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.