Nov 2 2009
This is an intervention, Cadel. You have a victim complex, and you need to stop sabotaging yourself. It’s not that surprising—competitive cycling is largely an exercise in masochism—and the best riders tend to be the ones who’ve learned how to wield self-administered agony with the most unmitigated glee.
But Cadel—oh, Cadel. I’m hoping you know something I don’t. Look at the names BMC has signed so far—Alessandro Ballan, Karsten Kroon, George Hincapie, Marcus Burghardt—these aren’t people who are going to get you over the Tourmalet. Sure, Hincapie should be on everyone’s TdF shortlist—especially with this year’s cobbles—but what good is getting through the first week within sight of the lead going to do you when your squad goes to shambles on the first Cat 2 climb?
You aren’t on this squad to win the Tour, Cadel. Or the Vuelta. Or the Giro. You’re here to make sure BMC gets invites to as many big races as possible. Continental squads need all the star power they can get, and the Arc en Ceil, cursed or otherwise, will always be a draw. I hope your Worlds Win/teamwork at Lombardy has given you a taste for one-days, because you’re going to be doing a lot of “Tour tune-up” in the classics this year
I should also mention that you’re more than just another Rainbow Jersey—you are the are the knockaround clean guy who loses to dopers. I cannot overstate how essential this is to Team BMC—after all, their bikes bore a pair of blood-bosted Americans to a Tour title and an Olympic medal, under the very same team boss—Andy Rihs—who currently pilots BMC.
Now I’ll readily admit that you could do worse that being a Biological Passport Incarnate for an upstart classics squad with mottled past. It’s certainly a step up from your current role as Lotto’s co-leader/scapegoat/advertisement (depending on recent results).
But I just want to make sure you’re going into this with open eyes. Unless BMC cleaned up at the Astana fire sale and just hasn’t announced it yet, you’re going to have the same miserable, lonely battle up every col and pass at the Grand Tours—you’re just going to be one, two, and three years older.
So, Cadel, as long as you’re clear on this, I wish you the best of luck in all your coming endeavors. Do the Rainbow Jersey proud and keep it rubber side down. Maybe win Amstel or something, just to show them you can.