Doping is as doping does

With all talk of late regarding doping and the Hautacam, I thought it might be time to talk about Stage 10 of the 2000 Tour. At the time, described it as follows: “Armstrong’s exploit was one of the most impressive in recent years; he blew away the competition one by one and essentially took over the Tour De France.”

Lance Armstrong on the Hautacam in 2000.

You don’t really need to know anything aside from what you see in that video to know what Armstrong was doing. And I’m talking about doping here people.

Sure, people will read what I just wrote and say that the video is meaningless. It only shows he won, he was more talented, he trained harder. Never to take the “no comment” route, instead he always claimed he was above it, saying, simply “What am I on? I’m on my bike, busting my ass, six hours a day.” when, really, he could have said nothing.

And, yes, it would bother me less if he wasn’t so damn adamant about being clean.

Look at some of the other men in that video. Think of what you’ve read about them since that day.

The day’s top:

1 Javier Otxoa
2 Lance Armstrong
3 José Maria Jimenez
4 Richard Virenque
5 Manuel Beltran
6 Fernando Escartin
7 Roberto Heras
8 Christophe Moreau
9 Joseba Beloki

Don’t forget Pantani, Zulle and Ullrich. Those three got their collective doors blown off. None placed in the top ten for the stage. Armstrong had absolutely annihilated his adversaries that day. All of them.

Where are those guys now? How many of them left the sport on their own terms? How many were forced out? How many of them got caught doping? How many were implicated in scandal? How many of them admitted to using EPO? How many of them are dead?

To be perfectly clear: A clean cyclist does not beat a cyclist who is using EPO. It does not happen. It is impossible. If you can keep up, it is because you are also doping. If you win, it is because you are also doping. Let there be no confusion on that point.

You know who else had great legs on the Hautacam on his way to overall victory? Bjarne Riis.

Riis lit the fucking world on fire in 1996. And we all know just how he did it.

Bjarne Riis on the Hautacam in 1996.

After Will Voet watched that unbelievable onslaught, knowing full well how doped up all the riders under his charge were (because he was doping them), he was simply in awe. What Riis was doing, it was way over the top.

Remember Bjarne Riis’s stunning win on the Hautacam climb in the 1996 Tour de France. The Dane, who was to win the race, literally played with his rivals before obliterating them. And the haematocrit level of his rivals, certainly at Festina, had been blithely boosted to about 54 per cent. His exploit was as perturbing for those in the know as it was spectacular to the uninitiated.

Doping is as doping does. Me? I’m leaning towards a full loaded Surly touring rig and a bottle of wine in my jersey pocket over the likes of these jokers. Good on ya, Chris. Keep the faith.

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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

22 thoughts on “Doping is as doping does

  1. In a few years, we’ll all look back on the doping days and, at least for me, I’ll miss it because it was the type of riding that you really only see in comic books. Now, it’s just a bike race.

  2. yeah, I miss the cartoon speeds. Its so SLOW now; I mean, a 15 mph average on an 14% grade is so BORING compared to the old 23 mph doped days. And everyone on the mountain looks so, well, relaxed now – what happened to the pinner pupils and sunken sockets, the days when you could smell the fear and taste the bile of adrenalin churned stomachs? while we’re at it, what really gets my goat this year is all this fucking ‘detente’. where are the brutal attacks, the hell for leather flyers? instead we get ‘tactics’ and radio play. if cadel takes home the overall without winning a stage he’s a wanker of the highest order – at least freire had the cajones to take out a sprint on his way to the green shirt.

  3. Wow, three guys in that top 10 from Kelme. Who was the team doctor at the time? Fuentes.

  4. It just kills me that none of you want to admit that Lance was simply the best. He was without a shadow of a doubt THE best doper of an entire decade. Nobody even came close. Everybody else fell by the wayside or got caught. Give credit where credit is due. Lance Armstrong was the best cheater for 7 straight years.

  5. maybe its just b/c its a quarter to get the fuck out of here on a friday and i’m feeling friendly, but i must declare that DC (authors and readers alike) is on point today

  6. Fuck!

    Big Jonny breaks out the twin 50’s and proceeds to knock down the walls by gunfire. You gotta like that.

    What is funny is watching all the “second-tier” riders winning stages. So, it turns out that Sastre, Evans et. al were ACTUALLY the best riders in the peloton. Armstrong and the rest of the doped fucks stole from them year after year. It’s fucking fraud. They committed fraud and stole from their fellow riders and from fans.

    Basically Trek bicycles and every fuck at the top in Trek sucks shit. They’re going to rue the day they decided to back their doping icon and shit on Lemond, the last clean guy to win the Tour de France. Every fucking bike company has a choice, they can play the crap marketing game, or they can back clean sport. Trek has made their choice, now they have to live by it.

  7. Why can’t we just have a superbike class? Shoot, snort,smoke, and eat whatever you want, ride 10 lbs bikes, no helmuts, disc wheels, spinachi bars. Now that would make for exciting racing. Dudes actually exploding on the climbs and in the sprints.

  8. Guys-

    Amusing to see so many guys INFERRING that Lance was a doper.

    If the WADA goon squad couldn’t catch him, the I say, let it go. The guy’s retired.


  9. Mikey,
    riddle me this…..Ricco’s cock-sucking ass-hat teammate Piepoli admitted to using EPO, yet he didn’t test positive. Riis admitted to being doped up when he won his Tour, yet never tested positive. Dare I throw Ullrich into this group? Therefore, we have known and admitted dopers who never tested positive. Do you think it could be plausible that your hero Armstrong was a doper and never tested positive? Quite the quandry into the realm of possibilities.

    I’m sorry you now have to abandon your Armstrong posters that adorn your walls

  10. nevermind that wada wasn’t present for most of the seven year reign, we can ‘let it go’; but take a look around at the winks and raised eyebrows on the mainstream sporting press referencing ol’ texas rose. the bloom is decidedly off. loudmouth am radio jock jocks and cable news pundits are gonna gun for him til the cows come home, ‘specially when he keeps on such a wildly b-list extracurricular agenda with his malibu mates. his name comes up in mostly the same breaths as canseco and co., a knowing nod to the camera that says ‘we believe’. the press love to watch heroes fall, and if they can get a snicker in along the way, all the better.

  11. EPO doesn’t automatically give you the win and it’s sad that you all can not let it go. How many of you would not take a pill to have a life filled with wealth and glory and see all your goals attained especially when you know your competitors are taking those same pills? It’s either take this pill or go back to dark tunnels of a coal mine. Coal miner or Village hero? Ask yourselves those questions and truthfully answer. Sounds like you are all just a bunch of coal miner whiners jealous of the village heroes.

  12. …i like it, spanky…i say ‘go for it’ & if the body explodes, hey, bury ’em on the side of the road…

    …& if the brain ex-plodes, im-plodes or just starts coming out their ears, put a ‘nappy’ & a ‘drool bib’ on ’em & put ’em in a home to stare at the wall…

    “great ride up alpe d’ huez this year, huh ???…damn”

    …”oh, hell ya…first three guys beat ol’ il pirata pantani’s best time from year’s ago by like 15 minutes !!!…fuck”…

    “ya, but did ya see how they crossed the finish line ???…the frenchman had blood pouring out of his ears, nose, mouth & even eyes when those finally popped, the russian dude, wow, his heart actually blew out of his chest, spraying all the fotogs & the italian guy, holy shit & i mean literally…his intestines blew out of his ass so fast, they tore his bibshorts !!!”

    …”ya, great fucking ride…can’t wait for the pyrenees…man, those little spanish dudes always tear themselves up in those mountains”…

    “so cool, huh ???”

  13. Mr. Flodizzle-

    I didn’t mean to imply that Lance is a hero of mine, nor that I have posters of him on my walls. I’m as cynical as the next guy, and although I really wanted to cheer for Ricco and Piepoli (I ride a Scott, might as well), I reserved my adulation “just in case” and was sadly rewarded.

    My heroes are the local CAT2s and frankly just about anyone who’s fast and willing to line up at the local kermesse. That skinny guy on the yellow bike whose wheel I held for a while tonight and who finally stood up and stomped away from me climbing on 114th Avenue NE down by the Mercer Slough.

    Regardless, it seems a little self-defeating to be a cycling fan and condemn a guy for no other reason than he was fast. No evidence, no confession, just a ceiling-high stack of stuffed lions. I’m happy to let it go.


  14. A while back, I posted a question asking something like, “what is the position of this page”, what was clear beyond innuendo or association.
    This is clear and on pointe.

  15. If Lance doped, it puts him in good company. Cycling has been a doper’s and cheater’s sport forever. Remember Tom Simpson? Died from using amphetamines—-in 1967! You think Merckx wasn’t on the cutting edge of doping technology in his era? Anquetil? Hinault? Fignon? Indurain? Holier-than-thou LeMond? I’m sure Greggie wasn’t using EPO but was he blood packing? He was freakishly good in an era when packing was state of the art. That goes for all the guys on the vaunted 7/11 team, too. How ’bout our awesome team at the ’84 Olympics? Blood packing was used there. Wanna take away some medals?

    But Lance never tested positive, so attacking him makes just as much sense as attacking other “clean” champs in the past.

  16. Mike,
    Wrong in facts, wrong in attitude. Logic so warped not even worth discussing. Putting down GL for being honest and right is pathetic.

  17. All your heroes were doped.

    And Eddy the best of them all.

    Some people give dopers a pass if they admit it. Did Eddy ever admit it before he got caught?

  18. Not Al—if you think your heroes weren’t doping, you’re deluded. It makes total sense that LeMond would use the best technology of the era, and blood packing was accepted at the time. Eddy B had his racers doing it. You think Greg wasn’t the type to try it? There’s just as much proof of LeMond cheating as there is Armstrong—NONE.

    But it’s a doper’s sport. Everybody cheats. Guess what? The NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, WNBA, NCAA—all full of athletes using performance enhancing drugs. Olympic athletes, professional track athletes, they all do it. It’s the price of doing business.

    People are getting caught THIS TOUR, after all the scandal and controversy. If seeing Landis stripped of his victory isn’t enough to scare people straight, then it’s obviousl they’re always going to do it. Why? Because it’s a grueling sporting event, that’s why.

  19. No mention of the stripping 20 pounds off the upper body, the legs of which had already won him a World Championship? That had nothing to do with going fast?

    Get something new to bitch about he has been retired for 3 years.