Australian cyclist Graeme Brown, never a popular man in the peloton, has made damning admissions that are certain to destroy his career in Europe.
Brown has been involved in controversy before. In 2004 he survived claims by disgraced track cyclist Mark French that Brown and other renowned Australian riders at the AIS regularly injected “vitamins and supplements”, some of which were later found to be banned substances.
And during his road career he has been constantly admonished by fellow sprinters for an overly aggressive style (which included attempting to run down an official at the recent Jayco Bay Classic).
And now this. On his team Rabobank’s website where his Dutch teammates list as their favourite food such delicious sounding European delicacies as Sauerkraut with smoked sausage, Semmelknodel and Tortilla de patata, Brown admitted to a preference for …”Steak”
The majority of Rabobank riders also chose red wine, or at least strong coffee, as their favourite drink. One of them, a Bram Tankink, who loves to eat “carpaccio of white truffles” – the reason he hasn’t won a race or stage since 2005 – was careful to point out “decent” red wine .
Brown, already embarrassed by his food admission, was then asked about his drink of choice. Through quivering lips he squeaked: “Pure Blonde!” Crying, and handcuffed he was led away by Rabobank team management. His contract has been terminated and his name is now dirt in Europe.
Admittedly he wasn’t the only one. Jos van Emden who loves “milk and historical movies” was also given the flick.
Ironically, Robbie McEwen, one of Brown’s opponents and personal enemies, found himself in a similar situation with his Belgian Lotto team in 2008. Questions over his taste and good character were raised after teammates noticed him avoiding Belgian ales. Those suspicions were confirmed when Robbie’s wife was sprung preparing a chicken parmigiana (defrosted Steggles chicken fillet, tin of Ardmona tomatoes, and 2 Kraft Singles) in the family home in Brakel. Lotto officials then raided his house on the Gold Coast uncovering a slab of Carlton Cold and a couple of empty VB stubbies in the carport.
His new Russian outfit, Team Katusha, have allowed Robbie to drink Carlton Cold, the most tasteless beer in the world, on condition that he eats bear meat cutlets.