Sunday, January 31, 2010

Did Landis Threaten to Write Tell-All Book if no Support Comes from Armstrong? Warning: Contains Attempted Humor

According to a former professional cycling team director who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Floyd Landis may have issued a barely-veiled public threat to write a book exposing [enter your scandalous topic of choice here]. For example: "Floyd Landis may have issued a barely-veiled public threat to write a book exposing what could be his knowledge of less-than-ethical behavior on at least one of his former teams - most likely, Lance Armstrong's old USPS squad." (Of course, the topic of the hypothetical book is mere speculation at this point, as Landis has not revealed who or what would motivate him to again put pen to paper. As an aside, anyone else notice that used copies of "Positively False," which listed at $24.95 new in hardcover, are now fetching $0.88?).

After a race in the Bahamas in which he bested an individual time trial course record set by current Garmin pro and US National Time Trial Champion David Zabriskie (a teammate of Landis' at USPS and a former holder of the yellow jersey in the Tour de France), Landis first touted his "victory." On his blog Brown Eye, Neil Brown quoted an exuberant Landis:

"I beat the course record set by Zman [David Zabriskie] two years ago and I was on somebody else's road bike with clinchers and no aero clothes. Take that f@*#ers!" 

Pappillon applauds the rider who once won such cycling monuments as Paris-Nice, the Tour of California and the Tour de Georgia (all in 2006 - the same year he "won" the Tour de France, only to be stripped of his crown for doping) for his successful comeback and a return to his winning ways - and for raising the profile of the Bahamas cycling scene along the way! But victory in that TT  may not be enough to ensure Landis's return to the European pro peloton.

Before Landis left for the Tropics, Brown asked him what might become of him in 2010, given that Michael Ball's Rock Racing, the team he had been rumored to join, was rejected for Professional Continental status by the Union Cycliste Internationale without comment (after Rock appealed an earlier rejection of that same application!).

Brown specifically asked Landis, "What is the status for the rest of the year?" to which Floyd responded cryptically:

"I honestly don't know. I don't know even if Ball has thought about the team these last two weeks. I don’t know what is going on. I’m focusing on my training and my bowling. I need to think of my future after cycling and bowling might be it.

Perhaps stating the obvious, Brown commented that "After the Tour of the Bahamas his [Landis's] future is not so crystal clear." He goes on to quote Landis delivering either a shot across the bow of some of the most moneyed interests in cycling, or engaging in nothing more than what one commentator here described as gallows humor about his cash-flow situation and poor future prospects [in cycling]. But let's hear Landis's own words:

"I have no clue what's going on. After the Tour of the Bahamas I'm going back to my shack behind the car wash. Maybe I'll write a book."

Keeping in mind that Landis broke terminated a contract for 2010 with his previous team in order to sign with what he thought would be an upgraded version of the Rock Racing squad (at the UCI Pro Continental level) - only for the UCI to deny team owner Michael Ball the required license - others are speculating that that, if not offering gallows humor, Landis may be warning his former leader Lance Armstrong, who now captains the team known as "The Shack" (which is sponsored by US electronics-retailer Radio Shack) that he expects some help from the Texan in exchange for his years of silence on the topic of doping, blood bags and motor cycle couriers at USPS. [We publish an excerpt from the infamous Vaughters/Andreu IM conversation at the end of this post.]

According to our source, the now-retired team director, the message Landis may have actually intended to deliver to his exclusive audience was:

"Hey, you cock-knocker, I covered your ass [by refusing to acknowledge the existence of doping in the pro peloton after I tested positive in 2006 when I won the Tour de France and was suspended for two years]. Now get the UCI to approve [the Pro Continental license request for] Rock Racing, or get me on Radio Shack, or [get me] something [equivalent that will pay me a salary capable of sustaining me in the lifestyle to which I'd become accustomed to as your domestique]. Floyd must eat - don't make me write a tell-all book to be able to do so [that is, purchase food]."

Oh My. Will Landis rejoin Lance at "The Shack?" Pappillon doubts it, though we wish Landis well and think the spectacle of his returning to the Continent alongside some of the most notorious riders of the past 10 years would be nothing short of - surreal. A veritable rolling peloton of Pablo Picasso paintings, if you will. And as for Rock Racing, without a Pro Continental license the project is as good as dead.

[DISCLOSURE: Pappillon's Joe Papp directed the Rock Racing team at the 2007 Redlands Classic, where Kayle Leogrande won the points competition, after having been offered full-time employment from Rock & Republic to direct the team for the remainder of the season. However, the offer was rescinded without cause and Frankie Andreu hired instead. Andreu himself departed the team in January 2008, unhappy that his role as a director was being undermined.]

Excerpt from an instant message between Frankie Andreu (FDREU) and Jonathan Vaughters (Cyclevaughters) the morning of July 26, 2005.

...Cyclevaughters: from how floyd described it, i know exactly the methos

FDREU: explain that, classics to climber

FDREU: when did you talk with floyd

Cyclevaughters: i don't know - i want to trust George

Cyclevaughters: but the thing is on that team, you think it's normal

Cyclevaughters: or at least i did

FDREU: i guess. anything with blodd is not normal

Cyclevaughters: yeah, it's very complex how the avoid all the controls now, but it's not any new drug or anything, just the resources and planning to pull of a well devised plan

Cyclevaughters: it's why they all got dropped on stage 9 - no refill yet - then on the rest day - boom 800ml of packed cells

FDREU: they have it mastered. good point

Cyclevaughters: they draw the blood right after the dauphine

FDREU: how do they sneak it in, or keep it until needed

FDREU: i'm sure it's not with the truck in the frig

Cyclevaughters: motorcycle - refridgerated panniers

Cyclevaughters: on the rest day

Cyclevaughters: floyd has a photo of the thing

FDREU: crazy! it' just keep going to new levels

Cyclevaughters: yeah, it's complicated, but with enough money you can do it

FDREU: they have enough money. Floyd was so pissed at them this entire tour

Cyclevaughters: anyhow - i just feel sorry for floyd and some of the other guys

Cyclevaughters: why would lance keep doing the shit when he clearly has nothing to prove - it's weird...

30 comments:

  1. You don't know what the f*** you are talking about. Ask around, you'll find out Floyd did NOT break any contract. Get things straight before you find yourself on the losing end of a lawsuit.

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  2. Wow Starbuck...pretty angry.

    Joe - I heard this theory as well...thought it was pretty far fetched at first, but the more I think about it, the more I think there might be something there.

    I mean, why not...FL basically doesn't have a pot to piss in right now, what's he got to lose?

    Thanks,
    Burt

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  3. Oh that's just fucking great. Now, if Floyd gets a job, instead of being happy for him, everybody'll think he pulled some kind of omerta crap.

    For all you know he was talking about a recipe book. Cooking with Floyd. I'd buy it. But no, make up a bunch of crap and drag his name through the mud again.

    Thanks for spreading shit around the world, and making it a shittier place.

    Nice.

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  4. Touriste-Routier31 January, 2010 20:22

    Did anyone really believe that Rock was going to get a Pro-Conti license? I know Ball has a huge ego, but didn't realize he was dillusional as well.

    As for the rest, interesting speculation. I never saw that IM thread before; was it ever authenticated? Odd what people will put in writing.

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  5. floyd's been given a lot of chances. he's fcked up all of them. I doubt he will change. he's been supported by many people in various ways. he's an idiot that if given a winning lotto ticket would lose it on the way to collect the prize.

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  6. WOW! Did you see Lance's latest tweet? It's obviously a veiled threat to murder Floyd Landis! Here's the tweet:

    "Is rock n roll dead? You'd think so if you are watching the Grammys."

    And here's the translation, provided by my conveniently anonymous former pro cyclist person that I know:

    "Clearly the reference to rock-n-roll being dead is meant to remind us of Rock Racing, and their "Rock's not dead" campaign. But there's also another meaning for Rock, which is Kid Rock, popularly referred to as Floyd's twin. So on one level, this weet blames Rock's lack of a license on Floyd's connection with the team. But on another level it's saying "Is Rock dead. Well, if you mean the Grammys' Rock, i.e. Kid Rock, then in that case Rock would be dead".

    Can you believe that Lance has the balls to threaten murder in public like that?

    Of course one might argue that maybe Lance is just tweeting about how he's lost touch with the youngster's music, and maybe Floyd is just offering gallows humor about his cashflow situation (living homeless) and poor future prospects (no money in cycling, try something else).

    But since the simplest solution is usually the correct one, then obviously we are watching a blackmail/murder situation play out in full public view.

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  7. Thanks Joe, appreciate the tip. I think Floyd is paying close attention to the upcoming LeMond v Trek festivities and realizes that he has to play his hand quickly before Pharmstrong is unmasked in the civil suit. The value of his revelations would then be greatly diminished. After that both Floyd and Lance would have to go to Blue films where they have no worries about using PED's. They're widely available on set.

    Sincerely,

    Reid Rothchild

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  8. Everything is speculation at this point, though I appreciate RR's insight into the timing of the statement relative to any potential damages that might be suffered by LA should GL prevail.

    Anon 22:34 - you're truly impressive having caught the significance of LA's rebuttal tweet. What perfect cover, too, using the Grammys and all that. I would respectfully disagree, however, with your belief that FL has poor future prospects (no money in cycling, try something else) - the entire point is that he has very lucrative future prospects if he handles his book deal (or the threat therein) correctly.

    Keep those tips coming people! And don't bust a nut being overly serious.

    Oh, BURT! Thanks man, for your willingness to consider that the could be a an atom of a grain of sand's truth to the speculation... ;) It's just such a shame to see anyone get Flicked.

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  9. Joe gained media popularity with the Floyd Landis trial, and it sounds like he's trying to rekindle that flame. Its very much a separation issue, similar to how Lemond inserts himself everywhere you look on the whole Lance saga..

    The IM stuff used, both those guys are idiots.. they doped like Joe doped, and because of that they have conspiricy theories that everyone is doping.. Its not necessarily the case.

    People are not smart enough to pull off all this crap. Who knows on LA early career, but its pretty clear he doesn't dope now. He has the $$ for the best research on foods, supplements(legal ones), exercise technique/quality, equipment, and medical science.. Other riders don't have the quality of studies, doctors, etc. on their side.. he can win without cheating because he has the money to do so. Unfair advantage over others? Absolutely.

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  10. Hey gossip monger
    Me thinks the poster on the CN forum had/has your number. Your credibility has hit the skids my friend.

    Starbuck has your number as well.

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  11. Joe, great post, props to your unnamed director, though a Google search might lead us to him (her?) - but what would be the fun of that? I know that you're not accusing LA of doping - I just hope that LA's lawyers don't try to accuse your of accusing LA of having doped! Then you'd REALLY have legal problems then bud! Probably the only reason why Floyd said that in Bahamas is b/c there's no way he'd get that book published in the USA!

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  12. Anon 14:07: Are you daft? This is obviously a spoof/humor post. Who do you think Joe Papp is, Anderson Cooper? I give him credit for being funny at times, serious at others, honest mostly since he had to sit out the rest of his cycling career- but now more credit I give to him for getting a bunch of rabid dogs to start barking like a crazy kennel over nothing. He made you all look like foolsh children.

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  13. Thanks for your post Anony 1347. I wouldn't say I was popular with the media - temporarily notorious, yes, but popular, no. As for the IM stuff, that's your opinion, and to both FA and JV - I don't think I was at your level in Europe nor have I ever said so, least of all in this post, so the anonymous commentator's words (accusations of conspiracy theories and all) are his and his alone.

    I would disagree that people aren't "smart" enough to pull off all this "crap," which I take it you mean subverting controls. I spoke to the topic in collaboration with the author of the site Cozy Beehive in a post entitled, "How Cycling Pro's Defeat Anti-Doping Control." You can read the discussion here: http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-cycling-pros-defeat-anti-doping.html

    Now might me the moment to reconnect with my friend Paul Andrews at Bike Intelligencer and write-up the details of a real-life example of the subversion of the doping controls at a UCI-sanctioned stage race.

    Finally, others would disagree with you as to the clarity of the question of whether or not LA "dopes now." Some would say there is very good evidence that he doped last year, and that his hubris led to the removal of previously-public blood test results and the cancellation of a private blood profiling effort. For detailed discussions, see:

    http://cozybeehive.blogspot.com/2009/11/8-things-on-lance-armstrong-from-other.html

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/lance-armstrongs-test-results-posted-online-20366

    http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=3216

    http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=5329

    http://forum.cyclingnews.com/showthread.php?t=2669

    Etc.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed the humor in the main post.

    ReplyDelete
  14. "Oh that's just fucking great. Now, if Floyd gets a job, instead of being happy for him, everybody'll think he pulled some kind of omerta crap."

    He HAS pulled omerta crap ! He denied everything and covered for everyone.

    Also Floyd's participation with OUCH last year came with the assistance of Williams Trading....Tiger Williams is Lance's friend and economic supporter. What a coincidence.

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  15. Hey Joe,

    LeMond settled with Trek so I guess it's up to Floyd to write his book now and cash in. BTW, who is this clown who thinks it's obvious Strongarm is clean? What a laugh! That, and he can buy the best food and supplements(well yes, supplements as a euphemism for PED's)to still be able to compete. Me thinks Lance is now in the donation phase of his training for his own personal blood bank. July comes round and the transfusion phase begins. Takes money for that.

    Regards,

    Reid Rothchild

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  16. Joe. Anony 1347 again. Although I was pretty sure it was a joke, which you confirmed, it had other hidden agenda accusation wise of a very serious nature.. folks have different sense of humor, got it.. but... Although you may have no ill-will to FL, you were roped into it all at the trial. The bottom line is.. debating aside if FL was guilty, the lab had enough mistakes and cheating itself that the case should have been dropped (data leaks, data hiding, data changing, harddrive missing, different metabolite positive criteria than US labs, spoiling/tainted samples, etc... With all the mistakes, and a test result (the Synthetic test) that WOULD HAVE BEEN NEGATIVE in US labs, it would have been better to be drop the case and say its highly questionable.. than destroy someone's life. But Dick Pound was on a mission, and guilty or not, lab work process be damned.. he was going to have that conviction.. Which is what happened to FL. You may have been pulled into that for other concerns, but joking about it now and making additional questionable remarks about Floyd.. is a bit different.. kinda like, truck hits your car that hits Floyd's car.. but now you're crashing into Floyd's car again without the truck pushing you.

    On the conspiricy stuff. Again, probably some folks who have the doping stuff down hard care, but I don't think LA could pull it off at the highest level for so long without something concrete turning up. LA has too much to lose to do that. I reiterate my former statement, he can spend millions to make his body perform at doping levels without using dope.. that in itself is like doping.. as others don't have access to it, its an unfair advantage.. (you don't see other cyclists swallowing a wireless-temperature-sensing-pill to measure core-temps while cycling).

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  17. Dear Anon 19:17,

    Sorry to burst your bubble. Pharmstrong was dirty last year. His reticulytes were very low on the rest days of last years tour but his Hct managed to increase by more than 2 points right after the rest days. Q: How does that happen. A: autologous transfusions, and yes, this costs a lot of money. Your boy is dirty and all of your delusional rationalizations can't change that. Believe in GOD if you choose to have irrational beliefs. Don't make a God out of Pharmstrong! Good luck with the fantasies!

    Reid

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  18. Anony 1347, I'm in the midst of having some atom bombs dropped upon me, but I wanted to give you a shout out for taking the time to reply in such detail.

    It is amazing that nothing has turned up concrete on Lance except given all the circumstantial, except the cortisone, the traces of EPO and ... all the circumstantial stuff, unfortunately...but do you call "concrete" the accusations of Swart, and Andreu? I'll give you that there is no smoking gun, and that's impressive, but it's also what money can buy (a good cover-up).

    One thing: "I don't think LA could pull it off at the highest level for so long without something concrete turning up" - Ullrich and Basso pulled it off for so long, and only got "caught" because they were linked to Puerto...

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  19. Reid, thanks to you too. It's good to get some contrasting opinions here.

    No one mentions how many of LA's ex teammates have tested positive since leaving his employ. Anyone have a link to the spreadsheet where that data is compiled?

    And anyone know why women are so mysterious and/or complicated? They're harder to figure out than landlords, the FDA and what DiLuca's thought process was leading up to his Giro positive (and Ricco's partner's too! and how it was that Menchov did not get caught up in that blood bank drama?)...

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  20. I love all the tools who make oblique threats of a lawsuit. Good luck with that. L.A. will never sue anyone for defamation because he won't risk a proper discovery phase.

    And FL writing a cookbook? That'll be a great resource if you too keep a blood centrifuge next to your blender and coffeemaker.

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  21. Interesting read on an FL "bombshell" as well as the back and forth on LA.

    Food for thought on FL, here are two of his tweets from this past Dec. and early Jan. - fit them into the above and see what you think:

    Planning something for 2010 that will change the cycling world forever!
    1:42 AM Dec 29th, 2009 from mobile web

    Today, on my ride, I had some very interesting thoughts. I was laughing so hard that I just turned around, went home and started writing.
    11:32 PM Dec 23rd, 2009 from web

    As for LA, Joe, I'd love your thoughts on why he's been doing smaller races like Miles of Discomfort to last year's Tour of the Gila, Leadville, etc. I'm sure the "proper" answer is that he's just keeping himself in "race shape." Could it also be to keep his "levels" at a certain level (think biological passport), etc.? Also, interesting thought (at least to me), if transporting your own blood is an issue wouldn't a private plane be nice to help you out in the process?

    It's all speculation but boy am I hoping we never have a weepy, tell all, LA interview with Barbara Walters explaining to us how he got caught up in the dark world of PED's, etc., etc., etc.

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  22. This post and the comments posted have been an extremely entertaining read, I will make sure to check your blog regularly, Joe!

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  23. Anon (02 February, 2010 11:19) - "And FL writing a cookbook? That'll be a great resource if you too keep a blood centrifuge next to your blender and coffeemaker."

    LMAO. That's hilarious! thanks all ... youre the best group of anon commentators and non-anom commentators a blogger could ask for. What would the #1 recipe be in FL's cookbook...hmmm...?

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  24. Pete, thanks for the positive feedback. You're welcome to stop by whenever - don't be a stranger and feel free to comment to your heart's desire.

    Anon 02 February, 2010 13:19 - going private has all SORTS of perks! Ditto on the Barbara Walters interview (though she should be dead soon, bitch! Backstory: 20/20 picked up a piece that Men's Health ran in which I appeared as one of three "candidates" to develop impotency (b/c I was the cyclist. The other two were a fat, out of shape guy in his mid-30's (I was in my early 20's at the time) and an old guy who was very fit and exercised and ate well). Of course, I was LEAST likely to become impotent, but Barbara Walters made the crack on 20/20 that she thought I was MOST likely to go limp! Bia-tch! lol).

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  25. "According to a former professional cycling team director who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Floyd Landis may have issued a barely-veiled public threat"

    WOW!!!
    Sportsbook Dot Com was a REAL professional cycling team!?
    Who knew?

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  26. Say what you will about the theory, but Rock Racing suddenly has a solution to their UCI woes. What a coincidence !

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  27. Coincidence, or Fate? LOL

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  28. A book by the Floyd would be an interesting read indeed!

    The IM convo is as old as can be, its totally true, I bet Betsy slipped it out (she's cool like that) (note to self and rest always delete your IM convo's or pay the price LOL).

    I know some local SD info and the Floyd is not a happy camper, he's basically rock bottom and I for one hope it injects some fuel to help him write! His book will not only be published in the USA but in every possible country minus maybe the local Austin bookstore!

    Keep um coming Joe! And tell Hoovis somebody is hacking his URL, I keep getting transfered to some domain hosting site not his blog when I click "I accept the bla bla" button. He doesn't allow Anon posts and my Blogger account has a passwd reset which should work in 24 hours...

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  29. Why am I Optional? That's not me!

    Should be IdeaStormerJorge...

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  30. Hey we all forgot, there is a Rock & Racing y Murcia Team LOL! Looks like Floyd needs to work on his Spanish, teams registered in Mexico.

    http://www.esciclismo.com/ampliada.asp?Id=13547

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