xbbx: Alright, so FJ, it's been fucking ages. Let's talk pro cycling!
BEEN TRYING TO BUY FOOTY TICKETS
xbbx: Oh yeah? I thought cycle racer types didn't like football.
FJ: That is incorrect. Footy is a great game. I like going to games and yelling MONGREL and BALL a lot.
Xbbx: Do you ever go to cycle races and yell out MONGREL and BALL?
FJ: It depends if Gene is racing or not, but generally, I'll yell something about sandbagging, and occasionally I might accuse someone of not pulling a turn. But as the great Steve
Duggan says, "Speak with your legs". This is, unfortunately, where I run into trouble.
Xbbx: Your leg mouths don't work?
FJ: Not very well no, they kind of wheeze a lot.
Xbbx: Maybe you should get an asthma pump for your legs. Apparently they're all the rage in the pro peloton. Which, incidentally, is what we're here to talk about.
FJ: Yeh that's true. Thoughts on the state of peleton?
Xbbx: well, the Tour de France is coming up. I know, because Rolly told me about it. It sounds like a pretty big deal.
FJ: It's like the Giro, but with a more respectable jersey colour, and the stages are more boring.
Xbbx: Totally. Though this year a bunch of the stages are a bit shorter, which is nice. I don't need to wait six hours to see the breakaway get reeled in and Cavendish win a stage.
FJ: Man all the tour nerds will hate that. They love nothing more than watching 9 hours of grainy footage of very skinny men ride through sunflower fields. I prefer to sleep and watch the highlights. That way all the boring stuff (cycling tactics) is gone and all the good stuff (crashes, tears, and winning) is all present. It doesn't mean Wiggins' ankles are gone though. They're still there, weird as ever.
Xbbx: Those ankles are likely to win the Tour, Jamesy.
FJ: Yes but consider the style Bailey. Evans won the tour too. But what are we talking about? His chin, and his dog. I will concede, however, Wiggins has excellent sock height
Xbbx: If I hear another word about fucking sock height I will fucking quit cycling altogether and just drive everywhere forever more. Oh, wait...
FJ: Socks are important Bailey, you can't just rage quit cycling because no one likes your Adidas ankle socks.
Xbbx: EVERYONE LIKES MY ADIDAS 4 FOR $20 ANKLE SOCKS.
FJ: Yes, yes. anyway. What do you think will happen to Cadel?
Xbbx: I think he will crash at some point, cry at some point, and eventually do something heroic that makes us all love him, but he won't win.
FJ: Yeh, either that, or he will just flat out suck. Like, I’m talking falling off eight times in a time trial Alex Rasmussen style
Xbbx: Nah, see, I think he'll go alright, but won't win. Because if he won, he'd no longer be our 'little Aussie battler', and the Herald-Sun would start to be all blase about him.
FJ: Yeh, it's true, we love ourselves some battlers that win, but we love battlers that don't win even more. Like the Anzacs at Gallipoli. I'm the first to admit that even my steely, ice cold heart was melted when Cadel won last year, but I'm back with fresh poison and cynicism and I reckon he's gonna choke. Meanwhile Wiggo will take his little ankles and pedal his way to a certain flawless victory. Or, alternatively, and I will admit that this is less likely, Cavandish will win. This will only occur if he just keeps riding after his sprint victories. He'll make up a lot of time that way. He ain't too clever, so I think this is probably an outside twenty to one chance.
Xbbx: You may be on to something there. Cavendish may have mellowed a little bit due to fatherhood, however. I'm also concerned that he's peaking for the Olympics, and won't be on song for the tour. Have you seen him lately? Dude looks skinny as all hell.
FJ: No, I don't look at in form athletes because I am flat out fat right now (sorry Duggan). That said, he does seem to have less of a pot belly. I reckon he'll race the first half or so of the tour, then fuck off to recover for the Olympics, where he will inevitably realize, at some point during the road race, that cycling in the Olympics is like tennis in the Olympics, which, by the way, is like wearing a beret. Fucking retarded. He will then probably leave the race to go eat pasta. Or maybe a cornish pastie. And good on him.
Xbbx: I gotta say, I'm pretty stoked to see Peter Sagan in the tour this year. Remember how excited everyone was about Phillippe Gilbert last year? Yeah, if you take everyone's excitement, and distill it down into one person, that's me about Peter Sagan. Dude is a mad dog. I wanna see him take a lap on the Champs D'Elysees.
FJ: He probably will. I love that guys twitter account. I feel like there might be some real theatrics from people like Sagan
Xbbx: There better be. Because the tour is so important it can be a little dull at times, hey. One day racing is so much better.
FJ: Exactly. It's make or break. No time to consider, no time to let settle in. In the tour, so much is on the line. Sponsorship, team deals, money, that people are cautious. The only real excitement comes from either nobodies who are looking for their 15 minutes, or from the GC riders when shit gets really real. But that's usually like about half an hour collectively over 70 hours of racing. Like I said, plenty of time to make tea.
Actually, I never said that, sorry
Xbbx: So why do we all get so excited about the tour then? Is it just because it's on every night for three weeks? That's like three straight weeks of Christmas!
FJ: I’m not sure. I think because of the drama that is created. It's like the theatre. Actually, no, it's more like a soap opera. You tune in to see what the next installment will bring. You spend three weeks watching humans, just like you, but nothing like you, slowly but surely bury themselves for a myth, an image: to be the best. To become an immortal. People bullshit about cycling being the modern day gladiatorial conflict, which is rubbish because there are no lions or Christians. But there is a sense in which these guys are trying to immortalize themselves. History is so entwined in the tour, perhaps because it plays out on the same stage every year, that it develops a sense of narrative. Legendary climbs become so much more than, say, a 9% average gradient. They become a story. And that's what we tune in for.
That and Gabriel Gate
Xbbx: Fuck James, that was, like, poetry n shit. I reckon that might do us for tonight, in fact.
FJ: Now I sound like a wanker.
And for the record, Gabriel, we all know you're in Frankston
YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE
Xbbx: Beautiful. Thanks FJ!