Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you dopers know, 39 year old Fast Freddie Rodriguez won the US National title the other day. It should surprise no one that he has faced some doping allegations:

“I’m back!” Rodriguez shouted as he crossed the line. The win inspired a slew of stories about an aging pro, claiming one last major victory. It also left a lingering sense that ghosts of cycling’s past had returned.

In the 2000s, racing for major teams like Mapei and Lotto, Rodriguez had placed second at Milan San-Remo and won a stage of the Giro d’Italia. He had gone toe-to-toe with top European sprinters like Mario Cipollini and Alessandro Petacchi, who’ve since been implicated in doping scandals or suspended outright.

​Though Rodriguez was never publicly implicated or suspended, he competed during an era we now know, especially in the wake of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s damning Armstrong investigation, was rife with cheaters from our own soil. And on Monday, when he crossed the line first in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee, many people weren’t happy.

One rider crossed the line in a frenzy and yelled, “Anyone but him.” Another pleaded to his soigneur, “Please, tell me Freddie didn’t win.” On Facebook, a racer wrote, “The entire field put their head down in disappointment.”

To be clear, sprinters, especially those who are uneasily shaken by steep hills, are often unpopular in the peloton. They suck wheel. They sit on. They win, a lot.

But in the discontent over Rodriguez’s victory, there was a deeper implication. In the online race recaps, many commenters lauded the victory by “Fast Freddie.” Others wrote insinuating jabs, like, “Not normal.”



His response:

"My wins have always been really hard-fought," Rodriguez said Thursday. "It's not easy for me to win. I knew that the odds were against me a lot of the time, but if I focused and did everything I could, I could pull off an amazing thing. And those are beautiful to me. And so with all that has happened it's sad. It's hurtful what's gone on in our sport, and it's made me doubt everything that I've done, because I've wondered what would have happened if everything was real, and what is real?

"It's something that I'm always going to have in the back of my mind, because it's not fair," Rodriguez added. "But at the same time, how some of these people got into some of these situations is also not fair. What made them make these decisions? I made my decisions because of who I was and how I lived my life and what I believe in. And I feel lucky that I was able to still participate at a high level."

Rodriguez called on riders to form a union so that they could stand together against competitors who are willing to "take it to the next level" to achieve success.

"Because I believe that the majority of us, when we start off, we want to be the best but we don't want to be bad people," he said. "We talk about bullying or peer pressure, but if the peer pressure is more about standing together and saying, 'That guy is not playing fair.' We're all going to stand together and say, 'No that's not right.' That's where we lack. We need a union to help have a stronger voice for the athletes, because the majority of us don't want that."

The current US pro champion said cycling needs to focus on the bigger picture rather than singling out individual riders for persecution. Rodriguez said riders who are remorseful have a role to play in the sports' rehabilitation.

"I have a hard time with all the people that say we need to go from you to you to you," Rodriguez said. "We need to look at this as a whole and figure out how do we make this better, and then take these individuals who have done things that have been incorrect and figure out are they really remorseful and do they really want to help. How can we use them to help the change? And how can we use the other side to teach the young people?"


Commentary: Making sense of ?Fast? Freddie?s uneasy nationals win

__________________________________



Thoughts?

If you think he's guilty, what can be done?
 

·
Anphaque II
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
He rode for many doping teams yet wasn't outspoken about it then.

He has been compared to Di Luca: A team signing up a seasoned rider mere weeks before a big event.

Not having any races this season before the U.S. Championship.

FF out-sprinting riders almost half his age.



Does seems kind of hard to believe. :shrugs:
 

·
Make America grope again
Joined
·
4,754 Posts
That's the tough thing about doping; absent a failed test, confession or being busted by police, you don't know who is dirty. So many 'nice guys' turned out to be dopers. So many amazing performances turned out to be enhanced performances. And it wasn't always just 'bad apples', whole teams doped.

The UCI and USA Cycling seem more interested in paying lip service to anti-doping than in really cleaning up the sport.

Did Rodriguez, or is Rodriguez doping? No idea. I understand the cynicism, though.

But meaningful change would start with change at USA cycling.
 

·
Big is relative
Joined
·
11,887 Posts
Freddie didn't just appear from nowhere to win the championship. His entire career he has been a opportunist and really good at putting himself in position for a win. He's never dominated a race, just smart enough to be around the front at the end of the race. If you read the race report, his team got him in position when other solo riders or small teams were blowing themselves up. His team sacrificed to get him in contact with the leaders and took it from there on a downhill sprint.

He rode for teams in the past that doped. I read Tyler's book and understand what was going on, but for the most part, Freddie was a sprint specialist when opportunities existed, but otherwise he was a domestique, not a GC guy. Maybe he doped at some point, but that shouldn't take away from what he accomplished in the US Championships.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
661 Posts
I was surprised to hear Fast Freddy had won, and naturally assumed he had to be juiced.

But this is before I learned he had adopted a vegan diet, and limited his accelerations during the race. Now I'm sure he's clean. :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,245 Posts
He may be the only one what knows whether he's clean or not ... however, by the reaction of the field (who generally have a very good idea) ... it doesn't sound like he's clean.

The simple fact is 39 year old athletes just don't win national championships with out some form of PED ... in any sport.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
"The simple fact is 39 year old athletes just don't win national championships with out some form of PED ... in any sport."
We could (and generally do) beat this subject to death but by this logic how do you explain Jens Voight? He won last year at the US pro Tour and this year at ATOC (42 yrs old I believe?). And he is racing against a much better caliber of riders than the US Nationals. One could certainly assume he is doping although he has never been called into question (that I know of). Also, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt at these races as he seems to have one huge day then is a non factor in the next few. That seems more humane.
Road racing is not pure brute power. Its also about position, being smart and saving energy. You don't have to be young to win, you have to be strong and smart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,016 Posts
Anymore, I just assume the older winners are juiced, and more power to them. Failed or passed tests are generally bogus anyway. This is 'Studio Wrestling' on wheels. I'm still a fan though. Good entertainment, including speculation on doped vel non.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Freddie didn't just appear from nowhere to win the championship.
Fast Freddie had a number of top five finishes in the 2012 Tour of California.
That Velonews article [is] filled with inflammatory statement's with no factual proof.
It's a great article if you enjoy anonymous quotes and weasel words.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,245 Posts
Jens has questions surrounding him just due to the teams he's been on ... that have been known to have somewhat "Systematic Doping" as well as some associations with others.

He was winning during a well known time of "Heavy" doping and continues to do so at an older age.

People love him, so they give him a pass ... With that said, as we all know, a lack of a positive test doesn't mean squat when it comes to PED use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
236 Posts
Jens has questions surrounding him just due to the teams he's been on ... that have been known to have somewhat "Systematic Doping"

People love him, so they give him a pass ... With that said, as we all know, a lack of a positive test doesn't mean squat when it comes to PED use.
You are exactly right, I love Jens. He's the same age as me and still racing at a world class level. But it is hypocritical to watch Jens go on a 80 mile solo break and hold off the peloton then give FF a hard time about sitting in the pack and sucking wheel (smart I should point out) only to take the sprint.
Who's effort is more super human?
The thing is in both situation again it's not just about who the strongest, it's also who is the smartest, saves energy and (in Jens case) if any team wants to take up the chase.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Road racing is not pure brute power. Its also about position, being smart and saving energy. You don't have to be young to win, you have to be strong and smart.
The thing is in both situation again it's not just about who the strongest, it's also who is the smartest, saves energy...

Jelly Belly director Danny Van Haute explained that it was fresh legs and smart team riding that snared Jelly Belly the victory.


“Freddie didn’t make it over the mountain with the strongest climbers,” Van Haute explained. As the leaders raced away, Rodriguez implored his teammates to stay with him. With no cohesion in the front group, Jelly Belly chased them down."

When they downplay FF's climbing and claim that the team brought FF back to the group it sounds plausible. But where there no other smart riders in the race? No other teams? And where was Jelly Belly when it came to running down Gaimon?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,360 Posts
Fast Freddie had a number of top five finishes in the 2012 Tour of California..
He also has a few US National championships.

It's worth noting that the US championship s is a weird race where big name riders race without team support, which FF had. He raced in the "doping era" (why does anyone think there's any less doping going on?) but was never a prolific winner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
FF has Euro-hardened sprinter saviness from big races, something the others at the line didn't have. Yes, you might say the Bookwalter has USA crit experience but in Europe, that doesn't mean much, and he's usually not at the front at the end of races.

It didn't surprise me that FF took the win. Heck, even Iván Domínguez would have had a good chance if he was in the race.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
750 Posts

And where was Jelly Belly when it came to running down Gaimon?


Jelly Belly didn't have to run down Gaimon - Matt Busche did it singlehandedly, apparently for no reason other than he could. I don't think Busche had any teammates left, but Freddy did and was paced back up to the group of favorites after the final descent of Lookout.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
8,103 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Jelly Belly didn't have to run down Gaimon - Matt Busche did it singlehandedly, apparently for no reason other than he could.
Yes, I saw Busche man up after several minutes of riders looking at each other while the gap to Gaimon grew.

During this time--the several minutes between when Gaimon rode off the front and Busche decided to HTFU--where were FF's teammates? I could have missed it but I do not recall any of them going to the front.


I don't think Busche had any teammates left, but Freddy did and was paced back up to the group of favorites after the final descent of Lookout.
Who?

I saw the group swell and heard the Jelly Belly director say that FF was paced back on. But who helped him after the final climb? And why didn't them help when all the riders were staring at each other as Gaimon's gap grew?

Did i miss it? I don't recall seeing any jelly belly riders aside from FF during the final half hour of the race.




>>>>>>None of this is to say that FF is a doper. I just don't recall seeing any other jelly belly riders in the final 30K.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top