Levi not doping?

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Aug 12, 2009
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131313 said:
My take is that he intentionally lost time the last day in the Pyrenees, and some today, so he could try to go up the road on one of the final mountain stages and go for a stage win. His other option was to keep going for a GC ride and hope for top 10, which counts for nothing for a guy with his past palmares. That's my guess at least. I guess we'll know in a few days. He was out of a podium spot due to the crashes.

There's not much left, so the Shack really need a stage win for this not to be a complete wash for them.

I don't think his preparation for this race much different than before.
Bahahaha!:D

His name is Bottle for a reason! He won't try and win a stage. Bruyneel is many things but he knows Levi doesn't go into breaks and win stages. Last guy in the peloton you could count on doing that. Period.

So what is up with old Levi? Travel back to 2007 and the Pyrenees in the final week of the TdF. Who was the strongest rider? The Chicken was arguably numero uno, but he went out on stage 17. It was Levi. Mediocre first chrono, final one he pulls 55 seconds on Evans. Stage 17 after being dropped multiple times he powers past Evans and Contador to finish 20 seconds down on the Chicken. He hasn't been that strong since.

Fast forward to 2009. Giro. He's not great despite having a whole team working for him. He goofs. No blood refill? Maybe? Tour, he crashes. Skip ahead to 2010. Tour, he crashes. ToC, he was smoked by Big Z and Rogers. I was thinking I've seen this before...in the first ITT in the 2005 TdF. Someone ain't taking his wonder sauce or is goofing up. Add in the talks of his absurd blood levels from all kinds of nooks and crannies. Put them together and it's kind of obvious. Crashes in the 2010 Tour as well and has a spectacularly bad day.

2011: Something changed. 2010 there was a lot of heat on the Shack with Floyd making appearances at the ToC. This year, Horner and Levi were too good for their age at the ToC and TdS. I figured they went all out. Why? They both knew the team leader was going to be Kloeden. So all the stock (wonder sauce) went on earlier races. Peloton is slower these days. The permitted level of doping is less. There is only so far the clowns at RadioShack can go without tipping the balance, meaning their augmented abilities are not as strong as they were years back, like all riders. What happens in this scenario? The naturally gifted guys clobber the crap out of the less talented guys who when doping thresholds were less strict looked their equal. That's why Lance was crap in 2010. He was racing as close to clean as he ever has. Same with Levi, same with Horner.

2011 in the ToC and TdS was one last hurrah. Sure these guys thought they could challenge at the Tour...I never believed it. Only Kloeden has the ability on their team. Bottle or Horner going top 5 at the Tour this year would have been the biggest affront to common sense I can fathom. Absurd. Glad it didn't happen. Shame of all the 'supposed' Shack GC leaders the biggest wheel sucker in the peloton is all they have left. I have no sympathy for the team. They had the best GC rider in the world on their team...yet chose fossilised no hopers over him. Bruyneel and the whole team are morons. Can't even dope right anymore.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
Bahahaha!:D

His name is Bottle for a reason! He won't try and win a stage. Bruyneel is many things but he knows Levi doesn't go into breaks and win stages. Last guy in the peloton you could count on doing that. Period.

So what is up with old Levi? Travel back to 2007 and the Pyrenees in the final week of the TdF. Who was the strongest rider? The Chicken was arguably numero uno, but he went out on stage 17. It was Levi. Mediocre first chrono, final one he pulls 55 seconds on Evans. Stage 17 after being dropped multiple times he powers past Evans and Contador to finish 20 seconds down on the Chicken. He hasn't been that strong since.

Fast forward to 2009. Giro. He's not great despite having a whole team working for him. He goofs. No blood refill? Maybe? Tour, he crashes. Skip ahead to 2010. Tour, he crashes. ToC, he was smoked by Big Z and Rogers. I was thinking I've seen this before...in the first ITT in the 2005 TdF. Someone ain't taking his wonder sauce or is goofing up. Add in the talks of his absurd blood levels from all kinds of nooks and crannies. Put them together and it's kind of obvious. Crashes in the 2010 Tour as well and has a spectacularly bad day.

2011: Something changed. 2010 there was a lot of heat on the Shack with Floyd making appearances at the ToC. This year, Horner and Levi were too good for their age at the ToC and TdS. I figured they went all out. Why? They both knew the team leader was going to be Kloeden. So all the stock (wonder sauce) went on earlier races. Peloton is slower these days. The permitted level of doping is less. There is only so far the clowns at RadioShack can go without tipping the balance, meaning their augmented abilities are not as strong as they were years back, like all riders. What happens in this scenario? The naturally gifted guys clobber the crap out of the less talented guys who when doping thresholds were less strict looked their equal. That's why Lance was crap in 2010. He was racing as close to clean as he ever has. Same with Levi, same with Horner.

2011 in the ToC and TdS was one last hurrah. Sure these guys thought they could challenge at the Tour...I never believed it. Only Kloeden has the ability on their team. Bottle or Horner going top 5 at the Tour this year would have been the biggest affront to common sense I can fathom. Absurd. Glad it didn't happen. Shame of all the 'supposed' Shack GC leaders the biggest wheel sucker in the peloton is all they have left. I have no sympathy for the team. They had the best GC rider in the world on their team...yet chose fossilised no hopers over him. Bruyneel and the whole team are morons. Can't even dope right anymore.
I dunno. I think the most conservative plan for Bottle would have been to support Kloeden but still be ready to lead just in case. But "just" riding in support requires sauce, so I don't see why they wouldn't plan on having some for the Tour.

I wouldn't bet on it, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he still had some sauce and might try to go for it, in a break for the win, tomorrow.
 
Aug 1, 2009
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DomesticDomestique said:
I've always thought, counter to the "the whole peloton is doped" theory, that once you are out of contention you might as well reduce your risk and skip the refill. I figured that's why "the one who shall not be named" dropped so ridiculously fast last year after he fell out of contention. Why risk getting busted so you can finish 25th?
A corollary to that is having doped to get to 39th place the first week, and deciding to quit rather than fight for your process rights.

-dB
 
Aug 12, 2009
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Ninety5rpm said:
I dunno. I think the most conservative plan for Bottle would have been to support Kloeden but still be ready to lead just in case. But "just" riding in support requires sauce, so I don't see why they wouldn't plan on having some for the Tour.

I wouldn't bet on it, but I also wouldn't be surprised if he still had some sauce and might try to go for it, in a break for the win, tomorrow.
I'll believe it when I see it. The way he road at ToC plus TdS, led me to one overwhelming conclusion. He'd banked most of the juice on stage races he could win. Didn't have it against his team mate in Cali, but did in Switzerland...just. Kloeden had a nice strong early season but lulled off. Time he was training, stockpiling, etc. Brajkovic to a degree as well. They seemed IMO to be the natural guess at who would have peaked highest and been strongest barring any crashes.

Put it this way, how hard has Levi raced this Tour? He lost a lot of time when he was the only guy in the peloton who went down on stage 5 (I think it was 5) at certain point. Then he lost more time with a tyre. He soft pedalled after the last 3km stage 1 crash. Since then? Zubeldia has gone past him on GC. Paulinho is the guy for stage wins...if he is even still racing.
 
May 6, 2009
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I've seen Bottle get into a break once at the TDF, in 2006 with the stage to Mâcon (won by Matteo Tosatto) and he came 14th, 1:06 down to Tosatto (link).

As for him and Horner, the way they climbed Mt Baldy was quite frankly laughable, maybe if they were 10 years younger it would have been more plausible, but guys puishing 40? I'm sure they will then crush all opposition in Utah and Colorado.
 
Mar 20, 2009
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boy-o-boy, theres some really stupid comments in this thread. people posting about RS racing clean and it shows - really FAIL at life!
 
Oct 16, 2010
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danjo007 said:
boy-o-boy, theres some really stupid comments in this thread. people posting about RS racing clean and it shows - really FAIL at life!
my thoughts: not clean, but no blooddoping.
if you've never been paranoid before, bruyneel can tell you all about it.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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131313 said:
My take is that he intentionally lost time the last day in the Pyrenees, and some today, so he could try to go up the road on one of the final mountain stages and go for a stage win. His other option was to keep going for a GC ride and hope for top 10, which counts for nothing for a guy with his past palmares. That's my guess at least. I guess we'll know in a few days. He was out of a podium spot due to the crashes.

There's not much left, so the Shack really need a stage win for this not to be a complete wash for them.

I don't think his preparation for this race much different than before.
Exactly. Well, either that or he's given up entirely. I think you're correct though. Today he finished with the grupetto at over 14 minutes down. The stage wasn't that hard. He could have a terrible day and still do much better if he wanted, so I'm assuming the big time loss was intentional. It dropped him to 29:34 down, completely out of top ten range even if he gets into a break way out in front. He's an unlikely breakaway winner, but it's the only thing left to try to achieve other than a good time trial performance.
 
A

Anonymous

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Ninety5rpm said:
He's now 20 minutes down. I'm reminded of that year when he completely and inexplicably tanked on a tdf time trial.

Is it injuries, really? Or did he lose his will? Or his bags? Why doesn't he fake another fall and just fly home to Santa Rosa and start preparing for the Vuelta? What's the point in continuing here?
Rumor has it that Bottle sang like William Hung to the GJ, and that HWMNBN is pouting mad...he's so mad, he didn't even twitter a congratulations for the TdS win...so I bet The Hog is probably not even talking to him, much less "preparing" him anymore. These are the days of our lives...
 
Jun 18, 2009
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Galic Ho said:
Bahahaha!:D

His name is Bottle for a reason! He won't try and win a stage. Bruyneel is many things but he knows Levi doesn't go into breaks and win stages. Last guy in the peloton you could count on doing that. Period.
You're way off base. He's a second-tier GC contender, of course he doesn't go off in breaks and win stages? What GC contenders "go off and try to win stages?".

I realize people hate his style of racing, and personally I find it as interesting as trying to watch a lone hair sprout from his head. But he's a GC guy who's strength is the time trial, so he's simply racing in a way to maximize his results, which is his job. With the early time losses, that obviously wasn't going to happen, so it's on to plan B.

After seeing him in the gruppetto today, I'm pretty much certain he'll be trying to get in the move Thursday or Fri. Whether he can get there or not is a different story, since it's not as easy as it sounds. What I will say though is that I've raced with him a few times before the hammer came down on those guys doing non-protour races, and he's more tactically astute than most, and more than people realize. The reason he's not attacking the big names if he makes the selection is simple: he's not strong enough. When he's able to attack, he knows how and when.

As far as his 'program' for the tour, I have no idea if those guys are running scared or it's business as usual. I have to wonder though if, after a few years of the bio passport, if some are afraid "not" to dope since it'll raise suspicion about their prior levels?
 
Sep 5, 2009
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sniper said:
my thoughts: not clean, but no blooddoping.
if you've never been paranoid before, bruyneel can tell you all about it.
Johan Bruyneel would be expected to feel the heat and develop paranoia which may be reflected in RS's 2011 TdF performances.

The Novitzky led investigation has teeth to uncover how funds, inclusive of USPS sponsorship funds, were expended by the USPS cycling team and who had control of the team and knowledge of certain types of alleged expenditure.

Johan was a director of Tailwind Sports, the owner and then part owner of the team, and controlled another corporation which was receiving funding through the USPS team.

The USPS funds were paid to the management companies that operated the team in Armstrong's heyday -- initially Disson Furst Partners, then Tailwind Sports. Late in the Postal years, Armstrong's management company, Capital Sports & Entertainment, co-owned the team with Tailwind, and there was an overlap in executive leadership between the two. Those companies, in turn, would have disbursed some funds to a company owned by team director Johan Bruyneel that held the team's tangible property like bikes and motor vehicles. (This structure is fairly standard for large professional cycling teams.)

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/news/story?id=6054645
 

Mr. O'Clock

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Jun 19, 2011
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Bottle rode quite epically in the vuelta two thousand one big breakaways, solo also he has won the daphnia, Swiss, Cali second to Contador at the vuelta, did Contador tell Levi to sandbag,... Levip third in tt at Olympics etc... I do not know.. He seems tactically astute, Levi rides with smarts....if people want to believe pap smear and wiki, oh well stop believing in awesomeness, beauty and hardcor lazer like focus. So he does nt ride like vino.. That means non doping.
 
May 23, 2011
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The curious case of Levi Leecheimer. At the Tour de Suisse he could wheelsuck Cunego up hill. At the Tour Cuengo is putting in a good but unspectacular effort to place in the top ten and The Leech has a hard time keeping up with Cavendish. Pull out your old Chewbacca action figures because this does not make sense. There is a stink cloud of suspicion that follows this guy around.
 
May 3, 2010
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Damiano Machiavelli said:
The curious case of Levi Leecheimer. At the Tour de Suisse he could wheelsuck Cunego up hill. At the Tour Cuengo is putting in a good but unspectacular effort to place in the top ten and The Leech has a hard time keeping up with Cavendish. Pull out your old Chewbacca action figures because this does not make sense. There is a stink cloud of suspicion that follows this guy around.
Especially when contrasted with the RS TOC performance...

Didn't Hog say something to the effect that TOC was the most important race for them because doing so well meant that RS, Nissan etc were back on board for two years.

Wonder what would have happened if those contracts hadn't been signed.

It is very 2006 Disco again.
 
May 26, 2010
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Mrs John Murphy said:
Especially when contrasted with the RS TOC performance...

Didn't Hog say something to the effect that TOC was the most important race for them because doing so well meant that RS, Nissan etc were back on board for two years.

Wonder what would have happened if those contracts hadn't been signed.

It is very 2006 Disco again.
I imagine that RS have been to paranoid to dope in France or Italy(stages17/18) and all their doping happened prior to starting...
 
Aug 3, 2009
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Damiano Machiavelli said:
The curious case of Levi Leecheimer. At the Tour de Suisse he could wheelsuck Cunego up hill. At the Tour Cuengo is putting in a good but unspectacular effort to place in the top ten and The Leech has a hard time keeping up with Cavendish. Pull out your old Chewbacca action figures because this does not make sense. There is a stink cloud of suspicion that follows this guy around.
THIS does not make sense:

 
May 26, 2009
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miloman said:
It looks more like "Father Time" caught up to Levi and the Shack Crew. They are a bit "long in the tooth" as they say!
Nonsense. TdS and ToC aren't GT's but they are hardly to sneeze at. Without bad luck they certainly would have done better (and yes, they would have used clinical help if needed).

Simply compare it with Rabo. Their team leader kissed tarmac as well... and now they all ride like crap. LLS saved their face, but that was luck+smarts, not much more. Had gesink been well Grisha, Barredo and LL would have been staying with the first groups a lot longer (ten Dam has a genuine excuse for kissing tarmac himself).

Both RS and Rabo simply are mentally broken.

Look at Europcar. Sorry, but surely RS oldies are a match for them in the mountains. But they are in such a winning mood that they go all out every day (and yes, they might have decided it's worth to take more "risks").

I really think that if Brajk had survived and would have been in contention (considering this years top ten that's not farfetched at all) we would have seen the oldies at the front.



On a side note, I also think Lance had bad luck besides him being clearly outgunned. His prologue showed he had quite some wattage (as did bottle). The prologue usually is a pretty decent measurement for contenders (of course, not more than an indication at best), so I am leaning towards the "fell too often, mentally broke and couldn't force himself to go all out again" line. Would he have won? Hell no... but we haven't seen Lance go all out after the Roubaix stage.
 
Mar 4, 2010
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We now have a definitive answer to Ninety5rpm's question... provided by Ninety5rpm himself!

Ninety5rpm said:
Are there truly people on this forum who still believe one can even ride in the TDF clean and finish within the time limit, much less ride clean with the leaders? :eek:
So there you have it. Levi is riding several hours above his clean level. :cool:
 

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