In a surprise twist to one of the big cycling stories of the past week or so, Fabian Cancellara has thrown down the gauntlet - or perhaps, mitt - to Phil Gaimon by inviting American ex-pro to try and beat him in a bike race.
In a message posted on Twitter this afternoon the Swiss rider, four time world time trial champion and three times victorious at both the Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, invited Gaimon to join him on one of his Chasing Cancellara events next year.
The sportive rides see participants try to complete the course ahead of Cancellara - 10 managed to do so at the most recent event at Lugano in Switzerland's Italian-speaking Canton Ticino.
Cancellara – who like Gaimon, retired in 2016 – issued the invitation this afternoon following a week in which lawyers acting for him had demanded that the American’s new book, Draft Animals, be withdrawn due to a passage regarding motor doping.
Gaimon, for his part, has said that his comments, widely reported in the specialist cycling media and beyond, were taken out of context.
> Phil Gaimon responds on Fabian Cancellara 'motor doping' row
The venues for next year’s Chasing Cancellara series haven’t been released yet, with registration opening on 12 December.
A shrewd choice of location could serve Gaimon well, however – he is, after all, the reigning US national hill climb champion, and in retirement has become something of a serial bagger of Strava KOMs.
Should he accept the challenge, he may have to lay off the cookies for a while, though.
> Review: Draft Animals - Living the Pro Cycling Dream (Once in a While)
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As a Marxist/Leninist/Fascist/Neo-contrapuntalist, I wish to complain at your cancel culture.