It's All In The Pitch

Nov 16 2009

kohl-pitchWhat the hell kind of sales pitch is this? Mr. “it is impossible to win without doping” Bernhard Kohl is now opening a massive bike shop? How are you gonna sell all that gram-saving, wind-cheating schlock to armies of overpaid Masters racers when you’re on record as a member of the Better Living Through Chemistry camp?

Kohl had just better hope that no enterprising competitors—an ex-con, ex-manager, for example—decide to open “rejuvenation clinics” in the neighborhood.

Now this Velonews article is how you really sell bikes. The author, who has plenty of opinions about doping, sticks to talking about the things that make cycling awesome, while subtly mentioning the zillions of accessories (coffee, vests, gloves, bottles, cleaning supplies, etc) that go along with it. Now the same overpaid Masters racers are fired up to ride, focused on having a good time, and ready to buy, almost without regard for result.

Doping, as Kohl no doubt discovered after he was caught, is really only good for grabbing press. Even non-dopers (or at least those who’ve cleared a few more hurdles to avoid being caught) have realized this. The only word I’ve gotten of Chris Anker Sorenson’s new book is that he talks about the one time he missed an out-of-competition test in it, but that tiny incident was enough to get worldwide, English language press.

Not bad for a TdF domestique from a country most Americans can’t find on a map.

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