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  • Michele

    Thanks a lot Dave…..

    I’ve been writing my autobiography for the past 3 years – all that work is down the drain.

    Have you been speaking with my publicist?

    A couple of corrections:

    I never trained with Johan on the Koppenberg. However we used to do 12 climbs in the one afternoon of the Paterberg. It was our favorite training route – there was a great bakery in nearby Ronse. The young lass behind the counter took a fancy to the Lion of Flanders and would give us all the homemade Speculoos we could eat.

    You also forgot about my exploits in the echelons. Can’t remember how it happened, but one day I found myself with Andrei Tchmil – boy he was a Flahute.

    Anyway, we were in a group of about 30 training near Oostende. It was blowing a gale; huge head-cross wind no matter which direction we were riding in. Tchmil and I would take turns and deliberately drop out the back of the group and effectively play a game of chicken to see how big we would allow the gap to grow before we fought the elements and re-joined them.

    Probably the hardest 4 hours of riding I’ve done.

    Aside from that, I think you’ve covered my career pretty well.

    I just now have to come up with a new Book Title.

    • Victoria Libby

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    • Joel

      I’d buy this book Michele

    • aletapgrossman

      my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning 18,512$,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h….Learn More right Here.
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  • Andy B

    I avoid needing to follow these steps but not riding with wankers

  • Whammy

    Surely the ex-pro knows a thing or two about doping? “Man, when the gendarmerie showed up at a small race start line, you could hear the sound of pills hitting the pavement as clear as day…”, or ‘I would’ve won a lot more if I was willing to do what everyone else was up to…”

  • jules

    I jumped on a bunch on Beach Rd and there was Koen de Kort and Hendo. I passed them like they were standing still! Possibly due to the red light..

    • choppy

      Were you racing to the red light you could see on the dodgy establishment up ahead??? Yep, that is very Euro, lunchtime “frolics” happen quite a bit in France.

    • ron

      “Look at this hubbard in full Lotto kit and matching bike! Hes too skinny to be Greipel.”

    • Michele

      Tip Jules …
      Not sure if you’re a Strava user??

      If so, any occurrences like this occurred before you join Strava, or the technology became available. It also took place before social media took off, and the term Selfie was unknown.

      It’s such a convenient excuse … because not only does that passage of time allow you to be a little vague, and you’ve got no evidence to support the claim, it also explains why you are so much slower now than what you were.

      That’s how I usually explain things when I’m be given the 5th degree by someone.

      • jules

        oh I don’t use Strava Michele, there’s too much chance of fellow pros recc’ying my power numbers

    • Abdu

      I saw this little dude waiting on the corner of Bay Street and Beach Road once, full Hubbard Team Sky kit down to the matching replica bike.

      I scoffed and audibly snorted passing him.

      Yep, it was Gerro.

      • jules

        it’s funny how you see these guys and think “nah, the real Gerro would be bigger than that!”

      • Hehe

        I had the same experience chuckling at a dude on a Trek in full disco kit once, until I got close enough in the bunch to see it was Matt White.

        • Don’t worship these guys.

          I wonder if he took EPO for bunch rides as well?

        • Annie.

          I did that with a guy in National champion kit we met on the road several years ago:

          Me talking agitatedly about how stupid those guys look – never training but showing off and so on – with their KOM and World champion and proteam kit jerseys. – But it actually was a former National champion….

        • MB

          Spring 2012, on the way to Sa Calobra (Mallorca) with my girlfriend, we had to stop to remove a few layers… then I saw someone in the British Champ’s jersey coming toward us… “Hey, look at the guy who thinks he’s Bradley Wiggins…” Well… it turned to be the real Wiggo who gently saluted us as he passed by. Not necessary to say that we never caught him…

      • hornk

        I was on the local morning ride a few years back and noticed it was a bit more bonkers than usual. Then I noticed some twat in a full on BMC world champ kit. I was wondering what tool would wear such a thing, then he pulled off and uh, it turns out it was Cadel. Then I got dropped.

        • xponti

          I used to ride with the Dutch team…..and here’s proof.
          Of course the “I used to ride” lasted for about 30 sec after they stopped at the lights and I managed to redline myself just trying to catch up…
          Needless to say I spent the rest of my ride off the back of the group I WAS riding with…

  • Johnny

    Once took André Greipel and Bert Grabsch for recreational riders. Thought they were just two guys overacting in dressing up and looking like pros. Brought myself to a pityful salute, then saw THAT LEGS and recognized that it was the real Gorilla with his mate Grabsch. :D

    Luckily, I never ran into one those fake ex-pros yet. But here in Germany you sometimes run into amateurs and recreational riders boring you with their stories with whom they trained during their training camp in Spain or Italy respectively. For my part, I often bore the others by telling them proudly from my race against a guy who’s pro now and beat the shit out of me. So perhaps we should be more indulgent and look at ourselves first. It’s probably just a waste of energy to let those stories annoy you. On top of that, these stories can be really entertaining. ;-)

    • Sean

      Both Bert and Ralph Grabsch had a mean looking set of legs.

    • Annie.

      We once actually rode with a guy in a training camp in Spain. I – as an absolute beginner – was the only one not to recognize him. But after he joined our group, the whole group slowed down and nobody wanted to ride in the front anymore. I didn’t get it, but enjoyed that single day at decent speed we had: It was the only ride where we actually went at basic endurance speed (even though the others always pretended to do so). As I was told later, it was Eric Zabel, back then working for HTC Highroad, who joined us.

  • Spider

    yep, had this happen earlier this year, I was sitting second wheel, my two mates sitting up ahead….just the 3 of us…and this bloke slides into the gap on my right and within seconds is reeling off his previous history….I was, up until that moment, actually listening to my two mates up ahead talk about their respective weeks….next thing you know I’ve got some bloke telling me how he beat Phil Anderson when Phil was knee-high to a grasshopper. arragh.

  • Another Matt

    A real ex pro may have gone through most of above, but what sets them apart from the fake pros is you will never hear any of it except for a drunk night out talking about glory days. They usually couldn’t care less about getting passed on the road by a bunch of charity riders, for some reason it does seem to be a sport that attracts wannabes/lookatmes cough wankers cough.

  • Tom Wells

    They usually have that grin on their face too!

  • MJ

    Ha, Het Werzelgummage. I laughed at that. Possibly too obscure of a pop culture reference for Australian readers. Most poms will get it.

    • HK

      It was on TV here in the ’80s. Also, not really pop culture.

  • Henry

    More than anything else this article makes me want to read ‘A Dog in a Hat’ again…

    • Nick Squillari

      Funny you say that, my copy is on its way. Always been on the ‘must read’ list.

  • Nbob

    Then there’s the guy who, a few years back, shows up for a club ride in full Discovery Channel kit. Pretty much the first words out of his mouth are that it’s not a replica but “team issue” he got from his buddy Lance; and how he has a signed yellow jersey at home; and how he goes to Texas every winter to ride with his pal Armstrong.

    FIrst 5 min of the ride and it’s clear his skills are considerably lacking. A half hour in and he wipes out the guy in front of him ( and blames that guy for it ). A few of us offer to ride off the back with him so he can get some pointers on riding pace line and he screams ” I don’t need f’n pointers- I f’n ride with Lance f’n Armstrong and you guys are the worst f’n club I’ve ever joined” And off he goes.

    I’m telling that story a few months later and I find out it’s true …. sort of. The kit did come from Lance, who had donated it to a charity auction. He did have a signed yellow jersey, though not a TdF one, but a jersey that was yellow with Armstrong’s signature ( again bought at a charity auction) and he did ride with the seven time TdF winner ( asterisk ! ) a few times after shelling out thousands of $ ,along with a few hundred others, for some fund raising rides.

    Turns out one of the people I was chatting with was his ex-sister in law and the marriage collapsed, in large part, because he kept wiping out the joint savings account – with out the wife’s permission- to be a fanboy .

  • Larry @CycleItalia

    The best way to spot a fake ex-pro is with your ears – when they start blathering on and on. REAL pros don’t do that – they don’t need to run their mouths – their legs do the talking for them.

  • takethattakethat

    this is such a bitter article…. who cares, just ride your bike, have fun, make friends and drink spros

    • icepro

      Have to agree a bit here, the point seemed to be, those that waffle on about some imaginary career as a cyclist, but it’s descended into ‘slagging off’ anyone who rides team kit.
      Just look around and see all the OGE kits worn, and a few years ago all the BMC kits, with guys on BMC bikes, it supports our riders, so lighten up, wear what you want, otherwise i’ll ride an article about the elitist who wear Rapha…

      • Steve G

        Are we not allowed to ride brand name bikes now either?

    • Alan

      Yep. Who even cares?

    • the hack

      What’s worse ex fake professionals or rude wannabe pros so focused on their next strava ” monument” that they can not be bothered to acknowledge your presence when you say gday as they race by. The Great Ocean Road is awash with these arrogant wannabes. Good manners cost nothing. Snobbery and rudeness are so unbecoming

      • Sean

        I couldn’t agree more, I ride it most days. It’s usually out of towners who think they’re too ace to say g’day as I fly past them on a climb or wave when going in the opposite direction.

  • icepro

    Phew, I’m in cycling archives. Thanks to whoever did that…

  • ceedee

    I know this article is tongue in cheek, but it would be the saddest think in world if people are really pretending to be ex pros. Especially given professional cyclist are about trust worthy as used car sales persons.

  • Steve G

    This makes me glad I mostly ride by myself…

    • GT

      Me too. Although the real reason is that I’m so slow. Anyway – in the vein of some of the stories above.. A few years ago I was out on my own one summers midweek morning heading from Queenscliff over to Torquay for breakfast. Just tooling along, some guy in a nondescript white top cruises up. “Gidday”. “Lovely day”. “Where’ve you come from ?”. Looks familiar – hmmm, it’s Cadel Evans. Sat with me for a few minutes chatting. At no more than 30k’s. Then its “have a nice ride”, all of a sudden out of sight.

      • Steve G

        I would’ve asked him to sign my boobs.

        • Andy B

          *moobs

  • VO2min

    #11. They write a column called “The Secret Pro.”

  • Allez Rouleur

    This is pretty darn funny.

    That said, I try to stay away from these types. I came to cycling in my early 20s after ending my competitive sporting after playing Division I college sports here in the U.S. I wanted something to keep me active, to have fun, to get some exercise, and that I could be competitive with myself at, that was all.

    I did some group rides, but at least on those I found in my area, those aren’t the types of folks I want to be around on weekend mornings. I like to think of myself as a “soul” roadie, along the lines of a soul surfer. I want to be fast and on form, but I also don’t want to lose the joy of riding a bicycle. For me, anyone who loves an ugly modern carbon bike and has no appreciation for a classic steel beauty is a sign of someone I don’t want to be around.

  • Ralph

    Haha, good stuff

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