Is Cofidis a team of vampires? – CyclingTips

The team has taken to wearing masks, concealing their fangs.

During the worlds biggest bike race, Instagrams cycling meme accounts are operating at their peak. Theres a fertile array of memeable momentsOmi & Opi signs, daring attacks, Cavendishs return and a greater audience invested in the sport.The usual suspects are all there Anakin and Padm, Disaster Girl, Anthony Adams Rubbing Hands with cycling-related text over the top.

This year, though, theres an addition to the cycling meme canon that has come out of left-field, steadily building in momentum over the past few weeks to become the question on everyones lips:

Are the riders of Team Cofidis vampires?

Lets back up a bit. Team Cofidis, a French WorldTeam, has been in existence since 1997, with notable alumni including a pre-diagnosis Lance Armstrong and a mid-doping David Millar. Since its inception it has held a title sponsorship from the French money-lending firm, Cofidis, which, since 1982, has specialised in giving consumer loans over the phone or internet.

In 2020, Team Cofidis stepped back to the top tier of the sport after almost a decade as a second-division Pro Continental team. In that year, Guillaume Martin was an animator of the Tour de France, ultimately finishing in 11th place on the GC, an improvement on 12th in 2019.

In the lead-up to last years Tour, the (very excellent) CyclingTips contributor Tom Owen began collecting Panini stickers with the riders of the peloton on them. He then wrote an (also very excellent) article explaining what he thought the riders looked like. Of Guillaume Martin, he had this to say:

Guillaume Martin is the proprietor of an eerily quiet roadside B&B. During check-in you glance down at the gleaming brass bell on the reception desk and, just for a moment, it seems like he has no reflection. Dont be foolish, you think to yourself, Guillaume Martin is not a vampire.

If this is the origin of the Team Cofidis vampire legend, its understandable why. With his brooding charisma, elfin features, and expressive eyebrows, Martin certainly has the look of a guy that could be cast as a vampire in an off-season, off-Broadway play.

His temperament seems to match. Hes one of the pelotons intellectuals he holds a masters in philosophy, is the published author of a book of philosophy called Socrates on a Bike, and dabbles in playwrighting.

Im not saying hes a vampire. But Im also not saying that hes not a vampire.

Tom Owens initial observation planted a seed which, a year later, has blossomed into a beautiful tree laden with fruity memes.

Instagram meme account @i_simp_alaphilippe is at the fore of the #cofidisisvampires movement. Since May, the account has steadily built a mythos in support of the joke, which has gradually become more surreal in its evolution.

Over the last couple of weeks, other cycling meme accounts have jumped on board, furthering the #cofidisisvampires narrative arc.

@meme_handups posits that Lachlan Morton is a vampire hunter, and his Alt Tour is a cover for a France-wide quest:

Mortons not the only vampire hunter looking for Cofidis riders: Van Wiggins is on the case, too:

@froomesinhaler has found a picture of Cofidiss spooky abandoned castle, and also has a big scoop involving the teams development squad:

@chapeaubidon has created a Wikipedia page with the teams fake ( or is it?) back story:

Both the team and its riders are relentlessly taggedin posts, and plenty plenty of people have been left very confused.

Team Cofidis management has played it straight so far, making no comment either in support or denial of the allegation that they are a cycling team made up of literal vampires. Guillaume Martin has, to the best of my knowledge, also failed to bite.

But Simon Geschke has addressed the issue head-on, in a paid Cameo video:

Youll note that he denies being a vampire, and provides a reflection in a mirror as proof. But the bed headboards look vampiric as hell, and he would say that hes not a vampire, wouldnt he? So take that denial with as much of a pinch of salt as you like.

Is Team Cofidis a squad of vampires? I mean, no. Theyve got a massive sun on their jersey, for starters.

But in this moment of the internet doing its absolute, ludicrous best work, isnt it fun to pretend?

For background, where are you located?

As far as i_simp_alaphilippe can be said to be located anywhere, we are merely a figment of your collective imaginations, buried in the uncharted depths of the human heart and the darkest recesses of mankinds psyche.

I can trace the #cofidisisvampires hashtag back to May is this when you first started posting about it?

The first use of #cofidisisvampires in the public realm, beyond the hushed whispers and secret glances exchanged between true believers, occurredin May, when Victor LaFays victory in Stage 8 of the Giro dItalia confirmed our suspicions that #cofidisisvampires.

What is the #cofidisisvampires ecosystem?

The group to whom you refer is known as the League of Extraordinary OCMemeurs:

We are a brother-and-sisterhood of brilliant, talented, and modest cycling memersdedicated to uncovering the truth about #cofidisisvampires and sometimes insulting Mathieu van der Poels fictional, yet-unborn child.

Is the origin of the meme fromTom Owens CyclingTips article?

The origin of #cofidisisvampires is undoubtedly centuries old and shrouded in mystery, but yes, the first recorded mention of the phenomenon in the modern era occurred in your own publication, when a traveller stumbled upon a Bed & Breakfast owned by Guillaume Martin and noticed that he did not appear to have a reflection.

I pondered on this notion for more than a year and I found more questions than answers: Had I ever seen Guillaume Martins reflection? Had anyone? If someone claimed to, wouldnt they almost certainly be lying? How do I know for sure that a French cycling team is not in fact a coven of mythical monsters that descends from their macabre and melancholy castle in the depths of the night to prey upon the blood of innocent villagers?

In lieuof negative proof and reason, my only option was to reject facts and sense and indulge my imagination in its wild flights of fancy.

Guillaume Martin, on the evidence before us, is an apparent vampire. But which Cofidis team member, based on your research, leads the coven?

I will divulge that we believe Guillaume Martin and Simon Geschke to be the elected Elders, but we have remaining questions regarding the structure of the coven and revealing what we do know could put our field agents at risk.

Which is the oldest of the Cofidis vampires?

While we are familiar with the current, publicly visiblemembers of the team and some of their subordinates, we have not yet traced the bloodlines back to the Originals, though we are working on it.

Have you gotten an official denial from Cofidis management that the team is vampires, or is Geschkesentirelyunconvincing, vampiric Cameo performance the closest to an official acknowledgement of the memes existence that youve received?

All we have is Simon Geschkesclearlystaged and heavily edited denial. If you look at the video, you can easily see his fangs, his cape on top of his Victorian armoire, the coffins on the ground behind the untouched beds, and the shimmer that indicates vampiric magic when he claims to show his reflection. He ends the video by drinking blood, which he claims is cherry juice, as if that were a thing. It is all precisely what a vampire would say a textbook and fraudulentdenial.

Cofidiss silence speaks volumes and any official denials would be met with heavy skepticism and doubt. We need definitive proof that they are not vampires and should they provide it, we will remain adamantand steadfast in our refusal to believe it.

@meme_handups is reporting that Lachlan Morton is, in fact, a vampire hunter, and the Alt Tour is a cover for a nation-wide vampire hunt. Is Team Cofidis directly targeted, or is he pursuing the civilian vampire population?

@meme_handups is a respected member of the League of Extraordinary OC Memeurs, but I am not privy to any independent field operations they may or may not be conducting and can neither confirm or deny that both Lachlan Morton and Sir Bradley Wiggins are monitoring Cofidiss actions and hunting vampires through the French countryside, nor can I confirm that our ultimate mission is to free these pitiable souls from their centuries of lifeless and loveless torture so they may finally find the rest they seek.

Thank you for your interest, but my time is precious and I must now re-embark upon my quest to bring the great truth of our time to light. #cofidisisvampires

Fangs for your time.

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Is Cofidis a team of vampires? - CyclingTips

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