An Open Letter to ASO as They Make Final Preparations for the 2008 Tour de France

06.30.2008 | 12:38 am

Dear Christian Prudhomme and the rest of the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO),

I know you must all be very busy as you make final preparations for the 2008 Tour de France (TdF), so I’ll try not to take much of your time.

I can see, Mr. Prudhomme, that you have been working overtime to bring us a Tour unlike anything we have ever seen before. A Tour that defines the premier road racing event on its own terms. A Tour that takes charge of the racers, rather than letting the racers take charge of the race. A Tour that clamps down on excess and eliminates rash behavior. A Tour with dignity above all.

A Tour, in short, that looks and feels as if it were produced by America’s Public Broadcasting System and moderated by Jim Lehrer.

I for one can hardly wait.

And I’m certain others are just as excited as I am. I haven’t actually met any of these excited people, but I remain hopeful.

Your zeal for reducing the unnecessary excitement that normally surrounds this race is admirable, Mr. Prudhomme, but I think there’s more that can be done to design a Tour de France that will — at long last — let the citizens of France (and other countries, though I do not necessarily approve of the TdF ever exiting France or even approaching its borders) be able to have some peace and quiet, even as the cyclists pedal by.

What You’ve Done Right
Before I get to my suggestions, Mr. Prudhomme, I want to make it perfectly clear that I recognize and applaud the efforts you have made thus far.

I shall enumerate.

  • No prologue. The prologue is a ridiculous spectacle that does nothing more than introduce us to racers we may not be familiar with, lets us see how our favorites are doing, and gives us a preview as to who brought their A-game and who has not. Why would anyone want any of those things? The prologue is a stupid tradition.
  • No time bonuses. In times past, I’ve seen racers duke it out at the top of a brutal climbing stage because finishing a quarter second ahead had a huge strategic benefit: a significant time bonus that could change race standings. Sure, it was exciting and a massive motivational tool to make contending racers really give it their all, but it sent the wrong message to the kids. You can’t give people time. Once a moment’s passed, it’s gone forever. Live with it.
  • Shorter stages. Your thinking on this is brilliant. As everyone knows, the reason pro cyclists have been doping is because the stages are so punishing. Now that the stages are shorter, there’s no reason to dope. No reason at all. In fact, I’ll bet that the people who have been doping have stopped doping, because now they know they can finish the race without that illegal boost. That’s awesome!
  • No team time trials. These stages showed the potential for elegance and beauty in cycling, rewarded teams that don’t have riders drop out, and emphasized the importance of a balanced team roster. What a stupid idea. I’m glad you got rid of those.
  • Fewer mountain stages. I’ve always thought that mountain stages are too dramatic and disorderly. Plus, they’re not fair to people who don’t climb well. I’m glad to see that you’ve cut these stages back. Let’s keep the riders together. Nice and orderly please. Single-file when possible.

What You Have Overlooked
In spite of your considerable accomplishments toward bringing a much-needed air of sobriety to the sport, Mr. Prudhomme, I feel there is more you could do.

And I am here to help. Please accept the following suggestions with my compliments.

  • No drafting. If taking drugs to go faster is wrong, how could leveraging somebody else’s effort be right? My question is rhetorical, so don’t feel obligated to write back explaining how much you agree with me. There should be a required gap of 20 feet between each rider. Finish the ride under your own steam, or don’t finish it at all.
  • No money. Why do dopers dope? Because they want to win (I realize this seemingly contradicts the “Shorter stages” point, above, but I’ll ask you to overlook that for the moment). And why do they want to win? Because they want money. Eliminate the cash prizes for the TdF, and you eliminate the doping problem. What you have left are people who are racing for pure love of the sport. I propose we give the winner of the Tour de France the following:
    That should be sufficient, don’t you think?
  • Announcers required to speak in hushed tones. Phil and Paul are quite simply too rambunctious for this, our most sacred of sports; there have been times when their enthusiasm has grabbed me and made me become excessively interested in what’s going on. Tell them they need to speak in hushed tones, as if narrating a golf game…in a library. 
  • No bright colors allowed. The racers in the TdF are adults, and it’s high time they act that way. The outfits they wear are outrageous and completely unbefitting the high seriousness our beloved sport requires.
  • Roller stages. By removing and reducing the most exciting types of stages — TTTs and mountain stages — I can see that your heart is in the right place. It’s time to go to the next level and introduce stages where there is no movement whatsoever. Give each rider a set of rollers and have the racers ride on those for 45 Km. This will further reduce the risk of crashes, breakaways, and other shenanigans that detract from the calm, orderly sport we both want to see.
  • Speed limits. Each year seems to produce a new “record-setting average pace.” Why do you think this is? Dope, that’s why. There can be no other reason. And I say, “Enough is enough.” Let’s cap the racing speed at 22mph on the flats, 35mph on the downhill, and 7mph on the climbs. These are all safe and sane rates, adding a new measure of safety to the race, as well as negating the advantage that those nasty dopers otherwise have.
  • Disqualify Team Garmin-Chipotle. Mr. Prudhomme, I recommend you immediately disqualify Team Garmin-Chipotle from the Tour. For one thing, changing their team name so late in the year can only mean they’re trying to hide something. For another, the Director, Jonathan Vaughters, once had to abandon the Tour under a cloud of suspicion. To others, that cloud of suspicion may have looked like a blinding bee sting that the Tour would not let him take medication for, but we know better. Doping is doping.
  • Disqualify Team Columbia (High Road). While we’re disqualifying suspicious-looking characters, let’s get rid of Team Columbia Sportswear (formerly High Road). Once again, here you have an Astana-esque situation: riders you know, but with a different team name. Ergo, they are evil. And to be honest, that “Columbia” name doesn’t sit right with me.

Mr. Prudhomme, I again want to thank you for all the work you have done and are doing. Together, we’ll make this year’s Tour a race to remember. At least, it will be for the five or six people left who care about it.

Kind Regards,

The Fat Cyclist


  1. Comment by matt (ming) | 06.30.2008 | 1:05 am


    why half steps? no drafting is a step in the right direction, but to really make the tour better we should get rid of TEAMS, thatll get rid of working together all together.

    the winner should get some bagette too!

  2. Comment by Emily | 06.30.2008 | 1:13 am

    How did the Tour end up on the same cable channel as hockey, bull riding, and cage fighting anyway?

  3. Comment by CiA (Canuck in Australia) | 06.30.2008 | 1:41 am

    Look, I think if they really want to evolve The Tour and draw in more viewers, M. Prudhomme might want to consider having two full-contact stages where riders suit up in full protective gear (a la NHL) and are permitted to “engage” their fellow riders over a selected distance- say 300 metres to the finish. Then we’d really see who’s willing to “take one for the team.”

  4. Comment by Tim D | 06.30.2008 | 1:47 am

    once more its Tour time and once morfe you defame our former President Phil. Be grateful you don’t have David Duffield!

  5. Comment by aussie kev | 06.30.2008 | 1:51 am


  6. Comment by buckythedonkey | 06.30.2008 | 2:14 am

    Am I alone in hoping that your trophy is made of foil-covered chocolate (preferably, er, Colombian chocolate)?

    I think the old rules whereby team cars were forbidden to provide drinks should be reintroduced. The imediate effect would be the return of the cafe raids of yore but, with a some clever sponsorship, I’m sure that a new Supermarket Sweep stage would prove popular (or even a Team Supermarket Sweep, the same as the individual event but with a longer shopping list).

    Oh, and what the hell is Chipotle anyway?

  7. Comment by Hamish A | 06.30.2008 | 2:27 am

    Might I suggest that we make the Mountain Stage descents (those that we do still have anyhow) full contact combat affairs? A slightly more refined version of 4X or Dual Slalom, if you will. Riders must select from weapon racks at the top of the climb and then have until the bottom of the climb to remove as many competitors as possible. Of course when I say weapons I mean such things as rubber foam bats, long sticks for tossing through spokes etc.

    As a bonus for winning the climbs the first cyclist could also get to select from a number of ’special’ items to use against competitors – might I suggest a smear campaign by L’Equipe, or leaked ‘positive’ results from a doping lab recently closed down?

    Mr Prudhomme the possibilities are endless! Get back to me about how much I can expect my Consultation check to be worth at your earliest convenience.

    Yours in anticipation of a much more sedate, pedestrian and therefore enjoyable Tour this year.

    Great post Fatty. WIN SUSAN!

  8. Comment by Andrew | 06.30.2008 | 4:25 am

    Hahaha, truer words never spoken (or written, as the case may be)!

  9. Comment by David | 06.30.2008 | 5:12 am

    Why do I, like, totally agree. I hear they’re gonna break with the UCI too; are these guys really gonna delude themselves into thinking that the reputation of their event is sufficiently immortal as to be able to distance itself from the sport’s own governing body?



  10. Comment by Sara | 06.30.2008 | 5:45 am

    Brilliant Fatty!


  11. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 06.30.2008 | 5:50 am

    Can you enumerate without using numbers. I thought it was an oxymoron.

    Or maybe that’s me.

  12. Comment by Sprocketboy | 06.30.2008 | 5:55 am

    Entertaining post, but I don’t think the team trial, as much fun as it is to watch, ever worked out quite right in the Tour. After the time gaps became so lop-sided against the climbers’ teams that it pretty well eliminated them early in the race, the organizers came up with a limit to how much time you could lose, which seemed like an odd solution in a race whose winner is, in fact, determined by time. So either way it does not work. And when the team time trial became a ProTour event (in Eindhoven, Netherlands) it flopped big time.

    I would like to see the riders go back to the only nourishment they used to have in the old days: a big glass of Bordeaux and a raw egg…that’s when men were men!

  13. Comment by Jeff | 06.30.2008 | 6:01 am

    Maybe they should just all ride on recumbents in beach towns. It would just be a sea of low-to-the ground ‘bents with little orange flags sticking up to alert passing motorists of their presence. No mountains, no drafting, no carnage, no mess.

  14. Comment by Tim | 06.30.2008 | 6:05 am

    Take the clothing suggestion a bit further and suggest the riders wear a nice pair of khakis. The last thing our children need is to see a bunch of grown men standing around in tights. If they want to dress that way they should take up ballet.

    Thanks for the post! It made my day.

  15. Comment by mgr | 06.30.2008 | 6:15 am

    Also, it should start with a swim and end with a run and be renamed the Tour de IronFrance. And they should move it to Hawaii.

  16. Comment by Little1 | 06.30.2008 | 6:18 am

    Hee hee hee hee hee….

    THANKS, roll on 5 July!

  17. Comment by Robert | 06.30.2008 | 6:29 am

    great post, thats the Fatty I enjoy reading!
    Great mental release

  18. Comment by HoosierCyclist | 06.30.2008 | 6:32 am

    Quite humorous.

    Seriously, though… I don’t think I’m even going to watch Le Tour this year. I’d rather watch “Adventures in Stopping – How to Not Fall Over While Stopping On a Recumbent” or other such training videos. The Tour is dead to me.

    (A REAL Fat Cyclist)

  19. Comment by Bjorn 4 Lycra | 06.30.2008 | 6:35 am

    A very clever and witty written piece.
    However I must be one of the 5 or 6 of which you speak as I am still looking forward to the TDF. I’ve even got riding mates heading half way around the world to see it live (Bas***ds. 3 weeks where my chosen sport dominates the sports pages gets a mention on the telly news and even live coverage into the wee hours.
    Where there is bikes there is hope!
    It was funny tho.
    Win Susan

  20. Comment by LanterneRouge | 06.30.2008 | 6:42 am

    I think the riders wives should all sit together like in baseball. Whenever something happens to one of the husbands Phil should cut to the wife for a reaction shot. It would also be helpful if the wives were wearing very short skirts, white blouses and librarian glasses. I’m just sayin’.

  21. Comment by bikemike | 06.30.2008 | 6:59 am

    i think the team managers should have to ride bikes, along side their teams, and use megaphones to shout instructions to each rider. riders should also have to fix their own flats and take “The Nascar Factor” out of the sport.

  22. Comment by Martin Little | 06.30.2008 | 7:18 am

    @Hamish A — hilarious. This needs to be done!

    Surely now is the time to (re-)introduce fixed gear bikes too!

  23. Comment by Aaron | 06.30.2008 | 7:18 am

    LOL! You’re a funny guy.

  24. Comment by Bikingbrady | 06.30.2008 | 7:20 am

    No more than 80 psi in the tires would help keep the speed down and hence higher safety in crashes. Think of that as “restrictor plates” for racers.

  25. Comment by DougG | 06.30.2008 | 7:21 am

    Maybe they could include a stage where the riders have to do a mountain bike stage, a rock slide , then eat brats at Fatty’s house! Can’t you hear Phil describing the action then? “Oh, He’s broken the tour wide open with that brat! He topped it with hot peppers and hot sauce and punched it in his mouth in two bites. Lets see if anyone can close the gap up to him!”

  26. Comment by cheapie | 06.30.2008 | 7:31 am

    No prologue? that sucks! it’s such a fun event to watch…gets me all warmed up for the race and like you said, reminds me who is on what team.

    but let me tell you, if they found a way to provide the tour to me in HD, i would forgive just about anything!

  27. Comment by Flahute | 06.30.2008 | 7:32 am

    LanterneRouge — short skirts, white blouses, and librarian glasses?

    Has someone been watching Adam and the Ants videos recently?

  28. Comment by Philly Jen | 06.30.2008 | 7:34 am

    I think they should take a cue from Dug and ride with baskets and streamers. Everybody knows it makes you go faster. Like, a LOT faster. In fact, it’s a little-known doping method. Shhhhhh.

    @Bucky: Chipotle (chih-POAT-lay) peppers are a common ingredient in Mexican cooking. Chipotle is an American fast food chain that emphasizes the use of high-quality, fresh, and healthy ingredients. Their “mascot” is a big, fat, foil-wrapped burrito. It kind of looks like a big, fat, foil-wrapped…uh, Tour de France.

    WIN Susan!

  29. Comment by Lifesgreat | 06.30.2008 | 8:10 am

    Amen Fatty!

    This is just the beginning. Eventually, non-French riders will be prohibited-to guarantee a French victory.

    I will still watch the TdF, though. I like cycling too much to miss it.

  30. Comment by Mike Roadie | 06.30.2008 | 8:14 am

    LOL….pure genius.

    At least we still have Bob Roll!!!

    I say fixies, tubulars, no team cars and ALL mountain stages.

    Now, quit yer bellyachin’ and PULL!!!! I need to look into the Adam Ant videos…….


    PS. Belated good luck to ClydeSteve in the Portland LSC!!!!

  31. Comment by Darren | 06.30.2008 | 8:22 am

    How about self-supported only? Bags, racks, panniers. They have to pitch a tent every 10 hours of riding. Smoke breaks are required along with a beer chugging contest every day. Let’s not make it a race but a tour. No winners and no losers.

  32. Comment by Ronin | 06.30.2008 | 8:57 am

    No Gears! No Gears No gears, they should all be able to just roll on single speeds shouldn’t they?

  33. Comment by mamafitz | 06.30.2008 | 8:57 am

    I knew I liked you, Fatty :)

    Thanks for the insight . . .



  34. Comment by Bonzai Buckaroo | 06.30.2008 | 9:06 am

    At last, a race I could qualify for!!!


  35. Comment by Americanson | 06.30.2008 | 9:07 am

    Come on, Fatty you forgot to ask for the removal of clipless pedals – There should be a requirement to wear sandals or flip flops adding a nice comfortable ride to the Rivera feel to the whole event.

  36. Comment by neil | 06.30.2008 | 9:31 am!

  37. Comment by Heatherann | 06.30.2008 | 9:32 am

    ROTFL oh shoot, too well said!

  38. Comment by Boz | 06.30.2008 | 9:36 am

    Suitcase of courage, dancing on the pedals, and deperate times just won’t have the impact when whispered ala golf and bowling commentaters. GIMME BACK MY TOUR !!! (ala Mel Gibson).

  39. Comment by Al Maviva | 06.30.2008 | 9:51 am

    10 Fun Facts You Didn’t Know About ASO

    10. It’s French. And all the while, you thought that smell was roadkill. Nope, just French sports politics. Careful not to get any on your clothes – it stains like a synthetic testosterone suppository!

    9. “ASO” is not the name of a cologne, but if it was, it would smell like Denny Terrio, if he mated with Gerard Depardieu. Obnoxious and musky, with a strong tinge of pomade.

    8. ASO does not stand for “Association of Sporting Obscurantism” – though it could.

    7. “The Boys From Brazil” is a story about German fascists going into hiding after WWII. “The ASO” is a story about French fascists going into cycling after WWII. The difference between the two is that one makes for an entertaining story about horrible people who did unthinkable things to people who didn’t deserve it, the other one is about Nazis.

    6. ASO recently confirmed that it is not leading a huge French conspiracy to produce the first French TdF victor in over 20 years. Of course denial of the existence of a conspiracy is *completely* consistent with the existence of a conspiracy, thus proving the existence of a French conspiracy to produce the first French TdF victor in over 20 years. Q.E.D.

    5. ASO is not Keyser Soze. Or is it?

    4. Every film by Alfred Hitchcock contained a brief cameo of ASO, which was represented by a hobo choking on the smell of his own corruption. He had to lighten the story up a bit because a faithful depiction of reality would never have made it past the censors.

    3. ASO has no attorneys because some things are so odious, even a lawyer wouldn’t be involved with them.

    2. Greg Lemond’s uncle may have abused him, but ASO made Greg Lemond’s uncle what he was.

    And the top ASO fact you didn’t know…

    1. “ASO” is pronounced like it is spelled, except you have to remember to pronounce the silent “L”.

    Bonus Fact: ASO vowed to take the dope out of cycling, which they did by making him a senior executive.

  40. Comment by Dave | 06.30.2008 | 9:53 am

    I have to admit I’m on of the few who is excited as well. Though for me and some friends make it a little more exciting by playing fantasy cycling through It’s free and fun. This sounds like a spam ad but it’s not I promise. Really. I’ve been playing for 3 or 4 years now and it makes following the Tour a bit more fun.

    still sounds like spam…

    WIN Susan!

  41. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 06.30.2008 | 9:54 am


    You come close to describing a race that I already think is better (on many levels) than the TdF. The Great Divide Race is longer, every “stage” is a mountain stage, and only about 1 of every 10 starters finish the beast. No drafting, no prize money, and no OLN recap shows.

    TO be honest, until I read your post this morning I had FORGOTTEN all about the tour. I can’t even name the favorites. I lost interest when a couple years ago all the heavy hitters were thrown in jail.

    Anyway, good post.

  42. Comment by profette | 06.30.2008 | 10:04 am

    Thanks a lot, Fatty. I spit my espresso out all over my keyboard I was laughing so hard. On a race related note, I was at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix yesterday and saw a familiar pink jersey. There were at least half a dozen loyal readers at the race– probably more!

    Win Susan!

  43. Comment by chtrich | 06.30.2008 | 10:06 am

    Nice work. lol

  44. Comment by MTB W | 06.30.2008 | 10:13 am

    Fatty, great post. Funny as usual. Good to see you are able to keep writing such good stuff.

    Al – I bust up laughing. One of the best top 10 lists ever.

  45. Comment by Jay Peitzer | 06.30.2008 | 10:28 am

    I have pretty much decided to spend the month of July watching paint dry it was that or le Tour but the paint thing seems more exciting……

    WIN SUSAN!!!!!!!

  46. Comment by MAJ Mike | 06.30.2008 | 10:51 am

    While they are at it, they should get rid of the final issue that provides unfair advantages: technology. This could be done by eliminating the bicycles altogether. All participants would run the event barefoot (no shoe technology allowed!) in jeans and an old cotton t-shirt.

    I didn’t know about these changes. Thos ASOholes are slowly squeezing out everything interesting about the Tour.

  47. Comment by jsv | 06.30.2008 | 11:29 am

    Fatty, can’t wait for the 2008 incarnation of le tour. I am sure in spite of all the “great” changes they have made it will only take until day 3 for the first reports of doping to surface.

    Great post!!

  48. Comment by KT | 06.30.2008 | 12:07 pm

    Great post, Fatty!

    I think the riders of Le Tour (which should actually be called Le Race, because let’s face it, this is not a TOUR) should have to wear the same clothes every day. They can wash them in their hotel sinks or whatever handy creek they happen to be passing by.

    Al M, I like your top 10 list, it makes sense to me!

    Seriously, though, I’ll be watching Le Race, if only for the drama– hey, did you ever notice that the first part of dramamine is drama? Hm.

    WIN, Susan!! :)

  49. Comment by Rocky | 06.30.2008 | 12:26 pm

    On the brighter side, the new and improved milk-toast version of the once world’s premier race provides plenty of fuel for blog posts such as today’s, and commentary like today’s, as well. Mr. Maviva outdid himself today.

    Conversely, there is no dog days of summer drama on the OLN, unless of course you consider that thing in Beijing worth watching.

    Maybe they shortened the stages of the TdeF so that the world’s best riders could swing over to China to compete in the olympics whilst maintaining their spot in the TdeF at the same time.

  50. Comment by Al Maviva | 06.30.2008 | 1:04 pm

    Rocky, yeah, Milquetoast, you got that right. The OLN ads are pretty cute too. Basically, they’re like “Yeah ASO and UCI… you can feed us a bowl full of moldy dog food mixed with bird crap, and by golly, we’ll like it and eat it and talk about how it has a delightful earthy bouquet.” It’s like the ads are preaching to the true believers and nobody else in a sad plea for continued viewership. Self-pity is *so* unconvincing an argument.

    I like calling it OLN because, just like how you can put lipstick on a pig and it’s still a pig, putting hockey on OLN doesn’t change the fact it’s still just OLN. Until the people with shaved legs, eyebrow stitches, and football helmets outnumber the guys with beards going to sub-nipple depths, it’s still going to be OLN. You put Grizzly Adams back into the back room, or at least confine him to times before saturday noon, E.S.T., then I’ll start calling it Versus.

  51. Comment by Jim Glover | 06.30.2008 | 1:10 pm

    Good stuff.

  52. Comment by RockLobster | 06.30.2008 | 2:12 pm

    Nice post. Funny, but conveys a great message. It echoes all of my issues with this years tour. I hope the tour is ignored by the media and the fans to show the ASS…I mean ASO…that they’ve gone too far. In years past, I spent hours each day watching this, forsaking my duties as a husband, parent, and professional for just those few weeks. Now, I don’t know how much I’ll watch, if at all. Thankfully, I’ve been able to watch some of the Dauphine, the Giro, and the Tour de Suisse on VS and there are a few more rides after the tDf.


  53. Comment by Don | 06.30.2008 | 2:22 pm

    I had to get up, for I almost peed my pants at work I was laughing so hard. Nice job Fatty!

  54. Comment by db | 06.30.2008 | 2:45 pm


  55. Comment by KanyonKris | 06.30.2008 | 2:54 pm

    Excellent ASO zinger.

    I love the image of a big gymnasium with row upon row of pro cyclist spinning away on rollers. All dressed in the same drab ASO approved kit, only the bid numbers are different. The only excitement comes from a rider who dozes off and rides off his rollers and takes out several other nearby riders in a human domino chain.

    I think the international chess championship has edged out the TdF this year.

  56. Comment by Jay Peitzer | 06.30.2008 | 3:14 pm

    Wait a minute KanyonKris wasn’t that scene in the film “Triplets Of Bellville?” Well three guys kidnapped off of the tour anyway….LOL

  57. Comment by Clive O | 06.30.2008 | 3:51 pm

    Brilliant but for one point.

    Roller racing is exciting. Well it is the way we do it in London!

    Win Susan!

  58. Comment by mbcracken | 06.30.2008 | 3:53 pm

    In efforts to bring this TDF back to the public levels…
    1. The bikes they can use, as been mentioned already, are available to the public as well and cost no more the $1000. Period end of discussion. No fancy silk tires that have been buried in some French basement curing for the last 10 years.

    2. The riders do their own wrenching OR they can have the local LBS wrenches that successfully get bikes more out of tune then when they went into the shop.

    3. No spares wheels. Make them carry their own tubes and crappy pumps (No Co2 cartridges).

    4. No waiting for the field riders to take a piss. If you didn’t go before the race started…tough!

    5. Riders time is marked when they come across the finish line, not when the group leader comes across. If you are caught in a crash, oh well. get up and finish…

  59. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.30.2008 | 4:00 pm

    Thanks, Bike Mike. The Portland LiveSTRONG Challenge was awesome. Especially with my cancer-survivor brother there as a course marshall, and my son Daniel riding 100 miles with me.

    It was almost 100 deg F – Good training for Ride for the Roses in Austin this October.

    Daniel & I raised $15,700 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Since I am going to Austin, I am going to continue my fundraising efforts.

    Full ride report when I get it written, for those who donated and anyone else interested.

  60. Comment by Marrock | 06.30.2008 | 4:04 pm

    I recommend wooden wheels with no tires or tubes and solid cast iron, not steel tubing, frames, makes it a real challenge for those slackers.

  61. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 06.30.2008 | 4:54 pm

    3 weeks and 20-something stages is just too long and offers too many possibilities for things to get a little crazy.

    The race should be shortened to something more reasonable, like 3 days.

    Also, that Robbie McEwen guy often causes unnecessary drama and interest, what with his wild sprints and brash mouth. Get rid of him ASAP.

    Also, you should keep former winners from coming back to defend thier jersey…oh wait, you’ve been doing this already. Good job.

  62. Comment by Steve | 06.30.2008 | 5:10 pm

    Holy crap – this is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. This year’s Tour now has a glimmer of hope because I’ll be thinking about this stuff the whole time I’m watching. Thanks, Fatty.

  63. Comment by KeepYerBag | 06.30.2008 | 6:04 pm

    That trophy’s to die for, and your roller idea nearly put me on the floor I was laughing so hard.

    A gem, Elden. Nobody does satire better.

  64. Comment by TomE | 06.30.2008 | 6:16 pm

    How about adding that it takes a GENUIS to decide to not allow any of the other language buttons work on UNLESS you click into random parts of the website. This is afterall the Tour de France and NOT the Tour de USA or Tour de Germany or Tour de Spain!!!

  65. Comment by Philly Jen | 06.30.2008 | 6:50 pm

    @Signore Maviva: Too funny! Must remember to have fluid containment devices handy prior to reading your comments, though. I always seem to be snorting beverages, tearing up, or P-ing myself.

    ASO keeps changing the rules in hopes of shaking those crazy upstart Americans out of the race. The irony is that if they keep things as they are now, they’ve actually increased the odds that young American phenom Taylor Phinney (son of cycling greats Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter) might actually have a crack at the TdF GC podium someday, in spite of his 6′4″ (193cm) height. The Law of Unintended Consequences…

  66. Comment by Tim | 06.30.2008 | 7:21 pm

    Brilliant, brilliant stuff. And to to, on top of that, the ASOvUCI cage match might just bring down the sport too.

  67. Comment by Lizzylou | 06.30.2008 | 7:35 pm

    LanterneRouge — short skirts, white blouses, and librarian glasses?

    I would just like to say, I am a librarian, and I don’t wear glasses. Yes, librarians are cyclists too.

    Actually though, thinking about it, that would make an interesting look for the racers. It would cut down on the gaudy colors of the jerseys that they typically wear, and short skirts would display thigh muscles to great advantage… though I would suggest they wear cycling skorts so they’ve got the shorts underneath. It’s a family race you know.

  68. Comment by Rubberside Down | 06.30.2008 | 7:38 pm

    you kill me! BTW, what’s the Tour de Farce? Is that a car race? Can’t wait for the dog days of August when we can catch all those Olympic dopers!

    You stole my nickname so I had to take RSD

    Rubber Side Down

  69. Comment by Dobovedo | 06.30.2008 | 7:39 pm

    Hey Botched… if you’re gonna toss McEwen, ya better get rid of Cavendish and Ricco as well. Oh… and David Miller, although I hear he’s passing on the Tour in favor of training for the Olympic Bike-Toss event.

  70. Comment by boots | 06.30.2008 | 10:34 pm

    Or, as I wrote Versus – knowing a letter to ASO would be the hight of futility – if Astana/Leipheimer doesn’t get to ride. I don’t watch. If enough people joined me, maybe Versus’ advertisers would bring pressure to bear on the network to prod ASO into more rational behavior. All they are accomplishing now is to destroy the sport. Oh well, I always was a dreamer!

  71. Comment by Lifesgreat | 07.1.2008 | 12:21 am

    PhillyJen-don’t you know riders cannot be taller than 5′7″ to be a GC contender? I KNOW that is in the rules somewhere.

    I think the riders ought to be weight handicapped like racehorses.

  72. Comment by Swedoz | 07.1.2008 | 2:06 am

    Fantastic post. I could try to be funny but it’d just read lame after that.

  73. Comment by Kazi | 07.1.2008 | 6:17 am

    Hi … great site, really enjoyed your post.

    Just wanted to let you know that Bicycling Australia has a new website with free classifieds for people wanting to buy or sell bikes or bike parts. We also have great feature articles on bike tech, body tech, where to ride and bike reviews for both mountain bikers and road riders. If you get a chance come visit – cheers

  74. Comment by Bluenoser | 07.1.2008 | 7:17 am

    I’m with mbcracken, take away the support and then see how good they are.


  75. Comment by Bluenoser | 07.1.2008 | 7:21 am

    Gadzooks, I’m out of wawa send Geeves back to the motor to get some will you.


  76. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 07.1.2008 | 8:25 am

    I can’t wait to watch Vinokourov, Landis, Contador, Hamilton, Ulrich, Leiphiemer, Basso, and Kloden battle it out.

  77. Comment by Dougie | 07.1.2008 | 9:17 am

    One more improvement – Scheduled pee breaks with porta-potties (towed along?). It would make for ideal TV commercial interruptions. No longer would the cameraman have to suddenly pan away. Takes away the advantage of having a big {bladder}.

  78. Comment by KanyonKris | 07.1.2008 | 10:28 am

    Clive O – Thanks for reminding me about head-to-head roller competitions. I’ve heard of that before and it does look fun – for participants and spectators. But what you failed to mention…

    FAT CYCLIST JERSEY SPOTTED – at the Single Speed World Championship 2007 in Scotland !!!

    In the 3rd video down (SSWC ‘07), one of the competitors is sporting a Fat Cyclist jersey. Is that you, Clyde? It appears he took 2nd place.

  79. Comment by Clydesteve | 07.1.2008 | 11:16 am

    Fatty – I really think it would be worth the effort – just from the standpoint of annoyance, not to expect an actual response – to get this translated into French and send it to ASO.

    Who knows? Mr. Lammler might be working for ASO by now! It could happen.

  80. Comment by Wild Dingo | 07.1.2008 | 3:10 pm

    Well done!

  81. Comment by Vito | 07.1.2008 | 6:49 pm

    Right On Fatty!

  82. Comment by PrimalOdyssey | 07.1.2008 | 10:08 pm

    Truly inspiration piece of writing this. Looks like my lead up in terms of training will see me in the GC if I get the nod to enter the TDF ever. I like the less hills and safer average speed incorporations. It’s a race for everyman at last with Fatty onboard.

  83. Comment by Rocky | 07.2.2008 | 11:25 am

    Might they just implement “The Bungee Rule,” which is: All riders must be bungeed to another in order to keep a uniform and fair peleton, and to ensure a quality race for all.

    Just another thought. Plus it makes for good TV coverage since if one falls, all fall.

  84. Pingback by that which rolls » Blog Archive » The Tour. The Tour. | 10.13.2008 | 10:46 pm

    [...] An Open Letter to ASO as They Make Final Preparations for the 2008 Tour de France (Fat Cyclist) [...]

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  86. Comment by Ally | 12.20.2008 | 10:04 pm

    “As a bonus for winning the climbs the first cyclist could also get to select from a number of ’special’ items to use against competitors”

    Am I the only one who instantly thought of banana peels, blue shells, and super-magical-sparkly-invincible stars?


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