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Thoughts: Martin Hardie

Posted by bikezilla on November 6, 2011


Martin Hardie, the lawyer who helped but did not represent James Stout, is also the lawyer who represents Trent Lowe.

What are the common threads between Stout and Lowe?

1. They both dealt with a mysterious alienation between themselves and the managers of their teams. They seemed to have a sound relationship, then all or nearly all communication stopped, seemingly with malice on the part of the managers (Phil Southerland at Team Type 1, Jonathan Vaughters at Garmin).

2. The both had / have issues that don’t seem to make sense surrounding their separation from their teams.

 

3. Both dealt with or are dealing with their former teams and managers refusing to pay them and / or withholding bonus money after separation.

4. Both were counseled by Martin Hardie.

In both cases Hardie was antagonistic toward the teams and managers.

In both cases Hardie displayed a habit of making provocative public statements, then sitting back and maintaining that neither he nor his charge was able to speak on the matter due to pending legal actions. We are just to ignore the fact that he continues to throw out little jabs and poison barbs during the entire period of said pending legal actions.

In both cases Hardie’s charges demonstrated both fear and paranoia based solely on information and counsel gained directly from Hardie.

Martin Hardie seems to be poison disguised as caring, causing more harm than good in any situation that he touches, giving advice that damages not only whatever current situation his charge may be in, but also the future career potential of those charges.

I have to wonder if Hardie’s advice and interference was the direct cause of the rifts that opened between Stout and Southerland, and Lowe and Vaughters.

Hardie utterly lacks professionalism. Here is an example of an email he sent to JV:

I am trying to be open and honest with you.

I am also trying to keep Trent from blowing his lid and going public. I have made it fucking clear as to when and how he will talk to you. Just tell me now if you will pay him or not and when. If not I will let him do what he likes and you can deal with that without me helping. It is really quite fucking simple. I don’t know why you are being such a scrooge about paying him.”

If Hardie is not the root cause of the conflicts between Stout and Southerland, as well as those between Lowe and Vaughters, then he is at a minimum a contributing factor.

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Garmin-Cervelo Cans Matt White Nearly Two Years After “Mistake”: Part 2

Posted by bikezilla on January 28, 2011


Jonathan “The Poet” Vaughters has again changed his story on why Trent Lowe went see the nefarious Dr del Moral.

This time it was no big deal. Just a routine check up that could have been preformed at any clinic.

The bills came in on Dr del Moral’s letterhead, but Jonathan, a man known for his attention to detail and his involvement with his team on every level, simply failed to notice the letterhead itself or the name of the doctor on the letterhead. It’s a detail typically beneath his or anyone’s notice, or so he claims now. In fact, he insists that no one in the entire organization would ever, ever, ever, evvvvvvvvvvvvvvvverrrrrrrrrrrr notice such a silly detail. It’s all about the facts of the letter’s content. Who the letter and the bill are from is of no concern.

Which makes me ask again, Matt White was fired, why?

And, oh yea, Why wasn’t Trent Lowe paid his December ’10 salary?

Remember how The Poet isn’t just the guy writing the checks? How he actually and honestly gives a shiite about his riders and staff on a purely human level?

Well, apparently when they get a little sneaky and run off to their “new” team’s camp (which is standard practice and not generally frowned upon), but fail to give him the courtesy of informing him in advance and obtaining his written permission to attend, that feels a little like a slap in the face to him. It hurts him in a very personal way.

So was there a bit of vendetta in his handling of the Lowe situation? Yes. Is it understandable, based on the kind of person Vaughter’s is and his connection to his team in a personal way? Absolutely.

Trent Lowe, I guess I can see why you felt a need to play tough guy and threaten to send your Uncle Guido after The Poet. But blackmail is still blackmail and extortion is still extortion, and you deserve any legal problems that come your way as a result of all this.

But, Jonathan, you’re still acting like a freakin’ weasel, changing your story again and again. And it’s clear that you had knowledge of the entire del Moral thing well in advance of the Matt White firing and the Trent Lowe incident.

That calls into question your real commitment to run “The Clean Team”, to honestly fight the good fight vs doping within your team and within cycling.

We don’t forget your time with Lance Armstrong, nor your gifts as a climber during that time, nor your own connections to Dr del Moral.

Eventually the facts will come out. It’d be so much cooler if they came from you, rather than from some sniveling disgruntled former staff member looking for his fifteen minutes.

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Garmin-Cervelo Cans Matt White Nearly Two Years After “Mistake”

Posted by bikezilla on January 23, 2011


*UPDATE

Way back in April 2009 (right, nearly 2 years ago) Garmin-Slipstream’s Director Sportif, Matt White, sent one of the team’s riders, Trent Lowe, to a physician who was not on the Team’s “Approved” list.

— The Doctor? Luis Garcia del Moral, a former U.S. Postal team doctor.

Wasn’t Garmin-Cervelo manager Jonathan Vaughters there helping Lance Armstrong win the Tour de France during the same time frame (1999) as the good doctor? Why, yes, he was.

With damned near every rider around Lance Armstrong proven to have doped at some point during their time with him, and with Vaughter’s considerable success as a climber during that time, one would have to suspect that he has firsthand knowledge of Dr del Moral’s crimes and methods.

So White sent the team’s new young rider to an unapproved physician who, oh by the way, has strongly suspected links to doping and direct links to Vaughters himself.

— But wait, there’s more!

Remember when Vaughters vented a nasty little rant vs the GreenEdge Australian national cycling project for, at least allegedly, trying to pilfer Director Sportif Matt White, plus riders Cameron Meyer and Jack Bobridge (all Australians) from team Garmin-Cervelo ahead of the August 1st date for open hunting.

— Now Vaughters wants us to believe that White’s dismissal is all about violating team rules; rules broken nearly two years previous to White’s termination.

Even if you believe that the team was entirely in the dark about this (because there’s no communication internally regarding sick riders and no one actually looks at the bills when they come in), why did it take from “the final stages of 2010” until now to get rid of him?

All through the off season he was kept on. All through training camp he was kept on. He worked closely with Vaughters in the build up to the 2011 Tour Down Under.

After guiding sensational young rider, Cameron Meyer to one TUD stage victory through a long, beautiful and unlikely breakaway, into the Ochre (leader’s) jersey, and then to the overall victory, THEN White is let go.

— Vaughters is an extraordinarily intelligent man and if you follow him and his team at all, then you know that he’s NOT an “out of touch” kind of manager. He really gives a shit about every rider, manager and support person on that team, and he’s deeply connected to the team on all levels.

Jonathan, you KNEW about this well before the end of the 2010 season. But even if you didn’t, it doesn’t take 2 – 6 months to fire an employee for an egregious rules violation, the kind that violates the very core of stated team values.

Something isn’t what you’d have us believe here, yet you persist in treating us like we’re all stupid.

— So what is the real reason for White’s dismissal?

Is it Dr del Moral’s probable connections to doping and the embarrassment of having him in any way associated with “the clean team”? If so, why wasn’t it thought such an embarrassment nearly two years ago when White sent Lowe to him?

Is it White’s connection to GreenEdge? Is he viewed as a traitor? Has he worked to undermine the contracts of Meyer and Bobridge? Or just to ensure that they don’t remain with Garmin-Cervelo once their contracts expire?

It’s more than a little fishy that White gets fired and is instantly singing the “I guess I’ll just go to GreenEdge” song. So I have to doubt his loyalty to Garmin and Vaughters.

That has to hurt a guy like Jonathan, who is involved with his staff and riders even on an emotional level. It’d be especially painful after a similar situation led to Team Sky stealing Bradley Wiggins away from him.

Or is it that White, through his own questionable association with the good doctor, threatened to reveal ugly truths about Vaughters’ time with Postal and his interactions with del Moral during that period?

Did White go to Vaughters and say, “Listen, I don’t want to embarrass you, but if you don’t let me go I’m gonna squeal like a little piggy.”

To which Vaughters might have replied, “Fine. But first you stay and get these guys through the TDU. After that we’ll work something out that makes the fewest waves for both of us and part company.”?

Whatever it is, I don’t buy Garmin-Cervelo’s company line. It’s clear misdirection and I hate being played for a sucker.

UPDATE”*

Take a few minutes to read the linked article below.

It was actually Lowe who threatened to go public with the Dr del Moral info, just prior to Vaughters’ decision to can White.

Which says a few things.

1. This was a known issue within the team for some time.

2. It wasn’t seen as a big deal until someone thought the press might get hold of it.

3. There was absolute knowledge of the implications of the del Moral / doping / Vaughters connection all along.

4. “Team Clean” is a facade and the “team policy” “zero tolerance” bit is nothing but a smokescreen.

5. I was right about this being based on threat to out the team’s use of del Moral.

I totally agree that cutting ties with White was the right move and would have been the right move even if this issue never existed.

But it seems clear to me that Vaughters is slinging a truckload of bullshiite, and that there is undoubtedly a lot of other stuff that isn’t what he and the team have made it seem over the past few years. Garmin doesn’t really look like professional cycling’s bastion of integrity and clean living, the shining light fighting off the darkness, anymore.

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More Thoughts on Stuff

Posted by bikezilla on January 2, 2011


Since my first snow ride last week (or was it the week before) I’m actually excited about cold weather riding.

I was up for another today (sans snow after two days of rain and higher temps) and I was totally cool with the 26F temp. But the matching 26 MPH winds? Thankee, but no. I sissied out and set my sights on tomorrow.

But since today is Tuesday it doesn’t matter in the least (totally gratuitous and pointless, except to me, Willy Wonka quote).

For those of you who want to start snow riding, but can’t afford to change your tires to something with a more appropriate tread, here’s a simple but brilliant solution: zip ties!

Love it.

— The great Eddie Merckx has a man crush on Phillipe Gilbert, and says, “liar, liar pants on fire” to Alberto Contador.

Is it just me or does Richie Porte whine (ha, port wine, I made a funny) just the way Cav does??

He had a good season, sure, but hardly one for the record books. If that’s the best he could come up with, being pumped full of EPO and such, he might oughta quit.

Hence, I say he’s clean.

Johan Bruyneel gets told to piss off by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

His two months suspension and 10,000 Swiss franc fine is barely a slap on the wrist for him. But his guys are each fined 2,500 Swiss francs.

Ouch, and ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaa! They all thought they were being slick with that post stage jersey switch. How you like dem apples, boys?

Garmin – Cervelo (mostly) abandons their gay-ass argyle kit.

Thank you, God!

— I still wonder, did Riis increase of the Schlecks, Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara’s success? Or was it the other way around?

Who needed who more?

Over the next few years we’ll figure that out.

My money is on (former doping sucking, TdF winning scumbag, but now upstanding world citizen) Riis.

— And finally, another bike related music video.

http://www.youtube.com/v/xsDxOx7PUP0?version=3

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