“Pro cycling will die”

April 21, 2020 § 9 Comments

According to Rigoberto Uran, if the 2020 Tour is cancelled only three teams could survive. He echoes Roger Lefevere of QuickStep, who was the first major person inside the sport to link cancellation of the TdF with the collapse of professional cycling.

Neither Uran nor Lefevere bothers to speculate on what could possibly explain an arrangement so horribly tilted against riders, teams, and their employees that the cancellation of a single race could end employment for everyone. And why should they?

The pandemic is already teaching a profound lesson about human behavior. When threatened, the last step that people will take, if ever, is to analyze what got them to the brink. It’s the same in every corner of the U.S. economy, where people are frantically trying to figure out how to get dishwashers back on the job so we can reopen the fast food joints and bars rather than trying to figure out what is wrong with the system in the first place that would cause the very first casualties of the pandemic to be the poorest people with the least access to healthcare.

Economy of course is a horrible, sterile, inhuman, vicious word. This isn’t about an “economic” collapse because there is no such thing as an “economy.” There are people, and it is people for whom this euphemism called “economy” was coined, because if we were to actually call it the collapse of “human society” or the collapse of “people and their lives” rather than the collapse of the “economy” it would force us to think about something other than money. People can’t do that because the “economy” is built on two principles.

  1. Money is the most important thing in life.
  2. People should acquire more things.

These two principles are what make the “economy” run. But they aren’t what make people run. People run on food, shelter, clothing, and community. People run on religion, imagination, storytelling, communion with nature, love, and social interaction. In other words, the #fakeeconomy simply isolates two twisted principles that historically few people accepted, and makes them into commandments more powerful than any tablet ever handed down atop Mt. Sinai.

Neither Uran nor Lefevere seem to recognize, let alone question, that as the rug is yanked out from under the feet of billions of people, whether it’s because the structure itself is designed to do that very thing, that is, to aggregate more wealth in the hands of people who already have most of it. Instead, they point out the obvious, something along the lines of “Losing the Tour is going to really hurt.”

Actually, it won’t. Losing the Tour is about the least painful thing that could happen in a pandemic. Moreover, for now the Tour isn’t going anywhere, whether it’s cancelled, whether ASO files for bankruptcy, or whether pro cycling ceases to exist. The only issue is whether it will happen this year (how could it possibly) or next? There will always be people ready to race in the Tour, whether the teams fold or not. I’m buffing my race resume right now, in point of fact.

And why does it matter as long as the riders are in servitude, with an entire tier of sorta-pro Continental riders, and all women pros, have salary minimums of zero? And why does it matter when there are cyclists actually paying their teams to race “professionally”? Why does it matter as long as the riders’ salaries are subsistence-level, with no post-career security, no safety net, and no bargaining power over working conditions? It’s no coincidence that the only people speaking out in any significant way are a) Team Boss a/k/a employer and b) Top Tier rider whose financial situation is secure no matter what.

Where are the interviews with the neo-pros? The Continental pros? The 50% of the pro women’s peloton that averages $11,800/yr or the 17% of women who are paid zero? The “amateurs” who devoted the last three years to preparing for the track events at the not-gonna-happen Tokyo Olympics? Those interviews are not forthcoming, by the way. Too many of those voices might lead people to wonder why they even care about a system so exploitative, and that’s just among the “rich” white athletes of “developed” countries. Too many of those voices might lead to having to listen to the voices of the unemployed dishwashers, the homeless families, and the hundreds of millions of semi-starving people around the globe whose life plans go no farther than dinner.

Of course we have a choice, and I think a lot of people will see it more clearly as the pandemic continues. The choice is whether or not we will continue to be cogs in an “economy,” or whether we will demand that the entire community of humans receive its share of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Think about it this way. What if the “economy” never picked back up? What if we continued our lives wholly unemployed or working part-time from home? What if the government had to suddenly figure out how to distribute food, housing, education, and medical care to everyone? What if people were treated equally whether they worked, loafed, were healthy, sick, or just happened to wind up on American soil in between flight transfers?

What if the fact of your humanity entitled you at the moment of birth to a share of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?

Wouldn’t that be weird?

END


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Tour un-canceled, new format revealed!

March 24, 2020 § 5 Comments

French Ministress of Sport, Roxana Maracineanu, announced today that yesterday’s cancelation of the 2020 Tour de France had been reversed, and that a stripped-down version of the event would go ahead in a revised format.

When asked what the stripped-down format would entail, she quickly answered, “Strippers. We will have many of the, how do you say, dances on the pole?”

Critics such as five-time Tour victor Bernard Hinault were critical of the “Tour at all costs” approach being taken by the government and ASO. “Yes, the Tour is important, and yes, it is the only place left where I can still punch people in the face and throw them off the podium onto their teeth. But we must think of people’s health.”

Maracineanu took issue with Hinault, from a safe distance. “Monsieur Hinault is entitled to his opinion, but we have a format that will protect the health of our television revenue absolutely and the health of the riders and public, somewhat.”

Detailed plans, leaked to CitSB by a letuary at Amaury Sports Organization, show that the 2020 Tour will feature radical departures from past versions of the event. First is the new “Six Feet for Safety” rule, which will be employed throughout each race, requiring riders to maintain six feet between themselves at all times.

CitSB reached out to Patrick Lefevere, boss of team Quickstep, to find out if this were feasible.

“Absolutely not,” he said in an email. “In Europe we only use centimeters; no one will know how far these feet are. What if someone is a size 45, or dog forbid, an English size 11? It will be too confusing.”

In addition to the Six Feet for Safety ordinance, riders who saw the plans questioned how it would work in a bunch sprint. Ministress Maracineanu was adamant that “Although I am not a rider of the bicycle, we can imagine the sprinting as a fashion of gentlemanliness, where riders of bicycle can offer one another to proceed before, as when a gentleman opens a door for a lady.”

More explosive than this complete reconfiguration of pro road racing was the plan’s designation of a “cordone sanitaire” that would allow racers who have been exposed to the novel Covid-19 virus to take rest breaks at health stations along the route, deducting the time spent at aid stations from their finishing times.

Maracineanu: “This seems extremely complicated even to me, a Romanian Frenchwoman, but we must understand that in truth only the few people understand workings of the Tour anyway, like woman’s anatomy. Complex, mysterieuse, tres jolie, but also filled with pleasure and desire for all to experience. The Tour must be plunged deeply again.”

END


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Tour de France canceled

March 23, 2020 § 13 Comments

You heard it here first. The 2020 Tour de France will not be taking place as scheduled. Riders can stow their power meters, their drug bags, and their downtube motors. Time to focus on what’s really important in life, by which I mean indoor training.

Simply put, there is no way the TdF can take place this year. The plug was pulled today on the Olympics; the cancellation of the Tour was announced in a private communique from the race’s organizers to the world’s preeminent cycling news journalism bureau, Cycling in the South Bay.

This is the only time in history that the Tour has been canceled in peacetime. CitSB sat down with Tour chief Christian Prudhomme to discuss this momentous decision.

CitSB: First off, thank you for sharing this incredible scoop with us.

CP: My pleasure.

CitSB: Can you explain why you chose to share it with CitSB instead of, say, L’Equipe, Le Mond, or even the NYT.

CP: We were looking for a publication that was respected, that had impeccable credentials, and that was at the pinnacle of cycling journalism. Naturally that left us with only one choice.

CitSB: Wow. Thank you. So with regard to the cancellation. Was it a tough decision?

CP: Very.

CitSB: Why?

CP: We had to choose public health over profits. That’s the very antithesis of professional sport.

CitSB: I see. What was the tipping point? The cancellation of Flanders, MSR, and Roubaix?

CP: No. We were swayed by reports from domestic wine producers.

CitSB: I don’t understand.

CP: During our current lockdown, people have begun hoarding wine. Wholesalers and retailers have assured us that by July there will be only limited quantities of alcohol available in France, with preferential supplies going to governmental employees.

CitSB: And?

CP: We cannot have the world’s biggest and longest outdoor drunkathon on public streets without alcohol.

CitSB: Were there any other considerations?

CP: Of course.

CitSB: Such as?

CP: We did not want to appear that we were celebrating during a time of crisis.

CitSB: That’s impressive. The Covid-19 pandemic has cost so many lives and disrupted so many others.

CP: Well yes, but I was referring to the caviar shortage that has so greatly impacted us all.

CitSB: Us?

CP: Well, not you, of course. I don’t mean the little people.

CitSB: Of course not. Some people, notably Patrick Lefevere, have said that without the Tour the entire business model of pro cycling will collapse.

CP: (Sighs) That is true.

CitSB: Does that concern you?

CP: Not so much. The cyclists are little people, too. They will find other work. McDonald’s will never go bankrupt, even in France.

CitSB: But without a functioning pro peloton, how will the Tour come back?

CP: We have made plans for that already.

CitSB: Can you share them?

CP: Of course. We are planning to invite masters racers in 2021.

END


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Refocus

November 26, 2019 § 12 Comments

Last night I switched on the ol’ YouTube and watched A Sunday in Hell.

It’s good to remind myself sometimes about why I fell in love with bike racing.

If you’ve never watched this movie, please do. It contains everything you need to know about bike racing, the real kind.

I watch this movie every four or five years and each time I note how radically bike racing has changed since 1976. It would be a 10,000-word essay to chronicle all the changes. And as I age the movie’s hard reality is even more awesome, brutal, unforgiving, unrepentant, immobile as the giant paving stones along the cobbled sectors to Roubaix.

But the biggest changes? Muttonchop sideburns. In 1976 everyone had ’em. They were the coolest of the cool.

The other big change? Huge, floppy collars. Ordinary people who wanted to be fashionable had big, floppy collars.

Maybe the last, and the biggest change of all, is this:

Back then bike racers were tough.

END


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Paris-Roubaix 1976. Roger de Vlaeminck, Francesco Moser and Mark Demeyer move into the lead. Photo: Offside / L’Equipe.

Who killed ATOC?

November 7, 2019 § 19 Comments

The Amgen Tour of California went belly-up nine days ago, and like Jesus, it’s not coming back.

Why?

The Occam’s Razor answer is “money.” ATOC cost a lot more to put on than it ever brought in … for fourteen years … with nothing but spiraling costs in sight. Sometimes called “bad business model,” sometimes called “changing financial landscape,” sometimes called “bankruptcy,” it all amounts to the same fuggin’ thing.

There is a good article in Bicycling Magazine that talks about what those cost dynamics were; here’s the link. Not discussed much, but key to the whole discussion, is TV revenue. Like excitement in bike racing these days, there was none. And sporting events without TV revenue are like swimming races in an empty pool. You hit the bottom quick.

Which leads to the obvious question that no one wants to confront, “Why is there no TV revenue?” Answer: Because no one wants to watch bike racing except for (a very few) cyclists.

Compare that to NASCAR, whose fans don’t race cars, or the NBA, whose fans are too obese to walk up the stairs, much less dunk, or the NFL. Successful TV sports all have something in common, and it is known as a “fan.”

Why cycling has no fans

Roger Worthington used to place the phrase “Stoopid Sport” on his jerseys, and that’s an obvious reason why people don’t like cycling. But all sports are stupid, and the idea of watching corporate America pitch bad beer to lazy people watching TV is the stupidest idea of all.

Is cycling even more stupid than the NBA? And if it is, is it that much more stupid?

Not really. Cycling doesn’t have fans because it is boring, and although that can be ameliorated, it can’t ever be fixed.

“But but but! There were millions of people on the road over the last fourteen editions of ATOC! Downtown Sacramento was always packed! Sagan!!!”

To which I say, “That’s nice, but those aren’t fans. Fans are people who sit on the couch and watch the event on TV. The NFL isn’t funded by people in stadiums or by kids who played Pop Warner. It’s funded by TV viewers. For example, last year the average NFL game had over 15 million idiots slobbering at a their TV while anonymous men in their underpants beat the living shit out of everyone except the quarterback.

The people who went to watch stages of the ATOC weren’t fans, they were cyclists. And cyclists, for the most part, aren’t about to watch cycling on TV, at least not for more than a few minutes.

Cycling doesn’t have fans in the U.S.A., never has, and never will. Here’s why:

  1. Cycling is boring. One of the sport’s longest traditions is its boring-ness. “Hey, Pascale, let’s race around France for a month.” This is the most exciting thing that cycling has ever had to offer. Riding your bike around France. For a month.
  2. Cycling is more boring than it used to be. Race radios, computers, and power data tell you the ending before the beginning. Fans don’t like to know the ending until that point in the event known as the “end.”
  3. Kids don’t ride bikes. Fans aren’t created by MAMILs. Fans are evolved from little kids who used to play baseball and are now fat and lazy and watch it on the TV.
  4. Wives don’t ride bikes. Fans are created by wives who, resignedly at first and later with great enthusiasm, wear giant, stupid football jerseys and get slushy drunk with hubby because it’s better than being alone.
  5. Hubbies don’t ride bikes. Fans are created by boneheads in pickups “rolling coal” who think they can race performance cars around a track even though they never have and never will.
  6. Universities don’t ride bikes. Fans are created by drunken youngsters screaming at the TV for one group of people on academic probation to beat up another group of people on academic probation for the glory of their university, a place of higher learning.
  7. High schools don’t ride bikes. Fans are created by boys charged with testosterone willing to do anything to get laid, including baseball.
  8. Parents don’t ride bikes. Fans are created by parents who are in ill health, out of shape, delusional, and so greedy for the unicorn pro contract/college scholarship that they will spend tens of thousands of dollars and hours schlepping/browbeating their kid to games across the state.
  9. Cycling is too complicated. How many “disciplines” are there in cycling? Stage racing, time trials, crits, kermesses, hill climbs, Madison, scratch, pursuit, omnium, ‘cross, BMX, single track, downhill, AND MORE. How many disciplines in football? One.
  10. Nothing happens in cycling. Racer pedals. Racer sprints. Racer gets dropped. Racer has bicycle falling off incident. Who fucking cares?
  11. Pro cyclists are ugly. Pro road racers are badly undernourished and they look it.
  12. Cycling’s heroes aren’t heroes. I was talking to a guy who just did the Japan Cup and I told him about the time I saw the world championships on that course, in 1990, when Miguel Indurain was there. “Who’s that?” he asked.

Wise elder statesmen of the sport, people like Jonathan Vaughters who have played a leading role in sucking the corpse dry, talk about the future of “gravel racing” and “fondos,” as if these incredibly boring events will somehow create fans because, hey, the cyclists who do them pay “huge” entry fees of $180 … and more!!!!!!!!!!! Has JV ever priced a Nascar fan outfit?

Talk to Phil Gaimon about all the money he makes off of his grand fondue, or talk to the owners of Dirty Kanzaa, who have become billionaires off of those entry fees. Haven’t they?

No, they haven’t. Grand fondues and gravel racing simply eliminate the single biggest overhead of road racing, which are road closures and the costs associated with shutting down roadways. The idea that filthy bicyclists on a dirt road in Kansas will attract or create fans is hocus-pocus and snake oil, which is about what you’d expect from ex-doper-turned-pro-tour-team boss Vaughters.

The problem with cycling has always been that it’s fun to do and ugly to watch, kind of like sex.

Could be worse.

END


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#fake World Champion protests punishment for cheating

September 28, 2019 § 4 Comments

Dutch U-23 #fake world champion Nils Eekhof was astonished at being stripped of his #real world championship road win yesterday in England, a formerly great nation now being Brexited by Trump’s quarter-wit cousin.

CitSB sat down with Nils to discuss the travesty.

CitSB: So what happened?

NE: I won the title and the fraudsters on the race jury took it away.

CitSB: Why?

NE: Cheating. Because I cheated, ferfuxake.

CitSB: Wow. How did you cheat?

NE: I drafted behind a team car for an hour.

CitSB: Impressive. And they dq’d you for that?

NE: Yes. I’ve already assembled a legal team.

CitSB: Can you share with us the plan of attack?

NE: Pretty simple. I cheated obvious AF and now they’re saying I cheated.

CitSB: Can’t get simpler than that.

NE: If they’re going to dq me for cheating, what will happen to all the cheating?

CitSB: What do you mean?

NE: The cheating in cycling. Drugs, sticky water bottles, cutting the course, motorized bb’s, illegal aero fabrics, 8-inch sock cuffs, team car tows, line changes in the sprint, everything.

CitSB: I hadn’t thought of that.

NE: Right? You take down one cheater and the other cheaters stop cheating. Then what do you have?

CitSB: A bike race?

NE: Exactly. You want to fuck up this beautiful commercial and computerized endeavor with bike racing?

CitSB: I’m not sure the fans could handle it.

NE: They couldn’t. They don’t want it.

CitSB: So you felt like your cheating was fair?

NE: It was very fair. I cheated 100% according to the rules.

CitSB: What will you do if the dq stands? Will you stop cheating?

NE: (rolls eyes) Oh, sure.

CitSB: Good luck.

END


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Van Gansen tattles in Wanky tell-all

June 25, 2019 § 5 Comments

Perhaps the biggest news in all of professional sports broke a couple of weeks ago when it was revealed that several riders accused team manager Patrick Van Gansen of inappropriate behavior. CitSB sat down with “Boxers” Van Gansen to get his side of the story.

CitSB: So it’s all out there. Sexual harassment. Fat shaming. Asking women riders to clean and cook. What do you say?

“Boxers” Van Gansen: This is all so what, no? But when they say I walk around the house in my underwear, I draw the line. I will make the strong defense.

CitSB: You’re denying that you walk around in a house full of young women in your tighty whities?

BVG: First of all, I do not wear the jockeys but the boxers. Second of all we had two rules in the house. 1) I never walk around in my underwear. 2) Unless the girls ask me to.

CitSB: And did they?

BVG: All the time.

CitSB: You’ve also been accused of fat shaming.

BVG: What is this?

CitSB: Humiliating a person because of their weight.

BVG: You are kidding, no?

CitSB: No.

BVG: I never do such a thing, only to the fat ones. And they are usually the ones asking me to walk around in underwear, by the way.

CitSB: Your accusers have also said that they weren’t paid.

BVG: This is true.

CitSB: Why is that?

BVG: As you know, they refused to cook and do the house clean.

CitSB: How has this controversy affected you?

BVG: As I have said in the interview with the CyclingNews, and I will quote, “Every day I receive messages from all over the world, telling me what a fat bag, dirty butt, bastard and so much more I am not.”

CitSB: Wow. A dirty butt bastard. People actually called you that?

BVG: Yes, it is true, they say such things but I am not dirty butt or bastard or fat bag.

CitSB: You say that your accusers were problem riders?

BVG: Yes, of course. They don’t like to ride in a little Belgian sprinkle. ‘It is too wet,’ they say. But I say ‘Get your fat ass out on cobbles and pedal, bitches.’ And for this they become angry and call me dirty butt bastard?

CitSB: Well, it is kind of strong language.

BVG: This you call strong language? Pfffft. It is little love whisper, my friend.

CitSB: How has your title sponsor, Health Mate, reacted?

BVG: They understand me completely, perfectly. They stand by me like big horse.

CitSB: Any concern that they may pull their sponsorship?

BVG: No, this good publicity for them. Excellent press coverage. Now whole world knows Health Mate is company that encourage women not to be fat.

CitSB: What about the formal complaints lodged with the UCI?

BVG: It is nothing. Trust me.


END

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Floyd’s Pot Shop sponsors dope new team

February 6, 2019 § 2 Comments

After the bongshell announcement that former Tour de France ace and gadfly about town Floyd Landis had formed his own cycling team in cahoots with “Max Kash Aggro” beer peddler Roger G. Worthington, Cycling in the South Bay sat down with these two paragons of cycling wisdom and marketing wizardry to plumb the depths of their new plans to send cycling’s Ancien Regime up in smoke.

CitSB: You first, Floyd. What’s a nice boy like you doing in a shit-show like this?

Landis: It’s time to give back with more than just drugs. After getting that $750k from the Lance lawsuit, I wanted to help revitalize this sport that I love, or at least provide it with an alternative to opiates and manmade painkillers.

MKA: Hey, shut up, Floyd. It’s my turn to talk. Look, Wanky, your blog sucks, okay?

CitSB: We’ll get to you in a moment, little fellow. Floyd, you and Worthington have been friends a long time. How has that worked?

Landis: We go way back. Rog was one of the first people who believed in my innocence.

CitSB: One born every minute, right?

Landis: Pretty much.

MKA: Remember that time after you got banned that I had you announce at the Dana Point GP and you got hammered and sang all those Johnny Cash songs from the booth?

Landis: That was a gas, Rog. Good times! You are the best!

CitSB: Floyd, you’re on record as saying with regard to young people racing that “I would never encourage kids to get into it. It’s a catastrophe. It’s awful.” Has that changed?

Landis: Oh, absolutely. I totally encourage kids to get into bike racing now. It’s amazing. It’s fantastic.

CitSB: What’s changed?

Landis: The unicorns. They are everywhere now, with rainbow farts that smell like licorice and cetewale.

CitSB: Cetewale?

Landis: Middle English for “zedoary.”

CitSB: Zedoary?

Landis: Never mind.

CitSB: Okay. So back in 2017 when asked about the potential for change in cycling you said, “No, there’s no hope. There isn’t any. That’s just a fact. We can sit here and be pie in the sky, but they’re not changing.” And you described the U.S. governing body as “These are the same people, the same officials, the same USA Cycling. It’s all still just infested with disgusting people.” But things are different now?

Landis: Oh, absolutely.

CitSB: How?

Landis: Unicorns are in charge now and they are all eating Floyd’s Pot Shop cannabis products. Look! There goes a unicorn now!

CitSB: Where? Where?

Landis: Oh, dang it. You just missed it.

CitSB: Crap. Anyway, a couple of years ago you said, “In any case, the sport will never be clean and the guys who take the products will always be one step ahead.” Thoughts?

Landis: When I said “always” I didn’t add “and forever.” What I meant was “always” like “I will always love you, honey.” You know, one of those things no one believes. Come on. I was KIDDING. What I should have said is that the sport will never be clean until I and MKA get our own pro team and the riders are drinking Worthy Beer, the finest craft beverage currently produced in America.

MKA: It’s better than that!

Landis: You are the best, Rog. You rock, bro!

CitSB: A quick check of Beer Advocate has Worthy Brewing at 3.66 out of five. Just sayin’.

MKA: Those worthless sacks of shit at Beer Advocate wouldn’t know good beer if you poured it up their butts with a siphon.

CitSB: Sorry?

MKA: It’s all a joke. Those beer rating things are scams. He who pays the most, wins! And I play to win. Our marketing budget for 2019 has quadrupled, with glossy back cover buys for 12 issues. That will increase our taste rating by a full point, you’ll see.

CitSB: MKA, in addition to your extensive background as a leaky prostate masters racer, what are you bringing to the effort?

MKA: I’m not a megalomaniac. I have, however, performed lung surgery, founded a Nobel Prize-winning institute that has cured mesothelioma and bunions, built a 50,000 square foot, zero-carbon footprint home in Bend, taught Chris Botti how to play trumpet, developed the best tasting beer hop on earth, won several football championships for Clear Lake High back in Houston, written a New York Times bestseller about hair regrowth in older men through pilates, recovered over $4,000 billion for deserving asbestos victims without ever setting foot in a courtroom, devised a plan to stabilize and re-freeze the Thwaites Glacier, mastered the comb-and-tissue paper, and personally delivered Christmas presents in a magical sleigh to over a billion people in Africa.

CitSB: So you’re thinking the bike racing venture should be pretty easy?

MKA: Who’s the winningest masters cycling team of all time? Labor Power, brought to you by MKA. Who’s the greatest brewer of all time? Worthy Brewing, brought to you by MKA. And who’s gonna win the Tour next year? Floyd’s Pot Shop, brought to you by MKA. I’m like Ceasar. I come, I see, I conquer. Got it?

CitSB: Yes, sir.


END

Tink kicks ass, doesn’t bother taking names

January 12, 2019 § 6 Comments

Local rider and professional cyclist Kristabel Doebel-Hickock, voted 2018’s Rider With The Hardest Name To Spell, stood on the podium at the end of Stage Two in the Women’s Tour Down Under yesterday.

Although she refused to credit her victory to her three or four rides with shadow coach Wanky, the editorial board here at Cycling in the South Bay was determined to take credit for her success whether it was due or not.

We called Kristabel in Australia, waking her up from a deep slumber a few hours before she had to get up and start preparing for the crucial Stage Three. “Who is this?” she asked.

“It’s me, your shadow coach.”

“Who?”

“Me, Wanky.”

“How did you get my number? And why are you calling me in the middle of the night?”

“I wanted to interview you about how I trained you into the racer you are today.”

The line went dead, but I was not deterred, so I began calling my sources in the South Bay, riders who had played a pivotal role in developing Tink into one of the most feared riders in the pro peloton. My first call was to Chief, the man who had discovered Tink one day as she pedaled along the bike path.

“Yo, Chief, Wanky here. Did you see the story about Tink?”

“I did, indeed.”

“Could you say a few words about how you discovered her?”

“Sure. I’ll never forget it. She passed me on the bike path one day and I immediately recognized world class talent, so I rode up to her to give her some advice.”

“What was the advice?”

“I was going to tell her she was talented and should join a development club like Team Lizard Collectors.”

“Then what happened?”

“Nothing. I was breathing so hard when I caught up I couldn’t talk. She saw a greasy old man sweating last night’s hangover profusely out of every pore, and sprinted away.”

“Got it.” Next I phoned up the rider who had taught her more than anyone, Team Lizard Collector’s legendary Dear Leader, G3. “Yo, G3. Tink killed it at the Tour Down Under yesterday. Any quotes about how you taught her everything she knows?”

“Of course, of course. First I put her on a rigid schedule. Mondays off. Tuesdays LT efforts for 2 hours. Wednesdays big ring intervals up Via del Monte. Thursdays NPR with sprints. Fridays easy spin. Saturdays Donut Ride. Sundays 2 x 2 pacelines to the Rock at 75% of threshold.”

“And then what happened?”

“I dunno. She did the Monday day off that I advised and then got a coach. I only rode with her a couple of times after that.”

“And is that when you shared your wisdom with her?”

“Sort of. But she kept dropping me so I couldn’t really talk much.”

“Check. Thanks, bro.” Next I called up Psycho Mike. “Yo, Mike. Wanky here. Didja see the news about Tink?”

“You betcha.”

“Any choice quotes about how you helped her become the great rider she is today?”

“After the restraining order I couldn’t really help her that much.”

“Oh, right. Thanks.” Finally I rang up G$. “Yo, Money. You see the news about Tink?”

“Hellz!”

“Can you give me a coupla quotes about how you trained her to be one of the world’s best?”

“Wanky,” he said. “Genes.”

__________________

END

UCI announces new reforms

December 24, 2018 § 1 Comment

The UCI published its list of reforms designed to make racing more exciting for spectators, more profitable for sponsors and investors, develop new events and markets, maintain success of the historic races and organizers, and provide financial security for racers. CitSB sat down with UCI president David Lappartient to discuss these breakthrough developments.

CitSB: Let’s start with your reforms to make racing more exciting for spectators.

Lappartient: As you know, racing has become a dull, predictable, stupefying exercise where doped up automatons are told what to do over a radio.

CitSB: Yes.

Lappartient: As a result, riders take no initiative, have no need to think or ride tactically, and worst of all, spectators hate it. Imagine, the sport that once boasted Bernard Hinault now has as its frontispiece … Christopher Froome!

CitSB: It is dreadful.

Lappartient: So we have taken the major step of creating a new logo for Pro Tour teams, a little badger designed by the famous designer Sanrio who does Hello Kitty and such. Each rider must wear the Hello Badger icon on its left rear butt panel. Can you imagine the excitement?

CitSB: I’m trying. What about a business model that allows sponsors and investors to stay in the sport for the long term?

Lappartient: This has been the biggest problem and we have worked the hardest to resolve it. As it now stands, ASO controls everything.

CitSB: Many say that as a Frenchman you are simply their puppet.

Lappartient: Those are vile members of the Gilets Jaune.

CitSB: So what is the reform?

Lappartient: Beginning in 2019, no team owners will be required to kiss the signet ring of Jean-Etienne Amaury. Henceforth, we have abolished all bowing, speaking with averted eyes, and ritual suicide for those who have displeased Jean-Etienne.

CitSB: Um, okay. What about development of the sport?

Lappartient: Cycling will die if it does not have youth who are excited by their heroes, who do not dream of one day becoming the next Chris Froome.

CitSB: Excuse me?

Lappartient: Cycling has grave difficulties because the network of smaller development races at the local level has disappeared throughout Europe, to say nothing of the United States and other traditionally weak nations.

CitSB: And the plan?

Lappartient: We have a new cycling cartoon called Comme les Garcons, “Just like the boys.” It features our Sanrio character, Hello Badger, as he plays a cycling video game and fights an evil animal called Kong Donkey. He will be dressed like a cute Italian-French plumber.

CitSB: This is going to revitalize local racing?

Lappartient: Our marketing department is certain.

CitSB: Are you concerned about any trademark/copyright issues there?

Lappartient: What do you mean?

CitSB: Oh, nothing. What about rider security?

Lappartient: This is the simplest of all. The riders deserve more money. It is that simple. Pay them and they will stay. So we have tripled their salaries, effective January 1, 2019.

CitSB: Wait a minute. How much do they make now?

Lappartient: The current average annual salary is $5.89. Why?

CitSB: Never mind.

END

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