Paul Kimmage

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Paul Kimmage
Personal information
Full name Paul Kimmage
Born (1962-05-07) 7 May 1962 (age 52)
Dublin, Ireland
Team information
Discipline Road
Role Retired
Amateur team(s)
1980–1986 Tara Road CC
ACBB(France)
CC Wasquehal (Belgium)
Professional team(s)
1986–1988
1988–1989
RMO
Fagor-MBK
Major wins
MaillotIrlanda.PNG National Road Race Champion (1981)
Infobox last updated on
8 July 2008

Paul Kimmage (born 7 May 1962 in Dublin, Ireland) is an Irish sports journalist who, until his departure in early 2012, wrote for The Sunday Times newspaper in the United Kingdom. He is a former professional road bicycle racer.

Kimmage was born into a cycling family. His father, Christy, cycled with the Dublin Wheelers and his brothers Raphael and Kevin were also successful. Paul was road race champion of Ireland in 1981.

Cycling career[edit]

Amateur career[edit]

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 in Los Angeles, 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.[1] He was sixth in the 1985 amateur world road championship. He also finished ninth in a professional race, Bordeaux–Paris behind Belgian René Martens in 1985.[2]

Professional career[edit]

In 1986 Kimmage joined the RMO team under Bernard Thévenet. During his time in the peloton he wrote pieces in Irish newspapers interested in the sport because of the success of countrymen Stephen Roche and Sean Kelly.

His career includes ninth on stage 7 of the 1986 Tour de France 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, Sean Kelly and Martin Earley that prepared together and competed at the UCI Road World Championships in 1987 that ended with a win by Stephen Roche. 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.[3]

Kimmage left RMO at the end of 1988 and rode for half a season for the Fagor-MBK team of Stephen Roche and Eddy Schepers with directeur sportif Patrick Valcke. He supported Roche in the 1989 Giro d'Italia which was won by Laurent Fignon with Roche 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 in Dublin but after Roche had to withdraw from the 1989 Tour de France, Kimmage withdrew and subsequently gave up as a professional.[4]

He always struggled with injury and he retired with no wins, blaming systemic doping in the peloton. In his book Rough Ride he talks of taking amphetamines in a post-season exhibition race, 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.[5]

Journalism[edit]

In May 1990, Kimmage published Rough Ride, detailing his experiences as a domestique which included references to drug use, including his own. Kimmage admitted to using amphetamines to ride non-controlled criteriums on a few occasions, and caffeine suppositories, but says he stayed away from more powerful and dangerous drugs that other cyclists were using.

Kimmage had been a sports journalist with the Sunday Independent 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 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.[citation needed]

Kimmage has been a long time friend of David Walsh, author of the controversial doping-in-cycling book L.A. Confidentiel.[6]

In 2012 Kimmage was laid off from the Sunday Times[7] He has claimed that the loss of his job is related to his reporting on doping in cycling. Because many of his doping and cycling stories were rejected by the paper's lawyers, he was unable to get as many published articles as he otherwise would have, and this led to his losing his job.[8]

Kimmage has also described his difficulty with being dispassionate on the issue. He told Today FM "sometimes I let myself down" while covering the topic, relating his passion to his own experience in the sport and the knowledge that other riders have died from doping.[8]

In 2012 Kimmage was named among the top 10 most influential sportswriters in Britain by the trade publication, UK Press Gazette.[9]

Relationship with Lance Armstrong[edit]

Paul Kimmage has a history of confrontations with former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong. 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 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, 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,[10] Armstrong responded aggressively to the question, with the heated exchange being uploaded to popular video sharing sites.[11][12] [13] In June 2012, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) charged Armstrong with having used illicit performance enhancing drugs, and in August they announced a lifetime ban from competition as well as the stripping of all titles since August 1998. On October 22, 2012, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the sport's governing body, endorsed USADA's verdict and confirmed both the lifetime ban and the stripping of titles. These included the Tour de France titles for the years 1999 to 2005.

Floyd Landis interview[edit]

In January 2011, nyvelocity.com published the full transcript of a 7-hour interview[14] Paul Kimmage conducted with former professional cyclist Floyd Landis a few days before Thanksgiving of 2010. In the interview, Landis admitted to being 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".

Matt Hampson biography[edit]

Kimmage wrote a biography of Matt Hampson entitled Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson. It was published in August 2011. It won the 2012 British Sports Book Award in the Autobiography/Biography category, and went on to win the overall best book award in all categories.[15] It was shortlisted for the 2011 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, despite not being longlisted.[16] It was however awarded the 2011 William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year.[17]

UCI defamation suit[edit]

In 2012 Union Cycliste Internationale president Pat McQuaid and former president Hein Verbruggen, as well as UCI itself, sued Kimmage in Switzerland for defamation. Press attributed this to articles Kimmage had written for the Sunday Times and L'Equipe which discussed doping and UCI.[18] Greg LeMond,[19] Tyler Hamilton,[20] David Walsh, and others voiced their support for Kimmage and a legal defence fund was set up to assist him.[21][22][23] The lawsuit was later dropped, but Kimmage had received money from the public to prepare a defence, so he decided to sue the UCI himself in a criminal court. He stated that he was doing it for the whistle blowers who were defamed by the UCI.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jim McArdle (1981-07-06). Kimmage wins Irish championships. Irish Times. 
  2. ^ "Paul Kimmage". Cyclebase.nl. Retrieved 2007-09-11. 
  3. ^ Jim McArdle (October 2, 1987). Pelier wins stage but Kelly takes lead. The Irish Times. 
  4. ^ Paul Kimmage (1990). Rough Ride. Yellow Jersey Press. ISBN 0-09-174926-3. 
  5. ^ http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/features/?id=post_tour_crits
  6. ^ Millar accuses McQuaid and UCI over cycling's doping past, Kimmage takes to Twitter to thank supporters, road.cc, September 24, 2012, Simon MacMichael, retr 2012 10 22
  7. ^ Nearly $20,000 raised for Paul Kimmage’s defense against McQuaid, Verbruggen, By VeloNews.com Sep. 24, 2012, retr 2012 10 22
  8. ^ a b The Last Word, with Matt Cooper, Oct 22 2012, interview with Paul Kimmage on Today FM (Radio Ireland Limited T/A Today FM, Dublin), retr 2012 10 22
  9. ^ In 2012 Samuel was named top in a UK Press Gazette poll of Britain's best sports journalists.
  10. ^ http://www.podiumcafe.com/2008/9/10/611485/lance-armstrong-comeback-r
  11. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUAO7xmNKeA
  12. ^ Slot, Owen (2009-02-17). "World in motion: cycling divided by Paul Kimmage and Lance Armstrong's 'cancer' row — Times Online". London: www.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  13. ^ "YouTube — Cycling Legend Rails Against British Reporter". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2009-07-06. 
  14. ^ "THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO FLOYD". 
  15. ^ British Sports Book Awards, official website.
  16. ^ http://www.williamhillmedia.com/index_template.asp?file=17951
  17. ^ Staff writer (August 12, 2011). "‘Engage’ takes top Irish sports book award for Hampson and Kimmage". The Score. Retrieved November 26, 2012. 
  18. ^ Cycling chiefs spin the wheels of justice, Irish Independent, January 29, 2012, independent.ie, retr 2012 10 13
  19. ^ Sport Saturday Greg LeMond interview, newstalk.ie, 2012 October 6, retr 2012 10 13
  20. ^ Interview: Tyler Hamilton, Cyclist, TOM ENGLISH, Scottsman.com, 30 September 2012, retr 2012 10 22
  21. ^ UCI provides clarification regarding its case against Kimmage, October 2, 2012, Cycling News, retr 2012 10 13
  22. ^ Kimmage humbled by defense fund support, Daniel Benson, Cycling News, September 23, 2012
  23. ^ Kimmage receives UCI subpoena , Cycling News, September 20, 2012, retr 2012 10 13
  24. ^ Sarah Barth (1 November 2012). "Paul Kimmage lodges criminal complaint against UCI after Armstrong defamation case against him is suspended". RoadCC (Farrelly Atkinson Ltd). Retrieved 12 November 2012. 
Awards
Preceded by
Dan Topolski & Patrick Robinson
William Hill Sports Book of the Year winner
1990
Succeeded by
Thomas Hauser

External links[edit]