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  • Charles

    That was an interesting read, thank you

  • Mark M.

    Get ready for the ‘cease and desist’ email from his female business partner.

    • Clive Pursehouse

      /his wife.

    • H.E. Pennypacker

      If that happens, I’ll happily act as your counsel in response. Seriously.

      • Luke Bartlett

        no, get Jackie Chiles.

        did i tell you to take the article down?

        • Derek

          Who told you to use the chamois cream?

        • H.E. Pennypacker

          JACKIE: Who told you to take the article down? I didn’t tell you to take the article down. Why’d you take the article down? You haven’t even been to see the editor. If you’re gonna take an article down, let the editor take the article down.
          PETER: I guess I screwed up, huh Jackie?
          JACKIE: You’re damn right you screwed up. Where the hell did you even get site admin rights anyway?
          PETER: The Maestro.
          JACKIE: The who? What are you talking about Maestro?
          PETER: My friend. His name’s Lance. He’s a conductor. Used to do something else–not sure what.
          JACKIE: Oh oh oh, so a Maestro tells you to take an article down and you do it?
          PETER: Well, the lawyers were coming.
          JACKIE: I tell you what this is. This is a public humiliation.

          • Munchma Quchi

            Machu Pichu Pennypacker !

  • MFB

    Intriguing. Who’d have thought there was such an interesting story behind some dude you followed on Instagram!

  • Clive Pursehouse

    outstanding investigative work. i got a “Thorfinn-Sasquatch wants to follow you on Strava” like a year ago, I think he’s one of those guys with like 7k twitter followers who follows 11k people.

    • Nick Squillari

      And if it was the opposite, everyone would be ‘he’s one of those mad legends who is only good enough to follow a hand full of people’. This dude is seemingly guilty of a lot, only lets not look to lynch him on every aspect of his life.

      • Clive Pursehouse

        not sure that’s a lynching even by the most sensitive of standards.

        • Nick Squillari

          Then you’re needlessly piling in and creating a stigma around a social behaviour not unique to Thorfinn, creating the image that anyone who does the same is “one of ‘those’ guys”.

          Way to miss the point of whatever it was you were trying to say.

          • Clive Pursehouse

            I would say they are. So on that point we agree.


      …late to this TS/BS drama….never was a follow or a friend. i feel like im always the last to know. darn. next.

  • Tom Wells

    Interesting read but the part that says: ” I am disgusted that taking drugs to win pro races has led people to take drugs to win amateur races”… There’s definitely a LOT of doping in amateur races. There has been for some time. Certainly here in the UK anyway.

    They often get caught, but it’s why I’ve moved towards TT’s myself. When I’m race-lean (at about 66kg) I’m often blown away on a climb by some 75kg+ dude while I’m blowing out 360w or more. No thanks.

    • John Heaton-Armstrong

      Can you demonstrate any evidence of this – someone who’s heavier than you being better on climbs is hardly conclusive

      • Tom Wells

        It’s hard to give conclusive evidence without pictures or something, so not really I’m afraid. But you can tell riders that are ‘juiced up’ not just by them blowing you away on climbs but the manner they do so.

        In my example above, the guy was still practically breathing through his nose. There have been rumours in my area of amateurs doping too, and although testing is getting better not all of them get caught.

        • John Heaton-Armstrong

          Are you sure they’re not just fitter than you! Your conclusion is essentially that anyone stronger than you is doping?

          • Tom Wells

            Not sure how you’re coming to that conclusion. I’m certainly not a professional rider but I’m no slouch either and in particular I’m a solid climber. For some (almost fat), heavy dude to overtake me easily while breathing through his nose just seemed a bit ‘extraordinary’.

            Take from it what you will though. There IS doping in amateur competition. I even know a bloke that got caught doing it two years ago and is currently banned from competition… so yeah. It exists.

            • John Heaton-Armstrong

              Its your statement – to paraphrase, ‘I’m out climbed by someone heavier than me so they must be doping’. There is doping in amateur sport (including cycling) but without evidence to the effect that its widespread (c.f. your statement ‘there is a LOT of doping in amateur races’) any statements suggesting this are pure conjecture. I’ve raced with all of those amateurs caught in the last few years in the UK and none of their performances have been so superlative as to definitively indicate doping. In fact all of them were caught through supply chain or accusation by others. The exceptions are Marcel Six and Jason White who refused tests.

              • Tom Wells

                Well I honestly don’t race as much as I used to (I prefer time trials these days) but from what I’ve heard (recently) from fellow team members and other local racers, it’s only getting worse as the banned substances are becoming easier to access.

                You’re correct that it’s pure conjecture from an internet forum point of view, but since I don’t have any video footage I don’t have much to show you. How could I? In fact, even if I had hard evidence, how could I? I’m still adamant a 90kg+ guy blowing me away on a climb is fishy though. It wasn’t a short climb. I’d love to see his power numbers.

  • fantastic article – been following the guy on IG for a couple years now (both T-S personal & B-S kit maker) mostly because of the Pacific NW connection and sharp photo content. Interesting to know its not all slick internet marketing

  • Seth Adams

    That is an interesting backstory, for sure. I enjoy Strava for keeping info on my personal performance and enjoy moving up the rankings as the next guy/gal, but to take it seriously enough to cheat (mechanical, file doctoring, doping, etc) or putting myself in extreme danger in order to capture a KOM is a mental state with which I am unfamiliar.

  • kes

    Strava should follow the lead of the tours and ban his KOMs for the same 2 years.

    • nathan ong

      i have a friend who works at strava in the summer and one idea that was discussed was similar to road-results.com and a syringe icon next to profiles who have doped or been banned. And that icon stays forever.

      • De Waffle Stoemper

        Haha oh, is that so? Definitely not a serious discussion

      • pedr09

        They should do the syringe icon and allow users to filter them out of the ladders with a ‘clean’ option.

      • jules

        the problem is they’d need to verify the identity of the rider with fair certainty. that could prove challenging

    • fuenfer

      Why? It’s like going for a ride on a windy day.. Too many factors at play.

  • So wait, he’s saying he knows that once lost, he knows he *should* stop, back-up, and find the right route, but instead he insists that one should “PEDAL!” onward, even knowing they’re on the wrong path? That actually provides tons of insight to the mind of the man.

    • Samuel Clemens

      Yeah but it sounded profound. He should have got a Latin translation, imagine how whack that would have been.

    • Evan Dix

      I think he meant “peddle”

  • Samaway

    The format of this piece–exploring 13 ways of looking at Mr Sasquatch–was brilliant. Reminds me of some of the scholarship coming out of “Science and Technology Studies,” especially from John Law (e.g., his book “Aircraft Stories” and conference papers on Salmon), if you’re interested. Excellent article!

  • What kind of a narcissistic freak admits to doping (and selling drugs), then goes on to try and claim all the KOMs in his area? I bet his ‘psychopath test’ results are up there with Lance. Love the idea of adding a syringe to his Strava profile pic (and to all who’ve been found doping.)

    • jules

      aside from the selling drugs part – which isn’t the focus of the story but is the bit I have most problem with – all he’s really done is ride his bike a lot and take loads of KOMs. is that so bad? sure he’s juiced, but it’s Strava – I think people who take offence can easily be pigeon-holed in the same narcissistic way. it’s as offensive as you interpret it to be.

      • Stompin

        I don’t mind if he’s juiced to the eyeballs either – although a ‘little icon’ next to his profile would be helpful.

        • jules

          you can flag his rides anyway. but you have to ask yourself “is this the most productive way I can spend the next 1/2 hour of my time?” and yes, I see the irony I there :)


            pretty much….and im asking myself this same question as i look out the window at the Hill…waiting for it to open….

  • Adam Ward

    Nice article, thanks.

    Strava is being too passive and there’s an easy solution to this “problem.” Just ban any doper for life.

    • Chuck6421

      Agreed. If he’s been sanctioned and it’s on the record, and if Strava’s really interested in honesty, he should be banned for life and all his records stricken. He’s tainted. And dishonest.

      • fuenfer

        Like going for a KOM on a windy day?

        • Chuck6421

          I resemble that comment!
          But I miss your point too.

  • ad_bc

    @nathan ong that is a great idea. The stigma of being a convicted doper/dealer and having an icon for the duration of the ban to let fellow users know this might lead to many cheats deleting there own profiles. Either way shame is a fantastic tool for Strava to get rid of this kind of thing.

  • Jimmy Vo

    So this clown doped to get KOMs? I actually feel bad for the dude. What a sad life he lives where setting KOMs are your top priority.

  • Bobolini

    Good, good article. But, lots of stuff like this is happening on Strava. The only way to beat someone in a race is right next to them. As an old DS friend said concerning Strava, “isn’t that that fantasy racing?” He didn’t quit get the not racing race.

  • Alemao

    Doping in cycling again?

    No shit!?

  • 69fasty

    Great article. I know I shouldn’t care but part of me wants to petition the court to require Thorfinn to delete his strava account.

  • david__g

    This is why we need Phil Gaimon around: “To be honest, he seems like Lance-level creep, just not as good at it.”

    I wonder which poor schmuck has to follow this jerkoff around to take photos of him.

    • Samuel Clemens

      Heh, funny, I was wondering the same thing. That’s taking selfie narcissism to a whole new level.

    • some1s_lucky

      yeah!!! but for the photographer to be in front of him they must either be a faster rider or on better juice!

      • David9482

        Or in a vehicle…. more likely me thinks

    • Frank Kotter

      Was just about to post the exact same comment re. Phil Gaimon. Good I kept scrolling.

      But why a schmuck? Getting paid to take a drive out to beautiful locations to snap shots of the boss cruising by on a bike? Where do I sign up?!!

    • Lunada Bay Boys

      U.S.A.D.A testing numbers, 2013:

      Nick Brandt-Sorenson 13 tests

      Levi Leipheimer 10 tests

      Phil Gaimon 5 tests

      Eric Marcotte zero tests

      Adam Myerson zero tests

      Neil Shirley zero tests

      Peter Sagan zero tests (2013-2016 zero tests)

      -USADA.org athlete test history

  • Superpilot

    Shots fired! Seems to me like he will enjoy the fact an article has been written about him. Fascinating back story. But also fascinating that someone was willing to put in such (a great!) effort to investigate someone that really is just a bit player in the scheme of things. Oh yeah, he may have the most KOMs on Strava, but we all know that people getting bent out of shape over a (fantastic) recording method that is basically an honesty system, is just taking something too seriously for the seriousness it deserves. It is not Strava’s job to mitigate what people upload, or who those people who use its service. Just look at the ranting on any discussion for the chumps racing for the win on the monthly challenges. It honestly just brings out the worst in people, slinging accusations and such. A guy I respected, Brian Toone, quit strava because of the crap he got from people he didn’t know. A sad state of affairs. Strava is for challenging yourself. The accuracy of GPS isn’t quite there to say with certainty that every KOM is correctly recorded either. 10metres is more than enough for a second or more on some segments. It isn’t 100% infallible, so the people that expect it to be will be disappointed, or jealous, or both. Seems like there are a lot of those people out there. Did you investigate his rides for digital alteration as well?

    • jules

      I couldn’t believe the bitching that I read around one of the Festive 500s or similar a year or 2 ago. It really stank, like a rotten, pungent fruit.

      • Superpilot

        Exactly. People trying to control something they have no control over, but attach much self worth to. Sigh.

    • Daniel Banks

      Brian’s still on and posting to Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/2919. He has his profile visibility set to friends only which is a good idea for almost anyone.

    • Chris

      For someone who claims not to care you sure seem to care a lot.

      • Superpilot

        Sure thing I concede, you won the internet today.

    • Samuel Clemens

      Something the writer hasn’t even touched upon is whether or not there is an issue with someone doping for Strava KOMs. If you’re doping but not competing…so what? Not that I would do it, I must stress – I ride bicycles for health and wellbeing.

  • Neil

    Fascinating. These sort of articles are the best thing about CT.
    As much as I love Strava, when you become so fixated on KOM’s and Masters racing that you have to dope, your life has become more than a little hollow.

    • jules

      the thing about masters racing is that at the top, it’s not a bunch of has-beens rolling around, they are pretty elite riders. having said that, doesn’t make doping any cleverer.

      • Neil

        True, there are some serious gun riders in master competition. But I stand by the idea that if it means that much to you that you are prepared to even consider doping, your life is a bit sad and hollow.


          the peter pans of cycling



    • fuenfer

      That can be said about anything though. When all you focus on is racing, that’s hollow, shallow…

  • Roger That

    Great read, bizarro story. Always watch out for Sasquatches.

  • HakuinEkaku

    Erythropoietin is absolutely approved for human use.

    • jules

      this is a good point. if you’re not under the WADA code, you’re not breaking any rules.

      • HakuinEkaku

        My point was more the article has a glaring factual error in the first paragraph. I have not read it any further than that.

        • jules

          I think he was referring to a different, unnamed drug there – i.e. in addition to EPO. clumsy phrasing.

        • Tamagawa

          Give that sentence another read. No factual error. Not referring to EPO.

          • HakuinEkaku

            My brain needs a recovery ride.

            • Alex L

              Actovegin (derived from calf’s blood) is not FDA approved for human use. And has dubious actual performance enhancing benefits too.

        • Lisa B.

          “…well as a drug derived from calf’s blood that is not approved for human use” That’s not EPO…its something else.

    • NB

      It’s not an error – they are referring to Actovegin, in addition to EPO.

    • David9482

      EPO isn’t approved for human use on strava! haha… besides, what kind of loser would use EPO to win a strava record?

  • Luke Bartlett

    shout PEDal

  • ridein

    Strava needs more segregation, apparently we need Pros/ex-pro’s, dopers/ex-dopers, group riders, motor-pacing, e-bikes/motor doping.

  • Charles Léveillé

    Great piece, very interesting!

  • Connor

    Cracking piece of accessible and insightful investigative journalism….refreshing in this era of needlessly sensationalist soundbite storytelling. And to clarify, I don’t label CT in this, its more of a generalised mainstream media statement (sorry) – I find CT to be of consistent high quality and having good ethics. Makes me proud to be a cyclist.

  • David

    Bespoke mail bags since 2016. “PEDDLE”.

  • Ajmit3

    It’s strava – who cares ! If he wants to dope to take koms so be it . Racing is a different story !

  • 900Aero
    • Sad

      Wait, what? I suppose as an attorney, that dude has never sent out an “optimistic” demand letter. Sounds like someone trying to drum up outrage/business for himself among a target audience – sound familiar?

  • Winky

    Strava is masturbation. Usually done alone, can be fun when done with others, but no substitute for the real thing.

    • Andy B

      sometimes I enjoy it more because I can be a little selfish and really go for it, not needing to wait for others to catch up
      often I get involved in groups that do it too but I find I’m more successful at reaching my goals when I’m solo
      and with live tracking I can now shout wildly “Im komming” when I achieve completion

  • Luke

    One of the best articles I’ve read on CT. Thanks Peter!

  • Andy B

    I love how an article about KOM’s get this much response :) #seriousbusiness

  • boalio

    Banning people from Strava for doping? That’s ridiculous.

    So every single person on Strava has to get regularly tested?

    What next,banning people for photoshopping their Instagram photos?

    • jules

      there’s even a testing authority – the Strava Athlete Anti-Doping Authority

  • Alex L

    Excellent article, well written and covered a few aspects of this case I hadn’t read elsewhere.

    One thing I find pretty interesting is that most of the comments here seem less worried about a guy [caught] selling PEDs and more concerned over whether or not he’s used PEDs to achieve Strava KOMs. People take their segments seriously apparently!

  • jon

    I understand being thorough in a piece of investigative journalism, but reaching out to Strava really doesn’t do much or say much, in the sense that what do you expect Strava to say? Of course they can’t tell who’s cheating or not, of course they will say PED’s are bad, but really, do they really care?

  • Derek B.

    That was quite the adventure. Keep this stuff coming!

  • Tony Abbott

    Great, different read

  • m@

    kit is comfy af tho

    • jules

      you paid $400 for knicks?

      • m@

        Its about assos pricing and similar quality, if not better.
        Also any money that goes towards fuelling strava warrior rage is money well spent

  • KarlRoche

    Great writing.

  • Daniel

    This is taking the whole strava is srs business thing to a whole new level…. and Im not talking about mr Sassquatch.

  • Steve S

    Great article, cheers. Can I respectfully suggest that now cyclingtips is international then the “other” units are put in brackets? So if the journo is talking km and m then put the miles and feet brackets, and if the article is in miles and feet then put the km / m in brackets.

  • Kevin Krol

    So, am I to assume there are people with just as much idle time on their hands available to go out and take photos of this jabroni riding to post on his Instagram account?

  • zosim

    I can’t work it out. Is this an article about a doping ring being busted or the author whining about Strava KoMs being cheated to? The former would be newsworthy, the latter is laughable.

    • david__g

      The latter sheds light on the personality of the organizer of the former.

  • Ydnar Kiap

    This guy has the same psychological pathology as lance armstrong, plus delusions of grandeur: “Thorfinn The Mighty”; is “the most powerful figure from ancient Scandanavian lore”, and then he doubles down with “Sassquatch”.. any psychologist will tell you that persons like this are supremely concerned only about themselves to the absolute exclusion of everyone else. It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s still a virgin.

  • De Mac

    Whilst this bloke very clearly has issues with the notion of fair-play, it is hardly Strava’s problem that he has taken all of these KOMs. Whilst some may believe that Strava is ‘life,’ it is, after all, simply a social media facilitator that also serves to measure people’s rides / runs / swims. The story is well worth the read – it is a fascinating insight into how a relative nobody can etch himself out a significant profile in cycling social media, as well as develop and sell an apparently highly sought after range of cycling kit. All the best to him, but I won’t be sending any of my coin his way. cheers


      social media hookers….strava’hos….im with yah, the ill gotten gains kit will not be hanging in my closet.

  • Paul

    cracking read… thanks

  • Phil Hofmann

    Really a compelling story, good writing.

  • dynatella

    It’s sad day when you use Gaimon as a doping morality sounding board…

    • david__g

      Go on then…

  • Guenther Antonio

    I know Nick personally….and he’s a great guy. Very quiet and calm mannered. Despite the recent negative publicity, he’s still awesome and his skills as a rider and especially a clothing maker is parallel to very few….he still gets my respect. Keep pedaling Nick!!!

  • Moe Izlack

    Regarding the Mt Wilson climb, and other LA climbs… The the guy who is ranked second is “sponsored” by Brandt-Sorenson. This second place rider also does not have the most impressive cycling racing palmarès. Coincidence? The entire Mt Wilson climb on Strava can be found here: https://www.strava.com/segments/7833173

  • david__g

    As I was out riding today all I could think about was Foreskin-Swampcrotch.

  • tony365

    I wondered about this Dude> Ive seen him multiple times around the Hollywood Hills, Said hi several times but he never said anything back, not a big deal. I did wonder how someone that goddam big has so many climbing KOM’s. I know people cheat on Strava, which is really amusing to me, but selling PED’s is really creepy for some reason. Maybe he is a good guy who got into deep who knows


      he is a man who lacks integrity.

  • Nick Goldston

    Oh my god words cannot describe how satisfying that was to read. Thank you thank you thank you. I’ve been dying to know more about him for years. So well written, such interesting content. Thank you

  • Isaac Smith

    I’ve been following Brandt-Sorenson since 2008 and have never been able to put all the pieces together in such a complete and coherent manner. Great story.


    cheating is cheating. http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/#4 . twatwaffle. next.

  • Jakob Dixby

    Good Read! So you can see going through “Thor’s” strava that there are a number of riders who regularly ride with him. For example, Seth Britton of South Pasadena, CA seems to ride with him a lot.

  • such a great read! I’ve been following him on Strava and always wondered if he was on an e-bike or something. While I absolutely admire the made-in-America clothing line, I’ll look for someone else to follow as my North Star on my local roadie routes.

  • bigdo

    really cool and in-depth read…

  • davewyman

    For someone who earned a degree in photography, and fact for anyone, his IG photos are disappointing.

  • richdirector

    I think Strava you easily append a persons name with an addition (convicted doper) following it – the humiliation alone of nobody believing their KOM is legit would serve a better function and viewers could play guess who is clean.

  • David Shelmerdine

    all this hate for a guy who made a mistake or two..big deal…its strava not the world championships…none of you bitching are worth two cents on a bike anyway..just ride your bike and sthu.

  • Jack Lafleur


  • Erik Saunders

    Strava race is dumb
    NBS is also dumb.
    flowery sunny day ride

  • mr. rollers

    Well put together article, but it should be noted that the bios on the Midnight Ridazz site are self-penned, uncensored, and not subject to any sort of fact checking.

  • MP

    Super interesting read man! Made me want to get more active on Strava, too haha

  • John Heaton-Armstrong

    The guy not only cheated, he helped others to cheat. There’s no grey area here, he’s just a cunning stunt.

    A real commitment to anti-doping from Strava would be banning anyone who has ever been sanctioned for doping. Permissive are what keep dopers in the sport.

  • Lunada Bay Boys

    U.S.A.D.A testing numbers, 2013:
    Nick Brandt-Sorenson 13 tests
    Levi Leipheimer 10 tests
    Phil Gaimon 5 tests
    Eric Marcotte zero tests
    Adam Myerson zero tests
    Neil Shirley zero tests
    Peter Sagan zero tests (2013-2016 zero tests)
    -USADA.org athlete test history

    • FellRunner5000

      who’s Peter Sagan and why does he never get tested?

  • Scott Brown

    Looks like he was given a lifetime ban last month:

  • Gene Tekmyster

    You should do a follow up to this noting Phil Gaimon reclaiming all those KOM’s. It’s fun to see Phil document the quest.

  • FellRunner5000

    Lets see Thorfinn-Sassquatch go head to head with Kilian Jornet!
    (of course Kilian would have to acclimate to sea level for 6 months to make it a fair and true competition… theres no way anyone could beat a runner acclimated to 18,000 ft base camp)

    • RollingStonesGawker

      How much faster is acclimation?

  • Damon Spark

    Black kids get life in prison for selling rocks and this guy gets probation for selling peds that cheat real athletes of their recognition. Fuck this dude. Go Gaimon!

  • DB2005

    Now if we could just figure out how to keep these guys on CX bikes from posting KOMs on dirt hillclimbs when everyone below them is on an actual XC mtbike. I am more concerned about this Samsquanch guy being on a CX bike than any doping issues.


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