MADRID (Fat Cyclist Fake News Service) – In a gala ceremony held within a hotel conference room yesterday, Oscar Pereiro was officially crowned the champion of the 2006 Tour de France.
“I am truly pleased to award — at long last,” said Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, “the award for this race to Mr. Pereiro, an unimpeachably clean racer. You are a man I have long admired as a true champion, and are now recognized by all as the winner of the 2006 Tour de France.”
“This,” said Prudhomme, “is the satisfying conclusion to the 2006 Tour de France we’ve all been waiting for for such a long time.”
Pointing in the general direction Caisse d’Epargne team, he continued, “Oscar Pereiro was so strong in that race that nobody can legitimately doubt he is truly one of the brightest stars in the pro peloton today.”
“Who can forget,” said Prudhomme, “the way Pereiro valiantly accepted the gift of approximately thirty minutes in one of the stages of the tour? I am told it was quite moving, although I did not personally watch it, due to lack of interest.”
“But that is certainly not all,” said Prudhomme. “I was personally astounded at the way Pereiro . . . um . . . at the way Pereiro . . . uh . . . .”
Prudhomme then leaned over and asked an assistant, off-mike, “Did this guy do anything besides win the yellow jersey lottery?” The assistant shrugged and resumed his nap.
Concluded Prudhomme, “I want to make it clear to one and all that Pereiro’s win is nothing at all like winning a raffle. In particular, it’s nothing at all like someone winning a raffle because everyone else who had a ticket was kicked out of the party.”
Mr. Prudhomme then strode over to the Caisse d’Epargne team, hesitated for a moment, and handed the jersey and ceremonial stuffed lion to Alejandro Valverde.
Face reddening, Pereiro quickly grabbed the jersey from his teammate and put it on himself, while casting his eyes about, looking for someone to zip the jersey up in the back.
Not seeing anyone, Pereiro finally asked, “Where are the podium girls?”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” said Prudhomme, looking at his watch. “Look, can we wrap this up? I have a 12:30 lunch meeting.”
Not Jumping the Gun
“This is an emotional moment, a day that I will never forget,” said Pereiro. “I am glad that it has been settled, once and for all, at long last, that I am the true and honest champion of the Tour de France.”
At this point, an attorney briefly whispered into Pereiro’s ear.
“Unless, of course,” continued Pereiro, “Floyd Landis wins his appeal.”
Pereiro continued talking, but could not be heard because a hotel tech person had turned off the microphone and began coiling up the cable, explaining that the sound system was needed in the next room.
In a short press conference following the ceremony, Pereiro was asked if he was perhaps jumping the gun by having this ceremony before Floyd Landis’ appeals options had run out.
“Shut up,” said Pereiro. “This is mine now. Mine.”
“Actually,” said an assistant to Christian Prudhomme, after explaining that Prudhomme himself would have loved to have been there himself but had other pressing engagements, “we do have a contingency plan worked out for this possibility.”
“If that were to happen,” continued the assistant, “we will have a special race between Landis and Pereiro. They will be given three options they can choose from to decide who is the real winner of the 2006 Tour de France: They can have a race, a leg wrestling competition, or a game of “Slap,” where Landis and Pereiro take turns slapping each other. The first one to cry loses.”
“We’ll take the game of Slap,” said JosÃ© Luis Jaimerena, Caisse d’Epargne sport director.
After the press conference, Pereiro sat at a couch in the hotel lounge with a stack of yellow jerseys beside him and a black Sharpie marker in hand, evidently making himself available in case someone would like an autographed jersey.
Asked what’s next, now that he’s the champion of the Tour de France, Pereiro said this afternoon he would go home and wait by his phone in anticipation of the product endorsement offers that would certainly be pouring in, any moment now. “I also expect to get a number of offers from other pro teams,” said Pereiro. “I mean, who wouldn’t want to have a Tour de France winner leading their team next year?”
“And now I have to leave,” said Pereiro. Asked why, he explained that hte team was getting together to celebrate his amazing 2006 Tour de France victory by eating at the Madrid Pizza Hut.