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

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