Team Sky just announced their new kit for the Tour de France featuring their Sky Ocean Rescue campaign. Chris Froome, who plans to ride the Tour de France despite the disappointment of the UCI and ASO, modeled the new jersey.
Prominent of the back of the jersey, a large, black and white illustration of an orca, a killer shark. Was this a none-too-subtle presumptive attack on the organizers of Le Grand Shindig? Was Froome saying my lawyers’ sharp teeth will tear you to bloody shreds like an Orca devouring a baby seal?
This is a kit with scary subtext, a jersey made of threats and provocation.
Is Team Sky sending a message about the kind of deadly force they’ll employ should ASO or the UCI try to disinvite Froome because of his on-going case involving his adverse analytical finding for the asthma medication salbutamol during last year’s Vuelta a Espana?
Does Tour boss Christian Prudhomme want to take on a ravenous shark? Is UCI president David Lappartient prepared to risk death and dismemberment? What kind of Ocean Rescue are we taking about, exactly? Sky claims it’s all about plastics polluting the ocean but what if the real message is something more threatening?
Make no mistake: Orcas are known for their diverse diet — some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and dolphins. Any marine biologist will tell you an orca would also enjoy a nice, tasty, French race organizer.
We’ve entered dangerous waters before the race even hits the roads. One one hand we have Le Tour and the UCI threatening to invoke an ethics clause related to the reputation of the race and the sport. On the other hand — or flipper — we have pod of homicidal killer sharks. Who do you think wins that battle.