"I owe it all to drugs."
Thus came the extraordinary admission from Tour de France winner Antoine de Groot today as he stood on the podium after being crowned champion for the third year running. Press and fans alike stood in shocked silence as the Belgian cyclist paid tribute to his colleagues.
"The backroom guys at Team Boots always come through with the goods. This year it was touch and go and I must admit I was getting worried at the start of the gruelling Midi section of the race. No need though as the new formula stuff arrived by courier just in time. One vial up the old Elephant and Castle and whoosh - I was up that road like a fucking mountain goat. All the other guys from Team Superdrug and Team Semichem were left still toiling away on last year's medication. When I reached the top I had time for a voddy and some naughty texting with my girlfriend back in Liege."
Tour organisers later explained de Groot's remarks as the result of delirium and fatigue. Chairman Georges Cinq said:"There is a myth abroad that no one could possibly compete in this race unless they were zonked out of their bicycling brains on stimulants. That is, how you say, total merde."