Recently, we revealed the amazing new Cervelo InvisiBike with which the Garmin-Cervelo team hope to win the 2012 Tour de France.
Today, with LeopardTrek on the brink of joining forces with RadioShack to form the new RadioSchleckTrekNissanCyclingShackProfessionalLeopardRacing Team, we can exclusively reveal the tactics with which team boss Johan Bruyneel aims to propel his new star Andy "What's a nice boy like you doing in a peloton like this?" Schleck to Tour victory.
Creeping round the back of the hospitality tent at the Tour of Britain to slide a camera under the walls for a sneaky shot of the podium girls' knickers, ace reporter Ian Twitchie-Forrts overheard the Belgian ex-pro holding a whispered discussion with an unknown character who we've since decided was almost certainly John Burke, president of the Trek Bicycle Corporation on the strength of little else than A; it sounded like a man's voice, B; Burke is a man and C; Twitchie-Forrts learned his trade at News International and doesn't see why shoddy journalism should get in the way of a good story.
|A highly-skilled master of stealth and disguise, ace reporter|
Ian Twitchie-Forrt can move around undetected anywhere
he chooses. That's how Cyclopunk brings you news stories
you won't find anywhere else.
Realising, as journalists say, that a scoop of this magnitude would fill several thousand sewage works and earn him such gratitude from Cyclopunk editors that they might even stretch as far as to buy him a can of Special Brew, Ian withdrew his camera and another piece of equipment he prefers not to specify; then went off on a prowl around the team compound to see what he could find. He struck gold at the LeopardTrek bus, having taken some time to find it due to originally mistaking it for a spacecraft.
"Basically, I rigged up a quick disguise and sneaked round the side of it," he says, "and let me tell you, I was bricking it in case they had any pitbulls or Jens Voigt on guard. They didn't, though, and so I was able stick my head in through the bus's emergency exit at the back - and, well, I couldn't believe my eyes."
"Nearly four weeks I've been in this business, but never have I seen anything quite like the bike they had hidden away on that bus," he continues. "It was like something from another planet. When these pictures get out the UCI are probably going to go mad because all the other teams will just give up and not even bother applying for the Tour. Later in the day, as they were loading up the pasta, they actually took the bike off the bus for a minute or so and that's when I managed to get a photograph."
Our resident expert Neil Droznan spent last night examining the photographs and has come up with an explanation of what Bruyneel is planning.
"It's a simple matter really," he says. "as well know, drafting is permitted in team time trials. Cancellara, as we all know, is the best time trialist in the world and the air gets out of Voigt's way in case he hurts it. The only trouble is, whereas Andy and Frank can climb a mountain like a goat on amphetamines, they're well-known for not being that good at anything else - well, except embroidery and flower-arranging. As a result, they're just not quick enough on a TT course to draft behind Fabian and Jens."
"Having also taken a close look at the UCI time trial rules, I've been able to discover that at no point does it mention six-seater bicycles or whether or not they're permitted in competition," he adds. "So what Bruyneel plans to do, obviously, is stick Voigt on the front to frighten the laws of physics out of the way; Cancellara behind him to act as the engine; bung Posthuma, Gerdemann or whoever in the middle to make up numbers and then stick the Schleck boys at the back so they don't slow the team down and get a bit of a kip so they're all rested and ready for the steep stuff.
We rang Bruyneel at his lair in a mountaintop castle in the Belgian Alps, hinting that we know what he's up to - at that time he refused to comment other than cackling darkly. However, he phoned us back this morning and told us to look outside. We subsequently did so, but can't see anything different out there.
Since we have better things to do, would one of our readers be so kind as to keep an eye on this live webcam feed and alert us if you notice anything?
(Does not apply to images attributed to other authors/owners)