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.