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Cancellara’s lawyers react to Gaimon, Tramadol researcher speaks: Daily News Digest

by Shane Stokes

November 14, 2017

Cancellara’s lawyers demand halt in sales of Gaimon’s book plus apology; Authors of Tramadol study say further tests needed before recommendations can be made; Glaetzer makes history as he breaks minute barrier for kilo TT; Caleb Ewan returns to Towards Zero Race Melbourne; Ibis updates the Hakkalügi Disc, with do-it-all Hakka MX; Video: Orica-Scott look towards 2018; Video: Le Ride – Official Trailer; Video: Extreme pre-training stretching session; Video: 2017 UCI Urban Cycling – Chengdu (CHI) Elite BMX Freestyle

Cancellara’s lawyers demand halt in sales of Gaimon’s book plus apology

by Shane Stokes

Responding to a stated opinion in Phil Gaimon’s Draft Animals book that he believes Fabian Cancellara may have used a hidden motor during his career, the Swiss rider’s lawyers have pushed back. According to Het Nieuswsblad, his lawyers have demanded the book’s sales are immediately halted.

They have contacted the publishers of the book and ordered them to cease selling it. “In addition, we also want Gaimon to publicly apologize,” says Cancellara’s manager Armin Meier.

Writing in Draft Animals, Gaimon discussed Cancellara’s dominant victories in the 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. “I dismissed it until I heard his former teammates talk about certain events where Cancellara had his own mechanic, his bike was kept separate from everyone else’s, and he rode away from a ‘who’s who’ of dopers,” he said.

“When you watch the footage, his accelerations don’t look natural at all, like he’s having trouble staying on the top of the pedals. That fucker probably did have a motor.”

Gaimon has downplayed the passage. “No one who actually looked at the book would consider what I said an accusation, and this is all a ridiculous waste of time,” he told CyclingTips on Monday in response to the demands of Cancellara’s lawyers.

Gaimon is far from the first person to question the victories. Cancellara has dismissed the claims several times in the past.

Click through to read more at Het Nieuwsblad.

Today’s feature image is from Alentejo, Portugal, and was taken by Gruber Images.

  • Crash Bandicoot

    No surprise on the Cancellara front, Gaimon, from the quotes has basically asked for libel suit I’m truly surprised that someone from Penguin would really publish that regardless I’m sure Cancellara will get some cash and an apology in exchange for some publicity for the book. I’ll have to dig the book out of somewhere in my car (Meant to read it on a flight but of course it got lost) to see the context; granted Gaimon’s shtick is getting kind of annoying and repetitive.

    • Eurofluro

      I suggest you read it prior to passing judgement, it’s a little silly to launch into talk of libel and publishing without reading the source material. Cancellara gets little more a paragraph in a 320 page book. He also said ‘probably’ not ‘definitely’, it is an opinion not stated as fact. If I was Gaimon, I’d be telling Cancellara and his lawyers to fuck off. Especially as the fucker probably did use a motor.

      • Spartacus

        Perfect last sentence Eurofluro – chapeau!

      • Larry @CycleItalia

        Class (whether he cheated or not) would have been demonstrated by simply ignoring the claims. What’s the old line, “doth protest too much methinks”?

    • Superpilot

      Meh, can’t have an opinion or throw some shade these days without getting threatened with a law suit. I find Gaimon interesting. Even if he is annoying to you, and I can see how that happens, he’s at least putting some contrary information and media out there, which is nice to have in contrast to the press release drivel we have to trawl through most of the time on a lot of cycling media (CT not included). I like Cancellara, but his personality is the antithesis of this. Phil is just reporting on heresay and grainy youtube footage like all of us do. Why should he be any more culpable than us, just because he put his opinion in a book? Opinions the same right, so where’s my lawsuit?

      • Daniel

        Its called defamation, you should probably read up on it if you are putting accusations into text for all the world to see.

        • Doubtful Guest

          “look”, “like”, “probably” — it’s a statement of an opinion, not a statement of fact.

          • Sunny Ape

            In my part of the world, you can only defend the publication of defamatory matter as opinion rather than a statement of fact if the opinion related to a matter of public interest and is based on ‘proper material’. The criteria of ‘proper material’ is if it is substantially true, or it was published on an occasion of absolute or qualified privilege.

            So, if PG wrote “I heard his former teammates talk about certain events where Cancellara had his own mechanic and his bike was kept separate from everyone else’s” and that can’t be proven to be true, the criteria isn’t met and the opinion defence doesn’t stand.

            • Doubtful Guest

              “and that can’t be proven to be true”

              I don’t think you’re disagreeing with me. The sequestered bike part is a statement of fact that can be proven true or false, and pretty trivial to get corroboration on. Gaimon’s other more substantial opinions seem too qualified to be actionable.

              • DaveRides

                I would be astonished if Cancellara did not have special attention paid to his bikes like every other superstar leader of a top team gets. Not something that Gaimon would ever have had any experience with, most fans have probably been closer to one of those bikes than he ever did.

                • Larry @CycleItalia

                  Yep, only the little guys cheat. The big stars are all nice, honest fellows who win solely through their amazing work ethic. As to closeness, I’d guess the author’s been a bit closer to the world of pro cycling than DaveRides – as in actually racing in the pro peloton.

            • hornk

              US law is pretty different from UK and other countries. Libel is a much tougher case to make for a plaintiff in the US. Cancellara can probably halt publication in the UK, say, because UK libel law is much more plaintiff-friendly.

              Hard to say if Gaimon’ll give a shit about that though.

          • Daniel

            Its a published statement that damages that persons reputation.

            • Doubtful Guest

              Calling someone an @sshole in print would be a published statement that damages that person’s reputation, but it’s not something you can sue over.

              If Cancellara was going to sue, he would have done it already. It’s not even a cease and desist letter.

              • DaveRides

                Correct, it’s a letter of demand rather than a cease and desist.

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    I ordered a Kindle version of Gaimon’s book just because Spartacus’ lawyers want it banned. As Crash wrote, probably perfect for reading on a plane flight?

  • Just ordered a copy to see what the fuss is about. Have read the other books, and they’re generally fun reading.
    Also, if Cancellara decides to sue, I hope someone starts a legal support fund to help Gaimon – those are certainly popular in cycling.

    • DaveRides

      Phil Phairness Phund?

    • Michele

      Brought the book? You’ve been sucked in.

      That one paragraph was nothing more than “click-bait”. It worked. Personally, I feel if you’ve read one of his books, you’ve read them all.

      A bit like his cycling career: a one win wonder.

      • Sure I bought the book. Personally, I’d rather be informed so I can have an intelligent conversation about this topic, than make unfounded assertions based on what I think is in the entire book.

        • Wily_Quixote

          Being informed before commenting on the internet?
          That will never catch on.

  • Chris

    What else can Cancellara do? Stay silent and allow Gaimon’s second hand opinion to stand unchallenged? The only fact here is that people are now talking about this in the cycling media and if Cancellara doesn’t respond, and strongly, “the fucker probably did have a motor” is the only thing that is said.

    • Andy B

      I think a response of getting lawyers involved says more to me than saying nothing..

      • Adam Fuller

        So he’s damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t?

        • hornk

          Even cancellara must have heard of the Streisand effect. Or in Fabianese “teh Striesrnd afeect.”

    • DaveRides

      How about a statement to the media along the lines of “seriously guys, why the fuck are you indulging this snivelly doped up journeyman’s desperate pleas for relevance? I could tell you a few things about him, but I don’t want to compromise the investigation” and perhaps misspell his name for good measure.

      Then offer to retract the statement if Gaimon withdraws the book from sale.

      • Mark Blackwell

        Hahahaha, precisely. Well said. Which is not to say that I think that Gaimon is any of these things, simply that this would have been a smarter response from Cancellara. He is Cancellara after all.

    • markpa

      I think short swords in a amphitheatre would be the better solution.
      “Spartacus was trained at the gladiatorial school (ludus) near Capua belonging to Lentulus Batiatus. He was a heavyweight gladiator called a murmillo. These fighters carried a large oblong shield (scutum), and used a sword with a broad, straight blade (gladius), about 18 inches long.”

      • markpa

        Apparently the Hollywood Bowl is an amphitheatre, it would seem an appropriate location.

      • Wily_Quixote

        You can motorise a gladius and scutum?

  • Bryan Duggan

    Had no intention of buying Gaimon’s book. I do now. Cheers Luigi!

    • Wily_Quixote

      Likewise. Just bought it.

    • Spartacus

      But Dekker took the fall for ClassicoMan – lol :)

  • Nick Squillari

    *cycling fans

    “I wish pros would speak up. Be less vanilla and call out those who they feel are gaming the system!”

    *pro speaks up

    “why don’t you STFU you one-hit wonder hack rider”


    • Eurofluro

      Nailed it Nick, we really do get what we deserve.

  • Stian Pollestad

    Cancellara wants the cookie monster to apologize…that’s so sweet :)

  • Fenton Crackshell

    Phil who?! This is a sad PR stunt from an obscure domestic pro who prides himself on stealing KOMs from enthusiasts. I hope Spartacus sues him into oblivion.

    • Similitude

      So, who precisely should be allowed to speak? What does their palmares need to look like? Do you have to have won a grand tour, or is a monument sufficient?

      it seems a very vocal minority feel like shooting the messenger is the way to go. Every negative response goes straight past disagreeing to fairly harsh attacks on the man himself. It’s not like he’s inventing this claim, when you google Fabian Cancellara Motor, you get 208,000 results. That same search is the second autocomplete on Youtube, where the most popular video on the topic has 5,000,000 views.

      • Peter Gemblong

        Gaimon has little on no credibility in this matter – Rode in the WT 2014 and 2016 – Rode one race day opposed to cancellara being the 2016 Paris Roubaix, while in 2010 he was riding in the backblocks of the USA – Now if it was a pro who regularly raced against Cancellara, then it would have more credibility.


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