The Tailwind Backstab, Tour of Germany

Aug 11 2007

Man, I feel really sore all of a sudden. I’m thinking maybe this had something to do with it? I mean, this is a new era in cycling. I was jonesing hard for that “I’m about to get busted” confession. I suppose with old Johan looking over his shoulder, we should have never expected anything else out of Contador, but in cycling’s current atmosphere, the unflappable “I swear on the grave of my dog” announcement carries about as much weight as a subprime mortgage investment. In today’s era, clean or not, Contador’s name will always be shaded with tints of dope.

Possibly the clearest indication of this change in attitude was the announced dissolution today of the Tailwind Sports juggernaut. With quite possibly the most convoluted logic I’ve ever heard, the team management explained themselves, saying, essentially, “yeah, we could have gotten a sponsor, but it just wouldn’t have been the right thing to do.” Excuse me? Since when has a gang of ubercapitalists ever had qualms about securing an investment? A lawsuit is the only thing that I could see inspiring that sort of scruple. And what, exactly, could make a cycling sponsor sue a team? Oh, I dunno…

Furthermore, I think we all remember 2004, when a certain Lance Armstrong hunted down Filippo Simeoni during a Tour de France stage, to prevent the Italian from even riding in a break. Ole’ One-Nut’s explanation for the move was, literally, “I was protecting the interests of the peloton” from a guy who “says bad things…about the group in general.” So who’s going to drag you back to the field, you simple-minded hypocrite? Could you possibly have sent a more destructive message about cycling than “It’s too dangerous to put money into the sport now?” Every time I see you stump for more cancer research, I find myself further hoping that you’ll relapse.

But enough negativity, supposition and intrigue! We’re off to what may now be the cleanest land in all of cycling – Germany. The Deutchlandtour’s first stage was taken by Robert Forster, who’s really been making a case to have his name listed among the top echelon of sprinters this season. Team CSC struck back in the Second Stage TTT, and returned 2006 winner Jens Voigt to the leaders’ jersey. The attentive fan will note that Team CSC has been a very committed sponsor, even instituting and releasing intra-team blood tests. Forster’s Gerolsteiner squad is also no slouch in supporting clean cycling.

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11 Responses to “The Tailwind Backstab, Tour of Germany”

  1. Sebastian August 11, 2007 at 6:23 pm #

    “Contador Avows Innocence, Seeks New Team, Urges Public not to Put Two and Two Together”

    Seriously, can we please all start feeling bad about that Simeoni incident? I know there was a lot of “Lance is the best, deal with it” from our side of the pond after that stage, but as the years pass it’s just looking shadier and shadier. Why did a guy who spent half his time fighting doping gossip from L’Equipe feel the need to do something like that? Exactly how did he expect us to read it? (And how does he expect us to read those Bernard Hinault highway-cop aviators?)

  2. Kevin August 11, 2007 at 6:30 pm #

    Bravo, well written and very well thought out. I would love to know the real reasons for Discovery closing up shop at the end of this season…

  3. Freddy August 11, 2007 at 8:44 pm #

    “I find myself further hoping that you’ll relapse” is a little beyond the pale, don’t you think?

  4. Frank August 11, 2007 at 9:48 pm #

    One rumor bouncing around is that Tailwind is going to make a move on ASO in some way, and so they are divesting themselves of the team so that there would be no conflict of interest.

  5. cosmo August 12, 2007 at 1:36 am #

    Yeah, I definitely went a bit ex palo on that cancer comment. I was in a bad mood, though it’s still no excuse.

    I’d be amazed if the Tailwind boys could buy into/buy out ASO. I’d always figured there wasn’t money enough in the world for Yankees to crack an old world oligarchy (we’ve all seen Godfather III, right?), but if Weisel Partners could succeed, I’d admire their pluck, if not their methods.

  6. Sebastian August 12, 2007 at 10:16 am #

    Since the topic has arisen: what exactly is Armstrong’s beef with ASO? I always thought it was just bad blood (re: LeBlanc’s comments at the 2006 course presentation, etc.), but is there something more substantial here?

  7. solobreak August 13, 2007 at 10:22 am #

    I suspect they really couldn’t find a sponsor, at least not one outside the pharmaceutical business, which wouldn’t look too good. They probably plan to get back in at some point and don’t want to devalue their franchise by appearing desperate. The opportunity to do some damage to the ASO and the other enemies of Tailwind was an added side-benefit of pulling out. The disregard for the employees doesn’t seem like anything new for this group. I guess time will tell. Keep it coming Cosmo; you’re making it fun.

  8. Davide August 13, 2007 at 5:36 pm #

    Best blog in a while Cosmo.

    LA is a disgrace for the way he acted re Simeoni. “Defending the interests of the pelaton”…from what? Simeoni blowing the whistle on your TdF victories?

  9. Grant August 13, 2007 at 9:24 pm #

    WOW.. That is pretty pathetic! I dont know what what is wrong with you! Anyone that BS trying to sound like you are informed of something the rest of us are not.wishes anyone would relapse from from cancer is a sick ass#*!$.

    I can understand that you might be unhappy with all that has transpired in cycling lately. You obviously dont know the personal reason that Armstrong went after Simeoni and we will probably never know. But all you do is fill your blog with innuendo and BS trying to act all tough like you have some inside info that we dont have. If you have some proof of whta has been happening with the situation let it out so the rest of the world can join in.

    If you dont like the guy or the team that is fine we all have our own opinions and you know what they say about those. As this is mine I am sure you wont agree with what I have said.

    But to wish someone would get sick with cancer, no matter what your opinions of them are is just wrong. I hope you or no one you know ever has to fight that terrible disease!

  10. Chris August 16, 2007 at 2:50 pm #

    Everybody knows why Armstrong went after Simeoni. Simeoni exposed Michele Ferrari (LA’s doctor) in court and admitted that Ferrari had given him EPO and HGH. (He was subsequently suspended from cycling.) Armstrong used the peloton to make sure Simeoni wouldn’t win the stage in the 2004 Tour and more importantly for him not to break the code of silence regarding PEDs. The Italian authorities even threatened to bring charges of witness intimidation against Armstrong. Afterwards, Armstrong made a smug “zip-the-lips” gesture and later said that Simeoni “did not deserve” to win a stage. Armstrong, Bruyneel, Riis, etc. are part of the old guard that just needs to go away.

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  1. Cycling Beat » Reacting to the End of Discovery Channel - August 13, 2007

    [...] of my favourite blogs where you can rely on opeinions being fired straight down the line. Titled The Tailwind Backstab we can see right from the off that the tone of the article is one of animosity…to say the [...]

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