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Vandevelde interview - hope for a clean peloton

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Oct 30, 2011
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gooner said:
Wiggins has been vehemently anti-doping in public in a sport where many riders adhere to an omerta and you just scoffed at it. Just look at his numerous interviews in the 2007 Tour where he lashed out on Vino and Rasmussen and before the Tour last year when he said in some cases people should be even locked up. He also lashed out against Di Luca and Bruyneel in the past for the signing of Basso and called it a disgrace. Yet when a rider adheres to the omerta on certain issues and they say nothing people are immediately jumping on his case. Make up your mind what do people want? Do we want to listen to people speak out on it or stay shut about it? Also he has has tried to raise the suspicion off himself when he released his blood profiles(even tough he was advised not to) and yet that is still not enough for people. So how is he going to prove his innocence to you if people are always going to have this suspicion no matter what? No matter what he does for you is'nt enough. You will always come out with the same mantra "autobus to 4th" and have this suspicion that you love in this forum.

You never hear the Schlecks, Contador, Sanchez or many other top riders speak out on vehemently against doping in the past. This is something that Paul Kimmage has also criticised Contador and the Schlecks in the past about and he has said before he also likes Wiggins attitude to this. This is why I am inclined to believe him a lot more than others and why I hold him up as more of an example than the riders I just mentioned above.

For many fans, very few riders can ever be truly viewed with no suspicion. With the history of this sport, how could it be any other way? I'm under the impression (so correct me if I'm wrong) that Wiggins doesn't speak out as much or as strongly since he started dining at the top table. I'm willing to believe that it's due to politics, but I can't help being slightly saddened by that.

The whole "this rider wins so the sport is cleaner" is sort of circular logic, unless you are certain that the rider is clean. If you believed that Lance was clean, you might have said "his wins prove that the sport is cleaner". It's all meaningless unless you are absolutely confident that the rider is clean.

To me, cycling proclaiming it's clean now, yet not telling the truth about past offences, is like your partner coming up to you and saying "I'm not going to cheat on you from now on". Then when pressed, they won't tell you anything about what happened, maintain that nothing actually did, and only admit to anything once you know it already. If they can't be honest about the past, I can't trust their word in the present.
 
Jan 20, 2010
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gooner said:
I am inclined to believe Garmin a lot more than a lot of other teams. Just look at what they did to Matt White when he sent one of their riders to the former US Postal doctor and he got sacked for it. That was a tough decision for them but they did it to protect their principles and philosophies.

White was sacked because he was working for GreenEdge poaching the very riders he was being paid to manage by Garmin.

I don't believe any teams or riders that say they're clean. What does clean mean? They aren't doping today? This week? This month? Chances are most of the pro riders, managers, teams, doctors have all been involved in doping at some point in their careers, so don't any of you (riders and teams) come out and say you are clean now without full disclosure, it means sh2T. We have been hearing it since the late nineties.
 
FabulousCandelabra said:
Thomas Knox writes in the velonews comments "C.V. exemplifies everything good about cycling. What a humble guy, many forget that aside from a bad patch 1 kilo from the top of the final climb of stage 16 in the TDF C.V.could have won the TDF."

What is he talking about??

Stage 16 2008, CVV dropped near the top of Bonnette and ended up losing two and half minutes with the finish at the bottom of the descent.

All else equal if that didn't happen he would have finished second on GC, and we would have had our first Clean Tour Podium of Sastre, CVV and Evans.
 
May 20, 2010
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Aside Re: Tondo

gooner said:
Vandevelde knows exactly what has happened and if he was to talk about the past he would be only bringing up Lance and all that stuff. ...(snip for brevity)

....Jonathan Vaughters apologised to Tondo for when he used the same exact same basis as that one for deciding not to sign him. He apologised for this after Tondo whistleblew the doping ring in Catalonia. I think Vaughters sums it up best in this piece:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/blogs/jonathan-vaughters/connecting-the-dots

This is what the clinic is always guilty of and I take issue with.

Sorry for aside. I sadly observe the irony....the ifs buts maybes of Tondo with Garmin...still racing
 
Oct 30, 2011
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gooner said:
When I asked him for the "fragmentary information, rumours and some hard evidence here and there" with regards to his suspicion of Wiggins and Hesjedal he could'nt come up with anything. I asked him for this "fragmentary information, rumours and hard evidence here and there" as he said he uses this method in his discussions in the clinic to "reconstruct a coherent picture".In the end he came up with nothing. Also he admits to joining the dots in his discussions in the clinic so I suggest read the link to the piece I posted to Jonathan Vaughters which will tell you everthing that is wrong with this method of discussion in the clinic. In the end this joining of the dots that Vaughters goes on about, just ends up with everything turning into doping gossip with no backbone to anything. His story is the best example of this.

None of us want to be in the position of connecting dots. We would all rather the sport were clean, and that if it were dirty, there would be evidence available. Of course, "joining the dots" is not black and white - you yourself say that CV shouldn't have to prove himself by stating what he saw because "we all know it happened". How do we all know, though? We connect the dots. We've all connected the dots between Lance's relationships with Ferrari, the 1999 samples which were allegedly spiked, his ridiculous improvement in GT results and come to a sad conclusion. It would be great if we didn't have to connect the dots in this way - and if people were honest about the past, perhaps we wouldn't have to. The alternative is to just stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing is wrong - to me that isn't right.
 
hiero2 said:
From here: velonews /2012/06/ vande-velde-we-won-the-giro-with-chip-on-our-shoulders

This quote:
VN: What does it mean to the Garmin organization to win this Giro?
VdV: It’s almost incomprehensible. When we started in 2008, at that point in time, we didn’t even think it was possible to win a grand tour. This is really a litmus test for clean sport and how far the sport has come. It’s a great thing for our team and for our sport in general. We never would have thought this would have been possible. That’s how far our sport has come.

Four years ago VdV was placing fourth in the Tour while on Vaughters' team. Hmmmm.

I know one thing. I do not trust Vaughters one bit, and if you cannot trust him then you cannot trust his team.
 
May 25, 2010
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Its a Lim thing

Libertine Seguros said:
Allen Lim, who worked at Garmin and oversaw Vande Velde and Wiggins' transformations into GC riders, was closely tied to US Postal and that investigation, so you can perhaps see why some take the talk of Garmin as a super clean team with a pinch of salt as they turn another rider of around 30 or even more and turn them into a GC contender.

Anyone who hires Lim should know they are dealing with "the program". I know he's nolonger part of the Garmin team structure.

From velonews article.

In Landis’ e-mail messages to cycling officials he also claimed he hired physiologist Dr. Allen Lim in 2005 “to help with details and logistics,” and that Lim helped Leipheimer and Landis prepare blood transfusions.

Source;
http://velonews.competitor.com/2010...he-tour-of-california-and-win-it-clean_117464
 
gooner said:
Wiggins has been vehemently anti-doping in public in a sport where many riders adhere to an omerta and you just scoffed at it. Just look at his numerous interviews in the 2007 Tour where he lashed out on Vino and Rasmussen and before the Tour last year when he said in some cases people should be even locked up. He also lashed out against Di Luca and Bruyneel in the past for the signing of Basso and called it a disgrace.

Is this the same Wigans who is buddy buddy with Armstrong? Wigans is the worst kind of hypocrite. He is quick to throw certain riders under the bus, riders like Ricco that the sport has collectively decided are an embarrassment, but when it comes to the real cancers of the sport like Armstrong, he will tell you how much he admires him, even going so far as to tell people that he might not be a doper because he was not sanctioned.
 
At the end of last year there was a charity ride with Patrick Dempsey, the actor, somehow involved in its organization. Amgen was also a sponser. Leipheimer was there. Danielson was there. Reportedly they rode the course talking and laughing with each other.

This is something I have a hard time getting my mind around. Danielson was hoping to win the Tour of Utah or that Tour of Colorado thing with the stupid name. Uber-doper Leipheimer at near forty years old won both. I have a hard time believing anything has changed when a supposedly clean rider on a supposedly clean team is not bitter about such things. If it were my I would be telling that bald cheat exactly what I thought of him while looking for an opportunity to Atkins his ass.
 
Jul 10, 2010
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Well, we sure got some talking material on this one - so here I go:

De Gendt:
Caruut said:
Garmin wins, everyone is cleaner!

De Gendt wins, he is dirty!
Well --- no. Garmin has been consistently anti, and started the team with that team (sic, should be theme, my mistake). As far as I am concerned, they have lived up to that ideal in their everyday actions. De Gendt turns in a miracle performance, and you aren't suspicious? I will tell you this - in the 90's, when the French crowds greeted Lance with shouts of "Dope'! Dope'!" I said innocent until proven. And I did not believe the cries of "Dope'!". But, too much spilt milk - I find that case proven. But, fool me once, fool me twice, all that? What makes you think that maybe De Gendt is not going for a "fool you twice" performance?

hrotha said:
The usual points about cycling having gone so far and being so clean now, without EVER acknowledging openly where it was, how it changed, why it changed, who changed and who didn't, so that the same kind of talk can be recycled time and time again. And we've been hearing it since 1999.
hrotha said:
Way to miss the point. Vande Velde clearly didn't acknowledge where cycling was. What he saw. What he's been personally involved in. He's repeating the same thing we've been hearing from 1999. That's 13 years of this "cycling is now practically clean" thing. At some point, we're going to have to demand actual proof instead of taking those claims at face value.

I agree, it COULD be recycled clean talk. You are right, we have heard plenty of it. But, I think that VdV has seen so many riders penalized and talking, he probably doesn't think "where it was" needs to be discussed! And, frankly, I would agree. But we also HAVE proof. Power numbers, blood report numbers, teams being established to be specifically anti-doping squads. The power numbers and the blood numbers are scientific. The team morals are human, and not scientific, but I choose to believe a few of these teams. Partly because of the riders who stay with them - partly because their actions tend to validate their stated morality. You know - the human aspect.

Libertine Seguros said:
The question is, do you personally believe the Garmin "we are a totally clean team" party line? If so, did you also believe it from HTC and Sky when they used it?

The fact of the matter is, there is still a lot of doping in the sport. . . . with a pinch of salt as they turn another rider of around 30 or even more and turn them into a GC contender.

. . .- see Riccò's comical attacks in the 2008 Tour. . .

gooner said:
Wiggins has been vehemently anti-doping in public . . ..

Yes, I believe Garmin. And HTC, and I feel pretty good about Sky - in part because they have Wiggins. Wiggins has a long history of not wanting to dope. He held off even getting into road-racing because of the doping culture. Some people suspect him, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Wiggins has been outspokenly anti-doping, and the way he rides supports his stated morality. As for riders over 30 - well, a bicyclist's PRIME racing years have long been supposed to be 29. For a person to find the right trainer and team combo a year or two, or three, later is not a shock to me. In some ways, I think it is predictable.


The Hitch said:
As Mario Puzo wrote "Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment."
. . .
hrotha? You have seen him assert without proof. From my experience easily the most fair minded poster in the history of the forum.
Uh -- Mario Puzo is a writer, dude. He writes fiction. :D
As for the most-fair-minded person in the forum - that's me.
;) :D :D

Personally, my thinking is that we have been seeing cleaner performances for a few years. I think the power data supports this. I think the blood data supports this. I agree that micro-dosing will be the most likely path in the present. Off season doping too. And, the medicos who are inclined to do so will always be out there finding new methods - and the bicyclists who are inclined to do so will be knocking on doors to find those new methods.

I think VdV is above average on the honesty scale. Given the circumstances, I am inclined to believe him, absent proof to the contrary. I am also bouyed by his description of the peloton as cleaner. As others have pointed out, he should know, and he gains nothing by saying this. Other "the peloton is clean" statements in the past have often been self-serving. I can not see that here.
 
And then there is the opinion of someone not talking to the press.

This past Sunday, I was out for a group ride when someone in the group got a flat and we all stopped so it could get fixed. I got talking to Cesar Grajales and a couple other guys, and the subject of racing and doping came up. At one point I proferred my opinion that the peloton "seems" cleaner now since the racing isn't what it was 5 or 10 years ago. Specifically, in the Lance era, for example, explosive, superhuman-like attacks were routine. Now, not so much, and the recent battles in the mountains of this year's Giro tend (to me at least) to suggest that riders are more evenly matched and not as juiced as they once were. Cesar looked at me incredulously and his opinion is that doping is still an essential and very prevalent part of the pro peloton. He doesn't think Cadel is clean, either (call me naive, but he is the one guy who strikes me as a possibly clean racer).

http://www.velocipedesalon.com/forum/f2/pro-peloton-now-clean-er-27338.html

Grajales, a Columbian, races in the U.S., but you would think that he hears things.
 
As much I like to believe in VdVd theory of clean cycling- I just need to look back & see that he & JV were both part of the US Postal crew & culture- they now better what needs to be done to get results. JV to me is a two-face person with the right rhetoric but dirty about actions-just look at the sh!t he pulled on Hushov-not even clinic related, but as a matter of principles-his actions were refutable-let alone that in 09 he was so adamant to hire Contador-and yet being such anti-doping force to reckon with-he has Millar & Dekker riding for him.....
one thing is to be someone like LA & Hog to be ruthless & dirty & have the means to hide it- but to be dirty too & have this nasty facade of "cleanness & fairness" well covered & to pose to the public that RH's achievement is the fruit of a "clean approach" is BS...

PS. I do believe Cycling is nowadays cleaNER-not clean.
 
gooner said:
When I asked him for the "fragmentary information, rumours and some hard evidence here and there" with regards to his suspicion of Wiggins and Hesjedal he could'nt come up with anything. I asked him for this "fragmentary information, rumours and hard evidence here and there" as he said he uses this method in his discussions in the clinic to "reconstruct a coherent picture".In the end he came up with nothing. Also he admits to joining the dots in his discussions in the clinic so I suggest read the link to the piece I posted to Jonathan Vaughters which will tell you everthing that is wrong with this method of discussion in the clinic. In the end this joining of the dots that Vaughters goes on about, just ends up with everything turning into doping gossip with no backbone to anything. His story is the best example of this.
You're mistaken. I didn't post that information because I was trying not to hijack the thread, and because it could all be found in the Wiggins thread that someone already topped for you to see.

I didn't ever say I think Hesjedal dopes, by the way. Ever. You're still missing the point, and I'm tired of repeating it.

(Thanks Hitch)
 
gooner said:
OK you won't answer the question so we move on. Be a politician if you want.
Sigh.

There's the issue of his sudden performance leap. You won't accept that point.
There's the shady characters working for Garmin, from Allen Lim to Matt White to David Millar.
There's Wiggins' blood values being regarded suspicious by at least one expert.
Vande Velde says winning a GT in 2008 would have been impossible for Garmin because of doping. But in the 2008 TdF Vande Velde was one crash and some tactics away from winning.

It's all there in that other thread.
 
Oct 30, 2011
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hiero2 said:
Well, we sure got some talking material on this one - so here I go:

De Gendt:

Well --- no. Garmin has been consistently anti, and started the team with that team. As far as I am concerned, they have lived up to that ideal in their everyday actions. De Gendt turns in a miracle performance, and you aren't suspicious? I will tell you this - in the 90's, when the French crowds greeted Lance with shouts of "Dope'! Dope'!" I said innocent until proven. And I did not believe the cries of "Dope'!". But, too much spilt milk - I find that case proven. But, fool me once, fool me twice, all that? What makes you think that maybe De Gendt is not going for a "fool you twice" performance?

I would say that Garmin have been somewhat inconsistently anti-doping. Firstly I think that the Garmin project is not so much about morality as it is about marketing. The way they're constantly talking about it makes me feel like it's all sort of a front to appeal to English-speaking fans who might not be so "streetwise".

With Dekker, Millar and the ex-Postal boys on that team, there's an awful lot of knowledge about what went on, and not very much of it has been shared. If they won't tell the truth about their pasts, why should we trust them?

You seem entirely willing to believe Garmin because they tell anyone who'll listen that they're anti-doping, yet De Gendt is really suspicious. Didn't see you starting a Ryder thread after he put in the performance of his career. Seems speaking English is enough to confirm someone as clean. As I said on your De Gendt thread, his performance was very much tactical rather than miraculous. Tough, ballsy, brave, yes, but still relied on the race situation as it was.

I agree, it COULD be recycled clean talk. You are right, we have heard plenty of it. But, I think that VdV has seen so many riders penalized and talking, he probably doesn't think "where it was" needs to be discussed! And, frankly, I would agree. But we also HAVE proof. Power numbers, blood report numbers, teams being established to be specifically anti-doping squads. The power numbers and the blood numbers are scientific. The team morals are human, and not scientific, but I choose to believe a few of these teams. Partly because of the riders who stay with them - partly because their actions tend to validate their stated morality. You know - the human aspect.

VDV might had seen a lot of people penalised, but I don't see why, given his "anti-doping" stance, that means he gets away with maintaining omerta. Then there are principled men like Bradley Wiggins, who bail on a group of riders that went all out to get him a good placing at the first whiff of a big paycheck from Sky.

Yes, I believe Garmin. And HTC, and I feel pretty good about Sky - in part because they have Wiggins. Wiggins has a long history of not wanting to dope. He held off even getting into road-racing because of the doping culture. Some people suspect him, but you have to draw the line somewhere. Wiggins has been outspokenly anti-doping, and the way he rides supports his stated morality. As for riders over 30 - well, a bicyclist's PRIME racing years have long been supposed to be 29. For a person to find the right trainer and team combo a year or two, or three, later is not a shock to me. In some ways, I think it is predictable.

You do have to draw the line somewhere, that much is true. Personally I think that a rider who had never even finished in the top 100 of a GT before 2009, and then went to 4th in the Tour should certainly be viewed with a degree of suspicion. When you consider the fact that he quietened down his anti-doping talk and then chummed up to Lance, there are plenty of reasons to still view him as a bit suspicious.
 
May 9, 2012
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After the 1998 Festina Affair, the sport of Cycling was in the death zone above 8000 meters. In an optical illusion somehow it survived as it descended back down to sea level. That dawn of hope paved the way for new found optimism. Especially amongst the fans. Since that
time period that optimism has been replaced by habitual scepticism. And for good reason. As the myth of a cleaner Peloton has been emphatically dispelled by one doping scandal after another.
 
gooner said:
Facepalm. Oh dear.

You use the same chesnut always like every doping gossip about Allen Lim and Matt White..

Yet somehow we can just toss it aside? White never tested positive? Lim never ran logistics for Floyd and Levi? Or can we just assume when they joined Slipstream that they never never made any suggestions to any of their riders that doping is worth considering? Likewise, Dekker and Millar never think about PEDs. Same for all the riders coming from USPS, Phonak, Gerolsteiner, Telekom. With so many doping influences from "the bad days" it's hard to say with complete confidence that the entire group is clean today (or has been since 2008).

I don't see how unequivocally accepting that an individual/collective are clean is a more rational position than one where it's possible doping may occur.
 
Doesn't "the minute" here mean "months after the fact, when he was dealing with Greenedge"?

Anyway, of course the allegations aren't new. Frankly, it seems to me you were ready to dismiss them regardless of what I had said, as evidenced by your tired use of memetic expressions like "facepalm". It's still pretty simple: the history of the sport teaches us that basing circular arguments on a particular rider being clean without solid proof is absurd. Such arguments have been questioned even when using Moncoutié as a measuring stick, so much the reason to question them when you use Wiggins. You've spent the whole argument strawmanning and accusing me of saying everybody dopes, which is blatantly false if you had actually bothered to read my posts.

The bit about Allen Lim is just gossip, of course. What would Landis know?

I repeat: the issue here is not that you believe Wiggins, Hesjedal and Vande Velde are currently clean. I'm highly sceptical myself. The real issue here is that you're the one jumping to conclusions: you're the one picking a side in the "are they doped or clean" question. I'm not.
 
hrotha said:
Doesn't "the minute" here mean "months after the fact, when he was dealing with Greenedge"?

Anyway, of course the allegations aren't new. Frankly, it seems to me you were ready to dismiss them regardless of what I had said, as evidenced by your tired use of memetic expressions like "facepalm". It's still pretty simple: the history of the sport teaches us that basing circular arguments on a particular rider being clean without solid proof is absurd. Such arguments have been questioned even when using Moncoutié as a measuring stick, so much the reason to question them when you use Wiggins. You've spent the whole argument strawmanning and accusing me of saying everybody dopes, which is blatantly false if you had actually bothered to read my posts.

The bit about Allen Lim is just gossip, of course. What would Landis know?

I repeat: the issue here is not that you believe Wiggins, Hesjedal and Vande Velde are currently clean. I'm highly sceptical myself. The real issue here is that you're the one jumping to conclusions: you're the one picking a side in the "are they doped or clean" question. I'm not.

Landis wasn't repeating gossip about Lim. Landis said that Lim helped him cheat. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/21/sports/cycling/21cycling.html?pagewanted=all
 

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gooner said:
Facepalm. Oh dear.
I really don't know how you can attempt to ridicule someone else's opinion when your own opinion is based on nothing more than trusting what people (who have vested interests) tell you.


gooner said:
You throw the same chesnut always like every doping gossip about Allen Lim and Matt White. You are as gulity as Vaughters was when he joined the dots to judge Tondo wrongly.
You bring up JV getting Tondo wrong yet dismiss White as gossip, even though the same JV sacked him, and he did not do so immediatley as you said in another post, it was Kimmage came looking around that JV acted.


gooner said:
As for Wiggins, he was advised not to do it by Anne Gripper. She knew no matter what, that they would be interpreted in the wrong way and she predicted that people would put their own spin on it. She said in the UCI they use anything up to 9 experts to get the full picture of a profile and that you need different types of experts to get a clear judgment. She said the profile was OK.

I like Anne Gripper, but I have the exact same degree in hematology that she does - ie none.
The guy who questioned Wiggins profile was not an armchair hematologist.
 
Wiggins has been highly critical of doping in the past, but he has been also highly reverent towards Lance Armstrong, which must be two irreconcilable positions given that he has teamed with a number of US Postal old boys who must have known what went on (both at Columbia and at Garmin). I still say it could go either way with him.

Also, Jonathan Vaughters, even if his team ARE clean, is a total and utter hypocrite and opportunist who I have no time or respect for. His "connecting the dots" article about Xavier Tondó was incredibly rich coming from somebody who had openly courted Alberto Contador a few months earlier. If Tondó was stained irreparably by his two years at LA-MSS, then why wasn't Contador irreparably stained in Vaughters' eyes by his time at Liberty Seguros?

Hell, of Garmin's current roster, why didn't he "join the dots" about:
Tom Danielson (2005-7 Discovery Channel)
Thomas Dekker (!)
Heinrich Haußler (2005-8 Gerolsteiner)
Ryder Hesjedal (2004 USPS, 2005 Discovery Channel, 2006 Phonak)
Robbie Hunter (2005-6 Phonak, 2007-9 Barloworld)
Andreas Klier (2001-7 T-Mobile)
David Millar (who may have been clean coming back from his ban, but returning with Saunier Duval isn't exactly inauspicious)
Alex Rasmussen (whose contract was indeed terminated after a ban for missing tests but then reinstated after it was overturned)
Christian Vande Velde (1998-2003 USPS, 2004 Liberty Seguros, 2005-7 CSC)
Fabian Wegmann (2002-8 Gerolsteiner)
Dave Zabriskie (2001-4 USPS, 2005-7 CSC)

Maybe some of the individual riders are anti-doping. Maybe changing times have enabled Wiggins and Hesjedal to make their fairly late-career transformations clean (maybe they weren't really transformations at all, at least in Hesjedal's case, as he'd always been good on shorter climbs anyway). Maybe the ethos at the team is pretty good when it comes to clean riding.

But I don't really see why anybody can buy Jonathan Vaughters as the spearhead of some kind of clean revolution any more than Patrick Lefevre or Marc Madiot.