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The Roche Family and Irish Cycling

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The Roche Family and Irish Cycling

10 Jan 2013 22:32

So as not to clutter up the Shane Sutton thread, I've started a thread for ongoing views on the biking Roches, specifically but not exclusively Stephen péré and Nicolas fils.

Roche Sr was of course an important figure in the early careers of Both David Walsh and Paul Kimmage. He was also an early adopter, if lists be believed, of EPO,

His son, however, has historically had a better reputation; his move to the Riis team, however, has worried some.

So, any thoughts on the Roches, or for that matter, Irish cycling generally - does doping diminish the legend of Sean 'King' Kelly - and is Peter Sagan possibly Kelly's second coming? Is there a reason Irish cycling has coughed up both McQuaid, and Kimmage and Walsh? Just how good was Shay Elliott? Was Kelly 'less' of a cheat than Roche because his doping was a different era?

This is NOT a trolling thread, for those it may concern - it's an attempt a) to keep the Sutton thread on topic and b) produce a thread to discuss the irish influence on doping, or the doping influence on the irish.

(ETA: For clarity- Yes, I'm Irish. I'm legally speaking, a dual national - but the blood runs green. )
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10 Jan 2013 22:35

NR says in this interview he will learn alot from Alberto and Riis ....

http://video.saxobank.com/video/7497455/team-saxo-tinkoff-members
Basecase
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10 Jan 2013 22:39

Basecase wrote:NR says in this interview he will learn alot from Alberto and Riis ....

http://video.saxobank.com/video/7497455/team-saxo-tinkoff-members


That's what I'm afraid of. Roche Sr has been arguing for ages that nicolas needs to 'prepare' better...

we shall see - interesting superteam coming together - Rogers, Roche Og - you might thing a Saxexpress was in the offing to counterpunch the Sky train...
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10 Jan 2013 22:50

Kelly was also an early adopter of EPO with PDM ...
Echoes
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10 Jan 2013 22:52

Echoes wrote:Kelly was also an early adopter of EPO with PDM ...


I'm aware of rumours to that effect, but the bulk of his success would be prior to that, no?
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10 Jan 2013 22:56

Certainly agreed. He's still a champion and same for Roche sr.

However he still won great races in the 90's, which for me have an asterisk (including the famous Sanremo win, one of my earliest memory though).

And the Intralipid affair was more than rumours, if you ask me. Breukink said he was forced to lie about that.
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10 Jan 2013 23:02

martinvickers wrote:I'm aware of rumours to that effect, but the bulk of his success would be prior to that, no?


Rumours? Did Willy Voet not pen a book about it?

Yeah Kelly was successful and extremely talented but he was a doper. Almost all of it pre EPO but that hardly excuses him!
"ahaha, ever had the feeling you been cheated?" JL SF Jan'78.

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10 Jan 2013 23:14

Benotti69 wrote:Rumours? Did Willy Voet not pen a book about it?

Yeah Kelly was successful and extremely talented but he was a doper. Almost all of it pre EPO but that hardly excuses him!


I don't suggest it does. I was a Kelly fan as a youngster, in a way I still am, but no, i don't forgive the doping - I think I was pretty clear on that :-). I don't forgive Mercx either for that matter, and he was brilliant.

I suspect those views put me in a minority though - Kelly and Mercx are still widley revered.

As for Kelly and EPO - yes , I suspect the famous SanRimo probably had a taste of that, all right. In fact, I'm morally sure of it - good as it looks on telly, it's a coldish kind of victory for me...

Of course, pulling out of the Vuelta on the verge of winning it for a saddle boil has to be the most interesting story. The kelly I know would have ridden on on one leg rather than quit on the verge of winning....
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10 Jan 2013 23:38

Does anybody know the product EPO boost?
http://epoboost.com/
It's apparently legal, at least according to the website. No transfusions, just oral consumption.
Imagine for a moment discovering a secret within your current cellular structure that could be enhanced so you could run faster, longer and not run out of energy.

Scientists at Northwestern State University discovered a natural way to boost erythropoietin (EPO), thereby enhancing both VO2max (your ability to intake oxygen) and running economy (the rate at which your body uses oxygen) using a performance supplement.

An athlete with a high VO2 max and optimal running economy will be able to move faster and for much longer than a comparable athlete with a lower VO2 max or running economy.


If you check under "dealer locator", you'll see that it's being sold only in the united states and in ireland (Chain Reaction Cycles). I checked the Chain Reaction Cycles website, but the product doesn't appear there, suggesting that either they don't sell it (i.e. the epoboost-website is wrong) or they sell it under the counter.
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10 Jan 2013 23:55

sniper wrote:Does anybody know the product EPO boost?
http://epoboost.com/
It's apparently legal, at least according to the website. No transfusions, just oral consumption.


If you check under "dealer locator", you'll see that it's being sold only in the united states and in ireland (Chain Reaction Cycles). I checked the Chain Reaction Cycles website, but the product doesn't appear there, suggesting that either they don't sell it (i.e. the epoboost-website is wrong) or they sell it under the counter.


It's widely available online in other countries

How it works

rule 31 - never trust a salesman.....
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11 Jan 2013 00:15

Benotti69 wrote:Rumours? Did Willy Voet not pen a book about it?



Voet never talked about the Intralipid affair for he never worked for PDM.

He discussed doping in the De Gribaldy team.
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11 Jan 2013 00:51

I personally don't think Roche Snr was an early exponent of EPO, in fact I would say it was only when he returned to Carrera in 92 that he may have become involved in EPO. Kimmage was with Roche at Fagor in 89 and there is no mention of EPO in the original edition of Rough Ride. Kimmage didn't even seem to have heard of it at that time. 90/91 were two bad seasons for Roche so seems unlikely he would be on EPO.

Willy Voet said that the RMO guys had their eyes opened when they moved to Festina in 93 because of the PDM influx but didn't Voet also say it was only before the 93 Tour that it was talked of implementing an EPO program.

That Milan-San Remo win of Kelly was more down to nerve's of steel than anything else. Kelly only got away on the descent of the Poggio and then refused to work so unless EPO improves your descending skills as well I don't think it was an EPO victory.

I think us older hands have a tendency to be a bit softer on the pre-EPO generation as even though there was doping, it wasn't so game changing and clean guys could actually win big races. It didn't seem to give such a big advantage so perhaps the top guys were THE top guys.

I think Voet also said that Kelly rarely took the chance when there was controls like at the Tour which is perhaps why he never won. I don't know.

On the current guys, I would not have been one to be overly suspect of Nico Rohce before, he has shown a gradual progression in his career rather than any amazing jumps like C.Froome or JTL. Like other's it does bother me about him going to Saxo and his father being so keen for him to work with Riis.

On the other hand I wasn't too happy when Philip Deignan went to RadioShack either, but he didn't exactly pull up any trees when he was there so I don't believe joining a team with doping associations means automatic doping. Depends on the individual I guess.
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11 Jan 2013 00:56

martinvickers wrote:So as not to clutter up the Shane Sutton thread, I've started a thread for ongoing views on the biking Roches, specifically but not exclusively Stephen péré and Nicolas fils.

Roche Sr was of course an important figure in the early careers of Both David Walsh and Paul Kimmage. He was also an early adopter, if lists be believed, of EPO,

His son, however, has historically had a better reputation; his move to the Riis team, however, has worried some.

So, any thoughts on the Roches, or for that matter, Irish cycling generally - does doping diminish the legend of Sean 'King' Kelly - and is Peter Sagan possibly Kelly's second coming? Is there a reason Irish cycling has coughed up both McQuaid, and Kimmage and Walsh? Just how good was Shay Elliott? Was Kelly 'less' of a cheat than Roche because his doping was a different era?

This is NOT a trolling thread, for those it may concern - it's an attempt a) to keep the Sutton thread on topic and b) produce a thread to discuss the irish influence on doping, or the doping influence on the irish.

(ETA: For clarity- Yes, I'm Irish. I'm legally speaking, a dual national - but the blood runs green. )


Certainly the fact that Kimmage and Walsh both came out of Ireland is no coincidence - Walsh encouraged Kimmage to take up journalism and (I believe) helped him get his first media gig doing a journal of Le Tour. I suppose in some respects the prominence of Irish figures in the cycling establishment is because of the rise of the English-speaking world within cycling, and the fact that Ireland was the first English-speaking country to have major success since the 1970s. Irish figures came to prominence on the back of Kelly and Roche and then as the UK, USA and Australia became more relevant, the most prominent English-speaking administrators (at that time the Irish) did also.
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11 Jan 2013 01:27

Caruut wrote:Certainly the fact that Kimmage and Walsh both came out of Ireland is no coincidence - Walsh encouraged Kimmage to take up journalism and (I believe) helped him get his first media gig doing a journal of Le Tour. I suppose in some respects the prominence of Irish figures in the cycling establishment is because of the rise of the English-speaking world within cycling, and the fact that Ireland was the first English-speaking country to have major success since the 1970s. Irish figures came to prominence on the back of Kelly and Roche and then as the UK, USA and Australia became more relevant, the most prominent English-speaking administrators (at that time the Irish) did also.


good post. the semi-adoption of the irish by the british media of the time spoke of the huge gap left by the ban on road racing; the irish had to make up the ground, in a way.

There's a book somewhere which says that Kelly, while clearly Irish, was stylistically closer to the old Flemish riders - specifically that he was hard as nails. Certainly the idea of multiple green jerseys, multiple classics, a dose of Paris-nice's and a grand tour win with a couple of near misses is an unthinkable span of talent in this day and age - unless Sagan really kicks on and becomes the new new cannibal.
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11 Jan 2013 01:27

sniper wrote:Does anybody know the product EPO boost?
http://epoboost.com/
It's apparently legal, at least according to the website. No transfusions, just oral consumption.


If you check under "dealer locator", you'll see that it's being sold only in the united states and in ireland (Chain Reaction Cycles). I checked the Chain Reaction Cycles website, but the product doesn't appear there, suggesting that either they don't sell it (i.e. the epoboost-website is wrong) or they sell it under the counter.


From the abstract of the journal document "These data indicate that ECH supplementation resulted in an increase in EPO and IL-3 but did not significantly alter RBCs, Hb, or Hct. "

In short, it doesn't work
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11 Jan 2013 01:32

pmcg76 wrote:I personally don't think Roche Snr was an early exponent of EPO, in fact I would say it was only when he returned to Carrera in 92 that he may have become involved in EPO. Kimmage was with Roche at Fagor in 89 and there is no mention of EPO in the original edition of Rough Ride. Kimmage didn't even seem to have heard of it at that time. 90/91 were two bad seasons for Roche so seems unlikely he would be on EPO.

Willy Voet said that the RMO guys had their eyes opened when they moved to Festina in 93 because of the PDM influx but didn't Voet also say it was only before the 93 Tour that it was talked of implementing an EPO program.

That Milan-San Remo win of Kelly was more down to nerve's of steel than anything else. Kelly only got away on the descent of the Poggio and then refused to work so unless EPO improves your descending skills as well I don't think it was an EPO victory.


point taken.

I think us older hands have a tendency to be a bit softer on the pre-EPO generation as even though there was doping, it wasn't so game changing and clean guys could actually win big races. It didn't seem to give such a big advantage so perhaps the top guys were THE top guys.


True, but sadly in a sense it's that 'sentimental' attitude that makes it so hard to clean the peleton now. ten minute penalty for a drugs bust. Seriously.

I think Voet also said that Kelly rarely took the chance when there was controls like at the Tour which is perhaps why he never won. I don't know.


Of course, those were the days were being a demon descender could make you a game changing rider.

On the current guys, I would not have been one to be overly suspect of Nico Rohce before, he has shown a gradual progression in his career rather than any amazing jumps like C.Froome or JTL. Like other's it does bother me about him going to Saxo and his father being so keen for him to work with Riis.


His father's keeness, as opposed to Kelly at least having the sense not to want to talk about it is part of why i prefer the king. Roche seems almost 'pro-doping' occasionally.

On the other hand I wasn't too happy when Philip Deignan went to RadioShack either, but he didn't exactly pull up any trees when he was there so I don't believe joining a team with doping associations means automatic doping. Depends on the individual I guess.
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11 Jan 2013 02:10

martinvickers wrote:good post. the semi-adoption of the irish by the british media of the time spoke of the huge gap left by the ban on road racing; the irish had to make up the ground, in a way.

There's a book somewhere which says that Kelly, while clearly Irish, was stylistically closer to the old Flemish riders - specifically that he was hard as nails. Certainly the idea of multiple green jerseys, multiple classics, a dose of Paris-nice's and a grand tour win with a couple of near misses is an unthinkable span of talent in this day and age - unless Sagan really kicks on and becomes the new new cannibal.


Possibly this quote:

[quote="Robin MacGowan"]It is customary to talk of Kelly as quintessentially an Irish rider. For my part, though, I think it helps to place Kelly better as a cyclist to see him as the last of the Flemish riders. This is usually a title associated with the post-war rider, Briek Schotte who has become appropriately enough the man in day-to-day charge of the de Gribaldy teams. As exemplified by Schotte it stood for a certain type of mentality, willing to suffer, narrowly focussed, and hard, hard, hard. Kelly had all this in him from his Irish small-farm background: the outside loo]

It's from Kelly's Wikipedia page, and the citation says that it's from Knights of the Road by Rowan MacGowan and Graham Watson. Certainly Kelly was a man with an unnatural ability to endure pain; in Rough Ride, Kimmage said that Kelly frequently put himself into the kind of pain Kimmage only experienced once or twice in his career. That is, in a way, the lot of a top classics rider - given that the old Flemish riders in question were classics riders I suppose the way the comparison fits is sort of inevitable.

Kimmage made a very good point about his notability in Rough Ride as well, now I come to think about it. He is quite rare in that while he was a mediocre rider, he was a very close friend of two of the true greats of his era; at that time there were only 4 professional riders from Ireland so, along with the fact that Kimmage grew up knowing Roche, he ended up spending quite a lot of time with him and Kelly.

For a comparison on Roche and Kelly we might also look to how they've treated Kimmage. Kimmage, so far as I know, is still on speaking terms with Kelly and considers him a friend, despite Kelly's notorious habit of going mute whenever doping is discussed. Roche on the other hand disowned him the moment he admitted his doping. In my book that says something about the two.
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11 Jan 2013 11:22

pmcg76 wrote:I personally don't think Roche Snr was an early exponent of EPO, in fact I would say it was only when he returned to Carrera in 92 that he may have become involved in EPO. Kimmage was with Roche at Fagor in 89 and there is no mention of EPO in the original edition of Rough Ride. Kimmage didn't even seem to have heard of it at that time. 90/91 were two bad seasons for Roche so seems unlikely he would be on EPO.

<snip>


Even Roche's wiki page states the EPO doping case from Italy.

While it does talk about the 90's, there is nothing to suggest it wasn't in use in 1987 on carerra.
"ahaha, ever had the feeling you been cheated?" JL SF Jan'78.

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11 Jan 2013 11:26

Benotti69 wrote:Even Roche's wiki page states the EPO doping case from Italy.

While it does talk about the 90's, there is nothing to suggest it wasn't in use in 1987 on carerra.

There's nothing to suggest that... except for the sheer improbability of team-wide EPO programs in 1987 no less. That's a huge stretch.
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11 Jan 2013 13:02

Caruut wrote:For a comparison on Roche and Kelly we might also look to how they've treated Kimmage. Kimmage, so far as I know, is still on speaking terms with Kelly and considers him a friend, despite Kelly's notorious habit of going mute whenever doping is discussed. Roche on the other hand disowned him the moment he admitted his doping. In my book that says something about the two.


I attended a talk with Roche last autumn. In it, he stated that since the Armstrong stuff came to the surface he's talked to Kimmage and admitted that PK was right and he was wrong. His main issue with Kimmage now is that he isn't more positive about cycling generally given what the sport has given him. I don't think you can criticise Kimmage for that though. He evident;y believes the job is still only half done.

Roche is obviously a very different person to Kelly though. They might well think the same w.r.t Kimmage but Kelly's relatively quiet nature might have led him to prefer to stay quiet and keep a friend rather than publicly speaking out as Roche has.

FWIW, everything I've heard from Roche strongly suggests that he was a user in the last years of his career although I don't see any reason why he was any earlier in adopting it that the majority and certainly not in 1987.
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