Tejay van Garderen reminds us all that the thing these guys do is not the same thing that we do

definitely not TvG and LA
definitely not TvG and LA

i read about LA motorpacing Tejay and i realised that, although nothing should surprise me anymore when it comes to this kind of thing, these guys were born not only with very good ‘rider DNA’ but also with the capacity to be as thick as two short planks at times, and that this means that there will always be surprises.

opening up CyclingSnooze is like Xmas every day. presents abound. if it ain’t some Kazakh being dumb enough to get busted by a system that is three steps behind the dopers – they call these guys ‘dopey dopers’, cute huh – it’s something like this.

like the Schlecks being coached by Andersen for years. like guys still going to doping doctors to learn from their ‘vast experience.’ or like current pros going on Shamcapie Gran Fraudos.

now before 68 and 1/2 irate ‘Pologists start pounding their keypads with their knuckles let me state that i’m sure TvG is a smart lad, i’m sure he can manage the dials on his shoes and zip up his jersey all by himself and that he can string a thought or two together, but – and this deserves italics –


this is a guy that rides for a team that has a media dude that mailed me last time I wrote about Tejay to request that i change the ‘v’ on ‘van’ from a large one to a small one.

that is some serious micro-management.

and yet… they let this go?

nobody paused to think about it?

bells did not ring?

what this is, quite clearly, is yet more evidence (as if we needed it) that shows that these guys inhabit a different world from the rest of us. whereas anyone remotely located in the real world would look at this scenario and say, ‘you know what, this might be a bad idea’ – these guys just don’t see it. it’s business as usual for these top guys, to be associated with former dopers, to be managed by former dopers, to be overseen by a federation head who is questionable to say the least, to be interviewed by doping apologists and to be lauded as heroes by guys who see nothing wrong with a current pro hanging with the Track Mark Pack.

why should we, really, expect anything else? Tejay is riding for a team run by a guy who should not be in the sport, Jim Ochowicz.

want to know why? read this by Inga Thompson and check the chart.


or this from VeloNews about Floyd Landis claiming that Ochowicz knew about doping at U.S. Postal.

Tejay rode Hinshabbie’s Fraudo just recently too.

can you see a thread emerging here? these riders may well be clean, i hope to the outer reaches of the universe that they are but they are living in castles in the clouds. they are not equipped with the mental faculties (and  not because they aren’t intelligent, they clearly are, but they are also products of their environment) to see that for the normal bike dude in the street what they are doing and who they are associating with is disturbing.

i keep coming back to the same thought, and that is this:

the thing these guys do is not what we do.

that is not our sport.

i don’t even know what it is.

some are going to say ‘well, LA and those guys are human too’ and they are correct. but let them do their rehab away from this fragile and busted sport.

let TvG call LA anytime, i still think it’s not right but if we don’t know then – well, we don’t know. but this kind of brazen act, just like riding with George, it suggests that the thought process is untethered from common sense.

and if it’s not that, if it is rationalised and considered, then it is a hefty f**k you to the people who love this sport and want it cleaned up.

the last thing i can think of is that this rider may be placed in an uncomfortable position by being on a team run by a man associated with LA for so long and feels that he can’t say no. i don’t know. it’s possible.

i wonder how Brian Cookson feels about all this? a new poster boy hanging with an old one, one whose sheen is very much gone.

yeah i just don’t get it. please, if you can make sense of this feel free to impart your wisdom upon me.

Author: Lee Rodgers

Cycling coach, race organiser, former professional cyclist and the original CrankPunk.

26 thoughts

  1. I $eriou$ly have no idea a$ to what po$$ible motivation drove Tejay’$ deci$ion to feature in “that” Rouleur article, or participate in any number of aforementioned fraudo’$….

  2. Here’s a word I’ve not used in a while “Flabbergasted” much like thick as 2 short planks (I migrated to Pigsh*t a few years back) but the sentiment is the same.

    Its definitely a F*CK YOU scenario but also I feel part of the re-integration plan for the old boy with more and more ringing endorsements from the new breed (Curious Georges ride being part of that plan)

    It all smacks of fingers in ears “LA LA LA LA LA LA”

  3. You should be head of the UCI Lee…. seriously. Or better still, create a separate entity called the UCCI, the extra C being for CLEAN of course. Keep up the crusade man

      1. If you win election- I’ll vote for you multiple times- can I be Viceroy or Arch Duke? I’m handy with a pillowcase filled with doorknobs and know how to hide bodies. And I know how to make a mean latté.

    1. can’t bring myself to read that one. i suppose i’ll have to but i’m putting it off. waiting for Nicole Cooke’s book to arrive in the post first 😉

    1. I don’t think Lance was anyone’s puppet and I don’t think TJ is either. He’s just a moron. That said given the number of blogs out there that love caught dopers or ignore doping entirely, maybe the people who want a clean sport aren;t too important to teams and sponsors.

      1. BINGO. Sponsors don’t care that “we” (not the Royal “we”) want a clean sport. Why? Because they are still selling lots of bikes to those who don’t care, or don’t know any better. Would Specialized really sponsor the teams they do (Astana?) if it mattered to their bottom line because people were refusing to buy their bikes due to the association of the brand with doping riders? Until that happens… sponsors give zero fucks. Or fewer. And the non-bike industry sponsors care even less, until there is that public outcry, then they back away much quicker than any of the bike industry sponsors. Why? Because they have shareholders and big Board of Directors that actually pay attention to these things when they have the possibility of hurting profitability. Within my beloved bike industry, until there is a negative impact on the brands sponsoring dopers, nothing is going to change on that front. Sadly.

  4. I agree as usual, but I don’t think you’re correct that “for the normal bike dude in the street what they are doing and who they are associating with is disturbing”. At least in the US, the normal bike dude in the street is wilfully ignorant and has fully bought-in to the “new generation” narrative. Most of the normal bike dudes I ride with think Lance was bad, but still kind of a legend, Hincapie’s a stand-up guy, Horner’s an American original and Jens Voigt is the messiah. Tejay, Talanksy et al can simply do no wrong.

    The only one I have any respect for is Phinney. And guys like Matt Cooke and Carson Miller. They’re the only ones who act like they’re pissed off about doping.

    1. And I can’t even begin to tell you the stories of the flack I receive for pointing out the stench associated with doping, dopers, Dope Fondos, etc. “Just leave them alone, they’ve paid their penalties.” Really? I know a lot of former pros and current pros. People I respect for making the right choices- even if it was not an easy one because the temptation was strong. Where is their justice and compensation? They were robbed of the opportunity to compete fairly for wages. Hell, maybe I was too. Maybe I was better than I thought, if the others weren’t doped to the gills? Well, I’ll never know. So yeah, I get bitter and conflicted about good guys making bad choices, good guys making good choices, and all the in betweens. I love the sport too much to not care, even though I’m way outnumbered by those who just want to see more homeruns at any price. I’ve never been popular, so why should I try to be now?

  5. While I can kinda understand George (who, let’s face it is pretty much unrepentant) hanging with Lance.. Tejay’s made a choice that’s show’s a total lack of self awareness or the (metophorical) finger to anyone who wants the sport to be clean.

    It’s ironic as (at least) Lance ‘gets’ that he’s a pariah.

  6. Well put CP, very well put. The folks who micromanage the lower or uppercase V somehow not grasping Lance playing “motoman” to TVG is really quite stunning.

  7. I can’t stand Jim Ochowicz, but could you at least spell the name right. I mean, would you like it people wrote about you as Leigh Rogers?

  8. Don’t forget the cycling industry has a VERY vested interest in seeing Lance back in media spotlight. I have no doubt that BMC knew and approved TJ training with LA. Why? BMC needs to sell more bikes and LA has been such a strong driver of sales that the entire industry wants him back in the spotlight. Watch for the odd article on Velonews that in some way suggests that LA be forgiven or was not treated fairly. Not too long ago VN ran an article in which 2 European Academics suggested drugs be legalized in cycling… why? to justify what LA did and bring him back… the entire hoopla around LA and the Hincapie Fondo was staged media attempt to garner sympathy for LA. They thought it would be seen as unfair to not let him compete in charity fondo. Fortunately, it did not work. These are not the only two examples, there are more but I digress for the sake of brevity.

    The cycling industry has seen road bike sales fall off a cliff. They will do anything to bring those sales back. The most likely avenue is to bring back Lance as he spawned the road bike sales craze and there is no one on the horizon that move sales. Wiggins and Froome did for GRB sales but with both off the mark and non-English speakers winning in 2014 no one seems likely to step up and create interest in the Anglo world for road cycling. As the sport shrinks, less teams, less pros, less bike sales, the companies within the sport become desperate for revenue.

  9. LA come back and spur on sales? I reckon his reputation is too badly damaged for him to spur on sales even if he was somehow allowed back. I certainly hope he never gets back in. The industry has to find other ways to reinvent itself than to rely on the biggest cheat, and the biggest a$$hole in sporting history.

    1. You under estimate the power that LA has over legions of what amount to moronic fans. In my local cycling community, most people think LA has been punished enough and want to see him race triathlon. In the tri community it is overwhelming that he should be allowed to race. This is not my opinion but what I hear on rides and in the local shops. People still idolize Lance to a large degree.

      People (in a general sense) don’t really care about doping. Look at the sports that dwarf cycling, American football for instance… do you really think those guys are not juiced up? But there is no outcry to clean up football and there won’t be one. People enjoy the spectacle too much. (I speak about America, where I live not anywhere else). Does anyone still think Nibali was clean? How many guys have been busted on Astana? Or Froome? That guy has looked doped his entire career… and then there was the TUE for cortisone that numerous doctors agreed at the levels he was taking it he should not have been racing if he was that ill. Or Froome’s “inhaler” TUE… Doping not only exists but is still rampant in the peloton.

      The problem is easy to fix… 1st doping positive, lifetime ban for the rider, the director sportive and the team doctors loses his medical license. All of the above must pay back their annual salary. As well, sponsors would be accessed a monetary penalty.

      1. I’m not in the US but I will take your word about the legions of moronic LA fans – what sad ppl. And yes, doping is across all sports and at many levels not just at the top. I’m not sure it’s quite so easy to fix – yes those measures would go a long way but it obviously needs those in power to take those actions – do they have the balls to? No

  10. See also Talansky tweeting (and then taking down) selfies of him riding with Levi. Stupid things that cannot be undone.

  11. I think a lot of people just don’t see it as doper=evil person like the way it is potrayed sometimes, though admittedly I would be avoiding Lance like the plague. Phil Gaimon was as big hater of the dopers as anyone, then he got to know one a bit better and now is best buds with Tom Danielson. How does that work in the black/white world of doper hating? Switching sides I guess.

    The Matt Cooke thing I don’t get. Cooke turned pro late and didn’t even have the results on the NRC circuit to stay on the bigger domestic US teams yet it’s the fault of the Garmin dopers!! Really? Maybe Cooke should have went off on one at some of his former doping team-mates at Navigators(Zajicek, O’Bee and plenty others to choose from). Guys who were his direct race rivals in the US. They were far more likely to have been denying him his shot at the big time than the likes of VDV/Dace Z etc who were around the top leagues long before Cooke even switched to cycling. No,no better to get yourself heard as the hardline anti-doper by hitting on the big-names rather than the likes of Zajicek/O’Bee which would harldy even get you mentioned. At least Gaimon was usually pissed at Mancebo, Sevilla etc, guys he was riding against most of the time.

    Amazing how the likes of Darren Baker/Scott Mercer, guys who did lose out to those dopers seem to carry less of the bitterness and rancour than guys who were not even top NRC riders and came much later when maybe the option to dope wasn’t such a necessity. I guess they understood the situation because they were at that level and faced that reality. Shit, Baker finished the Vuelta in 97 at the height of the EPO era and was far from last position as well. Now that was a guy who really lost out, not someone who was scratching around on smaller US continental teams.

    I recently read the Bassons book and whilst a good read, I came out of it liking him less than I did going in. Why? Well he comes across as a little bit hypocritical at times. For example, even though he had team-mates that were clean(his words), he refuses to name them because he reckons they had to speak out themselves. Yet how was it revelaed it to the public that Bassons was clean? Was it down to his outspoken nature? Actually no, it was down to the fact that he was named as clean by his own team-mates, something which he seemed to lose sight off when refusing to afford his own clean team-mates the same favour. Why? Did he want to be the ‘only’ clean rider in the village.

    The closest Bassons gets to naming anyone is his buddy Patrice Halgand who was also named as being clean by a Festina team-mate but remained quiet. It doesn’t get mentioned that in the same period as Basson’s career, Halgand won 16 times, maybe not big races but still winning. Would have been nice to get Basson’s opinion on that, but again it is completely ignored. You get the impression it is ignored because it would put Bassons lack of success into perspective, especially considering his repeated comaprisons with the physiology of Hinault. You can’t really claim your lack of success is down to others doping if there are other clean guys winning. Who knows maybe Halgand was doping too but Bassons is never clear on it which is what frustrates me.

    I admire people who speak out and tell the truth especially the guys who were near the top like Basson’s but very often it is also about being seen to be antidoping just to get a bit of nototriety.

Leave a Reply