In the first stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia,
Davis Phinney became the first American to win a stage in the Tour de France Taylor Phinney became the first American to win an ITT in this prestigious, 3-week event in which the world’s best doped athletes ride amongst some of the world’s lewdest, craziest, and most drunken sports fans.
Although the time trial is commonly regarded as the “race of truth” due to the test of each racer’s strength and skill against the inflexible constraints of the clock, experts agree that the rest of the Giro consists of a “race of lies.” Wankmeister lists the most notably mendacious events below.
Team Car Hang and Draft: Rider gets dropped, crashes, breaks his bike, has a bowel movement, and finds himself wayyyyy behind everyone else. Rider then grabs onto car, or gets motor-paced by team vehicle back to the group. In marathoning, this would be like having the leaders pull away from you, then having your supporters plop you on a moped and drive you back up to the front.
Beat the Cut Grupetto Scam: Big tours set time limits so that the podium girls can blow the commissaires before they have dinner with their wives. Riders who have no hope of finishing the 200-mile stage with 15,000 feet of climbing on the same day team up so that enough of them are together to prevent the majority of the field being kicked out of the race. In golf this this would be like having 95% of the players at the US Open spend 15 hours dawdling per round so that if the rules were enforced and the players DQ’d, the event would be cancelled.
Handshake Deal Sprint Rigging: Riders are in breakaway. Spindly no-hope wanker dude wants to win. Powerful, badass sprinter dude wants money. Done…the essence of sportsmanship, where a bold and crass financial transaction is packaged in adjectives like “courageous,” “canny,” “tactical,” and “surprise outcome.” In baseball they actually do this. It’s called “the Chicago Black Sox from the 1919 World Series.” And in cycling, it happens all the time.
Sprint Train Lameness: Alleged fast man with cool nickname like “Lion King,” “Manx Missile,” etc., is the fastest human being ever to ride a bike. So fast, in fact, that the only way he can beat solo sprinter dudes like Robbie McEwen who have to win on brains, balls, and brawn is by hiring the other ten fastest riders in the pro peloton and paying them to do nothing but drive him to the line. In college sports there’s an analogue. It’s called “Bear Bryant and the Alabama football program.”
Perfectly Timed Breakaway Catch: Riders are brainless doofuses who have no idea how to reel in a breakaway. So they hook their tiny brains up their race directors via radio to perfectly time the breakaway “catch” with 1k to go. The valiant escapees don’t get the chance to do the Handshake Deal Sprint Rig, and the Manx Misericordia gets to win the 15th Tour stage with his sprint train. In pro football it’s called “$50 million Quarterbacks Too Stupid To Call Their Own Plays.”
Domestique Donkey Food and Water Hustle: The word “domestique” in French means “put on your bitch suit you stupid skinny prick because I’m going to drive your sorry ass back and forth a hundred times to the team car per race to fetch water, food, and drugs so that I don’t have to work and can place in the race even though you’re just as good, probably better than me, but I’m more famous.” In football they are called “fullbacks,” “the practice team,” and “Tim Tebow.” I mean, why pay Cunego all that money just to find out he’s too weak to do the race on his own, when you can pay his bitch $12 to finish the race for him?
Domestique Donkey Wind Pull, Climb Pull, and Tempo Pull: Donkeys in bitch suits go the front and break the wind (saving protected douchebaguette 30% or more energy) while prima donna Brad Pride or Abandy Schleck get a peddie. Boys in bitch suits blow up, fall off the back, and barely make the time cut, then fail to get a team the following year because they have no UCI points. In soccer this would be like having the entire team get the ball in scoring position, then stop the game, and bring in Lionel Messi while the goalie stands off to the side and everyone else on the field just watches.
Multi-team Conspiracy: When a leader sucks and his whole team sucks, he will conspire with several other sucky teams to work against potential threats, breakaways, strong riders who race aggressively with panache, etc. This assures that the better funded, “cooler” team takes the win over that ugly dude from GS-Colnago-Pimplimiento-Ladies-Products-Cologne wearing the orange and pink and red and blue and green-striped kit. In basketball, this would be like two weak playoff teams agreeing to waylay Kobe on his way home from Whole Foods and break both his legs.
Sticky Bottle Scam: When a rider has been dropped (again) or has a blister on his pee-pee, the team car hands him a bottle and drags him several hundred yards closer to the pack. In swimming this would be like letting a dude jump into the water before everyone else.
Derailleur Adjustment Cheat: When a rider’s drugs aren’t working right and he needs to drop back to the team car to have the soigner ram the suppositories further up his ass with a fist, the team mechanic pretends to adjust the derailleur while pushing Dopey along for kilometers at a time. In auto racing this is called “The Pit,” and it’s the reason no one takes seriously a sport where you get to whip in and fill up with gas, change tires, have a smoke, and do quick photo sessions of Danica’s long, flowing pubic locks.
UCI Bio Passport Permanent Doping Visa: When a rider’s blood values have become so ridiculous that even a UCI drug tester can’t look at them without giggling, the entire governing body throws the program in the trash and issues every rider a doping visa, valid for entry into every race, and in every country (except Iran and North Korea). In football it’s called “Weight Training.” And it starts in junior high.