I don’t give a shit that I’m nearly 40 years old; I would totally hang a poster of Ted King up in my living room if I had one.
If you don’t know who Ted is by now, you’re a dick. Ted is by all means, everything that is right with American cycling as well as riding as a Domestique for the Cannondale team. That is, he works his dick off for the benefits of the dirty-stached Peter Sagan. Ted proved himself an ass kicking lead out man for Sagan on more than one occasion and I can’t even explain the stoke I had when I saw he would be riding le Tour this year.
Stage 1 seemed to be going as planned for so many when all hell broke loose. A bus stuck under the finish banner, a finish line change, bus removed, original finish line reinstated all as I watched my television, pulling my hair, groaning a long drawn out “fuuuuuuuuuuuck”. I had to watch Ted slam to the French (Corsicean?) pavement on the first day, of his first tour. Nothing else mattered, Ted’s tour, my tour, was over.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed a “fuck yeah!” moment each of the following 2 days when he started the subsequent stages, and then an unfortunate “oh shit” when he was lined up at the fourth stage, the team time trial, not on a TT bike, but his road bike with bolt on aero bars. If he can’t ride in that horrid, cramped, lung squashing aero position with the rest of the team, how is he going to keep up? He couldn’t. The pain being too great, Ted had to get to the line as fast as he could, on his own. The team dropped him within the first km if I recall correctly and from there it was a maylay of emotion. My own ranged from disgust with for race officials having disqualified Ted to complete apathy for the remainder of the race.
At first my anger was focused on simply Ted being taken from my viewing and rooting pleasures over the rest of the race. I still don’t believe the purported 7 (or is it 8?) seconds would have mattered to the officials had the time belonged to Sagan, Cavendish or any other big name in the peleton. We could also dive into the fact his bike didn’t even have a transponder attached for official timing, but really though, it doesn’t matter. It’s over and if I’ve learned anything about Ted, it’s that he will push on. The support that the fans and fellow racers showed for him spoke levels.
Over the years Ted King has absolutely, with out a doubt, become my favorite American cyclist, even beating out Liz Hatch. Ted displays a level of humility that American cyclists should learn from, possibly all cyclists, but I only know the assholes from this country, so I’m trying not to generalize too much.
So yeah, Ted MuthaFuckin’ King. The dude. Heal up buddy, and I know I’m not only speaking for myself when I say we’re looking forward to seeing you back out there. Kick some ass.