The hallowed Vuelta a España, with the 14th stage completed today, emphatically denied the rumors circulating about a potential merger with former Radioshack team manager, Johan Bruyneel.
The gossip gained velocity after Leopard-Trek, Liquigas, GreenEDGE, Sky, Skil-Shimano, Vacansoleil, Cofidis, Movistar, Euskaltel, Europcar, and Team Type 1 mergers with Bruyneel had been summarily dismissed by the respective owners of those teams.
Representatives from Leopard-Trek were dismayed that speculation had moved away from their team and on to a Grand Tour, as the rumors, according to team manager Brian Nygaard, “… represented some of the only positive press and attention we’ve received this year.”
Bruyneel was more than willing to speak at length about his grand schemes and intentions. After three hours of pontificating about his managerial genius in winning the Tour de France nine times “with empty vessels that needed to be molded to his winning ways,” Bruyneel was ready to discuss the Vuelta rumors.
“It is something that I’ve always considered wanting to do. After my failed attempts to raise funds from a Qatari billionaire, and then a billionaire from Dubai, for my breakaway league concept, and then after Jonathan Vaughters told me to piss off when I stormed out of the meeting with the UCI in the spring, I pondered a merger with a Grand Tour,” commented Bruyneel.
“After all, I did win a stage in the Vuelta and I did meet Lance Armstrong at the Vuelta, so it does hold a special place in my heart,” stated Bruyneel. When asked about Miguel Indurain’s thoughts on his stage victory, Bruyneel stood up angrily, threw his chair across the room, flipped the conference room table, and walked out of the room cursing about the “losers” in cycling.
The UCI was firmly committed in their opinion on any mergers between Bruyneel and a Grand Tour.
“Our record speaks for itself. Our partnership with the ASO means that Bruyneel’s attempts to create a fiefdom for himself in Spain or any other country will be met with stiff opposition. Frankly, we’re tired of Bruyneel embarrassing us with respect to our major corporate sponsors. His attempts at fundraising so far have only netted a third rate electronics corporation that sells outdated remote-control vehicles and is on the verge of bankruptcy. I think that says it all,” commented UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani.
Representatives from the ASO, when contacted to comment on the allegations, could only be heard laughing uncontrollably, while seemingly rolling on the ground behind their desks.