- Apr 18, 2006
that's sort of how Michel Pollentier was caught at the '78 Tour.you'll be all day trying to piss into the bottle for the drugs testers after.
though most of them don't even use their own piss anymore for that.
Aww the subtitles stop just as the documentary is taking off, looks really interestingthat's sort of how Michel Pollentier was caught at the '78 Tour.
the co leader of Sean Kelly's Flandria team w/ his close friend Freddy Mertens
Pollentier won at Alpe D'Huez to take yellow .
but he peed himself on the way to victory and took a long time to supply a sample.
the Spanish guy before him tried substitute someone else's urine and then they
checked Michel (you don't want to know the full details).
Michel was the first yellow jersey to be kicked off the race for doping.
he later beat the two best classics riders of his generation - Raas and Moser at
the 1980 Tour of Flanders for his only classic win on home turf.
in the early 80's his accountant stole all his hard earned money and he became
a tyre fitter after retiring in 1984.
he also helped a lot of young riders turn pro inc Frank Hoj who lived with the Pollentier family.
I'm fascinated by Pollentier - a doper certainly but a nice guy by all accounts.
the first six minutes of this doc are subtitled if you turn them on.
these Belga Sport docs are brilliant - even a lot of the music on them is excellent.
they had already done a doc on Freddy so he's not in this one.
on Liege, I guess they figured a lot would arrive by train. The train station is nice there and there's a big green space in front of it before a big avenue that leads to a square in the town. They had lots of stalls and colour, and tour decorations that you walked into as soon as you left the station. Down that avenue there was lots of outdoor seating with people out having beers and coffee. There were massive crowds there those 2 days, so you would tend not to notice too much of the architecture or decor. Then when you arrived at that square, it was all team buses, the presentation podium, and the streets were barriered off. There were stalls selling tour stuff, and little markets selling food and other wares.what did they do to make Liege look nice at the Tour depart ?
nobody who visits seems to have anything nice say about the place but they have the Ardennes just out the road, my fave monument and a football team that have their moments.
that includes Standard being involved in a match fixing scandal v Waterschei in 1982 - they wanted an easy final match of the season to secure the League title and with a Cup Winners Cup Final at the Camp Nou against Barca coming up (which they lost 2-1 after taking the lead).
in early '84 captain Eric Gerets (who had since joined AC Milan w/ Luther Blissett in 1983) was arrested for his part after he arrived back home to play for Belgium and got banned.
they got caught out because they had paid Waterschei their match bonuses and when the club had cooked the account books it looked suspicious.
anyway the Belga Sport crew who made the Michel Pollentier doc I posted last week did another one of their excellent docs on Standard in 1982 and the scandal.
I because of the bike race I always associate Liege with greatness but I've never been there.
as far as the race goes at least ineos flopped when they tried to do a 1994 Ferrarri/Gweiss/Fleche takeover on La Radoute.
also I don't understand why people are so annoyed by the the 'super tuck' being banned. it's the same for everyone - why should someone in a solo break be allowed to do this ?
the races were both good actually the women's race was better - van der Breggen was really unselfish to help her team mate Vollering win.
I don't expect to see a clean winner in a bike race and I don't invest much emotion in cycling these days.
it's not going to change or go away so, iI'll just keep watching
Dan Martin didn't start either race but Mike Woods 4th in FW and 5th in Liege justified his selection.
when Dan won in 2013 Joaquin Rodriguez had a bad crash the previous Sunday at Amstel and was really bashed up and his team mate Dani Moreno won the Fleche that week. to finish second in Liege in that condition was incredible.
Purito Rodriguez was at his best the most perfectly suited rider to the Walloon classics but crashes meant
he somehow never won Liege and even more strangely only won the Fleche once.
Dan Martin fell off on the last corner in 2014 with only Caruso to pass and the race at his mercy (on the same day Stevie G gifted Chelsea a goal after slipping at Anfield when LFC were top of League - City won the title).
there has been a LOT of riders from Slovenia even a couple of Yugoslav lads rode the Giro in the 80's but the first guy I remember was Martin Hvastija a- a late comer to pro cycling who was followed by many more Slovenians.
considering the amount of Slovenian riders since him it's actually strange how little they won until the last 5 years. until the mid 2010's I can't even remember a Slovenian GT stage win.
early 2000's sprinter Andrej Hauptman who is now a DS with UAE Emirates now seems to have masterminded the whole Slovenian domination.
Tadej Valjavec who won the baby Giro in 1999 was maybe their best rider until recent years - he had a lot good placings in GT's and stage races and but won almost nothing and his career was finished by a doping ban after being caught for blood doping (biological passport).
if so many teams go to Tenerife for altitude training, and apparently stay in the same hotel and train on the same climb how difficult should it be to catch them ?
this has been going on for 20 odd years everyone knows where those riders are.
Tyler wrote about Ferrari coming out to visit the USP team in Tenerife didn't he ?
Woah ! Stellar post ! Cheers. lots of insider knowledge.on Liege, I guess they figured a lot would arrive by train. The train station is nice there and there's a big green space in front of it before a big avenue that leads to a square in the town. They had lots of stalls and colour, and tour decorations that you walked into as soon as you left the station. Down that avenue there was lots of outdoor seating with people out having beers and coffee. There were massive crowds there those 2 days, so you would tend not to notice too much of the architecture or decor. Then when you arrived at that square, it was all team buses, the presentation podium, and the streets were barriered off. There were stalls selling tour stuff, and little markets selling food and other wares.
What I failed to notice until all that stuff was removed was how grey and dingy the place actually is. The square is a dump. Its surrounded by all these grey, soulless looking apartments which I didn't even notice until that point. Theres barely a shop in the place, and once you move away from that square in any direction, it starts to feel very deserted very quickly. I didn't venture too far out to get to the really industrial part, but I do agree with you, the roads around it, and the scenery and landscape, are amazing. Its no surprise that it became a cycling stronghold.
I used to go out to Gran Canaria every winter with some Ras lads to do a week's training out there. The year before my first year going, those lads were out there and Tadej Valjavec was staying in the same shitty apartment complex as they were. He was with Lampre at the time. They said he was decent enough and would chat to them. I remember when I went out there, there was a bike shop (still is) in Playa del Ingles and they have photos on the wall of the pros that drop in. At the moment they'd have Contador, Sagan, Kruiziger up there. That time they also had Valjavec on the wall but they took it down when he was busted. Considering both Contador and Kruiziger were also busted, and they left their pictures up, I thought that a bit odd.
Tenerife is an interesting one, and is worth reading about. They all stay in the same hotel, near the top of Teide. Its fairly inaccessible, apart from athletes heading up there who have no interest in the rest of the island - certainly tourists wouldn't go there. Lance used to go there in his day. Its how in accessible it is that makes it attractive for cyclists.
I remember this story from a few years ago when Froome was trolling Nibali, who was obviously also juiced off his head.
The story is that you are very unlikely to get tested out there. If the testers do arrive, there are people on the island watching out, and they'll tip the teams off so they can get the masking agents in before they arrive.
At least in Tenerife there are meant to be great cycling roads. Teide is 2.5k meters at its peak. I've only been to Gran Canaria which is 1.6k meters, but the roads are fantastic. In winter it would be understandable as you will get great weather there all year round. I used to try and tag onto the back of the Saxo-Tinkov training spin whenever I saw them out. But going to Tenerife in April or May is a nonsense. The big climbs in Northern europe are open, or not far off open, so there's no need to travel that far at all - no cycling reasons anyway.
You'll remember the famous Dr.Efemenio Fuentes and the Puerto scandal. He was from the Canary Islands, though, as far as I'm aware, operated out of Madrid rather than out of the Canaries.
But you'll probably recall how various grand tour contenders used to disappear off to unusual locations to do their 'training'. Micheal Rasmussen got busted for being caught in Mexico, out of team kit (and became known as the 'Man in Black'), whereas Ryder Hesjedal used to go to Hawaii, and later admitted to doping.
while reading this I thought of The Clinic. I used to frequent there a few years ago but it all went too tinfoil hattish, so I lost interest (around the same time I lost interest in cycling in general).Woah ! Stellar post ! Cheers. lots of insider knowledge.
So as far as Liege goes some sun, excitement and a few distractions go a long way anywhere I suppose.
always worth mentioning I am a total armchair fans w/ no experience anything more difficult than
walking 16-17 miles with 500m climbing. that's as extreme as it's gets for me.
in 2002 I got a hernia caused by being overweight and cycling less than 10 miles a day. after surgery I went back 'cycling' and was quickly concerned the same thing would happen again.
and I hardly ever got on a bike since. don't like fixing punctures either.
participating in endurance sport training is something I have zilch experience of.
with a few days left of April I've walked over 150 miles this month. I'm pleased with that.
I'm so impressed with cyclists is because I'm a wimp.
Dr Fuentes also had a connection with Valencia region, which is why worked w/ Kelme the local team.
all the dirt he knows must have him concerned for his safety - no wonder he says nothing.
Epstein comes to mind.
I found an article on Velo News about Cannondale (Vaughters) training in Mount Teide from a few years back.
as you've said it's very isolated and the teams could very easily know testers were was coming.
it also said the hotel was government owned - why ? they didn't say.
unless testers were stationed in Tenerife and went to the hotel everyday as a deterrent, it 's not easy.
but if the will was there because it's well known for 15 plus years what happens there.
I remember Vino and Astana being called 'The Men In Black'.
money comes into it. It cost a huge amount of the UCI's anti doping budget to get Floyd Landis banned.
and they had to give up on getting Froome banned for the asthma medication charge 'cause Sky had more money for lawyers than the UCI did.
I'm not into traveling either -just can't get excited about it. but Slovenia is a country I Iike.
I have quite a bit of music from there.
in the 80's there was a great music scene in Yugo, especially Slovenia, mostly documented on demo tapes official culture was really boring so the kids came up with their own.
anyway when Valjavec turned pro w/ Fasso I followed him pretty closely. good climber but never took the step up to GT podium contender.
last I heard he ran a hotel - maybe it was in the mountains are you listening Primoz and Tadej ?
taking down Contador's photo in the Gran Canaria bike shop would be like us calling out Kelly.
I am always going to be soft on him.
i forgot Hesjedal made a vague doping confession.
my final thoughts on L-B-L:
my fave bit of Liege was when the winning move formed, Formolo had done a huge turn on the front to reel in Carapaz. so he and Hirschi were the last riders shelled out by the five. then when they saw Roglic immediately behind them they stopped chasing back on and just sat on his wheel.
also great result for Gaudu.
thanks - just read about half of that.while reading this I thought of The Clinic. I used to frequent there a few years ago but it all went too tinfoil hattish, so I lost interest (around the same time I lost interest in cycling in general).
But I do remember there was a thread about Tenerife
I am another long time lurker. I don't believe this has been discussed but if it has i apologise. What do people feel are the reasons for sky training in tenerife, there are few roads, one mountain, it must get pretty boring, no? I recall that Michael Rasmussen enjoyed success after...forum.cyclingnews.com
worth a scan through if you have time
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