In this month’s column I would like to report on a matter of grave importance. I have only just returned from a conference in Helsinki, where the international governance body for cycling (UCI) called an ad hoc committee meeting to address some of the serious new practices that have recently rocked the professional cycling world. Who would have guessed when Jaques Anquetil, (the French first 5 time Tour de France champion) sardonically stated years ago, “You can’t ride the Tour de France on mineral water,” future professional cycling would sink to tabloid headlines like these:

Over the last several years of “Big Mig’s” reign, it has been well publicized that Miguel Indurain, the 5 time Spanish Tour de France ace, was quite plump in his youth. However, at many of the spring events this year, a Columbian junior team made shocking headlines with a squad comprised entirely of chubsters. It has since come to light that the cerveza sponsored team is indeed practicing an illegal training technique known as “Blubber Boosting”.

Then, just last month, a Moroccan pro team showed up at a Spring Classic, wearing cycling clam diggers. It appears that in an attempt to replicate French, Tour de France 5 time star, Bernard “The Badger” Hinault’s claim (in which he states that he owes his cycling success to his disproportionately long femurs) this team had performed the unthinkable. Too horrible to print, I, Euro Freddie, feel it my moral responsibility to make the world aware, and thus be informed against such barbaric practices. This North African team, every last member and without exception, had had their knees lowered.

Finally, there is a rumor from Canada, which revolves around 5 time Belgian Tour de France “God” (or “Tullio”, in my vernacular) Eddy Merckx, and his penchant for micro-tuning his saddle. It seems someone from the Great White North has even labeled “The Cannibal’s” affliction as Positive Anxiety Manifestation. The UCI cites this as the only plausible explanation for why Cannondale would fit such a highly illegal device, known secretly as PAM. This device, manufactured by their expresso machine sponsor, Saeco, presented itself this spring in the form of a bicycle seat that “fed” several maple leaf racers a steady diet of caffeine suppositories during each race.

It is too early for the UCI to take direct disciplinary measures, but we, as informed athletes can choose to just say no, with a vow of drug chastity. So, until next month, may the purr of Campy cassette pawls always be at your back, and the vistas of the open road wrap around your Brikos.

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Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie