United Colours of PLYCRA

Johan was reached at his Lake Como villa. "I just heard about the PLYCRA but I don't know what the hell is it. What happens when the Team steps onto the podium...why do you interrupt my reverie for this already yet?"

Johan's concerns have been addressed by the engineer at Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory. PLYCRA has been designed to accept stain much the same as other wood products. In preparation for the Tour, Happy Lucky 88 has prepared the following wood stains to correlate with the expected podium success of Team Vitesse:

  • Yellow Jersey (overall Tour leader) - Ultimate River of Yellow Warmth stain
  • Green Jersey (points leader) - Serenity Verdure of Green Tea stain
  • Polka dot Jersey (king of the mountains) - Red of the masses on field of windswept immaculate snow stain
  • White Jersey (best young rider) - Ulan Bator immaculate snow stain

When Team members win these symbolic Tour jerseys, the stain is simply sprayed directly on their PLYCRA kit and is expected to dry within 48 hours. Any performance enhancing effects of the fumes fall well below the rigorous tolerance criteria of the Cockle test. Once again Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory has proven itself proficient in adapting plywood technology for any eventuality. Is there anything they can't do with plywood??


PLYCRA adheres to Tradition

Team Vitesse is proud to unveil its 2009 jersey. A specially designed miracle fabric, PLYCRA, was produced by Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory to the strict specifications of Team Vitesse. PLYCRA has all the benefits of current micro-fibre technologies plus all the layering qualities, weight and tensile strength of plywood. PLYCRA is "good one side" so riders will never wear their jerseys inside out.
The innovative "Panel of Sponsor" (previously reviewed on this site) is easily shrink wrapped to the back of the rider and blends seamlessly with the PLYCRA jersey.
Team Vitesse will certainly cut a fine figure through the wind at the front of the peleton wearing the new PLYCRA jersey from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory.


Global Downturn unglues Plywood

Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory's line of products for professional cyclists owes its appeal to the world renowned construction material, plywood. Much of the Manufactory's supply is produced in-house but the recent economic downturn has affected the supply of raw plywood. Fewer plywood farms have been cultivated and new plywood orchards are not being planted.
Happily, Happy Lucky 88's team of engineers foresaw the looming negative plywood gap and have been developing alternative construction materials. One technology that is showing promise is condensed recycled newsprint tentatively called plyprint board. Besides increasing the absorbency of the Super Absorbent Rain Cape, plyprint's higher density per square meter means that the Rain Cape's total weight can be increased proportionately.
Cardboard is also being considered for the low stress structural challenges of the Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking. Engineers are currently attempting to reduce the turbulence created by a plywood-cardboard interface.
Rest assured that the patented Plywood Interface, an integral part of the Cockle Test, will not be compromised by a scarcity of plywood, that wondrous miracle building block of Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory.


Teammate's Log - Day 63

Many thanks to all the friends, family and supporters of Team Vitesse for their contributions in meeting the $88.08 ransom demanded by pirates. The 6 harrowing days in the clutches of these misunderstood men was a pleasant break from the relentless track sprinting around the deck of the ship dodging the crew's bullets. The Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking has proven to be our only means of surviving the gunfire. The engineers at Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory will be pleased to know that the 3/4 inch plywood repels most small arms fire.
We have not heard from Johan in the last weeks but continue to believe in his "master plan" to prepare us for the spring classics.


Teammate's Log - Day 52

I finally caught a pigeon and attached this message before it ended up in the soup pot. It has been some days since my last communication. I have now learned enough Hindi based Norwegian to understand that the Team Vitesse members on board the SS Hopetohellwemakeit are stowaways. I am assuming that this development is another team building exercise devised by Johan to prepare us for the Tour. Our stowaway status goes a long way to explaining the "attitude" we are receiving from the shipmates. At first we were locked down in Happy Lucky 88 container, squeezed in with the excellent plywood products. Now we are encouraged to ride our bicycles around the deck of the ship while drunken seamen shoot off their pistols at us. I have to believe that this fear inducing exercise is part of the Johan's grand scheme. Soon we will be in waters off Somalia. I hope that the crew saves some ammo...I must go now, it is my turn for a high speed turn around the deck.


Teammate's Log - Day 38

Diary entry from the HMS Please-stay-afloat as send via carrier pigeon to Team Vitesse headquarters.....
Day 38 at sea....
Dear Diary,The voyage has been going well, while some of my Team Vitesse cabin (container)-mates have expressed some concern over the potential for an imminent pirate attack I remain calm despite the great value of the Happy Lucky 88 plywood merchandise on board. Truth be told i am more concerned with the personal hygiene of my team mates. This is despite the occasional drenching in sea water sprayed our way by fire hose wielding sailors doing their weekly pirate evasion drill. As for the food, we have being maintaining an adequate diet for any professional training athlete, however, fishing over the edge of the ship takes up quite a bit of my time and eats into my training time. The scraps thrown at us by passing sailors is much appreciated despite their taunts and rude gestures. As for training....today i completed 324 revolutions of the ship on my bike. Half way i switch from clockwise to counter-clockwise to reduce the feeling of nausea and motion sickness. Determining the correct training volume and intensity is difficult with limited access to a coach. Johan has flown ahead of us and is waiting in a 4 star hotel for our arrival. Once every two weeks we get pigeon mail from him with welcome words of encouragement, "at least you weight is down", "you are saving team vitesse at least a 100 dollars by going by boat", "i wish i was at the beach like you instead of being massaged by the pool". It's the little things that make him such a great coach. Between messages and when i have to go out and train i always ask myself "WWJD"? What Would Johan Do? I am sure my actions are in his best interests, that of Team Vitesse and our sponsors.
Well diary, i am feeling light-headed. I am not sure if it is the fumes from the candle in this container or the fact that I have not caught a fish in a number of days and am hungry, but either way I think I shall curl up in my plywood comforter and sleep..... I know that's what Johan would do!


Vitesse Ships Out for European Campaign

Having completed their training camp in the frigid hick country surrounding Smoky Lake, Team Vitesse members are looking forward to getting some sun and surf at the team's interim headquaters in southern Albania. The team's mobile headquarters, a rental Winnebago, will be transported to the European continent by container ship. It will be loaded, along with the team's bicycles, in Vancouver for the 4 to 6 month around the world voyage. Stops must include the Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory wharf and warehouse. Most of the latest generation of high tech equipment will be loaded there. Then the boat plys the waters off Somalia bound for the Suez Canal. Some of the team will accompany the boat on its journey. "It will be a great honour for me and my family to travel by boat to Europe via China and India" said one team member. We wish them luck and God speed on this exciting journey. We also look forward to excellent results in the 2009 campaign.


Chimeric twin cockless? A Retort

This positive test comes as a surprise and we regret any bad press this cockle test has generated for our sponsor (that's what we have to say correct?...just checking....make sure this line gets deleted!!). We hope that following a lengthy trial our experts will prove that the cockles that were tested were, in fact, that of LB's chimeric twin who was absorbed in the womb (save for his cockle of course). This line of defense has precedent and we see no reason why LB should not be back in the saddle next week.
I hope that this singular isolated incident will in no way tarnish the growing art and science of cockle testing. After all it shows great promise in clearing riders wrongly convicted of the "D" word (I hate it so much I can't even bring my self to say drafting...****...i just said it didn't I?). Riders on the "B" Team Vitesse roster such as Ricco, Hamilton, Landis, Basso, and Rasmussen surely are of one mind with me on this. Kids remember: cheaters never prosper and never let you cockles be tested by a non-certified tester (you can always tell, they wear purple latex gloves).

And to you, the YELLOW BANDED ONE (who shall remain nameless); remember testing positive for cockles is not the end of the world, once LB's career is over he may not have two pennies to rub together but at least he will have two cockles to rub together.... will you?

Team Vitesse encourages all riders to end the discussion and step up to the plate, draw a line in the sand and submit to a cockle test. If not for the experience...then at least for science.
Team Vitesse believes its riders are shadily innocent until caught guilty. Therefore our hearts and cockles go out to LB and family during this trying time. Suspiciously yours, K2ness


"B" Sample Proves Positive

As expected the "B" sample taken in the Cockle test has returned a positive result. Only the rider's initials, LB, can be released at this point in time. The shocked Team Vitesse members who huddled in tents at their training camp had no comment. UCI officials said "Positive A and B samples are always a cause for concern."
Happy Lucky 88 Cockle test analysis experts attempted to assure a clamourous press. "Cockle testing is more of an art than a science. Positive test results means that this athlete has cockles. This is a good thing." Johan was more philosophical musing, "Obviously we support our team mate. I would love to have a couple of cockles. Perhaps they are what are missing from my life."
We will monitor the situation to see if this positive test and the resulting notoriety affect LB's performance in the spring classics.


NEWS FLASH - Rider has positive Cockle test

An as yet unnamed rider has returned a positive "A" test sample from a recent out of competition Cockle test. Neither Team Vitesse nor the rider were available for comment. The rider's name will be released when the results of the "B" sample are known.


Team Building at Vitesse Training Camp

In preparation for the 2009 season, all members of Team Vitesse have gathered in the small rural community of Smoky Lake, Alberta away from the prying eyes of a voracious press. The Team's headquarters is a used recreational vehicle in the parking lot of the luxurious Smoky Lake Motor Hotel on Highway 28. Management and a technician from Happy Lucky 88 Manufactory are in attendance to conduct fitness examinations, cockle testing, and equipment fittings. The sound of the jig saw and the unmistakable rasping of sand paper fill the parking lot at the hotel as the technician spends days tweaking each Prosperous Contented Obstruction Blocking for individual riders. Team members are impressed and thankful for the wind blocking qualities of the ferring especially since the daytime temperature has hovered around minus 28 degrees C for much of the training camp. "The 6 to 8 hour training rides are much more enjoyable when riding behind a layer of insulating plywood" said one of the riders.
Team building exercises for the 2009 version of Team Vitesse included putting together a 5,000 piece puzzle picturing the 14 turns of Alpe D'Huez and a quick rousing water polo game in frozen Smoky Lake. "Nothing is as effective for fostering team spirit than sleeping outdoors in tents at minus 30 degrees!" exclaimed Johan from his villa at Lake Como. Management is confident that Team Vitesse will be prepared for any weather having trained in such extreme conditions. However, cockle testing has proven to be more difficult and time consuming due to extreme shrinkage.