Tuesday (Wednesday) Coffee Talk - Ethical Racing

A recent "incident" at a local race brings up a topic of ethical racing. When is a racer crossing the line when making deals to other competitors while in the race? For example say there are 3 in a break and all 3 are from different teams and likely all in the prize winning. What if one of the racers says "Hey I'll give you all my prize winning if you don't chase me down in my next attack." One of the rider agrees and the rider who made the offer does go on to win the race. Is that wrong and when is the line crossed in going too far? What if the rider was wealthy and basically paid them off to let him/her win? What if this was the event for State Championships?

Striking up deals in the race and sharing of prize winnings happens all the time but when is the deal too much?

OK, this is just one scenario and one could create an dozen or more like examples of offers and deals and such.

News Item: 

44 Comments

Hi all. I was tipped to this

Hi all. I was tipped to this thread from a teammate. I've read it. Here is the story...

Yes I asked Danny to give me the points in exchange for the prize money. It was a last minute spur of the moment choice I made, one the I regretted almost immediately. Danny and I had no predetermined agenda. It was foolish, disrespectful and insulting not only my fellow racers but to the race organizer and fans. It regret it and I have been apologizing to everyone involved since that afternoon. So I would like to apologize to everyone here as well. I'm sorry. That was a silly act.

Reading this thread I am not going to try and convince any of you to change your mind or opinion of he or I, you are entitled to that. I will however try to reflect as to why. I've been asked that allot over the last few days...

I did it to gain a points advantage over Spencer Powlison whom I was only a handful of point ahead of in the overall CO cup. He and I have been thrashing each other all year and I saw an opportunity to gain not one but 2 places over him (I had already secured 2nd on the day). The moment I made the call out to Danny I almost immediately tried to reverse it and told him "no, keep going" but he had already dismounted and the charade was on. I had only a few seconds to decide to pass him or to pull over. Danny was already in sight of the finish and he too really didn't know what to do. As I crossed the line I was embarrassed to say the least that we had F'd up. We tried to cover it up afterwards but people knew and I knew that continuing to lie about it wasn't the answer. The first person I apologized to was Spencer, then the announcer, then to a hand full of fans and fellow racer's and also to my BCS team. I haven't hid from this. I have only come clean admitting that it was foolish and disrespectful. When I showed up the next day at Castle Rock I knew what was behind everyone's glare towards me and I owned up to them as well. It was a bad choice.

Say and think what you want everyone, I won't argue your opinions of me. But those who know me know I am a man of great character. I don't cheat. In this case I made a hasty and unethical decision I regret and I have deal with it. But it doesn't take away from me as a person or the 20+ years of Elite and Professional racing history. I have lined up along side some of our sports biggest cheats, raced internationally and traveled our country for years as a Pro roadie. I can tell you for a fact, worse things have and do happen in cycling, especially in road racing. In my road career I was cheated out of a career advancement by Dopers. I raced in that era for years and I know I was up against legitimate cheats who took jobs, contracts and money out of my pocket. I look back now and I get pissed. It doesn't feel very good to be cheated. When I made the choice to cheat (for a mere couple of points at a local race), I didn't feel very good. I hope this helps you all to understand that I truly regret this on a moral level. Bikes and bike racing has been my life since I can remember. I have love and passion for it like we all do. I respect and cherish it. The last thing I ever want to do is cheat it.

Maybe that is part of this whole equation; that Danny and I both are roadies (where I began racing at the age of 15) and in that culture it's pretty common. Deals in breakaways, deals in chasing groups, deals in the Caravan and deals for wins and losses are made all the time, you just don't ever see it. Please know, none of this in any way condones what we did, I think for some it's just the first time it's been witnesses - and executed - so poorly. We F'd up no question. We regret it absolutely. I just want some of you to understand why and how we can even come to make these decisions. All this said there's no place for it in a local Cross race. None.

What's worse is I didn't need to do it. I was caught up in the points battle and saw a chance to sneak a few points over my competition. In the larger picture that wasn't necessary. The CO Cup isn't Pro racing but it is a competitive and sometimes even simple weekend races can summon some ugliness. I got carried away and have to face the music for my behavior. I know we have all done things we are ashamed of. This is one of those moments for me... on a public stage.

I hope this helps explain to some of you why - and - I really hope I can be forgiven. I respect everyones opinion on the matter. It's my garbage to manage and it won't happen again.

Russell

I just don't get why anyone

I just don't get why anyone cares. if 2nd place didn't want to win, he didn't want to win. Sometimes I could win if I cared enough to pedal "that" hard, but I don't always, so I don't win in those cases. I wish someone would give me prize money for being lazy.

Thank You, Russell

I am impressed with your open discussion of the CX events and the public embarrassment it has created. I do not know what an appropriate outcome will be but I am impressed that you are not hiding from the events witnessed this past weekend. Chapeau!

Personal Accountability

I appreciate you owning up to your poor judgemnt. I also
respect that you have not made excuses for you actions and made a public apology. This is more than can be said for other athletes. I have been told by many people , the higher the heart rate, the lower the IQ.

Pages