Riders lament cancellation of Tour of Beijing after 2014

September 24, 2014 § 14 Comments

The pro peloton was rocked today with news that the beloved Tour of Beijing will likely end after 2014. “This was one of the best races on the calendar,” said Serge Dumoulin, noted domestique for Continental III-level pro team Buster’s Bunion Buster Orthotic Shoe Implants p/b Carburetor Kleen. “It was an epic race.”

Praise for the race was unanimous. In its first three years, the Tour of Beijing a/k/a Race for the Cinders, was hailed as one of the toughest and most challenging events on the pro calendar. “Sure, the stages were all pretty much short and flat,” said Pepe Contreras of Team Barnacle, “but to pedal even a hundred meters in that stinking, smog-filled shit hole of Beijing, I rate it as my greatest accomplishment ever.”

Team doctors from Trek, Cannondale, Katusha, and Tinkoff-Saxodope all agreed. “This race presented the most incredible challenges of our collective medical careers: how to inhale vast quantities of mercury, lead, cadmium, and airborne clenbuterol without either dying or testing positive. This was our greatest achievement.”

Pierre du Fromage-et-vins-du-Sucre, one of the few riders to complete all three editions, waxed nostalgic. “It’s not often you get to support, through your athletic participation, a nation that not only represses human rights but that also pollutes the globe on a massive scale. I’ll miss that. Plus all the teenagers we had sex with for, like, six bucks.”

Brian Cookson, head of the UCI and uncharacteristically sober at 9:00 AM British time, was more sanguine. “The Tour of Beijing served its purpose, to reach out to the growing population of Chinese sporting enthusiasts and expand awareness of our sport, but let’s be honest here. When has anyone ever gone to China and not gotten fucked? Making money off of the Chinese is harder than taking a full bottle of rye whiskey away from a thirsty Irishman. Not that there’s any other kind.”

Although the Tour of Beijing provided a last-stop Pro Tour race for riders still looking for a win and Andy Schleck, Cookson believes that other opportunities are in the offing. “I was recently contacted by a gentleman, Mr. Abdul Abdullah-Masoud al-Qaeda who would like to unveil a premiere stage race in the northern part of what was, formerly, I believe, known as Iraq. We are still working out the details, and would of course require that none of the riders be decapitated, and I believe they may be flexible on that point as long as everyone wears a bedsheet. With the UCI, rider safety is our paramount concern.”

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UCI rule changes usher in new era

September 21, 2014 § 31 Comments

With the changes to the UCI’s rules for the hour record attempt firmly in place, Jens Voigt stormed to a new mark in the legendary event, setting a fastest-ever pace in the event, a time that was faster than anyone has ever gone before in this distance, except for eight other riders, all of whom went faster, but who, under new rules are now technically slower, making Voigt the fastest ever rider not to have used certain modifications under the old rules that allowed the “superman” position. Voigt’s new status as the fastest ever rider for the hour except for the riders who have actually gone faster created a wave of happiness and hysteria at the UCI, and Cycling in the South Bay was lucky to catch this brief interview with chief Brian Cookson in between lunchtime martinis.

CitSB: You must be really happy about this.

Brian Cookson: Oh indeed, indeed. This rule change is going to see a wave of riders attempting to break the hour record.

CitSB: Can you explain it to the folks back in Peoria? It’s kind of confusing.

BC: Of course. Under the old rules, which were instituted to replaced the former rules before that, and which in turn had been liberalized over the previous rules, a rider couldn’t set an hour record unless he did it under the same technical constraints as Eddy Merckx’s 1972 ride in Mexico City.

CitSB: And why was that so hard?

BC: There just weren’t very many more pairs of wool shorts left anymore. Except for the guys over at Velominati. And reproducing the open-shit sewers of Mexico City in ’72 was a major technical hurdle, not to mention getting old-school pepper-upper combos like Deca, heroin, strychnine, and cocaine.

CitSB: So then what happened?

BC: We changed the rule so that it mirrors the existing rules for the pursuit. If you can use it in the pursuit, you can use it in the hour record.

CitSB: Even those stupid looking smooth helmets that make you look like a speeding penis?

BC: (Slams another martini, rubs self). Especially those.

CitSB: Back to Ma and Pa in Peoria. Jens Voigt has the new hour record, but there are still eight riders who have set UCI-approved hour records faster than him. How can you be the record holder in 9th place?

BC: Again, as with most things in cycling, you have to be steeped in the history and the regulations to appreciate the effort. It is true that the fastest hour records of Boardman and Rominger will never be broken, but those records were set due to technical specifications that allowed them to use bike positions that we will never allow again.

CitSB: Why is that?

BC: The hour record should be pure. It should be man against time.

CitSB: Or woman.

BC: What?

CitSB: Never mind.

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Pro cyclist doping confession rejected by UCI

December 22, 2013 § 19 Comments

Belgian Jonathan Breyne, victor of the 8th stage in the Tour of Haifu Lake, had his doping admissions rejected by the UCI after testing of his B sample confirmed the presence of clenbuterol. In a press release issued by his Continental team Crelan-Euphony, Breyne confessed to the use of banned substances. “I knowingly used clenbuterol as part of a doping regimen in order to improve my performance. The clenbuterol assisted with recovery after Stage 7 and, I believe, substantially contributed to my victory the following day. I take full responsibility for this and other anti-doping violations.”

UCI president Brian Cookson emphatically rejected Breyne’s claims. “Ridiculous. What, does he take us for fools? He must have eaten tainted beef like everyone else.”

The UCI plans to vigorously prosecute Breyne’s innocence. “We will take this all the way to CAS if we must,” vowed Cookson.

Breyne, however, was adamant. “I’ve always been one of those ‘promising’ lads who winds up mid-pack. My breakthrough came when I began combining effective training with steroids and ‘marginal gain’ levels of EPO. That’s how we dope nowadays.”

Doping expert Billy Nietzsche was skeptical. “Thus spake Breyne, but it’s hard to believe he’s guilty without having gone through the usual panoply of excuses. It just doesn’t sound plausible when he says he doped, especially since he made the ‘admission’ without even crying or claiming to have used tainted supplements..”

Breyne’s team manager, Pfister Pfeister, reluctantly accepted the confession. “Looky ‘ere, eez da furst dime seence I been seein’ a feller say he was onna dopin pogrom jus’ first ting outta da box, quick like a little squirt an his first hooker, eh? But maybe eez tellin’ da troof, eh? Maybe?”

Results from the WADA-accredited lab in Chateauneuf-du-Pape were defended by the lab’s director, Jean Pouilly-Fuisse von Nagasaki. “These results conclusively prove that Breyne might not have doped. There is a mathematical chance of error, say on the range of twelve hundred thousand billion to one, that the overwhelming presence of clenbuterol in his urine sample, measured as roughly equivalent to three quarts of clenbuterol per gallon of blood, that those results were the result of contaminated beef, or contaminated sushi, or accidentally licking his roommate’s tainted meat, or just, you know, it got there because, Duck Dynasty. It’s that margin of possibility of error that demands, from a scientific and ethical point of view, that the athlete dispute the results.”

Breyne’s father, Yves-Marc Fauntleroy, confirmed the details of his son’s confession. “Every since he was a child we mercilessly demanded that he succeed. We gave him every opportunity and sent him to the best doping doctors. I offered to transfuse my own blood into storage bags for him. There’s no question that he’s guilty.”

Jonathan Vaughters, team boss for Garmin-Sharp-Apologia, was skeptical. “He may have been forced to dope because of his childhood dreams. It’s doubtful that he really did dope. The UCI is doing the right thing by prosecuting his innocence.”

Levi Leipheimer agreed. “I doped, but only after the threat of prison and losing my Gran Fondo. There’s no way this kid could have doped just to win some douchebag race in China. His confession flies in the face of all the hallowed excuses that bike racers have used since, like, forever. He hasn’t even pointed out that he never tested positive until he tested positive. That’s conclusive, in my opinion. He will ultimately be exonerated once the UCI presses their appeal.”

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Interview with the new UCI boss, Brian Cookson

September 28, 2013 § 12 Comments

We sat down with UCI president-elect Brian Cookson shortly after he had ousted Paddy McQuaid, the rough-and-tumble, hard drinking, coke-snorting, influence-peddling douchebag who has been the face of professional cycling since 2006.

WM: How does it feel to be elected to a major international sports position like this, yet still come across in most photographs as a homeless man looking for a bath and a shave?

BC: Cycling is ready for a new path, so I’m honored to have been chosen for this post.

WM: The UCI has historically been a facade for one of the most pathetic, irrelevant professional sports in the world. How will you change that?

BC: Cycling needs new leadership to take it on a new path. I say, old chap, d’you mind if I have another one of those? (Points to empty whiskey glass.)

WM: By all means. Waiter! Please bring Mr. Cookson another whiskey! (Waiter quickly refills the glass.) So, what is your plan for cleaning up this filthy, putrid, cheating, lying, freak show of a non-sport, where a 42-year-old cheeseburger addicts can whip the snot out of 150 drug-crazed Spanish professionals in the prime of life?

BC: When I took over British Cycling, it was on an old path. A very, very old path. Ancient, in fact. And so we put it on a new one, a new path. And it’s been quite successful, I might add.

WM: I thought British Cycling was revolutionized by lottery funding and volcano doping? I mean, weren’t you running it like, back in the days when the only people the British beat in bicycle races were the Sudanese?

BC: Yes, well, the $48 billion annual lottery investment helped. And I believe that a new path is needed here at the UCI as well.

WM: Right. What, exactly, is the new path you have in mind?

BC: Obviously, not an old one.

WM: Of course not. I mean, something that will restore integrity to a sport that never had any, right? A way to make cycling appealing to people who aren’t enamored of those pasty Froome-types who can’t steer, who gaze incessantly at the stem, who roll over and die the minute the Tour ends?

BC: Exactly. A new path.

WM: What are its core elements?

BC: Excuse me (signals waiter). Could I have another one of these? (Points to now-empty whiskey glass, waiter refills it.)

WM: Dude, you seem completely drunk.

BC: Where were we?

WM: New path. You were going to take cycling on a new path.

BC: Yes, of course. We must eliminate corruption and cheating and bad things altogether. And to do that we need a new vision to do that in order for it to happen.

WM: Do you have any details?

BC: About what? (Hiccoughs.)

WM: Oh, nothing.

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