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Jens Voigt on the future of US Cycling
Last Post 06/04/2013 08:25 PM by Elle S.. 14 Replies.
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madvax

Posts:50

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06/01/2013 10:46 PM
With much of the recent discussions focusing on the Dark Side, it's nice to read a positive take on the sport. Here is a link to an article in Bicycling with Jens Voigt take on the future of US cycling:
http://bicycling.com/blogs/hardlyse...s-cycling/
jmdirt

Posts:707

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06/02/2013 11:08 AM
I can't get the vomit emoto to work...
Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/03/2013 07:38 AM

Go big dude!
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
jrt1045

Posts:361

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06/03/2013 08:35 AM
Amgen unleashed EPO on us right? there is also the Thom Weasel connection

I will disagree with Jens

Went to Philly and the TSEpic this past week and discovered something. The "pro" road scene in the US is dying and unsanctioned endurance events are on a massive growth curve

The level of support offered by the typical domestic "pro" team is a 15 passenger van and a folding chair in the sun on a hot/humid day. Inventory control of team resources is super tight. They account for everything that gets used. Having a double axle trailer is living large. Being a domestic male or female road "pro" in the US looked like a downright painful and disappointing way to make a living. They endurance MTB folks seem to be doing OK

Jens is right that Garmin and BMC doing OK, but the bottom is dropping (dropped) out of his team - big time. The drop from those teams to what is normal in the US is precipitous and not very encouraging for the future of the sport. What I saw at the TSEpic is
lochness

Posts:47

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06/03/2013 09:51 AM
If the "future of the sport" is gauged by how well US pros are doing on the world stage, then, ok, it's going ok. But if the future of the sport has to do with how well tended the up and coming generation is, then, no, it's not doing too well. Putting on a sanctioned race in the U.S. is a pain in the butt, and it's not getting any easier. It's almost the reverse of the running scene: with all due respect, U.S. distance runners are not that great vis a vis their competition, but there's a 5k almost every weekend in every county in the U.S.

If I were Nike, I'd ditch the cycling scene like a hot rock, and refocus on running. Oh, wait, they just did.
jmdirt

Posts:707

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06/03/2013 10:22 AM
"Amgen unleashed EPO on us right?"

Amgen marketed EPO for its intended purpose and improved the quality of life for many people. So saying they "unleashed it on us" is off base. Pharmaceutical companies, the FDA, and other regulatory bodies have not done what they should to prevent cheaters from using their products for unintended purposed though.
RNDDUDE

Posts:78

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06/03/2013 10:26 AM
jrt1045, I have to agree with you aboutr domestic pro teams. My son was a pro for 3 years, with Nutra-Fig and then with Prime Alliance. He did get his sponsored equipment for free, and his expenses were covered while at races, but he recieved no salary whatsoever, thats right, $0.00. His training to maintain form precluded him from having a job, he was not getting a salary, so basically he financed his racing on credid cards and help from us. Ultimately it is why he left the sport. And that was 10 years ago....
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistant one. -Albert Einstein
Sweet Milk

Posts:93

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06/03/2013 12:57 PM
jmdirt +1
ElleSeven

Posts:48

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06/03/2013 04:03 PM
jmdirt, I'm generally on your side of these issues. Please read Kathleen Sharp's book about the controversy that surrounded Johnson & Johnson executive Mark Duxbury at the time of the first wave of synthetic pharmaceutical EPO. Having worked there, as well as subsequently for Dr. Reddy's Laboratories [first producer of the generic] in India at the time of the DAHANCA stunner on darbepoetin-α that forced Amgen to go creeping back to the FDA in 2007, I would like to say that "unleashed," as melodramatic as it sounds, is pretty close to the right word. As for the FDA, it's hard to see how, by agreeing not to dither about safety studies until after approval, they executed even their basic due diligence, let alone bothering about unintended uses.
jmdirt

Posts:707

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06/03/2013 04:36 PM
I'll do some reading/research.

I was replying to the implication that Amgen is at fault for EPO in sport, as much as anything (Amgen unleashed EPO on cycling?!). I know that pharma is all about money first and if it helps people too that's just a bonus.
ChinookPass

Posts:463

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06/03/2013 04:47 PM
What is central to the argument is the fact of who is "running" the sport domestically? A Band of Brothers (Weisel, Johnson, Ochowicz, etc) who may have enjoyed the previous decades, but have left little for the current generation of domestic pros.

It seems silly to say that things are bleak with the presence of a few very high profile events (ToC, Colorado, Utah). But outside of those events, it's tumbleweeds.
Keith Richards

Posts:739

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06/03/2013 05:09 PM
I think a big problem with the sport is the participants at the local/regional level. Too many guys want to drop $10k on their bike and pay $100/mo for training yet they won't put in the time to try and get an event in their home town.

It starts locally. I remember when the CSC Invitational first came to Arlington VA. The retail establishments were besides themselves, "What to you mean close off street access to my storefront on a weekend day? Are you all crazy??"

Now that they know they will have people lined up 5 deep in front of the shop they are not complaining anymore. The event grew from a local event into one of the most technical and competitive crits in the country.

Maybe it is because of how I grew up on BMX racing. But unless you are not just a local pro, but a pro with national level chops, you should not expect to see big money racing a bike. You should be doing it because you love the sport and you want to. But to think that there will be local/national events like the Kermesse scene in Belgium is just being unrealistic without people putting their time and money where their mouths are.
----- It is his word versus ours. We like our word. We like where we stand and we like our credibility."--Lance Armstrong.
ElleSeven

Posts:48

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06/03/2013 05:19 PM
Sorry — I forgot to include the book's title, which is "Blood Medicine" [the original title was "Blood Feud"; same book otherwise]. As I say, take a look. J&J got about as close as a legitimate pharmaceutical enterprise could come to literally putting it in the hands of athletes. No one said, hey Moreno, hey Eugeni, hey Vladislav, try this. Instead, an irreversible pressure (together with very slick, plausible deniability built into the marketing tactics) to "downstream" its use for unapproved, even totally experimental applications, drove it into the peloton faster than the mafia could have delivered it to 147th and 8th.
Yo Mike

Posts:265

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06/03/2013 05:36 PM
Posted By Justin jmdirt on 06/03/2013 04:36 PM
I'll do some reading/research.

I was replying to the implication that Amgen is at fault for EPO in sport, as much as anything (Amgen unleashed EPO on cycling?!). I know that pharma is all about money first and if it helps people too that's just a bonus.

It can cost $100 million to research a new drug, and take it thru all the hurdles of clinical trials before bringing it to market.  Morst new drugs fail somewhere along this process.  For those that are successful, the generics companies bide their time, and produce a generic version without spending a penny on RnD as soon as the patents expire.

www.fdareview.org/approval_process.shtml

If pharma had no money to spend, there will be no new drugs.

It's not a prefect system, but the alternatives are Christian Science and New Age 'medicine'.

ElleSeven

Posts:48

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06/04/2013 08:25 PM
I didn't intend to make here an argument for or against processes, pharmaceutical or otherwise, that yield mainly good results. But when an industry more or less gets away with committing an atrocity on the scale of eighteen 9/11s -- and not haplessly but with extensive anticipatory knowledge about the future consequences of their behavior -- then something is terribly amiss. (I'm speaking, in this instance, of Merck's Vioxx scandal.) What we don't say is, well, 55,000 deaths were a small price to pay, a sort of necessary evil, for a new drug that may have mitigated some joint pain in those victims before it killed them. That's fraud at least, and arguably genocide.

Similarly with synthetic EPO -- Epogen, Procrit, Aranesp, Micera, etc -- this is a nasty, complicated drug that may have beneficial applications under very particular conditions. But when thousands of deaths are occurring because that drug is being administered in situations in which it was neither reasonably safe nor specifically functional, then, again, fraud is at play, and it's fraud so extensive and so endemic that it starts to play havoc with the very idea of developing effective medicines. Unfortunately, these kinds of cases are no longer rare outliers; they are only the more extreme byproducts of a system that now, always, puts relatively good people up against ethical boundaries every time we put on our damned lab coats. I'm not for Christian Science; I'm for reform. And fewer Porsches in the driveways of people claiming to want to cure us. We're way off-topic, though, at this point!
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