An open letter to the peloton

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Nuash65 said:
I'm going to throw my thoughts into this thread.

Firstly, I think Wiggins was wrong to use that language and I do like the OP's letter.

You'll notice that I have very few posts, even though I've been a member for a while. I learned a lot about cycling and doping from reading the Clinic and yet I never joined in. Indeed I only registered to ask if it was ok for a lurker to join the forum velogames minileague a couple of years ago. The reason is that SOME of the posters are so nasty – to each other, about certain cyclists and to newbies who dare to speak.

A lot of very intelligent stuff is posted and maybe the “banter” is meant to be just that. Maybe I need a thicker skin but I just never wanted to risk getting caught up in the slagging matches so I remained quiet. In fact I read the Clinic less and less because very little changes - it often feels like some members would be lost if drugs could magically be removed from the sport.

If I was Wiggins and I came to CN and read the forum I would be beyond horrified. The vitriol for him as a person and as a rider, never mind any suspicions of doping, is so extreme. I'd be wondering “how can people I've never met hate me SO much?” I'd be thinking how I've given everything I can to be the best cyclist I can be and yet CYCLING FANS despise me more than if I ran a major bank.

What I'm saying doesn't excuse his language but I want to say that I can imagine how he could be driven to such extreme anger towards and intolerance of anonymous critics. Quite apart from this, I think the forum might have a lot more contributors and be a nicer place to chat with other fans if it was less toxic.

Shaun Armstrong.
A very helpful perspective. I suspect you speak for a sgnificant number of other readers/ posters

Thank you.

T
 
Jul 28, 2009
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If you want an example of how to address internet vitriol with dignity then you need go no further than Joe Papp.

Basically Wiggins is hiding behind journalists in the same way that people here are hiding behind internet anonymity. I would hazard a guess that with that physique there are not too many people he could safely call a c*** and w***** to their face :) Anyway most comments here relating to Sky were skeptical rather than accusatory. Of course now it's open slather as people want to wind him up even more :D

The spectre of doping still hangs over cycling and in this context skepticism is entirely justified and is probably best addressed without hysteria.
 
Jun 18, 2012
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Saw a few posts on twitter which asked why, despite mentioning it, I hadn't put my name to it - so I've edited it to add my twitter at the bottom of the page. I'll see the lawyers in the morning I guess. ;)

Secondly, I saw some stuff asking why it was posted here when Wiggins was talking about twitterati. The simple answer is often the most obvious - I couldn't fit it into 140 characters. Rest assured I'm just as vociferous on twitter, and whilst I'm emotive about it, I'm also capable of analysis after the fact. The problem, again, is a lack of transparent communication and data.

I challenge the cyclists to provide that, and really change perceptions.
 
Aug 17, 2010
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Wigga Please

Great post by the OP. Don't tell me these ain't the droids I'm looking for, Wigs. When you ride a bike for a living, you owe the public a debt of courtesy and gratitude. Sometimes, when they are working hard, the press digs for truth. And we, the long standing, ride loving riders, long suffering fans, deserve basic courtesy in the response of a wanna be champion.

We watch the tour because we love being out on the road ourselves, and we can only imagine the intensity of the experience of going full gas every day for three weeks, on beautiful roads, with full support, against the cream of the crop.

Don't **** in our corn flakes, Bradley. Grow up and learn how to speak to your employers.
 
docbarber said:
Great post by the OP. Don't tell me these ain't the droids I'm looking for, Wigs. When you ride a bike for a living, you owe the public a debt of courtesy and gratitude. Sometimes, when they are working hard, the press digs for truth. And we, the long standing, ride loving riders, long suffering fans, deserve basic courtesy in the response of a wanna be champion.

We watch the tour because we love being out on the road ourselves, and we can only imagine the intensity of the experience of going full gas every day for three weeks, on beautiful roads, with full support, against the cream of the crop.

Don't **** in our corn flakes, Bradley. Grow up and learn how to speak to your employers.
It s better when winners or athletes in general are gracious and Wiggins has clearly a lot to Learn about handling the media. His words were ill chosen. However this is not (US) Pro Sports he does not owe any of us anything beyond common courtesy - even as a SKY subscriber it would be a stretch to say you are his employer - and I doubt you are a SKY subscriber.:)

T
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cavalier said:
Because it's become abundantly clear that the pro-peloton are aware of us;

More accurately, dear people applauding Bradley Wiggins for his foul-mouthed tirade today:

I'd like to outline why I think you're all massive hypocrites, and why you get the reaction from people that you do.

We've sat by for years - for some of you, your entire professional careers - and watched the sport.
We've sat through almost 30 years of doped riders, of positive tests, of confiscated victories weeks, months and sometimes years after they were awarded.
But most importantly, we sat by whilst all of this was going on, and you did nothing.
You didn't speak out then.
You didn't speak up against people you knew were doping.
You didn't speak up against your teammates when you knew they were doping.
All you ex-T-mobile riders didn't say anything about the visits to Freiberg.
You didn't say anything when riders gave evidence about what they'd seen, and were harassed because of it.
Some of you, through your inaction, did nothing about that harassment. Those of you who raced with Lance Armstrong said nothing back then.
Those of you who raced in 1998 complained about your rights and your dignity.

You didn't complain about those people who stripped them from you by cheating.
You didn't applaud those people who tried to out the real cheats within the ranks.
You didn't chastise those people taking trips to Spain and Italy to see doctors. In fact, some of you did it yourself.

You complained about early morning drug tests.
You complained about out of competition drug tests, and you complained about whereabouts forms and not having a private life, and media intrusion.
And some of you still ride today, still having said nothing about doping.

I'll say this: I've sat up until 3 in the morning every July for countless years now. I've watched, I've supported, even some of you who turned out to be cheats. I've dreamed of being in the position you're in, of having a tenth of the talent you're blessed enough to have, because no amount of hard work will make up for the gap. So when I'm at work at 7am, busting my rear end to make ends meet for the next ten hours for a tiny bit of what you get, remember this, every one of you who applaud Wiggins abusing those of us who ask questions:

We ask the questions because you refused to.
We get suspicious because we're tired of seeing more than half of the last 13 TdF titles get stripped and re-awarded.
We're tired of you guys continually saying "We're clean" and then seeing someone test positive.
We're tired of seeing you complain about us, because we got tired of seeing you cheat us as fans, by not taking matters into your own hands, getting rid of - and speaking out against - those who are doping, and have doped.
You give your blood values and power numbers happily to the ASO, and treat us with contempt, like we're just supposed to watch, buy your sponsor's products, and cheer on demand.

You do nothing to dispel doping suspicions, to out cheats, and to clean up the sport. You are the blight on the sport, not us.

Footnote: I'd include a list of riders DS's and who have publicly announced their support for Wiggins and his remarks, but I find them abhorrent now.

e: I realise the irony of me posting this under a pseudonym. To all those cyclists and staff members on twitter who echo his thought, my personal details are available to you on request. All you have to do is ask.

Further edit: Now you no longer need to ask. ;) https://twitter.com/sportnstuff
Here here, Post of the year for me
 
Jun 18, 2009
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180mmCrank said:
It s better when winners or athletes in general are gracious and Wiggins has clearly a lot to Learn about handling the media. His words were ill chosen. However this is not (US) Pro Sports he does not owe any of us anything beyond common courtesy - even as a SKY subscriber it would be a stretch to say you are his employer - and I doubt you are a SKY subscriber.:)

T
I disagree. One thing I learned almost immediately about being a professional cyclist is that riding a bike is about 1/2 of your job. If you're capable of winning the TDF, then it's obviously a bigger %. But ultimately, your job is marketing as much as bike riding. And your customers are anyone that buys a handlebar or an energy bar. Sky is hardly the only sponsor paying Wigan's salary.

My view is that if you're going to be a professional, you act professionally and honor the implied contract between you, your sponsors and the (buying) public. That's my take at least, and this is something that is really drilled in by most pro teams at all levels. So it's nonsense to take the attitude that the riders "don't owe anyone anything". After all, we wouldn't have jobs without customers.

p.s. great post by Cavalier.
 
Fair point ... And there is a bit of a difference between the sponsors and the people that buy energy bars and bike parts ... They are not his employers. Should he be respectful - yes and what he said was far from that but I still maintain its a stretch to say he owes them his living.

He has worked his @ss off to get to where he is ... As I imagine you have too ... It touches a hot spot for me when people talk about athletes having a duty to the fans ... Something about it misses the mark for me.

But you won't get any argument from me that his words are unhelpful and ill chosen. :)

T
 
Jul 20, 2011
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I agree with the sentiment in the letter and understand most peoples feeling about it

but i also think there is a lack of understanding the other way

if you were clean. if you had been through what he has (all of them have) to get to the tour lead. then when you get the one thing you have dreamed off all your life the cycling forums and twitter are flooded (and it is a flood just take a look at here, twitter, velorooms elsewhere) with hate, accusations etc then you are going to be ****ed off.

then every (and i fairly confident it happens at everyone) press conference you go to you are asked about the same thing, over and over again. in many cases the guys asking are doing so are doing it to needle the riders (ok bad choice of words) and get exactly what they got, a reaction.

lets not make out the entire word of online cycling fans to be a bunch of angels and lets definitely not make journos out to be innocent. there is a sizeable number of online fans, especially on twitter who go way beyond cynical distrust.

yes his response was unprofessional (but then last year we were complaining about the PR sanitised riders on leopard) but i think is perfectly understandable and frankly think the reaction is slightly over the top
 
Jun 18, 2012
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Brad Wiggins, the world is now watching. Let us see how you respond to the questions regarding Cofidis. Everyone will expect the yellow jersey to make a statement which reverberates around the world. You criticised us, now direct it at those who deserve it, and don't hold back.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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daveinzambia said:
I agree with the sentiment in the letter and understand most peoples feeling about it

but i also think there is a lack of understanding the other way

if you were clean. if you had been through what he has (all of them have) to get to the tour lead. then when you get the one thing you have dreamed off all your life the cycling forums and twitter are flooded (and it is a flood just take a look at here, twitter, velorooms elsewhere) with hate, accusations etc then you are going to be ****ed off.

then every (and i fairly confident it happens at everyone) press conference you go to you are asked about the same thing, over and over again. in many cases the guys asking are doing so are doing it to needle the riders (ok bad choice of words) and get exactly what they got, a reaction.

lets not make out the entire word of online cycling fans to be a bunch of angels and lets definitely not make journos out to be innocent. there is a sizeable number of online fans, especially on twitter who go way beyond cynical distrust.

yes his response was unprofessional (but then last year we were complaining about the PR sanitised riders on leopard) but i think is perfectly understandable and frankly think the reaction is slightly over the top
There may be a "lack of understanding the other way", but I don't think so. Once you are in the public eye, whether it is reasonable or not, you should expect full-on torture racks to be present every moment of every day. Just think of what politicians and actors have to tolerate, not to mention royals.

If Wiggins didn't want to **** off the very people who cheer the riders on, the correct response would have been "I understand why the question is asked. I stand by my statements of 2007, and maintain my anti-doping position. Here is what I DO to get myself in shape - yada yada stuff about strong team, diet, training, etc etc.

If he is trying to find legal ways to improve his blood as part of his performance improvement - he should at least be honest about that. "We do everything we can to maximize our fitness . . . can't release details because then competitors get it . . . yada yada but we do it all legally and naturally.

Since LA used the same lines, and they were lies, suspicion will still accrue, but at least it should be minimized.

If he wants to play hardball, and if he is truly honest, he could try a challenge answer, as a local politician near me has recently done - a variant of "Is that the best you got? Then bring it on." But he needs to do it without a potty-mouth. That only shows disrespect for the fans, and encourages the muck-rakers.

imo.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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180mmCrank said:
Fair point ... And there is a bit of a difference between the sponsors and the people that buy energy bars and bike parts ... They are not his employers. Should he be respectful - yes and what he said was far from that but I still maintain its a stretch to say he owes them his living.

He has worked his @ss off to get to where he is ... As I imagine you have too ... It touches a hot spot for me when people talk about athletes having a duty to the fans ... Something about it misses the mark for me.

But you won't get any argument from me that his words are unhelpful and ill chosen. :)

T
I do not agree at all. When you are making mucho bucks because of the fans and the show - you owe them your living. If you don't want that - then go participate in local "for the love of the sport" stuff. Track racing is not a bad example of that. Not much money there - you could participate at the top level in the world there, and owe the fans nothing. But if you want the money, you have to pay the price.

Actually, this is one of the reasons I watch local sporting events, in preference to pro events. Cycling is the exception - but I grew up in the day when even the Tour was still halfway "just for the love of the sport". Watching has become a habit.
 
May 26, 2009
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On 8th July 2012 i addressed a letter to Jacque Rogge of the IOC on my blog skippyblogging.blogspot wherein i called upon him to institute a " Sporting Moratorium " !
Not finding the " Contact point " on the IOC Website , i posted the blog link on the IOC Twitter account . No doubt , some minion has decided not to read or pass on the info relayed !

Olympic Games are big business , good for the IOC Profits , but bad for the residents pockets of the Host Cities and Countries ! Athens will never recover from the fun and enjoyment , we the visitors , enjoyed in 2004 ! Part of the Euro Bailout funds are needed to rectify the financial hole created by that extravagance . Athens of course is not the only Host that struggled after their Olympic Experience , Sydney did not do as well as was anticipated .

ONLY WHEN the past is dragged screaming and shouting into the LIMELIGHT OF PUBLIC SCRUTINY will it be possible to START on the road to solving the SPORTING FRAUDS that currently exist ! When i proposed this " sports Moratorium " in another thread , it was met with derision , several comments were deleted by " Mods" .
When you consider my efforts for Physically Challenged sport has brought me into contact with the Principal Cycle Racers as well as VIPs at World Tour Events as well as Olympic and Paralympic , Summer and Winter Games Events you will understand my belief that a line will have to be drawn by IOC and WADA !
When Jacques Rogge sees what the " clinic " says about some of his associates at the IOC , he must shudder ! Will he ask himself if the assertions made , are true ? Fact is the IOC is an exclusive club of those with vested interests and rocking the boat will cause ALL to be put in danger !

The OP , Adrian , http://twitter.com/sportnstuff has opened this thread and heavyweights such as Texpat have revealed themselves BUT the likes of C VDV and Mick Rogers are naive if they think that BRAD W. can continue in the manner he adopted on Monday ! SKY Corp will not allow this behaviour !

Do the Current crop of Cycle Racers at this edition of the " Le Tour " dope ? WHO GIVES A FLYing Whatever ! ASO don't care ! If they did those named in the media last week would already be on their way home ! Which day did C VDV lose 10 mins ? Was it due to being distressed by the impending breaking news ? Where was Big George when Cadel needed him on Saturday & Sunday , was he distracted ?

Back on my Soapbox , ONLY A NO CONSEQUENCES SOLUTION WILL ALLOW THE OUTING OF THE " DIRTY SECRETS "!

Only the IOC and WADA are capable of handling this undertaking which is long overdue ! Since before the Iron Curtain , Sport has been tainted , perhaps Berlin of 1936 was the starting point , BUT , do we want to watch the Chemical Olympics at Rio in 2016 ?

As i pointed out in previous posts " THE CLINIC " could be a force for change , question is , " IS THERE THE DESIRE "?

Adding to this thread is not enough ! Something positive needs to be done BY ALL !
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Cavalier said:
Brad Wiggins, the world is now watching. Let us see how you respond to the questions regarding Cofidis. Everyone will expect the yellow jersey to make a statement which reverberates around the world. You criticised us, now direct it at those who deserve it, and don't hold back.
He has already directed his venom against (some of) those who deserve it.

What gives anybody the right to hurl accusations around without any hard proof (being anti-British and anti-Sky is not proof).

The OP should also have a rant against the (millions of?) viewers who sit there every year lapping up the TdeF and other races; if you weren't responsible for the viewing figures sponsors would start asking questions/pull out because it would no longer be worth their sponsorship $.

It's not just the riders, it's YOU, the faceless habitual viewer who is to blame.
 
Jun 18, 2009
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stampedingviking said:
He has already directed his venom against (some of) those who deserve it.

What gives anybody the right to hurl accusations around without any hard proof (being anti-British and anti-Sky is not proof).

The OP should also have a rant against the (millions of?) viewers who sit there every year lapping up the TdeF and other races; if you weren't responsible for the viewing figures sponsors would start asking questions/pull out because it would no longer be worth their sponsorship $.

It's not just the riders, it's YOU, the faceless habitual viewer who is to blame.
first off, they're "lapping up" what's fed to them by complicit journalists, so it's hard to just blindly blame the fans. that said, anyone who buys a Trek should look in the mirror.

as far as "what gives them the right to hurl accusations, that's easy: history. And when you engage in the rhetoric of past frauds, you should expect suspicion.

slow rest day?
 
May 26, 2010
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stampedingviking said:
He has already directed his venom against (some of) those who deserve it.

What gives anybody the right to hurl accusations around without any hard proof (being anti-British and anti-Sky is not proof).

The OP should also have a rant against the (millions of?) viewers who sit there every year lapping up the TdeF and other races; if you weren't responsible for the viewing figures sponsors would start asking questions/pull out because it would no longer be worth their sponsorship $.

It's not just the riders, it's YOU, the faceless habitual viewer who is to blame.
So in short Wiggins is doping for the fans. Way to go Wiggo!

Nope he dopes because he is on the richest team in cycling and they need him to win the biggest race in the world.

Riders dope because they believe they cannot win without it or they think others are doping so they need to to keep up and have a chance of winning or they they need to dope to get a contract and have a job. Nothing to do with us. We don't ask them to dope.

Cycling gets small viewing figures and most of the sponsors know the sport is dirty. Tinkoff sponsored doping teams before and are now back with Riis who have Contador. Rabobank are still here even after a team doping program. Their doping doctor has gone to TeamSky by the way;). Cofidis are here after being thrown of the 2007 tour. Sponsors know the sport.

That some of the faceless viewers are making their voices heard is reason to get angry with them? There is thread in here about all the products and companies Armstrong is linked with in someway. Posters in here correlated all that info for habitual fans to avoid giving him hard earned.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Benotti69 said:
So in short Wiggins is doping for the fans. Way to go Wiggo!

Nope he dopes because he is on the richest team in cycling and they need him to win the biggest race in the world.

Riders dope because they believe they cannot win without it or they think others are doping so they need to to keep up and have a chance of winning or they they need to dope to get a contract and have a job. Nothing to do with us. We don't ask them to dope.

Cycling gets small viewing figures and most of the sponsors know the sport is dirty. Tinkoff sponsored doping teams before and are now back with Riis who have Contador. Rabobank are still here even after a team doping program. Their doping doctor has gone to TeamSky by the way;). Cofidis are here after being thrown of the 2007 tour. Sponsors know the sport.

That some of the faceless viewers are making their voices heard is reason to get angry with them? There is thread in here about all the products and companies Armstrong is linked with in someway. Posters in here correlated all that info for habitual fans to avoid giving him hard earned.
But at what point/viewing level does it not become viable for sponsors to continue?
 
May 26, 2010
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stampedingviking said:
But at what point/viewing level does it not become viable for sponsors to continue?
It doesn't because advertising is about name recognition. It is about placing the brand into a person's subconscious whether that can be done with good publicity (the preferred method) or bad publicity (the less preferred method but still effective) it is all publicity at the end of the day.

Take Armstrong, still got a lot of sponsors, but they are dropping slowly as the bad publicity racks up to where he is seen to be only viewed in the negative and therefore the brand will be associated with that negative.

When is the last time Twek bikes had him in an ad on here? long long time ago.

Now they are using the Schlecks who have done little in comparison.

Also remember that a lot of cyclings smaller sponsors are big fans of the sport and will do the fanboy thing, turn a blind eye to the dirty side, especially if they can see their logo emblazoned across the winners chest.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Benotti69 said:
It doesn't because advertising is about name recognition. It is about placing the brand into a person's subconscious whether that can be done with good publicity (the preferred method) or bad publicity (the less preferred method but still effective) it is all publicity at the end of the day.
Festina's sales were up in the year following the scandal. They got a lot of free publicity as a result of the scandal.
 
Jul 8, 2012
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Benotti69 said:
It doesn't because advertising is about name recognition. It is about placing the brand into a person's subconscious whether that can be done with good publicity (the preferred method) or bad publicity (the less preferred method but still effective) it is all publicity at the end of the day.

Take Armstrong, still got a lot of sponsors, but they are dropping slowly as the bad publicity racks up to where he is seen to be only viewed in the negative and therefore the brand will be associated with that negative.

When is the last time Twek bikes had him in an ad on here? long long time ago.

Now they are using the Schlecks who have done little in comparison.

Also remember that a lot of cyclings smaller sponsors are big fans of the sport and will do the fanboy thing, turn a blind eye to the dirty side, especially if they can see their logo emblazoned across the winners chest.
What I meant (probably didn't make too clear) was if the numbers of spectators reduced because of 'scandals' at what level would it become uneconmic or would sponsors just continue anyway?
 

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