Last vestige of Leopard gone: Bruyneel confiscates scarves.

Team manager Johan Bruyneel, how presiding over the merged Radio Shack and Leopard-Trek squads, has already made his first authoritarian move.

At the first team get-together in Francorchamps, Belgium, Bruyneel laid down the law: no scarves on the new RadioShack-Nissan formation.

“He made the announcement first thing in the morning,” said Maxime Monfort. “He said we must move forward and that the Leopard dress scarves were a sign of weakness.

Andy Schleck's confiscated scarf.

According to a source at the hotel, director sportifs Alain Gallopin and Dirk Demol conducted a room by room search and confiscated five scarves.

“Andy was the real culprit — he had two scarves and Frank had one,” said Demol. “Johan was angry and spoke to the assembled riders immediately after the raid.

“He started yelling, ‘this is not how you win a grand tour, wearing scarves like a girl,’” said Monfort. “He tore one of the Louis Vuitton scarves up in front of Andy. Things got quite heated. Andy insisted it was simply a fashion accessory but Buyneel called it a failure of will — he said Andy needed to start dressing like a man.”

Bruyneel himself refused to comment on the scarf incident. “We had a conversation about goals for the season and there is only one: yellow in Paris,” said Buyneel. “I told the team that everything we say and do and even wear must support that goal.”

Noted sports psychologist David Cravat doesn’t disagree with Bruyneel’s approach. “Psychologically, a scarf is a noose around ones own neck, a hangman, an admission of guilt,”said Cravat. “Schleck is sending himself a subliminal message that he deserves to be punished.”

In addition to the offensive scarves, the room search also turned up several scented handkerchiefs, a silk kimono style robe, some fuzzy slippers and surprisingly, an extra large pair of woman’s lacy underwear.

“All this stuff went in the hotel dumpster,” said Demol. “I think Nygaard was a little soft with these guys and maybe that’s why they didn’t deliver the wins. Johan is not going to put up with that crap. Cancellara — he’s a tough guy, a hardman — but some of the others … well, that is a attitude we will change.”

According to one person in charge of hotel house keeping, Andy Schlecks’ two suitcases were given a thorough going through and several personal care products confiscated.

“That was Lance’s idea,” said Demol. “He suggested to Johan that the Schlecks needed to man up, not walk around smelling like fashion models.” The Texan is reportedly sending his personal fragrance coach to Luxembourg to work with the two brothers on developing a more overtly masculine scent.

“We are getting there, already we have made great progress,” said Bruyneel. “We are starting to look like a team that knows how to win the big races.”

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  • JLDesert

    I'm laughing so hard now that I'm crying ;-)

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      JL, That's the way I like it, that's my goal, baby. Matt

  • STS

    You're closer to reality in respect to the Schleck sisters than most of us actually believe.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      STS, Yes, what I write is crazy but not that far fetched. Matt

  • http://www.facebook.com/keith.dickinson1 Keith Dickinson

    I guess Mario Cipollini has nothing on the 'schlecks.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Bruyneel may go after Mario's scarves. He better be careful. Matt

  • http://cynthialou.com Cynthia Lou

    Ah, another brilliant piece Matt :)

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      If anybody knows beautiful, you do Cynthia. Matt

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  • matt

    In tears. Please tell me this is partially a joke. If not, Andy might be the softest 2nd place finisher of all time. My god this was funny. Scarfs then a pillow fight.

  • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

    Matt, yes, we do tend to make things up here at Twisted SPoke. We're big Andy fans — who isn't? — but this story has a lot of fun legs and you can look forward to more of Bruyneel's Man Up campaign. Matt

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