From: Mark Cavendish
To: Andre Greipel
Subject: My Grand Tour lead-out train
Andre, hey, it’s Mark. Writing from Saint Louis… that lame Tour of Missouri thing I got roped into by the sponsors. Wish I was doing the Vuelta and giving everybody an inferiority complex–especially those Garmin arseholes. I love messing with that Farrar guy.
Should be a piece of cake here. Gonna win the first sprint on Sept 7. Trying to work out a victory gimmick. Maybe an SL Arch thing … I’m also thinking of doing this “Budweiser chug” gesture right at the finish line. That would be cool, right?
Anyway, wanted to reinterate a few things down that we talked about. Rules and regulations, right?
1 You are only borrowing my Columbia lead-out train. It’s not yours and you will return it at the end of the Vuelta. We have that in writing, don’t forget.
2 I expect that my train will be in PERFECT WORKING CONDITION when I get it back. It’s like me handing you the keys to a effing Ferrari, right? Don’t do anything stupid.
3 Leave the train alone. It works just the way I want it. NO modifications whatsoever. If even one of those guys tells me you were messing with this or that, I’ll make sure Stapleton boots your arse out of the team.
4 Don’t go ripping me off. When you win, no fancy stunts or outlandish gestures. That’s my territory.My train, my show. You win 21 races in a year and have an autobiography out like me and maybe we’ll talk. Remember, you’re borrowing. This is strictly a rental situation.
5 You can diss those Garmin guys all you want. If you need some ideas, e-mail me… I got loads. Ask the boys in the train — they’ve got a few they like to toss out in the last K or two. You know, “Garmin Slipped-off-the-back” kind of thing.
6 DO NOT HUG the guys at the finish if you win. Only I do that and really, the train guys don’t actually like the sweaty hugs that much except for Hincapie. I just do that for the camera but it’s a signature style thing.
7 This is the FASTEST TRAIN IN THE WORLD. Use it wisely. I don’t want to get some tweet about you sticking them on the front nailing back a break for 150k just ’cause you’re feeling frisky. Again, review point 2. It’s my train and you should appreciate just how effing generous I am.
8 Should my lead-out train hand you a few wins — DO NOT GO GIVING YOURSELF A NICKNAME. I don’t want to read Eurosport and find out you’re calling yourself the German Jet, the Greipel Rifle or the Rostock Rocket.
Okay, points made. Have fun sticking it to those slow-pokes. I’ll be here cleaning up in Missouri for the week. They finish in Kansas City. Think I’ll try their famous bbq. Hey, what if I pretend I’m throwing a rib bone to the crowd when I cross the line? That’s effing fantastic. I might just do that.
P.S. It’s my train– have I made that clear enough?