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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Darth Vader wins again!

May 29, 2018 § 3 Comments

When Chris Froome dashed away for a little 80 km solo breakaway and “pulled a Landis” to ride himself into the pink jersey at the Giro, it seemed a bit much, even for the severely disabled #fakesport of professional cycling.

I mean, a guy who is currently in the death throes of a doping investigation that will certainly find him guilty of cheating, suddenly vaulting himself atop the Tour of Italy, from whence he will be de-throned once his doping positive is upheld … doesn’t anyone see how this will play out?

Of course they do, but like an alcoholic who knows exactly which gutter he’s going to wind up in when he takes the first drink, pro cycling can’t help itself. So Darth Froome will not only win and then be stripped of his Giro crown, but he will also win the Turdy France and have that jersey torn off his back as well. This will inspire generations of parents to say to their children, “Don’t you fucking dare start bike racing.”

So that at least is a benefit.

After being stripped of his jerseys and publicly humiliated, some second-place schmo who didn’t dope as well for as long will be awarded Froome’s victories and say, “I’d rather not have won it this way,” when what he means is “I’m sure glad that Darth got busted and not me,” followed by “Where’s my check?”

Cynicism is the new optimism

Darth isn’t to be blamed for vacuuming up the spoils and sashaying onto the next grand tour. This salbutamol thing is vexing, to be sure, but it goes with the territory, and better to win a couple of tours and have them taken away than to stay home and not ever win them at all. And who knows? Tyler’s vanishing twin theory may actually be proven true this time, exonerating Darth fully.

Darth’s ride on Stage 19 in this Giro was summed up by Sean Kelly  in one word: “Unbelievable.” It’s the most that he could have said without being sued for defamation.

But Froome, laughing all the way to Milan, made no bones about the fact that pro cycling fans are the stupidest humans alive. Refusing to share his power data, which would have shown how his Stage 19 performance really occurred, Darth instead said that “It was interesting to see yesterday I made up most of my time on the descents by the looks of it.”

Ah, yes, of course. He beat the world’s best time trialists and climbers on a mountainous stage at the end of the Giro by going downhill faster than anyone else. Who needs to see actual power data to confirm that? Not Froome, the maniacal marginal-gains data wonk, that’s for sure. “No, I’m not looking at the computer, I’m riding as hard as I can.”

Yes, old school, Eddy Merckx style, exactly what Team Vader is best known for.

Fortunately, Froome and Brailsford’s Trumpian “offense always” approach is already lined up and spit-polished for the Tour. According to Froome,  “I’m certainly planning to go there and give it everything.”

And by everything, I’m sure he means, uh, everything.

END

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Giro d’Italia wrap-up

May 15, 2018 § 3 Comments

The Giro is on Stage Ten, which means there are nine previous stages and a rest day that no one has paid any attention to. Let’s catch up on the exciting news, along with a few behind-the-scenes quotes from the stars.

Stage One: Jerusalem Time Trial

Winner: Tom Dumoulin

Race summary: Machines rode machines.

Winner’s quote: “It’s been awesome getting to race here the year that the U.S. is finally moving its embassy to Jerusalem. A few dozen Palestinian protesters may get murdered, but I’m proud to stand with the Donald, Ivanka, and Jared.”

Stage Two: Haifa to Tel Aviv

Winner: Elia Viviani

Race Summary: #Fakebreakaway establishes #fakegap until race directors order #robots to chase #fakebreak and #boringrace ends in a #bunchsprunt.

Winner’s quote: “We’re athletes, not politicians. Just because Muhammed Ali went to prison for his principles doesn’t mean anything. Our contracts don’t require us to have principles.”

Stage Three: Be’er Sheva to Eilat

Winner: Elia Viviani

Race Summary: #Fakebreakaway establishes #fakegap until race directors order #robots to chase #fakebreak and #boringrace ends in a #bunchsprunt.

Winner’s quote: “This has been the most magnificent Giro ever. Next year I hope we can start the Giro in Myanmar, or North Korea.”

Stage Four: Catania to Caltagirone

Winner: Tim Wellens

Race Summary: #Fakebreakaway establishes #fakegap until race directors order #robots to chase #fakebreak and #boringrace ends in a #bunchsprunt.

Winner’s Quote: “It was really exciting watching our power numbers and calculating exactly how it would all end. We weren’t sure it would work out like it does 99.9% of the time … but it did!”

Stage Five: Agrigento to Santa Ninfa

Winner: Enrico Battaglin

Race Summary: #Fakebreakaway establishes #fakegap until race directors order #robots to chase #fakebreak and #boringrace ends in a #bunchsprunt.

Winner’s Quote: “Our team director made sure all of our computers were synched so we could dial it in like a science. The fans were crazy, they were so excited!”

Stage Six: Caltanissetta to Etna

Winner: Esteban Chaves

Race Summary: Froome got dropped, causing everyone who follows pro cycling at all to rejoice.

Winner’s Quote: “It was like a chess match, a chess match with power meters so we could all know that it was, you know, more or less pre-determined. That’s how chess is, right? I’ve never played, myself.”

Stage Seven: Pizzo to Praia a Mare

Winner: Sam Bennett

Race Summary: #Fakebreakaway establishes #fakegap until race directors order #robots to chase #fakebreak and #boringrace ends in a #bunchsprunt.

Winner’s Quote: “Incredible excitement for the fans, and for the racers, too. The breakaway could have pulled it off, really.” [snickers]

Stage Eight: Praia a Mare to Montevergine di Mercogliano

Winner: Richard Carapaz

Race Summary: Ecuadorian gets first ever Giro win for his country, but most of the attention goes to Froome, whose asthma has 100% recovered, resulting in a fall and more lost time.

Winner’s Quote: “Eight boring stages, one exciting win. This is what makes pro cycling the world’s greatest spectator sport!”

Stage Nine: Pesco Sannita – Gran Sasso d’Italia (Campo Imperatore)

Winner: Simon Yates

Race Summary: Froome continues to tank. Haters gonna hate!

Winner’s Quote: “I win the fuggin’ stage. I’m the first Briton ever in the pink jersey, not counting Elton John, who was in a different pink jersey for completely different reasons. And what do they write about? Froomey flopping.”

Stage Ten: Penne – Gualdo Tadino

Winner: Matej Mohoric

Race Summary: Yates’s teammate and “co-leader” Chaves loses 25 minutes. Yates stays in pink, does best schadenfreude ever in the history of cycling. “It would have been better for me if he was still there in the classification.”

Winner’s Quote: “I dedicate this win to every person who has ever confused Slovenia with Slovakia. Which is pretty much everyone.”

END

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Charming Peter Sagan

April 13, 2018 § 8 Comments

I vaguely remember when Peter Sagan became famous, and I remember hearing that he was from Slovakia. I have always had an allergy to all those Balkan and Eastern European countries. Once you leave Germany everything was very vague, and the Slavic countries were the vaguest.

Those “over there” countries included Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, not to mention Poland, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and of course Hungary, which is like Turkey in that you wonder, “Why did the Turks name their country after our Thanksgiving bird? And why did the Hungarians name their country after a ravenous feeling in the pit of the stomach?”

So I didn’t pay any attention to Slovakia, Peter Sagan’s native land, because, well, how can you pay attention to a country you can’t even find on the map?

How times change

Nowadays I’m very invested in Slovakia. Three days a week I sit down at my computer and take Slovak lessons with real, honest-to-goodness Slovaks in Slovakia speaking Slovak. In me they have found a butcher of the beautiful Slovak tongue. In them I have found out about Sagan. And one thing you learn pretty quickly is that Peter Sagan is a big deal in Slovakia along the lines of saying UY Scuti is a big deal in the constellation Scutum.

Slovakia has about 5.4 million people, roughly 40% of the population of the greater L.A. metro area, and is only about 20% larger in area. And unlike Los Angeles, which has a surfeit of famous athletes to spread around among those millions, Slovakia’s list of superstars is considerably shorter, and its only truly world-conquering athlete ever is Peter Sagan.

So it’s pretty easy to see how things like Sagan’s baby became a riveting national story. And being a student of Slovak, I now get a front row seat to the show.

Most charming athlete ever?

When you listen to Sagan speak, it’s a bit surprising. He has that Jack Nicklaus squeak, which always catches you off guard as you expect the vainquer of Roubaix, Flanders, and the Worlds to speak with a deep manly voice resonating testosterone and back hair.

And to his credit, his interviews in English are very good; I’m pretty sure the day will never come when I can answer a media scrum in fluent Slovak after a grueling, 7-hour Monument. But it’s still his second language, and a distant second.

When you watch him interviewed in Slovak, he impresses with his charm and his repartee. His facial expressions and his jokes transform his Slovak interviewers from fanboy journalists into slaveboys.

And a fan club? Of course!

But the best way to get a sense for Sagan is to visit YouTube and do a search for “Sagan rozhovor.” You’ll pull up a huge string of Slovak interviews. You may not understand them, but after a few minutes of watching him talk … you won’t need to.

END

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