On January 1st, Rapha CEO Simon Mottram issued an open letter on the Rapha website celebrating their new partnership with Team Sky. Cyclismas has learned, however, of secret negotiations between both parties revolving around Wiggins’ conduct in 2012 and has obtained several emails between Team Sky and Rapha.
The negotiations involve concerns from Rapha over Wiggins’ behavior during press interactions, and also his public displays of intoxication – including most recently the post-SPOTY awards ceremony where the newly-knighted modster was seen satiating his McDonalds munchies at 5 am in the morning.
“We understand your concerns, and we will do our best to ensure Wiggins refrains from foul language while wearing any clothing which displays the Rapha brand. We emphasize with your desire to retain a snooty/moody feel of your marketing efforts, and will review your conduct clause requirements specifically engineered for the soon-to-be announced Sir Wiggins,” stated one email from an anonymous Team Sky marketing division member.
A second email from Wiggins himself contained his comments to the Team Sky marketing staffer, who in turn forwarded them on to Rapha. “Would it make you c**ts happy if I whipped off my kit at press conferences first, stood f**king naked, and then fired off a couple of blue word bombs? Are you f**king kidding me? I’m a g**damned knight-in-waiting you stupid c**ts,” stated a more colorful section of the email.
The final email in the chronology shows Rapha’s attempt to have Team Sky agree to certain performance standards while wearing the kit, including words which were permissable for Wiggins to use, including the following:
bitch(es) both as a noun and verb
shite, shitestorm, shitehead, shite-stained, shiterag, shite rider(s)
The Rapha team also suggested alternative words for Wiggins’ three favourite curse words, which the Rapha team found offensive, and offered a £10 bounty every time Wiggins used the euphemisms, plus a free Rapha t-shirt to give away to whomever he chose. The preferred Rapha variations were “eff” (and variations including “effing”), “wonker,” and “bunts.” Rapha went so far as to offer a t-shirt mock up with Wiggins’ Rich Mitchelson caricature and the word “wonker” to sell via Wiggins’ foundation.
Pundits weren’t surprised by Rapha’s maneuvering. “Look, the company is taking a big risk with Team Sky and Sir Wiggins’ escapades. They could undo five years of careful brand crafting with one misplaced tirade by the moody superstar. I think Rapha is better served using Eisel, Froome, or Porte as poster children for the brand. They’re more educated and a better reflection of the morals and ethics of the luxury cycling brand,” stated a journalist who may or may not resemble Velo’s Matt Beaudin.
Rapha and Team Sky both refused to comment on the leaked emails. Sir Wiggins was typically unavailable for comment as our query did not go through designated media handlers Richard Moore or William Fotheringham.