belgium riders job. These guys should be out of the sport.

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  16. fred t.

    I think Crank is dead on. I do think that he and his supporters do not comprehend the nuances of the pro cycling game. George and Levi and VandeVelde and DZ, Boonen, all Lances’ minions played the game to the hilt. I agree, George was a domestique and front man for Armstrong. Yet I know detractors of Hincapie, ex pros who were complete egoist, elitest, douches, on par with Lance, who want to tear smiling George a new one.
    So, as a public service, as Robin Williams said during the Rodney King riots, can’t we all just get along. By the way, anyone who detracts from Eddy Merckx, Coppi, Anquentiel or Armstrong, those are fighting words. True champions. To the individual who mentioned Boyer, another guy I knew personally, we know his history, mother of the abused, etc. Please do not mention his name around a doping blog. He is a completely different case.

    • Not an Apologist

      You’re kidding,right? I know, I’m ‘irony-challenged’, but seriously…

      You lead out with ”… can’t we all just get along”, then you follow with “anyone who detracts from ….., or Armstrong, those are fighting words.”

      If that was supposed to be funny, don’t quit your day job – it sucked.

      If that wasn’t supposed to be funny, fighting words follow. Armstrong can suck it every day, in court, for the rest of his life, trying to cling to all his cheating, lying, doping, backstabbing, slandering, self-promoting, narcissistic, ill-gotten (STOLEN, basically) gains. If I see him at another event, I’ll spit on him and take my chances – bullies like that POS are almost always chicken-shite bitches, and I think he’ll back up faster than he ever ‘danced on the pedals’ in his cheating/riding days. If you want to waste your breath defending a steaming pile of feces like Armstrong, knock yourself out – even the worst murdering scumbags in prison get marriage offers from losers with no better prospects. Can’t you find anyone better to idolize?

      • fred t.

        I am so sorry Mr. apologist that you are upset with George, Lance. They have taken their punishment. I guess if you have the time to have venom in your heart, against athletes in a sport, carry on my friend. I myself cannot cast stones. I am an imperfect person myself and ask forgiveness from God.

  17. Irreverent Enthusiast.

    Not A Cyclist… Are you a dopper… ? Your rants would actually make perfect sense!

  18. Not A. Cyclist

    Wow Crankpunk. I LOVE how you completely deleted the comment by the image owner of the photo you published in your article without their permission. Talk about changing the story.

    • velomonkey

      I love how you have absolutely, positively no point and when given facts you change the narrative. You had no issue with the photo, it was the context of the article – that has not changed.

      So, let’s sum up the score – crank punk used a copy right photo for less than 48 hours and when alerted took it down. George lied about doping for at least 15 years – he also enabled the world’s biggest douchebag and sat right next to him and did nothing as said douchebag told people they weren’t worth the chair they are sitting on.

      You have an agenda, sir and me thinks thou protest too much.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        As a professional blogger and web developer, I take offense when someone knowingly uses copyrighted material without the authors consent. And I have even a bigger issue when someone deletes the comment from the photographer that asked for said content to be removed. Crankpunk is trying to change the story about his character. And this has NOTHING to do with what George, Lance or Levi did. it has to do with the moral ethics of the site owner.

      • fred t.

        I resent the douche bag comment VM. I am the biggest douchebag in the world , and I have never ever met Lance, or any of his cronies. The tittle douchebag, belongs to me. I am also Thomas Crowne.

      • velomonkey

        Translation: blah, blah, blah . . I have no point. The guy is another country, the photo had ZERO to do with the context and he amended it when told. You’re making a mountain out of a mole hill and the desperation smells even over the internet.

        Now, what can one discern about you? We know you are NOT a cyclist. We know you ARE a professional blogger. We know you DO NOT know anything about doping (see your stupid and fictitious point on doping only being used for tours) or possibly you DO KNOW, but are such a hack you paint the narrative to suite your agenda. We also know that you intimately study the list of riders at George’s GF.

        I can only then surmise, sir, that you must be one of the following: A) The founder, CEO and president of the George Hincapie fan club B) A relative of senior Hincapie C) The elusive George himself D) Some really weird internet dude who isn’t into riding bikes but for some reason is into George

        If it’s A, B or D you need to recuse yourself. If it’s C you should nut up and face the music – you suck and you are part of the problem.

      • Not A. Cyclist

        You didn’t offer me E, none of the above.

        While this is fun, the conversation is going nowhere. Point is, the internet is a seedy place where people hide behind anonymous names (even me). And you all just do that to hide. Because I would bet, I have met some of you on here and I bet you are just like the rest of the outspoken lot. That when they come face to face with the men you accuse, you’re more than happy to smile ask for pictures and autographs and brag to your friends that you rode with Levi, or Christian or even Lance. As a journalist and blogger I cover a lot of events. And never I have seen anyone openly confront these guys. Even Tilford, Mercier, etc are all happy to smile and revere these guys.

  19. dwall22

    So every pro sports player like Bonds, Mcquire(who was a hitting coach for a pro team) Tiger Woods, and many football players etc etc… why should they keep their money, and why isnt there lawsuits against them? The President has lied to us on tv,the government, full of corrupt politicians,have lived the good life on our tax dollars. And im talking living in luxury. The bankers?
    Epo was running up front if you werent using it you had no chance, epo+best doctor puts you up front, sad i know as being a competitive mtber and having lots of friends in cycling.but on one hand who

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  21. warren harding

    DEAR GEORGE,
    FUCK YOU, YOU ARE A DOUCHE BAG CHEATER. GO FUCK YOURSELF, AND EAT A BAG OF DICKS.
    SINCERELY,
    A NON DOPING CYCLIST

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  23. Darwon

    I don’t care, at all, how “nice a guy” GH is.
    How “nice” is it to assist Armstrong in his lies and thuggery?
    GH is a sellout in every way and he has no business being involved with cycling in any way.
    This is all pretty obvious except to the tiny handful of apologists and what is their interest in being an apologist for these liars and frauds?

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  25. Greg Lage

    You seem to think the world is black and white and have an overly simplified view of the world and life! You seem to want to judge everyone on the one point of if they doped. That is it! All dopers bad, no dopers good! Well somewhere after 5th grade most people figure out life isn’t that simple. Things are done, and decisions are made. People make mistakes! EVERYONE! Even you! (I would take this post as an example of one) So you are going to judge everyone and choose their lowest point as to cast opinions as to the sum of their life’s work!

    George made a mistake, but then what? He worked for a long time to clean the sport up from the inside! And today he gives riders a chance, so they don’t have to make the same mistakes!

    Also you point to the life time ban on Lance when he only got 6 months. Well that is Lance’s Choice! If he came in, instead of using the courts and other political processes to stop and deny, deny deny! That is why Lance got what he got! That was Lance’s Choice!

    I think you truly fail to understand the culture of cycling and the time period.

    I think of George as on the Greatest US riders in History! I enjoyed his career, and am sorry you are caught up on one aspect of a larger story!

    • Not A. Cyclist

      Greg… dont waste your time. The readers of this blog and other worshippers of Betsy dont know crap of what really happened. They all prefer to believe Frankie’s story and dont recognize what was going on at that time.

      • frederic taylor

        The greatest American riders, of all time.

        #1 Major Taylor #2 Lance Armstrong #3 Greg LeMond #4 Andy Hampstead #5 Tie, Levi Leipheimer/Tyler Hamilton #7 Floyd Landis #8 Tie George Mount, Mike Neel #10 Jonathon Boyer

        These are the top riders, who have brought fame and pride to American cycling. I do not recognize the doping revelations. The ones who doped, they were a part of the pro sport culture. BTW, I would put Big George in 11th.

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  27. Not A. Cyclist

    Hm. Interesting. Last time I check copyright infringement was actually considered breaking the law. Seems to me that this just goes to show Crankpunk’s true character…. a thief!!

  28. velomonkey

    At this point you might as join the grammar police and kill the author for including a dangling participle. #desperate

  29. Not A. Cyclist

    Grammar police? While they are not real, copyright laws are. Notice the image has been pulled and yet not even an apology by Crankpunk.

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