Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The exclusive Oprah Interview with GW Qwadsworth

Lots of Madones in the news today.  Not in a good way. 
But what the hell, sometimes bad coverage is better than no coverage at all, and when it comes to the mainstream media you can't be too picky.  And anyway, who is the happiest ghost wearing pink on the top of Mt. Ventoux today?  Marco Pantani.  Might have been a gift, but at least it was a level gift (and by level, I mean about a 22% incline.) 

This, quite obviously, begs the questions: what exactly happened between The Manimal and Qwadsworth on the top of Brokenback in 2012, and was it a gift, and who was doped and who wasn't, and did Qwadsworth suck the Manimal's wheel only to drop him when things got easy?  All shades of grey, questions that have, until now, remained unanswered.

But Oprah is now a cycling pundit, and that means no stone will go unturned. Because, unfortunately, if Bob Roll can't bring you back from the cycling dead, you've got limited back up options, and Oprah's probably your last shot. 

What follows is the no-holds barred interview, conducted over the course of 2 plus weeks, between the embattled 2012 Pantani Ride Champion Gordon Qwadsworth, and none other than the former talk show legend herself.  A brilliant piece of reporting, coveted by news anchors and celebrities of all kinds, Qwadsworth chose to give Oprah (and only Oprah) the full skinny.  Here it is:

OPRAH:  First things first: did you see me moon you when you rode by my office today.

Qwadsworth:  Oh hell no.  I'm moving way too fast to make time for anything so asinine.  Get it, ASSinine.  Because you mooned me.  You know, like, your butt? 

OPRAH:  Officially, and yet still remarkably unofficial, you won the Pantani ride last year. What was your time? What happened at the front of the race?

Qwadsworth: I won't comment on how it broke down on the mountain, that's between "us and them" as Pink Floyd put it. Let's just say The Manimal and I left Brokenback worse off than we found it.

OPRAH:  Wait, but without television coverage at the top, no one even knows who was there. 

Qwadworth:   All I know is when Bob Anderson took off down the mountain we were on our own.

OPRAH:  So Bob was there too?   But he abandoned?

Qwadsworth:  OK, it went down like this.  At the top of Simmons Gap (maybe, but I could have made that up) Bob "Where's your kittens at" Anderson informed us he had to get back home and promptly dropped off the side of the mountain, cutting his own trail line-of-sight style home. So we headed down the gravel, figuring that the Anderson Path was probably not the intended route. We got lost more than a few times, Manimal and I charging up the road and blasting back towards the farm once we had completed the rough stuff.

OPRAH:  So you stuck it to the manimal when you hit the pavement.  How did that go down?

Qwadsworth:  The front is always a lonely place you see...lonely like a Australian highway with Mel Gibson hot on your tail. But I donned my best mustachioed Pirata grimace and hammered it home! Manimal in tow of course since we all know he gets a little dazed when the dirt stops.  Then I pipped him at the line. 

OPRAH:  Was it a gift?  How did the Manimal handle that?

Qwadsworth:  That rhymes. Awesome. How does the manimal handle anything? With a baby seal between his teeth and a grimace on his face.

Oprah: On a level playing field (that field being about a 22% uphill grade), who is the top dog, you or him?

Qwadsworth:  Tough for anybody to call that a level playing field but, if the field is leveled out at the 22% range, then Manimal's gearing definitely takes the cake, I only run a 32 cog out back so forget spinning, but we all know my mama didn't give me these legs. So I can hold my own. I think we're a pretty fair match there.

OPRAH:  Tell me about your training this winter?

Qwadsworth: My Training eh? 20 hours a week is the ballpark goal, fair mix of road and offroad, sometimes on a terrain appropriate bike. I'd say "training" is pretty much like this:

but more dubsteppy.

So Somewhere between Metro and Marco if you know what i mean.
OPRAH:  What's your favorite bike to ride? Favorite place to ride it? Favorite training ride? Most likely place to see you puking after a hard set of intervals?
Qwadsworth:  Honestly favorite bike to ride? SuperFresh, as featured off the front at this years Paranormal, twenty-nine inches and rigid, oh and covered in glitter. Favorite place to ride it? Anywhere the MAN tells me I cant, YEAH!!! I rode Preddy Creek recently, it was pretty incredible. I'm a big fan of that fast, flowy, machine built stuff dude. Wish i weren't, but like Harvey Milk I just wont deny it. (not sure if I can say that on live TV, Oprah, but I'm feeling you, baby). So anything wide open and full throttle, gotta let the Quads breath from time to time you know. Ryan Fawley says I have "acceptable" bike handling skills so I guess I stick to the fast stuff.
So, I get these updates from Strava, because I like to suffer vicariously through the winter training plans of other people. Here's an example from today:
"Your friends on Strava put in some miles yesterday:
Gordon W.rode 17.5 miles onFreezin out my little huckleberries!
  • He had his 2nd best time on Up Clay
Gordon W.rode 45.9 miles onmeet you half way and shake it up! Frank the Tank:Gravel Grifter
Gordon W.rode 49.9 miles onrowin a boat, missin you :), cramp-offs, mud dawg, chestnuts, ANGIE Grab the camera!
Gordon W.rode 42.8 miles onsolo mud dawgin, black and tan.
Keep going!

-Your friends at Strava"

That's the whole email, just updates about you. Can you explain what exactly is happening with my strava feed? Are you the only person I know riding? Or just the only IMPORTANT person riding, and Strava KNOWS that?
Qwadsworth: Maybe I rode that much, maybe i didn't. Did a nice little 240 mile road ride last fall, so you just never know, but then I rode 5 miles on the rollers a while ago too. All over the map man, just like a game of Risk with Shawn Tevendale. I can't guarantee I'm the only important person on your strava feed, I understand Eric Schofield Stravas, Horvath even ran the other day I saw, but I am the only Gordon W. Wadsworth...and that's saying something.
OPRAH:  What exactly is that saying?
Qwadsworth:  What is what saying?
OPRAH:  What you just said?
Qwadsworth: I didn't say anything. 
OPRAH:  Did you ride 156.1 miles yesterday?
Qwadsworth:  Yes.
OPRAH:  So, this subject has sort of been debated to death, but what do you think about the Pantani Ride course and what bike do you think is best for it? 
Qwadsworth:  The Pantani course is a lot like this sex dream I keep having about Joan Rivers.  It starts off pretty hot, she's young, I'm into her, she's digging me.  But then I get her up to my room, and all of the sudden it's more like one of those naked at a public election dreams, but Joan is still there, and holy shit, she's way older than I thought, and then the whole dream goes Sci-Fi, and she's got this huge green lizard tail growing out of her tits.  And then it gets really violent, and I have to escape, and I won't go into details, but it's moments like that when you're glad you're not on a road bike.  That's how the Pantani ride is. 
OPRAH: What about a Cross bike?
Qwadsworth:  I firmly believe Cross bikes aren't half the tool some folks claim they are. Look at Sven Nys, put him on a fatty road bike and he can rule the world, but give him a bike which can go anywhere and he falls to pieces. Case in Belgian point. And I can slay some gravel and dirt on my skinnies.
OPRAH: When Tupac sang, "Picture me rich rollin 100's" what wheel size do you believe he was referring to?
Qwadsworth:   It sure as hell wasn't some 650b trash. I mean come on people, you cant have your cake and eat it too. Would you ask for free health care AND donuts at your polling place? I don't think so. 
OPRAH:  Do you have a coach? 
Qwadsworth:  Coach? I pretty much get my guidance from the BRC blog....is there another option?

OPRAH:  Okay, let's get scientific.  What do you eat on race day?

Qwadsworth:  I know Bob Anderson's kitten quotient increases on the bike, but that's just calorie output I think.  Baby, I'm a sandwich makin machine, I'll pack a marmite and buttered toast sammie sometimes, pbj&a, hamandcheese, you name it baby and I'll take it on the bike, I once ate a ziploc bag full of rice and beans on the bike. I feel like Pantani specific nutrition should probably be some type of prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, and of course a half kilo of Colombian woot-woot.

OPRAH:  So, back to the Pantani ride, how do you foresee it playing out this year? Who is a threat to your title? 

Qwadsworth:  Threat to the title, baby, ain't no threats. Just eurotrash rave tunes from what I can tell on Youtube.

Kids these days man, they think Pantani was all about pink onesies and bandannas. Well they got a whole pile of hurt comin their way! 22% of gravel wont let up kind of hurt. But in all seriousness, I think Metro Solo can come down a mountain, and I understand Horvath is sitting on good cross fitness; presuming I don't roll in from lap 6 to find him fully dressed and holding a beer that isn't mine.  Yeah I just said that.

OPRAH:  How many nights per week do you wear the Maillot Pistachio to bed? How does your girlfriend feel about this?

Qwadsworth:  Every night.  And she's pretty offended by this point.  But the jersey is in great shape. 

OPRAH:  Which Wittwer would a whippersnapper whip if a whippersnapper could whip a Wittwer? 

Qwadsworth:  Great question.  I've been thinking about that for a long time.  The correct answer, I believe, is that a whippersnapper can't whip a Wittwer in the first place - they're all too fast to catch. 

OPRAH:  Looking past the Pantani ride, are you planning on racing singlespeed or gears this year? 

Qwadsworth:  I plan to slay it on both this year. Tidewater Challenge eluded me again this year, even though the effort required to wrest victory from my hands nearly killed Matt Bailey, so some SS will have to happen. I also have some titles to defend, including a 6Warrior Creek, and I may even give Nationals a shot in both the PRO race and also SS, that is presuming I can zip tie my wig to my helmet in between races, no 'do no deal.

OPRAH:  OK, last question:  Do you use, or have you ever used Performance Enhancing Drugs?

Qwadsworth:  I've never tested positive. 

OPRAH:  But have you ever used them?

Qwadsworth:  I'll cut you, you filthy prying bitch. 

OPRAH:  So that's a yes. 

Qwadsworth:  Look, I'll say it again, these quads are all natural, 100 percent pure, unadulterated, HGH free, genuine unaltered hams, and though they've crushed the souls of many a man, they've never, ever taken the needle and they never will.  You can touch them now. 

Oprah:  Let's go to commercial.  I'm going in. 

The transmission ends there for the most part.  It's hard to say what happened next, but you can sort of make out some squealing and gibberish, and it does sound like Oprah says at one point, "unlikely proportions for such a skinny little white guy" but it's hard to be sure.  In any case, Qwadsworth still maintains his innocence, at least when it comes to drugs.  The rest of us shelve him with all of our other shady heroes - Bo Duke, Lassie, pretty much the whole A-Team cast, and the like -  and we are left with little recourse but to watch and wonder. 

Feb 10th.  Get to the start line and see for yourself. 

Up, up, up. 


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