Tales from the Peloton, February 16, 2006
February 15, 2006 (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) - The riders of Team Davitamon-Lotto took the occasion of their 2006 team presentation last week to formally announce that they all wish they were dead.
"While at first there was a split between some riders wishing we were dead and others wishing we had never been born, we agreed it was important that we act as a team on this issue," said star sprinter Robbie McEwen. "And so," continued McEwen, "I am both pleased and extraordinarily distraught to announce that my teammates and I all wish we were dead at this moment."
"Or," added teammate Chris Horner, "We might be satisfied with killing the people who designed, approved, produced, and forced us to wear these shirts."
Team presentation shirt described
The outfit Team Davitamon was forced to wear has numerous unusual features, including:
- Made of slinky white polyester
- Red and blue trim, including racing stripes down the side, along with blue cuffs
- A red interior collar and a stiff blue exterior collar.
- Extraordinarily strange-looking white patch of material that goes over the right shoulder and traverses the chest, logoed with, evidently, "Brustor." Note that this patch of material may be modeled after a hunter's shoulder pad, though this is unclear. Further note that Brustor does not get what it pays for, since the "s" in its logo is inevitably tucked neatly into the wearer's armpit.
- Three red straps holding the chest strap in place. Each strap is fastened with a snap at each end.
- Blue and black super-fat tie with a Davitamon logo and asymmetrical tip.
- A clip and chain, going from the chest strap to the super-fat tie, and terminating in a red disc which looks like it may have an LED function, or perhaps is a container with a cyanide tablet inside, just in case the mortification of wearing this getup becomes too much.
This shirt is by most counts, a horrible monstrosity. It would, however, be a suitable uniform for workers at a fast-food restaurant, or performers in a circus. Until now, nobody would have ever suspected that one could force top-tier professional cyclists - especially in a team that has one of the more conservative jersey designs in the peloton - to wear such a thing.
Team presentation shirt explained
Davitamon, the primary sponsor of this team, is a vitamin company, and not - as one might gather from the shirts being worn by the team - a manufacturer of circus tents. A spokesperson for Davitamon described the genesis of these shirts as follows: "Well, we wanted something that really popped. Something colourful, that really showed off our brand."
When asked by a reporter why the team jersey would not accomplish this purpose, as well as help the public identify the riders during races this season, the spokesperson - who wished to remain anonymous, which is unusual for company spokespeople - said, "Oh. I wasn't aware they already had team shirts. I'm not really into motorcycles, you know."
"Anyway," the spokesperson continued, "We just told this designer friend of mine we needed something big and bright with the logos front and centre, and maybe a little dressy, and that she should have fun with it. And as you can see, this is a very fun outfit. Isn't it fabulous?"
Leon Van Bon said that when he first saw the shirt-and-tie combination, he thought it was a joke. "I arrived at the presentation with my new bike kit, clean and ready to wear. And then this PR flack hands me this clown suit and tells me to put it on. I thought it was just a gag the others were pulling on me, until I looked around and saw the other riders' faces."
American racer Chris Horner was similarly displeased. "If anyone ever sees a picture of me in this outfit, I will never be able to show my face in the US ever again."
Team manager Marc Sergeant, who did not have to wear an absurd outfit, took the death wish of his entire team in stride. "Actually, they had banded together, saying they would not wear these shirts, until I told them they had to," said Sergeant.
"This goes to show," continued the team manager, "I can make these guys do anything I want. My power over them is absolute."
Elden Nelson blogs as the Fat Cyclist each weekday, where he says pretty much any old thing that pops into his head, with complete disregard for accuracy or truth. Hey, at least he's honest about his dishonesty.