Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie


Super Mario, 3-D Tubulars, and Big Breasts... These are the headlines in this month’s column. For years it has been a somewhat obscure practice for professional cyclists to affix a favorite piece of poetry around the handlebars to inspire athletic greatness while racing. Last year however, Mario Cipollini’s handlebars sported a photo of Pamela Anderson’s mammaries, from the TV show Baywatch. Ah, another cycling tradition falls, as Cipollini’s 1997 results seem quite convincing.

This year, Vittoria rolled out a new tyre with an eye popping yellow tread, labeled: King Mario. Its 3-D rubber compound claims to not only be resistant to the effects of aging, but it remains firm and supple throughout its pneumatic life. On a wild hunch, yours truly, Euro Freddie, decided to undergo tread compound analysis at the Lucerne Center for Severe Swiss Scrutiny. There the Vittoria rubber was rigorously tested around the clock, by a host of Phd’s, all atwitter over this mysterious substance. They filtered its yellowness through hi-tech centrifuges, frapped its yellowness in industrial blenders, and fondued its yellowness over heated crucibles. In final desperation, they flung its yellowness in scientific frustration. Fortunately, or unfortunately for Ms. Muesli (a female colleague who happened to be at the epicenter of the commotion), the brunt of their research landed on her chest with surprising results. I then mentioned my hunch, and BINGO, the search for research was over. It seems Dow Chemical, you remember the US company involved in silicone breast implant litigation, struck a deal with the Vittoria tyre people. So you see, not only is King Mario’s head spinning on silicone, but so is his bicycle. Super Mario is truly at one with his machine.

On a parting note, please remember that May is International Handlebar End-plug Awareness Month. Have any of you Eagle readers tried a pair of Cinelli’s new fruit coloured/scented plugs? Pray for poor Cipollini that Cinelli doesn’t take too broad an interpretation of the word “candy” and produce a “pair” of Pamela Anderson’s.   Try to maintain a poetic cadence -Euro Freddie.

<INDEX                                                  MAY - 1998                                                            NEXT>