The scandal surrounding a time penalty handed to Julian Alaphilippe after Stage 5 of the Tour de France has taken a stunning turn, with US President Donald Trump refusing to hose down unfounded allegations of a Deep State conspiracy.
By PLEBEIAN CANCELLARA
Alaphilippe (Deceuninck Quick-Step) was hit with a 20-second time penalty after taking a bidon from a team soigneur inside the final 20km of the stage, which saw the coveted maillot jaune shift to the shoulders of British rider Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott.)
Alaphilippe did not protest the decision, except to say it was an innocent mistake.
Within minutes, however, rumours emerged that the penalty was in fact part of a deliberate plan hatched by the Frenchman to offload the jersey.
Those allegations took a dramatic turn overnight, when further claims emerged that the conspiracy went far beyond Alaphilippe’s team.
“Deceuninck Quick-Step is the only team with a ‘Q’ in its name. Coincidence?” shouted a very sensible chap holding a tiki torch.
“Now consider why Alaphilippe doesn’t want to lead the Tour at the moment – he doesn’t want the post-stage media commitments to interfere with his daily recovery.
“In other words, he wants to be anonymous, or ‘anon.’ Connect the dots, sheeple!”
The very sensible chap then began chanting “U.W.N.R.R.B,” an acronym used by very sensible people, which stands for “You Will Not Replace Rim Brakes.”
This is a reference to the unfounded claim that the professional peloton is controlled by a shadowy cabal of undead riders who live in the basement of an Illinois pizza shop and who maintain mind-boggling power-to-weight ratios by subsisting solely on a diet of ketones and blood from calf muscle sliced open by burning disc brake rotors.
Gruppetto Gazette White House correspondent, Mario Cheappannini, put these claims directly to US president, Donald Trump, who has previously “liked” tweets from accounts linked to the disc brake conspiracy.
“I’ve met some of these people, I have, I mean, I haven’t met them, but I know them, and I hear they’re very fond of me, very fond, and they say to me, they say Mr President, you have done more for rim brakes than any other American since Greg LeMond – more than Lance Armstrong, I kid you not – they say that, that it’s so tremendous what I’ve done, and here’s the thing: the people know that, they do, but you don’t report that – I don’t know why, but you don’t – the lame-stream media never talks about all the tremendous rim brakes we make here, and they really are the best, the best in the world, but all the failing Gruppetto Gazette can say is nasty, nasty things, so nasty, and it’s all her fault, Crooked Hillary’s, they know it’s true.”
When asked to explain what any of this has to do with his former presidential rival, the president responded obliquely.
“You know it, but I won’t tell you.”