Pez defends Astana

Charles Manantan has a new piece titled absolute bullshit over at pezcycling. I am with him for the call to create a stronger riders union that can represent the interests of the professional cycling athlete. There absolutely needs to be a strong, robust, transparent organization in place and pronto. Either through a real shake up of the current unions structure or a complete replacement of the current union.

A riders strike? Maybe. That is the ultimate leverage, is it not? It would certainly flip the script.

But tends to lose me:

Something I find interesting (and some humor in) is that while Jonathan Vaughters and Michael Ball are almost polar opposites, they are both advancing change for the better…

Vaughters and Ball have nothing in common more than the fact I’ve just put them in the same sentence. Full stop. One is a man who has been through the meat grinder and didn’t much like it. He’s trying to change the game. The other is a new-moneyed loudmouth who will move on to the next cool thing once he realizes his money pit of a team is going nowhere.

That said, Rock Racing is going to win a lot of races in the US this year. Big fish, small pond and all that. Next year and across the pond are as yet to be determined. Does Mr. Ball have the balls to keep throwing money at a team that is nowhere near ready for Europe in a tightening economy where his luxury goods product sales will do nothing but decline? My guess is no.

Anyway, back to Manantan’s piece:

In the past couple of years, the efforts to control doping have taken a substantial step forward in that we actually have doping being acknowledged and commented on by riders (and by acknowledgement I don’t just mean in the form of one pro dropping back and threatening someone for speaking up)

How ’bout a pro riding off the front and punishing the breakaway because one rider had “spoken up” in regards to a shared doctor/coach/vampire they both wrote large checks to?

That happened. Never mind dropping back: We are talking about charging off the front, in your face, right on the cameras, lets not even pretend it’s something it’s not mafia type shit.

It would be no different is Roger Clemens beaned some schlep who had provided damaging testimony in the Mitchell report the first time the faced off on the field. We would all see it as a petty act of revenge, leaning some someone to shut them up and make an example of their disregard of the omerta.

There is a direct correlation between said acknowledgement and the shit hitting the fan. The truth wants to come out, and it’s damn hard to keep that door nailed shut. No matter how many nails you’ve got in your pocket. We will all one day read of Johan Bruyneel’s Belgian Bunny Juice and the Race Winning Cocktails injected all the way from Austin to the Champs-Élysées.

And it will be some good reading. I plan on owning a first edition.

He’s losing me again:

I mentioned the war on drugs / war on terror above, and the ASO and RCS and lately to a lesser degree the UCI seem to have something in common with terrorists just like they do the Mafia… Terrorists tend to want to break down society and keep people poor, starved and desperate. That’s the only way they can maintain control. To a degree, that’s what’s happening to cycling and to its riders…

Charles, really.

When an organization decided they’d rather not have a rolling pharmacy soil their event, you compare that to terrorism?

Perhaps I’m being to hard on Mr. Manantan. Cycling is fucked up. Everyone, all of us in and around the sport of cycling want to see a change. The question for some of us, it seems, is what the problem actually is. And then, of course, how to fix the problem. A riders union, a real one with some fucking teeth, would help to right the ship.

On that much, as least, I think we all can agree.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

17 thoughts on “Pez defends Astana

  1. you know what the fuck Big Jonny …. you wrote a nice fucking piece … a real professional / good quality commentary …. it made humor, it made points, it did just about everything except serve me a beer

    you really got to the heart of Pez points, and took em fucking down like they were four year olds with candy you wanted …. the whole “you’re losing me again” theme … good stuff …

    you know, that Maureen Dowd beotch should be looking over her shoulder, you’re catching up to “The Viper”

  2. I tell you one thing, Rock Racing is a lot more fun to watch than the so full of themselves Slipsteam.

    Nothing like seeing a 41 yo Super Mario laying down the rubber and just finishing within a breath of the Beast Boonen.

    What happened to the Livewrong attitude that this site used to push?

    I have to go to bed. I have to get up early to stake out a spot on the first Cat 4 climb in tomorrows stage. If I have time I lay down a big DC on the road for you. But I’ll be routing for Astana and Levi on that climb.

  3. Cipo = gifted. If I had the lungs and legs to lead him to the front he’d get a result. Forty-one or not, the man’s got talent, skill, experience, and panache. He is the sprinter’s sprinter.

    Rock Racing. The riders themselves are, well, bike riders. Some of them embody cases that defy probability and/or involved extra-special lying at the least. If they’re clean, good for them. Please let them ride. Otherwise, skull-fuck them (in bike riding terms). Michael Ball, on the other paw, doesn’t even know what license his team requires to meet his stated goals. Vaughters is taking a calculated, reasoned approach to creating a sustainable professional bike racing organization beyond reproach. Where’s Rock Racing’s junior squad? Oh that’s right, they’re in Bangladesh sewing denim.

    I don’t think Livewrong ever equaled “act like a douchebag, conduct business in an unreasonable fashion, and pout when reasonable minds bring you to terms.” My impression of Livewrong is that it means to actually bring what you are to the fore and stand behind that which drives your ego.

  4. Johnny, the difference between your article and pez’s is that you aren’t selling ads to trek and major retailers. Also, +one on kid wonder above, the RR guys (especially those riding right now) are bike riders – some of them good, dedicated, smart bike riders. Ball is an ass and the uniforms suck, but that’s no reason to completely hate on the riders. Besides Hamilton, he and his twin brother can eat a bowl of dick.

  5. Livewrong never meant being the high school hall monitor. It may have meant pissing off a lot of people because you did things your own way. It didn’t mean crying about people not following all the ‘rules’. Why else would they put Eddy, a known doper on a Livewrong shirt. Eddy, who approved of Lance keeping people in line in the peleton.

    Was it about the attitude, or just marketing?

  6. “I am with him for the call to create a stronger riders union that can represent the interests of the professional cycling athlete. There absolutely needs to be a strong, robust, transparent organization in place and pronto.”

    Big Jonny, et al-

    You mean a strong players union like Major League Baseball or the National Football League? Sure, that’ll keep drugs out of the sport.

    Mikey

  7. If a was a pro cyclist, I would appreciate anyone putting time, money and investment into the sport. Rather than tarnish, put down, lose sponsors, and make flase accusations/assumptions. Cyclist are about dedication in lifestyle, training, and pure sufferring more than any other major sport, drugs or not. Many of these guys would never get by without highly unusual diets, which I am guessing consist of a lot of vitamins and supplements for most.

    The so called Steriod error(1980-2005)/ Blood doping is coming to an end. Which I think most agree is a good thing. But rider’s should be allowed to ride as long as they don’t fail the test. And a competitor should never accuse others unless there is proof.

  8. Kid Wonder,

    Funniest line ever…” Where’s Rock Racing’s junior squad? Oh that’s right, they’re in Bangladesh sewing denim.”

    Big Juan is right. This douche Ball will be Audi 5000 as soon as the economy catches up with his tired denim. Let’s see how into cycling he is then. Watching his clips on Velowhores.com made me throw up in my mouth. Get over yourself. Acting like you just won lotto kid..I’ll give him props for the “Bad publicity is better then no publicity” pitch I guess..

  9. For me the operation Puerto thing is over. Either try the case or drop it. Hmailton served his time as well as David Millar. Why drag this on. Heck in “our” sports you barely hear about failed test. I want to see Basso return as well as others. Come back and compete without the shit and may the best man win.

  10. Pez has been stroking the figurative cock that has been Postal/Disco/Astana since they came into being, this article should be, and indeed, is, nothing different from their banter and love for all things Johan. Pez NEVER writes anything about doping, they stay away from that fray, never comment on it, except in cases like this where they are trying to defend someone. Pez isn’t good for much of anything except seeing some mediocre hot chicks, and an occasional good picture from the good old days of cycling.

    Look at their testing of stuff. Has anyone ever seen a bad review of something? Come on. All of that crap can’t be that great.

  11. The Rock Racing booth at the finish today in San Jose had the biggest crowds. When Cipo rolled into the finish line, just barely making the cutoff, he was swarmed by fans.

    kg

  12. …i hope micheal ball (a) continues to make a fortune (b) so that he continues to invest said fortune in cycling (c) continues to shake up a sport whose power structure really does need shaking up & (d) notches it back just a hair so that he doesn’t embarrass us all…

    …& cipo kicks down a 3rd in the rain, against guys he mighta fathered 20 years ago…

    …call me a hypocrite if ya want, but i’ll support the PRO’s in the hope they get their shit together…this sport is too fucking good to wait for the right bandwagen to climb on…

  13. …w/ out delving into a lot of other issues, i thought manantan’s piece was fairly concise, but then again i would, because it represented a lot of my views…i did find his comparison of terrorist tactics to the moves of the (not so) august governing bodies of the sport, to be a little imprecise or even uncomfortable although not inexplicable…

    …i’ve said it before, at this point the ‘aso’ is using the doping issue as a smokescreen because the general public has clue nada regarding what is really going on in this sport…
    …this is their bit of ‘disinformation’, their subterfuge, their “we’re so innocent, it’s all on THEIR shoulders” ploy…

    …jonny, am i to really believe that you only see the “organization decided they’d rather not have a rolling pharmacy soil their event” as the be all, end all of their actions ???…
    …that is fucking disingenuous & honestly hard for me to believe that you can’t admit to seeing a larger picture…

    …anyway, dude, you’ve got a good head for understanding ‘regular’ politics & money, & i just wonder if you’re missing the politics & money involved here…