Infamous moments of gamesmanship/cheating

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Apr 29, 2009
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Didn't Roche also have to have a bike change in that Giro, upon inspection of the steerer tube it was found to have been partly cut.
 
Don't want to sound too moderator-y here, but could everyone explain anecdotally in at least a few words why they selected this or that story? That way, we don't have to prompt each other for more info! :)
 
Great thread.

For me, the finish of the 1988 Worlds springs to mind. It looked like cheating but it probably wasn't. A lot of people thought - at least at first - that Bauer had run Criquielon into the barrier deliberately. But then you only had to watch the way Bauer's whole thang collapsed to let Fondriest almost freewheel past to realise it was probably unintentional. It could have been a Hand of God moment but instead it was actually more like a 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman' moment. :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze97yO8JpP8
 
Mar 11, 2009
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L'arriviste said:
Great thread.

For me, the finish of the 1988 Worlds springs to mind. It looked like cheating but it probably wasn't. A lot of people thought - at least at first - that Bauer had run Criquielon into the barrier deliberately. But then you only had to watch the way Bauer's whole thang collapsed to let Fondriest almost freewheel past to realise it was probably unintentional. It could have been a Hand of God moment but instead it was actually more like a 'I did not have sexual relations with that woman' moment. :(

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ze97yO8JpP8
I loved the Belga Sport episode on that.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Anquetil's illegal bikechange at the top of the Forclaz in TDF (bikechange was only allowed if the bike was damaged, so he had his mecanic cut the brakewire and change a lightweight climbspecific bike for a more robust one)
 
issoisso said:
That's a side of the story I've never heard. Like I said, there's a lot more to it :)
From Roche himself back at this time:
"Officially, the position in the team before the Giro was that Roberto and I were joint leaders. I would support him if he had the jersey and vice versa. Prior to the race Roberto had given me no help and had done nothing himself. He was saying I was more interested in the Tour de France. When I led the race in the first week he did not help me and continually stayed on my wheel. I knew where I stood. When Visentini took the lead, the team said I would work for Roberto and he would help me in France. But i knew he had booked his hols for July. On the night Roberto took the lead, Eddy Schepers my teammate told me I could not accept defeat. Patrick Valke my mechanic told me the same. Schepers was told on the final climb to help Visentini, but refused." Roche attacked all day, with his own team chasing him down, so was defo the stronger man. He also dealt with the Tifosi spitting on him, and only for Robert Millar and Schepers, he would've been forced to drop out.


About JFB: "It was said he was unlucky in this year's tour, getting a puncture and having a problem with a chain. But I think it is stupid to see the Tour this way. I could say that Bernard was five mins down at the summit of Aubisque on the second Pyrenean stage and if he was considered a real threat, he would never have got back. He should stop criticising others and pay attention to the fact that there are not many riders who wanted to ride for him at the end of the season.
About the specific incident with JFB: "It was clear he had made enormous efforts on the Ventoux TT and he would be vulnerable the next day. I was pleased to hear that System U with Mottet and Fignon were going to attack him. I was made aware of the plan and made myself part of it. Bernard had rejoined the peleton after a puncture, when the attack came, but was badly placed."
 
ak-zaaf said:
Kneet couldn't possibly win a sprint with Moser (thats what everybody thought, but as Tim Krabbe wrote: Kneet was pretty good in a sprint-a-deux), so Moser chose the safe options and offered Kneet money.
According to Moser he agreed, according to Knetemann he just mumbled something and kept riding.
OK Thank you. Strange story again. :rolleyes:

My idea was that the finish in Nurburgring was slightly uphill and that Knetemann was very good at that.

Nick777 said:
I thought Fignon was offered the tri bars as well & declined?
So what? It doesn't change the fact that it was banned and the rule ought to be observed. It gave him a huge advantage towards ALL his opponents. That was cheating.

And I've got to tell here about the most cynical part of the story. A few weeks later Fignon came with the bars to the GP Eddy Merckx and was NOT allowed to start. The UCI judge was the same person as for LeMond. Dubble standard and absolute proof that the tri bars were cheating. Merckx was furious.

Fignon could start the GP Liberation, GP des Nations and Baracchi Trophy with it.


----------

By the way we may add here Flanders 1970.

There was heavy headwind that day. The bunch was split up in four groups early in the race. Leman sat in the last group but took advantage of a closed railroad crossing to unnoticed move to the front of the peloton.

At the end of the race, he brought Merckx (usually it's the opposite) back to Godefroot who was in front. Godefroot said Leman was not strong enough to ride in front and would usually draft him. 40 years later he however said he was a deserved winner because he was the faster. On watching old videos of the race, I think he spoke ill of him because I've seen Leman taking the lead from time to time. Also 40 years later poor old Leman finally got the credit he deserved as Merckx claimed he was no wheelsucker, he could face up with his responsibilities.

On the evening of that race Godefroot claimed he would be 10 minutes ahead of Leman in Paris-Roubaix. That motived Eric who attacked in Aremberg. Godefroot had a very bad day and finished 12 minutes behind Leman.
 
Aug 11, 2009
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In recent decades, cycling has seen a lot of exciting technical innovations and inspiring athletic performances, but, when it comes to gamesmanship and (non-drug-related) cheating, modern cycling may only be seen as regressive. I cannot imagine the sport ever again being able to rival the pre-war years in this area. And I'm talking pre-Great War/War to End All Words/you know, that one; not WWII.

When was the last time a TdF rider hopped the TGV to cut short a marathon stage or littered the road behind him with tacks while riding in a breakaway? Alas, the golden age of skulduggery is gone.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Digger said:
From Roche himself back at this time:
"Officially, the position in the team before the Giro was that Roberto and I were joint leaders. I would support him if he had the jersey and vice versa. Prior to the race Roberto had given me no help and had done nothing himself. He was saying I was more interested in the Tour de France. When I led the race in the first week he did not help me and continually stayed on my wheel. I knew where I stood. When Visentini took the lead, the team said I would work for Roberto and he would help me in France. But i knew he had booked his hols for July. On the night Roberto took the lead, Eddy Schepers my teammate told me I could not accept defeat. Patrick Valke my mechanic told me the same. Schepers was told on the final climb to help Visentini, but refused." Roche attacked all day, with his own team chasing him down, so was defo the stronger man. He also dealt with the Tifosi spitting on him, and only for Robert Millar and Schepers, he would've been forced to drop out.
Roche has his side, Visentini surely has another. We'll never be there to know what happened

However, this...

Digger said:
About JFB: "It was said he was unlucky in this year's tour, getting a puncture and having a problem with a chain. But I think it is stupid to see the Tour this way. I could say that Bernard was five mins down at the summit of Aubisque on the second Pyrenean stage and if he was considered a real threat, he would never have got back.
Yes, he wasn't a threat. That's why he finished the Tour 2 minutes down despite losing over 5 minutes on "that day" and never going on breaks or otherwise winning time in any way but direct confrontation.. Clearly he wasn't a threat.

It's ridiculous. That's like Andy Schleck saying Contador isn't a threat for the Tour :D


Digger said:
He should stop criticising others and pay attention to the fact that there are not many riders who wanted to ride for him at the end of the season.
There weren't many riders who wanted to ride for Bernard Tapie at the end of the season. Quite different. Jean-François Bernard himself had a lot of friends in the peloton and was very well respected.


Digger said:
About the specific incident with JFB: "It was clear he had made enormous efforts on the Ventoux TT and he would be vulnerable the next day. I was pleased to hear that System U with Mottet and Fignon were going to attack him. I was made aware of the plan and made myself part of it. Bernard had rejoined the peleton after a puncture, when the attack came, but was badly placed."
I have the 1987 Tour highlights right here. I watched them the other day. As with a lot of things Roche says, that's completely made up. Bernard was behind the pack when the attack came and rejoined only at the bridge.


In the end, Roche is trying to defend his only Giro win saying he deserved it because he was strongest. Yet he clearly wasn't the strongest at the Tour (Delgado was also stronger and would've finished ahead on GC if not for losing a lot of time in the TTT. This is despite the fact that the course had truckloads of time trialling that suited Roche more than anyone else.) but he's still saying he deserved his Tour win.

Which is it Stephen? :p
 
A good one is also Paris-Roubaix 1982.

Ludo Peeters was in front. He was Raas' teammate in Post's TI Raleigh.

Hinault could not accept that a mere domestique should win Paris-Roubaix and rode in front without thinking at the moment the other guys from that chasing group were staring at each other. Raas won.

Hinault always said he hated that race but he loved it enough to provide it with a winner he thought was more worthy of it.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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The '84 Giro is often mentioned as a minor scandal. First the organizers cancelled the last big mountain stage -- ostensibly on account of snow (which everyone seems to agree never fell), but allegedly to keep Moser from losing too much time to Fignon before the final time trial. Then in the final time trial Moser allegedly had the TV helicopters hovering behind him and providing a tail-wind the whole time, while they were kind enough to create a headwind for Fignon. Of course, in a strict sense this is just a French/Italian he-said/she-said case, but most commentator seem to concede that at least the snow-cancellation incident was a fix.
 
LeMond towing Saronni up to and past Boyer in the '82 Worlds. LeMond was quoted after the race: "We aren’t on the same (trade) team and we are not friends. I would not like to see him world champion."
 
Jan 18, 2010
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L'arriviste said:
I was a big fan of JF Bernard, one of the best in France's long list of nearly men. I remember a good IHT article on him.
The guy could ride, Rober Millar and Stephen Roche got me into cycling but Jeff Bernard was a another rider i looked out for, and could be a scary performer when he put his mind to it.

Robert Millar getting the might of the Spanish teams against him in 1985 as mentioned earlier.
 

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