Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It's the Tour de France, Baby!: The GC Contender's Guide to Proper Behavior

This Is How We Do It: Look, Froome. Quit bitchin' about how oppressed you were last year, and how unfair it is you have to address suspicions of doping when you're only like the third guy in 20 years not to actively attend at the pre-Tour de France press conference with an inch-thick veterinary needle sticking out your !@#. In three weeks, either you'll be a big-mouth punk-!@# bawling beneath Contador's armpit on the final podium in Paris, or you'll have put the cherry on top of the spectacular sundae you've been so expertly crafting all season. And while I've already *told* you what (and what not) to say here, you and the rest of you wannabe maillot jaunes still need to know what to *do* to win friends, influence people, and get yourself back safely on the team bus home. Ergo--and remember, it's only because I love you--the official racejunkie GC Contender's Guide to Proper Behavior:

1. Speak French. Well. You're a cultured guy. And you love France, and the French, and the Tour. So speak it. To the press before the stage, to the press after the stage, to the narc who comes to peer at you providing a wee sample. Incredibly, it worked for Lance Armstrong. Who are you to contradict *him*?

2. Sign Autographs. For the kids, for the grownups, for the sponsors, for the local dignitaries, for every base money-grubbing cycling-hater to pimp for maximum dough and zero feeling on eBay. It makes you seem nice, which you are, and everyone likes it when nice guys win. Now pick up the !@#damn Sharpie and get to work!

3. Hold It Together. Oblivious teen texting her way across a rider-studded Alpine road? Neon-thonged camera-whore lamming right into you on the climb like a drunken rhino? Deranged clown with a highly photogenic moppet daughter letting his pony-size dog gallumph right into your wheel at a crucial strategic moment? Tough crap! I mean, Gilbert did *not* look cool last year. Pick up that blood, sign a shred of your tattered jersey for the traumatized onlookers, and get yer butt back on the road!

4. Look Tired. On a flat stage, it's the crosswinds. On a rolling stage, it's controlling the break and marking the competition in the yellow jersey group. On a mountains stage, it's that last darned kilometer. And in a time trial, it's not your best discipline. Please forgive you for not staying for more interviews, you've *got* to get back to the hotel to rest!

5. Compliment Your Rivals. I don't care if you think Contador can't climb a jungle gym since he got popped for Clenbuterol, he and everybody else are *dogging at your heels*, man!

6. Bring Your Baby On the Podium. No, I *don't* know if you even have one. You shoulda thought of that earlier! Borrow someone else's if you have to. A little presumptuous of you to get it a teeny yellow jersey to wear ahead of time, BTW. A twee little team jersey and matching cap, though--how cute!

7. Be Nice to Your Domestiques. They can bring you into this race, and they can take you out of it. Do whatever you gotta do to rally or even correct the troops on your own time, but do *not* ever, ever air dirty laundry in public. You see how Cav stopped that !@#$? There's a reason!

Well, gentlemen, time for the Grand Boucle. Best of luck to all, and don't forget--when you cross the finish line first, point your fingers at the sponsor's name on yer jersey, and hold 'em there til you fall off the bike!

1 comment:

Andy Keller said...

LOVE THIS POST! You hit the nail on the head and I appreciate that. I compete in the RAGBRAI each year and I think those riders to be better than those in the Tour! They are a great bunch. Rumble Yell by Brian Bruns is a book I think you'll like if you like to read about cycling and it's more humorous side.http://www.briandavidbruns.com/BDB/Rumble.html, this is the book site. Thanks again for this post, it was awesome!