Retired pro cyclist Phil Gaimon is known for his strong sense of humor, but last night he made a social media announcement that left even his most skeptical fans confused: “Proud to announce that I’ve joined Team INEOS.”
For those who aren’t quite in-the-know, Team Ineos is one of the most successful and reportedly highest funded pro cycling teams in the industry, backed by the oil-industry giant Ineos. The team has experienced allegations of doping in the past, too, under its former name Team Sky—though current team owner (and richest man in Britain) Jim Ratcliffe has stated he’d pull funding if doping or cheating were ever to occur.
Then you have Gaimon, the ardently anti-doping, social critic of the cycling world. Honestly, it seems like one of the least-Phil-Gaimon things Phil Gaimon could do.
Gaimon’s radio silence since the tweet and Team Ineos’s lack of any similar announcement has left the cycling community speculating over what exactly is going on. (If you can’t beat them, join them?) On Twitter alone, he’s received more than a 100 responses from followers.
47 minutes and counting waiting for the punchline on this one... pic.twitter.com/TsQxj9Z5vx— Josh Kimsey (@j_kimsey) February 5, 2020
Wtf?— Jon Firth (@Jfirth79) February 6, 2020
Are we really buying into this? No! But it’s fun to speculate along with the social universe. So here’s a few solid—and humorous—theories we’ve seen so far, including some of our own.
Theory 1: He’s Team Ineos’s new bus driver and cookie soigneur.
Team Ineos is absolutely hyped that Gaimon is joining its team as a kind of bus-driving, soigneuring Man Friday, they just don’t know how to put it into words.
Let’s face it, it isn’t easy being the titans of your sport, and comedic relief is a must when enduring such a demanding training regimen. Plus, cookies are the perfect addition to any rider’s feed bag, and Gaimon is the cookie-connoisseur they never knew they needed.
Theory 2: Gaimon just really needs to pay his medical bills.
This is why we need healthcare reform. Perfectly normal people driven to do anything to pay off their bills.— Ryan Wikane (@TheLowerSlopes) February 5, 2020
This is less fun theory, but hear us out. Gaimon endured a serious crash last June at the Valley Preferred Velodrome in Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, but he figured he was lucky enough to have good health insurance, unlike many in the U.S. who often wind up creating GoFundMe pages to help cover medical bills. Instead of creating a GoFundMe page for himself, Gaimon asked for people to donate to No Kid Hungry. He’s raised over $100,000 since then.
Gaimon then disclosed in January that he ended up receiving over $250,000 in medical bills, largely from being treated at an out-of-network hospital while he was at times unconscious, or heavily sedated, and unable to argue otherwise. With the help of a lawyer, he’s hoping to contest the bills.
So, it’s possible that Gaimon has been forced to come out of retirement to pay for his medical bills and/or legal fees, and joining Team Ineos is simply his most financially lucrative option. But this still
Theory 3: He’s secretly training with Geraint Thomas.
Funny looking Welsh chappie riding around around t he Holywood Hills screaming, Who da fook took my jersey— Brian Kelly (@gormleyflyer2) February 5, 2020
Geraint Thomas recently confirmed that he’s been training in L.A., where Gaimon happens to reside. Coincidence? Perhaps not. Or, as one fan theorized, maybe Gaimon somehow managed to steal Thomas’s jersey.
Theory 4: It’s because Castelli just released their Team Ineos collection.
Team Ineos announced on February 4 that its 2020 Castelli collection is now available to order. The jersey that Gaimon is wearing in his announcement looks suspiciously like the climber’s jersey from that collection. Who knows? Maybe this is Gaimon’s way of announcing his sports modeling career.
You Might Also Like