Let it never be said that pro cyclists don’t know how to retire with a certain je ne sais quoi.
In the news today were four stories about what post-cycling career riders were up to. It was eclectic, wacky, entertaining and in one case, illegal.
First, former Tour de France winner (then un-winner) Floyd Landis was announcing his hemp-based pain reliever. Floyd, who doped his way out of the sport and later destroyed Lance Armstrong, now runs a marijuana company out of Leadville, Colorado. The obvious drug jokes aside, Floyd is now clean and running a prosperous business selling legal highs of all kinds and pain relief, too.
Then there was retired Italian sprinter, playboy and ego-maniac, Mario Cipolini. Super Mario posted an photo on his Instagram account of himself riding his new bike prototype buck-naked except for his cycling shoes. You have to love or hate his endless self promotion and flair for the dramatic.
Then former Garmin rider Phil the Thrill Gaimon was busy with his his Worst Retirement Ever activities, stealing Strava records from dopers and setting up his “Cookie Corner” at the fast approaching Colorado Classic bike race. Phil is famous for his love of cookies and he is spreading that love — along with his cookie grand fondo. Phil is a personal favorite and we wish him nothing but success and cookie dough.
As an aside, Gaimon is having fun (and his third book is coming out soon) but his adventures pale in comparison to a man seemingly on one long, delicious gourmet travel vacation. That would be former Liquigas and Cannondale domestique Ted King. His blog posts of his travels with InGamba and culinary joyrides would make anybody insanely jealous. We love Ted, we hate him. So that’s two sugar boys in action, cookies and maple syrup.
That brings us to our last retiree, the one, the only, the disgraced, Lance Armstrong. His attempt to make a comeback into the sport through the backdoor with his podcast was smacked down by USADA rules. Hemp pain relievers, naked modeling and sugar treats are all legal but Lance’s plan to build a bigger audience by podcasting the Colorado Classic was wiped out after complaints that he was violating USADA rules. A careful reading of his ban makes it clear he’s forbidden from any participation in the sport, including media-related ones.
Maybe Lance should go back to one of this other post-bike racing pastimes: playing drums in a reggae band. Floyd could set him up with some killer herb. Just a thought.