vir non camelus est.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Black Fish Cycling at the 2013 Tour Down Under: a view from the sidelines

Black Fish Cycling has much in common with Team Katusha:

1. Both teams have enjoyed brief flirtations with Robbie McEwen

2. Both teams endure Soviet-style training facilities

3. Both have a lot of love for the great Vladimir "Shag Pile" Karpets

But most importantly,

4. Both have been excluded from UCI World Tour status in 2013 due to concerns about their drug policies.

And it is for this reason that the mighty Black Fish elite quintet was ineligible to compete as professionals at this year's TDU.

But never fear, dear reader, your heroes were still an integral part of the TDU, as the following pictorial essay will demonstrate:

As the excitement built in the Tour Village in the lead-up to Stage 1, countless other members of the professional peloton visited the Black Fish trade display to lend moral support:

Australian champion Bernard "Turbo" Tomic consoled himself after his loss to Roger Federer by impersonating Luke Durbridge in order to get close to Finola "Fionala" Dwyer

Simon Clarke couldn't resist an inquisitive caress of BF00's  "chamois"

Bobridge schooling Weeks in the art of fasting

Jens Voigt's unoriginal jokes about Edwards resembling Schleck drew a harsh response from Weeks

Jens: "Shut up legs"
BF00: "That's not my leg"

World Champion Phil Gilbert uses an overly-laden tourist as a screen to avoid the creepy stalker stare of Edwards

Even at the start line for Stage 1, as BF00 tearfully looked at the blank Black Fish column on the sign-in board and hurled invective at a clearly unimpressed Mike Turtur, other pro riders continued to offer support to the embattled local team:

Edwards' attempt to join the race in an ill-fitting Radioshack jersey and comedy dark glasses was short-lived. But cycling's pervasive omerta has prevented the truth about Andy Schleck's sickening Nancy Kerrigan-style leg injuries at the hands of "Tonya" Edwards from being reported as the real reason behind his terrible performance in the TDU.

Stuey remembers that he owes BF00 a headbutt from last year... BF00 tries to get one in early.

"Come with me if you want to live"

Proximity to Greipel's calves begins to draw BF00's lips into a gravitational vortex
Media tart Gilbert attempts to photobomb BF00

Gerrans was distracted by the presence of the Black Fish road captain

Former Minister for Sport, Kate Ellis, desperately tries to avoid the gaze of the crazed blogger who still holds the record for longest email about umpiring standards at MARS Stadium ever sent to a sitting member of parliament

BF00 fails spectacularly at trying to pretend that he is part of the peloton.
Tragic, really.

Stage 3 began in leafy cosmopolitan Unley, where the previous night the elite Black Fish squad had dined in luxurious circumstances while the mob were forced to mill around outside, sustained only by the hors d'oeuvres of pitiful street vendors and plastic cups of crisp sauvignon blanc. Soon, anger at the UCI's exclusion of the Black Fish began to build. Thousands of oppressed Hyde Park folk, no longer able to bear life's inequities, began to pour out of 'Carla Zampatti' and 'Steven ter Horst Chocolatier' to vent their rage. Blind in their fury, the mob began to chant at UCI President Pat McQuaid in awkward Year 10 Walford school French, oblivious to his Irishness:

"Que voulons-nous? 
Les Poissons Noirs dans le peloton professionnel!
Quand voulons-nous? 

In a surprise twist, German sprinting ace Andre Greipel, who dropped out of French classes after the 8th grade, believed that the lusty crowd was baying for him to strike a sexy pose:

Fortunately, this was enough to settle the crowd. But media interest in the Black Fish story, already high as a result of the feature in the renowned Eastern Courier, continued to grow:

Tomalaris finally snares the big interview. Winfrey reported to be devastated.

Former BF Basketball statistical good-luck charm and current support vehicle driver, Downing, fields calls from international media agencies

In a rare post-mortem media appearance, "Big Kev" McQuay joins Dwyer and Whittle atop the Corkscrew in order to declare "I'm excited" about the Black Fish.
Whittle forced to ride home with 6kg of washing powder in jersey pocket.

Sadly, McQuaid stood firm and the Black Fish were unable to compete as professionals in this year's tour. But fans were thrilled when the squad elected to ride with the common man in the Bupa Challenge Tour before Stage 4 of the TDU. A full report of this great day for cycling fans will follow. But for now, the Fish must begin to place their professional hopes in the next generation:

Will "Seiberg" Edwards achieves his first KOM

Monday, January 28, 2013

BF07 Meets the World Champion

It was a special moment earlier this week when the legendary Black Fish foundation member took time out from his busy training schedule to pose for a photograph with long-time fan, world road race champion Philippe Gilbert:

But in a shocking twist, our investigative reporters have discovered evidence that these two great riders have met on at least one occasion in the past. Perhaps it will take a Truth & Reconciliation Commission before the true story is revealed.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Black Fish Dominate "Ride Like Crazy"

Having made their Ride Like Crazy debut in 2012, the Fish were keen to make a big impression in this year's ride. In perfect conditions, and with pockets bulging with the currency strategically witheld from the organizers as part of the Angela Merkel-inspired Black Fish Austerity Campaign, squad members Dwyer, Edwards, Weeks and Whittle scythed through the peloton.

Quads development on track for TDU

Indeed, so fast were the Fish that it was as though they rode 17km less than everyone else that day.

And while some valuable fine-tuning of the team time-trial train was achieved on the road to Woodside, the footage below demonstrates that even in the suburban badlands of Norwood the Black Fish are cycling with power and elegance. Bring on the TDU!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Great Moments in Black Fish History - Part II

In this, the second installment of an infrequent series aimed at Black Fish historians, we wish to pre-empt anything former BF supporter Lance Armstrong might say to BF nemesis Oprah Winfrey tomorrow and unequivocally declare that at no time has any Black Fish athlete used, ingested, inhaled, injected or purchased any form of banned substance.

The Arabic script roughly translates as "Pulmonary Function Laboratory"

"My friend, you wish to buy special beans? You grow your own EPO tree!"

Black Fish Training Intensifies

With only days to go until the 2013 Tour Down Under, the Black Fish roster for the big event has been finalised. GC contender Sam Whittle will be ably supported by four super-domestiques. The combination of the climbing prowess of Sam "Schleckwards" Edwards, the flatlands power of newly-svelte Richard "Lambert-Eaton" Weeks, the all-round ability of Finola "Queen Fionala" Dwyer, and the freakish physiology of Alex "Jeanne Triplepeaks" Rodgers will undoubtedly place the team in a position to challenge for victory.

It is hardly surprising, then, that the team has spent all of 2013 doing little but training.

And the results have been highly impressive. The team now has a combined body fat that is lower than the captain's head and neck fat mass in this 'before' photo:

But the most remarkable training regimen has been that embraced by Triplepeaks Rodgers. Having spent most of the off-season cleverly avoiding this...

...he finally exploded into action this week by pulling off his signature ride:

The much-feared "Triple Peaks". 

Here is an artist's rendition of Rodgers as he crested each of these terrible peaks:

The Lofty-Greenhill-Norton treble is not for the faint-hearted, particularly in the white heat of an Adelaide January Wednesday afternoon. But, as expected, Rodgers emerged from the ordeal as a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis: sleek, beautiful, awe-inspiring. And no longer in need of this sort of sustenance:

Ok, that last bit might not be true. Intra-ride snacks are to Triplepeaks as extra erythrocytes are to US Postal.

Anyway, he's now in tip-top shape and ready to tackle the feared Col du Novotel.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The "Eastern Courier Effect"

While we at BF headquarters assume that most humans have set as their homepage, it is interesting to see the spike in page views that occurred as a result of the Black Fish feature in the January 9 edition of that giant of publishing, the Eastern Courier:

It would be safe to assume that the y-axis scale is "x10^6 page views"

Although we have now returned to our baseline rate of page views, we know the world remains hungry for Black Fish news, especially in the lead-up to the 2013 Tour Down Under. No doubt Oprah will be hoping (in vain, presumably) for a similar spike when she interviews disgraced former Black Fish supporter Lance Armstrong later this week. But as she well knows, it's not news until it appears in the Eastern Courier.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Black Fish in the media

2012 was a difficult year for cycling.

Fortunately, a new year brings with it the promise of renewal. Already, the sweet scent of hope is beginning to replace the stench of scandal that has plagued the cycling fan's metaphorical nostrils for so long.

And as the excitement builds for the first UCI World Tour event of 2013, the world cycling body has sought out the mighty Black Fish Cycling squad to help promote clean cycling. Blessed by record-low haematocrits, mid-range VO2max and unimpressive power output graphs, the Black Fish represent the future of the UCI's push for a drug-free peloton. Indeed, until the time comes that the laboratory in Lausanne develops a test for the potent combination of Barossa shiraz and paracetamol, Black Fish fans need never fear a doping scandal.

It is no surprise, then, that the UCI, WADA and the TDU organizers sought out the Black Fish for a media blitz in the lead-up to this magnificent event, beginning with the renowned Eastern Courier. The article is reproduced in full below, or may be viewed online here.

It is believed that the next feature article, rumoured to be in the New York Times, will require BF QOM Finola Dwyer to use the original spelling of her name rather than the elaborate nom de Courier that she adopted for this feature.

There has been no comment yet from the Armstrong camp, although sources close to the disgraced former champion suggest that he is devastated to have lost the support of the Black Fish.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

La Montée en Enfer

Black Fish stalwarts Edwards and Weeks show off their crisp early-season form, dangerously low bodyfat and rippling gastrocnemii as they commence the Fox Creek climb

Loyal readers will have noticed the relative paucity of posts in recent months. Of course, there can only be one explanation - the mighty Black Fish have spent the entire off-season deep within the pain cave, in preparation for an unparalleled 2013 campaign. Media interest is already building*, and the BF fan base can barely wait to see their heroes back on the road. Expect more excitement on the blog this year, too (if we can convince Stuey O'Grady to become the full-time club mascot).

Onwards, mighty Black Fish!

(*more on this to follow in coming posts)