This is a joke, right?

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By Simon H. Rant (BNN)
Sunday, April 1, 2007 9:38 AM MDT
In a controversial move that's left the sporting world reeling, race director Christian Prudhomme has announced that all American citizens will be banned from the 2007 edition of the Tour de France.

Although Prudhomme's office has not come forth with a coherent reason for the exclusion, it's been postulated that Tour organizers have become unsettled by recent American domination of their national event.

The banning will do more than, as one unnamed race official said, ""Get rid of those dirty, burger-gobbling Americans,"" it will guarantee a French win, as the best competitors will be left at home.Have Americans pedaled into Paris for the last time?

In fact, Tour organizers have gone one step further, and banned all riders hailing from countries where French is not the national language. This means cyclists from Belgium, England, Spain, Italy, and Germany will not be allowed to start. The sweeping bias will sideline overall contenders, such as Ivan Basso, Levi Leipheimer, Denis Menchov and Oscar Pereiro.

The official press release from Tour organizers is as follows:

On the 29th of July 2006, we turned the page on a long, long chapter in the history of the Tour de France. One month later, after cleansing our palates with much wine and cheese, it became clear that the beauty of the world's greatest bike race needed restoration by a victor who glowed as brightly as the jersey is yellow.

Does this justify closing the books and erasing all memories, emotions, and visions bestowed on us by past champions? The answer is affirmatively, YES.

After all, taken as a whole, judged on its lifelong worth, like an artist or poet in contemplation of a mountain breeze or the pain of love lost, we want to believe the Tour de France deserves a fate better than most.

The dream that this great race embodies and the values it is capable of generating are the fuel for the decision made. It is towards this goal we are working, so that the 2007 edition will feature only French-speaking-born riders.
Now, the French nation will see victory from a human who embodies the freedom of life: a petite athlete who drinks in the wine, has scraggly facial hair, and looks handsome capped in a small brimless hat worn slightly askew.

No longer will we be forced to endure the sight of athletes who train night and day, devoting every waking minute to pedaling, never slowing enough to smile at the sun or contemplate the wonder of handcrafted perfume.

The 2007 Tour de France will be the beginning of true celebration.

Viva la France!


Whoa! We were so floored by Christian Prudhomme's announcement that we contacted him directly in the hopes of learning the honest skinny. After numerous unanswered phone calls and emails, we finally caught up with his highness as he entered a small cafe near his home in Paris. In response to our direct questioning, he replied, ""Ah, more obnoxious Americans, go back to your bloated land of excess and bland cuisine.""

After this slap in the face, we contacted Lance Armstrong. The 7-time Tour champ had this to say from his home in Texas, ""I'm so sick of dealing with these guys. And frankly, we did try to be diplomatic. I mean, we always let the French riders win the Bastille Day stage. And one year, I even entered the annual post Tour chocolate eclair speed-eating contest. Shoot, I ingested more fat in five minutes than I usually eat all year ...mmm, they sure were tasty.""

Ok Lance, lets stay on target. Who will win the Big One this year? ""Who will win the Tour? I have no idea, but I'm sure he'll look handsome capped in a small brimless hat worn slightly askew.""

Anonymous's picture
Joe S. (not verified)

Do you really need to ask? Look at the date. Pretty entertaining article.

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Rick Braun (not verified)
April Fool's Day

And the last name of the author!

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