October 19, 2016 § 7 Comments
Cycling in the South Bay sat down with Bradley Wiggins to discuss his use of performance enhancing drugs prior to his 2012 Tour de France win.
CitSB: So you got a TUE for steroids to treat your asthma right before the Tour?
CitSB: And you went on to win?
CitSB: Your asthma must have been really bad.
BW: Bad? Mate, it was killing me. It was so bad I had these little coughs in bed at night. Me throat got a little raw even. It was the most terrible pain I’ve ever felt.
CitSB: And as a result you took a year-long prescription for steroids?
BW: Oh, yeah. Them things work, mate.
CitSB: And you don’t consider that cheating?
CitSB: Why not?
BW: I had to level the playing field, mate.
CitSB: Could you elaborate?
BW: The playing field was all tilted and crooked and whomperjawed. Because of me asthma and I couldn’t breathe so we had to put a jack under the edge of the playing field and level it out.
CitSB: So you think that all racers should be equal?
BW: Oh, sure, mate. Gotta be fair and square or it’s not racing, it’s rigged like the US elections. It’s letting one guy beat another guy because of unfair advantages. That’s why we have the TUE system, mate. Man gets a bit of a breathing problem and he’s suddenly got the table tilted against him, then he takes a bit of the good stuff and *bam* he’s back equal with the other blokes.
CitSB: What are some of the other unfair advantages that a rider would need to use a TUE to “level out the playing field”?
BW: Oh, all kinds of shit, mate. All kinds of shit.
CitSB: Like what?
BW: VO2 max, mate. There’s guys out there with super high VO2 max and some other bloke only has, like, you know, maybe a 45. That’s bone idle wanker unfair.
CitSB: What else?
BW: List is endless, mate. Some guy’s been training extra hard, for example, while another bloke’s been drinking beer and boinking his GF. Super un-level playing field. Or diet. Dieting really tilts the hell out of the playing field.
BW: Is there an echo in here? Yeah, mate. One guy eats really good and stays lean and comes into the Tour at race weight, and the other bloke is 25 pounds overweight, butt cheeks sagging over the saddle wings.
CitSB: You mean Cavendish?
BW: Don’t wanna name names, mate, but you get me drift. Them’s unfair advantages. That’s why we have the TUE system.
CitSB: Some have said that if you have chronic breathing problems so severe that they require regular steroid prescriptions, maybe you shouldn’t be in an elite endurance sport.
BW: Yeah, well you know what? Sick people should get a shot at the yellow jersey same as healthy ones. That’s discrimination, mate. Pure and simple discrimination.
CitSB: Can you tell us about the secret package delivery just before the Tour?
BW: Oh, sure. That was nothing, mate.
CitSB: What was in the package?
BW: Just some orange juice and a couple of aspirin.
CitSB: Why was it shipped in from Italy by private courier?
BW: Italian oranges, mate, them’s the best.
CitSB: I see. Any suggestions for how the TUE system might be reformed?
BW: Yeah. I have this genetic low red blood cell count problem. I’m hoping to get a TUE to reform that. You know, to raise it up a bit. Untilt the playing field, so to speak.
CitSB: So to speak.
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September 26, 2016 § 28 Comments
In a revealing tell-all interview surrounding Bradley “Bone-Idle” Wiggins’s use of banned steroids prior to his 2012 Turdy France victory, the cycling star sat down with Cycling in the South Bay to explain his use of triamcinalone leading up to the most important victory of his career.
CitSB: So it looks like the Fancy Bear hackers have nailed you to the floor on this one.
BIW: Not a bit of it.
CitSB: Here you are shooting up a performance enhancing, banned steroid before the only Turdy France you’ve ever won.
BIW: It wasn’t enhancing. It was dehancing.
CitSB: Can you explain?
BIW: I’d love to. Leading up the 2012 Tour I’d won everything. Tour of Romandie, Dauphine, that kiddy race in Manchester where I got the tricycle and 14 Euro gift certificate. I was crushing it.
BIW: So I sits down with Dave and the boys and we says “This is gonna be bone idling wankerdom if I hit the Tour with these legs, I’ll put an hour on the field in the first five minutes.” That’s how good I was going with marginal volcano doping gains. I was better than the rest of those bone idlers by so much. You can ask me mum.
CitSB: Your mum?
BIW: Yeah, that’s right. She’ll tell you how good I was going and all pan y agua, mate. So Brailsford and the boys were like, “Wiggo, you gotta slow down and give the other boys a chance, especially those whiny French bastards.” So we did what we had to do. I’m not ashamed of it.
CitSB: What was that?
BIW: We got on a dehancing program. Took meself a whole slew of steroids to slow meself down.
CitSB: Uh, don’t you mean “speed yourself up”?
BIW: No, mate, you don’t get it, do you? Look here. I’m reading off the label for triamcinalone, just happen to have a couple of vials here: “Not for ophthalmic use. Systemic absorption may produce reversible hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression, manifestations of Cushing’s syndrome, hyperglycemia, and glucosuria; when a large dose of a potent topical steroid is applied to a large surface area or under an occlusive dressing, evaluate periodically for evidence of HPA axis suppression and (Pediaderm TA/Spray) for impairment of thermal homeostasis. Application of more potent steroids, use over large surface areas, prolonged use, and the addition of occlusive dressings may augment systemic absorption. Signs and symptoms of steroid withdrawal may occur (infrequent) requiring supplemental systemic corticosteroids. Pediatric patients may be more susceptible to systemic toxicity. Chronic corticosteroid therapy may interfere w/ the growth and development of children. D/C and institute appropriate therapy if irritation develops. Use appropriate antifungal or antibacterial agent in the presence of dermatological infections; if favorable response does not occur promptly, d/c until infection is controlled. (Cre/Lot/Oint) Withdraw treatment, reduce frequency of application, or substitute to a less potent steroid if HPA axis suppression is noted. (Pediaderm TA/Spray) Withdraw treatment, reduce frequency of application, substitute to a less potent steroid, or use a sequential approach if HPA axis suppression or elevation of body temperature occurs. (Pediaderm TA) Sensitivity reaction may develop to a particular occlusive dressing material or adhesive; a substitute material may be necessary. (Spray) Flammable; avoid heat, flame, or smoking during application.”
And that’s not the half of it. Listen to this: “Causes burning, itching, irritation, dryness, folliculitis, hypertrichosis, acneiform eruptions, hypopigmentation, perioral dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, maceration of the skin, secondary infection, skin atrophy, striae, miliaria.”
Plus, it fucks you up if you’re nursing.
CitSB: That all may be true, but it greatly speeds recovery and enhances performance on the bike, and you took it when you would have needed it most.
CitSB: And that’s how you won the Tour?
BIW: You got me word on it, mate. Scout’s honor.
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June 4, 2015 § 18 Comments
Sir Bradley Wiggins, a Tour de France winner, four-time Olympic gold medalist, and member of the Royal Order of Knights Who Say “Ni” will attempt to break the hour record set on May 2, 2015 by Alex Dowsett this coming Sunday at the London Velodrome. The venue sold out thirty minutes after tickets went on sale as British cycling fans went on a purchasing rampage to get seats at what promises to be a historic ride.
Nigel Sagbottom, a lifelong cycling fan who had queued up the night before to get a ticket, was euphoric. “I love cycling, it’s my life, and this is going to be exciting beyond words, really. The entire nation will be holding its breath to see if Sir Wiggins can, you know, get up the mountains in less than an hour.”
Gertrude Appledore, another excited ticket holder, was similarly enthusiastic. “We’ve been following Sir Wiggo’s career since his first cycle races as a lad, I believe it was the 50cc class that he started out in, and now the chance to see him win on a superbike at the track is once in a lifetime, really. He’ll be running a 1000cc with a four cylinder, I hear. So yes, we’re thrilled.”
The British public, long fixated almost exclusively on football, has taken to cycle racing with intense passion, and Wiggins’s continual media exposure through the SKY media network and his own unique brand of lethargic charisma has brought the sport to unparalleled heights in this football-crazed nation. According to David Dongle, sports media analyst at Britties Love Footy, a cable sports channel in West Anglia, much of the groundwork is owed to super sprinter Mark Cavendish.
“Before Cav,” says Dongle, “the average Briton didn’t know a cycle race from a menstrual cycle. But now that’s all changed. After Cav won that ‘ere Tour, and Wiggins won that ‘ere other ‘un, and then when they was teamed up with Lance to cure Betsy’s cancer, it sort of caught on, almost as big as the time Liverpool’s Traore catastrophically back-heeled the ball into his own net to gift Burnley a shock victory at Cardiff.”
The British man on the street, although unable to afford the tickets which were fetching up to $2.99 each, expressed the nation’s fascination with the sport of cycling when Smugsy McStains, a Manchester pipefitter, said this: “Boik racin’s for fuckin’ pussies, mate. If I wanted to watch skinny fellas ride around in their bloody underpants I’d sure not do it in public, y’know?”
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April 14, 2015 § 18 Comments
Ah yes, the old pray-for-a-miracle or form-changing-in-the-middle-of-a-five-day-stage-race race plan: “If I got lucky and the form changed or something then maybe I’d win it.” Chris Horner on his strategy for winning the Redlands Classic. CyclingNews, April 13, 2015.
It’s true, there weren’t a lot of fans jumping up and down saying “18th! He did it!”: “Some detractors may say him finishing 18th is a little underwhelming.” David Brailsford, trying to make the best of Brad Wiggins’s disappointing, final road race at Paris-Roubaix. CyclingNews, April 14, 2015.
The question tormenting your team is “Why didn’t you win?”: “A question has been tormenting me since yesterday!!!” Luca Paolini, complaining about why riders were allowed to slip through the closed railway crossing during Paris-Roubaix. CyclingNews, April 14, 2015.
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April 10, 2015 § 26 Comments
Phenom Tiesj Benoot, the 21-year-old speedster with Lotto-Soudal who pulled off an amazing fifth place in the Ronde van Vlaanderen was allowed to speak with the press yesterday about his expectations for Paris-Roubaix. Benoot, who is clearly on form after a string of strong early-season performances, sat down with CitSB to discuss the big day on Sunday.
CitSB: So you’re unsure of what to expect in your first professional Paris-Roubaix?
TB: Yes. I’ve ridden it as an amateur, but as a professional it will be completely different. I really don’t know what to expect.
CitSB: You don’t?
CitSB: Can I help you out with that?
TB: Well, sure.
CitSB: It’s going to be really fucking hard.
TB: Yes, but …
CitSB: There is no “but.” You’re going to get your ass handed to you on a plate.
TB: The Belgian press believes I may be Tommeke’s successor, of course that’s ridiculous, but still …
CitSB: The Belgian press believed that the Kaiser was going to invade France through Nigeria. You are gonna get stomped.
TB: Since it’s my first professional P-R, I’m unsure how it will play out. My director sportif says …
CitSB: Your director sportif will be sitting in a leather chair behind the wheel of a Mercedes sipping espresso from a spill-proof cup while The Wiggster has your nuts in a vise and holds them out for the rest of the peloton to jump on. You will get your fucking head staved in.
TB: That’s kind of negative.
CitSB: And what the nut-crushing doesn’t accomplish, the jagged paving stones will. Expect a complete beatdown.
TB: If you say so.
CitSB: I do.
*Note: After this interview, CitSB reached out to several past winners of P-R to ask them what they thought Tiesj should expect. Here is a sampling of their responses.
Eddy Merckx: It will be very difficult and hard. And long.
Roger De Vlaeminck: De Paris-Roubaix, it has a hard day. Very hard. Difficulty and hardness.
Tom Boonen: What can he expect? A hard day in the saddle, much pain, difficulty, struggle, unpleasantness, misery, dust, perhaps rain and mud, bone-jarring exhausting. Perhaps a few crashes. Hard day, for sure.
Fabian Cancellara: He can expect the hard.
Francesco Moser: Itsa hard carrera. He will have the hard day.
Frederic Guesdon: Tres dur. Dur, et difficile, sans doute.
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March 16, 2014 § 21 Comments
Richie Porte, the leader for Team Sky at Tirenno-Adriatico, expressed surprise today that his race tactics did not result in a stage win atop the climb to Selvarotonda. “I was on the front for most of the climb,” said Porte, in disbelief. “I was killing those guys.”
Alberto Contador, winner of the day’s stage, couldn’t explain the result either. “You know, Richie was up there on the front of the group, just drilling it really hard into a huge headwind up a very long and challenging climb. It’s hard to understand how he didn’t win.” Contador was seen shortly after the interview high-fiving his teammates on the bus and grinning slyly at his team director.
Overall leader Michal Kwiatkowski, who finished the stage with what analysts believe is an unsurmountable 34-second lead over Porte, was also at a loss to explain the outcome. “Richie was favored to win the race, and on the decisive climbing stage we were all sure he would win, the way he sat very impressively on the front for such a long time into such a bitter headwind with no teammates to help him and all of us in the leader’s group on his wheel like that. But somehow he lost.”
Second-place finisher Nairo Quintana was likewise mystified by Porte’s failure to win the stage and take control of the race despite his clever tactical riding. “We were all telling him, you know, ‘Wow, Richie, you’re killing us, dude,’ and ‘I’m cracking, I can barely hang on,’ and stuff like that, but then somehow just towards the end we all felt better and were able to pass him and put a lot of time on him. It’s weird. He was riding so strong and we were all so, how you say, in the box of hurt?”
Porte concurred with Quintana’s analysis. “It’s fuggin’ weird. Every time I looked back they had these faces that were filled with pain, awful grimaces, you know? And their shoulders were drooping and they were making loud breathing noises. I had ’em, I had ’em, I swear. Then, poof! We get about one kilometer out and suddenly everybody takes off and there I was, even though I’d done all the work, I couldn’t go with them. After pulling them up the climb like that you would have thought that they would at least have waited for me,” Porte added with a slight show of frustration. “It’s almost like they were playing me. If we weren’t all such good pals, I don’t know.”
Teammate Bradley “Wiggo” Wiggins was nonetheless upbeat at Porte’s chances on Sunday’s last mountain stage. “He’ll just have to hammer from the gun,” said Wiggo. “Tire ’em out from the start, maybe take a little breather if he can, and then go right back to the front and drop the hammer on the climb. Ride ’em off ‘is wheel. That’s the ticket, just like it was a triathlon, full fuggin’ gas from the get-go. They won’t know what hit ’em, especially at the end when they hit the Muro di Guardiagrele with its 30% ramp.”
After the award ceremony, the top finishers congratulated Porte on his outstanding ride, saying “You were a beast,” and “I hope you don’t hammer us like that tomorrow. We won’t stand a chance!”
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August 3, 2012 § 15 Comments
I don’t give a rat’s ass if you’re a drunk. Some of my best friends are drunks. Countless members of my family are drunks. My brother was a drunk for most of his adult life, and was barely sober for a year before committing suicide. My uncle, a lifelong alcoholic, died from an illness most likely caused by his drinking. I had to quit drinking because I was a drunk.
Actually, I didn’t have to. I got lucky and decided to.
Not one single day goes by when I don’t miss the taste of beer. Not a single meal passes when I don’t think, “This would sure taste better with a glass of wine or a cold draught of sake.” Every single day when I get home from work I long, yes long, to blot out the day. When I dine with friends I envy their drinking and wish more than anything that I could knock one back and be one of the boys again. It’s like spending the night in bed with the naked woman you love and ragingly desire, but cannot touch.
Some of the world’s greatest people were stupendous drunks. The greatest novelists were practically required to be. Terrible, wondrous, bilesome, awfully awesome moments of blurry thought and staggered motion have often been accompanied by greatness.
But let’s do the world’s drunks a favor, reformed or red-hot: Let’s call them what they are. Drunks.
Bradley Wiggins is a drunk
Please take a moment and read his autobiteography, “In Pursuit of Glory.” On second thought, don’t. It’s atrocious. Instead, you can browse my handy-dandy review where I noted, long before his Olympiccorp success in London, that he is an alcoholic, which is a sympathetic way of saying “a drunk.”
Wiggly’s father was a drunk, and died from it. Wiggly spent much of his career with Cofidis as a lone drunk, by his own admission wrapping up each day with a six-pack. To those of you who sniff that you can’t get drunk on six beers, you don’t know the physiology of a twiggly pro road cyclist.
Wiggly chronicles his binge drinking after the Olympiccorp production in Athens, and confesses that he had a drinking problem. Well, so what?
Here’s what: once a drunk, always a drunk. Whether you’re a binge drunk, or a steady drunk, or a wake-up and get drunk drunk, or an it don’t take much drunk, or, like my friend’s daughter’s husband who drinks a case of Budweiser in his car every morning on the way to work in Houston–TRUE FUCKING STORY–you’re a drunk.
Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining
In fact, while you’re at it, don’t piss down my back at all. Pretending that Wiggly is anything but a drunk is like pissing down my throat, or into my braincase. It’s a total violation. In the same way that we (me not being one of us) can admire Brad’s mastery of doping, we (me not being one of us) can also admire the fact that he’s an alcoholic/drunk/boozer/ginny/wino who functions well enough to win gold medals and yellow jerseys.
The giddy Brits, so unaccustomed to the colors of yellow and gold, and so blind-eyed to the drug-addled trajectory of the guy who will soon be “Sir Wiggly,” would rather that Brad’s alcoholism be something other than it is. I know how they feel, but as with all self-deceptions, this one is most grotesque when thrown in the face of people who are drunks and who are trying to do something about it.
”He is absolutely thoroughly entitled to have a fantastic party and celebrate,” BOA chairman Colin Moynihan said Thursday. ”Nobody deserves it more.”
Translation: If you work hard and succeed, drinking 8-16 ounces of hard liquor is not only appropriate but is something you “deserve.” Kind of like how, after working hard and succeeding, you deserve a few syringes of heroin. Same thing.
”It’s extraordinary what he has done,” said Andy Hunt, head of Britain’s Olympic delegation. ”There isn’t a person in the country who wouldn’t want to buy him a drink.”
Translation: Regardless of whether his behavior is appropriate (probably) or admirable (doubtful) or the kind of thing that should serve as a role model for anyone, anywhere (no fucking way), it’s okay because Britain, with one of the worst binge drinking problems in the world, would be happy to foot the bill.
”I lead a pretty normal life,” he said between sips of a vodka and tonic on Wednesday night. ”I’m not a celebrity. I will never be a celebrity.”
Translation: Every bone idling wanker has seven Olympic medals, a TdF win, and 400,000 Twitter followers. Don’t you?
“I despise that whole celebrity culture.”
Translation: I’ve been a celebrity so long that I have no idea what the word even means.
“I know how the Beatles felt now.”
Translation: A guy who rode his bike in circles a few times thinks he’s as popular as the greatest rock and roll band of all time. He’s drunk off his ass, for sure.
And then this gem from IOC spokesman Mark Adams: ”Drink wisely.”
Translation: What Wiggins is doing is against everything we stand for, and it’s incredibly dangerous, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before we spit in Olympiccorp’s punchbowl.
“She [the Queen] sent me a lovely letter which was nice to receive but whatever comes next is fantastic, I’ll take it. Sir Wiggo sounds nice.”
Translation: I’m a boor and a stupid prick. Knight me, already, cunt.
“I’m just going to get really drunk tonight and have a good think about things.”
Translation: My alcoholism is so advanced that I can’t distinguish clarity of thought from drunkenness, and in fact, it seems as if alcohol actually sharpens my intellect, which I suppose is proof of complete alcoholism.
MP Emily Thornberry got in on the act with this gem: “He is a national hero, a fantastic role model. If anybody should be knighted, he should be.”
Translation: I have no idea what a role model should do, but I would hope it involves Mr. Wiggins shoving his cock up between my legs as soon as possible.
What’s really at stake
Of course the reason no one wants to call Wiggly a drunk, least of all Wiggly himself, is because then someone would have to do something about it. Instead of calling him a regular bloke, or a role model, or an incredible champion, all things that may well be true, they’d have to also call him a sorry fucking drunk who needs help.
And goodness knows, we can’t have that. It’s not part of the Olympiccorp script.