Being a cycling journalist should carry a health warning. Virtually every assignment involves going to a place where the sheer volume of protein on every restaurant menu is directly proportionate to the paucity of vitamins.
It?s no coincidence that the Tour de France press room is populated mainly by scurvy-ridden hunchbacks with bow legs and bad breath, who could easily find employment as extras in Pirates of the Carribean, and save a fortune for the make-up department.
CW is in Boulder, Colorado. It?s steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With cheese. And Team Slipstream are in town for pre-season bonding.
Around this time of year, the staff of CSC are being hunted down like animals in their famous outward bound team-building jollies. Discovery Channel used to take their new riders out to strip clubs in Austin, Texas. Slipstream, being the modern-thinking corporate-friendly team that they are, have opted for Office-style team-building seminars.
There hasn?t quite been a group hug yet, but I think they want to.
There was, however, a ?two-minute frenzy?, where the riders and staff were instructed to stand up, move around the room and greet as many people as possible. When Tom Danielson wins the Tour de France next year*, you can trace it back to this moment. You?ll be glad to hear that CW half-arsedly joined in, grudgingly shaking a couple of hands and grumbling about journalistic objectivity.
I?ve also has had the privilege of sitting through an hour-long pensions advice seminar for cyclists, where a serious-faced bean counter with overly shiny skin warned the Slipstream riders that if they didn?t salt away at least half their salary now, penury would await them on retirement. David Zabriskie and Christian Vandevelde weren?t listening ? instead, they spent their time leafing through a copy of Cycle Sport. They?ll die poor, but I believe they made the right choice.
* Warning: may not happen.
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Millar joins team-mates at Slipstream training camp
Team Slipstream-Chipotle: www.slipstreamsports.com.