Quotes of the year 2014

"The mother of the imbecile is always pregnant," says Nibali

"We still have some isolated incidents now because unfortunately, the mother of the imbecile is always pregnant. I can't be the spokesman for the whole peloton, certainly, but the goodwill to improve and do something more is certainly exceptional." - Vincenzo Nibali when tasked with answering some difficult questions surrounding his decision to race with the Astana team.

"Whether you like it or not, France is the centre of the cycling world. So one, you speak French because it’s the official language of the UCI, and two, you come and race on the French circuit." - Marc Madiot shares his thoughts on the state of cycling.

"At night you sit there in your room and you know that you have to go through it all over again the day after. Then it's onto the next race and it's the same scenario again and again and at night when it's just you and your thoughts and no one to talk with you lie there and you ask yourself 'what's wrong with you?"Andy Schleck on his injury problems in July of this year. Within three months he had retired from the sport due to a longstanding knee injury.

"Some of the media seems to have concerns about Steven [de Jongh] and his past and what that might mean for Tinkoff-Saxo and Alberto. I'll tell you what it means: nothing. Steven just one of our sports director, one of the key management in the team. I have met him only once and I know nothing about his past, therefore I can't talk about it. I didn't even know that he was former pro rider from the nineties. Should I know? Should I be concerned? Absolutely not. I don't overload my brain with the information that isn't important to me. To have a zero tolerance policy for the past is just PR and Marketing." - Oleg Tinkov writes a blog for Cyclingnews ahead of the Tour de France.

"I'm happy to learn that you are wondering." - Team Astana respond to an email from a Sky Sports reporter who had asked the following:  "I was just wondering if the team had any statement to make regarding yesterday's UCI announcement that they were reviewing the WorldTour licence for next year?"

"You 'mustn't' nothing in your life. I don't 'must' nothing in the life, just die. It's important, yeah, but I have also a future in front of me." - Peter Sagan reacts after being asked if he felt that he must win a Classic during his career.

"It’s one thing to make a mistake or know what you’ve done but we figure that there’s a patch of oil or something. I think I had tears in my eyes before I even hit the floor. There aren’t really words for it. To race for seven hours and for that to happen on the last corner…. it’s poetry.” Dan Martin after Liège crash.

"I'm sure that there are still riders out there micro-dosing still and they're covering their tracks quite well but at some stage they will slip up." - Robin Parisotto on the lack of testing in Tenerife.

"Take Bradley Wiggins for example, and his claim that he thought Lance Armstrong was clean up until the reasoned decision. I do have a little sympathy for him. While he's not particularly bright or articulate, if you read between his curse words it's clear that he has insecurities resulting from the fact that despite all the measures he took to win the Tour he wasn't even the strongest rider." - Floyd Landis highlights what he sees as the contradictions and hypocrisy within the sport.

"If I was the carpenter, then he was the artist. He had all the panache in the world, all the panache you could fit into a small climber, and I, if I'm honest, I didn't have that." - Lance Armstrong on the ten year anniversary of Marco Pantani's death.

MC: I don't think Chris fully understood that (Vinokourov) had doped.
CF: No, I knew.
MC: Not fully.

Paul Kimmage's revealing interview for the Irish Independent with Chris Froome (Team Sky) and his wife Michelle Cound.

"I was in Arenberg again today and it still feels like it did when I was twelve. I'm sure Cancellara and them feel the same although they might be too cool to admit it. But I don't mind admitting it." - Bradley Wiggins reveals his inner fan during a pre-Paris-Roubaix press conference.

"None of my team will answer the phone to me. I under-performed at the nationals. I'm now so scared about losing my Tour spot I can't sleep."
"For the record, I was going to be ready for the Tour, so sad my team didn't believe in me, after everything we've been through. Not cool."
- David Millar takes to Twitter after being left out of the Garmin-Sharp Tour de France team. The wounds somewhat healed by the end of the season with Millar thanking the team management for their support during his time on the team."Thank you @dellisny and @vaughters for this whole experience."

"In the weeks before the Tour I sometimes dreamed I had a problem and I would ask myself if everything would be ruined. Then I'd wake up and see it wasn't true. Well this time, it's true." -Alberto Contador during a post-Tour de France interview. He crashed out of the Tour but came back to win the Vuelta a Espana.

"It was really just that my normal motorpacer was out of town. [Armstrong] lives a couple blocks down the road. He has a Vespa and some free time, so I just asked him. I was just like, 'Hey, can you spare an hour? People can think what they want, but I think the story is old enough now, and I think with all the other riders in his similar position, he's been punished enough. I don't think he's … I don't know. I'll stop there."- Tejay van Garderen on why Lance Armstrong motorpaced him this season.

"Really, I don't know if what they are saying is a joke. It makes me laugh, because in reality everyone present and everyone who watches on TV knows what really happened. It's not like I went down the Stelvio in a car or on a motorbike. I came down on a bike on the same roads everyone else came down." - Nairo Quintana looks to calm the situation after his ride on the descent of the Stelvio saw him take the race lead. 

"The cobbles are going to be carnage. I hope not, but we've got to be ready for it." - Trek Factory Racing's Classic's specialist Fabian Cancellara said in an exclusive interview with Cyclingnews before the start of the Tour de France's cobbled stage 5.

"If Quintana, Froome, Nibali and Contador all agree to ride all three Grand Tours, I'll get Tinkoff Bank to put up €1 million. They can have €250,000 each as an extra incentive. I think it's a good idea." - Tinkoff-Saxo team owner Oleg Tinkov tries to entice riders to go for the Giro-Tour-Vuelta triple in 2015.

"I had a conference call with my body, my legs, my head and my motivation. We decided we could keep it up for one more year, but after this, leave us alone. I want to stick to my promise..." -Jens Voigt during his final season as a pro rider.

"I think the riders might chip in some money to pay for me to go away finally ..." - More from that man Jens Voigt.

"My wife wanted me to retire this year, but then I heard Voigt was retiring, and if I race Tour of California in 2015] I will be the only rider to do all 10 editions." - Ben Jacques-Maynes on waiting until May, 2015 to retire.

“If I had said that Lance did this, there wouldn’t have been a lot left of me. I was supposed to ride a bike. That’s my job. And I’ve done it pretty well now and then. Others will have to discover who doped or not. That issue I raise in my book as well. Why doesn’t the anti-doping government catch those who cheat? I think that’s worth raising questions about.”  - Thor Hushovd on why he did not report Lance Armstrong to anti-doping authorities in 2011 when the American is alleged to have said 'Thor, let’s face it. Everybody did it'.

“Bad day, the wound healing gets complicated. I've no date to take the bike. Goodbye to the Vuelta." July 23. Alberto Contador announces he will miss the Vuelta a España after fracturing his tibia at the Tour de France.

“There is no possibility that Alberto can ride the Vuelta.” August 5. Contador’s press officer Jacinto Vidarte confirms to Cyclingnews that he will miss the Vuelta.

“I've been riding my bike for the last ten days, and yesterday was the first day I could climb a mountain pass without knee pain. That excites me, motivates me and led me to take the decision that I will ride the Vuelta a España." August 14. Contador announces he will ride the Vuelta after all. He goes on to win the race.

"It's the World Championships and when you're the champion, it always hurts to give away your title. But we did what we could. I was riding for a world title, not for a medal. That's how it is, and we have to live with it. That's cycling. That's part of the game. There comes a time when such a sequence comes to an end." -Rabo-Liv Woman Cycling Team Marianne Vos said after losing her world title at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, where she placed 10th in the elite women's race.

“Marianne, I don’t know why she didn’t work, and Emma Johansson, for sure I don’t know why she didn’t work. She’s got another silver medal [Johansson actually finished third - ed], maybe she likes them, I don’t know.” - Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead gives here take on the same race.

"I'm absolutely heartbroken to leave the Tour de France. I built my season around the Tour, and the team has supported me every step of the way. I had hoped the rest day would allow some time to recover from my crashes. But it proved to be too much."
Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talanksy, after abandoning the Tour de France. He battled through nearly half of stage 11 alone with an injured back and eventually finished 32:05 minutes behind the stage winner, and a little over five minutes inside the time cut. He went on to say, “I wanted the team to keep up the fight for the stage, and in turn for them, I wanted to fight to the finish. It’s been hard for me personally with the crashes, but I'm really proud of how we rode together here. These guys are so strong and there is so much more they can do over the rest of the Tour. I'll go home now and rest and recover but I will be watching from there and cheering for my team every day.”

"We haven't had a lot of time to do the how-to-beat-Chris-Horner math. But frankly, I plan to kick his ass every time he tries."
- Phil Gaimon when Cyclingnews asked him how he and other US domestic riders could beat Chris Horner when he shows up for US races next year.

"The thing is with Chris, he's so stubborn. If he feels like he has unfinished business, he's definitely got that stubbornness to see it through. If someone says he can't do something, like I said, he's got that stubborn streak in him. He'll show them right."
- Gord Fraser speaking about former teammate Chris Horner's return to the US domestic circuit with Airgas-Safeway, a second year Continental team.

"To all the riders, teams and races who turned their nose up at us, let me repeat myself: Hi, we're team SmartStop and we came to race." - Team SmartStop director Mike Creed directed this toward the rest of the US peloton after his team won a stage at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and wore yellow for several stages.

"In tests the new bike was proven to be better than the old bike but I think I wasn’t used to the position and it was slightly different. I made the wrong decision to use the bike. I can’t say where I would have been if I used the old bike but I had cramp after 10km and I never had that before. I knew it was risk. I couldn’t put any power on the pedals with the cramp. The race was over after 20km more or less. The old bike was on the roof and at one moment I thought about changing but the muscles was already fucked by then." - Bauke Mollema on his disastrous final time trial of the Tour de France which saw him drop from seventh to tenth overall.

"I think that it is quite clear that another doping case for the Astana Pro team could be fatal to them. I think that, in effect, they are drinking in the last chance saloon." - UCI president Brian Cookson talking to Cyclingnews.

"Paolo Slongo - he would have, according to the investigators, "frequent contact with Ferrari": yes, of course, every morning, in front of the buffet breakfast at the hotel Parador del Teide, with the topic: "is it better to have eggs with bacon or muesli with yogurt?" Italian Doctor Michele Ferrari dismisses any suggestion he was secretly training Astana riders on Mount Teide.

"To talk about what? My past? I passed my two years, I can't keep paying for it for all my life." Astana general manager Alexandre Vinokourov tells Cyclingnewsthat he has no intention of speaking to the Cycling Independent Reform Commission about his 2007 positive test.

"People are always quick to say 'he got let off'. First they levelled me as a doper, then afterwards when I proved my innocence they say 'he got let off', but that's the wrong way around. I was innocent at the start." - Daryl Impey on proving his positive test was due to contamination of empty gel capsules by a pharmacist.

"There's a big difference between winning and getting second. I quantified it - I looked at how many text messages, how many calls, how many Tweets I got [after the second place in Denver, compared with his win in Aspen]. It's not 10 percent less when you finish second. It's 10 percent of what you got when you won. There aren't many people who will remember who was second there, but you put as much work into getting that result as you do to win." - Kiel Reijnen on heartbreak on the final USA Pro Challenge stage.

"It was a bit hard for me to watch, honestly, when I know I have been capable of similar times on the track and hardly anyone knows or cares, but such is life." -Colby Pearce, former US hour record holder, on Jens Voigt setting the world hour record after the UCI relaxed the equipment regulations.

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