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Questions about Riis...(18 posts)

Questions about Riis...PT
May 9, 2003 10:26 AM
Recently, I've only read praise of Riis and how lucky Hamilton is to be with him and how stupid it was of Jan to sign with someone else. But it wasn't that many years ago when there were a lot of allegations flying about concerning Riis' use of doping products, specifically EPO. In particular, there was a lot of rumors about his TDF win (pre hematocrit testing), and I recall a report in which Riis was said to have a knickname in the peloton that year, "Mr. 64 percent" , which was apparently in reference to his purported hematocrit score. As much as I want to like him (pictures of him are like looking in the mirror for me), I can't but help associate him with a suspicious TDF win and rumors of drug use.

Here's one reference to the "rumors" I am referring to:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/results/1999/jun99/jun14.shtml

Other then "he never tested positive" arguments, which might be valid these days but not so much for the days when testing wasn't done or was inffective, is there reason to put stock both in Riis' palmares and his "class" as a team director? I'm not trying to slander Hamilton, but with concerns expressed in the past about Armstrong's association with a certain Italian doctor I'm not exactly sure why associationn with Riis is not also treated with some skepticism.
Well...Dwayne Barry
May 9, 2003 10:46 AM
there's no reason to assume the Riis' palmares was any less well earned than his contemporaries'. Is there some reason to think he was the only one doping? His TdF victory came at the expense of Festina, amongst others, and we know what they were up to!

No skepticism because Tyler's such a nice guy, and everyone knows a nice guy would never dope, right?
Let's just discredit all victories before 1999, right? (nm)TrekFurthur
May 9, 2003 10:50 AM
Actually, if you think about it...Dwayne Barry
May 9, 2003 11:29 AM
I was crediting all victories before 1999, not discrediting them. I can't remember Riis failing a drug test, do you?
Festina? explaincyclopathic
May 9, 2003 11:31 AM
he won '96 and he was riding for Telecom with Chubby German Redhead working for him and finishing second. THey reversed roles next year and Riis dropped a few places down. The whole Festina thing happened in '98
Festina? explainrussw19
May 9, 2003 11:49 AM
Do you think Festina only raced in 1998? Festina was trying like mad, with a focus specifically on the Tour that makes Armstrong's look like nothing, to win the Tour. Festina, a French Watch manufacturer sponsored a predominatly French team with its sole purpose to win the biggest French race on the calendar...Le Tour de France.

And for the record... it was post Tour victory pressure and the celebration as well that lead to Jan getting fat in the spring of 1998. In 1996 and 1997 he was one of the fittest riders in the peleton. He was a former World Under 23 Champion and cycling's wunderkid at that time. It was no real surprise that he won the Tour in 1997... he was expected to win 5 in a row... but then Armstrong threw a monkey wrench into that equation.

Russ
And you think they just started...Dwayne Barry
May 9, 2003 11:50 AM
their doping program that year?
1996 Virenque (Festina) finished 3rd, Daufaux (Festina) was fourth.
Have you read Voet's book?
re: They were all dopedUtah CragHopper
May 9, 2003 10:53 AM
The reality is that every Tour contender of the early to late nineties was using EPO. Bugno, Chiapucci, Virenque, Zulle, Rominger, and Riis. Indurain is the only one we don't have confirmation of being doped, and if you believe he put four minutes on the second placed man in a tour time trial without being doped, I have a bridge to sell you.

You just need to realize that it was a different era. The people who responded the best to drug enhancement rose to the top.
re: They were all dopedrussw19
May 9, 2003 11:43 AM
So by that arguement, Armstrong MUST be doped because he won a time trial by that margin of victory as well.

In the 1999 ITT from Metz to Metz, Armstrong put 57 seconds into Zulle over 56 kms. That was the only person within those same 2 minutes... 3rd in that TT was Moreau 2:04 back, 4th was Olano 2:21 back, 5th was Hamilton, a whooping 3:30 back.

Think of that... 5th place was three and one half minutes back over a 56 kilometer course! That's huge!

And you already established that you believe Zulle to have been doped in the late nineties...... So Armstrong must be doped.... Let me guess, you are a writer for Le Monde?

Russ
re: They were all dopedQuentinCassidy
May 9, 2003 11:55 AM
Yeah, Armstrong's clean... that's how he ripped the legs off Rumsas and Galdeano.

And he's in constant contact with Dr. Ferraro because there's such a shortage of doctors in Europe who haven't been connected with dozens of doping scandals.
re: They were all dopedUtah CragHopper
May 9, 2003 1:25 PM
>>>In the 1999 ITT from Metz to Metz, Armstrong put 57 seconds into Zulle over 56 kms. That was the only person within those same 2 minutes... 3rd in that TT was Moreau 2:04 back, 4th was Olano 2:21 back, 5th was Hamilton, a whooping 3:30 back.

1992: 2nd place was 3:00 back over 65 km. That's a significantly more devastating margin of victory. And in 1999 they had this thing called hematocrit testing; you might have heard of it. You don't get people competing at hematocrits of 60% anymore.

We know, indisputably, that Zulle and Bugno and Chiappucii and Rominger and Defaux and Virenque and Pantani and Riis we're all doped. I have a hard time believing an unjuiced Indurain put the beat down on them. Not when EPO provides a scientificly proven huge increase in aerobic performance. It's just not believable.

Also it was very convenient that Indurain decided to retire as soon as it becamse clear hematocrit testing would be used during the '97 season.
Hematocrit testing only...Dwayne Barry
May 9, 2003 1:38 PM
means you have to buy a 3 or 4 thousand dollar piece of equipment so you can check your levels all the time and not take so much EPO that it goes above 50% :)

It doesn't mean you have to stop taking EPO, hell even if you're just using an altitude tent to boost hematocrit one of those thingies is probably a good idea.

BUT with EPO testing now maybe riders are more clean (if they haven't figured out a way to beat the test).
I've seen some anecdotal accounts comparing times up some climbs where the fastest times were set in the mid to late 90's.
re: They were all dopedrussw19
May 9, 2003 4:03 PM
You missed my point... why is it impossible to believe someone could destroy the field like that? If Armstrong, who most Americans like myself believe to not be doped, could do it in Metz, why is it that a Spainiard who nobody has ever even whispered about being doped (nobody in the peleton or in the know... you and I don't count) could do the same if not more? Indurain was a Time Trial Specialist. He won the Tour 5 times by winning the Time Trials by very large amounts. Look at him on the bike. He's a huge guy, lots of power and leverage, and an extraordinarly efficient position on the bike. I have never seen a rider since look as comfortable in a time trial tuck as Indurain. Is is simply ethnocentrism that allows us to believe an American can crush a field and not be doped, but Indurain must have been because he was never subjected to hemocrit tests? When exactly do you think riders started taking EPO? By everything I have read, it didn't hit the scene until 1995 or 1996. So it surely was not the cause of Indurain destroying a field in an event he excelled at. Of course there were no hemocrit tests then... there was no EPO then either! As for your statement that you know Riis, Zulle, Bugno, and Rominger were all doped... that's a nice blanket statement... now, since you are in the know... what were they all on? Amphetamines and Steroids? Corticoids? Caffine?

And your statement about how convienient it was for Indurain to retire as hemocrit testing became popular... that's a load of crap... it's just as likely he retired because he had won 5 straight Tours and riden in 11 straight and finishing in 9 of those. He was a professional for 12 years and even raced (but didn't finish) the 1984 Olympic Road Race. In 1997 he was 33 years old and knew he was passing his top form. He had just won 5 striaght Tours for Christ's sake, what more did he have to prove? On top of that the rider who won 5 straight Tours that NOBODY even whispered about being doped just lost his chance to win a 6th Tour to a rider you claim you know as doped at the time. Could it be at all possible that he didn't want to have to be doped to win his 6th?

It has been said in the French media that the reason cycling even reached the epidemic levels of doped riders was simply because the French and Italians (who prided themselves on being the best cyclists in the world) couldn't beat Miguel Indurain. Nobody could beat the guy. And I must say one last time... there hasn't even been whispers of him being doped... no rumors... nothing. But the French and Italians had just lost the last 10 Tours until Riis came along to 1)a Spainiard who wasn't doped - Indurain, 2) a Spainiard who was on Steroids - Delgado, 3)an Irishman - Roche, and 4)most embarrassing, an American - LeMond.

Now why are you not talking about how LeMond must have been doped or Armstrong? Can it be that it's just a European problem? I mean, think about it, no big name American has been caught cheating... but throw Indurain in there and you are sure he was doped because he retired in 1997. The thought that he did win his races before the widespread use of EPO you seem to omit, as well as the fact that he quits just before the sport's image is tarnished by the use of drugs by all the guys trying to do what he did.

Damning evidence you have, I must say.

Russ
What makes you think they stopped in the late 90s? NMQuentinCassidy
May 9, 2003 11:46 AM
re: Questions about Riis...cyclopathic
May 9, 2003 11:35 AM
Riis is very good tactician. In '96 he took TdF from Big Mig, being weaker rider. Jan won in '97 mostly b/c Riis was guiding him
re: Questions about Riis...CT1 Guy
May 9, 2003 12:32 PM
Riis only won in '96 because Jan was forced to slow down on the final TT.
I suppose that because someone says they're clean that's OK - like Carl Lewis?
...'Clean as Carl Lewis'...LOL!! nmSpunout
May 10, 2003 2:22 AM
And Indurain came into the Tour...Brooks
May 9, 2003 2:37 PM
overweight and out of shape (kind of like the German guy after his win a couple of years later) and he expected to ride himself into shape. He got smoked on a stage into his hometown and was not much of a factor in that Tour.