Training Camp Judged a Success

Johan has declared the 2009 edition of the Smoky Lake training camp to be an overwhelming success. "Not only was the temperature less than minus 35 C, the wind chill made the temperature minus 50!" he said with relish from his Lake Como hot tub. One of the most popular team building exercises included the entire cycle of wool production from sheep shearing to spinning to actual scarf knitting. Team Vitesse members were also kept busy hauling water from a nearby lake in zip lock bags. Reaction to the camp was mixed. Lampo enjoyed gathering dried frozen dung for the evening's cooking fire. K2nees showed alacrity with shears but never mastered the knack with knitting needles. h20, who had bad sensations, was forced to keep his feet in his armpits for warmth. This position precluded any other activity.
Group rides began and finished in the dark due to the 6.5 hours of sunlight at this time of the year. Riders were once again thankful for the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking which provided partial relief from the icy cold wind.
Reached by telephone in his luxurious villa, Johan had nothing but praise for his team. "Smoky Lake is a place of dreams. The team defrayed some of my overhead with their knit wear production. Frozen extremities are a small price to pay for this special experience."
Alberto can only look on in envy from the Astana training camp in Spain.


Training Camp Announced

This year's Team Vitesse training camp will once again be based in the parking lot of the Pelican Hotel in Smoky Lake. It has been suggested by K2nees that all attendees ride to base camp wearing as little as is acceptable by law. The wind is expected to be strong with an average temperature of minus 28. "Perfect weather to get some miles into the legs," cried Johan into his spilled milk. Members of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory are busy setting up camp and preparing the muktuk delicacy so desired by Team Vitesse riders like Lampo Bianco who stated emphatically, "I love to rub that **** on my frozen extremeties."

K2nees demands more ballsiness

We have forgotten the wisdom of Johan and WWJD (What Would Johan Do?). I for one am advocating a return to the cruel harsh reality of winter training. Cast of your designer scarves and let them blow in the wind for Johan demands that we toughen up. We require no stinking Danish bank boot camp. We have all the elements at our disposal. How will we ever arrive at a place of good sensations if we can't pack our pain away in a suitcase of courage and hide it in the pain cave?
I for one am training this winter season sans scarf and shirt. I am attempting to recreate the robotic discipline shown late great (dead and frozen) Russian riders who felt grateful for their paltry morning gruel and anything resembling clothing. By hardening my body to the elements I shall gain a level of mental fortitude only displayed by Johan the Souse at the Blackjack table.
My wish this festive season is for one and all to change their bourgeois ways and find out what WWJD really means on a personal level. As for me I am wishing speedy, efficient amputations and an early spring.
Kindest regards, K2nees


A Tale of 2 Scarves

Have you ever wondered what riders like h20 do when they are not on a bike or tending their saddle sores? Today cycling cosmonaut is proud to publish a scientific survey by author Hammer of Holland (h20).

You might be wondering which scarf I chose to wear today. Since the morning low is a mere minus 15, I chose a multicoloured scarf from Florence, expecting that its thinner nature would be suitable for the moderated temperature. I have some interesting observations that I would like to share with you.
The scarves in this analysis will be called Sisley (long navy blue cotton/wool mix, purchased in Florence, Italy) and Ermini (striped delicately coloured wool, also purchased in Florence, Italy).
The scarves were tested for the following characteristics: Neck warmth, facial coverage and overall look.


Neck warmth – okay to good
Face coverage – moderately excellent to excellent. The stretchiness of the weave would make full facial coverage at lower temperatures impossible.
Overall look – utilitarian excellence (not to be confused with Unitarian excellence)


Neck warmth – excellent to extremely excellent. almost too excellent
Face coverage – probably poor to moderate due to its narrower nature.
Overall look – elegant excellence with aspirations of operatic attendance.

Conclusion: depending on where I am going and who I might meet on the way, the wind conditions and a variety of factors too numerous to mention, both scarves have a purpose and are welcome additions to the scarf stable.


Team Vitesse Concerned

The announcement that head tattoos will be mandatory at the Team Vitesse training camp has created controversy among the riders. Johan's vision for the "dude" tattoo has K2nees agitated, "I don't like the font that is typical of prison tattoos. I want Helvetica or nothing. It will be much easier to read." Johan thought that Helvetica was a mixed cocktail and is looking into just what Helvetica is...
Night Train questioned the permanent nature of prison tattoos. "I don't want it to come off in the first rain storm!" she injected.
Johan still has to determine who will apply the tattoos. His plan is to assign "tattoo partners" from within the team who will apply the ink to each other. Funnily enough, Johan has not been assigned a partner at this point in time.


Team Vitesse Signing Bonus

Johan's management style of Team Vitesse is legendary. Once again he has come up with an innovative way to encourage all team members to attend the low altitude training camp in Smoky Lake. For the first time, all riders will receive a free tattoo! The tattoo is installed under "prison" conditions and is meant to reflect the 2010 theme "Rugged Manliness in Spandex". Johan came up with Team Vitesse's theme while doing time for armed robbery. "I love the way this subtle tattoo works of so many levels" said Johan upon his release.

Lampo thinks that the tattoo should be lower on the rider's forehead so that it won't be covered up by his helmet.


Training Regime to include Swimming

After studying, reflecting and a long cogitation session, Johan has come up with a new training plan for Team Vitesse. To be introduced at the Smoky Lake training facility, the cycling team will learn to build better personal and group dynamics with a renewed spirit of cooperation. For the first time at the professional cycling level, synchronized swimming will be one of the activities. According to sources close to the great man, Johan the Omniscient has always been enamoured with synchronized swimming and its stunningly magnificent visual elements. At the time of this report Johan was maintaining radio silence during a Texas hold 'em tournament at one of 8 possible locations in downtown Minsk.
"Team Vitesse must develop stronger lungs and nose plugs will do that!" expounded Johan. "Besides the shaved legs are so beautiful are they not?"
Reaction from the team was overwhelmingly positive. Reached between a wash and set, Lampo Bianco said that the bathing suits would undoubtedly be very slimming. h20 wondered if a entire body waxing would be necessary.

Alberto's Huge Mistake

Contador has made a career ending error by signing with Astana for 2010. Not only has he foregone the plentiful plywood perks of Happy Lucky 88 sponsorship, he has chosen to compete against the most formidably aggressive teams in the peleton. Reaction from Team Vitesse members was swift.
Upon hearing the news Johan said, "Good riddance to that whiner. He was too much of a team player for us anyway."
Lampo Bianco's reaction was eager and selfish, "That just means more plywood products for us!"
K2nees mused, "Team Vitesse could have taught him so much..."
LeTriple beamed at the news, "I am glad he is not on my new team. I didn't feel like pulling him over every climb in every race."
h20 remarked, "The sensations are good. Let's party!".
Obviously a rivalry has been spawned. No doubt Alberto will have to get used to watching the backs of Team Vitesse riders as they disappear into the distance throughout the TdF.


Alberto Wants To Pay

Contador has spoken publicly of his desire to leave his current team to ride with Team Vitesse in 2010. Secret negotiations have been ongoing for the last 15 minutes between Contador's agent/brother and Johan the Wiley. Details of the pending agreement were leaked by unnamed parties overhearing Johan the Souse at a Casino Royale roulette table. Alberto has agreed in principle to paying Team Vitesse and its primary sponsor, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory, for the privilege of riding with the team and using HL88's wondrous products. Although firm figures are not available, it is believed that Vitesse members have not put on much winter fat.


Winter Training Tips

The quandry faced by Team Vitesse is how to maintain the excellent form developed over the past racing season through the winter months. Riding at minus 30 degrees C is highly recommended by Johan and most team riders dutifully engage. "Not only does it build character but it stresses the body and equipment to the maximum" spouts Johan. For some, like riders Night Train in London or LT in Zeeland, travelling to Siberia is the only option to find the kinds of temperatures that Johan espouses. Riders under contract in Canada can expect those temperatures for the month of January. The idea is to increase mileage during the coldest months. Until the mecury plummets, Johan advocates experimentation with the "Lampo Method" of pillow breathing to increase lung capacity to the point of blacking out. A variation on the Lampo Method is to put a sock it in.


Increase Your Lung Capacity the Lampo Way

We all know that Lampo Bianco spends a lot of his down time inside the Euphoric Fountain of Youth Booth. LB increases the ability of his lungs to absorb oxygen while reading dictionaries and enjoying cross stitch. He has always been one to push himself beyond his limits. To this end he has begun a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle inside the booth (which fits over any bathtub).
On his recent 1.5 hour flight to the west coast, he experimented with increasing his lung capacity even further. Lampo strapped a pillow over his face to filter out potentially harmful viruses and increase the effort of breathing. "By making it more difficult to suck air and actually fight for your very life, your lungs will increase in power, efficiency and capacity," wheezed Lampo. He recommends a smaller couch pillow for flights over 2 hours. Thank you for that LB.


Team Vitesse Off-Season Activity

Cycling cosmonaut thought it might be fun to catch up with the doings of Team Vitesse's stellar lineup. Now that it is the Year of Erudition, this information fits the mandate of internet postings and is certain to vitiate matters.
Lampo Bianco is travelling without precarity to the west coast on a surveillance mission. He and Hat Model are attending some festal occasions.
K2nees continues to avoid perfidy and displays much uxorious behaviour. Both LB and K2 have shown so much uxoriousness that there will be additions to the Vitesse team in 2010.
LeTriple continues to amaze with perspicacious fotos of his now weekly assaults of Mont Ventoux.
Night Train's lack of quiet querulousness may awaken with the continued consumption of farl.
Johan's insistent plangency can be heard from his private social Siberia.
h20 persists in producing somewhat specious blog entries which, it is hoped, are the opposite of longueurs.
PE5GW is just plain sick of moving.

Lampo's Erudite Feedback

Since it is now officially the Year of Erudition, I believe we must take the initiative to celebrate and further stroke the egos of those narrowly over-intellectualized grey matter addicted individuals who choose to lord over others with their pedantic and condescending self-importance. This may proceed as such: "Yay, you're a social retard who clings to your book knowledge to feel any sense of worth but couldn't form a friendship let alone please a woman if you had too". Oooooo.... Alternatively, it may be time to begin screening for Productive Eruditisma Extemporanium Dismorphia (PEED) in the general population. If a diagnosis can be confirmed then the appropriate surgical Eruditendectomy can be performed. This dangerous procedure is followed by an intensive round of DEET (Discognitive Eruditional Extraction Therapy. The end result, with any luck, is the creation of the "Year of the Dood" (or Dude).


HL 88 Proclamatiion

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has declared 2010 the "YEAR of ERUDITION". By announcing this announcement, Team Vitesse can finally prove once and for all who has the most erudititudinoscity.
The celebrations marking the Year of Erudition will be modest because HL88 is not a profligate manufactory.


Lampo to tell all

An unconfirmed report has the cycling world abuzz. Lampo Bianco, perennial star of Team Vitesse, is writing a kiss and tell all book. Entitled "The Lamentations of Lampo", this missive has a preponderance of professional riders worried. Lampo Bianco promised, "I am going to lay bare the skein of lies that is the sport I love".
Watch for excerpts of "The Lamentations of Lampo" exclusively here at cyclingcosmonaut.

Declination of Cadel

In a stunning rebuff of Team Vitesse, Cadel has signed with a new pro cycling team. This news comes after the gauntlet was thrown down in a special competition designed by Johan. "Riding my mowped is the best way to determine who is the best candidate for Team Vitesse", drooled Johan over his morning mead. The rest of team will still insist that Alberto cut Johan's grass. "Even when the sensations are good, riding that mowped for 200 kilometers is the most debilitating gardening imaginable" lamented Lampo.

Riders Beg for Chance

Professional cyclists are clamouring for a position on Team Vitesse's stacked roster. Not only is Alberto begging to be included but now the whining Aussie has expressed exasperation and frustration (what else) with Team Vitesse. The choice of the final selection for the 2010 season rests in the hands of Johan the Omniscient. Rumours abound that a "ride off" will take place at Johan's palatial grounds surrounding his Lake Como villa. To secure that coveted final spot, potential Vitesse members will have to cut as much grass as possible in a six hour window aboard the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory mowped pictured below.
In case of a tie, whoever has the most tied stooks in the time allotted will be allowed to carry refreshment bottles for the likes of LT, LB, K2nees, h20, and Night Train. Both Alberto and Cadel are reportedly in training for the great mow off.


Check Your Programs Please

There has been unprecidented activity surrounding Team Vitesse and rider signings for the coming season. Yesterday we reported that the Slayer of Ventoux had agreed to terms with the team. Unfortunately a Provence based glam rock heavy metal band called Slayer of Ventoux owns the copyright to the name.
Henceforth the newest addition to Team Vitesse, our Netherlands based correspondent, will be known as LeTriple or LT. New contract documents with his corrected name will be couriered to his cosmodrome in Zeeland immediately. When asked for comment he said "I have good sensations with my new team. The undulating terrain in Zeeland is very challenging. Training here allowed me to conquer Mont Ventoux and that is how I came to the attention of Johan."
Johan has decided that Alberto will be allowed to attend the training camp/team building exercises in January. "We will see if he can keep up to our stars. He will not receive any remuneration for his efforts just like everyone else on the team", Johan stated.
Training camp opens in Smoky Lake as soon as the temperature reaches minus 30 degrees C.


News from the Slayer of Ventoux

Recently cycling cosmonaut received a unsolicited report from a relative living in the old country. We speak of course of the Netherlands, home of Jan Janssen, Robert Gesink, and Johnny Hoogerland. The Slayer of Ventoux (SOV) has earned this name for his courageous assault of Mont Ventoux from every conceivable route. This kind of dedicated insanity has drawn praise from Team Vitesse members as well as Johan the Omniscient. Johan has indicated that he needs the SOV on the team. Contador might be added later as support on the climbs in the 2010 season. The following is an account of SOV's climb up and down that pimple of a climb. Remember that he acheived this feat without the assistance of the SMEVEC 88T which was very foolhardy indeed.
As I know you can appreciate the feeling of suffering caused by climbing a mountain on a bicycle, I just thought I'd drop you a line to let you know I set out for Mont Ventoux again a few weeks ago. With a friend (the one who crashed into a tree, last time we were there) I rented a house a few km along the way up from Bédoin for two weeks.
Our main goal was to reach the summit from all three sides in one go, preferably within 2 hours time. As we had two weeks available to us, we decided to warm up a bit by riding some routes I found on a site dedicated solely to Mont Ventoux (http://www.dekaleberg.nl/ if you're interested). To work up our courage, we went up from Sault first as it is the easiest route to take. I am pleased to report that we reached the summit well under our target time of 2 hours. Dat geeft de burger moed!
2 days later we attacked the climb from Bédoin. This proved to be a lot more difficult, though easier than last time for I never had the idea that I would fall of my bike for lack of speed. That said I averaged only 10,4 km/h and at some point did not seem to be able to go any faster than 8 km/h. If my friend and I hadn't been climbing together, I think we both would have turned around. Anyway I reached the summit only one minute shy of 2 hours, within my target time, having been passed only twice, and without stopping. Loads better than last time, so I can now comfortably say that I conquered le géant de Provence. The last ascent, starting in Malaucène, proved to be at least as hard as the one from Bédoin. It is much more irregular, and steeper in places. In addition a few kilometers along we had to battle against the wind as well as against the incline. Unfortunately it took me 2 hours and 3 minutes to get to the top. But I didn't much care, as the wind made it so cold all I wanted was to get back down as quickly as possible. Descending quickly wasn't much of a problem as I reached a new max speed of 85,4 km/h.
As you know, I have this cool gadget on my bike that records just about anything. It's no SMEVEC, but it does the trick. Here's the record of my climb from Bédoin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/16220642


Bilious Blog Celebration

Please join the management of Team Vitesse and Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory in congratulating cyclingcosmonaut. The blog is celebrating its 428th day in existence. Johan's telegram reads, "Bravo and may you continue to produce misinformation and slander about me and cycling in general".

Blinding Beauty of Bling CAFIB

The new Bling CAFIB is now available from your favourite charity, the Cold Arm Foundation. With any donation over $1,000 you will receive the Bling CAFIB and a handwritten note of thanks from h20. Be the only one in your immediate area to own such a thing. Donate now while quantities last. The future of cold arm sufferers is on your wrist!

Cross Season Ends in Tears

K2nees's cyclocross season has ceased to exist as of today. Due to mechanical problems with the plywood interface on the SMEVEC 88T, he has decided to hang up his bib shorts until next year. It seems that a titanium frame interferes with the globe positioning system on board the SMEVEC. K2nees has an armoury of titanium weaponry, none of which can withstand the stresses of HL88's patented biomechanical feedback system. As a result of the compromised information from the SMEVEC, K2nees often rides as if he is blind, deaf and dumb. Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has recommended that he replace his fleet with cellulose based bicycle frames. At this point in time he is considering this option.


Contador to Vitesse

Rumours have just begun to continue to fly about the possible move by Alberto Contador to Team Vitesse. The professional cycling team Astana has missed the UCI's strict deadline requirements for a 2010 pro license. Contador now has the option to leave that team. Gossip columns churn with hints that teams such as Garmin and Quik Step are courting the 2009 TdF winner.
Contador is said to be seriously considering joining Team Vitesse. "Vitesse is unfettered by a pro license and rides outside the law. Johan is such a motivating force. This makes for good sensations", remarked Alberto recently. Given the chance to ride with cycling legends Night Train, Lampo Bianco, K2nees and h20, Contador would be a fool not join to the Team. Johan believes that Contador is a good fit. "Team Vitesse is made up of individuals who look after themselves first. That is how we roll", drawled Johan.
h20 has offered to sweeten the deal with cut rate CAFIBs for Contador and his extended family.
"Alberto will join us. He cannot afford to ignore the aerodynamic benefits of plywood" posited Lampo.
"Contador can learn a lot from the best on Team Vitesse" said K2nees.


Cold Arm Foundation Initiative Bracelet

The much anticipated Cold Arm Foundation Initiative Bracelet (CAFIB) is now available. Similar to the CAFBI but slightly improved with "one-size-fits-all duck tape technology" the CAFIB (pronounced CAFIB) will make an impression on everyone you meet. Carefully styled from 3/4 inch plywood each CAFIB tellingly indicates where your sympathies lie and that you support h20 and the Cold Arm Foundation. The brass hinge and hook-eye closure makes it theft resistant and difficult to remove. The realization of this beautiful fashion accessory from artist's rendering to actual 3 dimensional object is a wonder in and of itself.Be it at work or at play the CAFIB confirms that your GIVE STRONG donation to the Cold Arm Foundation has paid off. The 100% actual lumber gives you the feel and smell of gloating and satisfaction on your wrist. That satisfaction comes from knowing that you have been instrumental in a minuscule way to alleviating all those who suffer from cold arm. The gloating arises from the fact that you will own a singular statement of refined design.
By now you should know you can always count on exquisite craftsmanship and attention to fine detail that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory brings to bear on all its products.
The CAFIB is now available from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. Quantities are limited so act quickly now to ensure that you can be the first one in your peer group to own a coveted CAFIB. Satisfy your craving!

Injury Spells Death of HEAVY DROP?

It is a rare event when h20 admits his mortality. Recently however, a hyper-extension of his knee while walking on an icy footpath has put his racing season in jeopardy. h20 is now considering the hateful possibility that his King of the Mountains jersey may be taken by some up and comer, likely K2nees or Lampo Bianco. "I will fight to retain the jersey for as long as possible. If it stays on Team Vitesse I will have good sensations" said h20.
Far more disconcerting is the possibility that the HEAVY DROP, h20's patented downhill maneuver, may disappear from the professional peleton. You may remember that the HEAVY DROP is the technique of launching an attack on a downhill section of the parcours preferably when a nature break has been called. h20 was a pioneer of this procedure and one its finest practitioners. "I simply will not be able to bend the cranks like I used to" quipped h20 sadly. This news comes as a relief to K2nees whose constant efforts to catch h20 will be marginally easier now.


Happy Lucky 88 Corporate Motto

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has undergone a re-branding for the 2009/2010 season. After exhaustive market research HL88 has discovered that most consumers prefer rough splintered edges to smooth finished edges on their products. With that in mind, a team of specialists has come up with the new corporate motto to reposition Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory at the forefront of modern manufacturing.

"No Labour in Excess of Necessity" will be the watch words for this pedalling powerhouse. By following this sage expression, HL88 can maintain its ridiculously low prices while nurturing their analytic and synthetic prowess.


Cold Arm Bracelet Initiative

This detailed artist's rendering of the new Cold Arm Foundation bracelet initiative is meant to excite you and your wallets. You can now imagine the look and feel of real genuine lumber on your wrist knowing you have supported the effort to alleviate cold arm sufferers.

By sending much needed $$ now, future generations of cold arm sufferers will not have to enter the cycle of cold arm suffering or indeed ever suffer from cold arm. ACT NOW!


Legal procedings planned

It has come to the attention of cycling cosmonaut and HL88's legal team that an unnamed party has infringed on the use of arrows in its diagrams. Cycling cosmonaut prides itself on easy to read, understandable and comprehensible diagrams illustrating complex, turgid, and innovative design concepts to the masses. When a reader forwarded this alarming abuse of arrows from a competitor's rain gear advertising campaign, the legal stable got busy.

What makes this especially galling are the arrows at the model's wrists and knees as well as the exit arrows at the shoulders. When compared to Happy Lucky 88's Super Absorbent Rain Cape (below) there is little doubt that this upstart competitor has directly copied our arrow use.

It is likely that this blatant pointer copying will be mired in legal limbo for many years to come. Rest assured that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has vowed to defend its singular right to use arrows.


Team Vitesse Launches Foundation

h20 has launched a global initiative to raise awareness for an ailment that most of the population has suffered from at one time or another. Those readers who know and love h20 have shared his discomfort and understand his passion to find a solution for this affliction. I speak of course of those who suffer from "cold arm". Cold arm can strike at any time and while relief is usually as close as the nearest sweater, individuals suffering from cold arm often feel marginalized and ignored. h20's foundation, Cold Arm Foundation (CAF), seeks to raise many dollars to alleviate all those who suffer from cold arm.

Lampo Celebrates Birthday

Lampo Bianco of Team Vitesse fame celebrates his 37th birthday today. Considered old by professional peleton standards, Lampo feels he is just coming into his prime. Aided by a performance enhancing formula devised by Johan and Happy Lucky 88, Lampo says, "the sensations are good!". He spends a lot of his spare time in the Most Abundance Fountain of Euphoric Youth Booth. "I owe my spryness and incredible good looks to this plywood tent in which I sleep every night!" declared LB in an exclusive interview with cyclingcosmonaut. This innovation in plywood technology converts any bathtub into a hyperbaric chamber easily and quickly.
Please join cycling cosmonaut in wishing LB an excellent 2010 racing season.


A Metaphor for not winning

Lampo Bianco was cornered by a clamorous press immediately following the elite men's race in Switzerland last week. Asked what had failed in Team Vitesse's strategy he replied, "Team Vitesse was still in the hunt but from there the momentum started to turn. From the time we left the team bus, the impetus had not only turned but started to gather into a tidal wave which eventually wore us into the ground."


Health Plan for Vitesse

Team Vitesse has received numerous messages of sympathy for h20 during his period of convalescence. Fear not blog followers. The doctor who performed the procedure remarked that he had never seen Phil tenacious oil leak out of a wound before. Bravely h20 insisted that an 18 tooth cog be used to open the hand. Immediately after yesterday's traumatic surgery on his right hand, h20 managed to perform a complete overhaul of his carboniferous flavoured cycle cross bike. Today, with his hand thawed out and throbbing, h20 gingerly rode his Monkey to his day job avoiding all evasive action scenarios on the way. "Tempting as it might seem, there is no need to rip the stitches on the first day when out-running the heat", uttered h20.


Team Vitesse Injury Report

At this particular point in time Team Vitesse members are suffering the after effects of a hard campaign.Their strong showing in the World Championships was not quite good enough to disrupt the whining Aussie from winning the gold medal. Johan was disconsolate and the team deemed it best to avoid Johan for a while.
Lampo Bianco has joyfully increased his carbon footprint by flying to San Francisco with Hat Model. His mission is to secure more sponsorship for Team Vitesse and do a little sightseeing on the way.
h20 underwent minor surgery for a problem with his middle finger. Overuse in the upright position during races made it impossible for him to make a fist. The surgery has been judged a success as he is now back to punching riders from other teams.
K2nees has been gainfully employed and continues to drool over titanium. He also continues to take a hard look at elk in the wild.



Due to popular demand, this BLOG has morphed and migrated over to www.cyclingcosmonaut.com. Please join Team Vitesse at their new web presence.


Singular Single Speeding

Seizing the opportunity proffered by clear skies and hot temperatures, the founding fathers of Team Vitesse saddled up their Karate Monkeys and ripped up some single track. The first order of business was to firmly ensconce Pucky the Mojo Mouse Beaver on Lampo's steed.

Pucky now rides above the head badge, master of all he surveys.Inspired by Johan, The Steaming Madman, LB and h20 wanted to make up for omitting the Single Speed World Championships from their racing calendar. They also knew that this would be their last tune up before travelling to Switzerland for the UCI world road championships. With Lampo as point man, the duo smoked over the dry rooted trail at warp speed. Joyous was the mood and as heart rates became elevated, the rapture set in.

Pausing for some liquid refreshments, h20 liberated a pair of brewskis from their bubble wrap protection. To that point, the Surly chain tensioner had never been properly tested. Success was just a bottle cap away. Fully refreshed the duo suddenly found themselves in darkness after the sun dropped out of the sky.
Singular signs greeted them as they roared through the woods. LB was particularly confused by this sign of the future. h20 required a breather after a particularly steep 25% pitch.

The riders now feel fully prepared for the world road championships and look forward to being able to purchase their plane tickets very soon. Apparently Johan was in charge of transport procurement but once again squandered the funds on wine, women and song. Donations are now being accepted for the "Let's Get Team Vitesse to Switzerland" fund.


Vexatious Villain Verified

A reader has raised questions about the state of Johan's mental health. Just how pissed off can a person be about missing one party? Johan can reach a similar state of agitation as Yul Brynner did in the movie Westworld. Hot under the collar does not describe the level of displeasure, exasperation, irritability and vexation that Johan exhibits when things do not go his way.That is why Team Vitesse retains Johan's services. Riders find his brand of wrath and ire pleasantly motivating.

Vitesse prepares for Worlds

Team Vitesse will travel to Switzerland in time for the Elite Time Trial scheduled for tomorrow. In an ingenious move, each team member's Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking will be disassembled and reused as the packing crates for the bicycles they fit onto.
Disappointment rippled through the team after it was learned that they had missed their chance to dominate at the Single Speed Championships in Durango, Colorado. No one was more upset than Johan who had vowed to make this event the party highlight of his year. Now the team must find ways to propitiate the great man to avoid the rescission of his services.


Surly Monkey Mojo

The long anticipated unveiling of the new MOJO, Pucky the Mouse Beaver, for Lampo Bianco's karate monkey is HERE! Named after the charismatic character in William Voltz's famously obscure book, SPOOR OF ANTIS, Pucky is a vital part of Perry Rhodan's team of deep space rebels.
The individualistic missing magic charm was the subject of a massive mojo manhunt. It was finally discovered after apparently having gone through the laundry. At its original 4 foot height, the MOJO might have been a liability when strapped to the frame of a bicycle. PE5GW must have been aware of this when she included it in the wash. Now its actual size will not affect the high performance of LB on his Monkey.Pucky the Mouse Beaver was known for his bravery and ability to be invisible and be in 2 places at the same time. We wish Lampo Bianco and Pucky the Mouse Beaver future success and safe riding.


Team Vitesse's Search for MOJO

MOJO. It refers to the magical charm bag used in voodoo. The word conjures up images of travel trailers and the like. To some cyclists, MOJO can be the difference between a safe journey and a safer journey. h20 recently accepted the task of finding a morsel of MOJO for Lampo Bianco, Team Vitesse's protected rider. LB had expressed a desire for some Monkey MOJO for a steed is his vast fleet. After a long search, h20 has finally found a suitably meaningful of symbol of protection. The new MOJO has no similarities to this plastic figure.
h20 now must locate the delicately wondrous item which was carefully placed somewhere in the man cave.


Cycling Pabulum

After a summer of sun and aridity, the autumnal season brings singular challenges to the cyclist. Cool mornings and warm afternoons mean diverse clothing choices must be available and portable. A cyclist's senescence does not always walk lockstep with increased wisdom. Fall will confute a cyclist's clothing selection with impunity.
Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has developed a new line of clothing specially designed to address the stress and duress of dress. Based on its successful Super Absorbent Rain Cape, new micro ply-fiber actually wicks moisture in. Nonexistent durability coupled with extreme discomfort means only one thing: you are wearing the best that HL88 has to offer.


Road Army Update

One development of the h20 selfless sacrifice of body and bike in the protection of Lampo Bianco are the reparations required to h20's trusty "orange arrow" road weapon. Once the weapon arrived at the cosmodrome, PE5GW immediately piloted the green lunar support module carrying the apparently mortally wounded orange velocipede to the best medical/mechanical geniuses in the business. Curbside unloading by redbike staff facilitated a seamless transition from cosmodrome to triage station. K2nees was instrumental in stabilizing the patient, cleaning the wounded brake lever and inspecting the conveyance for other injuries. After a brief recovery period, the orange arrow has been downgraded from critical status and can be released as an out patient. This comes as a great relief to Team Vitesse members and h20's fans and supporters who can look forward to future heavy drops and more downhill sprint points.


Putting the "B" from Business in CycBling

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory held a meeting of its business managers and directors recently. Discussion centered around increasing product awareness for the imminent release Sublime Motion Elegant Velocity Enlightenment Computation (SMEVEC) 88 ProT model. Managers were tasked with developing milestones to measure success. Dependencies were thrown back and forth. It soon became evident that everyone at HL88 will have to bucketize their tasks. Once that has been completed, issues will be decisioned up to the executive level. The ask will be determined so that direct reports can be informed.

Crowd Causes Catastrophy

Team Vitesse continues to prepare for the World Championships in Switzerland with regular weekend training rides. This past Sunday, the team gathered in anticipation of their planned paliopy practice procedures. Senor Merlini (S&M), a new recruit, attended at the behest of h20 and the approval of Johan. Resplendent in their uncoordinated jerseys, it soon became obvious that K2nees had forgotten his cycling shoes. Disappointment rippled through the remaining members as hope for a paliopy practice perished. K2 set out for his personal cosmodrome with a vow to meet the peleton somewhere on the road.
h20, S&M and that day's protected rider, Lampo Bianco, set a furious pace for the opening 500 meters. Massive crowds greeted them along the route. As they crested a catagory 1 col, the sound and smell of the clamorous fans grew to a fever pitch and odor. h20 was setting an infernal tempo at the front. One fan ran out seeking an autograph from LB. It was then that the much maligned Team Vitesse teamwork came to the fore.
Known for their incessant internal attacks, Team Vitesse has received undue criticism for being individuals on a team looking after their own interests. "I acted on instinct!" said h20 in television interviews later. Review of the race footage clearly shows the course of events.
As the fan was about to reach LB and hinder his forward progress, h20 sacrificed his body, GC placement and his bicycle to block the fan and protect LB. h20 found himself down on the tarmac with extreme road rash, a deep muscle bruise on the upper thigh, torn ligaments, arthritis, liver damage and most importantly, a damaged front brake lever. S&M quickly dismounted to assist his fallen comrade while LB put in a few choice punches and words into the seething crowd. Team Vitesse riders were far ahead of the support vehicles so any reparations were up to the quick thinking trio. Shaken but unstirred after the shock of the fall, h20 quickly mounted and, true to Team Vitesse form, quickly got a gap on his fellow team mates.
The ride continued without incident but K2 was never seen again that day. It has come to light that his valiant attempts to catch the splintered Vitesse peleton resulted in a coughed up lung.
Lampo Bianco won the day with the strong finishing Senor Merlini leading LB out to the final climb. h20 suffered immensely but managed a credible third. Despite his serious injuries, he defended his downhill sprint jersey with aplomb. The offending fan remains in hospital with a genuine LB signature on his body cast.


Team Vitesse Dictionary

The official Team Vitesse dictionary of cycling terms will be available from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory very soon. This super absorbent plywood bound high-gloss paper edition will be able to withstand the elements as cyclists look up words such as:

Paliopy: the beautiful awesome beauty of Team Vitesse riders in their "chick magnet" formation replete with coordinated outfits. Similar to panoply except without the special formation.

Loserization: the noun form of the verb "loserize". To be dropped from the "chick magnet" formation due to an uncoordinated outfit.

Kit Coordination

It is a relatively unknown fact that feverish planning goes on behind the scenes prior to any ride. Attention to detail is vital for any ride to be successful; be it a training ride or under race conditions. Team Vitesse members make it look easy (they are professionals after all). The outfit choices available to Team Vitesse vary widely. h20 has been decorated with countless Downhill Sprint jerseys from all the grand tours. Lampo Bianco's steady string of public appearances has provided him with t-shirt possibilities too numerous to conceive. He actually has a personal outfit coordinator to manage his vast cycling wardrobe. K2nees, throughout all his palmares, has managed to maintain a colour theme. His basic black outfits go with most everything and are indeed, very slimming.
Team members spend hours coordinating their attire in order to provide a cohesive "look" to the thousands of fans who line the route. Favoured methods of coordination between riders include the telephone, faxing, and the hyper modern email.
There is a lot more to kit coordination than meets the eye. Team Vitesse takes the challenge of dress very seriously. The result is a wonderful panoply of colour that all fans can enjoy.
Let's not forget Johan's edict, "When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, the sensations are good. When the sensations are good, it is time to go to the pain cave." Of course everyone wants to look good in the pain cave.


Cosmodrome news - Sept 10

PE5GW has sustained an unspecified wrist ailment after acting as h20's bike repair stand for 8 hours. The regular bike stand was hung with drying laundry. h20 did a major overhaul while PE5GW clamped the frame in her steel vise-like hands. She is expected to recover before the entire team brings their weaponry in for work.
h20 suffered a blow out yesterday on his way for a coiffure. It has been posited that the inner tube exploded due to a small burr on the inside of the rim. h20 foolishly left the HL88 tool kit at the Cosmodrome and was stranded. Fortunately PE5GW commandeered a support vehicle to ensure that h20 did not miss his appointment. No injuries resulting from the blow out were reported and at this writing, the offending rim has been sanded with a 3M pad on the advice of Team Vitesse's metallurgist, PE5GW.


Sacrilege or Divine Inspiration

PE5GW really threw a spanner in the h20's works yesterday. It was laundry day at the Cosmodrome and PE5GW had outdone herself in her self imposed role as washerwoman. One must understand that none of h20's clothing can be dried in a conventional dryer. Due to his incredible size and girth, dryers can spell the shrinking end of any cotton shirt or pant thrown therein. PE5GW, being only too aware of this problem, found ample hanging opportunities in the Cosmodrome bike room. She managed to hang all of h20's shirts on the bike stand and from the handlebars of the weaponry. The prophetic words of security advisor Lampo Bianco still ring in the ears of h20. "This growlery needs a retinal, palm scanner and cavity search before anyone enters". An exception has been made in PE5GW's case as she was only doing her Cosmodromic job.


Transfer Season transforms Vitesse

Now that Team Vitesse has a new sponsor, new signings and transfers are taking place at an astonishing pace. Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory along with Aphrodite's Arboretum have been opening their cheque books to sign new talent. Rumours abound that K2nees has been talking to some high rollers over at Renault Gitane in hopes of having a team built around his all round skills. The only sticking point at this point in time is that a cycling team has not been sponsored by Renault for 25 years. We wish K2nees all the best with that one. Lampo Bianco still has another 25 years left on his contract with Team Vitesse. "Why mess with a great sponsor? Plywood is a way of life for me now. The sensations are good with plywood" he quipped recently. A new talent with a great future, Qube, recently rode on a training ride. "As soon as his membership cheque clears, we will sign his contract" offered Johan. h20 has flirted with other teams offering big money for his incredible record in the downhill sprint. "How could I ever adapt to non-plywood based equipment used by other teams?" is usually the deciding argument against any move.


Nepotism in Team Vitesse

Rumors and innuedo continue to fly as charges of corruption and nepotism wrack the professional peloton and Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. An exclusive inside source has revealed how HL88's legal team (see yesterday's entry) has been infiltrated by cavemen. In fact this rumour is completely false. This is actually a snap of Johan's brother using the latest HL88 technology to call for backup at his recent trial. He faced fraud charges in connection with illegal importation of plywood. It is good to know that Johan has assembled the best in the business.


Copied but never Duplicated

Copyright infringement is a very serious matter for all producers of products. It has come to the attention of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's crack legal department that something called the "Denver boot" is using the same technological innovations as the Well Flourishing Ankle Bolstering (Well-FAB). Proceedings have been launched by HL88 including the appointment of a blue ribbon panel to determine similarities between the two products. If they have anything in common, the panel will make recommendations.


Product Concerns

Concerns have been raised concerning the intentions of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory for its products. With so many wonderful products designed specifically for Team Vitesse, the question is, "When will HL88 go into marketing to the masses?"

A case in point is the impossibly light-weight Well Flourishing Ankle Bolstering. If HL88 deigned to unleash the finely engineered Well-FAB on the market, it would most certainly turn the orthotics world on its head. However, it chooses not to because its first priority is supporting Team Vitesse cycling. The Manufactory continues to touch base with individual team members for input in order to fill their needs at any point in time. "Global marketing, as lucrative as it is likely to be, would be like a day without sunshine." spake a Manufactory representative. Let us never forget that Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has committed itself to ensuring that all products it produces are unsurpassed in discomfort.

The Solution to Weak Ankles

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory can never be accused of ignoring its sponsored riders' concerns. K2nees suffered an unfortunate accident some years ago involving an armadillo and some midgets. The details are too sordid to describe here. The result is that K2 carries titanium screws, plates and assorted cutlery in his ankle. In his build-up to this cycle cross season, he expressed trepidation in the strength of his joint when encountering the running sections of a cross course. HL88 was only too happy to develop the Well Flourishing Ankle Bolstering or Well-FAB to meet his specific needs.
Made from the same plywood as the Super Absorbent Rain Cape and weighing an incredibly light 1.2 kilograms, the Well-FAB is meant to fit snugly inside an over sized cycling shoe for maximum protection and shock absorbency. Armed (ankled in this case) with the Well-FAB, K2nees is sure to kick some butt while raising the profile of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. HL88 advises wearing the Well-FAB on each ankle for improved balance.


Racing Heated for Vitesse

Yesterday's training ride provided more carnage than the siege of Stalingrad. With a temperature hovering at 30 degrees and the dry mistral winds blowing the remaining moisture out of the riders, Lampo Bianco, K2nees and h20 suffered greatly. K2nees pleaded for a moratorium on attacks. Sadly no one was listening. On the first downhill sprint, h20 spotted K2 750 meters before turning on the jets and performing a heavy drop to take the first crucial downhill sprint points. h20 immediately paid for his glory as the road tilted upward at a 15% gradient. The pace picked up when a wolf-shitzu cross sprinted out of nowhere to nip at the tyres of the cyclists.
Lampo Bianco had spent the previous evening ensuring that his brother's stag went smoothly. This included close examination of special parts augmentation under the influence of liquid refreshment and guidance of Johan. With the wind at their backs, h20 provided the perfect leadout for LB who engaged in a low airburst and blew by the complacent and unsuspecting K2. Always up for a challenge, K2's subsequent recovery and infernal pedalling style left his team mates sucking locusts and wind on the next 10% hill.
It was soon obvious that LB's low airburst and alcoholic alchemy had taken its toll. He contented himself with watching wheels as he was pulled across the hot dry plains. Even the youthful legs of K2 suffered under the intense heat and unforgiving wind as he gathered all the King of the Mountain points.
Half hearted attacks lasting 6 or 8 pedal strokes were mounted by h20 whenever he caught up to the peloton. The power could not be sustained but h20's pride made him contest every chance to pad his insurmountable downhill sprint point lead.

The injury report reveals that K2 received a low flying locust strike to the groin area. LB's strange blood chemistry has no known precedence in medical science. h20 has yet to get his heart rate below 170 bpm. Johan would be proud.


Johan the Omniscient Sighted

No trip to Southern Alberta would be complete without a stop in Hanna for lunch. That is where h20 and PE5GW found themselves last Friday. Buildings are clearly identified even when they are completely abandoned.
As the pair snacked on cold left over pizza, a strange figure cycled past in the 29 degree heat. An alacrity with the camera and quick thinking ensured that an image was captured. Clearly a man in a winter coat looking straight into the camera. Could it be that h20 inadvertently caught Johan the Omniscient in one of his many disguises in a rural town of 3,000 inhabitants?


SMEVEC 88 Triumphant in Holland!

The following is a dispatch from Night Train a Team Vitesse member headquartered in London:
Night Train and The Bear are back from their training session for Team Vitesse in Holland having ridden the roads that will be used by the Vuelta. Sadly they were not wearing the lovely green Vitesse jerseys, because they don't have them, but were supported by the team in every other way. They did rides between 30 and 100 k and discovered that riding a dead straight flat road into the wind requires endless re-calibration of the Happy Lucky SMEVEC 88. They also discovered that ice cream is excellent cycling fuel, and that the Dutch have an interesting twist on the game of "chicken" involving two pairs of riders approaching from opposite directions. Yikes, who will pull back??? Such excitement!
The intrepid duo made it from London to Amsterdam, via Gent and Antwerp, bike, train, boat, bike train. The resulting boat-lag required a couple of rest days in Amsterdam with friends, riding to Haarlem and Leiden, and then up to Den Helder. The idea was to island hop from there: Texel, Ameland, Terschelling, and back to the mainland. The SMEVEC 88 indicated that this route is entirely possible. It is possible to get to Texel, but that's it until Tuesday. They rode all around Texel where examples of wondrous Dutch engineering were plainly evident. Total bizarre paving of the seaside was bizarre but apparently necessary. Also sighted were plentiful gorgeous dunes. Once the realization that the SMEVEC 88 had led them down a garden path, they cycled back down the coast of North Holland the next day. There were gorgeous dunes (again) with endless brick cycle paths, and beautiful woods with crushed shell trails. The woods were welcome as it was around 30 degrees and the wind was against them. (No doubt they probably rued their decision to leave the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking at home. ed).

Rest assured that this Dutch ride was monitored by Johan the Omniscient in that creepy way he has.


My Asthma has Restorative Properties

News of Team Vitesse's training route has leaked to the population like the cloying miasma from the dump through which it passes. Mini pelotons comprising riders such as backpack guy on an old Gitane, a mom training for a triathlon on a tricked out LeMond with her obese son catching draft on his CCM MTB, and mountain bike touring guy picking bottles can be expected to share the road and the air.
The usual pungent odor is somehow charming and reassuring. A potpourri from a garbage truck parking lot, an animal feed plant next door to an abattoir mixed with a dash of oil refinery burn off is a curious wonder. Perhaps the sinuses can been scorched to the point where any smell is welcome. A feeling of general well being can be expected to descend on such a ride due in large part to warm weather, minimal wind, the ripe atmospheric conditions and plentiful insects for swallowing.
Please note that all miasmas and any resulting feeling of well being are licensed property of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory and can only be accessed by tapping out an infernal rhythm.


Subtleties in Leadout Acronyms

TV (Team Vitesse) spends an inordinate amount of effort honing their skills for leadouts. Johan insists that the riders maximize the BIDE (basic identity data element) before any HED (Heavy Effort Drop). This is particularly crucial when DSP (downhill sprint points) are available. Once the PADS (Position Azimuth Determining System) has been engaged, the information is passed along via the SECOMP (Secure en route Communication Package). The riders then organize a line out with the last rider having been designated as the PLOW (Probable Logistical Outstanding Winner) and eventual recipient of the DSP. Johan is never satisfied until a SAFE (Selected Area For Evasion) BIDE (basic identity data element) has been NITEE (Neutralized Into The Everloving Earth).


Security Concerns Plague Cosmodrome

Poor planning and lack of funding are the causes for a paucity of security at the Western Cosmodrome. So says Lampo Bianco, self styled security expert and co-founder of Team Vitesse. "There must be retinal scanners, finger or palm print readers, and/or a full body cavity search before accessing any Weapons Room". Local officials, stunned by LB's unannounced visit and this terse even withering criticism, could only mumble platitudes and grovel in the presence of Hat Model who came along for the inspection. LB continued, "what you want here is a good old fashioned Victorian style growlery. Someplace where the men can go to smoke cigars, drink beer and fix bikes. A man cave if you will."
h20, the highest ranking official at the Western Cosmodrome, immediately began the interview process for a larger dog. In conjunction with an increased animal security, 24 hour surveillance will be provided by Happy Lucky 88's state of the art equiment currently being tested by the Pope.


Vitesseland - Geography, Culture, Lifestyle

Now that the Land of Vitesse or Vitesseland has received a wild card invitation to the World Cycling Championships in Switzerland, the insatiable media spotlight shines on this curious land. According to Wikipedia, Vitesse is a football club based in Arnhem, Netherlands. But this is only part of the wonderful story of Vitesseland...
This small semi-mountainous area in the Northern Hemisphere takes its name from the French word for speed. Many of its picturesque roads are paved thanks to the benevolence of Johan the Omniscient. Under his tutelage, great cyclists are molded and formed in a pure cycling culture. With an increasing population of coffee drinkers, Vitesseland has become a vibrant land of peaks and valleys. Its mostly temperate climate encourages a fast easy going lifestyle. For more information visit Vitesseland.com.


Team Ride ends in Acronyms

Recently Team Vitesse founding members, Lampo Bianco and h20, began tapering their training schedule for the Vuelta and world championships. Surprisingly, Team Vitesse received invitations to both events. The team will contest the worlds under the flag of "Land of Vitesse" or "Vitesseland" as it is more commonly known.
The wind played a factor in the team maneuvers. Against Johan's orders, both riders decided to leave their Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking at HQ.
As the team turned into the teeth of the wind, h20 launched one of his patented HDs (heavy drop). This delivery of heavy effort left LB dazed and confused. Regaining his composure, LB's HA (high airburst), caught h20 completely off guard. No one expects a burst of nuclear weapon size damage barely 10 minutes into a ride. Needless to say there were no gauntlets left to be thrown after the intense early action. From that point on both LB and h20 carefully monitored each other and the terrain for a SAFE (selected area for evasion).
Johan the Omniscient ordered a HALO (high altitude low-opening parachute technique used by the military to deliver equipment and supplies from airlift aircraft flying above the threat umbrella). A small HALO team made up of podium girls transferred the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking to LB and h20.
Having agreed to call the hostilities a stalemate, the riders returned to TAMCO (theatre army movement control centre) also called the team Winnibago, for hot chocolate.


Storm buffets K2nees

What follows is a harrowing cycling experience authored by K2nees:
I ventured out during the brief sunny period this past evening hoping to refine my skills and avoid any further nature break escapes. Under sunny optimistic skies I set out for the now fabled "tour de dump". After weeks of training, I tapped out an infernal rhythm for myself according to the on board SMEVEC 88T.
As I headed out of town the skies grew darker punctuated by lightening flashes. Well shy of the half way turn around point, the first rain drops were felt through my plycra and the decision was made to abort the launch. Shortly thereafter the heavens unleashed their fury and hail-like drops of rain lashed the route. I quickly installed the Super Absorbent Rain Cape as instructed by Johan over race radio. My infernal tapping then led me back into the moving weather cell. As the absorption coefficient of my HL88 plywood products reached their highest saturation levels, I knew that the time had come to go hard. I time trialed my way back into the city using all the technology Happy Lucky 88 had to offer. The sun broke through leaving me to contemplate important questions like "Is titanium a lightning conductor (answer: probably)" and "Do these soaked Sidi shoes make my butt look fat? (answer: probably)".
After the one hour ride from hell a lesson had been learned. "if it looks like rain stay home on the couch and let the titanium bicycles glow in the corner." I beleive it was a good measure of my increasing fitness for cyclo-cross season and an excellent test of HL88 products.

One lingering question remains..."Does Team Vitesse have a team meteorologist or at the very least a team metallurgist?"
Editor's note: Indeed Team Vitesse does have a metallugist. It is PE5GW who doubles as team ornithologist.


Attack on Nature - A Rebuttal

After reading yesterday's triumphant posting by h20 and his winning attack, K2nees wishes to publish his version of events...

H2O, overripe veteran and sneaky weasel, wisely waited for a K2nees nature break to attack. K2nees was reported as saying, in the heat of his drainage operation,”I just lead him out for the downhill sprint points and pulled him through the wind, why, why would he do that, I thought we were teammates”. Apparently they are the team mates of the Armstrong / Contador variety.
Following H20’s initial attack, K2nees slowly finished his business and tried to catch back on the slight rise, however the next downhill greatly benefited H20’s gravity assisted riding style. After coming to within 10 bike lengths K2nees was again put on the defensive by another highly suspect maneuver. Darting in front of some vehicular traffic K2nees was forced to wait and watch helplessly while H20's gap grew again. After resuming the chase it wasn’t long before K2nees was in h20's ample slip stream (for the first time that ride). After catching back on negotiating a hill, K2nees was ready to put in another attack but seeing the pain the eyes of his team mate after his short escape he dutifully pulled H20 back to the Team Vitesse support vehicle while offering words of support to his gassed team mate.
In honour of his yellow bellied action Team Vitesse will be awarding H2O a new piece of clothing to go with his downhill sprint jersey, the “brown bib shorts of disgust”, for most annoying rider. Unlike the other jerseys awarded on the podium, readers wishing to watch this clothing presentation are asked to meet the janitor behind the porta-potties.


Pro Peloton Tactics

H20, seasoned veteran and superb tactician, has developed some mid season form. On yesterday's training ride with the young up and comer, K2nees, h20 showed his strategic know how with a stunning example, catching the young whippersnapper unawares.
The peloton has long agreed that attacking during a nature break is unsportsmanlike and rude. Never one to shy away from controversy, h20 did just that while K2 stopped to adjust his fluid levels. h20 immediately got a gap and went into time trial mode on one of his patented downhill sprints. K2 barely had time to adjust his package when he was forced into serious pursuit. h20's impeccable timing allowed him to extend his monstrous attack. He was able to turn west before some vehicular traffic which delayed the now desperate K2nees.
h20, not wanting to break his young teammate's spirit, eased up to allow K2 back on his wheel.
A couple of valuable lessons were learned. Never stop for a nature break and never trust a teammate.


Stem Research

Has anyone besides Lampo Bianco and h20 of Team Vitesse had difficulty with bike fit this racing season? It seems that after a winter of discontent and riding the rollers, none of the weapons in h20's arsenal fit properly this summer. h20 has been blackballed by butt pain and digit disturbances. Changing stems, handle bars, saddles, adjusting seat height, and general whining have been the order of the day. He is still not completely satisfied with the changes effected. h20 now searches for physiological or pharmacological reasons for the sudden riding discomfort. It is difficult to imagine that his incredible wing span increased over the last 6 months (although he did carry a lot of boxes during the move to the western cosmodrome). In Lampo's case, a change of saddle has caused endless delays as the peloton waits for him to make minuscule adjustments measurable only with a micrometer. This year his old saddle began causing anguish and agony in the area.
More Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory research into stem length is required. Remember to keep all packaging in case the items need to be returned.


The Pain Cave

Much was made of the so called Pain Cave by network commentators during the Tour de France. Located at the corner of Agony Avenue and Spasm Street in the World of Hurt, the Pain Cave is open to all visitors 24/7. It is definitely not the exclusive domain of professional cyclists although a few industrious pros have installed some decidedly uncomfortable seating there.
The origin of the Pain Cave can be traced back to Australopithicus, that monkey-man you sometimes see at the mall. Historians guess with uncertainty that Australopithicus probably spent most of his or her days in the Pain Cave.
Fast forward to the modern era and we find that cyclists visit the Pain Cave regularly; often after extreme effort on difficult mountain stages. We can surmise from this example of Jan's anguished face and fetching headgear that he has entered the World of Hurt and is looking for the entrance to the Pain Cave.
It is generally agreed that no one spent more time in the Pain Cave both on and off the bike than Marco Pantani. He finally escaped on February 14, 2004.
Team Vitesse drops in to the Pain Cave regularly just to get in touch with their inner cramps, cricks, distress, stabbing soreness, torment, torture and throbbing. Short visits are highly recommended by Johan and Ignats Konovalovas, a giant among cyclists, who got paid a pile of money to say, "When you want more pain you are good".


Peloton Jersey Insight

A highly sought after, but little known accolade of the peloton is the King of the Downhill Sprint jersey. This coveted sporting triumph has never been off the shoulders of h20 for as long as the jersey has been contested. Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory sponsors the distinctive plycra jersey made of a rayon/dacron/nylon/macrolon/duralon/come-a-lon/plycron mix. Just before dropping the hammer on one of his patented attacks at the start of a downhill section, h20 declares, "may you drown in a sea of effluent of my choosing." Everyone now accepts that once his big power plant begins to roar, there is no hope of catching the Hammer of Holland before the next uphill section.
Johan is quoted, "for some reason he defends the KODS jersey and its honour with pride and terminal velocity at every downhill opportunity."


Race Radio Metaphors

The following are potential audio interceptions from Team Vitesse race radio. These metaphors will be used to indicate an attack or launch from the peloton. Lampo Bianco or LB discovered that lb stands for pound which could be a nickname for the nickname. Metaphors based on Team Vitesse nicknames were then discussed and memorized...
LB: To avoid competitors overhearing our radio strategies while next to us in the peleton. " When they hear " I'm gonna POUND that sugar with my half kilo stick" they will think we are discussing recipes or boasting about our evening "ride". Instead we are about to put the hurt on their unsuspecting ass.
h20: Your stick pounding metaphor is disturbing but somehow apt. You might also use “ an OUNCE of pain is worth a bird in the bush infested with laughing jackals.” or “Jack Sprat could eat all the POUNDAGE required by the Canada food guide.” then you attack…
When referring to an attack by myself personally, I shall use the phrase, “The infidels will drown in a sea of effluent of my choosing.” or “I shall wring the dew out of my rag immediately.” Then and only then will I launch a ferocious, stinging and unyielding attack.

EFOC Review

The professional peloton has weighed in on the EFOC, the derny trainer now available from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. Most riders are in agreement that the electric scooter and plywood drafting mechanism will change the face of racing and the faces of racers. Some recent quotes:
"Our bike handling skills will improve as we try to dodge the erratically flying plywood".
"Pain is good...Pain means you are good...Come on more pain...and the splinters will only cause more pain".
"When you hurt like a dog from injuries sustained from airborne chunks of plywood, you want to go and do it again the next day".
Johan probably put it best, "It is very good for cycling. It will separate the Lances from the mere Albertos".


HL88 Derny Endurance

Now that the Tour is over, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has begun to analyze the mounds of data generated by the SMEVEC 88T and specifically how power output and efficiencies were affected by the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking. At this point in time, initial findings have found that riders require reintegration to reverse relegation.
Johan has returned to Team Vitesse after his sabotage efforts on Astana and his number 1 priority is to build endurance in Vitesse riders. "88 kilometers is not enough at maximum effort" decried Johan over drinks at the Casino Royale in Monaco. "We need our riders to exert maximum effort for 288 kilometers. They need more derny training!"Immediately, Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory set to work developing a modern eco-friendly derny system for exclusive use by Team Vitesse. Johan is reportedly pleased but wonders if the scooter's top speed of 17 kilometers per hour is sufficient for training purposes. He acquiesced when reminded that scooter drivers can avoid the requirements of a driver's license when a scooter's maximum speed is less than 32 kmph. HL 88 is proud of the fact that the electric scooter can go as far as 18 kilometers on a single charge! Obviously the riders are also pleased with that fact. The Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory derny bike has received special nomenclature in honour of its sleek lines and thoughtful design. When ordering please refer to it as "Eco Friendly Obstruction Containment" or EFOC.


Reflections on the tour

Now that the tour is in the record books, Team Vitesse can sit back and sink into cycling reverie. Overall the team did not figure in any of the stages. The oft maligned team Winnebago did manage to clog roads in rural France to the point where President Szakozy fainted.
LB recovered from his illness and finished first on top of Mt. Ventoux the day after the actual TdF stage. Team management still consider this a great success. LB mentioned that he had no trouble with the rental car on the way up.
We still await a report from K2nees whose rest day in Holland seems to have stretched into a 2 week vacation. Reportedly he has been studying reasons for Rabobank's stunning success at the tour. Their one stage win and highest placed rider in 78th is an inspiration to all professional teams.
Still recovering from knee trauma (probably for the rest of his cycling career), h20 launched on a training ride in the 28 degrees of Alberta. Upon conclusion of the 388 km training run, the heart rate monitor (part of the SMEVEC 88T) showed an average of 147. h20's usual average for a ride in 138. This stunning and amazing increase in speed, power output and heart rate can easily be accounted for by fact that h20 usually rides with team members who obviously slow him down.
Team Vitesse did not hear much from Johan during the last 3 weeks. No doubt his subtle negotiation tactics and sensitive counselling skills were employed in inflaming the Alberto-Lance soap opera.


Vitesse leaders

To this point in time, Team Vitesse has not shown its cards in the TdF probably because Johan is busy managing another team. K2nees continues to maintain radio silence which likely means he is planning a sneak attack up the Col de la Columbiere. Lampo Bianco is on the mend from Croissant boot camp nursing a stomach ailment caused by over consumption of pastries. H20 has been installing gyprock while teaching a new dog new tricks. Equipment on the Monkey has been updated and pimped with Chris King disc hubs in a pink hue.


Culinary tips from Boot Camp

During a recent conversation, LB quoted from his forth coming book, Croissant - Crucible of Change. "If the ends of the croissant touch, the croissant was made with shortening. If the ends are straight, the croissant was made with butter." Presumably a croissant with a slight bend used a mixture of shortening and butter. This issue is dealt with in Chapter 8 of his definitive missive.

Obviously someone had enough time and butter on their hands to build a gigantic figurative sculpture of some important American historical figure. Think of the number of straight ended croissants that could have been made for the peloton flying through rural France using that same rancid butter.