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KeithJamesMc

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Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
« on: April 29, 2014, 13:55 »
Shadows on the Road – Michael Barry whinging about Pro Cycling

What a terrible book. There is nothing in there that is even remotely uplifting or interesting to read.

Basically, Barry spends the whole book whinging about life as a professional cyclist. Nothing seems remotely enjoyable to him. It is as if his whole life, he is caught in a cycling trap and can do nothing to exit. Barry doesn’t discuss money or the rewards that cycling has given him

Anyway to summarise, the key points:

-   Life in the Postal Bus was terrible. He felt he was only one bad ride away or one slip of the tongue away from getting sacked. Lance, Johan and Del Moral were terrifying. Hincapie was nice and his buddie. Once, He let Hincapie and his family sleep over to avoid being caught by an OOC test.

-   Life in the HTC bus was a lot better, especially the “drug” free element of it. Cav was a bit too aggressive at times to the other riders, but Rogers was a calming influence. Barry didn’t like the painkillers, caffeine stimulants and sleeping tablets cycle, but was caught up in it and took them anyway. He speaks about sharing a room with Sinkewitz who was calling his ex-teammates laughing and joking about the no doping policy.

-   He only found out about Sky’s zero tolerance policy after he signed the contract which meant his Girona-best-buddy, David Millar, couldn’t join – although he was helping with the signings and make-up of the team. Sky were also on the pill bandwagon, but when the original doctor (Leinders) was fired, the medical side improved.

-   Life in the DeathStar was terrible. Wiggins was a terrible leader and with Froome / Cavendish there seemed to be some alpha-male issues which was not really discussed.

-   He felt guilty about denying the Landis accusations, but carried on regardless. He was also offered a job with Sky post-end-of-career which he was really happy about. He rang Fran Millar and told her that he was going to confess.

-   Implies that Boonen’s win in the Tour of Flanders 2006 was fixed for money with Hincapie and Hoste.

Quote
"Then one of our teammates, Leif Hoste, made the race winning attack with the key rival, TomBoonen, whose defeat had been the focus of our team meetings. Immediately they cooperated forging a gap ahead of George and the others. As I watched the scenario unfold, the riders spoke for a few moments together and then with our directeur, who followed in the team car. It was apparent that a deal had been made, with George left out, his legs strong enough to win but his hands tied by shady racing tactics and backroom deals"

Basically the whole book is an attempt by Barry to justify his doping and lack of a backbone. It seems to me that he spent 10 years as a Pro (and countless years as an amateur) hating his job and what it was forcing him to take, but did nothing about it.

Like many, Barry comes across as an unrepentant doper (it was all someone else’s fault). He doesn’t discuss (obviously) whether his wife was also on the sauce. He does apologize for lying about Floyd Landis, but nothing about lying to Sky. It is also clear that David Millar knew he was a doper, but didn’t bother to tell Sky that his mate was both a liar and a cheat.

Barry does himself no favours with this book – he is not so much “spitting in the soup”, as saying “I wish there was no soup” and to be honest, I'm not sure anyone will care...
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  • « Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 17:10 by Dim »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #1 on: April 29, 2014, 18:03 »
    Life in the HTC bus was a lot better, especially the “drug” free element of it. Cav was a bit too aggressive at times to the other riders, but Rogers was a calming influence. Barry didn’t like the painkillers, caffeine stimulants and sleeping tablets cycle, but was caught up in it and took them anyway. He speaks about sharing a room with Sinkewitz who was calling his ex-teammates laughing and joking about the no doping policy.

    Could you expound on this a bit?

    Was that tablet cycle that you speak of a team-wide thing (policy?) at HTC?

    And regarding Sinkewitz, is there an implication that he was joking the no doping policy, because he, himself wasn't abiding by it?

    What year was that, 2006? Sinkewitz never rode under the HTC banner, did he?
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  • KeithJamesMc

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #2 on: April 29, 2014, 18:24 »
    Could you expound on this a bit?
    I'll try. Barry joined T-Mobile because he was fed up at the drugs on USPS and Lance had left. Bob Stapleton was the manager of the T-Mobile womens team, where Barry's wife had ridden, and was given the task of cleaning up T-Mobile.

    Barry describe the 2009 TTT at the Giro where they won. They went off early and Rogers thought they had done a great time. Cav came in and started berating riders for minor technical errors. Rogers told Cav to "shut the f*** up". Turns out that HTC did the best time and Cav had the Maglia Rosa. Barry compares Cav to Armstrong where only perfection is good enough - and that affected the team +vely and -vely

    Quote
    Was that tablet cycle that you speak of a team-wide thing (policy?) at HTC?
    It is not clear in the book. It seems more like a peloton wide policy - he tells an anecodote about a race in Switzerland where a rider asked for Tramadol over the radio, but he is not clear whether it was whilst at HTC or Sky. His tramadol taking was after a crash in the Tour de FRance which was while he riding for Sky.

    Basically for a book we he is dumping on tablet use in the peloton, he is not very clear who took what where prescribed by whom.
    Quote
    And regarding Sinkewitz, is there an implication that he was joking the no doping policy, because he, himself wasn't abiding by it?

    What year was that, 2006? Sinkewitz never rode under the HTC banner, did he?
    Yep, that is the implication, but in true Barry fashion he doesn't state it clearly.
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  • Dim

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #3 on: April 29, 2014, 18:35 »
    so the narrative is very much Barry trying to dimish his own doping offences by accusing the whole peloton of abusing legal drugs that are as powerful as EPO. :D
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #4 on: April 29, 2014, 18:39 »
    Barry describe the 2009 TTT at the Giro where they won. They went off early and Rogers thought they had done a great time. Cav came in and started berating riders for minor technical errors. Rogers told Cav to "shut the f*** up". Turns out that HTC did the best time and Cav had the Maglia Rosa. Barry compares Cav to Armstrong where only perfection is good enough - and that affected the team +vely and -vely
    Interesting, wouldn't have thought of Cav that way. I thought he was more likely to beat himself (or some unfortunate journalist :D ) up when he didn't win, and hug everyone in sight when he does.
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    KeithJamesMc

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #5 on: April 29, 2014, 18:40 »
    His premise is:
    - cycling (or most sports) don't care less about athletes health - always has and always will be the show must go on. He bangs on a lot about his injuries especially when USPS thought he was dead in the Tour of Flanders and lied to Hincapie who was showing some concern.
    - cycling is a bed of corruption where race fixing etc is common practice.

    He is basically saying, it is so bad that even an angel couldn't have kept their morals....
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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #6 on: April 29, 2014, 18:45 »
    when has Beno become a ghost writer? :D
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    AG

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #7 on: April 30, 2014, 00:54 »
    lol search


    I think Dim has hit it on the head.  Barry trying to diminish his own responsibility by making it seem lesser ...
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #8 on: April 30, 2014, 01:57 »
    Implies that Boonen’s win in the Tour of Flanders 2006 was fixed for money with Hincapie and Hoste.

    I've been trying to dig up footage of this race, but what the hell? Did someone scrub this from the interwebz? Hard to find... :S
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  • mew

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #9 on: April 30, 2014, 03:08 »
    so the narrative is very much Barry trying to dimish his own doping offences by accusing the whole peloton of abusing legal drugs that are as powerful as EPO. :D

    That sounds like someone else
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  • just some guy

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #10 on: April 30, 2014, 07:51 »
    I've been trying to dig up footage of this race, but what the hell? Did someone scrub this from the interwebz? Hard to find... :S



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    KeithJamesMc

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #11 on: April 30, 2014, 08:14 »
    That video is very inconclusive - you see the effort which takes Boonen and Hoste away and gain 10-15s on the chasers. Next it cuts away to where they have over a 1 minute.

    You certainly don't see:
    1. Hoste/Boonen going to the Discovery car
    2. Boonen handing Hoste wads of cash ;)

    In the final sprint:
    1. Hoste goes far too early and is crushed
    2. Hincapie easily wins the sprint for 3rd.

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  • KeithJamesMc

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #12 on: April 30, 2014, 09:05 »
    So there is an article on todays Sporza:

    http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/wielrennen/140430_Boek_Barry_Ronde_2006?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=dlvr.it

    It seems to me with limited Dutch capabilities that both Hoste and Demol admit they both chatted about the results, but no money was exchanged (directly)

    Both decided 2nd place was the best Discovery could get and therefore Hoste worked with Boonen.

    I always suspected that there was an element of truth in it as Barry is obviously still speaking to Hincapie (and therefore I assumed he had run it past him before publishing)

    Let's be honest - despite the dope, Hincapie's record in Monuments is not exactly stellar.

     2ndParis - Roubaix ('05)
     3rdRonde van Vlaanderen / Tour des F... ('06)

    I'm not sure whether it is a career unfilled or more likely Hincapie wasn't good enough.
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  • Capt_Cavman

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #13 on: April 30, 2014, 09:53 »
    ...

    Let's be honest - despite the dope, Hincapie's record in Monuments is not exactly stellar.

     2ndParis - Roubaix ('05)
     3rdRonde van Vlaanderen / Tour des F... ('06)

    I'm not sure whether it is a career unfilled or more likely Hincapie wasn't good enough.
    I put that down to Phil and Paul. In all the big classics voice overs that I've seen, Hincapie was the focus of the tale. The fact that every single time he failed to contest the win, was put down to terrible luck preventing the great rider from taking his rightful position as the best of a generation. Like so much of their output, it was utter rubbish and pure spin.
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  • AG

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #14 on: April 30, 2014, 10:07 »
    you know, I have never actually looked up Hincappie's record in classics.  I just tended to actually believe P & P when they have gone on about how great he was.

    :fp

    :fp
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  • Carlo Algatrensig

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #15 on: April 30, 2014, 19:31 »
    I put that down to Phil and Paul. In all the big classics voice overs that I've seen, Hincapie was the focus of the tale. The fact that every single time he failed to contest the win, was put down to terrible luck preventing the great rider from taking his rightful position as the best of a generation. Like so much of their output, it was utter rubbish and pure spin.

    Most of the commentary they have done for the classics has been primarily for OLN or Versus I think so they would always try and put a very heavy American angle into the broadcasts. whenever I've seen it it just seemed to overplay Hincapies chances as they always portrayed him as one of the top favourites rather than a guy who could win if a few bits of luck fell his way which is what my general opinion of him in the classics was.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #16 on: May 01, 2014, 01:07 »
    In the final sprint:
    1. Hoste goes far too early and is crushed
    2. Hincapie easily wins the sprint for 3rd.
    Hoste's early sprint attempt was futile, and can be looked at as nothing more than show. No WAY was he going to out gun Boonen from so far out. He just played his part in the script.

    Barry claims that George was "strong enough to win," but is there anything to substantiate that claim? Boonen looked plenty fresh in that finale.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Michael Barry - Shadows on the Road
    « Reply #17 on: May 01, 2014, 01:18 »
    I'm not sure whether it is a career unfilled or more likely Hincapie wasn't good enough.

    It was Hincapie's lifelong ambition to win Paris-Roubaix (as has been well publicized) but for all the glory the American press would've spewed upon him for doing so, it all would've been tainted in the aftermath of USADA.

    I've often wondered if a lot of those American riders underperformed, subconsciously knowing (somewhere in the deep recesses of their minds) that eventually, they'd all be dragged down with Lance and would have to answer for whatever success they had.

    George, CVV, Dave Z... :slow


    Floyd decidedly took more of a Honey Badger approach.  :P
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