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Echoes

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(Article from Humo)

Belga Sport was a series of TV show on Canvas, public broadcaster in the Northern part of Belgium. It has now been taken over by Telenet. Sadly I can't get Telenet, so impossible to watch the show but interesting things are already revealed by the article.

Sammie Moreels was a youth hero of mine along with Edwig Van Hooydonck and I've long heard about the fact he was one of the Belgian talent to get screwed by the EPO storm. The show programmers seem to suggest likewise. Sammie was 9th at the Tour of Lombardy as a neopro in 1989. 3rd at the GP de Wallonie in 1992 (I was rooting for him at that time, remember that weird race very well, though I was 8)

The title says The Pancake Generation Comes Back

I think Peter Post referred to a "potato generation" or something of the sort. That is how the Dutch and Belgian generation of the nineties got qualified for poor performances.

"Mario De Clercq and Sammie Moreels didn't lack great legs, they lacked EPO."

In La Plagne on 11 July 1995 (Golden Spurs Day), 4 Lotto riders came out of time limits. Another one had called it quit during the race. Lotto was the laughing stock of the cycling world. [If I remember well, only two Lotto riders finished the Tour of France that year: Andrei Tchmil and Peter Farazijn]

Dan Van Nijverseel, the programmer of the show says that the riders could feel there was something going on.
Quote
Certainly since the spring classics in 1995 in which they were dropped as though they had been laying on the sofa for the whole winter. They only didn't know exactly what played a role. Only on the evening after La Plagne they did talk it over for the first time with Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke after the latter had pested against them but he didn't want to believe it. Perhaps he wanted to stick his head in the sand but Vandenbroucke started as DS at a moment there was no talk of EPO and with respect to medical back up Lotto was lagging far behind the rest of the world. There was no team doctor and the riders had only one heart beat monitor that they had to share to each other. For as much as we can tell, they really were in obscurity.

The riders feel that they had been the victims of an injustice. Alex Zulle who won in La Plagne was later caught and punished but he could earn a lot of money in cycling while a rider like Rudy Verdonck had to get back to work after his career. Sammie Moreels finished top5 in Liege-Bastogne-Liege as neopro in 1989 and in what should have been his prime years he was blown away. That insincerity hurts. Plus the image that they were remembered for: "The Pancake Generation", lazy bones who did not live for their sport. This label has shadowed their whole career.

About the fact that Mario De Clercq also was involved in a doping affair later [the Landuyt-Versele Affair along with Museeuw] the show did not investigate. It stops in 1995. But it's clear how hard this La Plagne day affected Mario and he also said he would trade his great palmares in cyclocross for the road career that he's been stolen. The show is not meant to be a doping investigation but rather a human story about these honest riders who could not follow and thus had to keep on living with the blame.

------

It should be said that once Vandenbroucke was promoted from DS to manager he started defending dopers in his team such as Abdujaparov. By the late nineties things had already changed, riders started to perform as if they were doing like everybody else. And all of a sudden, Vandenbroucke got fired by Lotto for the 2000 season.   

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  • "Paris-Roubaix is the biggest cycling race in the world, bigger than the Tour de France, bigger than any other bike race" (Sir Bradley Wiggins)

    Echoes

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    This thread is almost one year old. In the meantime, the Belga Sport series got back to Canvas, Belgian public broadcaster and was aired last month. I missed it but manage to find it on the net.

    By the way, I have to correct a mistake of mine. Sammie Moreels was not 9th at the Tour of Lombardy in 1989 as a neopro but two years later in 1991. However, Sammie did even better in the Ardennes in 1989. 4th at the Walloon Arrow, 5th at Liège-Bastogne-Liège! An exquisite talent, I'm telling you.

    https://www.vrt.be/vrtnu/a-z/belga-sport/7/belga-sport-s7a1/

    I'm encouraging every speaker of Dutch to create an account on the Canvas website. You can watch the show for free.

    It really makes justice for those brave Lotto rider fighting an unfair battle. Justice for Sammie Moreels! Justice for Peter De Clercq! Justice for Rudi Verdonck! Justice for Herman Frison! Those four Lotto riders finished the stage to La Plagne outside the time limits because they took no EPO. Mario De Clercq retired at the foot of it (later was caught in the Landuyt-Versele Affair but that day he probably raced clean too). Marc Sergeant had already retired after the TTT (when Lotto finished dead last and he could not keep up with his own teammates). Wilfried Nelissen had to retire after a crash in the leadout of a sprint, when Sammie lost control of his bike in a rocade. Those guys lost their contracts with Lotto by the end of that season and stopped their pro careers one year after. But for Sergeant and Frison, they were around age 30!

    Only Andrei Tchmil and Peter Farazijn finished that Tour of France.

    Peter De Clercq after Stage 1 in Lannion already looked vitrified, don't you think so?



    Rudi Verdonck at La Plagne:



    I'm going to give you more account of this story later if you are interested in it because I feel strongly about it. How many times did my father say back then: "Belgian are so crap these days". "In my times we won everything with Merckx, De Vlaeminck, Maertens, etc."

    Now we know why and it's about time to make justice. I feel wild every time I see "winners" of that era hailed as heroes, just like a bald Italian whose name I don't even want to write. The heroes, the legends of that era were those clean riders if we have any sense of morality. Sorry folks. We've got to be able to "burn our idols".  ;)
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    Yep - exactly right.  You need to look into the eyes of a young lad returning from the continent, who had both the b a l l s and moral code to say "NO" when the team manager said are you going to dope and knowing all the ribbing he will take for not having made it like others.  Getting the story out that all these "heroes" are dopers and some serious compass adjusting needs to take place is not something most want to hear - an impossible task.  You are trashing their dream and they will just label the lad "sore loser".  So it is easier to just say - "I didn't make it. 

    The hurt is real deep and goes on a long time.  And cretins want us to forgive Lance and the rest"  "They have done the time"  Get stuffed  - have they - my backside have they.  The sanction they have is c r a p - look at Millar.  Doping pays.  It pays big time.
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  • Echoes

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    The intro scene (pre-opening credits) goes like this. You have archive footage from France TV, the day after La Plagne. That was the next stage to Alpe d'Huez, it was my 12th birthday.

    Journalist Gérard Holtz is on the motorbike and goes on to interview Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke.

    Quote
    Gérard Holtz: On most cars you have 5 or 6 reserve bikes and There are wheels. On Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke's car which is right behind me, we are going to show him right now, it's absolute misery. It's desert. There are only two bikes left on the car. Why? Well simply because Jean-Luc only has two riders in the race left.

    Jean-Luc, I think what happened to you yesterday is a very big sadness. There had been the Wilfried Nelissen affair and then yesterday five abandons [actually one abandon and 4 out of time limits].

    Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke:
    I can tell you it's terrible for a Sport Director to live what I've lived yesterday. Mid-race we could already have guessed that we were going to lose 5 riders in the same day but this is a real disaster.

    Gérard Holtz: Were they sick?

    J-L VDB:
    Sick ... I cannot say that they were sick. Here it's just Belgian Cycling Tragedy

    "Le drame du cyclisme belge", that was the quote in French. That was typical of Vandenbroucke's attitude. Later in the show he claimed (in 2016) that he could not see the medical evolution in the peloton back in those days while his riders stated that he knew about it all too well. He refused to defend them and it was always the same catchphrase: "they were not professional enough", etc. Twenty years after the facts it's always confounding to read comments of that time.




    Invited in the show were: Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke (then DS at Lotto), Jef Braeckeveldt (then his assistant), the former riders: Marc Sergeant, Herman Frison, Sammie Moreels, Mario & Peter De Clercq (no relation to each other), Rudi Verdonck and the then journalist for Het Laatste Nieuws Roger De Maertelaere (also a close friend and biographer of Roger De Vlaeminck).

    After that early scene, the show got back to the first years of Lotto back in 1985. At that time, Belgians were feeling nostalgic about the Merckx years when we dominated the field. The National Lottery wanted to do something for the sport of cycling and created a team that by then was meant to be a Development Team for young Belgians to find their way into the peloton. They were led by Walter Godefroot who believed in that project. Marc Sergeant was their strong man. So Lotto was a bit the Topsport Vlaanderen of that time. Godefroot stopped in 1988 and was replaced by Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke but with Vandenbroucke got a lot stronger then just young riders. In 1990 Claude Criquielion came to the team to give his contribution to the project, he was Belgian champion and the following year he defied Moreno Argentin for the last time on the Ardennes races.

    In the Belga Sport show about Andrei Tchmil, Vandenbroucke said it was hard to convince the guys at the Lottery to transfer him in 1994 because it was his mission to promote Belgian cycling but you also needed prestigious wins and he needed a leader. Yet Andrei Tchmil was not the first foreigner racing for Lotto. Eric Mackenzie  *nz , Martial Gayant *fr , Beat Breu  *ch and Mauro Ribeiro  *br among others, already did.

    Then the show went on to talk about the first appearances of the riders that would race the 1995 Tour of France, especially Rudi Verdonck, Sammie Moreels and Peter De Clercq...


    To be continued ...



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  • Echoes

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    Sammie Moreels' neopro year was extensively talked about in the show.

    Sammie himself remembers that he directly good raced and then he was a leader right away with domestiques racing for him. He was aged 23. It was really great for him.


    Peter De Clercq said that
    Quote
    In the youth categories I always admired him. Well also later but then well I also trained with him. So well, Sammie was the man!

    The journalist Roger De Maertelaere:
    Quote
    I had a soft spot for Sammie. Sammie was really an apparition like you rarely saw in Belgian cycling. Young, fresh, sense of humour, he then also seem to have some class.

    Rudi Verdonck said Sammie was the best friend he's ever had.

    Then was talk about his first results and old footage of his 4th place at the 1989 Walloon Arrow (after having animated the race!).



    Wim Van Eynde is first on the picture, then comes Sammie Moreels and then Marc Madiot.

    1. Claude Criquielion (Bel) 253km/ 6.29'30"
    2. Steven Rooks (Hol) 13"
    3. Wim Van Eynde (Bel) 46"
    4. Sammy Moreels (Bel) 48"
    5. Marc Madiot (Fra) 55"
    6. Ronan Pensec (Fra) 1'03"
    7. Miguel Indurain (Esp) 1'28"
    8. Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 1'32"
    9. Jacques Decrion (Fra) 1'35"
    10. Luc Roosen (Bel) 1'56"
    11. Fabrice Philippot (Fra) 1'58"
    12. Gilles Delion (Fra)
    13. Jean-Philippe Vandenbrande (Fra) 2'01"
    14. Jan Siemons (Hol)
    15. Roland Leclerc (Fra) 2'04"
    16. Eric Van Lancker (Bel) 2'09"
    17. Yvon Madiot (Fra)
    18. Andreas Kappes (All) 2'12"
    19. Gert-Jan Theunisse (Hol)
    20. Eric Caritoux (Fra)
    21. Rolf Golz (All)
    22. Peter Roes (Bel)
    23. Dag-Otto Lauritzen (Nor)
    24. Rudy Verdonck (Bel)
    25. Jos Haex (Bel)


    Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke says in the show:

    Quote
    I remember his performances and I said to myself: "now I've got in hands a really good rider. I have to do everything in order to keep him and to make sure he stays in the team." Today for a young rider, having Sammie Moreels' results as a neopro, well he's going to have offers on the left or right. He will already be able to make money from his performances.

    Jef Braeckeveldt:
    Quote
    Sammie Moreels had unbelievable talent. Now if a rider finishes 20th at the Walloon Arrow and 15th at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the press immediately says that he's a great star for the future but Sammie was 4th at the Arrow and 5th at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and it was dead normal. And he was a neopro, you know.




    I've stumbled on a 1989 show by the BRTN (then Dutch-speaking national broadcaster in Belgium) about Sammie Moreels shortly after the Ardennes classics. It was then also mentioned he was 14th in Amstel Gold. 

    It is shown that Sammie Moreels had worked in a Volvo Factory since August 1985. By then he had to stop cycling. He had a full time job and it was impossible to combine it with training as a cyclist. Yet that is what he later did. Training until 10.30pm with the lights on. His family was not so well-to-do and so he had to work.




    He was also asked if his results were a surprise for him. He said not really because he had a good preparation for the Ardennes, notably with the Tour of the Vaucluse. He won the last stage at the Tour of the Vaucluse, a 145km long stage over Mount Ventoux, three days before the Arrow.

    Insiders said that the Walloon classics suited him better than the Tour of Flanders. He was asked if that was correct.
    Quote
    I don't know. The Tour of Flanders is raced in my area. I know those roads very well. I enjoy riding the cobbles, uphill or so. I don't know if the Walloon Classics are better than the Tour of Flanders.

    About the fact that he did not win a lot in the amateur ranks he answered that if you win 20 kermesses it does not mean per se that you will be a good pro. He won a stage at the (Open) Circuit of the Sarthe along with major pro teams such as Hitachi or Système U and thanks to the "Blue Guard" (the Belgian National Team), he got a lot of experience abroad which is in his favour. The National Team in amateur races seemed to have been something new back then and was good for the development of Belgian riders. After a few races abroad Sammie says that he destroyed the field in Belgian races and that said a lot in his opinion.




    Then I also found back a video clip of his win at the 1992 Laigueglia Trophy. Not his most shining win, just a group sprint but he managed to outsprint Andrea Ferrigato AND Frédéric Moncassin, later known as very fast sprinters indeed, while he was more of a hilly classic men, plus Max Sciandri, Adriano Baffi or Zbigniew Spruch. That's just amazing.

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  • Echoes

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    Peter De Clercq getting a distinctive jersey at the Three Days of the De Panne. I couldn't find out the year nor the classification but it's typical of Peter. He always fought for jerseys. He also came from a rather poor background as at home they did not have a washing machine. So they had to wash their clothes by themselves. He was probably joking but he said in the show that that is why he liked winning jerseys because at least that means that every day he can have a clean jersey that he does not have to wash. :D (with of course the money that goes with it)

    Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke said he was very popular and media-genic. He fought for every classification; sprint or mountain he mixed up everything. As long as he could podium, he was happy. Definitely Jean-Luc was despising him a bit. You could see in the show that he didn't like him (hatred reciprocated clearly) but then Jean-Luc admitted affirmatively that for the sponsors podiuming for a jersey did matter.

    The show displayed footage of his bunch sprint win at the 1989 Mediterranean Tour and a photograph of his win at the final stage of the 1989 Dauphiné libéré in Aix-les-Bains. As you can see he was also wore a distinctive jersey for the "rush" (bonus sprints) classification which he won.



    As a neo-pro Peter De Clercq won the Mountain Classification at the Tour of Switzerland. At the start of the race when he shared that ambition with his teammates at the table, they all laughed but eventually he did get it.

    One of his best results, his 5th place at the 1989 Midi libre (high profile stage race in those days just a notch below Dauphiné libéré and won by Jérôme Simon) was accompanied with the Point classification. The Jersey Man!

    Peter De Clercq fought for everything. At a Tour of Luxembourg (it wasn't said when), he won a mid-stage sprint for a sheep! He was awarded that sheep and wished to get back home with. Jef Braeckeveldt said he was out of his mind and that sheep only spent one night at the hotel in the team's lorry and then they sold him.

    Peter also was a real joker. Just check what he did with this tube. It was at a winter team training session in 1989/90 and not in 1992 as said the video uploader.




    Quite surprisingly for a hard and fast man, Peter De Clercq really did great on the classics but it was of course quite hard at that period. He was early breakaways in both the 1989 Worlds in Chambéry (shortly before mid-race in a 9-man group with Thomas Wegmuller, Dimitri Konychev, Kim Andersen, Celio Rocancio Gonzales of Colombia among others) and one he initiated after 39km in Utsunomiya with 21 riders among whom once again Thomas Wegmuller, Martial Gayant or Laudelino Cubino.

    His best performance in a classic dates back from 1991 at Paris-Roubaix. While teammate Hendrik Redant had attacked with 30km to go Peter De Clercq found himself in a 3-man chase group with eventual winner Marc Madiot and Wilfried Peeters.



    John Talen from the infamous PDM team and Franco Ballerini (now deceased, so it might be bad taste to remember his darkest moments). In Cobble section #5 (I think it's Templeuve now asphalted), Redant punctured and was caught by that group. Peter De Clercq led the group for the whole first part of Camphin-en-Pévèle before the 90° corner. 



    Peter De Clercq remained in the lead 6-man group until the Carrefour de l'Arbre when Madiot made his decisive move. Eventually Peter finished 13th.



    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2tj160

    In 1992, Peter De Clercq should've been Belgian champion. He was in breakaway. I don't know who was with him but he was probably the fastest in the group. Of course he needed to watch out for late attacks but then Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke chose to make the whole Lotto team chase behind him for Museeuw. Only Sammie Moreels refused to take turns because he was a good friend of De Clercq's and Peter had come with his whole fan club, many of his fans being also Sammie's fans. Eventually, Vandenbroucke was proved right as Museeuw got the title but it was Lotto chasing a Lotto rider and 20 years afterwards, Peter still felt bitter about it.




    During that year's Tour of France, Peter won one of the final stages in Nanterre. It was still possible to back then but even that stage win could not add up for the disillusion at the Nats.



    In 1994 Peter De Clercq went for the Mountain classification at the Tour of France, at least wearing the jersey. He wore it for about a fortnight. In the show he made strong allegations that Richard Virenque wanted that jersey and offered him money for it which he claimed to have refused.
    Quote
    No, this jersey is now mine.
    This is of course not the first fixing allegation against Virenque.

    A funny story about that Polka Dot Jersey occurred during the TTT. This is a type of race that matters a lot to Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke who, himself, excelled at ITT's in his racing career but it seems like he too much saw himself in his riders and could not accept being last in TTT's. They were already dead last in that TTT, like they would be in 1995 in totally different circumstances. Actually for the first 30km, De Clercq refused to take turns. In the final 20km, there was a classified climb. De Clercq started increasing the tempo on the approach of the climb and in it he dropped all of his teammate to clock the best time of the climb !!! Vandenbroucke was furious.  :lol


    PS after preview: Print screening from Dailymotion makes pretty dark pictures. Sorry about that.
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  • « Last Edit: October 14, 2017, 13:12 by Echoes »

    Echoes

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    The show makes us understand that a lot of things changed in 1995. It raises a lot of questions since we know that EPO had been used in the peloton for around five years by that time and been generalised for about one or two seasons. So we might be wondering what accounts for the fact that Lotto riders by 1995 had to fight to keep up with the peloton while they so far could still do it and even win things. Was EPO even more widespread than the year before? Did EPO doper use even more of it? Other dope appeared (HGH, e.g.)? Other factors got into play such as diet or electrocardiography?

    Anyway, Rudi Verdonck speaks:

    Quote
    It was as though the whole winter I had lain down on my sofa, throughout the winter and still starting with the pros and this only to be dropped, which is normal. This is what we have experienced.

    Italian sport doctors changed the sport of cycling from folklore into science. The peloton seemed panicked. Supposedly a consequence of new food schemes and training with heart rate monitors.

    Verdonck says laughing that there was but one HRM in the team. Every day another rider could use it (that was said in the article I shared in the OP.

    At the same time, the show brings back old footage of Museeuw at Mapei putting an HRM on or sitting behind his laptop (a laptop in 1995, that was not affordable to anyone, mind you, certainly not here in Belgium).



    And then Rudi Verdonck went on to say:
    Quote
    I did not feel it but you did race constantly in the red[1]
     1. I've never known if the idiom "in the red" exists in English like in Dutch or in French but you do have a red zone on the graph on the picture, so I guess it's clear that it means "at the limit".

    As an illustration of that, Rudi Verdonck was already out of time limits at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He finished in a 19-man gruppetto 31'57" behind winner Gianetti. In that gruppetto were talented reputedly clean riders such as Edwig Van Hooydonck, Gilles Delion, Alvaro Mejia, Miguel Angel Arroyo  *mx or runner-up of the 1988 Michel Dernies (but also less reputable too.

    Dainis OZOLS (LAT) 31'57"
    Peter MEINERT-NIELSEN (DEN) 31'57"
    Zbigniew PIATEK (POL) 31'57"
    Roland MEIER (SUI) 31'57"
    Georg TOOTSCHNIG (AUT) 31'57"
    Dirk BALDINGER (GER) 31'57"
    Rudi VERDONCK (BEL) 31'57"
    Thomas DAVY (FRA) 31'57"
    Bo HAMBURGER (DEN) 31'57"
    Andrea PERON (ITA) 31'57"
    Laurent BROCHARD (FRA) 31'57"
    Jens ZEMKE (GER) 31'57"
    Gilles DELION (FRA) 31'57"
    Miguel Angel ARROYO ROSALES (MEX) 31'57"
    Lars Kristian JOHNSEN (NOR) 31'57"
    Alvaro MEJIA CASTRILLON (COL) 31'57"
    Rob MULDERS (NED) 31'57"
    Edwig VAN HOOYDONCK (BEL) 31'57"
    Michel DERNIES (BEL) 31'57" 


    Mario De Clercq said
    Quote
    In the end you got used to being among the last ones for many months. You started thinking: "May I not be dead last!"

    Then Herman Frison also admits
    Quote
    If you look at pictures of us at that time you'd notice that we were no lightweight. Actually we were not taken care of our food. We still had to eat carbohydrates. In our days it was still a steak and spaghetti in the morning. This was all removed.

    Peter De Clercq about the same issue:
    Quote
    So were croissants. We could not eat it. Jean-Luc stood up a quarter of an hour before and took all croissants away.

    (So I'll take it that this all happened in 1995.)

    I accidentally stumbled on some Youtube clips that are somehow related to this passage of the Belga Sport show



    This 1995 show says that
    Quote
    1995 would be the year of catching up. Catching up behind Italy. Italian riders are neither more talented nor have more mental strengths than the rest but they are better backed up. Over there riders have already trained with heart rate monitors for years. It costs money and demand a lot of investment but it delivers results. The rest of the peloton now seems to follow. 75% of it seem to ride with one but only most Belgians are lagging behind.

    Then you had an interview with Jo Planclaert (back then a young rider from small team Collstrop) saying he heard a story by Museeuw that he has to ride 20 minute in transfer pulse and doesn't know if it would be efficient for him. So he "stuck to the old methods which his father and uncles trained with, simply if you no longer can, you can no longer. If it's black before your eyes, it's over."

    Then you could see Museeuw before his laptop showing where he was "in the red".


    Not every team can afford such equipment. The opening campaign on the French Riviera cost 300,000 Belgian Franks (~€7500, quickly converted not taking into account the change in living standard since then), just for the stay.

    Willy Van der Eecken was the sport director of the small Asfra team: with Geert Van Bondt, Michel Zanoli and Tom Cordes as main riders. He said that for the moment he paid the opening campaign out of his own pocket for that moment, hoping that a new sponsor may come. "Every hobby cost money".

    Hobbyism still exists in the peloton says the commentator. Then you could see the modern buses of Mapei, comparable to those that all teams nowadays have, with three showers inside, fridge, oven and everything. 300,000 BF for Mapei is nothing.

    Then you have the "van" of the Asfra team. 5 to 6M BF budget (25 times less than Mapei). Half the six millions come from the sport director's pocket. The riders are paid minimum wages and the soigneurs are voluntary workers. They cannot be paid. They are true cycling lovers, says Van der Eecken. The other half of the budget comes from main sponsor Asfra which is the cycle factory that the late Frans Assez created. Frans Assez was a former rider himself in the seventies but the team had other bikes and other kits.

    Then Museeuw shamelessly admits:
    Quote
    Those guys don't know better. They don't know what luxury we are racing in in a big team.

    The gap between the big and small teams is even greater in cycling than in football (certainly even more so today) but says the commentator the richest teams don't always win. Cedico Ville de Charleroi, Asfra Racing Team or Rotan Spiessens - Hot Dog Louis can also podium but not on the Tours or at the Worlds for those races are reserved to the "computer teams".

    It ends with Museeuw saying that without that system you can also win if you have talent and fortitude but it's no longer working in modern cycling.



    A show by Mark Vanlombeek (Michel Wuyts' predecessor) at the Mapei 1995 Training session in Italy.

    28 riders at Mapei says Vanlombeek. The biggest team in the field. Nowadays because of the ProTour revolution, all top team have about 28 riders, I think.

    Belgian in the team are now convinced that training can no longer "without a scientific approach" ("een wetenschappelijke begeleiding"). The Italians started with it about "6 years ago" with Moser (brings us back to 1988/9 or so, interesting comment).

    Museeuw said that he formerly trained 30kmh for 6 hours. "Now with a computer and an HRM everything is more calculated. Before in such training session, he was one of the first to drop uphill and now he can easily keep up.

    Then is the graph on the laptop [picture above], is explained that Museeuw is in the "red" on top of climbs, in the yellow when he's riding in the lead, etc.


    Then was training less long but more intensive says Vanlombeek. That can have consequences for the long run. Doctor Van Mol says that the careers would be shorter because of the intensity of work that they are producing on a shorter period. Museeuw raced until age 39, I think.

    The intensity has to do with transfer pulse...

    (No time to go further though, so I'll just stop here. ;))






    Post Merge: November 04, 2017, 09:41
    Follow-up on the 1995 Mapei Winter Training Session

    Transfer pulse is explained by Mark Vanlombeek as the moment you pass from endurance to resistance and the moment you lack oxygen. Museeuw trained specifically on that that winter. That is why as opposed to previous years, he hopes he can play a role on the Poggio di Sanremo and, who knows, on the hills of Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Museeuw says that he trained hard that winter to ride strictly on transfer pulse. In previous years he realised that if he went beyond that, he simply exploded while now he can ride for 20'. The Poggio is certainly not that long, he says.

    My observation: I've often pointed towards the fact that the series of bunch sprints at Milan-Sanremo came in 1997 with Eric Zabel who would admit to EPO use ten years after. In this show we have a confirmation that up until 1994, Museeuw could not hope to play a role on the Poggio (though it was to be said he was third in 1992, still racing for Lotto while the two ahead Kelly and Argentin were quite suspicious at that time). Here we have the confirmation that in the mid-nineties there was a transition for Milan-Sanremo from a hard men's classic to a sprinters' classic. Within two years after that show, the bunch sprints started. Not only Museeuw could handle the Poggio but so could many others too. Incidently we can now also understand how he could then get World Champion on the heavy Lugano route (6km long Comano) and top10 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    I remember watching a similar show at that time on RTBF and Rodrigo Beenkens suggesting he might finally handle the Poggio. At that time it made me dream, of course and Beenkens added: "But don't believe Museeuw could be transformed into a climber. That would be too good to be true". Quite telling when you think of it in retrospect.
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  • « Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 09:41 by Echoes, Reason: Merged DoublePost »

    Echoes

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    During Stage 1 of that 1995 Tour of France (Dinan-Lannion), Rudi Verdonck was involved in a heavy crash, as though things were not already hard enough.
    His injury was scary. A cog-wheel hit his ankle through his shoe, with all the cog-wheel's oil on it, as well.


    The doctor advised him back home because he would not recover from it otherwise. Yet Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke compelled him to continue.
    Quote
    "You must with your will power ...", he said to me[1]. I did have a fickle nature but I need to step for half an hour in order to close my shoe. If I could turn back the clock ... Thereby I put my whole career in the sh*t. Much better straight to the car, the plane and back home. I did not do that. For Mister Vandenbroucke. Most stupid thing I've ever done in my life.
     1. Verdonck says those words in French to imitate Vandenbroucke

    Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke making amends:
    Quote
    Cyclists are out of the ordinary. They are above the norm. When I saw Rudi getting back with a few stitches on a raw wound... They are really amazing people.


    However one thing drew my attention. The show makers showed a press clipping of that time. In that article it was said that the Lotto team doctor back then who treat Rudi Verdonck's injury was no other than Geert Leinders!!



    Rudi Verdonck : Crash and Stitch

    Saint-Brieuc With a dozen kilometers to go the Italian sprinter Giuseppe Citterio knocked the asphalt, last Sunday. Our countryman Rudi Verdonck tumbled over him. Both managed to go on, not without grimacing.

    Verdonck reached the stage finish with a flesh wound at the ankle and a bruised achille tendon, hit by a cog-wheel. The Lotto team doctor Geert Leinders was forced to stitch the wound up.


    On no occasion has Geert Leinders' name been mentioned in the show but on this pictured press clipping. So everybody knows the story of Geert Leinders who started working the following year (1996) with Jan Raas' Rabobank and doped Rabobank riders such as most notably Michael Boogerd or Michael Rasmussen.



    On the thread dedicated to him L'arri asked which Lotto version he worked for. So answer is the 1995 version (and perhaps before?). So according to him, he previously worked for Sigma, Panasonic/Histor (so Peter Post). And then of course Rabobank and Sky before his lifetime ban by USADA in 2015.

    Interestingly enough, Sven Nys commented about Leinders: "In my 10 years at Rabobank he was always fair and honest and never recommended doping". http://velorooms.com/index.php?topic=1553.msg184451

    This post by DB-Coop is also interesting:
    Rasmussen has been generally positive[2] about Leinders when ever asked about him. He has many times stated that he feels bad that this is happening to him, but that he felt he needed to be completely honest. Also he has stated that Leinders was a good doctor, and that he very much was taking good care of his athletes, more than what you can say about all doping doctors, also it seems to me like he was more a adviser than an organizer. Does he deserve the ban, probably, but then so does a lot of people.
     2. no pun intended
    The topic I got most interested about is how Leinders had started doping riders at Rabobank by May 1996, if we believe the anonymous riders from that 1996 Rabobank team who was interviewed by Thijs Zonneveld for NRC

    The former Raas teams (Buckler, Novell, etc) were relatively clean. Sammie Moreels who also raced for Raas said it later in the show. Edwig Van Hooydonck said it famously. Frans Maassen was sarcastic about it. It lasted until spring 1996 when Van Hooydonck made his last attempt to win classics against EPO drug cheat. He retired on April 29 1996.
    Quote
    In May 1996 Jan Raas was fed up.  I do not know what Rabo said to him, or whether there were other influences from the outside, but the bottle was full. We were called together with many riders, let us say the best of the team. Raas was furious, as only he could be. He cursed and threw everything that was loose. He said, "The sponsor is dissatisfied, something has to be done." Raas pulled us on our ears and set us back against the wall.

    There, during this conversation, the word EPO was uttered for the first time. We are in May 1996. Team doctor Geert Leinders called thereafter everybody one by one in the room and explained us what EPO was, what hematocrite was, what the dangers were, the advantages and the side effects. What you shouldn't do and what you should do. And from whom he knew they used it at other teams? A nice sales argument because it triggered anger to most of us. We realised after all that until that moment we had been riding clean against "prepared" riders who ridiculed us. Leinders did not find it dope, 'because it was not positive"

    At the 1996 Tour of France several Rabobank riders took EPO for the first time. But then again, with moderation; rather too few than too much. A former rider said that he agreed with Leinders to be injected EPO microdoses. Against possible blood clotting, he is given the blood thinner Asaflow.

    Beside EPO, the riders also had DHEA (Testosteron).

    Leinders justified himself:
    Quote
    I worked in the nineties when there was a problem with an undetectable substance. I did not cause it, you know but I was there back then and so it's part of my past.

    ----------

    So what to think? Either the whole show is fundamentally based on lies and those Lotto riders did take EPO with the help of Leinders like everybody else and could not keep up  out of "normal reasons" (they did not train enough, they were badly equipped with but one HRM, bad diet etc?) or else Leinders cared for them without resorting to doping (at least not EPO nor testosteron nor related dope) and did what he was expected of a team doctor (treat injuries, give advice on training method, legal substances, etc).

    But it raises other questions: if Leinders did not dope Lotto riders, then why? (certainly if it's true that he didn't find it dope because it was undetectable) Because he didn't know how to correctly use it yet? Because Lotto bosses prohibited it (The National Lottery is the State after all)? And who are the people who informed him about its use in order team as the anonymous 1996 Rabobank rider said? A Lotto rider/staff member?


    Anyway this does not alter the fact that Rudi Verdonck was amazingly brave for making it all the way to La Plagne against EPO drugcheats with a stitched ankle. It's true that he was an amazing rider. :cool
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  • DB-Coop

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    But it raises other questions: if Leinders did not dope Lotto riders, then why? (certainly if it's true that he didn't find it dope because it was undetectable) Because he didn't know how to correctly use it yet? Because Lotto bosses prohibited it (The National Lottery is the State after all)? And who are the people who informed him about its use in order team as the anonymous 1996 Rabobank rider said? A Lotto rider/staff member?


    Anyway this does not alter the fact that Rudi Verdonck was amazingly brave for making it all the way to La Plagne against EPO drugcheats with a stitched ankle. It's true that he was an amazing rider. :cool

    Personally one of the more interesting questions for me sorounding EPO, has always been when and how it entered the peloton, and how usage developed up until the Armstrong years (Sorry for the very TdF-centric naming of the period, maybe it could be the EPO-test era instead. Anyways from my "research" I would think a division into three categories is possible.

    Late 1980's to 1991/1992 - The early years, EPO use is not common, and the usage is inefficient as the right way of administrating and using the drug has not yet been perfected. The cheaters gain an advantage, but not as big to be very noticeable allways.
    1992/1993 to 1996 - The proper way to use EPO is found and it slowly makes it way through the peloton. As it does so results like the once at the 1995 La Flèche Wallonne happens, stuff happens that looks odd.
    1997-1999 Doping is so widespread that the best riders on dope win, it is so widespread that the peloton begins to become normallized and less crazy things happen, only now everybody is on the juice.

    I would really love to know the complete route of EPO into the peloton, who had it, how did it spread, it is all very interesting. Lets hope some days someone from the Ferrara Institute writes a book.
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  • Echoes

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    Personally one of the more interesting questions for me sorounding EPO, has always been when and how it entered the peloton, and how usage developed [snipped for length, at the right moment :P ;)]

    This is an interesting question Coop because the show that I wished to present here sort of challenged my beliefs in this respect. As I said up until 1994, these Lotto riders could still more or less perform at the highest level (rather less than more but they still do). Peter De Clercq's polka dot jersey (which he wore for 17 days) is evidence for that. In 1995 all of a sudden, they could not even keep up with the peloton. Most certainly EPO entered the peloton well before 1995 but something had changed in 1995. That's why I asked on my post of 28 Octobre really changed. Did EPO significantly get more widespread? Did dopers use it a lot more up to a 60% hematocrit? Did other dope come into play (such as growth hormone for instance? Or were there other factors coming into play such as modern training with heart rate monitors for instance?


    Personally I've always situated the introduction of EPO into the peloton somewhere around 1990. Italians knew the proper way to use it while there were probably problems in the Netherlands (around the PDM team). Perhaps it was first in use earlier but I see very few performances up until 1989 that could be ascribed on EPO. We know that PDM riders transfused up until that point. In 1990, rather untalented Italian riders such as Claudio Chiappucci or Franco Ballerini all of a sudden could make blasting performances at age 26 while Gianni Bugno who was a talent when he turned pro, had been stagnating before being World #1 in 1990. I've always thought that it got every year more widespread up until 1996 when the last clean riders retired and the last year before the UCI implemented their first blood test, which changed a lot of things. From then on dopers would only dope up until 50% hematocrit, that could give chances to clean riders (at lower level though) and at the same time the major races became more and more formulaic because with such controls cheaters doped to be equally as strong.

    That is just my opinion, up to criticism.  ;)
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  • Echoes

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    About the Tour of France 1995:

    Mario De Clercq:
    Quote
    I think I was the last man to get selected in the team but on one condition. I sure had to finish. This I've never forgotten. I said to myself "But, Jean-Luc, come on. You do know that this is unlikely to happen"

    Marc Sergeant about Stage 1 (Dinan to Lannion):
    Quote
    There was a bonus sprint on that stage which counted for the point classification. I remember I was having a look at my odometer. 60kmh, 62kmh! Pfew! [he's making a sigh in awe]. At that moment you could no longer move up a position in the peloton, that was no longer possible and ahead of you you had a 100-man line as you were 100th or so. And then in front they even started to sprint for that sprint. Then you had the feeling like, pfew that's really going very fast now.

    Then came the 1995 footage of Peter De Clercq crossing the line (picture in the second post of this thread) and he says (post-race interview of that time):
    Quote
    I look five years older today. Bad, bad, bad!



    Then in the TTT, Marc Sergeant was not good (and has no explanation for it) and would not start the next day. The team was dead last just like a year before (in totally different circumstances). Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke said something he often said:
    Quote
    That evening, I gathered my riders together. I scolded them. I scolded them.
    Herman Frison:
    Quote
    You could never be dead last with Jean-Luc. This is something he could not stand. I found his criticism, a bit over the top. You are here dealing with human beings, the Tour of France still has to kick off and it's the idea that you should keep everybody strong.

    Peter De Clercq:
    Quote
    While we gave everything we had, that day. And still dead last. We also started with ITT-bikes and everything.

    The infamous Italian Gewiss team with riders such as Berzin or Riis won the TTT with an almost 6' lead ahead of Lotto.

    In the next stage Alençon-Le Havre, Wilfried Nelissen, the only chance to success crashes in the approach of the sprint and had to abandon the following day. Sammie Moreels was the leadout man for him and initiated the crash himself:
    Quote
    In the roadbook it's not mentioned that right before that traffic circle there was a serious descent and we were really racing at, I think, 70kmh. The fact I was first to crash, I felt very bad. I know that Sergeant also came to me and told me, you shouldn't worry. It's a crash, there's nothing to do about it. Very few riders in our team could still ride in the lead at that moment. Nobody actually. I was alone.

    In an archive interview of Wilfried Nelissen, the latter also said it was not Sammie's fault. Nobody could know that there was a traffic circle right after a descent that you needed to negotiate at 70kmh.

    The passage through Belgium is for Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke a state matter. All sponsors of the team are there and signs of defeat should be avoided but a former Lotto riders steals the show. The Charleroi-Liège stage (with at least the Mount Theux, as I remember) showed Indurain attacking with Bruyneel sucking his wheel all day long and eventually outsprinting him. 42.257kmh on such a route already impressed Mark Vanlombeek during the live coverage.

    Peter De Clercq summed it up nicely:
    Quote
    It was just pinning your dossard on and waiting for the moment you were dropped

    Herman Frison:
    Quote
    The highest average speed that I rode was the stage to Liège. [...] In the midst of the peloton, it was one line, ONE LINE. You simply couldn't do anything. You could not move up a single place. Just nothing other than simply at full speed, full speed, staying in the wheels and follow!



    Peter De Clercq:
    Quote
    It was simply hanging on from start to finish. Well at the finish you are no longer along, so at the start, hanging on and when the real finale starts, you are out. I was used to contributing to "make" the race. That was really also my key point and then those guys come to defeat you on your terrain while, so to speak, you would formerly "push" them.

    Mario De Clercq:
    Quote
    We were all simply in the wrong team. I think that Sammie was just equally as good as Bruyneel. I am 100% convinced of it.

    My comment: "Wrong team" seems like an implicit admition by Mario. "Wrong team" result-wise but morality-wise?

    Mario again:
    Quote
    That was one of the stages in which I really suffered the most, in my whole career, yeah.

    Herman Frison:
    Quote
    I have never raced as fast as in that stage and also never suffered so much, in order to just follow, just follow. That is when I asked the question: Is this still normal?

    Mario De Clercq:
    Quote
    When you are lying down there in the evening and you are taking your pulse, you know it all ... Sometimes you are just glad to wake up the next day in the Tour of France. Yeah that was the way it was.

    Rudi Verdonck:
    Quote
    I don't know which kerosene those guys were racing on but it was a bit abnormal in those days, you know.

    Peter De Clercq:
    Quote
    But we always told Jean-Luc and Jef: "It's not normal. It's not normal. There is something going on."

    Marc Sergeant:
    Quote
    But I think Jean-Luc was rather naive with this and said something like that's not the case, you simply don't train enough. This guy does a lot more for it. That guy does a lot more for it, etc.

    Rudi Verdonck:
    Quote
    I am almost 200% sure that Jean-Luc knew full well what was going on.

    Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke:
    Quote
    I was in my bubble but I didn't see this phenomenon coming on the medical level, I didn't see it coming. However never did any rider come and see me to say: "Jean-Luc, there's something going on in the peloton."

    My comment: Who is lying? Anybody to believe Vandenbroucke?

    Roger De Maerterlaere (the journalist):
    Quote
    What should you do? You cannot win a stage! You cannot mix it up with ... the EPO boys!

    Marc Sergeant:
    Quote
    And that it [EPO] did something, that has been proven. You've always had people who were more talented than others but then there was a wave of everybody precisely is getting better and in the years which we are now talking about, yeah, I think that back then a great part of the peloton raced with it.

    Peter De Clercq:
    Quote
    Simply after the finish I saw two doctors of other teams who congratulated each other and we as Lotto had nobody with us. [laughing sarcastically]

    Mario De Clercq:
    Quote
    We thought a lot about it and talked a lot about it but then within the rooms because we also had to consider that riders from other teams who did perform were also friends of ours.


    ---------

    Next up the review of this weird stage Le Grand Bornand - La Plagne that they named "De col te veel" [The Mountain Pass Too Many"] and highlights of the end of the show.


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