Well done. A new pro cycling season is upon us, which means you have negotiated another barren period between the racing of bikes. As usual, the cycling media has been scrambling around for three months to hold our attention.
If you haven’t bothered to keep up and now want a quick recap, read on:
A bike rider is wearing some cycling kit
It could be blue, it might be orange, chances are some kind of terrible eighties fade will be involved. Some people will like it but others won’t. It will be debated. Hours will be frittered on Twitter.
AG2R La Mondiale will still have brown shorts.
A bike rider would quite like to win…
I am targeting Milan San Remo this year says Fernando Gaviria. I will be team leader at the Tour de France says Mikel Landa. Bit needy. Keeping the sponsors happy.
I will get down on my hands and knees and rip the Tarmac from the earth should I so choose says Mathieu van der Poel, from his throne, toying benevolently with his subjects.
I am but a humble child from South America, says Egan Bernal, here to do what I’m told. Excuse me a moment as I win my second Tour de France whilst breathing through my ears.
A bike rider has changed teams and, coincidentally, the way they operate suits the rider perfectly
Scene: pre-season interview following big name transfer:
“The massive contract, favourable endorsement deals, and guarantees of team leadership are co-incidental: I joined [insert name of lowly yet cash-rich team] because I think they’re great. Everything they do is exactly what I would choose. The staff are nice. The bus is lovely. I adore this team. I would ride for nothing.*”
*Whispers to agent: I wouldn’t. I would like to be paid as agreed. It makes me happy.
A bike rider was in amazing shape last year but didn’t win any bike races
To be honest, says the veteran rider, as he approaches his late thirties having barely finished within the top hundred of a bike race for eighteen months, my shape is as good now as it’s ever been…things just haven’t gone my way.
Subtext: I do not accept that my powers are fading because I have a great long life stretching ahead of me and no idea how to fill it. I’ve just been unlucky. If you could go ahead and give me a new contract it’ll be fine.
Remember when I won that stage at the Tour back in ’09?
Yeah…like that. Almost definitely.
A really good bike rider gets on really well with the other really good bike rider on their team
Scene: press conference including newly signed Grand Tour winner in team containing other Grand Tour winner:
“I’m relaxed. Happy. Delighted to be sharing leadership duties with [insert name of strong, silent, Grand Tour winning type here]. In fact this was my choice. My contract states that under no circumstances should I be the recognised Alpha male in this team. As long as the team wins it doesn’t matter who crosses the line first.”
Looks down. Avoids eye-contact. Fiddles with shoes. Looks a bit sad.
Sensations are good
In a good moment…excellent training camp…feeling super-strong…Cav can still win bike races…Cav will never win another bike race…cobblestones…the UCI…mechanical doping…some other, new, as yet unknowable form of doping…something about Lance…the Tour is the Tour…
(Image: Florian Pépellin [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D)