King leaves argyle for maple.

 

Ted King, Maple Mogul

Ted King, Maple Mogul

Ted King is retiring from pro cycling. He has decided to no longer tap that vein of form that once helped him deliver teammate Peter Sagan to podiums all over the world.

In other words, things haven’t been the same for Sagan since he split from his Maple sugar man. Yes, King retires to pursue the usual “other interests” that in this case is his maple syrup energy gel company, Untapped.

King is the Clif Shot and GU Roctane of Maple. He is going to take the tree juice mainstream and into the endurance sports world. Lumberjack “Timber” etc etc.

Most guys leave the sport and go into coaching. King is building a Maple Syrup Sporting Empire. Don’t doubt it. King brings the kind of light hearted smart, find-your-folly vibe first delivered by the Colorado beer heads at Fat Tire Brewery.

Tap it, bro.

Tap it, bro.

While his former buddy, teammate and training partner Timmy Duggan, flogs real estate in Colorado, King plans to work a subversive maple strategy toward energy gel domination.

We’re seeing a lot of this clever brilliance — just ask Allan Lim, who used to be the team physiologist at Garmin and then RadioShack before taking his “secret drink mix” and turning it into a full-blown consumer product Scratch Labs. Look, template glowing!

So we’ve gained another energy supplement but lost another peloton funny man. However, this does potentially offer up a 2016 roster spot for the dropped Phil Gaimon.

The comedian and climber Gaimon, author of Pro Cycling On $10 A Day, was dropped in the Garmin-Cannondale merger thru no particular fault of his own except for not being Andrew Talansky or Dan Martin.

The Garmin boys are an entrepreneurial crew and Gaimon has already documented via social media his fondness for cookies. He rides for the domestic pro continental Optum Pro Cycling this year while his works his way back to a higher profile ride but when he retires a line of cookies is no doubt on the horizon.

But circling back, King and Gaimon both represent comedy losses for a team founded in part on manager Jonathan Vaughters witty twitter quips. First the black comedy star Bradley Wiggins went to Sky, then the cryptic and hilarious social observer Dave Zabriskie retired and now Gaimon is gone and King is headed to the exit. Nobody is claiming that Talansky can do stand-up.

Garmin pioneered the marginal gains that Sky took big budget and it still remains ahead on the comedy quotient. Whatever Sky’s talents and skill-set, humor isn’t one of the lead attitudes — hard to quantify and justify — and how do you plot in on a Dave Brailsford power point? Loose variable, must go.

We wish Ted King well because he was always a good interview and you know there’s a book in the works about a young impressionable American riding for an Italian cycling team for three years. That will be hilarious — and perhaps even as relentlessly funny as Phil the Thrill’s book. Possible, not probable.

 

 

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