Memo to Johan Bruyneel: How to Get into the TdF

bruyneelA Note from Fatty:I’ve got a new article posted on today. You can read a snippet of it below, or click here to read the whole thing. 

TO: Johan Bruyneel
FROM: The Fat Cyclist
DATE: 22 February, 2008
SUBJECT: Strategies for Getting into the Tour de France 

Dear Mr. Bruyneel,

First, my condolences on Team Astana not getting into the Tour de France this year. I am certain that you must be reeling from the shock and disappointment so profound as to nearly equal my own.

And yet, Mr. Bruyneel, I would urge you to not give up hope. Your team can still ride in the Tour de France in 2008, Johan (I hope you don’t mind me calling you Johan).

Simply follow these strategies.

1. Change Your Name.
For 2008, Team Astana changed management, racing philosophy, and most of the team. This, evidently, wasn’t what was needed. To convince ASO that you’re really OK, you need to not be Team Astana.

As evidence of the effectiveness of this technique, allow me to call your attention to Team T-Mobile High Road, which was every bit as messed up as Astana last year, but will be racing in the Tour de France this year.

You know why, don’t you? Because this year, they’re taking the high road, that’s why.

For your team name, I’d like to recommend “Compassionate Body Spinoffs.” It sounds kind (that’s the “compassionate part”), sporting (the “body” part), and cycling-related (“Spinoffs”).

Also, “Compassionate Body Spinoffs” is an anagram for “ASO is staffed by nincompoops,” but that can remain our little secret.

And while you’re at it, you might want to also change the color of your uniforms. And I’m not saying that just to further the cause of tricking ASO into believing you’re a different team.

I’m saying it because Astana blue (aka “light teal”) is an awful color.

2. Surrender to the French.
France and ASO really, really, really want a strong French team race in the TdF. This desire is somewhat hampered by the fact that there are no strong French teams.

So, why don’t you become French? It’s surprisingly easy. Here’s how:

  • Watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail Several Times. Everyone knows this is the best way to pick up an authentic French accent.
  • Be Haughty. Despise everything. Smile enigmatically.
  • Eat: French fries, French bread, and French dressing.
  • Act like you really really care about winning on Bastille Day, as if it were the absolutely be-all and end-all of the race, instead of what it invariably is: a flat stage of no consequence.
  • Lose a lot. OK, I admit, that’s just mean of me.

    Click here to continue reading “Memo to Johan Bruyneel” over at

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