Oct 26, 2014

Ballad of a Skybot

May 2013 - SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. Wiggins offline. Wiggins offline. Skybot admin, what do we do?

Skybot admin: No worries. We have Uran. He will do fine. We have Froome. Everything is ok. Do NOT panic. We will still complete the most important objective.

July 2013 - System Happy :) Froome has won the Tour. Even with Wiggins still in a state of malfunction

Admin: See. Nothing to worry about. We have the best rider and the best team. And nothing will stop us from our goal of total Tour domination now or ever going forward.

End of 2013 season - Admin, it pleases me to report that all Skybot systems are up and running. Froome is the Tour champion. Wiggins is back up and running after his malfunction. Porte is poised to conquer the Giro. Yes, Uran is gone, but we have seen his best and it isn't good enough anyway. The rest of the Skybot systems are ready to contribute. Next goal, Classics domination.

Admin: System be careful. Froome was left dangerously unprotected a few times at the Tour. What happens if he is isolated? Wiggins might be online but he isn't what we really want any longer. We've failed in the classics before. We must do better.

System: No worries. You're just paranoid. What changed since the Tour. We won the most important race and finished second with a backup plan at the most important race we didn't win. There is nothing to fear. We lost Rogers and it didn't hurt. Losing Uran won't hurt either. Everything is fine.

Admin: Sure. But don't come crying to me if there are problems. We are still fine but we must be diligent. We can't allow a meltdown the likes of what caused the upgrade from Skybot 1.0 to 2.0 a few years back. Wiggins is offline and repairing himself in a new form. We have no backup plan. It is like it was in 2011. One crash, one meltdown, one bad day, one idiot fighting us can kill us all. Don't you see?

System: Pffffft!

April 2014 - What is happening? We won a classic (not a Monument but Omloop is pretty good) and didn't get embarrassed at Flanders or Roubaix. Happy Dance time.

Admin: Uh. We got embarrassed in the Ardennes...again. We're a stage racing team. Why the hell can't you see we're falling apart. All the other stage race teams are at least visible in the Ardennes. We might as well send 8 guys we're punishing, Spanish team to Roubaix style. System, we're screwed pretty soon here. We don't even have a GC man for the Giro after losing Porte. Come on, can't you see?

System: Don't be such a killjoy. We'll win a stage in the Giro and then win the Tour again like we always do and everything will be fine.

June 2014 - No worries. The Giro was just us carting around 9 sacks of garbage in Italy. We're ready for next week. The Tour is at home and we have the champ. He's in good form, even despite his crash a few weeks ago. He even won the points there to prove his form. We'll be fine.

Admin: How can you be so nonchalant. You brought me into this screaming when Wiggins lost his nerve at the Giro. And now that I have given you advice, you won't take it. Stupid system, you are asking for a collapse. Porte is still having issues, whether you want to admit it or not. You aren't taking Wiggins to the Tour despite the cobbles even though he was top 10 at Roubaix and he's obviously in some climbing form given the win in California (climby enough to prove worth as a domestique). Oh yeah. Rogers isn't coming back, neither is Uran and Henao is hurt What the hell do you think you're doing with the squadron of suck supporting our leader.

System: If I'm doing such a bad job, just whack me. You are the Admin.

Now that you're obviously keeping me, SHUT UP and let me win again.

Admin: ...

July 2014 - SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. SYSTEM MALFUNCTION. Tour ends in failure. Admin. Admin. Admin. Where are you Admin? Froome crashed out. Porte wasn't ready. Everybody else except Nieve stinks. How? Why? What happened? What do we do? Admin. Admin where are you? ADMIN?

Admin: zzzzzz....zzzzzz......zzzzzz......zzzzzz

August 2014 - What the hell happened? Froome lost in a time trial? Of all things. Revolting. Admin. Are you there? HELP. HELP. HELP.

Admin: zzzzzz...zzzzzz... Boop, Boop. Admin awake...I see you have seen the folly of your ways. Skybot 3.0 initiated. Must buy new riders for next season. Enter Roche, Viviani, Konig and others. Exit mostly useless Italian riders and fading Boasson Hagen.

System: Why those guys? We need a new GC man. A real one. Like the departed Uran.

Admin: Process. This is a process. We need to win the Tour again. We need a team that can do this. Nieve last season was not enough. We need climbers. We need help. We need the Skybot train to take its rightful place in the cycling world: on top.

October 2014 - Froome wants to ride the Giro, not the Tour. Repeat, Froome wants to ride the Giro, not the Tour.

Admin: WTF? System overload. System overload. I'm too old for this nonsense. System, you're on your own. I'm tired of this. I'm following Wiggins to the track and Rio. I hear the weather is nice there.

New Admin, formerly System: Now commissioning Skybot program 3.0. Rebooting system. See you in April. Goal 1: Win Paris-Roubaix... WE SHALL NOT FAIL AGAIN.