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  • jules


  • Patrick Murphy

    His book is great btw, really is worth a read.

    • I started reading his book last night after catching up on his podcasts, and can say this Phil’s storytelling is very entertaining. It’s a refreshing take on cycling

    • badhombrebigdo

      yeah, it is really good…

  • Conscience_of_a_conservative

    That’s a great story. I’m going to attempt the same here, even if I’m not successful which will be the case.

  • Ben Delaney

    Enjoyed the story, Peter. Thanks.

    • Steak

      Thanks man

  • Gem Atkinson

    “I don’t really want to go after any of Tommy’s KOMs.” says it all really. selective.

    • They are friends. That is sufficient explanation, unless you’re the kind of person who thinks human behaviour should be robotically consistent.

    • DaveRides

      Probably because Tommy D knows where the bodies are buried.

  • cthenn

    I don’t know how to feel about this. On the one hand, this Turdfin Assquatch guy is a loser. Being a Strava bigshot + $4 gets you a cup of Starbucks coffee. Nobody cares. To dope in order to get KOM’s on a cycling social media site is way up there on the loser scale. On the other hand, it’s kind of ridiculous that he would go after this guy to “take back KOM’s from dopers”, when frankly, the entire sport of professional cycling is still full of dopers at the top of the game. It’s like, let’s make an ass out of this Thorfinn guy, and take all his doped up KOM’s, but the actual top level pros, well let’s just pretend there’s nothing going on. And I vigorously disagree with the statement about Levi “his situation is a bit more complicated than someone who is doping just to get KOM’s.” It’s completely the opposite IMO. Though it takes a special kind of stupid to take drugs in order to be a big man on a computer game, it’s way worse that the sport of cycling was, and still is being corrupted by doping. To me, it doesn’t matter how “complicated” the situation is, you don’t take drugs, and cheat the sport, the fans, and other clean riders. And don’t get me started on Danielson, it’s obvious he is going to defend a friend and teammate.

    As he said, it’s a good way to try and maintain fitness, and something that almost everyone will be on board with. I think it’s kind of funny myself. But what we need are more legitimate voices like Gaimon’s to speak out against what was, and still is going on within the pro peloton. Omerta is still strong, and though the cheating today is likely not as rampant as back in the 90’s and 00’s, it’s still a big problem. Wiggins/Sky are doing a helluva job making this point. Taking some wannabe loser’s Strava KOM’s isn’t much more than entertainment.

    • Allez Rouleur

      A lot of truth and good opinions here. I too don’t really know how to square him not going after Danielson too. I played competitive sports at a high level, but there was no money involved. I’m sure some dudes were maybe on steroids, but I never saw any drug use…aside from beers and recrectional drugs. I don’t think I could continue to be friends with someone I knew used PEDs to gain an advantage.

    • TobinH

      I think he’s probably allowed to have personal opinions, no?

    • anonyfool

      I agree with you but still thank Gaimon for entertaining me.

      • Pete

        How do we know Phil is clean. He was a pro rider after all.

    • kimbo305

      > but the actual top level pros, well let’s just pretend there’s nothing going on.

      He might have some unfairly generous views for Danielson and Levi, but he’s one of the most outspoken anti-doping (well, former) pro riders out there. Look at who else dares to just go after Horner like that.

    • John Amtber

      If you live in LA, it might make more sense. That Sassquach guy is on every climb, it’s annoying.

    • And who knows that the new KOMs are not based on some medical – umm – aid? “The secret race” of former US Postal Service and later TdF participant Tyler Hamilton is a fascinating book about this theme (https://www.amazon.de/Secret-Race-Inside-Cover-ups-Winning/dp/0345530411).

    • RollingStonesGawker

      Strava was not planned or built for the rides of athletic incompetents or for maltreaters of performance enhancers. A thousand software engineers did not program for four and a half years on this app only to have rides recorded here by cyclists who are lazy to excess and who spend but five hours a week training, while hoping confidently that the speed of their tainted KOM’s would produce the desired effect and result in the hailing of their riding as the most brilliant lightning-birth of a truly pure World Tour rider. No, the hard work of the engineers of Strava demands equally hard work from those athletes who want to compete clean. I do not care in the least if some 2011 pseudo-athlete is left to cackle over his KOM’s a half-decade beyond!

  • Allez Rouleur

    Yowzers, not mincing any words at the end there! Nice work, Phil!! As if you didn’t seem likable enough already, this is just great.

    Who in the HECK is buying any clothing from that dude? Doping to “win” on Strava. Yep, now I’ve seen it all. How pathetic.

  • Sean Parchem

    Why did my first post not clear the moderators? Guess they are as torn as Phil on who to give a pass to.

    • Neal Rogers

      Nobody moderated your post, it was probably some sort of technical glitch. Try again.

      • Sean Parchem

        Sorry Neal. You’re probably spot on with the glitch thing. It was probably a personal glitch and not a technical one. I was wondering how my post of the year could have been moderated:-) Thanks for the great work Neal.

  • Scott Bell

    i don’t think it’s messed about about the PMs after the KOMs, it seems to make sense. Cycling has always been a magical sport for its fans precisely because of the proximity we can have to the racers, races, and training. There have always been fun stories about pros out training who let the everyday cyclists tag along. Strava allows this in a way that is both distant and intimate. I’ve done Latigo, some of the Griffiths Park stuff, and Gibraltar and it’s awesome to see my times and efforts up there with the pros (not “up there” near the top of the leaderboard, but up there ON strava). Strava brings us all closer, asynchronously, so it seems logical that this act would resonate. Gaimon is riding for us.

  • Moderate

    Love it! If only more Pros were outspoken against doping instead of being part of the Omertà.

  • One more reason to love Phil. Or, um, how many KOM’s? That many reasons to love Phil.

  • eezis

    Excellent article. I am pleased to know that I am not a lone wing-nut. In 2013 I discovered that the guy headlining my age group KOMS was a twice-caught doper. That motivated me to get fit enough to destroy his times. I went on a mission in 2014 and systematically erased his name on all the major climbs in my area. I used “Cleaned” in the title or description to mark my progress because I wanted that bung-hole to read that word and feel the sting every time he got an email or discovered that he lost his KOM or spot on the age-grouped board. IMO, Strava should remove twice-caught dopers or someone that has been banned for life from the leader boards. Good on you Gaimon. And thanks for keeping it clean.

    • Guy Ross

      Strava addressed that a few years ago. Might have been after the original outing of this DBag. Was that your article, Neil? It was kinda PR ish but basically said, ‘go out and ride, have fun. We’re not going to become a jury for who deserves our leader boards or not.

      • eezis

        Yep. That’s why I prefaced with the “IMO.” To me it seems that Strava has taken a pretty gutless stance here to avoid making the “hard” decision. When someone has been caught twice, Strava is not the judge. At that point the person has been through the arbitration process — as imperfect as it is, it’s the only one we have. A lots of cyclists also admit to the offense and accept the bans. If they are admitted their guilt, Strava is, once again, not acting as the judge.

        • Lawrence Beck

          Sorry, late to this party. I think Strava’s position on this is correct. They are a platform but not race directors or sanctioning bodies. They can’t police doping any more than they can police people using e-Bikes, editing their GPS files, riding in groups, using 11 pound special-purpose climbing bikes, riding with a hurricane at their backs, etc. Just recognize that anyone that dopes or cheats to get a KOM on Strava clearly has a lot of issues – don’t let their issues become your issues.

  • JC526

    So maybe instead of an asterisk **, we put D for doper, P for pro and A for amateur or maybe F for female?

    • DaveRides

      Segments have a separate QOM list for women.

      • JC526

        Well, at least they identify as women.

        • DaveRides

          Isn’t that the definition of a woman these days?

          • JC526

            Ask the womens winner of El Tour de Tucson…..

          • JC526

            See – 2016 El Tour de Tucson women’s winner, then write me back.

  • MattHurst

    Thankyou Phil, that has made my day. Gold.

  • BrandEcks

    To sum up: Some dopers are more equal than others.

  • Kx Jx

    Quality! Whatever keeps him motivated I guess and it keeps us entertained in the process. At the end of the day it’s only Strava digital bragging but I personally love seeing on Strava what the pros can do, especially solo efforts with power numbers shown like most of these.

    Interesting little dig at Horner thrown in the mix there too… ;-)

  • Jim Conrad

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ffe08e3e6d8d5f1bbe188b06d047dc2261336b66d5cd8e83f33d2caa22ca6fb1.png Please come to NC and know these two off the Friendship Church Road climb. You’ve always got a place to stay.

    • Eric

      Those two took their bikes for a ride in the back of a pickup. I accidentally did the same after a crash, but had the courtesy of going back and trimming my ride to get rid of the KOMs I got going 45mph on the flats. You can see that their cadence and power dropped to zero…


    • David Bonnett

      Just flag their rides on Strava – Phil said he won’t get on a plane to sort these out…
      I have no hesitation to flag someone’s ride if it is clear they used a vehicle to get a KOM, even if I’m way down the leaderboard.

      • bike-aholic

        I find it easier to flag a ride if im nowhere near the top, theres no incentive then, just a sense of right & wrong.

    • Andrew O’Neill

      Just flag their rides… Done.

  • JBS

    Reading the comments here, it feels like a few people have interpreted Gaimon’s efforts as an anti-doping vendetta, and then slammed him for being selective in his targets. I didn’t read it that way. He’s on a mission to knock off riders who have pissed him off. Thorfinn seems to be a target as an amateur doper on strava and that has offended Gaimon. Horner is a target because Gaimon doesn’t like the guy. Danielson and Leipheimer haven’t pissed Gaimon off so he isn’t going after their KOMs.

  • planning_nerd

    Minor correction from an LA native.

    The course record for the Latigo climb is ~32 minutes, set by Harm Jansen, then a pro on the Saturn team . This was before strava, around 2003.

    No idea whether he did it clean, though given the era some skepticism is warranted, I guess.

  • Wily_Quixote

    So a real stravenge mission… hilarious!

  • some1s_lucky

    I think Thorfinn has realised and is now going for Run Koms to keep his Kom case full.

  • slartiblartfast

    Do we know that Matt Wikstrom who is in the Strava top 10 for Mandeville Canyon?

    • planning_nerd

      Pretty impressive.

  • AC

    This right here, is why Phil has so many fans, and why the peloton will not be as fun to watch next year.

  • Mikey Wally

    plot twist, all of thorfinn’s strava times were done clean. says he’s been tested randomly 23 times since 2012. it’s pretty heavy to be writing articles purporting that someone is doping without any evidence. sus

    • Guy Ross

      The article was written using quotes from Phil G. Yes, Phil accuses him of doping (proven as this loser was indeed busted) but basically says he is out to get him because he thinks he is a complete dirtball and that motivates him to go for it.

      So yeah, calling a doper a doper is not ‘heavy’ at all.
      Calling him an ass hat is more subjective but man, it makes for good reading.

      • DaveRides


        If Phil was on a principled anti-doping crusade, he wouldn’t be subjecting that crusade to the judgement of whether he’s mates with any particular doper.

        That said, I do agree that CT should have taken the high ground by asking Thorfinn for comment before publishing the article, and publishing any reply unedited. It doesn’t matter that they are hiding behind someone else’s quotes, high journalistic standards are high journalistic standards.

        • Guy Ross

          Ah, you need to go back and read the article. He was contacted for comment and he provided nothing. However, after publishing, he responded via social media by saying he is being independently tested.

          Sure, dude….

    • planning_nerd

      This from a guy who has never pinned a number on in his life. Alleycats are not racing, idiot. I know this jerkoff IRL.

      Did you not see that this guy’s power numbers were World Tour level? Since you don’t race, you have no idea how totally freaking impossible that is for a clean rider. And if he WERE clean he would be in the World Tour, not spending his time on Strava.

    • H.E. Pennypacker

      You mean the guy who was just convicted in federal court of running an illegal online EPO ring out of his home/p.o. box? That guy? Yeah, we should definitely believe that guy.

  • jon

    Every time Phil Gaimon says or does something that carries an undertone of his views on doping and doped athletes just reminds me of the scene from A Few Good Men where Tom Cruise’s character says “I want the truth..” and Jack Nicholson’s character shouts back “You can’t handle the truth!”. I mean I get it, you’re against doping….good for you, and I hope that you have done right in the eyes of all your peers your entire life, and if you haven’t, stop being so judgemental.

  • Juan

    My questions:

    1) Brandt-Sorenson had a 2011 failed test. That sucks but one failed test and Gaimon is after the guy on a mission? He could have been absolutely clean when he posted those KOMs. I mean the times are quick but, in Gaimon’s words, they aren’t pro quick
    2) Dombrowski could beat these times one legged. Of course. But Dombrowski beat Aru in the 2012 Girobia and their career paths were a bit different in the subsequent years. When did Gaimon make noise about Astana while he was in the peloton?
    3) Makes a small dig at Horner but doesn’t call him out and never did while he was in the same pelo?
    4) Doesn’t go after Danielson. So – if we’re buddies it’s all good and if we’re not I’m going to assume you’re a sad chump or a bully?

    Doesn’t feel that this is different from omerta. Selective truth. No-one wins when the so-called bully starts to get bullied. Why didn’t Gaimon reach out and go for a ride with the guy? They could have had clean cracks at KOMs together and got some healing done.

    Just my 2c

    100% support the need for an overhaul in strava cyclists minds re the gap between a KOM and a truly strong pro effort!

    • Guy Ross

      1) The article clearly states (with a link to the USADA statement) the this gentleman has a LIFETIME BAN for 3 violation, not least of them being a pusher. In Gaimon’s words, ‘There are maybe only 60 guys in the world who can ride that fast up that climb solo.’ I’m not sure what your definition of PRO quick is but a global top 60 is pretty ‘PRO’ in my book

      2 and 3) from what I know, he never came out and said anything concrete about anyone in the pro peloton while he was a member.

      4) He likes the guy. He and most people aren’t binary. I f’n HATE it when people text and drive. My brother does it. I hate it but we still have dinner together once in a while. Being a total asshole AND a cheat is possibly just enough to make him hate someone? His call to make.

      I am all for the devil’s advocate but in this case I respectfully feel you are being very selective in how you are laying out info.

      • Juan

        I respect your views but I think the article is being more selective here than I was in my response. I know internet journalism is something of a paradox but I really feel that CyclingTips owes it to readers to have pursued Brandt-Sorenson’s angle further. I understand there is a ‘speed to print’ imperative and I read these articles knowing that. I suspect a lot of us would prefer a little more substance in these articles. Pressures of online content for the creators here and no simple solution. A good story and lots of engagement etc. but (as someone mentioned to me on the bike this morning).

        To clarify some points
        1- It was one failed test (2 year ban) for a pos and then a subsequent lifetime ban for pushing. I agree – the guys ethics and headspace were obviously in a terrible place at the time and I 100% don’t condone it. But making one person a martyr doesn’t help the collective, in my humble opinion.
        2 and 3 – my point is – isn’t that the omerta issue? Gaimon called out no-one in the pelo despite some obvious grievances while racing. Now semi-retired Gaimon is calling out a local KOM guy?
        4 – I understand your point and some would say ethics are not that simple. Others would say that ethics are very simple, but just incredibly hard to practice. If Gaimon is truly fedei defensor he should have the integrity to knock off his buddies KOMs just as easily. I mean they’re ‘just KOMs’ why would Danielson get so upset? Your point re texting is taken, but I think this issue touches such a nerve (and for the right reasons) that Gaimon should really dwell on this a bit.

        As I said, I respect your views. I simply feel is that Gaimon could have ridden with the guy and got to know him before calling him out on social media. He may have given him the same understanding that he currently gives Danielson or we may all realize that there is more to the issue here and more to the man than this article summarily dictates.

        • Guy Ross

          Totally valid points and I have to say I am also biased as I personally like Phil.

          I know when I ride, I see anyone up the road and consider them an enemy to be conquered. Give ’em a ‘hey’ as I go by but love the antagonism I can build for myself based only on my own personal competition.

          If Phil is riding in SoCal with pros and ex-pros I’m guessing some of the chatter is about the Sorenson character. I will go out on a limb here and say that what Phil heard about him was enough to set his sights on him as a villain as opposed to someone to get to know.

          I think the tipping point is dealing. If you look at Joe Papp, you see that those who seek to profit personally from and support others’ cheating have a string of nastiness within them that most are loath to engage.

          Yeah, I would love to see an interview with the guy! However, Peter mentioned that he reached out to him for comment without a reaction but Sorenson found the time to immediately reply to this article on social media after it was printed!! I guess that’s all I need to know.

          • Juan

            I sure you’re right – it’s a small enough community on the west coast that chatter re: personality etc is probably pretty accurate so maybe Gaimon’s feelings are based in fact (even if second or third hand). Good point.

            I’d love a journalist to put the effort in to run this to ground with an interview and I hear you re: Brandt-Sorenson’s silence (and subsequent social media response, which perhaps does speak volumes).

            I just honestly would have loved Gaimon to be this combative and name-and-shame as a rider in the peloton. Alas.

            • H.E. Pennypacker

              Agree wholeheartedly with that last sentence. Well said.

        • H.E. Pennypacker

          They’ve asked him to speak on his own behalf more than once, including for this piece. He has declined time and again.

          • Juan

            Wait a second… If you’re commenting here, who is watching the factory?!

            • H.E. Pennypacker

              My intern at Kramerica, Indust.

  • badhombrebigdo

    This is why I’ve been a fan of Gaimon for years, even though as a pro he’s essentially pack fodder and a water carrier. He is intensely smart and when prodded he can do amazing things on the bike.. He’s also a really great writer, Cycling Tips would have done well to let him write this piece himself, but let me stop playing armchair editor. This is a well-done, concise piece about your fav. pro’s favorite pro, riding around L.A. taking KOM’s from a guy he previously called out in a different Cycling Tips article as having a “Lance Armstron-level creep factor”, and who I can tell doesn’t like very much.

    It’s easy to root against a guy like Brandt-Sorenson and for a guy like Gaimon, I think purists have been doing it for over a decade now, and it’s great to be able to keep rooting for Gaimon in this capacity, via Strava and his righteous takedowns of some seriously coveted KOM’s.

  • Huw

    Cam Wurf in 4th – that guy really is a machine

  • barraob1

    Ha ha, brilliant. I hope he keeps it up. Doping on to take Kom’s on strava is pretty pathetic and why anyone would buy clothes from his company is beyond me.

  • Mr. Flax, are you glorifying Gaimon’s quest or simply reporting on it? If I had to guess I’d say it’s more of the former. I guess it’s fun for Gaimon to give himself the goal of stealing all of Brandt-Sorenson’s KOM’s, there’s nothing wrong with being competitive. But does he have to be such a pompous prick about it? Does Gaimon have definitive proof that Brandt-Sorenson was doping during his LA rides? How long does a man have to pay for his past sins? Pretty ballsy to just be calling someone out like that for something that can’t be proven.

  • Carlos Flanders

    Zero respect. How’s about tackling Levi’s and Tommy D’s dubious koms. While he’s at it, he hasn’t said anything bad about jv, the only DS he hasn’t stabbed. No mention of his world class vo2max either, must be losing it.

  • bikerecker

    Pathetic little kingdom, indeed.

    • bikerecker

      11th in Criterium… I sure as hell wouldn’t retire if I had that kind of result in me.

  • disqusplaya

    External validation is a bitch yo

  • Bris Focus

    “pathetic little kingdom”?? – hey that’s my life you’re talking about man…lol

  • RollingStonesGawker

    We are convinced that the CyclingTips community will again fully support and joyously appreciate the future truly great cyclists from within their ranks.

    These KOM’s are but a beginning. But the KOM’ing is also the beginning of the end of the stultification of true Cycling and the end of the dopers destruction of Strava. Many of our young athletes will recognize the path they will have to take; they will draw inspiration from the greatness of the time in which we all live, and they will draw the courage to train hard and will in the end compete clean. And when a sacred conscientiousness at last comes into its own, then, I have no doubt, the Almighty will lift from this massive peloton, several bicyclists who will rise to the eternal star-covered heaven of champion, God-favored athletes of great ages.

    We believe that especially today, when on so many Strava segments the highest individual athletic achievements are standing the test, so also in the sphere of sport will the highest value of truth and cleanliness again emerge to assert itself.

    (click in bio to shop the CyclingTips emporium! Subscribe today to the VeloClub.)


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