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Drummer Boy

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Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
« on: May 19, 2018, 19:57 »
Strangely, this story doesn't seem to have been updated by much of the cycling media, and this Wall Street Journal article is apparently behind a paywall for many. But I'll include the important parts in posts below.

A Feud—Then the Summer’s Craziest Bike Race

Quote
After a disputed book passage about ‘motor doping,’ American cyclist Phil Gaimon agrees to a showdown with retired legend Fabian Cancellara.


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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 20:00 »
    By Jason Gay at Jason.Gay@wsj.com
    May 17, 2018

    Quote
    Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland—a.k.a. “Spartacus”—is considered one of the greatest professional cyclists ever, a multiple world champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist who captured eight Tour de France stages and took brilliant victories in one-day races like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

    Phil Gaimon, meanwhile, is an ex-American pro who spent two seasons at the elite World Tour level, and whose biggest victory may have been at the opening stage of the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in 2014.

    In fact, Gaimon—a cookie obsessive who has spent much of this week running around in a bright blue Cookie Monster hat, handing out cookies to passing pros in the Tour of California—is probably better known for his impish social media humor and books about cycling’s itinerant life, including one called “Pro Cycling on $10 a Day.”

    But on July 1, in Aigle, Switzerland—just days before the opening of the Tour de France—Cancellara and Gaimon, two retired cyclists of vastly different trajectories, will square off in a duel that is one of the more unexpected and amusing cycling contests in recent memory.

    I’ll ask the question for you: Why?

    It goes back to the publication of Gaimon’s 2017 book, “Draft Animals: Living the Pro Cycling Dream (Once in a While)” which covered his time riding with teams like Garmin -Sharp, the U.S.-based World Tour outfit. Sort of a “Ball Four” for cycling, “Draft Animals” was full of observations about cycling’s less glamorous side—and it included a brief, sharp-elbowed reference to a old rumor, vigorously denied by Cancellara, that the Swiss champ had used a hidden motor in his bicycle at races.

    Gaimon’s dig riled Cancellara, who has long maintained his innocence against any claims of “motor doping.” There were reports of potential legal action and suggestions that “Draft Animals” could be pulled from shelves—though neither event took place.

    “It wasn’t nice,” Cancellara said in an interview the other day.

    Gaimon, meanwhile, found himself barraged by angry emails from cycling fans, and even a couple of death threats, he said.

    “Honestly, it was one of the worst weeks of my life,” Gaimon said.

    Now the two men, who have never formally met, are turning the tense back-and-forth over Gaimon’s book into a good-natured competition.

    Both sides confirmed that Gaimon will join Cancellara at one of the latter’s “Chasing Cancellara” rides in his home country, and, at some point—it looks like it will be a 7-kilometer, 5.2-percent climb to the Col du Pillon—the two will go mano-a-mano.
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  • « Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 20:16 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 20:02 »
    Quote
    It was Cancellara who initiated the challenge, using Twitter last fall to invite Gaimon to come to a “Chasing Cancellara” event, which are open to the public.

    “Start training!” Cancellara wrote, adding the hashtag: #nomotorneeded.

    Gaimon, who is based in Los Angeles, wasn’t sure at first what to make of Cancellara’s challenge.

    “Every day, I was getting messages: ‘Phil, are you going to race Cancellara?’’’ he said. “At which point, I was like, ‘OK, I’ll do it.’’’

    The showdown is another odd post-career twist for Gaimon, a 32-year-old who has been an unabashed critic of cycling’s infamous doping culture and its enablers. During his racing career, Gaimon went so far as to get an arm tattoo of a bar of soap inscribed with the word “CLEAN.”

    Since leaving the sport in 2016—the same year Cancellara captured a gold medal in the men’s time trial at the Summer Olympics in Rio—Gaimon embarked on a video series called “Worst Retirement Ever,” in which he travels and takes on cycling challenges. Gaimon’s skill is climbing, and for a while, he was preoccupied with breaking climbing time records set by alleged dopers.

    Gaimon’s post-racing career has been a surprising success. With his travels and exploits supported by sponsors, he said he makes more money now than he ever did racing full-time.

    The July 1 battle with Cancellara is likely to be a social media moment for cycling fans in the U.S. and Europe. Gaimon chose the anti-hunger charity No Kid Hungry as the beneficiary of his efforts; Cancellara will be riding for the Laureus Sport for Good foundation. Details are still being fleshed out—the two riders have not communicated directly—but Gaimon told me “it’s happening…I bought the plane ticket.”

    “I don’t even know if [Cancellara] knows I’m a climber, because I was so irrelevant in the races he was doing,” Gaimon said. Still, he admitted: “I think I’m the underdog.”

    Cancellara, for his part, sounded ready to make the best of what began as an adversarial situation.

    “We can create a nice story for the cycling world,” Cancellara said. “We’re gonna sweat, we’re gonna laugh.”

    “This is what I want, and in the end, Phil wants,” the Man They Call Spartacus said. “We’re going to have some fun.”

     :D

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  • « Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 21:37 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 20:24 »
    I'm encouraged by this whole thing, because it started off quite contentious between the two of them but has transformed into something quite entertaining and ultimately positive for everyone involved.







    The above video, while a little bit long, is fun. The second half of it is Phil as he was composing and sending tweets to Fabs. 
    :D
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  • « Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 21:38 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 21:09 »
    I don't even understand Twitter anymore. They've changed some of their search functions, and altered a lot of the chronological ordering of things, which makes it extra difficult to track down specific tweets. But here's some light-hearted background on some of the unfolding narrative as best as I can assemble here.


    https://twitter.com/f_cancellara/status/931557302657798145


    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/931568971093917696


    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/987251138536886272


    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/989702604836847616


    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/995412567085363200



    [If Tweets don't appear in full, scroll to the top of the page and hold down the Shift key while reloading.]
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  • « Last Edit: May 19, 2018, 23:13 by Drummer Boy »

    Drummer Boy

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    L'arri

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #6 on: May 29, 2018, 12:04 »
    I suppose it's a bit silly of me to write this when much of the pro sport is such a circus unto itself but I find it utterly impossible to appreciate Gaimon's sense of humour, at least in terms of the self-serving pantomime he is currently scribbling. I always enjoyed his accessibility and his frankness but I struggle to reconcile those valuable assets with this sort of stuff. I guess I'm not his target audience.
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    M Gee

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 04:14 »
    I suppose it's a bit silly of me to write this when much of the pro sport is such a circus unto itself but I find it utterly impossible to appreciate Gaimon's sense of humour, at least in terms of the self-serving pantomime he is currently scribbling. I always enjoyed his accessibility and his frankness but I struggle to reconcile those valuable assets with this sort of stuff. I guess I'm not his target audience.

    I often find Gaimon's humor to be - well - not humorous. More like "what?".

    Still, I'm looking forward to Phil vs Fabian. When does it actually happen? I thot they had scheduled this, but I haven't heard anything in ages.
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  • Eeyore sez . . .

    Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #8 on: June 30, 2018, 00:02 »
    I've been too busy to keep up with this and follow along closely enough, but it's upon us...

    https://twitter.com/GranFondoGuide/status/1010628856196321281


    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/1010671042400940032


    https://twitter.com/cyclingtips/status/1012361102678605824

    Quote
    Here are the basics. The fourth edition of Chasing Cancellara is a 90km ride that has a total of 2.700 metres (8900 feet) of climbing. I was extremely amused to learn that given the origin of this duel, the event begins in the Swiss town of Aigle, where the UCI’s headquarters are located.

    But Gaimon and Cancellara are not contesting this short, hilly fondo like a point-to-point bike race. Instead they will cruise the course together and then go mano a mano on a single ascent: the Col du Pillon, a 6.9km climb with a grade that averages 5.2 percent. A quick check of Strava reveals that all the top times were set during Stage 5 of this year’s Tour de Suisse, where a bunch of current pros got up the climb in a little over 14 minutes.
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  • « Last Edit: June 30, 2018, 00:15 by Drummer Boy »

    M Gee

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #9 on: June 30, 2018, 02:39 »
    Speaking of quotes, this from Cancellara, via Cycling Tips:

    Quote
    “Hollywood is all about telling stories. This will be a story,” he says, before offering a 12-word summary of the upcoming fondo battle. “I will eat Phil Gaimon’s cookies, and he will do my ride.”
    --Cycling Tips

     :lol :lol :lol :lol

    Tell me them ain't fightin' words. I dare ya.

    Actually, Canc comes off as quite the gentleman. Which was always the impression I had of him during his career - polite, considerate, and positive.
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #10 on: July 02, 2018, 03:44 »
    And the winner is...

    https://twitter.com/philgaimon/status/1013522141541752833





    Quote
    Around the midpoint of the climb, the road flattened out for a kilometer or so, and Gaimon says that Cancellara came around him and got in the drops. “That was a funny moment for me,” Gaimon says. “I felt like a fanboy for a minute. It was just like riding with the guy I’ve seen on TV, looking like there’s some sh*t about to go down.”

    Quote
    Looking back on the whole odd episode, Gaimon says he’s happy at how things turned out. He reached his goal of raising $20,000 for charity. He won the climb. And he has video of Fabian Cancellara eating a cookie that he brought to Switzerland.

    Quote
    Gaimon says his team will hustle to produce the footage they shot on Sunday and publish it within a day or two. “I think people who watch it will be entertained,” he says. “it was like a pay-per-view fight that no one took too seriously.”
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  • usedtobefast

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #11 on: July 02, 2018, 21:01 »
    It worked out well for everyone it seems. :D
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #12 on: July 08, 2018, 13:40 »
    Not that many will care in the midst of the Tour, but here's the video of the challenge. The footage is narrated by Phil, and the camera work was actually done by Nathan Haas who agreed to mount a camera on his bike and follow behind.
     :)

    There's a good bit @8:50 where Phil is affectionally reflecting on the reality of riding with Fabian, and all the memories and images that such an event conjures up for him. Good stuff.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Showdown: Cancellara vs Gaimon
    « Reply #13 on: July 09, 2018, 08:55 »
    Not that many will care in the midst of the Tour, but here's the video of the challenge.
    The Tour? What Tour? Sibiu is finished, and now there's only the Giro Rosa on! ;)
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