Elon Musk Just Bought Twitter. What If He Bought the Tour de France?

This article originally appeared on Outside

It's the blockbuster story that had you doomscrolling all weekend: Billionaire tech thinkfluencer Elon Musk acquired Twitter and began making (as he put it) "minor changes" to the platform. Yeah, right. On this point, Musk fanboys and haters can all agree: Things are about to shift in a not-so-minor way for the famous social media site and people who are addicted to it.

We at Outside couldn't help but wonder what might happen if Musk made a major acquisition in the world of outdoor sports, and one event in particular came to mind: the Tour de France, which we believe Musk could scoop up for the price of a superyacht or two. The 119-year-old race, with its ancient traditions and history, is in serious need of disruption and rethinking, and we're mesmerized by what might happen if Musk takes it over and does his usual loud, reckless, and hyperactive thing.

<span class="article__caption">How could a billionaire visionary change the biggest bicycle race?</span> (Photo: Michael Steele / Staff)
How could a billionaire visionary change the biggest bicycle race? (Photo: Michael Steele / Staff)

What should you expect to see? Let's roll toward some answers. You might want to strap on a helmet.

  • Self-driving team cars, designed and built by Tesla. (Hey, what could go wrong?)

  • Introduction of a hyper-aggressive new financial blueprint, meant to squeeze every last cent out of sponsors, broadcast partners, and the towns that host stage starts and finishes. [Editors look at Musk's press release again and pause to think for a moment.] Wait, that's the current model. So: no big changes on the business front.

  • Event officially rebranded as the Tour de Elon; the traditional race in scenic parts of France will expand to include stages in all 11 glorious time zones of the former Soviet Union.

  • Annual route presentation at the Palais des Congres in Paris is canceled; announcement will instead happen on the Joe Rogan Experience.

  • Site of the 2024 ceremonial Foreign Grands Depart: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

  • After tweeting "There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye," Musk links to an investigative report--published in an obscure weekly newspaper called Around the Bend--claiming that former riders Andy and Frank Schleck are not really brothers and are not really named Andy and Frank Schleck. And are not really from Luxembourg.

  • Musk orders design and manufacture of a Bicycle Built for What's Left of Twitter's Staff At The End of 2022.

  • Les efaceurs--the guys who cover up the penises, defamatory language, and other obscene graffiti that fans paint on roadways--will all be canned. Why? Because, under the terms of Musk's new Open Pavement Platform, you as a fan should be able to write whatever you want.

  • An additional jersey competition will be added to traditional fights for yellow, white, green, and polka dot. The maillot marron will be awarded to the fearless rider who shitposts the most during the race.

  • Major revamp of the individual time-trial stage. In the new format, inspired by the reusable SpaceX Falcon rocket, riders must ride straight uphill, stop, then slowly pedal backward to the starting ramp.

  • Exclusive offer for Tour+ members! Oversized Fathead(tm) wall decals that show Musk riding an e-bike on Paris-Roubaix cobblestones.

  • Blue checkmark and complimentary blood transfusions for $19.99 a month. Checkmark will be required for any fans hoping to stand by the roadside and watch, scream, clap, or ring cowbells during a stage.

  • Musk tells staff: "I need a viable plan for 'Tour de Mars 2030' by November 6, or you're fired."

  • Hey, who's that wobbly dude in the El Diablo costume chasing riders on the approach to Alpe d'Huez? Oh, right: Marjorie Taylor Greene.

  • Launch of two smaller tours--called AEONX-473BTU and Uma Daerk Cylceanorr 15.

  • Performance-enhancing drugs are legalized. (Because all forms of censorship are bad.)

  • They've decided to keep Phil and Bob.

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