Hesjedal Comes Clean About Being Dirty

I feel the need to comment on this one, since I’m a Canadian. And after all, we Canadians have a long and illustrious history when it comes to doping in sport (remember Ben?).

I woke up this morning to a few FB messages with links to some news articles on Ryder Hesjedal admitting to have ‘taken the wrong path’ back in the day, and Cycling Canada being ‘concerned’ about it all.

People might be asking why he waited till Michael Rasmussen outed him in his new book. Well, it was a dirty secret and we don’t tell dirty secrets till we are forced to. I know you have a few yourself, so I’m sure you understand. Human nature, self-preservation, image maintenance, etc. If Michael had just waited a few years, till Hesjedal retired and suddenly felt the need to clear his conscience, it would have been more natural.

So no, I’m not surprised about this latest ‘revelation’ and I’ve already moved onto the next 3 VeloNews articles that have popped up in the last half day.

However, there was something disturbing in cycling news this week: The Pro Tour Pin-up Calendar. Here is an example that might stick with you in the wrong way for the rest of the day: Taylor Phinney in an olive grove.

Capture

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34 thoughts on “Hesjedal Comes Clean About Being Dirty

  1. Yeah, the doping thing is getting a bit boring now. That calendar, on the other hand – there’s a word for that, but I just can’t decide which one it is…

  2. Hi Gerry,
    You know, I still get goose bumps when I watch Ben run that race all these years on. He was the best of the dirty. Kind of like cycling. There is a documentary that I’ve been meaning to watch called 9.79. Supposed to be quite good. Get it on Apple TV or iTunes.
    Strangely, I thought that Ryder had already come clean before this ‘revelation’ so it was oddly not a surprise.
    But you are right about the calendar pose. Shocking! What next? They’ll be shaving their legs! Oh yeah. The pose is just not right. I’m sure they’ll all be the butt of jokes in the peloton.

  3. The calendar is another whole breed of alarming. You have burned an image into my mind which will be hard to erase. You can never ‘unsee’ what you have seen!

  4. I once read a quote about fashion models: “skinny super models look better with their clothes on than off”…and given that cyclists are more concerned about their weight than international super models, I suggest this quote should apply equally to them.

  5. I want to know when your Vicious Cycle calendar is coming out !! We have some photos of u Gerry as a young’un that we would like to submit for consideration for one or two months of the calendar ….

  6. I felt a twinge of disappointment in Ryder, but more so in that calendar! I was happy to read these comments from honest people not afraid to share how odd that calendar seemed. I thought – that photographer had the chance to travel to all those great places to meet with the cyclists and get to know them (plus raise money for a cause), she had one chance to get it right and that is what she produced? With so many good cycling photographers out there – she presented that quality, not good. I wouldn’t want to look at any of those pictures for an entire month, I didn’t want to see them one time – even if their shoes and shirt matched and I envy their low body fat. I guess there won’t be any more calendars for awhile; there probably will be more forced confessions.

    • I’m glad you commented on the quality, Karen. It’s something that hit me immediately, You see the electricity tower in the background, for example? Hopefully it was all done tongue in cheek. Then it all makes sense…sort of.

      • That is exactly what I noticed as well, she traveled all the way to Tuscany to include electricity towers and lines in the background. Posing a cyclist without a shirt on holding his breath can only be bad photography.

  7. Oh, silly me. Here I thought the calendar was nothing more than a tongue in cheek fundraiser for women’s cycling, among other things. Maybe the photo of Nathan Haas in the pool with champagne and cigar would have been even worse … cyclists smoking and drinking while lounging in a pool. The English seem to have a tradition of odd calendars, (remember all those bare breasted older women in the calendar fundraiser) mocking women’s pin up calendars. Oh come on, you know what I’m referring to, those calendars of beautiful, young women (not unlike the more thoroughly dressed podium girls) which are, perhaps oddly enough, still bought. But then those English sent the Puritans to the Americas long ago, or they probabluly wouldn’t be allowed such outrages:-) If ayone wants here’s a link , scroll down to pro tour pinups http://velonews.competitor.com/2013/10/bikes-and-tech/early-bird-gift-guide_306564

    Or maybe I’m too naive and the whole thing is a danger to civilization as we know it.

    Quality is another thing altogether, as is the question of where we spend money. I won’t buy it, I’ll save up for a plane ticket. Thank you Karen.

      • I guess, or maybe it is only one among many “special” photos. I certainly see more, to quote words used above “disturbing” “alarming” images every single time I look at the news in a responsible newspaper. At the worst, this strikes me as silly. Children selling super unhealthy sugary cookies door to door might do more harm to the world.

  8. The lengths Canadians will go to to distract everyone from a dark Canadian issue that has found itself in the spot light 🙂
    For my two cents worth, with a new UCI management and hopefully a new charter, I would love to see an effective amnesty so everyone who was, has been or witnessed involvment can come forward, without fear of retribution provided that they actively assist the new people to clean up the old mess and put in place measures to prevent this happening again and we can all move on. Ultimately it is the press who normally give cycling oh, no column inches, who are capitalizing on this, and frankly they are equally as undeserving of any income derived from the outings as those that are publishing books for one last money grab.
    Now, winter training, tell us something we want to read Jezzaaaa!

    • I’m sure Lance would whole heartedly agree with you, Steve! He’s chomping at the bit to find a way to limit his losses and save his millions. But sure, in theory a TRC could be good for the sport. Then again, there are those who would say that as long as we have 3-week tours, we’ll have doping. It’s just too tough ‘pan y agua’. I totally agree about the press, too. I can’t believe Phil Liggett still has a job after the shameful way he defended Armstrong till virtually the last moment. They follow the money, but for the wrong reasons, in my humble opinion.

      • Hi Gerry,
        I think I am one of those rare people that don’t necessarily defend Armstrong but still appreciate the entertainment value that was provided during that era of cycling. There were nail biting stages and edge of your seat viewing. Lemond has stated that Armstrong would have been lucky to be in the top 30 in the pro peloton without drugs. Possibly, but as more revelations come out, who knows where the dominoes will stop. And quite frankly, it won’t surprise me if the doping goes all the way back to Lemond’s or even Merck’s era. It was there before those guys, so why would it skip their generation? I think, what would be really interesting, at this point is to find out who wasn’t doping in that era and not who was. I think that list would definitely be quite short. I’ve become quite cynical. It is interesting that Rasmussen has also outed Oscar Pereiro who took the crown from the disgraced Floyd Landis. So does one keep going back at each tour to find the only clean rider there was and give him the Tour title? Looking back and stripping titles from the ‘winners’ at this point is quite useless. I agree with a TRC. Get it all out and move on.

      • Oops, a little bit of blushing going on here. That was Oscar Freire that was outed (then retracted by Rasmussen after legal action threatened) and not Oscar Pereiro. Apologies.

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