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Uh oh, it gets curiouser and curiouser(30 posts)

Uh oh, it gets curiouser and curiouserBrian C.
Jun 19, 2001 12:54 PM
Former Festina team manager Bruno Roussel is claiming that bribery among riders on the Tour de France has been common practice.
Le Monde newspaper, which is serializing Roussel's new book Tour of Vices, says one example involves former King of the Mountains Richard Virenque and Jan Ullrich in the 1997 Tour.
Ullrich, who was wearing the yellow jersey at the time, was allegedly paid 100,000 French Francs by Virenque to let him win a stage.
Roussel also said that Virenque could have moved to within a hair's breadth of winning the Tour in 1997, during a stage in the Vosges mountains where Ullrich had struggled to cope, but that Virenque's offer of 10,000 FF to each of the principal riders - Spaniard Abraham Olano and Italian Marco Pantani, who could have potentially helped him reel in Ullrich - was deemed too little.

Film at 11.
That's normal...TJeanloz
Jun 19, 2001 12:59 PM
It's nothing new in cycling to throw a little bit of money around to make things go your way. It's only reasonable that if you're a Rabobank rider at Amstel Gold, your sponser (and thus you) will benefit far more from a win than, say an ONCE rider. So if you're in a two man break with a guy from ONCE, it's time to make a deal. That's certainly the case in the TdF, where a stage win can make a domestique a real player when his contract comes up for renewal. If you're Jan Ullrich, and Cedric Vassuer offers $5,000 to let him win, you take it because: 1. it makes you look charitable, 2. it gets Cedric a better contract next year, 3. you lose nothing. This really isn't an earth shattering allegation.
Yeah maybe its practical and it's nothin' new.9WorCP
Jun 19, 2001 4:27 PM
And from a button-down economic perspective who cares? But one has to admit that this kind of pay out for a win would be considered a horrible sin in almost any other sport. Hell, just the appearance of impropriety w/ money is considered absolutely heinous. Just ask Pete Rose. I'll never understand it completely. You know Eddy M. was hated by some because he wouldn't make deals and insisted on winning absolutely everything - which to my mind is what a champion is supposed to do. Why is cycling such an exception? Why is this sport so much more jaded about bribery? Let me ask you, is it right? Is this what should be done? What differentiates this practice from outright "corruption" in other sports? I don't think there is a good answer for this.
Kinda makes it hard to take it seriously (nm)Brian C.
Jun 19, 2001 5:28 PM
I understand that Lance pays...vram
Jun 19, 2001 2:37 PM
his team riders extra $$$$ as incentive if he is able to win the Tour de france. Is that bribery? Theoretically, it could be argued that Heras, Hamilton or Hincapie could try to win the individual crown, but Lance buys them off...

I don't see the accusations of the Festina guy to be a big issue. Simoni lets toothless Perez win a stage, Lance lets Pantani win a stage. Panaria helps Lampre chase-down a break etc. So what??? That's part of the internal dynamics of a three-week stage race. There are all kinds of alliances formed between teams and it is impossible for anyone to regulate that kind of behavior.

Considering the number of teams/riders competing for the Tour, I doubt any one rider can "buy" a victory of the overall stage race. This also applies to individual stages---OK, virenque pays Jan 100,000 to win the stage, but what stops Jaque-ass Durand from going on one of his suicide breakaways and winning the stage? It is not possible for an individual to buy off the entire peloton, I don't believe it. If someone has that kind of money, they would be better off putting together a team composed of top-ten UCI ranked riders. Then you wouldn't have to bribe anyone.
"toothless Perez" LOL! (nm)RhodyRider
Jun 19, 2001 2:39 PM
toothless and chainless, Can you believe his luck? (nm)Bruno S
Jun 19, 2001 2:46 PM
That's not bribery!mr_spin
Jun 19, 2001 6:09 PM
If Lance wants to give his team a bonus that's his business. He's not asking them to do anything they aren't already supposed to be doing.

Paying someone to throw the race is simply cheating. You can't possibly convince me otherwise. The result is falsified, the victory was not earned.

Rewarding your breakaway partner with a stage victory is not the same thing, although I'll admit, I find it difficult to come up with a concrete reason why. I know it's honorable, but sometimes when this happens, like in the Giro with Perez/Simoni, I know that the strongest man didn't win. Still, that isn't bribery--I know that much. Maybe the victory wasn't truly earned, but at least it wasn't bought.
That's not bribery!vram
Jun 19, 2001 8:12 PM
"Maybe the victory wasn't truly earned, but at least it wasn't bought."

"Bought" may not always mean strictly cash--there is always a quid pro quo involved when Lance, Simoni or anyone else gifts a stage to another rider. They expect help from that rider/team to help them chase breakaways, or not help chase breaks or get into a break with them, let gaps form in the peloton at the finish so that they can earn precious seconds, etc..

Ultimately, the objective is to win, these hardcore racers aren't driven by altruism.
Not the samemr_spin
Jun 20, 2001 9:47 AM
There is a big difference between you giving someone something and them stealing it.

Yes, gifting stages is quid pro quo, but QPQ is an accepted part of the sport--at the team level where everyone works for the leader, and at the race level, where teams with mutual interests act together. That's bike racing.

Paying off someone to let you win isn't racing. It's fraud in any sport. Why would anyone bother to follow racing if the victories were bought?

Looking at the Virenque/Ullrich incident, if it did in fact occur, why would Virenque need to buy off Ullrich? Wouldn't gifting him the stage have benfitted Ullrich with some quid pro quo? That's why I doubt it occurred. Virenque is not well-liked in the peloton, so I doubt anyone is going to give him anything, even for money.
Next year I'm riding for the Bill Gates/Paul Allen Team! (nm)MeDotOrg
Jun 19, 2001 3:14 PM
"curiouser" is not a wordclimbo
Jun 20, 2001 6:23 AM
just like deliciouser and viscouser aren't words. It's more curious, most delicious etc. Not to point fault at anyone, as a lot of people use this word and they shouldn't.
The phrase "curiouser and curiouser" was made famousDCW
Jun 20, 2001 6:58 AM
in a well-known literary work (that escapes my memory at the moment, perhaps Alice in Wonderland?). I'll bet that the poster knows the general rule about comparatives and chose to ignore it for the rhetorical effect. The phrase suggests a world that is becoming increasingly hard to explain.
it is now...gromit
Jun 20, 2001 7:04 AM
William Shakespeare invented many words now in common usage. Language is dynamic, creative. Otherwise we will all end up kebabed on the slippery slope of pedanticness!
true, but also imagineclimbo
Jun 20, 2001 9:13 AM
if we used every word that anyone made up or put in a book, we'd have an incomprehensible language. This word is not used outside of the USA and it's not in the dictionary, just like "aluminum".
It's from Alice in Wonderland (nm)Brian C.
Jun 20, 2001 9:40 AM
au contraire..dotkaye
Jun 20, 2001 10:13 AM
Alice in Wonderland is read throughout the English-speaking world, and an ordinarily literate person would immediately recognize the phrase..
although it isn't quite English, as the original freely admits,
""Curiouser and curiouser!" cried Alice (she was so much surprised, that for the moment she quite
forgot how to speak good English). "Now I'm opening out like the largest telescope that ever was!
Good-bye, feet!""
au contraire..climbo
Jun 20, 2001 12:52 PM
recognize it maybe, I didn't. The word, not the phrase is certainly never used in other countries like it is in the US.
Wellmike mcmahon
Jun 20, 2001 1:46 PM
I've lived in the U.S. all my days and have heard "curiouser" used on occasion. However, I've never heard it used in any situation where I felt the person using it was unaware of its literary origin and its lack of status as a "proper" English word. Maybe people in other countries just aren't as well-read as we are. ;-)
is it legal or not?Dog
Jun 20, 2001 4:50 PM
Is a payoff illegal in France, Italy, etc., or under the UCI or event rules?

I've read numerous accounts of quid pro quo in pro cycling. Heck, we even do it in our lowly amateur cycling -- I, myself, have sacrificed for people and had the favor returned.

Throwing money into the equation doesn't change much, really. Isn't money just a substitute for some other medium of value -- like goods or services? Hmm?

Nonetheless, it doesn't appear very sporting.

Is this an ethical practice for other team sports?9WorCP
Jun 21, 2001 6:16 AM
Like baseball or basketball. Why or why not? Does the guy who sold the race have to split his earnings w/ his team mates? If so why introduce ethics only at this stage? I don't understand why cycling is such an exception to this otherwise ethical breach. If it's in the rules well then I guess buying a race is a legitimate "tactic" but that is a huge mistake on the part of the UCI. I personally feel that if a pro can win the race he has a moral duty to his fans to win the race.
Ethics?....Len J
Jun 21, 2001 6:58 AM
Not sure about this, but, while I know this is an accepted part of the sport, is it ethical? This "Alliances" seeme like a "slippery Slope" to me.

Alliances are OK, you scratch my back & I'll scratch yours.
If alliances are OK, then Prid pro quo, instead of future help, why not money?
If money is OK, why not payments to all riders up front to "Fix the whole race"?
The sport becomes a Joke!

I think one of the problems in the sport is the "Win at any cost" mentality. There is a fine line between being ultra competitive and being willing to do anything to win. I guess, unfortunatly, when you get race organizer's, Athletes, sponsors, and team managers you are liable to have anything happen (Good & Bad). This is why (IMHO) the rules have to be very specific about what is acceptable & what is not.

My Ramble, I really hadn't thought about the implications of team Alliances before. Interesting food for thought.

Good Day!
How about .....Lazy
Jun 19, 2001 1:34 PM
Socks? They're pretty cheap and you can never have too many riding socks!
P.S. Thanks fo trying.Lazy
Jun 19, 2001 1:34 PM
RBR Jersey'sLen J
Jun 19, 2001 1:45 PM
I thought you were going to sell them to us. What cost is there to that for you?

Boy am I confused.
Wait a Minute...Hey Gregg...PsyDoc
Jun 19, 2001 2:13 PM
...why not sell areas on the jerseys to sponsors (e.g., back, back pockets, shoulders, side panels, etc.)? Depending on how much you ask, you may be able to cover 50-75% of the cost for say 100-200 jerseys. The remainder can be covered by the amount of money you decide to charge per jersey, which could be as low as $40-50...of course, I think the idea get a free one :)

That's how we are off-setting the cost of my club's jersey. But, our sponsor's are local companies and cannot afford much. In fact, our "highest" sponsor kicked in $500 to put their logo on the back of our jersey, but I imagine big name companies would kick in much more. We ended up charging $35 for our jersey (being made by Verge Sport), but our "real" cost is $58.50. We were able to raise $1,200 in sponsorships. I think RoadBikeReview should spend some time investigating this idea as I believe it is very doable and worth a shot!!
If you think about it...Bruno S
Jun 19, 2001 2:54 PM
this site must run on a shoe string budget. The only advertising on the site is to other "consumer" boards. Being a free site advertising is the only income this site has and as I see it now, that income should be close to zero.
Hmmm...sounds to me like...PsyDoc
Jun 21, 2001 1:09 PM have had experience with other folks "stealing" your ideas and now it's time for a little payback :) I'll tell you get me the stats on the number of members/people who visit this board and, when I get a free minute or two, I will do a little of the grunt work for you even though you ACTUALLY called me "PsyDuck", I am getting a splitting headach, which will activate my psychic abilities. I do not have kids; I just watch too many cartoons. First, though, you will need to decide on what to charge the sponsors for a sleeve, the collar, to be on the front, sides, or back. Also, you will need to decide on how many colors are going to be on the jersey (white is a "free" color), which will ultimately impact the manufacturing cost of the jersey. For example, Verge Sport charges $50.25 per jersey for a four color jersey for an order of 51-100 jerseys ($58.50 for 25-50 jereys). Their setup fee is $300 and that is a one-time charge per year as long as you do not change the design of the jersey.
Thanks for the PixMeDotOrg
Jun 19, 2001 2:56 PM
...they turned out better than mine. I think I introduced myself to you and Shelley at the end of opening ceremonies. You were standing at the end of the "runway" at the Pier, remember? Anyway, I had a great ride and I hope you did too.
Jun 21, 2001 1:48 PM
hey, if my jersey had a sponsor, then that would make me a professional!
I'd stay away from any frame or component manufacturer, you see how people react to those here, Gregg. But if you avoided those, then who would be left. Damn, I'm glad I'm not responsible for joining all of us together for agreement on a jersey. I'll put my faith in you Gregg, do your best. If it doesn't work out, at least we (you) tried!