Dear Tour de France cy­clists,


Look, it’s not that we don’t ad­mire you – we do. Your abil­ity to com­pete in what’s un­de­ni­ably the most bru­tally de­mand­ing sports event on the planet, day af­ter day, is in­cred­i­ble enough. But it’s your phys­i­cal abil­ity to do so while si­mul­ta­ne­ously treat­ing your bod­ies like lithe lit­tle guinea pigs in the name of drug ex­per­i­men­ta­tion that causes us to sit back in awe. What makes to­day’s race an un­de­ni­able Tour de Farce is the pre­ten­sion you’re against blood dop­ing, EPO and steroids – when we all know that with­out them, many would strug­gle to make it to Paris. Your best rider, Al­berto Con­ta­dor, was busted for tak­ing clen­buterol. In any other sport that would have seen him and his bike kicked to the kerb. But no, in­stead you gave him a two-year so­journ be­fore wel­com­ing his dop­ing, wiry lit­tle arse back. Not to men­tion a cer­tain Mr Arm­strong – who ar­guably flew higher than his Apollo 11 name­sake. See, at GQ, we think it’s time to start over. And let’s be­gin with a new venue – how does Tour de Colorado sound? Here, you’ll be wel­comed in what is a moun­tain­ous, ‘high’-liv­ing US state. And to re­ally sub­ject bod­ies to the kind of test­ing we want to see, you’ll sam­ple chal­leng­ing, and oc­ca­sion­ally thrilling, sub­stances ev­ery morn­ing, be­fore a stage com­mences. To make things more ex­cit­ing, we won’t say what you’re get­ting – it might be good old mar­i­juana-sourced THC in those Gummy Bears, or it could be LSD. But pic­ture the fun as the day goes on. No more of that de­scent pos­ture where you flat­ten your­selves out like a grasshop­per stuck on a mov­ing car, oh no, you’ll be fly­ing down hills with faces split by ‘look ma, no hands’ smiles while mak­ing loud ‘Wheeeee!’ noises. Or trem­bling in fear and grab­bing for the brakes given the sheer gra­di­ents. The climbs will be tough, un­less your Mys­tery Drug Pack­age con­tains the horse-sized whack of testos­terone that saw Floyd Lan­dis pro­duce an in­hu­man, and ca­reer-end­ing, per­for­mance back in 2006. We should bring him back, by the way, be­cause that guy is fear­less in his ap­proach to drug dosage, and that’s what we want. As for the sprint­ers, let’s see how much of a hurry they’re in af­ter a morn­ing mull cake. Yes, OK, some may die, be­cause an eight-ball of co­caine and ex­er­cise doesn’t al­ways mix, but hey, these are the kinds of risks you’re will­ing to take any­way. So, let’s just for­get the pre­tense and get on with it. May the strong­est man grin.

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