Our first retraction: Apologies to surfer Aritz Aranburu.

In Twisted Spoke’s two years of existence, we’ve had plenty of excitement and surprises. Readership in the first month was six whole people and how they found us buried deep in the Google search results we’ll never know.

Since then we’ve grown to 40,000 to 60,000 views a month depending on the time of the season. We covered the Tour of California and Tour de France for Cyclesport, we interviewed Tyler Farrar for Joe Parkin’s new magazine Paved.

Talented writers from Velonews, Cyclingnews, Eurosport and even L’Equipe follow Twisted Spoke on twitter. We now write a regular column on bike racing for Versus. It’s been a wild ride and we don’t expect that to change.

The past week has brought two new milestones in the evolution of Twisted Spoke. We were quoted in the New York Times on the subject of Floyd Landis’ retirement and we got our first demand for a retraction letter. And in this case, that retraction is probably merited.

So here’s goes, folks. A month or so ago, we wrote a funny (we thought) and clearly, wildly fanciful (we thought) story about Alberto Contador surfing at a Saxo Bank training camp. Given Contador’s on-going doping story, we though it would be hilarious to say he was hanging out smoking dope with surfers. Out of the hat we picked Basque surfer Aritz Aranburu.

Given that Twisted Spoke is often described as the Onion of pro cycling and almost always takes a satirical and humorous view of pro cycling, we made the assumption that no one would actually believe this wild tale. However, Aranburu’s business manager was offended and wrote us demanding a retraction.

We’re happy to provide that. We can categorically state that our story about Alberto and Aranburu was a complete fabrication with zero basis in truth. Furthermore, we apologize for any harm to Aranburu’s image as a result of our false and inaccurate statements. We are pulling the story off our website and we promise to stay out of San Sebastian for at least a year.

In all honesty, if we thought any readers would actually believe our ludicrously fantastic tale about Alberto and Aritz, we’d be shocked and amazed. Anyone who reads more than two stories from Twisted Spoke, knows we write a lot of fake news in the name of humor. Everything we write should be taken with several grains of salt.

We also assumed our readership was extremely low on surfers, this being a cycling site. We were certainly wrong on that last account. Nevertheless, we respect the request by Mr Artzai Gomez, his business manager and the man in charge of protecting Aranburu’s image.

We’d like to think that Twisted Spoke is about finding the humorous side of professional cycling. We work hard to stay close to the edge but our aim is never to be nasty or malicious and we stand by our body of work. We do humor, not character assassination — the only exception being UCI president Patrick McQuaid.

So we reiterate our true apology to Aritz Aranburu and hope he is generous and good-humored enough to accept it.

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  • Magnifico

    Ya gotta be careful, TW, this guy probably has one of those internet alert programs like BigTex — gets the lowdown on his name being typed into the interwebs instantly so he can take swift action — whether it be hiring another lawyer, making some threats or just tweeting a snarky reply. I LOVE your Lance/Landis TV show bits! (oops, probably tripped BigTex' alert program with that one) keep up the great work!

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      Thanks Magnifico for the kind words. I'm hoping you're an excellent lawyer because who knows, one of these days I may need one. Matt

  • Ricola

    After closely following Twisted Spoke for over a year now, I can only post the following: carry on Matt!

    Oh, and let me reiterate: "The thin line between genius and insanity in cycling, is where Twisted Spoke can be found" — and where it hopefully will stay for many crazy (both on- and off-)seasons to come!

    • http://www.lagrecaarts.com/category/Techtips Kristopher LaGreca

      Thanks, Ricola. We\’re not changing our appraoch just for one Spanish misunderstanding.

  • Machaca

    You know you've hit the big time when a Basque surfer is asking for a retraction, although I can't imagine why you linked surfing with pot smoking! And on the retraction topic, I think the photo of a certain traveler returning from Mexico and rushing to Carls Jr. to, um, relieve himself, may have been retraction-worthy . . . .

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      No, that photo was art and we never retract art. As as as my surfing retraction, the ocean waves come in and then they go back out. A metaphor, I think. Matt

  • Mick

    Jeez…Basque Surfers(?) Didn't even know they existed… but, I'm more concerned about the bike helmet designs coming out of the Basque region… indicative of mushroom consumption…Yeah, I'm looking at you Orbea…

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com TwistedSpoke

      I'll have to check the mushroom lids out. Matt