February 1, 2016 § 28 Comments
This weekend the cycling world was stunned to learn that what for years was simply a rumor, is in fact true. According to an investigation launched by the UCI, there is now proof of mechanical doping in the pro peloton. However, the UCI revealed an even more stunning discovery just a few hours later.
After three years of intensive investigation that spanned six continents and involved background checks of thousands of riders, “We have found an unimpeachably honest pro cyclist,” announced president Brian Cookson.
The rider, Stanley Olive, was found living in a small apartment in Ghent. Olive rides for the Continental IV mostly-professional-except-Mondays-through-Fridays-level team of Sam’s Pantry Meats and Lawn Furniture. “He’s really honest,” enthused Cookson, “and has never been known by anyone to lie, cheat, OR steal. He’s a real find.”
Olive, who was raised in East Framington, has lived in Belgium for twelve years pursuing his dream of racing professionally full time. “I’ve done a bit of everything,” said Olive when contacted by CitSB, “except drugs, mechanical doping, trading victories for cash payoff agreements, fixing local crits with the combine, cutting the course when the commissars aren’t watching, using illegal equipment, hanging onto team cars, and lying about my whereabouts to the doping authorities.”
When asked how that was working out for him, Olive replied, “It’s been rough.”
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December 22, 2015 § 11 Comments
After Amaury Sports Organization refused to register its races as Pro Tour events, choosing instead the lower HC classification that will exempt it from reforms put in place by the UCI, both sides met to resolve the impasse. However, the rapprochement fell apart after neither side could agree who would be photographed with rider-team representative Jonathan Vaughters.
CitSB sat down with Christian Prudhomme of ASO and Brian Cookson of the UCI to discuss the failed negotiations.
CitSB: Is this the end of professional cycling?
BC: I’d have to say that it is.
CitSB: Can you elaborate?
CP: Green suit jacket with green vest and green tie? This is a monstrosity, an insult to all things tasteful and French.
BC: We still haven’t gotten over clown red dorksuit, really.
CitSB: Oh, the gray tweed with the argyle wool sweater and bright red tie on pink shirt with white floppy tubey collars? Yes. Yes.
CP: We could swallow that. It was difficult but we could. We did. And we overlooked the double-breasted powder greenish mini-pinstripe with green mini-check shirt and peach tie with green paisleys and the quarter-fold peach paisley pocket square.
BC: We didn’t overlook it. We vomited. Repeatedly. But that was a mere speck of fly tongue in the porridge as compared to the royal electric blue stooge jacket with broad candycane pinstripes murdered by a white-and-blue polka dot tie. (Retches.)
CitSB: Surely one more hideous outfit bought from a Men’s Wearhouse salesman on acid hasn’t wrecked pro cycling?
CP: Have you forgotten the houndstooth oversuitjacketvest? With blue mini-checks and a full beard? Have you?
BC: Or the diamond-end muttonchops?
CP: Followed by the laser-razer rapier stabbers?
CitSB: I still remember when a rider passed out from seeing his untucked pink check shirt flopping over a pair of long wool green plaid shorts. So there’s no hope of a resolution?
BC: Hell, no.
CitSB: I get it.
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December 2, 2015 § 16 Comments
Despite what appear to be major issues that will affect the development and success of professional cycling, including the fight against doping and the introduction of disc brakes into the pro peloton, professional cyclists on the front lines have identified a far bigger threat to their health, safety, and career success.
According to Jean-Paul-Thierry-deBussy-sur-Mere, chief third acting provisional director of the Mouvement pour Credible Mouvements de Bowels en Cyclisme, the use of floppy podium jerseys is threatening to destroy the sport.
“It is incredible, the sizes we are supposed to wear,” he said, pointing most recently to the embarrassingly floppy jersey donned by Peter Sagan at the recent world championships in Richmond.
“There was enough tummy space for three pizzas and a pony keg, chest room for D cups, and armpit slack for three or four handles of love,” scoffed sur-Mere.
“It’s a major issue,” agreed Chris Froome, 2-time marginal gains volcano doping winner of the Tour de France. “I almost fell out of mine when I stepped off the podium. It was like wearing a potato sack, only not as form fitting.”
Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the Tour in 2014 when all the other contenders fell off their bicycles, was particularly incensed at the trend. “I’m Italian. I don’t wear pig shit. This floppy jersey, itsa pig shit. Itsa got room enough for me an my girlfriend to make a baby, grow a baby, have a baby. Itsa bullshit.”
Nairo Quintana, this year’s Giro stand-out, was also critical. “My team almost lost me after I fell into that thing,” he said. “What I don’t understand is this? Why they buy size M for Giro podium? If you are standing podium in Giro, you are shopping junior misses at Kohl’s. Makes no sense.”
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November 28, 2015 § 25 Comments
Claudio Chiapucci, the retired doper and Francesco Conconi protege, recently raged against the pro peloton, claiming that only Peter Sagan has character, and that the rest of the riders are “dull machines.” One of the peloton’s dull machines, Phil Gaimon, showed his dullness by penning a riposte that displayed humor, humility, and a sharp fucking pen–but I guess having a brain doesn’t cut it for Claudio, who claims that the lack of exciting, dynamic, aggressive, attacking riders (i.e., Claudio) is a big reason why the public is no longer enamored with the sport.
This raises an important point, however: The public isn’t enamored with Pro Tour cycling because it is beyond boring to watch. It’s the only event where hours pass and nothing ever happens, at least nothing that anyone would care about who wasn’t in the race. The phrase “He’s taking a dig now” says it all. A dig. He’s taking one. Kind of like what that woman behind me in her SUV was taking out of her nostril when I checked my rear-view mirror.
And then of course there is the “thrilling” sprint finish. Well, it is thrilling … but only if you’re in it. How many times has this happened with your S/O as she’s staring bleary-eyed at the television at 6:30 AM?
“Okay, here comes the sprint!”
“There! All those guys bunched up! See? There’s the red kite! Patrick Brady’s nowhere near! Now they’re stringing it out! The lead-out trains are forming!!”
“The lead-out trains! There’s Team Pooky hitting the front!”
“Team Pooky in the orange-black-red-green-purple-hexagon kits with the brown stripe down the back and the lightning bolts! Their guy McDingleberry has the green jersey and he’s fighting for sprint points with Van der Anus, who is seven points down in the sprint classification!”
“Which one is that? They’re all clumped up. It looks like a big mess.”
“That’s because they’re sprinting! Oh my dog, look! Look! Here comes McDingleberry up the left-hand side!”
“Which one is he? Everyone’s on the left side. And why is everyone falling down?”
“Oh shit! Van der Anus has crashed and taken out half the peloton!”
“What is going on?”
“Seamus Uff wins it! Holy cow! Not Uff! Here, honey, let me replay that for you. Wow, that was the most exciting sprint ever. Oh, man.”
“Is it over?”
“Yes. I mean, no. There are still eighteen more stages.”
“Wake me up in August, okay?” S/O says as she staggers back to bed.
Maybe Claudio is right. Maybe what cycling really does need is more guys like him, guys with multiple doping positives, guys with no tactical brains, and guys who only made the big time under the tutelage of the godfather of EPO doping. Maybe dullards like Mark Cavendish, Fabian Cancellara, and Tom Boonen have killed the sport with their thrilling and tactical racing. Maybe we just need to get Tommy D. one more season back in the pro ranks.
But I don’t think so.
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September 11, 2015 § 16 Comments
In a surprise move three days before the end of the 2015 Vuelta a Espana, organizers of the three-week grand tour announced major changes to the historic event. According to Sancho Panza de Huevos Grandes, spokesman for the Vuelta, “In 2016 we’re shortening the race to one day.”
At a hastily called press conference journalists sought explanations for the radical change. “Well,” said de Huevos Grandes, “it’s the most boring sporting event on earth. Curling looks lively in comparison. It’s like having a three-week root canal with no anesthetic, and frankly we just couldn’t stand it anymore.”
In the past the Vuelta has experimented with moving its calendar date, but de Huevos Grandes emphatically denied any further attempts to reschedule the grueling race. “You can put lipstick on a pig, but when you fuck it, you’re still fucking a pig. And that’s illegal in every U.S. state except Arkansas and Texas.”
When asked if the decision was being made for financial reasons, de Huevos Grandes groaned. “Of course it’s for financial reasons. You think we’d shorten it if we were making money? Fact is that bike racing is super boring, and stage racing is a super boring subset of an already boring sport, and the Vuelta is the most boring of the super boring grand tours. It’s like having to watch a 65-plus masters racer trying to set an hour record for three fuggin’ weeks. After five minutes you want to hang your brain on a nail.”
De Huevos Grandes explained that the new format for the Vuelta would be much simpler. “A 60-minute crit,” he said. “Throw up some porta potties, throw out some cash primes, start at noon and be home in time for dinner.”
Billy Bunny, a reporter and noted notary public from Velosnooze, asked de Huevos Grandes about attendance, television rights, and whether or not he thought that the Pro Tour would turn out in force for such an event.
“Who cares?” was de Huevos Grandes’s reply.
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September 4, 2015 § 11 Comments
Ol’ Cracks doesn’t call me often, but when he does I drop what I’m doing and take the call. Thank goodness I wasn’t holding my future grandbaby.
“How the hell are ya?” growled Ol’ Cracks, his Texas accent thicker than bacon grease on a Southern hooker’s shirt sleeves.
“Can’t complain,” I said.
“Yer a lyin’ sack of rotten oats,” he said. “All the hell you ever do is complain.”
“Now that you mention it,” I said.
“Now lissen up,” said Ol’ Cracks, which was not an invitation to flesh out my nascent complaint. “‘Cuz I got a story for ya.”
I moved from my office desk to my office bed and stretched out. “Shoot.” I knew I wouldn’t even need a notepad.
“You ‘member Gizzards?”
“Gizzards? Was he the guy who was blind in one eye and couldn’t see too well out of the other? Kind of rotund?”
“Naw, you got him confused with Big Piles.”
“Which one was Gizzards?”
“He was the dumb bastard.”
“That doesn’t narrow it down much.”
“Well anyhow, Gizzards got one of his buddies into cycling and started bringing him along on the Sunday Gutterfuck Ride.”
“How’d that work out for him?”
“We gutterfucked him coming out the dogdamn parking lot every time, but he kept coming.”
“Okay. So what?”
“Well, Gizzard’s pal’s name is Stumpnagel but everyone calls him Sags.”
“Hell, first off, his belly hangs down onto the top tube, so that’s your Sag Number One. And then when he gets tired, which is after the first five minutes, his head droops over the stem like the bend in a vulture’s neck. That’s Sag Number Two.”
“Sag Number Three?” I was almost afraid to ask.
“He’s allus the first bastard in the sag wagon.”
“Sag wagon? Since when did you guys start riding with a sag wagon?”
“Aw hell, never. That’s what we call the cars he flags down after we’ve gutterfucked him offn a ditch fifty miles from home.”
“Okay, so back to the saga of Sags.”
“So one day Sags and Gizzard come up to me and they say ‘Ol’ Cracks, how can we get better? You’ve been winning races for thirty years and you never train and you’re drunk half the time and you’re lazy as a post office supervisor. What’s the secret?'”
“What’d you tell ’em?”
“Same thing I tell everybody. I said, ‘Listen up you dumbasses, you suck and you always will. You’ll never win a race because you’re slow and stupid, in that order.'”
“They got all mad but next week they come up again and were just as sassy as a sixteen-year-old with big boobs and Gizzard says, ‘Ol’ Cracks we’ve signed up for Big George’s training camp in South Carolina and we’re gonna ride with some pros and get fast and come back here and stomp your ass.'”
“I bet you didn’t take that lying down.”
“No, sir, I did not. Told ’em they were just as slow and stupid as they’d been last week and that the only thing they’d get throwing money at a lying, cheating, doping ex-pro was poor.”
“How much did it cost?”
“Five grand for the first sucker, I mean trainee, and $2500 for the second one.”
“Big George has a good gig going. Ride around with a couple of hicks for $7,500 bucks? Hell, it couldn’t be any worse than riding around with you, which I do for free.”
“You’re just as big a fool as Sags and Gizzard. You think Big George rides around with these yahoos? He escorts ’em out of the parking lot to the base of a climb and leaves ’em at the rear like a dingleberry on a horse’s ass. Then five hours later he circles back to the hotel, pats ’em on the back, cashes another check, and goes home to his wife and EPO.”
“So they’re out there all alone?”
“Oh, no. Big George ain’t dumb. That’s what all those washed up pros and masters national champs are for. He pays THEM a pittance to ride around with Sags and Gizzards and change their diapers.”
“So what happened? They came back and kicked your ass?”
“You got a good imagination,” he said. “But not quite. On the first day Gizzard gets put in a lodge that has a housecat, and he’s deathly allergic to cat hair, and the housecat has layered the place with six inches of fur, so Gizzard swells up like a pumpkin and winds up in the ER on an inhaler.”
“Sags starts at the bottom of Big Corkscrew Mountain, a twelve-mile climb with sixty-three switchbacks and an average pitch of 23 percent, and when I say ‘starts’ I mean ‘almost tips over.’ His nursemaid is Cardboard Box O’Houlihan.”
“Cardboard Box O’Houlihan? Last year’s 35+ masters national road champ? The guy who lives in a … ”
“Cardboard box. Yeah, that’s him. So CB rides off and then about halfway up he stops to wait for Sags. Way off in the distance, here comes Sags, head down spinning at 4 or 7 rpm, tacking like a catamaran, all 235 lbs. of him grunting and groaning and grinding up that fuckin’ hill.”
“O’Houlihan’s phone rings and he pulls it out to see who’s calling. About that time Sags, whose head is still down, t-bones O’Houlihan at about 3 mph.”
“Thank goodness he was going slow.”
“You ever been hit by a piano going 3 mph?”
“Guess what? It fuggin’ hurts, especially when it lands on your leg, which Sags did, and it snapped O’Houlihan’s femur like a matchstick. O’Houlihan is writhing on the ground saying ‘You dumb motherfucker you run into me going UPHILL you dumb bastard!’ They fly him out or more likely drive him out in a pig manure truck.”
“Then what happened?”
“Sags comes home and I tell him man, you are one stupid sonofabitch. Couldn’t you make something up so’s you don’t look like such a brainless rhino? Running into a national champ going uphill? How the fuck does that even happen? And of course he says, ‘I dunno, but it was O’Houlihans’ fault.'”
“Yeah, for stopping on the side of the road, to which I said, you dumb bastard he stopped because he was waiting for you because that’s his fucking job!”
“So did his fitness improve?”
“I don’t know, he was only in town for a couple of days after that.”
“Where’d he go?”
“The Levi Leipheimer training camp somewhere in California.”
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