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Shrewdest Unit Mover
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An excerpt from today's Cyclingnews.com:

Vandenbroucke, who will ride this season for the Belgian-Australian Continental team Fuga-Down Under, regretted never having "had the chance to be a pioneer, to try out new doping products first." He said that if he had had the chance, he "would have done it without doubt. .... Everyone would have seized that chance. Nobody should be hypocritical about that!"
 

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VDB = Idiot...

what a moron. So what that he was better than the other dopers in the field. What about all the guys who tried to make a career out of cycling while never doping and never made it because of guys like VDB?
 

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How absolutely refreshing! Also I'd like to point out he also identifies the watershed event as the Gewiss phenomenon as at least some others here have argued that widespread EPO use pre-dated that season ('93 I believe).

Not that I think their paths with cross but Armstrong won't be too happy with yet someone else outing Dr. Ferrari.
 

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El Guapo said:
what a moron. So what that he was better than the other dopers in the field. What about all the guys who tried to make a career out of cycling while never doping and never made it because of guys like VDB?
It's an interesting insight into the fact that doping was simply part of the game and what it took to be a professional. Look on the bright side, it does appear that within the last couple of years that you can at least make it as a pro without resorting to doping.

And the culture has changed to some degree. You can bet Armstrong would not drum Bassons out of the sport today or try to "punish" Simeoni for telling the truth.
 

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He doesn't hold back with what Ferrari is, does he? I doubt very much that Armstrong's attitude has changed - witness the yellow devil incident. He will uphold omerta until the day he dies.
 

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To me, this is the most interesting,

In an interview with the Belgian men's magazine Che, he said, he won the race "in an honest manner. Because I am 100 percent certain that I had taken nothing differently that day than the second, the third, the fourth and the fifth place finishers. Everyone rode with the same thing in himself, we fought with equal weapons.
1-5, from that day:

1. Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel) Cofidis 6.25.36 (41.079 km/h)
2. Michael Boogerd (Ned) Rabobank 0.30
3. Maarten Den bakker (Ned) Rabobank 0.41
4. Michele Bartoli (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 0.44
5. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step
 

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Something tells me none of those guys will come asking for the money VDB "stole" from them.

Also this is essentially the same thing Ullrich said but less explicitly, namely he didn't cheat anyone.
 

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Interesting what he said about the Gewiss 1-2-3 - i.e. what everyone in the cycling community said at the time, that it was not a credible performance, which was shown to be true in light of the Ferrari revelations about orange juice etc.
Of course Lance, when questioned about Gewiss in 2001, said that he had no suspicions at the time, and that EPO was never discussed amongst himself and his team mates after the incident. Funny how he began working with the Gewiss doctor himself that year.

From reading the two main books on Marco Pantani and his final days, he alluded many times, during his ramblings, to the feeling that a great injustice had been occured. He wasn't really disputing too much that he had doped, instead he felt bitter that everyone was doing the same, yet he was the only one caught.
 

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Certain riders are always scapegoated to protect others - Festina went down but Verbruggen knew ONCE were doing the same, yet they were protected (wonder why Hogstrong get away with it to this day, ex-ONCE doctors and all?). Mayo was pursued relentlessly whilst others walked away. Every now and then a hight profile name is sacrificed so that the 'a few bad apples' line can be trotted out. I was no great Pantani fan but what happened to him left blood on a few hands - all for the sake of making dollars by expanding the sport to the US with the 'Miracle Man'
 

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Bianchigirl said:
Certain riders are always scapegoated to protect others - Festina went down but Verbruggen knew ONCE were doing the same...
Another indicator of the change in culture. Let's not forget when Festina was removed from the Tour that year, the other riders led by Jalabert and ONCE staged a sit-down protest! And eventually the Spanish teams withdrew from the race. I know I've seen interviews with Jalabert from around then, where he basically says a professional should be able to do whatever they want to "take care of themselves". Stuff like that doesn't go on anymore.

OTOH, dopers are still clearly not ostracized by the peloton as a whole and many still have the mindset that doping is just part of the game, and you do whatever you can to get ahead. Probably in part because there has yet to be a big rider who has done it on "bread and water" alone. Or if they've achieved something clean, they've not always ridden that way.
 

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We all know the majority of riders dope to some extent, for whatever motives - to recover better, to train harder, to put in a few good perfs to get on a better team, to win the whole damned thing - and there will always be what VDB so charmingly refers to as 'pioneers'. But it is the unequal application of the rules - the hounding of Mayo and the quiet reinstatement of Contador, for example - that really irks. Until Anne Gripper is allowed to do her job openly and honestly and Verbruggen's puppet Pat McQuaid is removed from the UCI there will always be corruption and the 'protected rider' syndrome. McQuaid has already said there'll be 'no major scandals' this year - and I guess he's having that pool dug as I type...
 
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