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Joe Parkin Interview

Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:21am by schmalz

Joe Parkin's book A Dog in a Hat is a memoir of his time as a professional racer in Belgium in the 80s. It is an unblinking look at the culture of racing at the time, and is a great read.

schmalz You were one of the first US pros to seek a professional racing path through Belgium. How did you decide on that?


Parkin Mostly it was on the advice of Bob Roll. I'd gotten to know Bob living in California, and he suggested that's where I should go. He'd been racing for the 7 Eleven team, so he knew some of the mechanics, one of the road directors, assistant directors working with the 7 Eleven team at that time, was an ex professional bike racer living in Belgium, Belgian citizen. So he just had some contacts, the team was based there. He had ridden and raced, Bob had ridden and raced in Switzerland and Italy a little bit as an amateur, and he suggested I go to Belgium. Everything I'd seen about the country, about the cycling culture of the country, the magazines, as they were at that time, kinda suggested that that would be a cool place to go.

schmalz You seem to really have blazed a path there. I don't think that there were a lot of Americans there that you could find or ride with when you were there, were there?

Joe Parkin and Albert Claeys

Parkin It's one of those things, that at the time, a lot of people, not many people had the idea of trying to go and make a living at it. So a lot of guys would go to Belgium, certainly before me, and while I was there, and after me, with the idea that they would just treat it like an education. They would go for three weeks or a month or whatever, and they could come back to the States and kick everybody's ass. But I think Belgium, again, before me and since, was often overlooked as a place to go and learn the craft, because it's not Italy, it's not France, but the cool thing about Belgium is that you can just go ride. You don't have to be on a team, you can just go do races as an individual racer, which is not the same as in many other countries.

schmalz And you did get to be very ensconced in the culture. I remember one of the passages in the book, you were in a kermesse, do you pronounce it kermis or kermesse?

Parkin Yep, Kermis.

schmalz And you spell it the Belgian way too, instead of the French way.

Parkin I spell it the Flemish way. The French way would be what you normally see in magazines, kermesse. But since that word is such a...that form of racing is so Flemish, I always thought it was better to spell it in the Flemish way.

schmalz Yeah, and you get to stick it to the French a little bit too, so...

Parkin Yep, exactly!

schmalz I remember when you told the stories about how the races would go, and oddly enough you can't change in or around your car in Belgium, which seems like an odd law. But you would all change in houses or garages or little shops, and you were telling a story about how you would change in someone's kitchen.

Parkin Yeah, quite often we would change in a kitchen or even back courtyards, it's really weird.

schmalz It's funny, it goes to show how much the sport is a national sport for Belgium, that they're willing to have the riders into their homes, their garages, and let them change. It's part of the culture there.

Parkin Right, absolutely. It is a poor country, and the people who...that's one of the great things about the sport of cycling, it's a sport that's brought to the people. It is such a popular sport in that country. There is one pro kermis race every single day from...gosh I want to say about the middle of May through probably September.

Joe's house in Belgium

schmalz That's amazing. You were telling the story of some racers who were in the kitchen, they were actually shooting themselves up with something in the ktichen, right?

Parkin Yeah, at the time it was very common. I can't speak to what the sport has become, I have no firsthand knowledge of that now, but back then, yeah, the amphetamines were widely used in the kermis races. The amazing thing about it is, when you shoot a guy with amphetamines, he just wants to keep attacking. In many cases, they can't attack as hard as they could before, before they were shot up. But they just want to keep going, it's frustrating.

schmalz You said that the guys that were taking amphetamines just got dumber.

Parkin Yeah, they do, they really do. In my own experience with that, was that, you feel so good that you just make these stupid mistakes. 'Cause you wanna chase that attack down again and again and again. It's really funny. One of the neat things was that I learned to tell who was doped because guys who couldn't a word of English all of a sudden could speak English to me, and wanted to speak English with me...

schmalz They're probably talking to their handlebars, too.

Parkin Pretty much, yeah.

schmalz Your case was interesting 'cause you were in a break in a, I think you described it as a semi-classic, and you were feeling poorly, and then didn't your director give you something on the road?

Parkin Yep, they gave me, I don't know if you've ever seen the old, you used to probably see these bottles, they were almost the shape of a hip flask, they were kinda rounded and plastic, usually had some kind of a cork or plastic stopper, so you don't have to screw anything off...

schmalz Right.

Parkin And that's what they handed me. It was always really common to see something like that, or carry something like that. In many cases, or most cases, there's nothing illegal in it. So they handed me a little bottle, and I didn't think anything of it. 'Cause that was something that had happened in the past.

schmalz So did you find out...could you tell right away it was amphetamines, or you thought it was at the time?

Parkin You know, it was one of those things where I was feeling bad, they handed it to me, there's always the chance that you could be given something, and if you quit grabbing bottles, or quit grabbing handups from the car just because there was the possibility of that happening, you'd never drink again, you know? So I just...

schmalz But you had the feeling that, well, "this isn't B12 that they've give me".

Parkin Right, when they, they gave it to me, and I have to say that I started feeling REALLY good in less than five minutes. What's amazing is that your position on the bike changed. I was all of a sudden just sitting upright, really comfortable, and I looked down at my legs and they kinda started to almost shine, and I got goosebumps as well. And that's a typical...we always used to laugh when we saw a guy in a race with goosebumps, that meant that he was jacked on speed.

schmalz That's interesting. Then you said that you actually did get stupid and didn't ride a very smart race after that.

Parkin Correct. That is correct. Rode like an idiot.

schmalz Did you ever feel that the guys that were taking amphetamines were cheating you out of any results, or did you just realize it was part of the game and they probably weren't going to last very long anyways.

Parkin You know, I felt that for a while, probably for the first year and a half, that I was pro, maybe less than that. I always felt like I was being cheated, how was I going to be able to be competitive with these guys that were able to attack over and over again, because I was certainly training and racing as many races as they were or harder than they were, whatever. But after a while I learned to use the whole, that whole system to my advantage. That type of racing is very regional, and you have to learn the flow of those races, how to react, when the breakaway is going to go away and that sort of thing. That's one of the biggest things for Americans that go over there, or when I would see the 7 Eleven guys, later the Motorola guys, they didn't know how the race was going to flow. It wasn't like a normal point to point stage race, anything like that. They're circuits, you see who's good in the race, you see what teams are there, the complete teams... You really learn how the race is going to flow, if it's going to come down to a big sprint, if there's going to be a breakaway. And I definitely learned how to work the guys that were doped to my advantage as much as possible.

schmalz And you learned to know who was willing to make a deal and who was going to pay out that day, also.

Parkin Yeah, you figure that out pretty quickly. The kermis races are quite often bought and sold, it's never just a "Here's some money and roll over and die" kind of thing, it's more of a buying a teammate on the road.

schmalz What percentage of those races do you think there were no deals made? Would it be half and half?

Parkin I would say that probably 50% of the races there's some sort of a deal somewhere or another. Typically I would say if a sprint wins a race, a guy who's a true sprinter wins the race and he has one teammate in the breakaway with him, then there's no deal. That's straight up racing. If a non sprinter wins a race solo, or against a couple of other guys who are also non sprinters, there's probably a better than average possibility that there was some sort of agreement that happened. And you know what, sometimes there's no money that exchanges hands, sometimes it's "you helped me last week, I'm gonna help you this week". I know of a couple of classics that while I couldn't swear to it, it seems to me that one rider won Tour of Flanders, and the other rider that was with him won Paris Roubaix.

schmalz It seems like at the higher level races you're going to have less chance of someone making a dollar offer on the road, whereas they might, like you said, offer to work together at the next race. I think the higher the stakes the less likely they are to do that.

Parkin There's still some money that changes hands...

schmalz...or maybe it's more expensive!

Parkin It's a lot more expensive. I know of a certain classic that was purchased in 19... I want to say '88 or '89, for about 20 grand.

schmalz Was it purchased beforehand or was it on the road?

Parkin No no, those races are...there's too many good guys. So in that case you've got the three or four or five riders in the world on that day in a breakaway together, and it really becomes a case where "I can't beat you", or "I like you better than the other two guys, so let's do something together", something like that. It's very much a last minute deal, it's never a case where, at least in my own personal experience, it's never ever a case where if I was faster than you, and you try to buy the race from me, that I'm going to go ahead and sell it to you. If I'm faster than you I'm winning the race.

schmalz Then why take the money, you can just win it anyway.

Parkin It really comes down more to, there's two or three of us in the breakaway, I'm the fastest one, and everyone knows that, there's no incentive for the other two guys to keep riding. So, they might be under team orders to not ride if there's another faster member of their team back there. If you know you're going to lose, if everyone goes to the line together and it's a sprint finish, you're probably going to be looking to make some sort of a deal so that you can make some extra money out of the race, or still have the chance to win.

schmalz Sure. I've always been obsessed with Abdujaparov, who raced over there. Did you race against Abdujaparov at all?

Parkin Yes.

schmalz Was he just a madman just like everyone said? What was the story behind him?

Parkin Yeah. Very much so. He...

schmalz He had a frightening look on his face in the race. He just seemed like he was not anyone you would want to mess with.

Parkin Yeah, I'm trying to think when we would've raced together...I think he turned pro in '90 or '91, so I didn't have a very long history with the guy, didn't personally know him, but I was in some breakaways in some smaller races with him. A lot of those eastern bloc riders when the wall came down and all of those eastern europeans were coming into the pro peloton, they all were like that. They were real robotic in their demeanor. I had a teammate Olaf Jentzche, he was an East German. The two of them, they could've been brothers, they both had that psycho look to them. You look at all those guys, they all look kinda hard like that.

schmalz Not really a lot of fun to be around...

Parkin Actually, no! Not fun to be around. Fun to watch race, not to go have a beer with.

schmalz Your career spanned the gap between where it was riders taking amphetamines, and the beginnings of riders taking EPO in the peloton. And I think you wrote that the doctor offered you EPO but you couldn't afford it.

Parkin Mmm hmmm.

schmalz So you probably avoided, the early days of EPO, it just seemed like the people taking it weren't aware of its effect, and then would fall asleep and die.

Parkin Yeah. Poverty definitely saved my life.

schmalz Was EPO on the banned list at the time?

Parkin It was not. It was not on the banned list, and obviously, once it did go on the doping list, couldn't be detected even, for a long time.

schmalz It seemed like it actually had a greater effect on racers. As you were saying the amphetamines would turn guys into idiots, where EPO could really help, and it didn't have the say, uh, 'making you into an idiot' side effect.

Parkin Correct. Absolutely. And it really has changed the way that the...even if you compare the way the riders look now, compared to the way we looked in the '80's and before...back then the legs were bigger, and the guys looked more muscular. And now, the riders are looking more overall athletic, but yet smaller. The oxygen uptake is so much greater on those drugs that they can turn the pedals over faster. Back in the day...I always thought it was funny when you look at a rider like Jan Ullrich climb, compared to everyone else it looked like he was pedaling so slowly, and yet if you look at the way they pedaled in the Merckx era, the '80' look at Greg Lemond climb, he pedals slower than Ullrich ever did. So, it has changed the way races are written. Even the guys that don't or didn't partake of the EPO type drugs, they all had to learn how to pedal faster and to ride differently, so...

schmalz Yeah they had to match the style in order to be competitve.

Parkin Exactly.

schmalz I think that you were teammates with Lemond, but you didn't spend a lot of time with him, you were on ADR together correct?

Parkin We were kind of on different squads. ADR a way it was kind of was one big team, but they split the team in two and they gave the second team a different sponsor. Instead of eight or ten riders in a race we would go to the starting line with sixteen or twenty, and we would ride as a team.

schmalz I think that Greg Lemond feels that once people started taking EPO, that they sort of, um, ended his career, or that he wasn't able to compete because he wasn't willing to take it. From what I've heard him say about it, I've never talked to him about it. I think he feels that suddenly everybody, guys that he was beating the year before, was dropping him on climbs, where he was basically doing the same training he was doing before, and I think he's still a little ticked off about that.

Parkin There were a lot of riders during that period of time who suddenly were not competitive and felt slighted, trying to remember, there was a french rider, I can't remember his name right now, who started whistle blowing a lot. There were a lot of guys...before EPO, nobody was talking about the drug. Everybody was talking about it, but nobody was saying anything and nobody was pointing any fingers. Then EPO came around, and everybody started pointing fingers. And I can't speak to...I was never the rider who would've...I honestly never would've never known the difference if I was riding with somebody who wasn't on EPO last year and then they were on EPO this year. When you're riding on the flats, riding the kind of races that I did and did well in, or in the rolls, in the hilly races that I did, I was never in the front to be, to get dropped, and if I did get dropped, I would've been on a category 1 or 2 climb, it wouldn't have been totally surprising. I never got that first hand experience that all of a sudden that guys were going so much faster. And I think also they didn't perfect the EPO technology, it didn't become an epidemic until I was already gone from Europe.

schmalz It speaks to the effectiveness of it if the people that aren't on it are going to complain, because it's putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

Parkin Yeah, true. From what I've heard...I never did, I know a few people who did...from what I've heard it really was a wonder drug. It's really incredible.

schmalz I wanna hear a little bit about when you first went to Belgium and you went to the mysterious doctor's office, and they put you on the mystery machine to find out if you had any cycling potential. Any idea what that machine was?

Parkin What we did was, I just laid on a table and they check my vitals. They were looking at an old EKG machine, some other stuff like that. When they did the testing, that was an actual ergometer test, VO2 test, so it wasn't really anything mysterious. It was just that the surroundings were very cold, and I was suspicious of everything that was going on. My awareness was heightened, I was a little crazy at the time.

schmalz I was expecting some doctor with black rubber gloves and one of those balls with the lightning strikes, very Dr. Frankenstein thing...

Parkin It wasn't far from that, to be honest. It was just very cold, very clinical, you can imagine a nineteen year old kid, these guys are speaking this language that doesn't sound like anything I've ever heard, they're talking and laughing amongst themselves. It was all very serious. If I had sucked in the testing, if I didn't have any VO2 capacity, couldn't push any watts, they were gonna kick me to the curb.

schmalz That's the unfortunately the nature professional racing. If you don't have the physical talent, like most professional sports, you're just not going to start. It's the same as hitting a curveball, running a forty in football. If you can't do it you're not going to get in.

Parkin Exactly.

schmalz So what happened to you after racing? I can't imagine you're still in the cycling industry. Are you?

Parkin No, I was in the cycling industry...I hung up the cleats about mid year '98, and I went to work for Castelli. I worked for Castelli for 7 or 8 years. Quit working for Castelli and then I've been working in motor sports the last couple of years.

schmalz How did you make that transition? That makes some sense and no sense at the same time.

Parkin It's a funny story, actually. When I quit, when I was working for Castelli, we were the United States arm of Castelli. We took on another product, we weren't a distributor per se, but we did take on another product from Italy, called Evervit. The nutritional stuff. I started thinking that that was something that would be interesting to motocross racers, car racers. Met Paul Tracy at the trade show at Interbike, and we kinda got to be friends. I got into racing circles a little bit from that, went to work for this company that developed a line of luggage very specific to race car drivers, and talk about a niche market. They just kinda turned me loose, "go make this stuff popular".

schmalz Do you think that if you were still in the cycling industry you would've written this book the way it was written?

Parkin Oh yeah, for sure! My contract was up in September, so I'm not working for this company in motor sports any more, I'm actually hoping to get back in the cycling industry. Maybe ten, fifteen years ago if I'd written that book there would've been some professional repercussions, but I think now, what a lot of people know, I don't think there's such a problem. I don't know that I'll ever get a job as a director sportif in Europe, after what I wrote, but that wasn't something I was looking forward to anyway.

schmalz You wouldn't be a victim of what you call the "lycra wall of silence"?

Parkin No, I think it's a little different now. A lot of the stories I tell in the book, they're so old they might not even 100% apply to what's going on now. I don't know there are as many deals, certainly with the globalization of cycling, I would have to imagine that a lot of the way that races are written have changed. Now you just don't have French and Flemish and Italian speakers in the peloton. You have a lot of English and Eastern languages being spoken.

schmalz And it seems now, if a rider's going to try to do any doping shenanigans, they search out doctors and products themselves, it doesn't come from the directors, the way it happened before when you were racing. I don't know if this is the case with everybody, but it seems to have gone that way. Do you think that's kind of the way it's going?

Parkin I would say at the top level, during my day, it was still very much, if you were a top level rider, and you wanted to do some very potent doping program or protocol, you'd still seek out the help of a very good doctor. The teams, I was never on a team that really had...there was never a "hey, you gotta do this". I know there were teams where when you signed a contract, there was a clause in the contract that said you have to follow our medical protocol. That was certainly something that I never saw and when you get a director handing you anything that is illegal or it seems like it might be illegal, those are pretty small teams.

schmalz I do remember in the book, when your parents came to see you at, I think, Het Volk, I think the director gave you a couple of pills that you had to decide whether to take or not.

Parkin Yep. It was Flèche Brabançonne or Brabantse Pijl, they handed me some stuff, you're right, I had to make up mind whether I was going to do it or not. I was not a doping virgin at that point, but it was something I didn't want to do. It was a moral and ethical dilemma, whether I should do that or not. I'm glad that I kept it as clean as I did...

schmalz You had a great line in the book, you said you could tell your parents you had a bad day and look them in the eye, or you could stare at their feet while they congratulated you. I think that sums it up pretty well.

Preparing for the Kermis circuit

Parkin Yeah.

schmalz Well, this is all the time we have, unfortunately, but thanks for a great book and thanks for being so forthcoming, I appreciate it.

Parkin Thank you.

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Fixed. Thank you internet.
By: schmalz
Fri, 01/08/2010 - 10:03am

Fixed. Thank you internet.

Grammar in the first sentence
By: Kevin Compliant
Thu, 01/07/2010 - 10:29pm

"A unblinking look..." Really? "An unblinking look..."

DHEA is ghetto dopin', yo! forreals!
By: Wheelsucker
Sat, 04/25/2009 - 12:52pm

"I have heard of DHEA and know it to be a ghetto form of doping, and know of it being used by various unscrupulous club-level bike racers hoping to be the next world champion of the Thursday night criterium."

Michel Zanoli HELP!?
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 04/08/2009 - 11:07am

Hey guys,
I was wondering how come a few of you are so interested in Michel Zanoli?
And how come you even know him, because it was really a long time ago he won games, and he chose the wrong path after that so nobody ever heard of him anymore..

Do some of you know if he's burried or cremated, en where he's burried(or cremated) ??
And how many children did he have?

I really wanna know!

It was a Pro race
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 5:46pm

and they followed the rules. If you guys stayed out of the joggers lane your race would be .25 miles longer too.

Pack Filler

silly wheelsuckers, everyone
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 2:18pm

silly wheelsuckers, everyone knows in the old days the wheels were smaller, hence more distance to cover....

from 18:24 wheelsucker
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 02/04/2009 - 1:42pm

sorry, didn't see these responses. i can only assume the first response is obtuse, and the second is the one being sarcastic. haha, good trolling, you got me.

i didn't marshal TDT in CP ... i RACED it. and it was about 0.25 of a mile longer, and definitely hillier. any of the old school racers know that. im not interested in explaining it, as im not a geologist or anything. probably has something to do with the different lines we took racing clockwise, or maybe because we were going faster. but don't take my word for it - go ride a couple of laps backwards, check your cateye, and then come talk to me, smart guy

re: clockwise
By: Wheelsucker
Sat, 01/31/2009 - 5:06pm

i can only guess your post was being sarcastic because you're totally wrong there on all accounts, I marshaled TDT in CP and it went exactly the same direction we race it.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 7:35pm

explain how a loop can be longer and more hilly in one direction than another? sure, i suppose hills could be steeper or something, but net gain is obviously the same regardless. also, how do you add 2/10 of a mile by running in the opposite direction?

"just to reminisce further"
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 7:24pm

i've mentioned this before ... TDT was run *clockwise* in CP, not the counter-clockwise way we usually race it. totally different story. the CP lap is not 6.2 miles clockwise, it's 6.45. and its hillier.

Belgium, Beer and the A Dog in a Hat
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/29/2009 - 2:21pm

I lived in Belgium for several years in the late 90's. It is an amazing place to live if you love to ride. Every weekend there were races to watch and organized rides around the country. The best part of it all is that every ride or race winds up back in the local pub. Belgian Beer is among the worlds best! And in Belgium, there is nothing better than Bicycle Racing.

Reading the book brought back lots of memories, great read and tells it like it was. I watched many Kermis, my favorite was in Ostend. We used to go the night before and sleep on the beach, go to the casino and watch the race. What a great time!

La Belgique, peut je visitent encore

2/3 of the way through the
By: Andy Shen
Mon, 01/19/2009 - 10:15pm

2/3 of the way through the book now, it's really great. I love that he doesn't go into simplistic explanations about bike racing, he just assumes you know what he's talking about and tells the stories.

great interview!
By: Wheelsucker
Mon, 01/19/2009 - 10:13pm

Thank you Joe for this close up look at a pro's life.

To me it always seemed like it's the team management that sets or breaks the rules for riders to follow. If it was an individual sport.. then maybe not, but being a team sport, doping most likely is mainly pushed from the top down. The only constant is that riders always get the blame. Why nobody whistle blows the management? Would they get stonewalled by most other teams and never race again?

NYT is such the authority on cycling
By: Wheelsucker
Sat, 01/17/2009 - 11:06pm

just look at their coverage of the tour dee frantz...

You want me to call the Donald, I will! But I was there, I timed the break, they ripped off the front early in the second lap and destroyed any bridge, then the GC/Team tactics set in...simple as that. Think laps of a Superweek crit, or any tour stage until the "right" break is fast! not cat 1 fast, but World Champion Pursuit/Olympic/Milk Race/Eastern Block fast... really doesnt matter...13 min is fast...I will agree with whatever wheelsucker(s) say...


just to reminisce further
By: Wheelsucker
Sat, 01/17/2009 - 8:37pm

to clear up the myths of TdT in CP, here is the write up:

They claim avg 30.8 mph for the winner from early break of 5 but if you divide 1:43:41 (103.41 minutes or 1.73 hours) by 49.7 miles, you get 28.8 mph. Better yet divide 103.41 by 8 laps and you get 12:56 avg laps. With enough money and competition on the line, it could happen in a Cat.1 field.

but the psoter said the
By: Wheelsucker
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 1:28pm

but the psoter said the 11:15 was by a break. that's what really makes it unbelievable.

What is so funny about that?
By: Wheelsucker
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 9:04am

What is so funny about that?

I am lame
By: Wheelsucker
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 8:10am

Vegan Diaries are as funny as TOTO

Charlie v. Craig
By: Wheelsucker
Fri, 01/16/2009 - 1:45am

Charlie has 4 lap record, 52min?
Craig "Smilie" has 2 lap record, 25 min?
Breakaway has 4 lap 4 man TTT record, 50 min?
Sony has 3 lap 2 man TTT record, 38 min?

Women? Probably Jamie, 2 laps in 28 min...
Juniors? Hottubes, 2 laps in 26 min

Fastest lap is still the lap the break got there/their gap, elastic snapped like an atomic wedgie!
Trump 1990, (with sprint at tavern btw, not Cat Hill, makes westside rollers much harder, as TV time losers force the pace thru the barriers and then HS alley and Cat Hill can blow up the field a bit more effect/affect/fx)


(doodoo, doodoodoo, doodoo, doodoodoo...time warp sounds fx)

12:30 avg lap CP, in a mass start is fast, everything else is tactics...

Anyone continuing to mention
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 10:38pm

Anyone continuing to mention TT Vegan is a million times lamer than the man himself. It isn't funny.

Sham WOW!
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 8:16pm

Sham WOW!

Gettin Hott in Heere
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 8:07pm

I would not like to be TT Vegan's chamois

sherrys vagina
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 7:46pm

please do your job or you will be replaced!!Horner

I heard
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 7:05pm

TTVegan dropped a 10:18 yesterday. On a fixie. Going clockwise. Did an elephant-trunk skid all the way down HH.

CP laps data very interesting
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 6:02pm

You only have to go roughly 2 MPH faster to catch back on in one lap. Doesn't Craig Upton hold the TT course record for CP: about 28MPH average for 4 laps?

hot pretzel & a
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 4:46pm

hot pretzel & a yoo-hoo....damn i just laughed so hard the soda i was sluping just ran outta my noze. thanks for the laugh!

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 4:40pm

because sherry just had a kid. you idiot. go worry about something else, you're not on the roster.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:25pm

Why doesn't Empire ever update their website. They don't even have the right riders on the site and racing starts soon.

I was in a race where
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:14pm

I was in a race where Schmalz, replete in a Cookie Monster jersey, dropped back under one of the bridges and ordered a hot pretzel, a Yoo-Hoo and a kielbasa. He jumped back in when we came back around.

CP laps.
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:26pm

CP laps were fast but I dont think they were insanely fast in general. I was on the west side when Lemond dropped back at one point, replete in rainbow jersey, took a wiz under one of the bridges and was back in the group by the next lap. No teamies to pace him back up.

That day I must have collected 10 world class tubulars that the mechanics had tossed because of very small knicks in the rubber.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:24pm

all the lap times are posted on the crca site. i doubt that lap was less than 11:15.

fastest lap
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 2:20pm

all i can tell you guys is that i clearly remember one morning last summer during a park race when the gentlemen from Empire got together at the front of the peloton and really threw the hammer down for what became the lap from hell. now i did not have time to set my stopwatch after the mayhem began, but believe me when i tell you this - we were really cooking out there. this was obviously the work of a well oiled machine that had followed some seriously structured training protocol to put this kind of hurt on the rest of us. man were we going fast.

what's the 1 lap record at
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:27pm

what's the 1 lap record at CP, pro or amateur?

11:15 lap
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:10pm

that was the fastest both most of the 8 laps were 12-13 minute range, remember that even though there was a break for a while, most of this pace was set by a charging field of 150+ guys with well shared horsepower.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:30pm

10:27 just doesn't understand how much better the pros are from the 1/2s in the city. And the 3/4s, that's not even bike racing compared to the pros.

heart attack
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:18pm

= EPO.

don't buy it?
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:33am

probably one of the most doped up fields ever to race in central park

an 11:15 lap is 33.6mph. i
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:27am

an 11:15 lap is 33.6mph. i don't buy it.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 9:51am

thank god i went to college

A lot of those guys have
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 8:54am

A lot of those guys have become... well, nothing. For exmple, Alexi Grewal was homeless for a time and is now a fingerless, toothless, voodoo minister living in the Colorado wilderness. The pro level of this sport treats its athletes like retired race horses -- they either go out to stud (i.e. pimp product or run teams) or shoot them.

By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 6:57am
how many clean athletes have a heart attack at 35?
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 3:41am

paleese. zanoli was as dirty as they came.

1990 Trump CP stage
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:14am

the lead break did an 11:15 lap. the break split when Bauer and McCarthy watched each other too much...

Canadian Pole won (turned out to be magor d--gs conduit, ask Kiss---)

Seriously, I love Parkin
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:12am

Seriously, I love Parkin though and I'd like to rescind that last comment. He's a great guy and a talenteed racer. handsome too.

I had a few drinks tonight
By: Wheelsucker
Thu, 01/15/2009 - 12:07am

I had a few drinks tonight and when I saw the title of the article I thought it said "Jason Parkin interview" and I was like, Dude WTF?

By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:54pm

This is a welcome interview and book. I look forward to reading it. I always admired Parkin for going to Europe and staying at a time when that was still a rarity. And, he was good enough to race for a legit pro team - Tulip.

Tony Settel

tour de trump
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:25pm

while looking up info on michel zanoli, i came across this:

By: jkornbluh
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:04pm

Died from a heart attack, not suicide.

Zanoli was faster than Phinney
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:45pm

but turned for the worse and has died (suicide?)

michel zanoli was the big
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 8:50pm

michel zanoli was the big tulip guy. he won the Core States one year.


By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:37pm

smalls and parkin grabbing for attention, this is pathetic

Great Cycling Book
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 7:02pm

I bought this book the day it came out and couldn't stop reading it until it was done. I loved it.

Jeff King

No not Joe he was Belgium
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:12pm

No not Joe he was Belgium and rode for TULIP he got a second place in Philly in the early 90's

By: schmalz
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 4:10pm

Are you sure it wasn't Joe? He's a tall guy.

Its a nice no?
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 4:00pm

wow I dont want to date myself. but I do remember this team.
there was one of his teammates that looked realy mean he was about 6'4 in hight and I think was really mean too.
he got thrown our of a couple of races
I cant think of his name.
oh yeah nice inter. Dan

fantastic, fantastic
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:26am

fantastic, fantastic interview. best interview style out of any cycling publication. you should assemble a book at some point!

Best interview yet, thank
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:08am

Best interview yet, thank you.

Two Thumbs Up!
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:08am

We recommend this book. Great insight into the experiences of a racer.

great book
By: Wheelsucker
Wed, 01/14/2009 - 9:41am

excellent read. up there with krabbe's the rider.

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