VeloWars: The Peloton Awakens!

With the exciting opening of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we at VeloVoices asked the question: Who in pro cycling could play the most iconic roles in the universe? (Plus, Panache and Ant are Star Wars nerds so this just had to be done. [Ahem, so am I – Kitty]) Using a vintage blue Star Wars card as inspiration, we went to work selecting our cast.


The Heroes


When Taylor Phinney came into pro cycling, he gave fans a New Hope; a hope that the sport could change and move away from the dark side of doping. The Force is strong with young Phinney, just like his father and his mother. Thankfully in our universe, Taylor’s father, Davis, is not Darth Vader but rather a remarkable example of perseverance as he battles Parkinson’s disease. Taylor’s attitude, personality, competitiveness, and determination give fans everywhere reasons to love the sport of cycling.


One of the mighty of the peloton who went through his own period of exile, due to the dark forces in the sport, and came back vindicated. Yes, our Obi-Wan is American cycling legend, Greg Lemond.


Han Solo is a fan favorite because he’s a brash smuggler with a heart of gold who’s not afraid to get into a fight. He prefers the blaster to the light saber. He’s rugged yet charming, very funny, and he gets the girl.  Who better to play Han solo in the Peloton than Peter Sagan. Peter wins races that way Han flies the Millennium Falcon: WITH PANACHE! Like Han Solo, Peter Sagan wins when it really matters, even with the odds are stacked against him because he’s a marked man.


In every Star Wars movie, Princess Leia’s strong determination and fortitude shine regardless of the danger or the environment. On Hoth she leads the Rebels escape after a massive imperial assault that includes Star Destroyers and Imperial walkers. On Endor, she battles Storm Troopers on speeders and then befriends the Ewoks. Like Leia, Marianne Vos excels regardless of the environment. Road, Cross, Mountain bike… it doesn’t matter. Vos could probably win a world title on the road, in a bronze bikini after choking out Jabba the Hut with her bike chain… Probably.


He’s a little taller than Yoda (and Fabian Cancellara might have more of Yoda’s idiosyncratic language skills), but his dominance of the sport in his heyday and his continued presence in the sport gets Eddy Merckx our vote for Yoda. The source of his power? The Force of his will to win.


Chewbacca is the ultimate side kick. He’s strong, dedicated and loyal. From what we hear at VeloVoices Towers, Laurens Ten Dam is the kind of teammate you would always want at your side as well. He’s hard as nails and never gives up. Known as the “Wolf Man” we think Ten Dam might actually be related to Chewbacca….Maybe it’s the hair.


If you ride with the style of a robot with knees and elbows akimbo and look great in bright yellow/gold, you might be C3P0 or you might be Chris Froome. The two-time Tour de France winner climbs mountains with awkward efficiency but unlike C3PO he never seems to be short on power. And if Froome is C3PO, it stands to reason that Geraint Thomas should be cast as R2-D2.


Like Lando Calrissian, Jonathan Vaughters started out as a good guy. Then he betrayed his values, betrayed his friends, and made some unfortunate choices. Then his conscience caught up with him and he decided to join the fight against the Empire. We all know that both Vaughters and Calrissian are smooth talkers and we’re pretty sure that Vaughters would wear a cape if given the opportunity. (Especially if that cape came in argyle.)


The Millennium Falcon is a very temperamental ship. It seems to need a lot of maintenance and attention to perform at its best. That sounds a lot like Mark Cavendish. But when the Falcon is taken care of, there’s not a faster ship in the galaxy. That sounds a lot like Mark Cavendish as well. We’re pretty sure that Cav is one of the only riders that could make the Kessel Run in “less than twelve parsecs.”  He’s that fast.

The Villians


It wouldn’t surprise us if Oleg Tinkov had a floating barge, with dancing women and bad European pop music. Tinkov’s less than politically correct twitter rants are on par with Jabba’s belches after eating a bowl frogs. Just like Jabba’s relationship with Han Solo, the the new-money Russian and owner of Team Tinkoff Saxo has had a love-hate relationship with Peter Sagan this year. We wouldn’t be surprised if Tinkov froze Sagan in carbonite and hung him on his wall after his final season as team owner in 2016.


We wouldn’t say that Brian Cookson is evil but come on, the resemblance to Count Dooku is uncanny! Time will tell whether Cookson uses his power for good but he is president of the UCI so let’s not jump to conclusions.


Accusations of all kinds abounded while Pat McQuaid served two terms as UCI president. Under the watchful eye of his master, honorary UCI president Hein Verbruggen, Mr. McQuaid did everything he could to hold on to power. But the more McQuaid tightened his grip on various cycling federations, the more votes slipped through his fingers. He was defeated by Brian Cookson in the most dramatic UCI presidential election on record. Reports of a light saber duel are unconfirmed.


Hein Verbruggen kept Pat McQuaid on a short leash during Pat’s tenure as UCI president, just like the Emperor and Darth Vader. The inner workings of the UCI have been the source of intrigue on an Empire-like scale. Even though he’s no longer UCI president, his influence still seems to cast a long, dark, shadow.

The Ridiculous


I believe this speaks for itself.

May the Force Be With You

We’re positive you probably have other ideas on casting!  If you want to share them with us, leave us a comment or give us a tweet @Velovoices! Whether you love Star Wars or not, we’re glad you like reading VeloVoices. Thank you all for your participation, comments, and kind words. May the Force be with you in 2016 as we begin a new cycling season!


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