Concerns over the effects of smog-laden environments on the professional peloton, soon-to-be-defunct HTC unveiled the SmogBeater outfit to protect their riders from the damaging effects of air pollution at the inaugural Tour of Beijing.
“The fact that there have been dubious decisions involved in the creation of the Tour of Beijing, and the fact that it was granted WorldTour status prior to the race even being run are not the biggest concerns for me,” commented Bob Stapleton, soon-to-be-former HTC team owner. He continued, “I have immense concerns about the damage to my former team’s VO2 capacity, and potential long-term effects on their systems due to exposure to Beijing’s notorious pollution.”
Stapleton put that angst to use, creating his SmogBeater cycling kit, after 18 months of research in some of the world’s most deadly and pollution-laden climates.
“I understand the UCI’s eagerness to grow the sport of cycling, yet they choose to expose these fine young men to crazy air conditions. There is a price to pay for trying to grow the sport in Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. Sure, I understand the economics of lining their own selfish pockets, but the potential carcinogenic effects to the peloton are astronomical,” commented Stapleton.
The SmogBeater – a self-contained suit, complete with a fully-enclosed helmet – acts as a second skin by preventing the deadly Beijing pollution from permeating the epidermal layer of the body, regulates body temperature, and can also brew coffee utilizing recovered and processed urine.
UCI spokesperson Enrico Carpani, when contacted for comment, was concerned about the ramifications of introducing the suit to the peloton.
“It is developments like this that are causing our organization to have a UCI apparel approval process. Pollution is just another factor that makes our racing exciting and challenging; it’s no more damaging than the micro-dosing that is rampant this year,” commented Carpani.
UCI president Pat McQuaid was less diplomatic, candidly stating that this cutting-edge technology “bullshite” is one of the many reasons why he was glad Stapleton will no longer have a team in the WorldTour.
“Not only will they be fined if they show up on the start line with this rubbish, but I’ll personally tear the fooking suits off every single fooking rider,” concluded McQuaid.