Sam Anderson Cheats at Mountain Bike Racing

Note that this is NOT the 24 Hours of Great Glen Race Report. 24HOGG delivered another AMAZING race weekend that reminded me how much I love this event and why it keeps going strong in its 19th year, long after the 24-hour craze of the 90s has faded.  I will be back in 2015, and you should be too!


update:  I made a second post that answers some questions and has some more info.

The only individual prizes you can get at a team 24 hour race are the "Fastest Lap" and "Fastest Night Lap" prizes. If you're a serious racer (which most people at this race AREN'T), you pay attention to this stuff. Back when I used to do the race on the Back Bay Team, we'd fight over who got to ride 2nd because it was the "hot lap spot" -- the first rider on the course who didn't have to do the Le Mans start. This was better than going 3rd or 4th on your team because lapped traffic quickly started appearing -- your best bet at taking "fastest lap" bragging rights (and standing on the podium for it at the end of the race) was going out 2nd.

So this year, when I dropped at 40:36 on my first lap, and it turned out to be the fastest lap so far, I swaggered out of the tent proudly and started trash talking my teammates about it.

The time lasted less than an hour, though, because Sheldon Miller posted a 40:06 on his first lap, and then Don Seib (who had done the run leg on his first lap) put down a 39:50 on his second lap. And that was that. Going faster as the race wears on at Great Glen is basically impossible, as you know, this whole "fatigue" thing catches up with you.  Everyone's best lap is either their first or their second.

So all of us were a little surprised when, at 9am on Sunday, 21 hours into the race, a new "fastest lap" was posted. Sam Anderson did a 36:54, shaving THREE MINUTES off the old best time. Sheldon especially was a little skeptical about the legitimacy of his time -- but I was more accepting of it. I remember 2010, when Justine Lindine beat my best lap by 3:30, just like Sam did this year. I chalked up Sheldon's skepticism to typical local-elite hubris ("no one could be THAT MUCH faster than me!") and went back to finishing the job of bike racing. The race ended, we did the awards ceremony, Sam stood on the podium and got cheers and prizes and pictures for putting down a blisteringly fast lap time. We drove home and went to bed exhausted and satisfied.

Monday morning the team was rehashing our race in the office and we started talking about the mystery guy that did the crazy fast lap. I relayed my story of how I thought I was good, right up until Lindine put over 3 minutes into me there in 2010. Some dudes really are just that fast. But man, we race a lot of bikes, collectively, and none of us had ever heard of him, so he must not be a serious racer. If a guy can turn Lindine-quality laps while being a NON-SERIOUS RACER, holy shit, someone should sponsor that man! So we started doing some internet sleuthing to see what else he did.

His USA Cycling results were unimpressive, to say the least, but they ended in 2012. No reason he couldn't have been a super talented guy who barely trained back in the day, but now he's getting serious and he's flying. He also clocked a 1:14 on Mt Washington in 2012 -- not exactly amazing, but we've already established he was pretty mediocre back then anyway.  Inconclusive.

We found his Strava, which also showed no signs of greatness, but also very few rides at all. So it was really just as inconclusive as his race results.  He remained a mystery man

 So there wasn't much out there on this guy, but he had ridden two 40-minute laps and a SUB THIRTY SEVEN minute lap at Great Glen. His first lap of the day was a 48 minute lap, but whatever. Maybe he flatted, maybe he just didn't care because he was racing cruiser class. Meanwhile, here I am, wasting my day, google searching for race results just because I can't handle that a guy can ride a mountain bike faster than me. GET OVER YOURSELF, COLIN.

Then we found his results from Great Glen in 2010.

2010 was the year my team had an epic battle with Adam St Germain's team and their ringer, pro cyclist Justin Lindine.

Sam was on a 5-person coed team that year. This is how his race went.

On his first lap, he did a 45:27, including the run.

On his second lap, he did a 42:52, shaving 2:30 off his lap one time, which is pretty much exactly how long it takes to run around the pond on lap one.

At 7:41, as the sun set, Sam Anderson went out to ride a double lap for his team. His first lap took 38:44, shaving FOUR minutes off his previous best lap time. As the first lap. Of a double. At night.

(if you've ever raced Great Glen, this should be a smoking gun to you)

His second lap of that double took 41:17... still faster than any of his day laps.

However, at 8:30 pm that night, pro cyclist Justin Lindine turned a 35:40 lap, directly followed by a 37:00 lap. So while the lap time progression he's exhibited makes no sense, he's still well within the realm of "conceivable." Lindine did two more single laps that night, a 37:39 and a 39:40. Meanwhile, Sam got a longer break after his double lap, since he was a on a five-person team and everyone did a double.

At 4am Sam went back out for another double and did a 38:56 + 39:48 combo. So, an even better pair than his first set of night laps.

The sun came up and my team continued to keep Adam and Justin's team honest. They stayed on single laps all morning, holding a ~20 minute lead over us. As fatigue set in, Justin was unable to return to his day one lap times, clocking a 36:47 and then a 37:40 on single laps in the morning. Meanwhile, my team, also turning single laps as fast as we could, was barely able to break 40. Because it's the morning of a 24 hour race, and you're TIRED.

Meanwhile, at 8am, Sam Anderson set a new personal lap record of 35:38. Over a minute faster than pro cyclist Justin Lindine's best lap from the morning. You might think that beating Justin by a minute would make you pretty tired, but you'd be wrong -- this was the first lap of a double lap from Sam. His second lap was a 38:38... still the fastest non-Lindine lap ridden in the morning, and still four minutes faster than his first and second laps of the day.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Sam is a really talented mountain biker, and on his first two laps (when cutting the course would have been hard due to the traffic density) he just happened to have mechanicals (like flats) that made his laps look really slow. Then once it was dark (so cheating is easy, because everyone has a light on) he stopped having mechanicals and started turning Lindine-quality laps. In the morning (when cheating is easy because everyone is spread out, and the 12 hour teams are off the course, and half the solos have quit), he even managed to beat Lindine while he was doing a double lap and Lindine was doing a single, because uh, Justin stopped to pee or something, and Sam really should have gone to mountain bike nationals that year.

So yeah, maybe, I dunno, there's like a tiny chance than Sam Anderson isn't just cutting off part of the course that's about 5-6 minutes long on his night laps and morning laps. Maybe he's just a super fast guy who had some bad luck on his first lap in 2014 and his first two laps in 2010.

Sam Anderson's 2010 lap times

Which brings me to his 2011 results....

He raced on a 5-person team once again. He didn't have to do the run, so his first lap was a 37:51 -- one of the best laps of the day (I clocked a 37:40 on my first lap and almost threw up). His second lap was a much more pedestrian 41:32, but hey, stuff happens, especially if you went crazy hard on your first lap.

Then the sun went down. At 8pm, Sam did a 45:06 night lap, the worst night lap of his career. On a single lap, too, even though he was clocking sub-40 night doubles the year before. Clearly, he had a mechanical (broken chain? flat tire) ... or maybe when he got to the spot where he usually cuts the course, there was another rider behind him and he couldn't do it.

At 2am he went out for a double lap after a nice long break. Now all the 12 hour teams were off the course, and everyone has a nice 1000-lumen light on their head so you know where they are, and whether or not they can see you cutting the course.

His first lap? 36:52.
Second lap? 37:40.

So he broke his lap one record. Twice in a row. At night.

36:52 was the fourth fastest lap of the entire race. The only people to beat it were Kevin Sweeney's 1st lap, Kevin Sweeney's 2nd lap, and Max Judelson's first lap. But somehow, Sam's fastest lap came on his fourth lap of the whole race, at night, as the first lap of a double lap.

And then he only dropped 48 seconds on his next lap, once again beating his time from the first lap of the day.  If we assume that he actually has the physical ability to ride laps this fast, this late in the race, then why did he ride 37,41, and 45 minute single laps earlier?  Clearly he must have mechanical'ed on lap one.. and mechanical'ed again on lap two... and again on lap 3... all the while having his lap times decay at a totally normal rate as fatigue and darkness set in.  Then, as soon cutting the course gets easy, he's the best rider out there, by leaps and bounds, and he barely slows down.   Just like 2010.  And 2014.

Sam Anderson's 2011 lap times

I never wanted to believe that a guy was cheating at one of my favorite races, in one of my favorite sports.  While the other fast guys were calling bullshit on his lap record this year, I was rolling my eyes at the arrogance of local elite riders.  I absolutely believe a 36:54 lap time is doable -- by a few hundred guys in the country -- and this whole thing started with a "man, does that guy have a sponsor at least?" curiosity.

Sam's been cheating at Great Glen for three years, and this is the first year he got a tangible award from it -- the fastest lap prize.  I wish I'd been more awake to hear what it was, but based on the $200+ value of the fastest night lap prize I got, it wasn't just a medal or t-shirt.

If he was an honorable man, he'd apologize and mail that prize to Don Seib, the rightful winner, but if he was an honorable man he wouldn't have a 3-year history of cutting the course in the dark at Great Glen, so that's out the window.

If this story annoys you as much as it annoys me, pass it around to your bike racer friends.  People should know about this.  This isn't a guy who cheated once, this is a guy with a pattern of cheating, a guy who needs to cheat so badly, that even when he's on a cruiser-class fun team in 2014, he did it on 3 out of 4 laps.  Guys like this don't belong in mountain bike racing, or any sport where cheating is self-policed.  This guy should be out there on a soccer field flopping and trying to get away with accidental handballs, not racing mountain bikes at night where cheating is literally as simple as "turn off your light and duck a rope."

Three years of cheating is three strikes.  The penalty for cheating at your local, friendly, amateur mountain bike race three times should be a lifetime ban from your local, friendly, amateur mountain bike races.  Sam, don't bother registering for any of the bike races I put on, and you can count on the race promoter seeing this blog post any time I see your name on the results.

I acknowledge there's an imperceptibly tiny chance I'm wrong here.  Maybe Sam really is just an incredible talent with incredibly bad luck, who can never ride a lap at Great Glen that matches his talent level on the first afternoon of Great Glen because he just keeps getting flats.  If so, it should be easy to create some evidence of this.  The world is full of bike races, and you're almost 10% faster than everyone else at Great Glen, so clearing your name with an impressive result at anything where cutting the course is hard (road race, mtb race, hill climb, cyclocross, running race, triathlon) should be simple.


Update:  Someone from the internet told me that Great Glen was aware of his cheating after 2010 and 2011, and he was warned (but not banned) because while his times were "suspicious" he was never visually confirmed doing it.  This is probably why he didn't race in 2012 and 2013.

To me, lap times are the biological passport of the 24-hour racer.  All kinds of crazy stuff can happen in a 24 hour race, but some numbers just aren't possible without cheating.  When a guy has a hematocrit of 60, he's cheating, period.  You don't have to see the needle.  When a guy posts his fastest laps on doubles at night, two years in a row, going over a minute faster than a professional bike racer who was top-15 at nationals -- you don't need to see him cutting the course to know what he's doing.  Dude is guilty and should be banned from the event, period.
Sorry bro.

update:  I made a second post that answers some questions and has some more info.


Brenden Conway said…
Wow, just WOW. There should be a "most wanted" picture of this guy in every cycling magazine around the world. Criminal.
Unknown said…
I need this person to not be at this event anymore. I threaten to ride it every year and never quite get there. Each year I get closer to making it work. Knowing people like this are racing absolutely puts the brakes on any ambitions I have of participating.
Anonymous said…
Hope it is not true, but if it is he should be banned form the event for good. Of course , how to prove it.

I've seen lots of people cutting courses in 100 milers, 4 hour events, ....
Anonymous said…
Why not just string a line through the trees in the off-limits areas, or set up night-vision deer cams in the same areas to catch this jerk?
Colin R said…
Did you really just suggest that the promoter should have to set up night-vision camera checkpoints to keep people from cheating at an amateur bike race?
x said…
The first thing out of my mouth when I saw him bumble up to the podium to collect "his" prize was really? Just looking at the guy you know it wasn't legit.
Anonymous said…
This is just sad! I have ridden 24HOGG 8 times on various teams and the festival of people who just love to bike is amazing. And I LOVE the strategizing and competing that goes on when teams are so close. The fact that some wanker feels the need to cheat is just silly and oh so sad. He's got bad karma for taking the prize money.
rick is! said…
years ago I witnessed a guy cut the course (minutes worth of trail)twice, both times to get ahead of me, in an xc event. A guy who had never once beat me. I reported him and the promoters told him so he accosted ME about it. some people have no shame
Ben Cargill said…
This is totally uncalled for. Sam Anderson has been my friend, cycling partner, and valued team mate for years. NEVER IN ALL THE YEARS I'VE RACED with him have I suspected him of anything other than being a fine athlete and a good sport. He has been, and always will be, a faster rider than I. This is a fact. Quite a few of those previous years, he raced with me, on my 5 man team. You would be surprised what 4 or 5 hours rest can do for your stamina. Did you, the author of the spurious attack on a fellow competitor, even pause to think before you wrote this post? Did it occur to you maybe it had something to do with team tactics? I happen to know his team had riders doing only night laps and riders doing only day laps. Which therefore would lead us to conclude, that it is probable Sam got a mostly full nights rest before throwing down a fast lap time on a course--mind you-- that is primarily gravel double track and very quick under the right circumstances.

Furthermore, the race is OVER. Stop whining that someone else is faster than you! Such vile, spurious, and malicious attacks on a fellow competitor's reputation are disgusting and ruin the the camaraderie and spirit of the event. I race this even year after year BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLY FUN. If I manage to place or win some sort of recognition, thats a bonus and nothing more. Sam is a dedicated and driven individual. If he wants something, he'll go for it and take it. He is a fast and skilled rider and does not deserve such a rude post. As a good sport, I sincerely hope you will consider deleting this post.
Colin R said…
I thought a lot about it, Ben, and I stand by my analysis. So you expect me to buy that Sam is a national-level racer at Great Glen Trails...but mainly at night... and never on the first few laps of the race when other people can see him? And meanwhile, has never posted a single national-level result at any other bike race in his life?

You are entitled to your opinion, sir. Like I've said repeatedly, he could easily prove his innocence by posting a single impressive result from 2010, 2011 or 2014, or by going to the Millstone Grind next weekend (since he's clearly in such great shape right now) and posting one.

But the burden of proof is no longer on me, and no amount of flowery prose about his character or personal references will change that. I've posted my data and it's a smoking gun that points to cheating. Now it's his turn.
Ben Cargill said…
Well, sir, you are perfectly entitled to you opinion. As a fellow racer, I respectfully support your right to stand by your convictions.
However, you are using data from my team's results, which now brings our reputation into question. This is a fun event, not a professional event. If you really care about results that much, go race at Pat's peak or the bradbury Enduro. Or maybe just stick to Cross. You can take my "flowery prose" and shove it up your a**.
Colin R said…
You're damn right it brings your reputation into question.

You know how I can tell you're grasping at straws? You keep trying to emphasize the "fun" part of the race, and deride me for "really caring about results that much," as if that has any kind of bearing or whether or not the cheating happened.

Unknown said…
Like Ben, I've known Sam for years and he is a very talented rider and is quite capable of ripping off those fast lap times. I've witnessed it first hand at local races here in the MWV.

You refer to his Hillclimb result a few years ago…he rode that race with a broken collarbone which he had surgery on a few weeks after the race. They only reason he rode it was so he could honor his recently deceased grandfather and spread his ashes at the summit after the race. If he had been healthy I'm sure his time would have been much faster.

I'm not the fastest guy at the 24 HOGG but I typically turn in faster lap times at night as well. Some of us just ride better at night.

You need to make sure you have absolute proof someone was cheating before you go spreading this BS all over the place. I can assure you, Sam Anderson is NOT a cheater.
Colin R said…
Hi Ian,

Please link me to results of some of these local MWV races he's been so fast at. I used to race the Red Jersey series in the late 90s/early 2000s when I lived in Bethel, I'd be curious to see this.

Also, you mention that you "typically turn in faster lap times at night as well." Unfortunately, this is provably false, using the rider search function on the results.

Here's your times over the last six years:
Lap 1 : 1:04:42
Lap 2 : 1:18:44
Lap 3 : 1:18:50
Lap 4 : 1:10:49

Lap 1: 1:17:37
Lap 2: 1:27:09
Lap 3: 1:19:01

Lap 1: 1:15:15
Lap 2: 1:30:37
Lap 3: 1:24:09

Lap 1: 1:02:06
Lap 2: 1:13:13

Lap 1: 1:10:51
Lap 2: 1:08:05
Lap 3: 1:25:17
Lap 4: 1:24:60

Lap 1: 1:00:56
Lap 2: 1:05:32
Lap 3: 1:15:33
Lap 4: 1:16:54

Please indicate where in these numbers your "typically faster night laps" occur.

I realize that finding out that a MWV golden boy is a cheater is a bummer, but please, take a step back and consider the facts here. When I started looking into this my goal was absolutely not to drag his name through the mud, but that's where the facts led. Nice guys cheat too... just ask people about Tyler.
Anonymous said…
Why not settle this like men? A one lap race, but: 1) Sam gets to pick the time of day/night, 2) he can require any number of laps to be ridden by both riders before the timed lap, and 3) and Collin gets to take him on. No admissions or apologies at the end - the times will speak for themselves. Loser donates $100 to the winning rider's favorite charity.
Colin R said…
I'd take that bet in a second. But just remember, I'm not disputing that he's faster than me; I'm disputing that he's three minutes and forty seconds faster than me.
Darren said…
Agree with the last comment, jsut ride report the results end of story.
Anonymous said…
is it timing chips to determine lap time or is it manual? Is there GPS or position tracking with the chips used by the promoter?
Colin R said…
Timing chips.

To no one's surprise, while a lot of riders ran Strava during the race, Sam didn't.
Ryan said…
Dudes who want a race-off are totally missing the point - this isn't about who is faster. I don't think Colin cares about that. He's often getting beaten.

But he does care about who is or isn't cheating.

Racing against each other would answer any questions here, or say "Sam didn't cheat."

Maybe it would say one or the other is faster, but that doesn't clear up the issue.

Also, no one has to organize a Sharks vs. Jets MTB rumble. There's plenty of events (AKA mountain bike races) where we could see results and then go "Oh, Sam is the faster rider, so maybe he had bad luck and then some fast laps."
Ryan said…
Er...*wouldn't answer any questions here.

Sorry. Contractions are hard.
ryand said…
So glad to see what all of my bikereg fees are going toward.
ryand said…
I forgot to add a winkyface. Suck it Reuter.
Colin R said…
ryand: well played!

I'll go back to work now.. I swear.
Roni said…
He should take the "winnings" from the fastest lap and reg to race against the elites at GStar, both days. On his MTB. While we all heckle in the beer garden. We'll then see how he fairs against the Honey Badger and top pros for fastest on a lap.
C said…
It'd be nice if people knew their facts before posting something like this.

This is all I will say:
Sam didn't ride with Strava because he has had his iPhone with him before in a MTB race, crashed, and it got soaked. Lesson learned.

He also isn't obsessed with having to prove himself by constantly posting online about every ride he does.

Sam puked three times because he went out so hard on that lap.

He and his team also had a strategy - Sam and two others would do laps during the day and the remaining two team members would alternate night laps such that those doing the day laps could get a good night sleep and have fresh legs in the morning. Sam's first lap the second morning was fast, could have been faster, but he stopped for a minute to fix something that was rubbing against his bike frame. His second lap was faster because he did not need to stop.

As for the past, the reason he was questioned prior was because of his noticeable progress, which happens when someone trains hard everyday in his late teens. He, the race director, and those who ride and train with him sat down and discussed and the outcome was that he did not in fact cheat, he simply progressed as a young, maturing rider who trained to get stronger. How can that be proved? He put a camera on his bike and did a lap. His time was still great.

He is incredibly good at riding anything technical, he thrives at obstacles. He is tall and thin, he is built to climb. He knows when to recover and when he can make up the most time. He raced Pro, he got a full-ride scholarship to college for mountain biking.

Why did he stop racing for a while in 2012 and 2013? Because he broke his shoulder in the beginning weeks of training at college. He gave it time to heal, but later re-broke it since it wasn't completely healed. The second break required surgery and recovery.

He is now getting older and more 'life" things are getting in the way, so he chooses to not spend all of his weekends racing, but that doesn't mean he doesn't ride. Oh and just because he doesn't Strava every single ride, doesn't mean he doesn't do it.

Perhaps he likes to go out into the woods with no technology and to just get away. Perhaps sometimes when he uses Strava, he is leading group rides for a bike shop or riding with his girlfriend, just having fun. Cycling is supposed to be fun.

So before you go around pointing fingers and creating unnecessary drama, why don't you try to understand the entire picture first?
Hank said…
I can't believe you wasted your entire day stalking,errrr researching, this useless information over a race that is suppose to be all in good fun. Oh my the guy may have cheated and he got all the glory of standing on stage in front of 25 tired and delirious people while getting a free light or some shit. Maybe next year you should take a bigger dump before the race and use a triple blade instead of single blade razor to shave those womanly legs. If you are as good as you think and say you are, why are you not racing in the ELITE category? Sandbagging, that's the real crime here.
Colin R said…
"As for the past, the reason he was questioned prior was because of his noticeable progress, which happens when someone trains hard everyday in his late teens. He, the race director, and those who ride and train with him sat down and discussed and the outcome was that he did not in fact cheat, he simply progressed as a young, maturing rider who trained to get stronger. How can that be proved? He put a camera on his bike and did a lap. His time was still great."

What the fuck are you talking about? His lap time progression in 2010 is completely bogus unless he's a national-level rider who had mechanicals on his first few laps, something that no one (not even him when he contact me on FB) has claimed. You're telling me that his "hard training" allowed him to do a 3-minute negative split on his 6th lap of the day, as the first lap of a double, at 9am? Really?

And if he raced pro, where are his results? Do you mean when he was 11th out 12 in the 19-29 Cat 1 race at Mt Snow in 2010? Because that's not the pro category. Or do you mean when he was 5th out of 8 at Coyote Hill in the Cat 1 19-29 race in 2011? Because that's also not the pro category, nor is it a result I'd expect from a guy who turned a 36/37 night double at Great Glen just 2 months after that race.

Wait, maybe he was a pro in 2009... no wait, he was getting mediocre cat 1 results in the Root 66 series then, too.

His usac history, since unlike his defenders I can actually back up my statements with links:
Colin R said…
Hank: I love how you think this post is about me. Also that you think keeping cheaters out of my favorite race is somehow a "waste of time."
Colin R said…
But seriously, tell me more about this camera-on-his-bike-to-prove-he's-legit incident. What year was it? What lap was it? Who was the race staff involved? Who are "those who ride and train with him"?

If a video of him riding one of those suspicious laps existed, that would be HUGE.

Like I said, I would love to be proven wrong. You guys understand what "prove" means, right?
Anonymous said…
As someone who was/is race staff since 2006, there is no such camera footage, and we never asked anyone to do such a thing.
Anonymous said…
Wait, so 'cycling is meant to be fun' is the defacto defence for cheating now?
Anonymous said…
Get your facts right - Sam's fastest lap was in the morning, not at night! Also, there were race officials throughout the course to prevent cutting/taking short cuts, are you saying 24 Hours at Great Glenn didn't do a good job at that?
Taber N said…
Wow ... just wow ... you actually reference Strava Data...


I mean, really, you just referenced inactive Strava Data, to prove a point about cheating....

Someones a sad chicken.
Anonymous said…
Slander - to make a false spoken statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone

Can you PROVE he cheated in a court of law? You just may need to...
Cosmo said…
Has anyone made fun of Colin for being bald yet? Because he is.

Just throwing it out there.
ccreuter said…
Colin does need to shave his legs better, but condoning cheating because it's a "fun" race is ludicrous. Doping at the masters level is also okay then? Just having a little fun, it's not a pro race. Cheating at a "fun" race just makes it that much more lame. Ditto for low blows as defense.
Dana said…
@Hank, Weak argument aside, you lose all credibility when you use sexist insults to boot.
Anonymous said…
What about the solo riders who put in a rediculous amount of laps, did they cheat too? Colin should be banned from future 24 Hours of Great Glen for being a poor loser (in more ways than just his biking).
Unknown said…
You should be banned from life for being a poor speller
Colin R said…
Oh you guys...

Anon says:
"Get your facts right - Sam's fastest lap was in the morning, not at night! Also, there were race officials throughout the course to prevent cutting/taking short cuts, are you saying 24 Hours at Great Glenn didn't do a good job at that?"

Sam's fastest lap in 2010 was in the morning. Sam's fastest lap in 2011 was at night. Sam's fastest lap in 2014 was in the morning.

You know when his fastest lap NEVER was? The first afternoon. Which is weird, because that's when every other racer's fastest lap is.

Taber N
"I mean, really, you just referenced inactive Strava Data, to prove a point about cheating...."
Is reading a whole paragraph really that hard? I said specifically that his Strava data was totally inconclusive.

Anon said:
"Slander - to make a false spoken statement that causes people to have a bad opinion of someone

Can you PROVE he cheated in a court of law? You just may need to..."

I absolutely think I have a case that proves his guilt beyond reasonable doubt. If I didn't think that, I wouldn't have made this post. While I think we can all agree this would be a hilarious court case, I'd probably have a lot of fun sitting down with a lawyer and figuring out how to prove this to a jury. So yeah, lawyer me, bro. Just remember that I have a bunch more proof of him cheating, from other people, that I didn't include here because I didn't want have anyone take the heat for this accusation except me.
Erin said…
i cannot dispute your facts so i will resort to lowbrow insults!! YOU WILL HEAR ME, BOY!
Sharon said…
Colin, you're being very discriminatory and mean to the differently-moraled. I hope you can live with yourself, you mean meanie.
Anonymous said…
There were other people on the course, right? Did someone see him cheat? Are there photos? Your "proof" sounds like conjecture. Good luck with that.
Colin R said…
ACtually my proof sounds like reasoned analysis of data... so I can see why you didn't get it.
Taber N said…
Collin R: "Is reading a whole paragraph really that hard? I said specifically that his Strava data was totally inconclusive."

I did not have a difficult time the complete paragraph referencing Strava, thank you for asking though. Although, I must point out, that despite your above comment, at no point did you explicitly write that it was "inconclusive."

"We found his Strava, which also showed no signs of greatness, but it was pretty damn sparse. So there wasn't much out there on this guy, but he had ridden two 40-minute laps and a SUB THIRTY SEVEN minute lap at Great Glen. His first lap of the day was a 48 minute lap, but whatever. Maybe he flatted, maybe he just didn't care because he was racing cruiser class. Meanwhile, here I am, wasting my day, google searching for race results just because I can't handle that a guy can ride a mountain bike faster than me. GET OVER YOURSELF, COLIN. "

I dont see "inconclusive" in there...

However, the inclusion of the Strava reference makes a strong insinuation that lack of data somehow corroborates your statement. Especially the quote, "...which also showed no signs of greatness..." That really seems like an attempt to bolster your argument...

Anonymous said…
You didn't answer the questions...isn't that interesting.
Anonymous said…
Yes, someone saw him cheat. This year. We should probably just get that out there.

Where is Sam? What does he have to say for himself?

I can think of only one legit criticism of Colin here, and that's not going straight to Sam first to get his side. That part seems kinda low. But I have zero context/insight on that decision, it may have actually happened.
Lauren said…
I love how everyone arguing against this post is implying this is due to Colin's ego rather than his intense love of DATA ANALYSIS and intense hatred of CHEATERS.

While he stated that the lap times were unlikely, he did say it's do-able. What is being called into question is the pattern with which this dude is achieving these unlikely lap times - namely, at times when it is unlikely that others are around him on course, for three separate years. When everyone else loses time during night laps and as the race goes on.

As someone who has raced this fun event a number of years and loves it, I find it disappointing that someone would cheat and appreciate Colin calling him out on it. I hope this discourages him (and others that might do the same) from participating in future events if he is unable to provide some sort of viable evidence for these suspicious lap times.

Now the Anonymous detractors can go back to their poor reading comprehension, bad spelling and lack of evidence but I'd appreciate if you could refrain from gender-based insults going forward (looking at you, Hank).
ccreuter said…
I really was hoping this kid had a defense. That there was a reason, and context, and that his reply (with his own name) would be "You all are dickheads, I'll gopro my entire race next year AND crush the Pro1 field at the next local XC race this year to shut you up in the mean time". That would have been rad.
Colin R said…

Ah man, you're absolutely right. I thought had said "inconclusive" at the end of the sentence about Strava, but instead I said it in the paragraph before.

I'll edit my post so it doesn't sound like I'm trying to insinuate guilt from strava. Sorry I was a dick about it.
Michele said…
I don't know, Lauren. If you look at the women Colin hangs out with, calling his legs "womanly" is actually very flattering, don't you think?
Taber said…
I'm quite confident that you're correct, and that this individual is in fact a cheating scum-bag. I simply found the inclusion of the Strava reference to be quite humorous.

Is this cyber bullying? If he cries himself to sleep tonight is it cyber bullying? I get confused these days...

Am I going to find myself in litigation for Defamation of Character for saying that he is probably a "cheating scum-bag"?
Colin R said…

Maybe we can get a group rate on a lawyer.
ccreuter said…
Current winner is "differently-moraled".
Kyle said…
I used to own a Klein Mantra Race. The paint job was so cool. I miss Klein paint jobs.
Erin said…
wait guys, i think i know a lawyer
Anonymous said…
Title of this article should be "waaaah someone is faster then me"
I'll agree with you his laps are fishy but its so brazen that I kind of respect it. More importantly, writing an entire article crying about it and then posting his previous results/strava data is a dick move.
Get over it bro
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Todd R said…
"What do you think I am, completely without any moral whatsits, what are they called, those moral things?"
Anonymous said…
Did you know he did the mt washington road race with a broken shoulder that year? Youre all a bunch of douches. And great glen never approached or questioned times. Tjere were never warnings. Get your facts straight. Not everyone is a strava logging status seeking assailed like yourselves.
cycletart said…
And here I thought I was going to get Rickrolled...
MB said…
I usually think of cheating, and especially cheating multiple years in a row, to be the dick move.

Using multiple data points to successfully argue a point is not a dick move. It's brazen; I kind of respect it.

ryand said…
Ben Cargill said…
How dare you call the reputation of myself and my team into question? None of us are supplying links because we obviously have better things to do with our time then stalk somebody's results from years past? Seriously, how many hours of your life have you wasted writing an extensive blog post that shits all over someone else. What if I race with him next year was does that make me? I don't even care about getting the last laugh or really about this whole deal at all. I am just appalled that you think all this was worth it. He is an extremely fast rider, period. You want to know why nobody has links? Nobody else cares that much! Most people are more focused on racing and less on the data. I mean strava, seriously? Most of the Strava data you cited was with me, and thus not at race pace. This is a race! nobody needs to have gizmos on them and riding at the same time, just enjoy the race for what it is. And to all others following this post, Sam Anderson is a good man and a good friend and solid racer. This accusation is libelous and untrue. Colin, grow the f*ck up and accept that someone else is faster than you.
Anonymous said…
Yeah, man; how dare you question his team... what are you, the exercise police?
Colin R said…
I'm not wasting hours of my life, bro. I'm keeping cheaters out of a race I love and getting a shitload of entertainment out of it to boot.

The fact that you guys are latching onto a comment I made about Strava is hilarious. I never said his strava data makes him guilty, I said it was inconclusive. His LAP TIME DATA makes him guilty... which is probably why you guys aren't even trying to defend that.
Ryan said…
This comment thread is the most entertaining thing to happen to me since I downloaded a torrent of NES and SNES roms.
Anonymous said…
I once raced into a 35+mph headwind with a broken rib. The next three years they totally let me drive through the course instead of exercise down it, but it was totally cool, because I had a broken rib that one time.
Anonymous said…
Colin R said...

I'm not wasting hours of my life, bro.

ya...its not like you spent all day googling Sam Anderson or writing an article about him, or answering comments in said article right?

and if it isnt on strava it didnt happen. EVERYONE knows that
Todd R said…
Maybe a fundamental disconnect here is that his defenders think that this was hard for Colin? That this is is some massive expenditure of his time?

Because unless there were unusual circumstances, it wasn't. Colin is a dude who enjoys this kind of analysis so much that he built a website to do it and shared it with the world on his own nickel. I don't share his love of statistics but I get it; my love is data visualization and I'll happily spend hours of my own time messing with it. And if I discovered reasonable proof that someone was cheating while doing it then I would surely share that and try to get to the bottom of it.

Why? Because cheating sucks, no matter how un-serious the sport. Since amateurs do it for the love of the sport (the word amateur literally means "lover of") it's worse in my book when they cheat. Why would you cheat at love? Go find a sport you love too much to cheat at, you'll be a lot happier.

So all this character defense is well and good but doesn't change the facts presented here; you meet facts with other facts, not anecdotes about how much you like sharing a beer with the guy. You can claim you have better things to do than rebut these facts and maybe you think that makes you sound like you're above this but that really just makes you sound like you have nothing to offer in defense. This isn't high school; apathy is a played out, school-boy pretension to coolness.
Anonymous said…
its much better to be a bitch and tell the internet about it. i agree...dude probably cheated, but tell the promoter and dont let him race in your races. End of story. "Sam Anderson Cheats at Mountain Bike Racing" what is this the 3rd grade? call the waaaaahmbulance
Sharon said…
Hey, last Anon? Why don't you go ride with Armstrong and Leipheimer, etc, and leave the cheater-free races to those of us who really appreciate the spirit of fair competition.
Christin said…
Interesting pattern of defenders being Anonymous. Must not be proud enough of what they're saying to publish their names.
Anonymous said…
id post my name..but i don't want an article written about me
Ryan said…
As long as you aren't bypassing servers to access this blog you should be good.
Todd R said…
I'm glad to see we're back to slinging sexist insults; I was afraid this conversation was going to suddenly get all adult and boring.
cycletart said…
It's precisely these kinds of tireless analysis of data and anecdotal evidence, blog posts, and public shaming, that first focused serious attention on the Mack Daddy of all cheaters, Lance. So to deride Colin for trying to rid the sport we love of cheaters is akin to the supporters of Lance who trolled and taunted Lance's detractors and former teammates who wrote articles and tell-all pieces.
Anonymous said…
Unknown said…
One time when I was 9 at a catholic Boy Scout retreat I cheated at a blindfolded obstacle course. I just wanted to get that off my chest. Ok Sam your turn
Anonymous said…
this dude is gonna crap his pants next time he decides to google himself
Rich said…
I don't know if this guy cheated, but it does seem odd that his best laps were at night. And take Colin at his word that his first instinct was to not believe he was cheating when the other elites were crying foul. He did some in-depth analysis and drew a conclusion. Sam--what do you have to say?
Paul Boudreau said…
Paul Boudreau said…
Todd R said…

Have you tried turning it off and back on again?

Anonymous said…
In 7th grade i cheated on a math test. I was so filled with guilt that I hit myself in the haha place with a bar of soap in a sock. Just sayin...
Anonymous said…
You are a great team mate and did an amazing job. Watching you and your dad heckle each other to motivate you to go faster each lap was a riot.your willingness to go out for another lap even after being so ill from your win when it looked like we might be able to slip in a last lap was incredible. Proud to have ridden with you. Posting as anonomous because im too dumb to figure out how to tag my real name. Crash (aka Christina
Drew Szeliga said…
Can Ryan and I announce the court case?
MattR said…
Long time troller, first time caller.

My only suggestion, as a data-driven scientist, is to point out to Colin that, while his analysis is robust and probably quite true, the language associated with the interpretation is a bit brusk. I would have written something more tepid like "the data suggest" as opposed to "prove." There is strong evidence that the lap times are suspicious, but as some of his detractors point out, these do not add up to proof, per se. At best, the data provide, albeit convincingly, an argument for unlikely lap times given a carefully analyzed history. Granted, most readers could give a rats ass about rhetoric, but IMHO Colin makes very careful, data-driven, assertions, loaded with somewhat heavy handed language... which equals, I guess, entertainment?
Unknown said…
Colin is the data guy right? He has done a convincing job of laying out the data in a way that makes the lap times look unbelievable.

But! Can we throw some real statistics into this jig? Can we take a look at the lap times of multiple pro/amateur riders over the years and run through an F-test to see the probability of achieving what Mr. Course-Hopper achieved?

Throw some spreadsheets at me. I have SAS all fired up. I can spew P-values all over this shitshow.
Lydia H said…
+1 for posting blog posts like this if it takes dishonest people out of the game. If you're in this sport as an amateur for far fletched dreams of glory, fame, and a plastic gold medal with a $200 check, you're doing it wrong.

+1 for Colin's approach and wording because this is his PERSONAL blog and he can write whatever the fuck he wants AND because it has been wildly entertaining for the entire NE bike racing community (and probably beyond NE). This is not bicycling mag or velo publishing this as fact. This is an opinion piece, heavily supported by data, by a guy who's job is to analyze racing data, create racing algorithims, and be in the know about bike racing things. Colin, time to put in for a raise!

-1 for idiots likening women to a weaker sex with limited capabilities. Need we start a discussion about how many professional women feel the need to cheat to prove their strength, let alone at the amateur level.
mkr said…
This is hilarious, absolutely the best entertainment I've had all week. Sorry to hear that Don got hosed as I know exactly how hard he works for his results, as do you and the vast majority of the rest of the NE race scene. Cheaters are pitiful little people, though evidently not as pitiful as some of the supporters. Similar things happened when that guy was busted T doping at G'ster last year, the character witnesses claimed an honest mistake and gave witness to the individual's moral fortitude. I'm always amazed how a cheater can live with themselves, how can there be any pride taken in the empty lie they promote. Anyhow, you are the king of the statistical analysis, undisputed. Thanks for the entertainment.
Anonymous said…
If the guy cheated then reasonable approach would have to ask him and inform the race officials. To bash someone unabated is pretty distasteful. It pretty disrespectful for everyone you participated in the event with. I am however jealous of the free time you apparently have.
If you saw my FB after climb to the clouds you'll remember I faced a nearly identical situation with peers defending a cheater, showing their true character.
Anonymous said…
They should let him race next year without a saddle, just a seatpost.
Cuttin' Corners said…
Can we talk about Lance now?
Unknown said…
Unless Sam has one ball that would be the only thing those two have in common.
Incredible post. Incredible comments. I applaud Colin for his hard work in analyzing these data and in his bravery for posting his conclusions, which seem awfully damning to me.
Chris said…
I blame Enduro
Unknown said…

Andy p said…
If he's innocent, as his teammate claims, why doesn't he just post his laps on Strava? That would answer everything.
Anonymous said…
this just in, 2015 edition of 24HOGG to do away with prizes and placing, everyone getting a medal for participating.
WankerHunter said…
I know a dude who in cross goes off the back early, then late in the race stops and chats with spectators, maybe drinks a beer, lets a couple studs lap him (probably for the 2nd time), then gets back on his bike so that he crosses the finish line with the top 10. I don't know how bikereg scores it, but it creates the appearance of being awesome.
Unknown said…
That guy sounds like a goddamn american hero.
The Big Cheetah said…
This is great. I want to do this race next year. I'm bringing Lance...and Tyler...and George

...gonna be called: Team Mess You Up
Anonymous said…
My cat's breath smells like cat food.
Anonymous said…
I don't know if we will ever know for sure if he cheated or not. However I do know that mistaking the embrocation tube for Preparation H isn't fun. After a long car ride all I was looking for was relief. And all I got was a burn that has lasted for 9.5 hours. Painful, yet at the same time exquisite.
Unknown said…
Yes, let's steer the conversation toward accidental taint contamination. That will make things better.
Christine said…
Late to the party, but: have those deriding Colin on this thread read the rest of this blog AT ALL? Colin's general M.O. is making fun of himself when other people in the race are faster than he is. The bulk of his race reports are well-written exercises in self-mockery, which is why they're fucking awesome (e.g., "So, in the name of bike racing I have just soiled myself and cost myself $100 in equipment. Beautiful."--LIKE OMG, HOW CAN YOU NOT CACKLE??!? so good). So when Colin's NOT making fun of himself, and accusing someone of cheating instead, I'm gonna take him seriously.

And Colin, on a side note, I've never thought your legs were womanly
crashey1 said…
Thank you all for an enjoyable evening. The questioning of an odd, even suspicious, pattern in cycling results is worthwhile and even courageous. The temptation to cut the course is present to us all and we should accept and encourage a spotlight on outlying results. That doesn't make them absolute proof of cheating but calling them into question is not just ok but appropriate. If someone is mid pack Cat 1 and suddenly rises to Pro Elite Top Tier (Justin was 9th last year at X/C Nationals I would want some real verification of his pedigree beyond his anonymous friends saying that he's fast and a great guy, which to them he probably is. The problem with races of this type is that the rules are more lax than sancioned races-no possibility of drug testing (5 hour energy can get you banned, nevermind testosterone, and officials rarely are present at short cut points. So raising Millstone is a great idea:volunteers at possible cut offs etc. It's a great challenge and one which most serious riders would accept willingly.
Unknown said…
Ain't nothing worse than an accidental taint.
mr ferrarori said…
^^^ You just cheated at that comment Ralph Wiggum made that up
Anonymous said…
Well this is just awesome.

First off, this would legally be considered libel, not slander.

Second, there's really not a case here. There are a couple of things that need to be true for written speech to be considered libel. The big thing here is Colin's opinions and statements are based on careful research of the publicly available data. Doesn't matter if his opinion turns out to be wrong, as long as it wasn't posted with disregard or intentional ignoring of the facts, a libel suit would fail.
Bemery said…
If you look into his Strava a little more you find that he records rides using his iPhone, which is obviously impractical for racing, especially for the 24 hours.

That aside, the burden of proof is absolutely still on you. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Mark Miller said…
Proving whether this was malicious is impossible given Colin's career in data analysis. All of the discussion of potential litigation is a scare tactic of supporters sticking to the good guy defense. Take time to read through the legal definition of libel and you would see that worst case, Colin would need to print a retraction. Given all that has been stirred up here if data surfaced that exonerated Sam I'm certain that Colin would step up and put the matter to rest appropriately.

Lastly, in an earlier life as an athlete I had a lot of really negative crap posted about me on the internet. Sometimes the language was downright nasty, all while being completely baseless. (Never accused of cheating, just being an asshole) My strategy was always to ignore the idiots, work harder, and then let my legs do the talking. That is the wonderful thing about the pureness of our sports. There is nowhere to hide and if you cheat you will be uncovered and exposed.

Way to go Colin!
Anonymous said…
Character references would lead you to believe this is true. First hand experience with the individual in question has me applauding this blog. Liars are usually cheaters and cheaters are usually liars. Now if someone would just write a blog about how much of an asshole big daddy is it would be a huge win for the internet this week.
Taber said…
So, based on some of the Anonymous posters, Sam is quite local to this course.

If I were he, I would simply bolt a go-pro to my bike, log into Strava and go ride a lap of this course.

I understand that ambient conditions, course conditions, fitness cycles, etc. are all different ... but I would really think that if one were in such excellent condition that they could throw down the fastest lap of a race, 21hrs into racing, that they could take some recovery time and then produce a documented lap time within some sort of acceptable margin of their fastest lap this year.

Christin said…
Bemery - Great Glen has a charging station at the transition tent. Since he wasn't running 24 Solo, he could charge in between laps. I ran Strava for every lap that I raced last weekend. If he wanted to prove his innocence, it would be easy enough next year. Even without his phone. I'd lend him a GoPro, and make sure it's charged for the entire race. Ditto for Millstone. He's welcome to borrow it.
Aki said…
Reminds me of this, not sure if anyone put up a link or similar:
Anonymous said…
It's interesting that people keep saying Colin has no proof, sure there is no CCTV on the course, but as as has been mentioned many times before: the lap data (not Sam's character or Colin's ego) shows a trend beyond a reasonable doubt of a "not normal" performance, and it's been laid out for everyone to see.

It's very Rosie Ruiz.

In general, athletically, we're not all special snowflakes (save the occasional vanishing twin, larger heart, grandma's cookies, tainted beef). You would think some other riders would produce similar trends in their lap times, other local riders, other "former pros", etc...

It's also interesting to see detractors decry that Colin has too much time on his hands, as if their hobbies were any more noble than his and he should do something other than scrutinize participation at an event he really enjoys... actually, on a whole, they all seem to be the similar: ride bikes (mostly off road), call people out that do something they disagree with.

It's also too bad that Colin won the fastest night lap prize, had someone more mediocre raised the flag and done the research someone there might be less jealousy calling.
Anonymous said…
Can someone post a map of this course. Is it a 'clover-leaf' design? Seriously, how poorly designed is it that there are so many shortcuts?
Colin R said…

I actually really liked this new iteration of the course and it would be a shame to change it just because one guy has problems with honesty.

Because Great Glen is a nordic ski area, there's a LOT of doubletrack trails out there that are constantly being crossed during the race. It would be totally impossible to design a course that is hard to cut by someone that knows the area there.

And let's not even mention that, if you want to cheat on a night lap, all you have to do is run out of the tent, ride 100 yards, turn your light off and step off the trail. Lay down, set your alarm for 30 minutes in the future, and take a nap.

When you alarm goes off, you now have a leisurely 10 minutes to figure out how to sneak back onto the course just before the finish tent.

You can't cheater-proof a 24 hour course. Granted, some of his bogus laps come during the day, so maybe there are changes you could make that would affect that -- but the bottom line is that you shouldn't HAVE to.
A said…
So let me get a few things straight. Individuals now need to prove their ability before they race so they can suggest they are indeed fast? While I cannot comment on Sam's character I can say he can be pretty on a non technical course like Great Glen, especially one that he has raced for both 24hrs and the weekly race series. His team coordinated for him to do a very limited number of fast laps. I personally never had fast laps at the beginning because of the huge number of people on course in clumps. Night riding can be very fast if you know the course because there is no one else out there, especially now that night laps are not mandated
a said…
Furthermore, your 'evidence' is based on conjuncture, and suggests that you are the standard for 'fast' It seems to me that you are just a seriously butt hurt rider who just happens to have blog and needs content. Whether he cheated or not I'm not sure who is more deplorable you making wild statements (especially strava based claims) or the accused. My advice go get some Bengay anti-itch cream and get over it (or maybe get over yourself)
Steve said…
I suggest you DON'T loan him your GoPro. You might not get it back.

Thanks for putting this out there. If it convinces a few guys that cutting the course is a bad idea, it will keep races like these more fun.
Unknown said…
Mark H. said…
Wow, thanks for posting the map, it certainly has the potential to make a lot of short-cuts (intentional or unintentional). I've only raced endurance courses like Michaux and there are really no opportunities to cut corners there. It appears this course is too long for the limited acreage, and unfortunately people WILL cheat (see insider trading, poker, adultery, etc.)
Colin R said…

There's a lot of mountain bike races in the world where the course doubles back near itself and could be cut. But I'm pleased to find out you haven't entered any of them!
Mark H. said…
Sorry Colin, were you inferring that I would be a cheater too if given the chance? I'm just point out that there is a segment of society that feels the rules don't apply to them and if they have done one thing wrong, they have probably done several things wrong.
Carry on.
Colin R said…
I actually wasn't going for that implication, but it did kinda sound that way, huh? Ha!
Todd R said…
Making a case based on comparing the official lap times of the racer in question over time and comparing those to racers whose ability is known (I mean Lindine) is about as far from conjecture as possible. "Conjuncture" is entirely other word and is certainly not what "a" meant but whatever.

Personally, I would prefer to see Sam proven innocent, because I love the sport and want to believe that other people who claim to love it wouldn't cheat. Since some people seem to think character defense is more important than facts, let me say that based on everything I know about Colin, he too would prefer to be wrong and for Sam to be innocent. But in this case the evidence is too convincing to ignore.

I think that the people who can't wrap their head around the idea that Colin is doing this to fight cheating, and prefer instead to think he's doing this just to pick a fight with someone and that he's a sore loser, are actually projecting what their motivation would be for writing such an article onto Colin. In other words, the people saying that this is a case of Colin being a sore loser (winner?) can't understand why you would write something like this unless you were a sore loser; that they don't have the nobility of spirit to call out cheating publicly, to take that heat, and instead would only write an article like this if it were the whining of a sore loser.

And now that I've called Colin "noble" I need to go reflect on my life choices with some Gordon's.
lauren said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
All: Please keep in mind just how imprecise strava is if you're asking for that data. The trace might be OK to see where someone has gone on a map, but the timing data can be waaaay off. And the trace isn't too accurate either, depending on the detail you are looking for.
lauren said…
A: "His team coordinated for him to do a very limited number of fast laps. I personally never had fast laps at the beginning because of the huge number of people on course in clumps. Night riding can be very fast if you know the course because there is no one else out there..."

Was his entire purpose of being on a team in the "Cruiser Fun Class" to get the fastest lap time? Looking at their results, I can't see any logic to how they did laps. They sent him out first, which is always the SLOWEST first lap b/c of the running and backed-up traffic. He only did 4 out of 21 laps, despite being the fastest rider on his team. He didn't do any night laps this year, despite so many of his advocates arguing he's FASTER at night since he knows the course so well and traffic is thinner (which I still believe to be utter nonsense, 2 years in a row of racing solo meant I knew just about every rock on the course but I still lost time when night laps started. So does everybody else). Then they send a teammate out on a double (first lap time 1:14, 2nd of the double is 1:45) and despite having 12 hours of rest since his last lap, Sam can only pull off a 40 minute lap (which is consistent with his two earlier lap times). Then he gets a 90 minute break while his teammate is out and takes 4 minutes off his time on the next lap? And then he stops racing. He's the strongest racer on his team at this "fun" event and he lets his slower teammates do all the hard work, in one case losing 30 minutes by doubling up so, what, he can get sleep and go for the fastest lap time? That just tells me he wasn't in it for the team aspect to begin with, only the fastest lap prize.

It's also really suspicious that his first lap time was similar to my lap times in the solo female category and then he finishes with Lindine-level lap times.

And to address your second point, as Colin already articulated the people who win the fastest lap time almost always come at the beginning of the race and are almost always the 2nd person in line for the team doing their 1st lap. The first rider has to run and deal with a lot of traffic but if it's a strong team, they get themselves to the front of the race and that leaves a nice open course for the 2nd rider. By the 3rd and 4th riders, they're hitting too much lapped traffic to rip the fastest lap. Every year the B2C2 team did the team event, there's always a flurry of discussion on the mailing list about who got the honors of going 2nd. If you find you hit too much traffic in the early laps, it's because your team wasn't going fast enough to get ahead of the traffic in the first place.
Ben said…

Thanks everybody, I needed the laughs this morning.

Oh, and next year my twin brother and I are going to show up and CRUSH Sam.
Anonymous said…
Looking at Colin's results, his 8th lap was over 2 minutes faster than his 6th. It was also faster (only by seconds) than his 4th and 5th laps. Shouldn't he have been getting slower? I mean really - 2 minutes faster?

Lap 1 : 0:40:36
Lap 2 : 0:40:39
Lap 3 : 0:41:27
Lap 4 : 0:42:54
Lap 5 : 0:42:20
Lap 6 : 0:44:15
Lap 7 : 0:42:22
Lap 8 : 0:42:03
Unknown said…
Umm yeah hey Matlock, you might also notice all of Colin's lap times are grounded in Reality. Stop by sometime, we have vacancy.
Anonymous said…
Checkout Kenneth Wiley's times - specifically the last of 23 laps. Is that lap also suspicious?

Lap 1 : 0:58:36
Lap 2 : 0:59:14
Lap 3 : 0:55:14
Lap 4 : 0:57:60
Lap 5 : 1:01:00
Lap 6 : 0:58:12
Lap 7 : 1:01:44
Lap 8 : 1:02:57
Lap 9 : 1:08:18
Lap 10 : 1:08:19
Lap 11 : 1:13:27
Lap 12 : 1:04:15
Lap 13 : 1:07:17
Lap 14 : 1:10:43
Lap 15 : 1:16:60
Lap 16 : 1:08:14
Lap 17 : 1:02:41
Lap 18 : 1:02:37
Lap 19 : 1:03:54
Lap 20 : 1:09:20
Lap 21 : 1:08:13
Lap 22 : 1:06:08
Lap 23 : 0:58:06
Anthony said…
Great article, best comments, the internet may have a new winner in the cycling category...

For all the anonymous detractors, it's much more useful not to personally insult and have the guts to use your name.

Trying to rationalize by saying it's "just for fun" doesn't cut it. It's a race. Pro or amateur, you've paid and promised to abide by the rules and may the best man/woman win.

As far as Strava goes, personally, if I am going out to race my guts out and try to take fastest lap (and take out big time sponsored Pros), might as well Strava that shit and get as much glory out of the moment as I can, but that's just me (and most people with a Strava/Training Peaks/Map my Ride/whatever account). Plus, if someone wants to say, oh I dont know, call b.s. in their blog or at the bar, you got something to back up your claim to fame.
Unknown said…
Yes just post lap times with no supporting context, I mean that's what Colin did right.
Christina said…
So, just to dispell any "strategy", here's the truth: We didn't have one. Sam did first lap because we voted on Friday, he wasn't there to vote and no one wanted to do it. That simple. Joining the cruiser class was due to the fact that we, as close friends, wanted to ride together. I personally am the slowest on the team, and not competative by any standard (hence the hour and a half break. I was SLEEPING when it was my turn to go out. And took more time going out to charge my i pod. True cruiser class style. There was definitely no intention of sandbagging. The night laps were done by two member of our team because one didn't want to ride during the day,the other had no problem riding with him (although he did also do a lap at day. ) Sam did have a mission to get fastest lap. Due to massive hecking by his dad who was there to support us all weekend. Amazing how much some family heckling can motivate. So, no strategy, no sandbagging. Just random coincidence of who did what when. Hope that clears it up if anyone was wondering why our lap arrangements didn't make any sense.
Kenneth Wiley said…
In response to my 23rd solo lap, that is an easy one to explain. The location of my pit area was in the grassy area before you get to the start/finish tent. I stopped at my tent for 22 laps which meant I didn't use the bridge and I stopped for a couple minutes for food, water bottle, time info ect... On my 23rd lap I didn't need to make a pit stop, so no stopping, swapping water, time info, food, ect.. Also I was able to use the bridge which cuts off time. Also the amount of adrenaline going through my system when I discovered there was a chance to catch the leader helped a bit and knowing I didn't need to save anything in the tank for another lap.
Anonymous said…
It sounds like it is helpful to have an understanding of the situation around the numbers - reliance on data alone may not be enough to "prove" anything.
Colin R said…
Yeah, a solo rider (Ken Wiley) negative splitting on his last lap, when the entire race is on the line, is totally plausible. Also note that he was only able to match his best times from day 1.

Solo lap times have all kinds of confounding data in them (eating, bonking, resting, pooping, the amount of time left in the race), so I would never try to analyze them the same way as I analyzed team rider data.
Anonymous said…
Team rider data in the "cruiser class." Ha!
Harry Longtube said…
Is this a reasoned decision?
lauren said…
Christina, when his supporters are all saying different things ("team tactics", "his team coordinated for him..." vs. there was no strategy; saying that he sat down with Great Glen promoters in the past and it was all sorted out vs. no one from Great Glen has ever reproached him) it makes it very hard to believe any of it. Even more so when he won't even publicly defend himself.

And let me tell you, no amount of heckling can turn me into Lindine. So the fact that he started out with a lap time similar to what I would get and ended with a lap time similar to what a top national Pro would get looks pretty bogus, heckling or not.
Anonymous said…
This is Justine Lindine. I actually cut the course too. And at Nationals. And in CX. And on Strava. Sorry...
Kenneth Wiley said…
I can't wait for Ice Weasel
Anonymous said…
I've already finished next year's race, I'm THAT fast.
Christina said…
Noted Lauren. Simply stating a fact about our lack of strategy in laps as a team member who was directly involved in not having one. Although I am pretty sure that Pat chugging tequila at tje top if the plunge was instrumental in clinching our 4th place sand bagging. As for analyzing professional race laps ill leave that up to anyone with the knowledge base to do so.. I just like to ride my bike with my friends.
Anonymous said…
Wait so all it takes for me to ascend to the level of a top 10 national mtber is to get my dad to heckle me? Must be some kind of super dad if a) he can manage that and b) he can hit so many different parts of the course on one lap.
Christina said…
Although in the spirit of full disclosure and honesty we did have a method of determining second lap. It was done through a very heated round of rock paper scissors. Which, as any athlete knows has been an accepted practice since the invention of scissors.
Anonymous said…
Who made Colin the race police?

If Sam is a cheater why do you feel so compelled to be the exposer?

Your methods of deduction, though clever, are circumstantial.

You are slandering Sam. Period. Cheating is unexcusable, slander is worse.

In my humble, unsolicited opinion Colin is a Dick. Sam is too if he cheated, but that's between him and the universe.
Anonymous said…
Yes, whenever you see injustice in the activities that you love, it's not up to you the individual to do something about it. That would make you a dick, it is between the perp and the universe. Got it, everyone go home.
Anonymous said…
If this is anything, it isn't slander. It's libel. And it's not libel because he's presenting data and coming to a (quite logical actually) conclusion that this dude does indeed cheat.

BTW Christina, you're trying much too hard to be all zany and wacky in your defenseman of the cheat.
Ralph Wiggum said…
I know your trying hard to be funny Christina but that wasn't funny.
Christina said…
Damnit. There goes my life long dream of wanting a total stranger on the internet to think im funny. Thanks for setting me straight.
Anonymous said…
I always, thought bike riders were sack less douchebags and this thread confirmed it. What a bunch of sacklickers.
KW said…
Only when I am cramping. Salty balls help.
Max said…
How can people spend their whole lives on earth and not realize that someone's general character means almost nothing when it comes to disputing the facts of a matter like this?

You can be a great guy, who is generous and kind with his friends, and donates to charity, and volunteers at the animal shelter, and also cheat at a mountain bike race.

You can be a total dick, who ridicules people out on the internet, and doesn't respond well to criticism, and also be completely correct about analyzing race data for cheating.

Ultimately, the fact this dude hasn't shown up to defend himself is pretty telling.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Unknown said…
Two different things
Anonymous said…
Anonymous said…
This is all fairly circumstantial, there is actually no concrete evidence here. I appreciate the analysis though. However, if I was this guy, I would be super pissed that someone posted this about me without hard evidence. The evidence here is all dependant on an assumption that he can't just be a great rider. That's dangerous, and libelous, territory. Unless you have witnesses of course. A court would simply say "he says he was hurt on those slow times, waht do you say?" to which you would respond "Well, it just seems very very fishy". Which it does, but there you go.

Anonymous said…
With all this bike data floating around, someone could just see if this pattern of late race record breaking is actually an outlier. Like, statistically, and calculate exactly what the odds are of doing what he did. That really is possible guys, and a lot more convincing.

Colin R said…
Luke, did you read part 2?
Anonymous said…
I'm a cheater pumpkin eater.

Elitist cycling attorney said…
I don't know anyone that is partaking in this discussion, but it was still an excellent read.

Based on your expertly gathered and analyzed data, Sam is likely a cheater. His team mates are further soiling their own reputation by blindly supporting this dishonest crackpot fraud. They should have reached out to Sam, guilted him into a confession, and released some sort of public apology via Facebook, this blog, and/or the like.

Instead, they have resorted to petty and sexist insults. Good job dragging yourself and your team through the mud there. You are all frauds.

As for the threats of litigation, you're golden. You did nothing wrong in this case. There was no reckless or willful disregard for the truth or the facts.

Source: I'm a cyclist and attorney.
Anonymous said…
great read. thanks for sending me here, cyclocosm.
the behavior of sam's teammates was so telling and it has been so obvious that he cheated.
they should all be banned until a formal apology is made.

anonymous cris
Anonymous said…
So Sam is a big dick for cheating he has only him self to blem. But to start bleming his team mates is just stupid if you look at there times none of them are very fest. So calling out them is not called for. The only thing they did was have a ass as a team mate.
Anonymous said…
You guys use chammy butter? been really getting into it.
Anonymous said…
Sam just changed his facebook picture to a stolen photo (used without permission) from Ernie Mills. It even says "PROOF" all over it. That is stealing. There are free ones available online, and he took from the ones that aren't free. Dishonest if you ask me.
disgusted said…
Maybe if we all pitch in to give Colin the prize money he thinks he was cheated out of (which was no doubt going to his penis enlargement surgery) he will stop whining...
Michele said…
"disgusted": Colin did not say he'd been cheated out of a prize. Don Seib is the person who is currently credited with the second fastest lap.
ryand said…
"Michelle" do you really expect people to be able to read and understand simple logical statements written in plain and clean english?
Michele said…
"ryand": I used to teach English composition to college freshmen so... no.
ryand said…
Glad we're on the same page Michelle.glad we're on the same page Michelle.
John said…
I am not sure why people are calling out Sam's team. It looks like their only mistake was letting him race with them. They were in the cruiser class - not exactly out for a win. They don't have anything to gain from Sam's cheating except damage to their team and bike shop's reputation.
Anonymous said…
Colin, it is interesting how you say you have "proof" but really, it is all based off of hearsay.

I looked into your so-called data points and found that it is rather easy to disprove them.

Sheldon Miller even admitted he wasn't very "with it" at 5am on Sunday. Then you call him out and claim that he KNEW it was Ken and Sam that he had passed on that lap. But just a day or so before that claim, he didn't know who Sam Anderson was or what he looked like. So, you mean to tell me, that Sheldon identified someone he had never met or seen a picture of - in sunglasses, a helmet, a kit, etc.- by the back of his head? Hm, seems rather sketchy and inconclusive to me. I'd almost have to say you're grasping for any sort of "proof point". Well, it is rather easy to see right through you.

Oh and also, I don't doubt that Sheldon passed two people because he had a great lap. But, by analyzing ALL of the data from 5am Sunday morning, it is clear that Sheldon actually passed Ken Wiley and Jonathan Riley based off of start and finish times as well as Sheldon's description that someone was on his wheel and then fell back. Jonathan's time very much reflects this.

Sam rode alone that entire lap at 5am, except for passing people who had started before him and finished after him, never once getting passed.

Oh and your guy Jim Grimley who claims he wasn't passed at all, was actually passed by Craig Schneider, Sheldon Miller and Sam Anderson. So, clearly he is not a reliable source.

Also, I did some analysis of my own. It is not uncommon for people to have their fastest laps either at night or the morning of the second day as the course isn't as crowded and people have rested. I even analyzed your own laps and those of your teammates. I also looked at teams' laps from all different categories - expert, sport, cruiser, etc.- and the conclusion was that many people did their best on day 2.

Also, if you claim you're such a good rider, why did you race in the amateur class this past weekend? Now, I'd call THAT sandbagging.

ringcycles said…
as far as I can tell, the only reason Sam's team is being called out is because a couple members of his team have defended Sam's honor & honesty by using rude ad hominen comments about Colin. They also made the gross mistake of attaching their own honesty to Sam's. If they had taken the high road from the start, there'd be no calling out.

As for Colin's motives, his prizes & results are not effected at all by Sam's results. Colin actually began this research hoping that Sam was a legitimate talent, a guy fast enough to race pro/elite but had not been discovered (and perhaps recruit him to race for regional team?) Instead he found the pattern of his results so obviously indicative of cheating that he had to spell it out. Why? because we all spend hundreds of hours & dollars on bike racing every year. So cheating is robbing other racers not just of a crappy piece of tin on a ribbon, it's robbing us of our legitimate hard earned results.
Colin R said…

I love this game we play where people read the post and then pick one random thing to try to pick apart instead of addressing the entire issue. Like this latest rebuttal is basically "maybe Sheldon was wrong!," and yeah, there's a teeny tiny chance Sheldon's account and/or my analysis of it was wrong, which only leaves about five other data points (hint: they're 2010 and 2011 lap times) to refute. Remember that I didn't even know about Sheldon when I made this initial post... because that's how guilty his 2010-11 lap times look. Even if you refute all the evidence from Sheldon (which you didn't, by the way), he still obviously cheated in 2010 and 11.

"Sheldon Miller even admitted he wasn't very "with it" at 5am on Sunday. Then you call him out and claim that he KNEW it was Ken and Sam that he had passed on that lap."

Wrong. I showed that based on the people who left the tent from 5:07am-5:12am, the person who hung with Sheldon for a while before being dropped HAD to have been Sam. Sheldon never called him "Sam" at all in his testimony... but the data does.

"It is clear that Sheldon actually passed Ken Wiley and Jonathan Riley based off of start and finish times as well as Sheldon's description that someone was on his wheel and then fell back. Jonathan's time very much reflects this. "

Wrong. Jonathan Riley clocked a 1:04 on his 5:11 lap, Sheldon clocked a 44. If you think a guy can stay with Sheldon for most of the first climb, but then lose TWENTY MINUTES on the lap... I don't know what to say... have you ever raced bikes before? Do you know what a TWENTY MINUTE (50%) difference in a lap would feel like? Meanwhile in your version of events, Sam starts 4 seconds ahead of Sheldon but disappears before Sheldon can even notice him. Okay.

"Oh and your guy Jim Grimley who claims he wasn't passed at all"

I don't recall anything about Jim Grimley in this blog post, especially not him claiming he wasn't passed at all, so... you win?

"Also, I did some analysis of my own. It is not uncommon for people to have their fastest laps either at night or the morning of the second day as the course isn't as crowded and people have rested. I even analyzed your own laps and those of your teammates. I also looked at teams' laps from all different categories - expert, sport, cruiser, etc.- and the conclusion was that many people did their best on day 2."

Feel free to name some of these "many people who did their best on day 2."

"Also, if you claim you're such a good rider, why did you race in the amateur class this past weekend? Now, I'd call THAT sandbagging."

You are right, me "sandbagging" my first ever enduro race to a glorious 3rd place in Amateur Men 30-39 totally invalidates everything I said here.
Anonymous said…
I do bike race actually and I know how easy it is to "blow up" after going out hard maybe to stay on someone's wheel or in the peleton (I'm a roadie) then realize, whoops, I just over did it and then struggle the rest of the way, falling off the back. Happens all the time in cycling, running, etc.

Also, the whole reason you got into 2010 and 2011 data was because you were CONVINCED that Sam Anderson cheated in 2014...your theory on 2014 has more holes than Swiss cheese.

Jim Grimley is the not-named guy referred to in this tweet by someone you have been conversing with over Twitter:
"Richard Pirro ‏@iracemtb:
@ccrtoph I did. Was wondering if GG took any action. I also heard from a reliable source he went out at 5:07 and was not passed."

Also, your blog states: "Update: the data proves it had to be Sam Anderson in Sheldon's story, see below."
Well, your "data" has been proved wrong and the real data - aka all of it - show that it was Ken and Jonathan that Sheldon passed. If I could figure out how to HTML code and get a chart in here I would.

Colin R said…
"I do bike race actually and I know how easy it is to "blow up" after going out hard maybe to stay on someone's wheel or in the peleton (I'm a roadie) then realize, whoops, I just over did it and then struggle the rest of the way, falling off the back. Happens all the time in cycling, running, etc."

If your entire refutation of the evidence is "the guy from Sheldon's story is actually Jonathan Riley" then I don't buy it at all. Jonathan Riley was on the second lap of a double and had ridden consistent hour-plus night laps for the whole race(he did five). Why would he ride the first miles of the course randomly at 44-minute lap pace, which is faster than any lap he rode in the daylight on the first afternoon?

Still waiting on your data about how lots of people post faster laps at night or in the morning.

If you want to post a chart, you could always take a screenshot, post it to an image-sharing service (I recommend imgur), and then link it here in the comments.
24 HOGG racer said…
Anonymous- while it is refreshing that (at least some) of your argument is based on evidence instead of just attacking Colin you are completely wrong. While Sam lap times indicate that he cheated to anyone who is familiar with 24 hour mountain bike racing, Sheldon's account proves that he cheated in 2014. Are you expecting us to believe that Sheldon closed a 3+ minute gap on Jonathan Riley in under a mile in order to catch up to him on the first climb, then Jonathan decided to stay on a pace 50% faster than his for a mile or two before blowing up? If that was the case it was the only time in the entire race Jonathan rode that fast, and he must have had one hell of an energy boost 9 laps in at 5am. From his results Jonathan looks like a consistent racer, and likely wouldn't decide to go hard and blow up at 5am.

The data completely support Sheldon's story that he caught 2 people immediately and one (Sam) stayed with him for a while before getting dropped.

As for Jim Grimley- sounds like you're venturing into speculation here as I haven't seen any mention of him. If you're grasping at twitter rumors I'd say your argument isn't very credible.

Sam cheated, plain and simple. Many of us have known about/ suspected his cheating for years, and now thanks to Colin it is finally being proven. If Sam apologizes sincerely and publicly maybe everyone can move on. If not, he's probably not going to be welcomed at any mountain bike races in the future. Which is a real shame.
24 HOGG racer said…
Just re-read my post, the gap to Jonathan was actually 1:23, but it remains pretty clear that Jonathan wouldn't have blown himself up trying to keep pace with Sheldon.
thesuperrookie said…
Dear Internet-

Thanks for making me fall in love with you again.


Wanker tanker said…
I've raced against Sam for years in thw MWV, other fast MWV racers and I have suspected him of cheating for along time!

Good job Colin, you vigor makes me horny for MTB racing!
Jake UK said…
Great work, Colin. It's a sad reflection on the cycling world that so many people are defending a cheat. Perhaps too many people in the cycling world accept cheating as part and parcel of the sport?

He should be in jail, surely this amounts to fraud?
Anonymous said…
Funny, with no analysis what-so-ever, our team was calling him Sam "Cheaterson" moments after we heard of his results.. I believe he may have cheated after reading the analysis - one might think if he was under suspicion of cheating in previous years and knew he was gunning for the fastest lap, he could have Strava'd the lap. A few more thoughts:

- 1/25 people is a sociopath. Sam might be one, and he might derive great pleasure from the attention gained. Is he just manipulating us to get a reaction for entertainment??
- riding in a 24 hour race, racing casually, then busting it for one lap to get fastest lap is a douchebag move, even if he didn't cheat. Am I alone in feeling this way?
- for a good cheating analysis, read the book "Escalante". For those of us who saw the movie "Stand and Deliver", the students took an AP Calc exam and got accused of cheating. Pretty damning evidence, maybe even more so that the evidence against Sam Cheaterson.

See you all non-cheaters in 2015. What a great race!

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