Your Thursday Daily News Digest

by Neal Rogers

June 29, 2017

In today’s Daily News Digest: UCI clarifies implementation of protocol for calculating time gaps on bunch-sprint stages; Coquard: ‘It hurts not going to Tour de France’; Video: Chris Froome tells Eurosport what he is expecting for Tour de France; Merida unveils new Reacto III road aero bike for Tour de France; Former teammate weighs in on Cardoso’s EPO positive; ‘Pocket lab’ tests blood in 30 seconds, changing how cyclists train; Team Sunweb adds German duo Max Kanter and Leon Rohde to WorldTour roster as stagiaires; Video: Trailer for All For One, documenting first five years of GreenEdge team; Video: Pilot for documentary tracing paralympian David Smith through three spinal tumour operations.

Former teammate weighs in on Cardoso’s EPO positive

by CyclingTips

American Phil Gaimon posted a blog entry upon news that his former teammate, Andre Cardoso, had tested positive on the eve of the Tour de France. Gaimon rode alongside Cardoso as teammates at Garmin-Sharp in 2014, and again at Cannondale-Drapac last year. Gaimon, who has taken a strong anti-doping stance, including tattooing the word “clean” on his bicep, shared his views about having ridden as teammates alongside a rider now accused of cheating.

We weren’t super close, but his cell number is in my phone, and if I ran into him a week ago, I’d have given him a big hug and been happy to see him. We trained together a few times, raced together, and we shared a hotel room at the Tour of San Luis in ’16. He was a professional: the neatest suitcase you’ve ever seen, and always wiped down his shoes before the stage or burned off the extra fuzzy parts when his socks started to get old. I remember when the soigneurs found cupcakes for his birthday at the Tour of Alberta, and we sang for him and celebrated in the team bus after dinner. I met his wife and I remember when he had his first child, who must be three years old by now.

To see him test positive, my world isn’t shaken exactly, but I’m certainly surprised and confused. He seemed like another one of the guys, and doping wasn’t the culture on Slipstream at all. We had fun, we trained hard, we raced our butts off, but drugs weren’t a part of the equation. I’ll be forever grumpy at Vaughters for how my career ended, but I’ll give him this: he’d rather lose than cheat—not necessarily because he’s a pillar of morality, but because it’s not worth the risk. I can’t imagine that Andre was doping when we were teammates, and for some reason that makes me feel better.

So what might have changed? What could have made him do it? I was desperate lots of times (for ten years solid, actually), but I went to college, my parents had money, and I never had a family to support with my legs. I’m guessing his salary was never more than $180k a year, which is great, but he’s 32, so if he wants to be set for life or even race another year, he’d better win something big soon. With the Tour de France coming up, maybe that could put a guy over the edge?

I’m sure there’s not a doping culture on Trek, either. There’s a few guys left from that era, but they’ve learned the hard way by now, too—or they’ve skated and know how lucky they are. Doping is different now. It’s not like they’d hand it to him on a bus like you might have read about in 1998, or peer pressure him into it. He’d have had to find the right doctor or buy it somewhere off the internet. Morally, it feels like that makes it more of a crime to cheat in 2017, because it’s not so easy. You’re risking your own career, your family, your sponsors, and your teammates.

I don’t know how to end this. I hope it is a false positive and he’s cleared somehow, but it doesn’t look good. I’m angry but I’m more confused and sad. A lot of young guys in the sport didn’t know why it killed me to see Mancebo win the Sunset Stage at Redlands this year. They think I’m a hater, because they weren’t watching the Tour when those guys lost the right to earn a living in the sport. They don’t realize that’s the reason they get their pee tested today, or they live in a shitty apartment, and the guy who got second is running an eBay business to get by, deprived of a result that might have changed his life. I hope young riders see this one and realize it’s not worth it.

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