Saturday, June 30, 2012

Epilogue to a Prologue

I have been truly fortunate to have locals so eager to assist me in this my first foreign reporting assignment. Without the aid of the world community of cycling fans, my coverage of the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser would lack style, flair and flavor. My sincerest hopes are to have the remainder of this trip go as well as the first days have.

With the aid of a fellow cycling aficionado and patron of the first bar cum cafe that I happened to walk into, I was able to secure a fantastic table on the route for today's prologue time trial. I counted myself both fortunate and lucky to find myself perched course-side with a paper cone of pommes frites and a lovely glass of fine Belgian ale. With a few hours to kill before the real action began, I settled down to eat, drink and learn more about this wonderful little country and some of its citizens, starting with my new found friend.

My how the time flies when you are trying to get to know more about the new area you are visiting! Alas, I caught a streak of red and black out of the corner of my eye and watched in horror as the hunched form of Cadel Evans became a distant blur in a matter of seconds. I failed you, dear reader, and missed most of the action of today's events, but I have diligently put together as much information as possible to make up for my lack of focus and I promise you, dear reader, that my A game is now in full effect. What follows is my best effort to recap the days excitement that I heard about from some of the people who paid a bit more attention to the race than I...

So today's prologue time trial is much like the event pictured to the left (only it isn't on the track, you aren't allowed to use a motor, you can't draft off of anyone or anything, and nobody had this kind of body fat on display). Each man left the start house and throttled himself into oblivion for a little over 6 km or until he died from the effort. (That last part might not be right, the two guys I heard it from had drunk a lot more beer than I had and I've got to be honest and say that would have to be a substantial amount.)

Each rider put forward a towering display of athletic prowess except the guys that were outside of the top 30 or so. The guys from about 100th place back just looked like they were ready to pack it in and call it a day. So, on to the results.

Fabian Cancellara (pictured here from his wildly popular TV show Spartacus, which I'm sorry to say I haven't seen but is apparently really good and he uses his character's name in some of his cycling endeavors) put on an awesome display of power and took the stage win.

Bradley Wiggins (pictured here at a post race interview) put in a very strong performance to finish second and put a stamp of authority on his bid to claim this year's top step in Paris.

But enough about the actual race. The moment you have all dreamed of for a year or less has come. We can now put forward the first yellow jersey of the 2012 Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser.

In 3rd place, with strong performances from Cancellara, Wiggins, and Van Garderen, directeur sportif  Jeff Welch of the Dottatope team.  In 2nd place, riding high on the backs and thighs of Chavenal, Wiggins, and Van Garderen, directeur sportif Eric Winebarger of the Mountain Don't team. And finally, our first bearer of the golden fleece, with strong performances from Wiggins, Van Garderen, and Cancellara, a newcomer to the LCBDFTdFpbUCNSP is directeur sportif Steve White of Team Hoogerland's Thigh.  Congratulations to our top three. To further the depth of our coverage, I make a humble request that all participants send me a photo of themselves (or a reasonable facsimile) wearing or wrapped in something yellow for future press releases.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Let's get this party started

Let's make one thing very clear from the start: I am a consumate professional and am in no way guilty of shirking my reporting duties during this ground-breaking attempt at covering the full breadth and depth of the 2012 Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser. With that being said, let's be honest for a moment. Of the 198 riders in this year's LCBDFTdFp/bUCNSP, only about 20 guys have any hope in hell of doing anything significant, and they certainly aren't leading off on this prologue stage. So, why kill yourself from the gun to stick to an outside schedule as arbitrary as the official start time of a race? I write to you now from the Thalys TGV (Totally Great Vehicle or something to that effect, my french is a bit rusty), hurtling through the somewhat grim industrial north of France on my way to the historic city of Liege in Belgium to catch ONLY the most important racers of this year's fantasy TdF. As soon as we reach the station, I grab a bite to eat, find a decent espresso, perhaps indulge in a bit of the local beer and grab some of those Belgian frites I've heard such good things about, I'll be on the scene for some crack race reporting, ever mindful of the great responsibility that I bear as the official eyes and ears of this the greatest fantasy bike race on Earth.


I arrived at the International Fantasy Cycling Union press conference a bit later than anticipated, but managed to talk to a guy who was standing close to a guy who heard some people talking about the announcement that Heinz Verbatim made regarding the doping allegations against Team Luna Cycles and Team SRAM Red 2012 p/b Bojangle's. Through some very thorough journalistic work on my part and a serious dent put into my per diem account thanks to the need to keep myself and several of my interviewees well hydrated with various electrolyte solutions from the bar, I can confidently say that Mr. Verbatim pronounced both teams fit for competition and denounced any allegations of cheating in this edition of the Luna Cycle Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, "You never knew how slick it could be!", as ludicrous and laughable. The respective directeur sportifs of the two teams must be breathing a sigh of relief at this moment and as soon as I am able to break free of the high level negotiations I am involved in with several female "reporters" at the Parisian Night Club I have come to in pursuit of "background" for the in depth reporting I am doing here, I will make sure to get statements from them.


I have safely arrived in my modest hotel accommodations here in Paris. Our decision to have "on the ground" coverage of the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, "Nobody does it slicker!", was not lightly entered into by our accounting department. But I gave them every assurance to keep things on a shoe string, and I think the photo of my hotel room serves silent testament to the simplicity I am willing to bear in our quest to bring you the best damn fantasy cycling coverage possible.

I will be moving to a small cafe to await the announcement by Heinz Verbatim of the International Fantasy Cycling Union on their disposition of the scandals involving Team Luna Cycles and Team SRAM Red 2012 p/b Bojangle's. I only hope that my meager per diem can cover the cost of a few brioches and a latte...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The light of day

Released today from an anonymous source close to the inner workings of the suspected motorized doping ring involving Team Luna Cycles Directeur Sportif Richard Fish, this photo shows an unnamed German foreign exchange student carrying a large stuffed chili pepper. This chili pepper may have been the means by which several dozen genetically modified hamsters bred to power small hub mounted engines were smuggled into the United States from a pet shop in Berlin. Richard Fish could not be reached at this time.

Ironically, Directeur Sportif Quint Ervin of  Team SRAM Red 2012 p/b Bojangle's and brother to Directeur Sportif Josh Ervin of  the Track Wooly Mammoth team and the first person to break the rumor of Richard Fish's alleged motorized doping, has been implicated in a complex scheme to smuggle raw chicken from China to be prepared by the Bojangle's team chef for a "original recipe" that would mask the high amounts of banned substances that the meat is alleged to be tainted with for use by team riders later in the Tour to aid recovery and performance. No comment from Mr. Ervin at this time.

It's still not too late to join in on the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, it's out with the old and in with the New School! Just jump over to and use mini league code 24021849 to throw your team into the fantasy whirlwind that is the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, it's like chamois cream for your bike's junk!

Record Field!

A record 14 teams have entered the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, the solvent that eats like a meal, as of this morning. We are truly humbled by this show of fantasy force in just the sixth year of this race. Let's see if we can reach twenty teams! Remember it isn't too late to enter - just go to to register your team for free, then join our mini league by using the mini league code 24021849. Come join the fun for free!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Scandale! update

Sources inside the engineering firm in Germany have confirmed some of the details of the breaking scandal dubbed "Operation German Exchange Student" in this year's Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser. This photo (dated from early 2010) shows an early prototype of the hamster powered hub mounted motor allegedly found on some of the Team Luna Cycles bikes during the pre-fantasy tour technical check. Our sources in Germany have confirmed that the current generation of genetically modified hamsters provide an average wattage output of 2 to 3 watts in addition to the wattage exerted by the rider. We will continue to update you with details of this breaking scandal as they surface.


A rumor has surfaced on the eve of the 6th Annual Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France presented by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, the only solvent you'll ever love. Suspicions about Team Luna Cycles directeur sportif, Richard Fish, have begun making the rounds of the internet. Dubbed "Operation German Exchange Student", involvement of Mr. Fish with one or more individuals claiming to be foreign exchange students from Germany may provide a link to Team Luna Cycles and the use of hidden motors in some team members bicycles. Details are sketchy, but we feel it our duty to keep the general public informed.

Saturday, it gets real...

This Saturday marks the start of the 6th Annual Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France brought to you by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser, a better way to clean your chain. You may or may not be familiar with the real event our world famous Fantasy race is based on, the Tour de France, but that makes no nevermind, you still have time to register your team of fantasy cyclists over at and use our mini league code: 24021849 to join the record 11 teams that have already joined.

As usual, pretenders to the crown have already begun talking smack about their unbeatable team and how they are going to win it all. Judging from some of the team rosters I'm seeing entered, a lot of these guys are really "just happy to be here" and are going to be gaining some valuable experience from the Fantasy Cycling school of hard knocks.

While I have entered a team, I remain your objective professional commentator and will refrain from saying things like, "Mike Pritchard is destined for another race to the bottom given the riders he has chosen for his team." Preferring the more journalistic stance of, "Fantasy Directeur Sportif Jeff Welch has shown a lot of heart with the somewhat unorthodox riders he has selected for his team and their performance over the coming weeks will be entertaining to say the least." See that? Professionalism. You can count on that type of journalistic integrity over the coming weeks, even as my team walks away with this Fantasy Tour de France yet again.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France powered by Uncle Chuck's New School Pregreaser is live!

Yep, you heard right - we're back for another year of hot, heavy Fantasy Tour de France action here at Luna Cycles HQ. We've spared no expense to take advantage of the many resources of the world wide interwebs to bring you this FREE opportunity to showcase your lounge chair Directeur Sportif skills (filterless cigarettes not included). Head over to to register your 9 man team of heavy hitters (or flouncy wannabe's) and then join the Luna Cycles Big Deal Fantasy Tour de France mini league by entering 24021849 for the mini league code.

This year we promise to bring you right into the thick of things as we have always done with each year's Fantasy Tour de France. All the fantasy intrigue, all the fantasy scandal, and all the fantasy action will be right here in pure, virtual technicolor detail!

Now, as we draw close to the fantasy TdF, people have sought out our expert opinion on the current troubles affecting a certain Lancelot Q. Armstrong, 7 time winner of the Tour de France (for now). At this point, we must express a certain weariness to this whole affair. While we abhor cheating and performance enhancing drug use, we must admit that at the highest levels of our sport the lines are thin, fuzzy, and very grey on what is and is not legal and given the chance to reach the top of our sport, win fame and fortune doing something that we love, who knows what ethical knots we might find ourselves tied up in.

Let's look on the bright side of this though: somewhere in an anonymous french office park, in an anonymous cubicle, is a guy chain smoking Galoises and regaling everyone within confined ear shot of how he finished 32nd in the 2003 Tour de France and how everybody ahead of him was doped to the gills. Well sir, if USADA get their way, that pudgy, button down frenchman will be getting a call to come accept his yellow jersey as the winner of the 2003 Tour de France. That'll show the bastards in Accounting...