Our eyes must be going because the headline was either scary, bizarre or funny but impossible to believe as fact. What is this — Scarface II?
Headline: UCI rule could put Colombian teams in Amgen Tour of California. What? Violent coke-dealing, sub machine firing Colombians in our chilled-out one week Tour? No, the mind reels, the idea is inconceivable, pure nonsense, shocking and warped.
UCI President Patrick “hot air” McQuaid has said plenty of things that made no sense but this takes the freakin’ cupcake. According to new regulations, the Amgen folks would have to invite the three best teams from their continent.
Based on current rankings, than means three Colombian teams would receive invites to the 2.HC Amgen Tour of California as well as the UCI 2.1 ranked Tour of Utah and Quiznos Pro Challenge. The Amgen pharma people are popping major tranquilizers and the Quiznos CEO just choked on his Bacon Ranch sub sandwich.
Do you think these organizers and investors, who are working overtime to try to build support for bike racing in the United States, are going to kill their projects by dragging in a Colombian team that nobody has ever remotely heard of? Never going to happen.
Now maybe if the Colombian drug lords threw some serious under-the-table money into the Tour of California, then there might be a freak invitation. But seriously. The idea hits you like a Taser — full “Neuro Muscular Incapacitation” as the Taser people call it.
This is nothing against cocaine or Colombia or pretty darn fast bike riders from Colombia. It’s about domestic races desperate to draw fans and establish themselves on the race calendar. You need the top U.S. squads and then the best Euro outfits with a few of their star riders.
Last year Tom Boonen, Fabian Cancellara, Andy Schleck and Peter Sagan rode the Tour of California. They bring the fans out. No offense but will Rafael Abreu Infantino and Javier Acevedo create a surge in attendance? Nada chance.
Hey US cycling fans. Sorry Liquigas and Team Sky couldn’t make it this year. We had to make room for Gobernacion De Antioquia – Indeportes Antiquia and EPM-UNE because they top the rankings for the Americas Tour.
It’s an ironic side note — the fantastic cycling blog Cycling Inquistion is written by Lucho, who grew up in Bogota. Just this week he wrote a piece about an old Colombia racing team that doubled as a money-laundering scheme for the Medellin drug cartel.
Will Colombian teams be invited to the Tour of California? Me thinks not. Head TOC organizer Andrew Messick told Cyclingnews that “We don’t feel it is appropriate to comment on the issue at this time.” Privately, he’s having a WTF moment. It’s a sporting nightmare, a death sentence. First Lance Armstrong retired, now the Colombians are horning in on the race.
Loopholes will be found and new deals cut. Some quality weed is welcome, but hold the cocaine.