Local rider and professional cyclist Kristabel Doebel-Hickock, voted 2018’s Rider With The Hardest Name To Spell, stood on the podium at the end of Stage Two in the Women’s Tour Down Under yesterday.
Although she refused to credit her victory to her three or four rides with shadow coach Wanky, the editorial board here at Cycling in the South Bay was determined to take credit for her success whether it was due or not.
We called Kristabel in Australia, waking her up from a deep slumber a few hours before she had to get up and start preparing for the crucial Stage Three. “Who is this?” she asked.
“It’s me, your shadow coach.”
“How did you get my number? And why are you calling me in the middle of the night?”
“I wanted to interview you about how I trained you into the racer you are today.”
The line went dead, but I was not deterred, so I began calling my sources in the South Bay, riders who had played a pivotal role in developing Tink into one of the most feared riders in the pro peloton. My first call was to Chief, the man who had discovered Tink one day as she pedaled along the bike path.
“Yo, Chief, Wanky here. Did you see the story about Tink?”
“I did, indeed.”
“Could you say a few words about how you discovered her?”
“Sure. I’ll never forget it. She passed me on the bike path one day and I immediately recognized world class talent, so I rode up to her to give her some advice.”
“What was the advice?”
“I was going to tell her she was talented and should join a development club like Team Lizard Collectors.”
“Then what happened?”
“Nothing. I was breathing so hard when I caught up I couldn’t talk. She saw a greasy old man sweating last night’s hangover profusely out of every pore, and sprinted away.”
“Got it.” Next I phoned up the rider who had taught her more than anyone, Team Lizard Collector’s legendary Dear Leader, G3. “Yo, G3. Tink killed it at the Tour Down Under yesterday. Any quotes about how you taught her everything she knows?”
“Of course, of course. First I put her on a rigid schedule. Mondays off. Tuesdays LT efforts for 2 hours. Wednesdays big ring intervals up Via del Monte. Thursdays NPR with sprints. Fridays easy spin. Saturdays Donut Ride. Sundays 2 x 2 pacelines to the Rock at 75% of threshold.”
“And then what happened?”
“I dunno. She did the Monday day off that I advised and then got a coach. I only rode with her a couple of times after that.”
“And is that when you shared your wisdom with her?”
“Sort of. But she kept dropping me so I couldn’t really talk much.”
“Check. Thanks, bro.” Next I called up Psycho Mike. “Yo, Mike. Wanky here. Didja see the news about Tink?”
“Any choice quotes about how you helped her become the great rider she is today?”
“After the restraining order I couldn’t really help her that much.”
“Oh, right. Thanks.” Finally I rang up G$. “Yo, Money. You see the news about Tink?”
“Can you give me a coupla quotes about how you trained her to be one of the world’s best?”
“Wanky,” he said. “Genes.”