Team Sky just just won their sixth Tour de France in seven tries — the cycling world yawns in apathy, television numbers are down, the French mayor of the UCI insists the sport needs a more equitable distribution of talent to combat Team Sky’s dominance.
Twisted Sport has David Lappartient’s back. Let’s all work out the impossible financial details later (not going to happen) but we’ve taken the bold step of equaling out the talent pool to create a raucous and wild open 2019 Tour de France. Get ready for equality, fraternity and unpredictability.
You’ve got Tom Dumoulin the Tour and Giro runner-up but damn, he needs a little more support in the mountains. Welcome, Woet Poels — now get to the front of that HC climb and start working.
Oh man, you’re kinda hurting in the GC department — which is not the same thing as throwing Thomas de Gendt up the road every mountain stage. But crazy good news — you’ve got Giro and Vuelta winner Nairo Quintana on your team. He needs a change of scenery and with the breakup at Sky, you’ve got a legit shot at the maillot jaune.
No big changes here. You’re sticking with Romain Bardet, who has been on the podium twice. With a more equitable division of climbing talent, your little guy has a real shot at the top step.
Quintana is gone and –guess what — so is Alejandro Valverde. The good news, after the failed “Three Captains” approach, is that Mikel Landa is your one, true, undisputed leader.
Dan Martin won the overall comabtivity prize in this year’s Tour but his attacking style was largely hopeless and foolish, given the superioisty of Team Sky. But hardy-har-har, we just broke Team Sky up and scattered the pieces all over the peloton. Attack, Danny Boy.
Poor Zakarin. He underwhelmed and was never in the mix this year and every dangerous downhill exposed his shoddy descending skills. Well, you’ve got Simon Yates for company now. He led the 2018 Giro for two weeks before he blew in spectacular fashion. Old and wiser and now you’ve got a one-two punch that Sky doesn’t have.
Jesus, you guys are pathetic. Year after year, pathetic. Wait, look, a big light coming your way and illuminating the whole dark tunnel. You’ve got, gasp, OMG, current Tour champion Geraint Thomas. Turns out Sky just couldn’t afford him and he’s all yours. Get excited, perennial underachievers.
You’ve got Gaviria for the sprints and nobody for the GC. Let’s fix that right now. Hey, we just dumped Miguel Angel Lopez from Astana right in your lap. He’s ambitious and aggressive and the boss of your new GC Wolfpack.
Bad news — you’re stuck with Fuglsand for GC because Lopez is gone and Aru is also about to be moved. Still, the Dane will have better support with George Bennet arriving from LottoNL and we’re throwing in Sky’s Sergio Henao just for grins.
The Shark was taken down by a speactator in the smoke, narrow roads and general chaos of Alpe d’Huez. He’s back and now that Twisted Spoke has leveled the playing field, Vincenzo Nibali has a true shot at a second Tour title
Bad news for the Yates brothers — your team can no longer afford both of you and, by the way, Estabab Chavez will also have a new home. But Simon is more than capable of a Tour podium now that we’ve re-distributed the peloton assets.
You signed Richie Porte, one of the few riders capable to beating Froome and a superior Team Sky. Now, Sky is just another squad hoping again hope in a wide open Tour. Good luck Richie — and you’ve got Bauke Mollema to help in the mountains. Please stay upright — in this realignment, you’ll never get a better chance at glory.
Thibault Pinot will ride the Tour instead of the Giro and why not? — he’s got reinforcements. Slip behind the wheel of your new friends, Mikel Nieve and Daniel Moreno. You’ve got hope now, my friend.
Jackpot, French energy company — look who just showed up at your first training camp: The revelation of the 2018 Tour de France, Colombian Egan Bernal. He was going to be Sky’s next grand tour winner but instead he’s your captain. Get excited, you’ve finally got some GC juju.
Rigoberto Uran and Michael Woods are a potent combination but even more deadly when we throw in the Green Bullet, Alejandro Valverde from Movistar. That feels better, don’t it?
The green jersey is nice with Sagan but what about a serious shot at yellow? Hello Esteban Chavez and fabulous Fabio Aru. The Italian has plenty to prove after his recent flame-outs in the Tour and Giro and he’s also got the backing of Rafal Majka.
Warren Barguil lit the 2017 Tour de France on fire but flamed badly once he switched from Sunweb to his local, tiny, ill-equipped home team. Will things get any better in our redistribution plan? Nope, not really. You made a bad decision leaving Sunweb and there’s only so much we can do.
The GC cupboard is fairly bare but we’ve thrown you two bones: Wilko Kelderman and Daniel Moreno. These are two quality riders and with luck and a wide open race, there’s every reason to think big.
Want Groupe Gobert
How did this happen? How did a Pro Conti Belgian outfit with minimal funding end up with four-time Tour de France winner Chris Froome? Luck of the draw and Twisted Spoke went a little overboard in an effort to rebalance the power equation at Le Grand Shindig. If Froome wants to win a fifth Tour, he’s going to have to do it all on his own.
How the mighty have fallen. One minute you’re the undisputed King of the Tour de France and the next, you’re down on the killing floor without Froome or Thomas or Bernal. Step up, Tao Geoghegan Hart! And don’t forget you’re still got Michael Kwiatkowski for help. It could be worse and the upside is team boss David Brailsford won’t have to complain about the French fans spitting on his riders anymore.
We’ve forwarded this plan to UCI president David Lappartient and have no doubt, given his power and skills of persuasion, that these changes will be instituted almost immediately.
We’re looking at a wide, wide, wide open 2019 Tour de France. We can only dream, right?