News / Blog

The Crank

News / Blog

Phil Wrochna

There were plenty of races over the weekend to keep The Crank busy.

  • The “Put me out I’m on fire” award goes to Heather Wurtele after another brilliant effort to win Ironman 70.3 Calgary. This adds to wins at Ironman Coeur d’Alene, Rev 3 Quassy and Ironman 70.3 Panama. Wurtele’s worst result this season has been a fourth place at the Abu Dhabi International Triathlon.
  • Tim Don was supreme in Calgary. The likeable Brit was too good for a hard-charging Trevor Wurtele in Calgary and joins the list of transition athletes who’ve moved across from ITU and taken home a 70.3 title in 2013.
  • The ‘Welcome Back Cotter‘ award goes to Chris Legh who, at this stage, has enough points to get across to Kona this season for his swan song.
  • Andy Potts is a hard man to beat especially when he gets a bit of a lead going at Ironman Lake Placid. His win in 2012 set himself up for a great top-10 in Kona. Wonder what his repeat dose might propel him to on the Big Island this season?
  • Jennie Hansen was red hot too at Ironman Lake Placid with a 3:05 marathon. A great effort given her 1:03 swim time.
  • Ronnie Schildknecht has a tough name to spell, but when he gets rolling in Zurich he sure is unstoppable. Win number 7 at Ironman Switerland elevates him to near Cam Brown-like status.
  • Anja Beranek finally made good this season and her win at Ironman Switzerland overnight was emphatic.
  • There will be a lot of happy athletes today as the first round of qualifiers for Kona are announced.
  • Petr Vabrousek is already up to his eighth Iron-distance event of the season. He must be trying to break last year’s number of 13 before he gets to Kona.
  • Nice job by Emma Moffatt and Javier Gomez at 5150 Zurich over the weekend. Both will be hot contenders in Hy Vee if they can make the start line with their WTS commitments.
  • The ITU World Duathlon Championships got their time in the sun for another year over the weekend. Some very quick athletes out there in that race and great work from Ai Ueda and Rob Woestenborghs on their wins in Cali.
  • Cryptic Tweet of the week goes to Macca for this:
  • The Aussie sporting scene was rocked by the news that cycling veteran Stuey O’Grady had in fact doped during his career, but just once before the ’98 Tour. The announcement for us was just another sad chapter to that era of cycling. O’Grady’s career now is jeopardised by his admission and whether the remaining races are in fact legitimate or not who would know? And while there are some out there who think we have a soft stance on doping that couldn’t be more incorrect. We support all forms of doping sanctions and testing in an effort to keep sport clean, but also believe, like in the real world, people who serve a sentence have the right to make comebacks. If it’s good enough for life, it’s good enough for sport. What we’d like to see are four-year bans put in place for first-time offences.
  • Challenge Vitoria saw Pedro Gomes and Ana Casares claim the win on the first-time course.
About the author:

  • eastdillon

    Are you guys going to reopen the comments section on whichever post got closed down when I threw O’Grady’s name into the ring? I’m still trying to work out how to get monetary gain for that call.

  • Pedro

    Now you copy stuff that people post is comments?

    I posted that tweet from macca.

  • Nick

    Cryptic tweet? Hardly. Anyone who was around in the mid 90’s knows exactly who Macca is talking about.

  • Dinosaur

    Spot on Nick. ITU or LC, take your pic. The only reason we dont have the same public scourge of cycling is that our sport was viewed as nowhere near as mainstream as cycling. Its been in our sport for years, and certainly from some VERY well known individuals.

  • at it again

    keyboard warrior wars

  • Tristar

    Grant burwash was faster than don on the run

  • D-man

    C’mon Nick & Dinosaur, open that pandoras box.
    Plenty of ‘not normal’ performances mid to late 90s and early 2000s.

    The scourge of drug fuelled athletes is disappointing to say the least but to read comments from the coach/ mentor of our ironman world champion on that other triathlon forum is nothing short of stunning. Despite sharing his view of;

    “Armstrong was just a man who did a job very well but broke a few rules – O’Grady was another man who did a job very well and broke a few rules”

    is he not aware of what this does to PJs credibilty.
    PLEASE NOTE i am not for one second questioning PJ, but for his coach/ mentor to endorse this behaviour is nothing short of mind boggling!!!!!
    For athletes such as Aaron Royle who is right up the front end of ITU racing, would this coach, and all the apologists, be encouraging him to tackle up? If he did i am sure he would be winning many races. It isnt like he has a fall back plan so why not hey.

    Stunned, saddened and disappointed with what i have read and heard this week.
    Open that old triathlon Pandoras box i say.

  • realtriathlon

    Well done Ronnie S
    Shame on O’G
    Suspicious about Don
    Give us some more clues on Maccas tweet

  • Forehead Slapper

    Said man is question on other website needs to stick to his moon and stars training methods, and his views are not only outdated, he just stirs up crap for publicity sake, and he is/ was as much PJ’s coach as the pope was my personal priest. Complete crap.

  • Sponge Brian

    Ah, worm master of transition still good going I see. His usual pot stirring no doubt.

    The past for triathlon is gone, no cycling digging the grave unfortunately. Speculation is all it is ever going to be.

  • NJH

    Phil, in my opinion, you’re absolutely WRONG about the four year suspension for first-timers. It should be an automatic life ban for anyone caught doping. Ulrich, Contador, Landis, Hamilton, O’grady etc etc etc…..the list goes on! Wipe them out, forever! This is not a “mistake”, as many call it. It is a considered decision and subsequent action by these cheats, who then try to get away with it.

    I was a huge S O’G fan. But, I now believe all his results should be stripped. Yes, even the P-2-R win. And, I believe that to be the case for anyone caught doping/cheating. Make the consequences absolutely MASSIVE and life-changing, which will hopefully remove any “temptation” (thanks Mike Tancred) any athlete has.

    I am all for naming and shaming and hope the rigours of testing continue. But, I’d be a lot happier if the rigours of testing continued and no-one was found to be doping…..because the repercussions were absolutely MASSIVE (see above!).

    Thanks for reading.

  • Stoney

    I think they are talking a little closer to home. The ones that have established relationships with these Aussie cyclists who have turned out to be more than what we all first thought. Some trained with them, others were coached by them.
    Or, like we thought Aussie cycling was clean triathlon must be

  • Phil

    Really guys… No body suspected O’Grady ??? – C’mon, he was in the same races as everyone else.

    • trapper

      Always knew he was the same as others. Look at his PR win….. Superman performance

  • Tach

    Tim Don didn’t have the fastest run split at Calgary,Grant Burwash put down1:13 and change.

    Although Don might have had it if he wasn’t such a nice and stopped to high five a few fans in the finish chute.

  • eastdillon

    Two questions for NJH,
    1. What about people who unknowingly take drugs? We have anti-doping to catch people trying to cheat, but when it’s someone who isn’t trying to cheat, but doing so inadvertently, do they deserve to be wiped out too? Who would you ban, the athlete or the person that deceived the athlete?

    2. Wouldn’t life bans also increase the degree to which people are willing to cheat? Wouldn’t we see more drastic corruption, bribery and blackmail?

    I personally feel that there should be a greater range of punishments available for first time offenders and that the precedents should be much more severe. I cannot support a blanket banned for life though.

  • Thommo

    Quick response ED – is the current system working?
    Endurance sports are littered with drug cheats and only now are we scratching the surface.
    Triathlon in the late 90s and early 2000s IMO was only a fraction better than cycling due to a young professional team structure.
    but we caught on quickly.
    I am with NJH.
    Seriously, how can you unknowlingly dope? If you cant operate by taking simple vitamins eg Vit C, protein through diet and ventolin if clinically tested to have asthma you arent genetically predisposed to race at the top end.
    There is so very very few that have unknowlingly doped and IMO they can unfortunately be collateral damage of a zero tolerance policy.
    You dont write the rules for the minority.

    • eastdillon

      sorry, missed it. No.

  • Southern

    Got to agree the current system is not working and has clearly never worked.

    The temptation to cheat to make it big (fame/fortune/etc.) is too large. The consequences for professionals are too small and the risk of being caught is too low.

    If you get caught there is no chance that you will have to pay damages to race organisers/sponsors/public/non-cheating athletes who are defrauded. You keep all the $ and have undeserved fame. Maybe time for a class action?

    O’Grady should also have to repay every $ received from the Australian Government to support him. He is a fraud and has defrauded the Commonwealth (much like a dole scammer).

    Doping does not happen by accident, and Zabel has now admitted that he did it for 8 years, after previously saying it was one TDF, and then previously “never”. Unless they are caught red handed they do not confess, so O’Grady’s claim is hard to believe when he has previously lied.

    I am all for clean sport, as the alternative drug fuelled entertainment spectacle does not encouraging health and well being in the community or any desire to put my kids into sport. Sport will quickly die without community support.

    I say life time bans unless you have a bloody good excuse and some real proof that it is not your fault or your teams fault.

  • eastdillon


  • Grasshopper

    Many people who have been caught use the excuse that it was accidental. Contador with clenbuterol is a classic example. It is soooo low dose, of course he will claim that it was from contamination. The truth of the matter is the guy is a cheat and he knowingly took this material to improve performance. IMO a ban for life is appropriate.

  • pedro

    Re Keat.

    Didn’t Hammer Nutrition admit there were traces in their product? Therefore backing up her claims, hence why she got off?

  • eastdillon

    people lie all the time Grasshopper, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t protect the innocent.

  • Trapper

    like it or not, IM was and maybe to a lesser extent now has dopers.. currently we pretend it has not, just like cycling did too. time will tell tho. do we really believe the big 4 were that much better on crap machinery to now??

  • Another Tim

    Two quick points:
    1) You don’t write rules for the minority – in fact you do. That’s exactly who our justice system is set up for. Ever heard the phrase that it is better for ten guilty people to walk free than for one innocent man to go to jail. Minority – legislated for.
    2) I am all for clean sport, as the alternative drug fuelled entertainment spectacle does not encouraging health and well being in the community or any desire to put my kids into sport – nonsense. How many more people took up cycling or got active (especially in the USA) for no other reason than that they saw Armstrong riding his bike in France? How many people marvelled at Asafa Powell when he ran the 100m WR and decided they would try and run really fast that night? A drug fuelled spectacle with an ignorant public will continue to stimulate community involvement in sport, so this can’t be used as an argument against the practice. Heck, parents are still signing their kids up for AusKick aren’t they?
    Just playing devil’s advocate. Big fan of life time bans for people who wilfully cheat. Where Phil says its alright for life, its alright for sport, I say professional sport isn’t a right but a privilege that can be earned and lost.

  • eastdillon

    “we don’t build prison’s to lock up the criminals, we build prison’s to keep the innocent free” 😉

  • Davo

    @Another Tim – how many people are inspired by watching Lance and Powell when they know it is an illusion and they are cheating = Zero (or other drug cheats who want to see how it is done). There is nothing inspiring about watching a cheat cut a corner and win a race. It is a farce, not an inspiration.

    Have a look at German cycling and see how inspired their TV and sponsors are by the TDF (despite having some of the best sprinters on the planet).

    The public will turn their back on a farce and will not be fooled again in a hurry. Next step = no olympics, no public interest, no money and maybe then less incentive for cheats.

    If we accept corruption and cheating, then the sport has no right to exist as anything but a side-show of freaks (roll out the bearded ladies and the superstrong muscle men) and conmen/conwomen.

  • Punter

    Wow these comments really piqued my interest so I read up on the Big 4 here

    It mentions supplements a couple of times – and the section describing Dave Scott’s “paranoia that someone else might get an edge through taking something he wasn’t” could have been lifted straight out of The Secret Race!

    Still sounds like a fantastic era, the pioneer days.

  • Another Tim

    My original comment was that a drug-fuelled sport will still prosper with an ignorant public. But if you want to go down the road of what will people do when they ‘know’ that its a farce, then please amuse me for one moment.

    2016 Olympics in Rio. What will be the number one ‘blue-riband’ event?
    Answer: the men’s 100m on the track. The one event in history that has a shadier past than professional cycling, where only two of the fastest twenty athletes in history haven’t returned a positive doping sample. And it will still receive the loudest cheers, the greatest acclaim and the most sponorship dollars. Cycling (Germany aside because let’s face it, they’re slightly different) continues to go from strength to strength in every facet, be it participation or profit. A few sponsors depart (Rabobank, Telekom) and a few more plug the gaps (Belkin, Columbia).
    How many people gave up cycling because Lance confessed to being a doper? People know – or at least they damn well should by now – that the Tour and sprinting are events that they shouldn’t give a shred of respect to. But they still do. And if we all of a sudden made a rule change that the athletes were allowed to dope, people would still get the same giddy feeling watching Bolt run the 100m or Nibali bomb down the Dolomites. And they would still take up the sport because they know that doping won’t be a part of their engagement with it.

    • spuds

      Tim – I have to agree with you …

  • Davo

    @ Another Tim
    I think people are actually celebrating 100m runners being busted at present (Gay, Powell, etc. etc.)?
    New sponsors are offering less cash than previous ones as the sponsorship value of the product has declined.
    Most cyclists (outside the pro peleton) are glad Lance and others were caught and exposed as a fraud. The fact they can get caught is a deterrent to the Next Gen, but I agree it is likely that drugs are still in sport and it will take a lot more exposures and punishment (bans/punitive damages/loss of a future) before people understand that the risk/reward benefit to dope is gone.

    I am with NJH, Thommo and Southern on lifetime bans!

  • eastdillon

    Davo, you’re still not arguing the same things as Another Tim. It’s like you’re playing rugby union while he’s screaming at you that he’s playing rugby league.

    Yohan Blake was suspended for 3 months for using a banned stimulant. He has since returned and been paid ridiculously large amounts, so large is his income that he doesn’t turn up to Golden League meets without a minimum 50k appearance fee.

    1. Did you know he had been banned?
    2. Did you watch the 100m or coverage of it on the news during London 2012?

    If you answered yes to question 2, you prove Another Tim’s point. If you answered yes to both questions, you completely dismantle your own argument.

  • Grunter

    ED are you still here putting your two bobs worth into everything. It’s like you’re playing women’s tennis screaming at every shot….ANNOYING AND UNWATCHABLE!!

  • True


  • eastdillon

    I was going to say that I love this new format for the comments section, but the logging in part was very trying. Naaah, it’s still super cool. “I’ll never tell. xoxo”

  • eastdillon

    I hope the Bannister case is shedding some more light on whether or not we should have automatic life bans handed out. He made mistakes, but doesn’t deserve the severity of a life ban.
    Mitch Robins would sympathise. Last year when filling out his whereabouts forms, realised that he can’t say where he’ll be every second night on account of he doesn’t know which girl he’s going home with!!