After former UCI president Hein Verbruggen fired off a terse and angry letter to the IOC outlining the shadowy campaign against his rightful cycling fiefdom, Verbruggen held a press conference in Lausanne to announce his latest scheme to give cycling a “bright future.”
“After consultation with Burson-Marsteller, Ernst & Young, and Deloitte – at considerable expense – I have determined the best future for my sport is to have the WWE wrestling people administer it. Cycling is more than just riding a bike, and the WWE people know how to put on a show,” stated Verbruggen.
“Our work on this project began in earnest in 2006. I saw how wrestling weaves a story line to create interest, which we tried to emulate with the doping question marks, the strange bans on certain riders, the dismissal of bans on other riders, and the nonsensical behavior of the top brass of our sport. It’s true we used Vince McMahon as our template for cycling’s top boss character, and even though it’s been a rough go at times Pat has done an admirable job trying to play the role,” continued Verbruggen.
However, Verbruggen outlined the UCI’s lack of expertise in keeping the plot lines “sensical” as the main reason for ultimately opening discussions with the WWE.
“We lost our way with who the heroes and villains are, and we seemed to have picked the wrong people for the main protagonists. In “heinsight,” it should have been Armstrong as the evil villain in the plot, and that has come back to bite me in the ass hard. As you know, my “heinsight” is always one hundred percent right,” commented Verbruggen.
When asked why he felt the need to write a letter to the IOC and defend his honor to the committee, Verbruggen refused to comment.
“I’m here to talk about my sport, and my vision for the future of my sport. I’m not interested in talking about anything else. Shame on all of you for putting me in this position by asking me ridiculous questions such as this! Don’t you know I’m Hein Verbruggen? This is about WWE management of the sport of cycling and the UCI,” stated Verbruggen.
WWE head honcho Vince MacMahon was on hand for the announcement and offered his take on the proposal.
I’m just excited to add cycling to our sports management portfolio. I think we have the skills to help cycling change up the plot lines and get past this doping nonsense. I mean really, everyone dopes everyday. I’m flying high on 10 cups of coffee and a couple of caffeine pills right now. I think we can bring the entertainment value back into the sport and remove the political plotlines and put the action back on the road. I’m thinking a chain fight between Brad Wiggins and Chris Froome for starters.”
Pundits weren’t really surprised by the announcement.
“At this point, with what the UCI has done to date, in a perverse way this makes total sense. To hear Verbruggen’s aspirations were to emulate the WWE over the past decade or two puts everything that has occurred into complete perspective. Could we see bike gladiators in a velodrome shortly? Maybe it’s not a bad thing,” commented one pundit who may or may not have been Matthew Beaudin of VeloNews.
Details of the management deal were, as per typical UCI operating procedure, sketchy at best. Rumors of “The Rock” kicking off the Tour de France Grand Depart in Corsica remained unconfirmed at press time.