Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Wednesday Roundup

The CyclingNews reviews the LeMond/Trek lawsuits revealed yesterday with some historical perspective. Speculation abounds that LeMond's response to Trek's assertions is expected today.

The Boulder Report
writes about the acrimonious, and unsurprising, lawsuits filed by Greg LeMond and Trek. Joe Lindsey notes that it involves much more than just the bottom line, it's intensely personal:

With this story's convoluted tangle of business interests, money and personal feelings, it may take months or even years to sort out the specifics. In the meantime, it will continue to be an open wound on the sport and the bike business. Whichever party you feel is in the right, (Trek president John) Burke was dead-on when he said "Today is a sad day for American cycling."

Lindsey pointedly notes that Trek's sales chart LeMond bikes offered in support of their position stops at 1999, which makes it kinda hard to see what the trend has been lately.

In more of The Boulder Report Joe Lindsey continues his posts about the Greg LeMond/Trek story, and admits his bias to liking LeMond, even though Joe doubted many of LeMond's claims of doping cyclists early on.

ESPN posts an AP report in which new WADA president John Fahey cautions those who would cheat the HGH tests not to even try it:

"I suppose my greatest fear is that cheats get away with it," Fahey said. "What I want is an effective system that will find the cheats."


The Radfords reminisce about a July which now seems long long ago, and then snark about Floyd Landis' current state of employment.

Tyler Ford considers "Positively False" one of his top ten cycling reads.

Steroid Report/Gary Gaffney adopts LeMond's posture on the law suits, that it is all about covering up Lance's (alleged) doping. Comments run the other way.

Bike Radar does the same, cited by Gaffney.

The Chutry Experient saw "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" and found it interesting on many levels. He notes the sympathetic interview contained in the movie with Floyd Landis.


ddt240 said...

Here's the thing about St. Greg that he fails to understand. This isn't about his 1st amendment rights, it's about public image. He's free to say whatever he wants, but he doesn't understand that when to pick his battles, back off. The reason LeMond bikes aren't selling isn't for lack of marketing, it's because of people like me.

People who believe that he is TOO outspoken; That he portrays himself as being all knowing when it comes to all things doping and cycling and it comes off ad disingenuous. He fails to realize that it's not just marketing that sells bicycles, but public perception, and given my perception of Greg LeMond, I will never spend one cent on a product that bears the LeMond name, nor will I ever be seen using a product that bears his name.

I'm sure there are those that feel the same way and have gone even farther to boycott all Trek products including Bontrager and Klein. I'm not naive enough to believe that Trek's relationship with Lance didn't factor into it a little bit, but I seriously doubt that it played a major role in their decision and nowhere near as big a role as LeMond’s suit against Trek.

I'm pretty sure that was the last straw for Trek. On top of all the other things, when Greg tried to bite the hand that feeds, it's time to get rid of him for good.

To steal a line from Charles Schulz, "Bon Voyage, Greg LeMond (and Don't Come Back!!)"

Gary O'Brien said...

None of his allegations really prove that Trek acted in any way that any company would have to protect their brands, including Lemond bikes.

Greg was throwing around accusations, most with dodgy backup, about Trek's biggest star and spokesman, who was riding, and succeeding on, the crown jewel of their line in the biggest bike race in the world.

Greg had a lisencing agreement. Let's face it, what company is going to just idly say, "Oh you're Greg Lemond. Of course you know what rumors are true and what aren't. You're Greg Freaking Lemond."

It looks to me that Trek was protecting their brand and I saw no evidence of any sort of coercion on their part in what Lemond submitted.

Greg needs to understand that it's not his outspokenness about doping that people don't like. If that were the case we'd all have dart boards with Brad Wiggins' face on it. I support a clean sport that is based on truth, accuracy and not rumors and hearsay.

Put simply, people don't like Greg the person and it's not a sentiment that just started with Festina. A lot of people didn't like him when his butt was still in the saddle. You'd think he'd be used to it by now.

[brother]mark said...

Hey Kids, what I've learned from reading the brief filed by Trek against GLM is that in 2004 Trek acted to terminate the agreement with GLM, but suggested that as an option he pursue a new distributer. Upon finding none, GLM filed suit against Trek for not supporting his brand and intimated that he was being denied his right to speak publicly about PED's.

[Para 29]
"Accordingly, Trek informed LeMond Cycling in August 2004 that it was in breach of the Sublicense Agreement and that Trek was entitled to terminate because LeMond Cycling and/or Greg LeMond took action which “damage[d] or ha[d] an adverse impact” on the trademarks LeMond Cycling licensed to Trek, and also on Trek, Trek’s business, and Trek’s goodwill. Instead of providing Notice of Termination at that time, Trek asked LeMond to find another licensee for his brand.
[Para 30]
"After learning he could not find another company who would license his brand, in December 2004 Greg LeMond had LeMond Cycling serve and threaten to file a lawsuit making numerous disparaging statements harmful to Trek and its business interests." Greg LeMond did so in order to compel Trek to withdraw its Notice of Breach and continue to do business with him and LeMond Cycling, notwithstanding Trek’s right to terminate the Agreement. As it stated at the time in January 2005, given the damage litigation would cause to Trek and the LeMond brand, Trek was forced to withdraw the Notice of Breach and to continue doing business with LeMond and LeMond Cycling.

And so it goes...

Also from the brief, here are two particularly telling snippets, one testifying directly to the character of GLM and another testifying to the damage his public statements were doing to the Trek and LeMond brands;

[Para 16]
"Notwithstanding his limited rights under the Sublicense Agreement to a small number of bikes each year for personal use (ie., 15), since 1999 Greg LeMond has made numerous purchases of LeMond bicycles at employee pricing from Trek with a suggested retail value of over $2,500,000. Upon information and belief, Greg LeMond has resold, bartered for value or otherwise distributed many or most of these bikes, harming Trek and its dealers. "

According to a dealer complaint, customers who had ordered bikes through the dealer cancelled their orders because Greg was selling them directly for half price.

And then this customer letter to the corporation;

[Para 36]
"I recently purchased a LeMond bike and am having an unusual problem. When I place it in the garage next to my Specialized and Trek bicycles it begins to whine and complain that the other bikes are cheaters and that it is the only true “American Champion.” I was wondering, if maybe Greg himself would stop being a whining asshole, maybe this piece of shit bike would also stop. Please have him do it publicly so I can bring the bike in to watch it on TV. I suppose this is not covered under warranty.”

Saintly though he may be, GLM seems conflicted about what's best for his business.

for what its worth...

("Eightzero") said...

A recent headline from L'Equipe said GLM did in fact breach the sublicense agreement with Trek. A spokesperson at LNDD is said to have confirmed this. "It is a worst case scenario for us" according to the ASO and UCI. "LGM will never be considered our spokesman" according to the ASO, the new absolute ruler of anything involved with Cycling (tm).


bk said...

Check this out. NYPD performing steroid testing on it's officers.

Bill Mc said...

Here is the latest group to be associated with using PEDs: Scientists use PEDs

I just see WADA taking on this group!