From special correspondent Tyler Boucher:
WorldTour riders spoke out Wednesday, calling for stricter penalties to be enforced in the coming season on Movistar rider Vladimir Karpets’s free-flowing haircut.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, one prominent member of the pro peloton remarked, “It’s a hard time for our sport. There’s been uncertainty with sponsors, with the UCI, questions of rider safety, plus all the stuff going on with race radios. We need to clean up our act. Specifically the mullets. It’s bad for the sport. At Romandie last year, Karpets and I were in a breakaway together. I sat on his wheel for 60k. I’ve never been so happy to get caught by the group. It was terrible.”
Echoing similar sentiments was another well-known rider, who commented, “Sure [Karpets’s haircut] it’s all business in the front, but in the back it’s a party. A drug-fueled sex party. All we’re asking for is harsher penalties on infractions like his. We want consistency across the board. It should be business in the front and business in the back. It’s only fair.”
Hair and argyle aficionado Jonathan Vaughters of team Garmin-Barracuda added his own two cents: “We’ve had our eye on Karpets for a while – he’s a strong rider and he’d certainly add firepower to our squad. That being said, I’m not sure we have room on the Garmin bus for his epic mullet,” said Vaughters. “We’ve already got Tyler’s faux hawk and Heinrich’s David Bowie 70’s thing. A lot gets made of our strong anti-doping stance, but we have a strict stance on haircuts as well,” he continued. “I think we were the first team to implement an in-house program to monitor hair-length levels.
Karpets, who could not be reached for comment, has sported the definitive hairstyle since his days as a neo-pro with Itera and iBanesto.com. His mullet remains a holdover from a simpler time in sport, when EPO flowed like wine and hairstyle abuse ran rampant in the peloton. Riders like Viatcheslav Ekimov, Laurent Brochard, and Bram De Groot all sported mullets in their own right, though, to be fair, that was the eighties.