With all the controversy of the last few days of the Tour de France with Alberto Contador breaking one of the unwritten rules of cycling by attacking the Yellow Jersey of Andy Schleck whilst he had a mechanical problem and couldn't respond, I thought it would be fun to reprint the rules of the Euro cyclist.
Created by Dom Guiver and Mike Flavell 1. Image and style shall be the primary concerns of the Euro Cyclist. When suffering, one must focus first on maintaining a cool, even composure and second on performance. Winning races is an added talent, and only counts if said Euro Cyclist wins with appropriate style. 2. Training shall be based solely on feel, while racing shall be guided by sensations and instinct: that is to say, “soul.” The Euro Cyclist will never accept tried or tested scientific training methods. 3. The Euro Cyclist shall NEVER, under any circumstances, wear plain black spandex bibs (shorts, regardless of colour are BANNED) or ANY team kit
containing non-prominent logos. Shorts will extend approximately 2/3rds of the way down the upper leg and will contain a compression band at the bottom (distinct in colour). In NO CONDITION shall they extend any further! 4. Legs shall be SHAVED year-round. ABSOLUTELY NO EXCEPTIONS. Certain hair removal creams are endorsed only on a case-by-case basis. One shall never show up to a race (be it large or small) with ANY amount of stubble visible on one’s legs. 5. A prominent line where one’s kit ends and where one’s deep tan begins is essential to one's image. Artificial tanning is BANNED. The tan shall reflect the level of training commitment. 6. The socks of the Euro Cyclist shall extend to within two (2) cm. of the main bulge of the calf muscle, and shall never extend further than one (1) cm. past said primary calf muscle bulge. All socks SHALL BE WHITE in colour with prominent logo placement. 7. Cycling shoes shall contain at least 80% white!
The following exceptions apply:
i) Colour combinations such as world cup stripes or Olympic gold for which the title has been EARNED.
ii) Shoes which are custom-made for specific riders by companies endorsed by this group. These shoes shall be accessible to the particular cyclist only, and shall follow the preceding rules. 8. If white cycling shoes are not available where the Euro Cyclist resides, white booties (or “shoe covers”) with prominent logos shall ALWAYS be worn. When booties are worn, socks shall protrude approximately seven (7) cm. above the ankle, and shall always protrude at a minimum one (1) cm. from any booties worn. 9. One’s bike frame shall contain between two (2) and four (4) colours IN ADDITION TO WHITE. All colours are acceptable as long as they combine tastefully and elegantly. In addition, wheel selection must also match frame and fork. 10. One shall race only on Campagnolo Boras or Lightweights. Fulcrum Racing One, Corima Aero+ or Zipp (404 or 202) wheelsets are considered stylish enough to be used as training wheels ONLY. Irregardless, ceramic bearings shall be used at ALL TIMES on both training and race bikes. 11. ALL wheels shall be equipped with tubulars, regardless of one’s ability in gluing them. 12. Ridiculously stylish eyewear (see endorsed products list) is to be worn AT ALL TIMES without exception. Glasses are to be worn over helmet straps at all times. 13. Hair shall be kept neatly short, and matching helmet shall be worn (again with prominent logo placement). The helmet shall be predominantly white. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES shall a clashing helmet colour be worn with one’s euro kit. Helmets are not to be worn when venturing indoors AT ANY TIME. It is encouraged that helmets are removed for proper patio etiquette, however, it is still considered acceptable to wear one’s helmet while outdoors on a patio (see rule 34). 14. In certain RARE cases, it shall be deemed acceptable to have long hair. In this event, hair shall be neatly slicked back in a severely euro style, and helmet SHALL NOT be worn. It is IMPERATIVE that rule 12 is followed in these special instances. 15. When riding, sans helmet (with short hair), a team issue cycling cap (white in colour), shall be worn. The bill shall remain in the downward position at all times. The cycling cap may be worn forwards or backwards to coincide with the specifics of one’s current hairstyle. During spring training, cycling toques shall be worn at all times in place of caps. 16. Kits must always be freshly washed, and one shall ALWAYS have applied a subtle quantity of eau de toilette (or “cologne”). It is, AT ALL TIMES FORBIDDEN to ride in an unwashed kit. This is severely detrimental to one’s image. 17. Saddles shall be white in colour ONLY and shall be manufactured in Italy or France. Exceptions may be made in the following cases:
i) Saddles containing World Cup Stripes or Olympic Gold when it is EARNED
ii) Italian flag colour combo when rider is ITALIAN (born in Italy) 18. Handlebar tape is required to be cork as well as WHITE IN COLOUR. Bar tape shall be kept in pristine white condition. This state shall be achieved either through daily cleansing or through frequent replacement. These jobs must NEVER be performed by the cyclist as one must maintain one’s image. 19. All stems must be a minimum of 120mm long and of a rise no higher than -10 degrees. Stems shall be positioned no more than 0.5cm above the top of the headtube. ALL stems shall ALWAYS be oversized, made out of ALUMINUM, and airbrushed in kit/frame colours. In certain cases (Mario Cipollini) it is advised that one airbrush a buxom young woman onto the top of one’s stem. 20. The Euro Cyclist shall ALWAYS have liniment applied to his legs before appearing in public. 21. Facial hair shall be restricted to (at a maximum) a goatee, and even this is discouraged. Moustaches, beards, and any combination thereof are EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED in all instances. Stubble is, however, advisable in virtually ALL euro-situations. It is important to note that this DOES NOT apply to the legs. 22. Campagnolo shall be THE ONLY acceptable component and it is hereby deemed superior to ANY Shimano product in ALL circumstances and situations. The Euro Cyclist is expected to have nothing less than an ENTIRE campy gruppo. Crank substitutions are NOT permitted. There is, however, a case by case exception for SRAM Red. 23. One shall NEVER, under any circumstances, acknowledge the presence of a cyclist riding a bike costing less than 2000€ in ANY public place. This may be severely detrimental to one’s image. If such a situation cannot be helped, it is CRITICAL that the Euro Cyclist regard his “acquaintance” with a patrician mixture of disdain and SEVERE condescension. 24. One shall NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, associate with triathletes. This cannot be overemphasized! It is FORBIDDEN to have any number inked onto one’s body before a race. 25. Any physical activity other than cycling is STRONGLY FROWNED UPON. This includes any form of running or swimming and their derivatives (this includes walking). The ONLY TWO other sports with a recognized degree of euro are: cross-country skiing and long track speed skating. 26. Mountain bike gloves are FORBIDDEN in all instances. Cycling gloves shall be slick, white (in accordance with kit), and have minimal padding. Padding will be beige or white in colour. Wearing NO GLOVES is entirely acceptable and encouraged. In the case of a Euro Cyclist wearing a leader’s jersey special gloves shall be made to match the colour of the jersey while simultaneously blending the colours of the team kit. 27. In a circumstance where any cyclist (or TRIATHLETE) ever displays aggression or disrespect towards a Euro Cyclist, he is required to ride up uncomfortably close to his foe and slap them in the face with his team issue gloves. 28. In the event a motorist disturbs one’s ride: one shall proceed to ride up beside the car, form a clenched fist and bang the boot of the car while doing one’s best to sound irritated in Italian. Wild arm and head gesticulations are strongly encouraged to help enhance the apparent rage. It is permitted to throw a bottle, if the perpetrator was a commissaire on a motorbike. 29. One shall NEVER rearrange one’s package while riding. Adjustments regarding seating/hanging comfort are to be done in private in order to preserve image. 30. ABSOLUTELY NO FORM of seatbag, frame pump, mud guard or mirror shall come within two (2) metres of one’s bike. 31. Gearing shall be restricted to a titanium Campy Record 11-23 cassette with a ABSOLUTE MINIMUM of 42-53 up front. One must never be seen pedaling at a cadence greater than 90 rpm in order not to detract from one’s calm/smooth factor, or “Suplesse.” The use of 25-toothed cog is acceptable for severely mountainous training situations. 32. ALL BIKES shall feature personalized nameplates next to one’s home country’s flag, located on the top-tube within ten (10) cm. of the seat-tube ON THE DRIVE SIDE ONLY. 33. Pedals MUST be either Look or Time. No other pedals are to be considered. As always, ANY form of Shimano product is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. 34. Espresso is a NECESSITY and as such it must be consumed normale or ristretto on a patio (preferably in Italy) in full kit; All other coffee shall be brewed strong and taken BLACK. The only milk permitted may appear frothed on top (if at all). The euro cyclist shall, if possible, develop a fondness for the triple ristretto. For extra Euro, consider ordering inconvenient multiples (e.g. a triple or more). The irony of increasing the number of shots pulled while simultaneously decreasing the volume per shot will enhance the experience for all parties involved. Sugar is FROWNED UPON, and in all cases SWEETENERS ARE BANNED. 35. All podium shots (“pictures”) shall be taken while wearing one’s team kit and appropriately matching casual euro shoes (such as Pumas). Socks shall remain within the guidelines above. One is expected to display an appropriate degree of bulge while receiving kisses/trophies. The bulge may vary according to the outlandishness/impracticality of the victory prize (e.g. livestock and/or enormous cheese wheels). 36. All pre- and post-race activity SHALL be conducted under a gazebo (this includes massages, interviews, seductions, and looking fantastic) leaving one in reasonable distance of the Euro-sun to top up one’s enviable tanlines and pose for photos. 37. Post-race, one shall be tied to one's mobile phone, receiving endless calls from:
i. One’s attractive girlfriend, or
ii. Important ad executives concerning modeling contracts. This shall be done under the protection of the post race gazebo. 38. Team bikes will be built up so that they violate the UCI weight limit in order that weights might be attached to the frame to demonstrate its superiority and lightness. 39. Motivational music during training shall consist of late 90s trance or progressive house, hereby known as 'euro beats.' NO EXCEPTIONS. 40. Water Bottles shall be referred to solely as "Bidons" and shall have a volume NOT EXCEEDING 500ml. Bidons shall always match team/kit colours. It is NOT ACCEPTABLE in ANY CIRCUMSTANCE to leave one’s bidons on the bike for more than ten (10) minutes post-ride OR while transporting bikes via bike rack. 41. Naked black ALL CARBON water bottle cages (manufactured by ELITE CAGES) shall be used on ALL BIKES. Exceptions include:
i) Special edition 24k gold cages, acceptable in certain cases such as photo shoots, prologues or where colour coordination dictates (e.g. gold cage with Olympic gold/white team kit). 42. A gold pendant on a very long, thin chain bearing some form of religious icon is STRONGLY recommended for mountain races. 43. While soloing in for a victory, one shall ensure that one’s jersey is FULLY ZIPPED and ALIGNED so that all title sponsors are clearly visible. One shall then smile and flex one’s arms while pointing sky-wards. The projection of one’s fatigue is EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. 44. When appearing in a photo spread for a sponsor’s products, the Euro Cyclist has the option of appearing fully nude, in team kit, or in a full Brioni three-piece suit (nothing else). Smiling is PROHIBITED in these instances. 45. When appearing in documentaries, one must be seen walking around the hotel in one’s kit at all times. It is also recommended that one constantly be eating something in front of the cameras. 46. When asked "how are you?" while riding one must proceed with one of the following…
i. Complain about coming off a sickness
ii. Explain that one is peaking for bigger races later in the season
iii. Mention that this is a "recovery ride"
iv. Explain that one is at the tail end of one’s daily six (6) hour training ride 47. If one feels the urge to relieve oneself during a race, one shall gracefully meander to the back of the pack, seat oneself sideways on the saddle, and pee into the sunflowers. It is the DUTY of the Euro Cyclist to ensure that no camera crew catches the act, for it could be severely detrimental to one’s image. Under no circumstances shall one dismount from his bike in order to urinate. 48. When climbing anything with a gradient above twenty (20) percent OR lasting greater than four (4) kilometers, the Euro Cyclist shall fully unzip his jersey and let it flutter freely in the wind. 49. When dropping out of a race, one shall avoid the embarrassment of entering the official broomwagon and shall instead wait for the team vehicle. When asked the reason for dropping out, one shall cite mechanical problems or oncoming sickness in order to avoid any negative speculation in regards to one’s fitness. 50. If in doubt, the euro cyclist shall mention in an interview that his pollen allergies are acting up, and that he’s not sure that he’ll win the Giro this year. In this situation he must note that the sensations are otherwise good, and that he will eventually win a beautiful stage. 51. Team-building motivational camps shall be held annually in the off-season. These are to place team members in as ridiculous a setting as possible. Photos shall be widely reproduced to demonstrate team cohesion. 52. During the pre-race medical checks, star riders of each team are strongly advised to play doctor with each other while shirtless. Photos taken must strive to be as HOMO-EROTIC AS POSSIBLE. 53. In order to avoid the harsh European winter, one shall:
i. Flee to the warmer climates of Mallorca/South Africa/Canary Islands/etc.
ii. “Train the mind, body and soul” with Kreitler-brand rollers 54. In the event of a crash, regardless of the gravity of an injury the Euro Cyclist shall mummify himself in fishnet gauze. The act of gauzing oneself (in order to continue racing while injured) is looked upon with respect by other Euro Cyclists as a statement of commitment and of strength of character. One shall use white gauze to bandage injuries; however, world cup striped gauze and/or national colors may be used in addition to white in select circumstances. 55. No form of large or obtrusive tattoo shall be printed onto the skin anywhere on the body. Small, discreet tattoos of the Virgin Mary or Olympic rings (assuming one has participated in Olympic games) no larger than three (3) cm. by three cm. shall be considered tasteful if AND ONLY IF located out of sight while one wears regular kit. 56. If a rider’s sponsors do not make quality parts, then the rider shall buy better parts and superimpose his sponsor’s stickers over them (e.g. Quickstep's past rebranding of Time products as Specialized). 57. No rider shall wear any shorts with any type of hole showing skin below unless said hole and or opening was from a recent crash DURING that training session and/or race. Wearing ripped shorts is allowed ONLY while one is struggling to the finish and/or to the correct place to wait for the team car to take one out of the race. 58. When cresting the summit of a climb the Euro Cyclist will sit up, zip his jersey, and reach into his pocket for a snack while simultaneously looking back to see who will be accompanying him on the descent. Note that while coasting to allow another rider to catch up (in order to work together on the way down) is allowed, coasting in order to rest is FORBIDDEN. 59. The Euro Cyclist shall own a sizeable parrot and will ensure that he is seen walking around photo shoots with it perched either upon his casually outstretched index finger or upon his shoulder. Hair should be slicked back for maximal effect. The parrot should either be white or it should contain three (3) or more colors found within the World cup stripes. One must always smile when pictured with the parrot. The parrot should speak fluent Italian. In certain cases it is deemed advisable that the Euro Cyclist possess, in place of a parrot, SEVERAL young pumas. 60. The Euro Cyclist shall never ride deep carbon wheels with aluminum braking surfaces, with the exceptions of Mavic wheels and the Ghibli disc. Aluminum braking surfaces detract from the seamless transition of black carbon to black tire that makes the Euro cyclist look so devilish upon his race wheels. Deep carbon wheels shall have prominent decals upon them UNLESS they originate from Carbonsports in Germany. 61. When the Euro Cyclist wins a race or a grand tour he shall stylishly uncork the bottle of champagne and spray it around the podium. If the rider is ravenous, slightly overweight and German he shall place the opening of the champagne bottle close to his mouth and drink (heavily) with puffed out cheeks and a smile. If the rider is truly Euro he will take the ENTIRE bottle of champagne in his arms and parade about the finish area with it. Champagne bottles must be COMICALLY OVERSIZED. One should spray the podium girls. Especially if they are dressed in white. 62. At the finish of a Grand Tour the Euro cyclist shall celebrate by cycling around the finish area decked out in team kit and proper Euro casual footwear. If married, the Euro cyclist shall have his child in his arms. The toddler may rest upon his handlebars, or in the event that the Euro cyclist achieves a podium spot, accompany the rider onto the podium. The child should have its own victory salute that will be used in conjunction with that of his/her father. In some cases the child is permitted to wear an entirely-too-large team jersey. This rule shall be upheld by ALL riders save for Mario Cipollini, who would be unable to comply due to the sheer number of offspring he has fathered courting supermodels over the past two decades. 63. It is highly recommended that the Euro cyclist utilize any opportunity to humorously don equipment that failed during the demonstration of superior physical strength. This serves the dual purpose of mocking one's sponsor and, in addition, providing a public display of why said rider did not finish the race on the podium. Breaking equipment due to power output is generally the best way to finish a race outside of winning it. If no spectators are present, the Euro cyclist shall prominently wear the broken equipment during all post race interviews. If the Euro cyclist suffers more then two mechanical failures of similar nature in rapid succession, throwing a petulant tantrum is strongly suggested.