A team member's intimate and touching story of a random cockle test follows. We will call the rider Big Jim (BJ) to protect his privacy.
Cycling Cosmonaut: Tell us how you were contacted by the authorities.
Big Jim: A white van stopped in front of my residence at 0800 hours. 8 burly men in white lab coats stood at my door wearing purple latex gloves. I will never forget those purple latex gloves as long as I live.
CC: You must have been scared...did they identify themselves?
BJ: I had received the cockle briefing notes from Johan but I had no idea who they were until I saw the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory logo on their uniforms. Then I knew my cockles were going to be tested. Instinctively I felt my cockles adopting a defensive posture.
CC: What happened next?
BJ: 2 of the men threw a black bag over my head and I was bundled into the back of the idling van. I realized that struggle was useless against their superior numbers. I remember that the van's interior smelled like a mixture of cumin tinged sweat, lavender and burnt electrical circuits. The music was remarkable.
CC: Can you remember what you heard?
BJ: Over the shouts and murmurs of the testing men I thought I heard the toe tapping vocal stylings of Barry Manilow. I felt warm and comfortable in my Happy Lucky 88 pyjamas as the blue and red electrodes were attached...
Please return to Cycling Cosmonaut for PART 2 of this EXCLUSIVE report -I had my Cockles Tested...