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Les Earnest article re: USAC

 

   


ericM40-44

Feb 25, 13 17:46

Post #1 of 14 (807 views)
Les Earnest article re: USAC Quote | Reply

searched for this but didn't see it anywhere here, except this tangential thread: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...s%20earnest;#3218523

http://www.stanford.edu/~learnest/cyclops/dopestrong.htm

wonder how much more will happen in cleaning up cycling in the US.


echappist

Feb 25, 13 22:02

Post #2 of 14 (758 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [ericM35-39] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

ericM35-39 wrote:
searched for this but didn't see it anywhere here, except this tangential thread: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...s%20earnest;#3218523

http://www.stanford.edu/~learnest/cyclops/dopestrong.htm

wonder how much more will happen in cleaning up cycling in the US.

did a quick glance. what a fascinating read. i mean, this guy is a true renaissance man.

re: Weisel and Ochs, i think there will be more sordid stuff that come out. What amazes me is that Ochs has been pretty much Teflon up to now...


nslckevin

Feb 26, 13 5:08

Post #3 of 14 (718 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [ericM35-39] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I don't have anything to say about the content of his article, mainly because I didn't bother to read it, but let me relate a short story about Les Earnst that to me sums him up.

I've been racing in Nor Cal since 1985. Back then Les was the chief ref at a lot of local races. He was also on the USCF board at the time. Between the 1985 and 1986 season, largely due to Les the USCF created a new rule that required hard shell helmets that met the appropriate Snell and/or ANSI standards. There was of course a lot of pissing and moaning by the racers about the horrors of hard shell helmets. One prominent local pro even wore a Bell "Baby Bell" kids helmet with a milk bottle nipple glued on top.

Anyway, it was during that year, 1986 that the first Giro helmet came on the market. If you weren't cycling then, the first Giro was different in that it was just a styrofoam helmet with a lycra helmet cover. There is a picture of one here. That summer a lot of riders decided to take the lycra cover off so stay cooler. After a bit it was pointed out that the lycra cover was part of the protection and was required to meet the appropriate standards. In other words, you had to have a lycra cover on to legally race. Also at the time, people started making custom covers for their cycling teams and clubs.

Okay, now to the meat of the story. At the Palo Alto crit in early September of 1986, at the very end of the first season requiring hardshell helmets and many months after the Giro appeared on the market, our hero Les was the chief ref. I was rocking the Bell V1 Pro, but Les approached a guy on the Davis Bike Club team who was wearing a Giro with a DBC lycra cover. He started prodding around the helmet and didn't like what he saw. I figured he was going to be a hard ass and complain that he didn't have the original Giro lycra cover on his helmet. No, Les' comment was "There's no hard shell". He had to be convinced that this was a legal helmet! This, the guy who wrote the rules and the helmet having been on the market for at least six months and worn by anybody who could afford to get one.

Kevin


ericM40-44

Feb 26, 13 8:17

Post #4 of 14 (680 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

interesting... I guess it's hard to please everybody. You really have to involve business and riders when doing any major reforms I think.


monty

Feb 26, 13 8:36

Post #5 of 14 (667 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I remember those helmets, and even was sponsored by them for a couple years. And the reason you could not wear it without the cover was they discovered that if you hit the ground with it, the road would grip the foam material and hold on, instead of sliding. SO your chances of breaking your neck went way up. The helmet is supposed to slide in a crash so as not to tweek your neck. I'm guessing here that eventually they figured out that even with the cover on, they did not slide nearly as well as a hard shell.

So in essence he was right, it was not hard shell but they were legal for a time..


ericM40-44

Feb 26, 13 9:39

Post #6 of 14 (624 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Monty,

it seems from the article that Les is/was/imagines himself as a Dan Empfield reformer type (but without the savvy or relationship skills - my impression). Les is saying that USAC has been dirty from the beginning, and many of the people who built their successes off of the doping at the 1984 Games are still around today.

I know your orbit was a bit different as a pro triathlete, but any insight to add to the time period?

This perspective to me makes me see Armstrong in a more sympathetic light... he was the horse that came along that all of the "adults" rode to success. Reminds me of AAU, amateur athletics in the USA in general, the NCAA, etc.

Seems like dirty old white men have been mucking around in sports since Greek times. Power politics... the original / ultimate sport.

thx,
Eric


(This post was edited by ericM35-39 on Feb 26, 13 9:41)


jackmott

Feb 26, 13 9:43

Post #7 of 14 (618 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

THE HORROR


nslckevin wrote:
I don't have anything to say about the content of his article, mainly because I didn't bother to read it, but let me relate a short story about Les Earnst that to me sums him up.

I've been racing in Nor Cal since 1985. Back then Les was the chief ref at a lot of local races. He was also on the USCF board at the time. Between the 1985 and 1986 season, largely due to Les the USCF created a new rule that required hard shell helmets that met the appropriate Snell and/or ANSI standards. There was of course a lot of pissing and moaning by the racers about the horrors of hard shell helmets. One prominent local pro even wore a Bell "Baby Bell" kids helmet with a milk bottle nipple glued on top.

Anyway, it was during that year, 1986 that the first Giro helmet came on the market. If you weren't cycling then, the first Giro was different in that it was just a styrofoam helmet with a lycra helmet cover. There is a picture of one here. That summer a lot of riders decided to take the lycra cover off so stay cooler. After a bit it was pointed out that the lycra cover was part of the protection and was required to meet the appropriate standards. In other words, you had to have a lycra cover on to legally race. Also at the time, people started making custom covers for their cycling teams and clubs.

Okay, now to the meat of the story. At the Palo Alto crit in early September of 1986, at the very end of the first season requiring hardshell helmets and many months after the Giro appeared on the market, our hero Les was the chief ref. I was rocking the Bell V1 Pro, but Les approached a guy on the Davis Bike Club team who was wearing a Giro with a DBC lycra cover. He started prodding around the helmet and didn't like what he saw. I figured he was going to be a hard ass and complain that he didn't have the original Giro lycra cover on his helmet. No, Les' comment was "There's no hard shell". He had to be convinced that this was a legal helmet! This, the guy who wrote the rules and the helmet having been on the market for at least six months and worn by anybody who could afford to get one.



Race Report on a perfect team effort from the new Cat 3 Texas State Champion
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter


nslckevin

Feb 26, 13 10:05

Post #8 of 14 (605 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [jackmott] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jackmott wrote:
THE HORROR

My point is that I've seen the guy in action for almost 30 years and he has never impressed me in any way. In fact, generally quite the opposite.

Kevin


jackmott

Feb 26, 13 10:07

Post #9 of 14 (599 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If you bother to read the article it would be interesting to hear your take on your memory of him vs what is presented in the article.

nslckevin wrote:
jackmott wrote:
THE HORROR

My point is that I've seen the guy in action for almost 30 years and he has never impressed me in any way. In fact, generally quite the opposite.



Race Report on a perfect team effort from the new Cat 3 Texas State Champion
Aeroweenie.com -Compendium of Aero Data and Knowledge
Freelance sports & outdoors writer Kathryn Hunter


Titanflexr

Feb 26, 13 10:22

Post #10 of 14 (580 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [monty] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

monty wrote:
I remember those helmets, and even was sponsored by them for a couple years. And the reason you could not wear it without the cover was they discovered that if you hit the ground with it, the road would grip the foam material and hold on, instead of sliding. SO your chances of breaking your neck went way up. The helmet is supposed to slide in a crash so as not to tweek your neck. I'm guessing here that eventually they figured out that even with the cover on, they did not slide nearly as well as a hard shell.

So in essence he was right, it was not hard shell but they were legal for a time..

Those original Giros also wouldn't pass the ANSI test (this is pre-CPSC stickers) without the cover. Unlike many of today's helmets, they had no internal skeleton; the cover was to keep the chunks of styrofoam from scattering on impact.



__________________________________________________
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.


nslckevin

Feb 26, 13 16:56

Post #11 of 14 (529 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [jackmott] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

jackmott wrote:
If you bother to read the article it would be interesting to hear your take on your memory of him vs what is presented in the article.

nslckevin wrote:
jackmott wrote:
THE HORROR


My point is that I've seen the guy in action for almost 30 years and he has never impressed me in any way. In fact, generally quite the opposite.

I read some of it. As much as I could at least. I'll make a couple of specific comments.

1. I have raced for Thom Weisel's masters team in one form or another almost continuously since 1995. I've of course met him, rode with him as part of a team ride several times and been to his house for team party's on a few occasions. Mostly in the late 90's. It was at one of his party's that Eddy B felt up my wife's ass... Having said that I don't really know Thom as we travel in slightly different circles.

2. I also know Steve Johnson. I have raced with him as a team mate. As a master's racer he had some good elite level results and won a number masters national championships and even a world road title in St. Johan in Tirol, Austria. I like Steve Johnson. I don't really have any clue as to what is going on in USAC, but I tend to believe Steve more than Les. Steve has actually raced. He used to teach exercise physiology at a University in Utah. Not sure which one though.

As much as some people hate the Weisel-Johnson-Ochowitz "cabal", it is through their efforts and groups like the Champions Club that USAC has a house in Holland for developing racers. (It used to be in Belgium, but they just moved to a new one near Mastrict.) People give a lot of crap about the idea a bunch of rich men pretending to be bike racers in the "Champions Club", but these people all donated $100k minimum to be in that club and that is where a lot of the USAC development money comes from. I have met a few of them. One of whom isn't world champion only because the guy who beat him got popped for testosterone. Unfortunately due to the beaurocracy, the UCI he didn't get the jersey, they left it vacant.

In my opinion, it is pretty safe to say that there would not be a house in Holland that is staffed and equiped for developing riders to get a taste of racing in Europe without the USACDF and the champions club. Riders like Taylor Phinney, TJ Vangarderen, Andrew Talansky, etc., etc., etc. have gone through this program, stayed at that house and been to races that were funded at least in part by the USAC Development Foundation.

I don't see the level of developing talent that we have in the US actually happening if USAC was run by Les.

I have no idea who knew what, when or where about Armstrong and company's doping. It is possibly that they all knew or that none knew. I don't know.

Kevin


AmaDablam

Feb 26, 13 17:21

Post #12 of 14 (517 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

nslckevin wrote:
I don't see the level of developing talent that we have in the US actually happening if USAC was run by Les.

Maybe he would concentrate on the grass roots rather than a handful of elite riders. He might also spend less time trying to figure out a way to destroy independent associations.


ericM40-44

Feb 26, 13 18:05

Post #13 of 14 (490 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [AmaDablam] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

which is probably why Johnson's predecessor was fired: http://velonews.competitor.com/...a-speaks-part-1_9712

it's like there were two camps... one camp wanted to win in Europe at all costs. They knew what it took to win and made it happen, probably thinking there would be a boon of $$ coming in.

Things are getting dirtier and dirtier.... I opined a while back, mostly jokingly, that the whole thing was a WWF style scam from the start... totally scripted. The Weisel-Verbruggen connection and then Nike, Trek, Oakley et al. on board from the get go and then the whole USAC thing. Now I'm not so sure.




AmaDablam wrote:
nslckevin wrote:

I don't see the level of developing talent that we have in the US actually happening if USAC was run by Les.


Maybe he would concentrate on the grass roots rather than a handful of elite riders. He might also spend less time trying to figure out a way to destroy independent associations.


echappist

Feb 26, 13 18:17

Post #14 of 14 (486 views)
Re: Les Earnest article re: USAC [nslckevin] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

nslckevin wrote:
jackmott wrote:
If you bother to read the article it would be interesting to hear your take on your memory of him vs what is presented in the article.


nslckevin wrote:
jackmott wrote:
THE HORROR



My point is that I've seen the guy in action for almost 30 years and he has never impressed me in any way. In fact, generally quite the opposite.


I read some of it. As much as I could at least. I'll make a couple of specific comments.

1. I have raced for Thom Weisel's masters team in one form or another almost continuously since 1995. I've of course met him, rode with him as part of a team ride several times and been to his house for team party's on a few occasions. Mostly in the late 90's. It was at one of his party's that Eddy B felt up my wife's ass... Having said that I don't really know Thom as we travel in slightly different circles.

2. I also know Steve Johnson. I have raced with him as a team mate. As a master's racer he had some good elite level results and won a number masters national championships and even a world road title in St. Johan in Tirol, Austria. I like Steve Johnson. I don't really have any clue as to what is going on in USAC, but I tend to believe Steve more than Les. Steve has actually raced. He used to teach exercise physiology at a University in Utah. Not sure which one though.

As much as some people hate the Weisel-Johnson-Ochowitz "cabal", it is through their efforts and groups like the Champions Club that USAC has a house in Holland for developing racers. (It used to be in Belgium, but they just moved to a new one near Mastrict.) People give a lot of crap about the idea a bunch of rich men pretending to be bike racers in the "Champions Club", but these people all donated $100k minimum to be in that club and that is where a lot of the USAC development money comes from. I have met a few of them. One of whom isn't world champion only because the guy who beat him got popped for testosterone. Unfortunately due to the beaurocracy, the UCI he didn't get the jersey, they left it vacant.

In my opinion, it is pretty safe to say that there would not be a house in Holland that is staffed and equiped for developing riders to get a taste of racing in Europe without the USACDF and the champions club. Riders like Taylor Phinney, TJ Vangarderen, Andrew Talansky, etc., etc., etc. have gone through this program, stayed at that house and been to races that were funded at least in part by the USAC Development Foundation.


I don't see the level of developing talent that we have in the US actually happening if USAC was run by Les.

I have no idea who knew what, when or where about Armstrong and company's doping. It is possibly that they all knew or that none knew. I don't know.

I'll start by saying that I really respect you as a rider and as a poster on this forum and on Wattage, and I was happy to have heard you done so well despite the fact that a good friend of mine often compete against you. I've learned much from your posts and I appreciate that a rider of your caliber takes the time to answer of schmoes like myself. That said, I respectfully disagree with your assertion.

swap the house in Mastricht with the word "Livestrong Foundation" and the list of riders with "cancer survivors," and you now have the same sort of argument that fanboys made in their defense of Armstrong. In other words, these accomplishments are not mutually exclusive with the mismanagement and wrongs that were done under the auspice of Weisel et al.

Sure, what they did for the young riders is great, but that doesn't exculpate them from other things for which they are accused.

Conversely, you may indeed be correct in viewing Les Earnest as someone with whom you have considerable differences and someone you hold in low regard, but that doesn't mean that the points he make are incorrect. Many people are chafed by Lemond's action and lack of PR finesse, but that does not mean that we should discount his criticism of Armstrong because of that. Ditto for even more flawed characters such as Landis and Hamilton.

(This post was edited by echappist on Feb 26, 13 18:18)

   
 
 
 



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