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Paul Kimmage

Paul Kimmage

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Paul Kimmage is an award-winning sports journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 who writes for the Sunday Times
The Sunday Times (UK)
The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper, distributed in the United Kingdom. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded...

 newspaper in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and is a former professional road bicycle racer.

Kimmage was born into a cycling family. His father, Christy, cycled with the Dublin Wheelers
Dublin Wheelers
Dublin Wheelers is a cycling club based in Dublin, Ireland. The club was established in 1933 by a group of six friends on a weekend away cycling in Rostrevor...

 and was road race champion of Ireland in 1962 and his brothers Raphael and Kevin were also successful.

Amateur career


Paul Kimmage had a prominent career as an amateur, notably his 6th place at the amateur world road race championship. His brothers also enjoyed the spotlight: Raphael finished second in the 1984 Ras Tailteann while Kevin won the race in 1991.

Kimmage replicated his reputation as a successful amateur in Ireland, for the French ACBB team and the Belgian CC Wasquehal amateur team. He also represented his country at the 1984 Summer Olympics
1984 Summer Olympics
The 1984 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIII Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event held in Los Angeles, California, United States in 1984...

 in Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. Notable performances as an amateur included 5 July 1981 where he became the national road race champion ahead of the old but still competitive Paddy Flanagan
Paddy Flanagan
Paddy Flanagan was one of the top Irish cyclists of the 1960s and 1970s. He came to prominence in the Rás Tailtean. He rode his first in the Rás Tailtean in 1958 and came 11th. The following year he came second. He won in 1960 and again in 1964, the first to win twice...

. He was sixth in the 1985 amateur world road championship. He also finished ninth in a professional race, Bordeaux–Paris behind Belgian
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 René Martens
René Martens
René Martens was a Belgian professional road bicycle racer.- Palmarès :1976...

 in 1985.

Professional career


In 1986 Kimmage joined the RMO team under Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet
Bernard Thévenet, born 10 January 1948, in Saint-Julien-de-Civry, Saône-et-Loire, is a retired French bicycle racer. He is a two-time winner of the Tour de France and known for ending the reign of five-time Tour champion Eddy Merckx...

. During his time in the peloton he wrote pieces in Irish newspapers interested in the sport because of the success of countrymen Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche is a retired professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist to win the Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus the World road race championship...

 and Sean Kelly
Seán Kelly (cyclist)
John James 'Sean' Kelly is an Irish former professional road bicycle racer. He was one of the most successful road cyclists of the 1980s, and one of the finest classics riders of all time. From turning professional in 1977 until his retirement in 1994, he won nine monument classics, and 193...

.

His career includes ninth on stage 7 of the 1986 Tour de France
1986 Tour de France
The 1986 Tour de France was the 73rd Tour de France, taking place July 4 to July 27, 1986. The total race distance was 4094 km, distributed over 23 stages and a prologue. It was won by Greg LeMond, the first American to win the Tour...

 before completing the Tour in 131st place (his only finish in three participations of the Tour). He was in the Irish team with Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche is a retired professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist to win the Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus the World road race championship...

, Sean Kelly
Seán Kelly (cyclist)
John James 'Sean' Kelly is an Irish former professional road bicycle racer. He was one of the most successful road cyclists of the 1980s, and one of the finest classics riders of all time. From turning professional in 1977 until his retirement in 1994, he won nine monument classics, and 193...

 and Martin Earley
Martin Earley
Martin Earley is a former Irish professional road bicycle racer.He turned professional in 1985 with the Fagor team with whom he stayed until 1987. In 1986 he won the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia and the second of the Vuelta al País Vasco...

 that prepared together and competed at the UCI Road World Championships
UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships are the annual world championships for bicycle road racing organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale...

 in 1987 that ended with a win by Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche is a retired professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist to win the Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus the World road race championship...

. Several weeks later during the 1987 Nissan Classic in which Kimmage finished eighth, Kelly thanked Roche, Earley and Kimmage for closing the gap to a break and ensuring his yellow jersey
Yellow jersey
The general classification in the Tour de France is the most important classification, the one by which the winner of the Tour de France is determined. Since 1919, the leader of the general classification wears the yellow jersey .-History:...

.

Kimmage left RMO at the end of 1988 and rode for half a season for the Fagor-MBK team of Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche is a retired professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist to win the Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus the World road race championship...

 and Eddy Schepers
Eddy Schepers
Eddy Schepers was a Belgian former professional cyclist. He was a professional cyclist from 1978 to 1990 where he rode for many teams including C&A, Carrera and Fagor...

 with directeur sportif
Directeur sportif
A directeur sportif is a person directing a cycling team during a road bicycle racing event...

 Patrick Valcke. He supported Roche in the 1989 Giro d'Italia
1989 Giro d'Italia
The 1989 Giro d'Italia of cycling was held from 17 May to 10 June 1989, consisting of 22 stages. It was won by the French Laurent Fignon.This 72nd edition was 3,623 km long, completed at an average speed of 38.747 km/h.- General classification :...

 which was won by Laurent Fignon
Laurent Fignon
Laurent Patrick Fignon was a French professional road bicycle racer. He won the Tour de France in 1983 and in 1984. He missed winning it a third time, in 1989, by 8 seconds, the closest margin ever to decide the tour. He also won the Giro d'Italia in 1989, after having been the runner-up in 1984,...

 with Roche
Stephen Roche
Stephen Roche is a retired professional road racing cyclist. In a 13-year professional career, he peaked in 1987, becoming only the second cyclist to win the Triple Crown of victories in the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia stage races, plus the World road race championship...

 finishing ninth. Kimmage was planning on ending his professional cycling career at the end of the 1989 Nissan Classic which ended each year on O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street
O'Connell Street is Dublin's main thoroughfare. It measures 49 m in width at its southern end, 46 m at the north, and is 500 m in length...

 in Dublin but after Roche had to withdraw from the 1989 Tour de France
1989 Tour de France
The 1989 Tour de France was the 76th Tour de France, a race of 21 stages and a prologue, over 3285 km in total. In the closest tour in history, Greg LeMond was behind by 50 seconds at the start of the final stage, a time trial into Paris. LeMond rode for an average speed of 54.55 km/h ,...

, Kimmage withdrew and subsequently gave up as a professional.

He always struggled with injury and he retired with no wins, blaming systemic doping in the peloton. In Kimmage's book Rough Ride
Rough Ride
Rough Ride is a William Hill Sports Book of the Year, written by Irish journalist Paul Kimmage in 1990.It is an autobiography that charts the author's upbringing in Dublin and his obsession with cycling, which started with his father being a top-level Irish amateur...

 he talks of taking amphetamines in a post-season exhibition race, known in cycling as a criterium
Criterium
A criterium, or crit, is a bike race held on a short course , often run on closed-off city center streets....

, something that was common practice at that time in cycling; criterium results were often staged, with a win being guaranteed for the biggest name or local hero.

"Rough Ride"


In May 1990, Kimmage published Rough Ride
Rough Ride
Rough Ride is a William Hill Sports Book of the Year, written by Irish journalist Paul Kimmage in 1990.It is an autobiography that charts the author's upbringing in Dublin and his obsession with cycling, which started with his father being a top-level Irish amateur...

, detailing his experiences as a domestique which included references to drug use, including that of his own.

Kimmage was vilified within cycling as having "spat in the soup" (a colloquial phrase denoting betrayal, from the French, cracher dans la soupe), and within Ireland for having slurred Kelly and Roche. Roche responded with anger and threat of litigation, though Kimmage had never named him or Kelly among those he had seen doping. The book won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year
William Hill Sports Book of the Year
The William Hill Sports Book of the Year is an annual British literary award sponsored by bookmakers William Hill. It claims to be "the world's richest sports book prize" at £22,000...

 in its year of publication.

Kimmage had been a sports journalist with the Sunday Independent
Sunday Independent
The Sunday Independent is a broadsheet Sunday newspaper published in Ireland by Independent News and Media plc. The newspaper is edited by Aengus Fanning, and is the biggest selling Irish Sunday newspaper by a large margin ; average circulation of 291,323 between June 2004 and January 2005,...

 in Ireland. He left for the Sunday Times soon after an incident in 2002, when the newspaper misrepresented an article he had written about Roy Keane
Roy Keane
Roy Maurice Keane is an Irish former footballer and manager. In his 18-year playing career, he played for Cobh Ramblers in the League of Ireland, Nottingham Forest and Manchester United, before ending his career at Celtic in Scotland....

 in the wake of the Saipan saga involving Keane. The editors had taken a quote from Keane out of context to run a headline that implied Keane was planning to leave his wife.

Relationship with Lance Armstrong


Paul Kimmage has a history of confrontations with seven times Tour de France
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race held in France and nearby countries. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than and lasts three weeks. As the best known and most prestigious of cycling's three "Grand Tours", the Tour de France attracts riders and teams from around the world. The...

 winner Lance Armstrong
Lance Armstrong
Lance Edward Armstrong is an American former professional road racing cyclist who won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times, after having survived testicular cancer. He is also the founder and chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research and support...

. Kimmage has invoked the ire of Armstrong over claims that most of Armstrong's early US Postal cycling team were doped, claiming that riders like George Hincapie
George Hincapie
George Hincapié Garcés is an American professional road bicycle racer currently riding for UCI ProTeam . Hincapie resides in Greenville, South Carolina...

 had taken performance enhancing drugs. Kimmage continues to accuse many cyclists, in particular Armstrong, of doping.

This confrontation received widespread coverage before the 2009 Tour of California
2009 Tour of California
The 2009 Amgen Tour of California was the 4th running of an annual cycling race contained within the state of California. The event was staged February 14–22 and began with a prologue in the state capital of Sacramento. The event was held as part of the schedule of both the UCI America Tour and USA...

, when Kimmage asked Armstrong a question regarding dopers. Upon learning the identity of Kimmage, who had earlier referred to Armstrong as the "cancer" of cycling, Armstrong responded aggressively to the question, with the heated exchange being uploaded to popular video sharing sites.

Floyd Landis Interview


In January 2011, nyvelocity.com published the full transcript of a 7-hour interview Paul Kimmage did with the disgraced professional cyclist Floyd Landis
Floyd Landis
Floyd Landis is an American retired cyclist who after initially being awarded victory in the 2006 Tour de France was stripped of his title for a doping offense. He was an all-around rider, with special skills in climbing and time-trialing, and is also known to be a very fast descender.Landis...

a few days before Thanksgiving of 2010. In it, Landis admitted to being consistently involved in doping activities during his time with the US Postal team, where he was often referred to as Lance Armstrong's "second in command". Landis had announced his retirement from professional cycling a few weeks prior to the publishing of this interview.