Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sissy Li'l Slap-fights! Team Hijinks! Oh, Right, and a Few Folks Ride Their Bikes, Too #cycling

Cav Gets Huffy (the Mood, Not the Bike): well, I guess Cav's decided to call bull!@#$ on accusations he's "gone soft", because this week, as Marcel Kittel stormed to two stage victories and the overall at the Tour of Dubai after a miserable 2015, and Cav started to look all last-March Peter Sagan with all the "almosts", the Manx Missile finally lost patience and (gently, for sure) head-butted a fellow sprinter unsportingly getting in his face in the final dash to the line. And, over at the Herald SunTour, some rather unpleasant words were exchanged between Sky's Peter Kennaugh--just losing the overall GC on the final day to deeply irritating teammate Chris "Pterodactyl" Froome--and whiny domestique Pat Shaw from Avanti over Sky and Kennaugh in particular allegedly riding like total wankers on the final day, among them maudlin pet names like "selfish"--whoa, I'm way too much of a delicate lady to repeat *that*! Hey, if you can't beat the guy on the bike, you can at least use up all those words you learned in the schoolyard in third grade--*that'll* teach the snotty bastard!

Quick-Slap: Over at the Tour of Qatar, the organizers have decided not to invite back INeverRememberWhoTheNewFirstSponsorIs-QuickStep for 2016, not because the other teams have been bitching for years that their own guys can't take out QuickStep in any of the sprints and it makes them look bad, but because the squad's preening prima donnas not only insist on delaying the podium ceremonies by demanding to change out of their cycling shoes and sit for a minute after wrenching their guts out in the life-threatening heat, but they were also (inexcusably, to be fair) rude to the woman sent to tell them nicely to get the lead out (the element out of their !@#, not the sprint term), *and* they were seemingly causing all kinds of unseemly ruckus in the hotel, presumably by lighting stink-bombs in the stairwells doing cannonballs off the hotel pool diving board and splashing the well-bred guests and pulling the fire alarms to elude the 3 am doping controls. Oh, lighten up organizers and let 'em back--and let's get this party *started*!

Seeing Red (Though Maybe Not for Long): meanwhile, some punk little assclown over at Katusha has now put we love dear Purito Rodriguez' early season in doubt, as this nobody kid Vorganov gets popped for some weird drug that's apparently banned in most of Europe anyway but is (or has been til quite recently), it seems, available from our fine friends at Amazon, potentially opening Katusha up to a 45-day ban for the whole squad as it's their second offense in recent months. Holy crap, PEDs *and* Free Two-Day-Shipping with an Amazon Prime membership? Doping scumbags, sign me up! Honey, did we *not* just cover "If you're gonna dope, at least don't dope and suck" in our *last* post? And Vino, you and the rest of Astana management get back to admiring your gold-plated bicycle, and get that !@#$ing smirk off your face!

Motorin'...What's Your Price for Flight?: finally, when you start calling out dear ex-Euskaltel Ion Izaguirre for motor doping for having his wheel seemingly continue rotating for some time after a crash, all I can say is, go to hell for slandering a former Carrot, after nearly 10 years of blogging I'm damn well running out of defenses for riders I like, and even if he is which he isn't, what, you want him ending up in the !@#damn emergency room with some fridge-spoiled Riccardo Ricco' death-drug-cocktail, if anyone *has* to be enough of a thieving weasel to cheat I'd frankly rather them raiding the local hardware store for some wires and a cheap-!@# soldering gun where the worst damage they could do to themselves is a minor electrical shock versus damn near croaking from liver failure so yap yap it's lazy and against the Official Martyr Sufferfest Code let's stop acting like a pile of pills and a syringe is some kind of relative freakin' moral high ground if they're gonna be a disgusting disgrace to the entire sport anyway because at least if it's repugnant it's not gonna actually get them killed. Didn't *anyone* watch that Time for Timer thing between Saturday morning cartoons on how the human body is a just a big machine anyway? Man, now I've taken a universally-reviled position *and* dated myself back to the Pleistocene Era....anyhoo, here's our boy showing off one of his special new wheels, so enjoy!

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

It's Yer Brand-Spankin'-New Top Ten Tips for Dopers!

Sure, we here at racejunkie have generously offered our beloved riders free advice on this before, but each crop o' alleged losers seems to screw it up in exciting new ways all over again every year! So here, Yer Handy-Dandy Top Ten Tips for Dopers (and Wannabees):

1. If you're gonna dope, at least don't dope and *suck*. Have you *no* pride?

2. Valverde, man. Bow and learn, you incompetent nits!

3. Valverde, man. Wouldn't this motor thing just be *easier*?

4. Don't unleash a blood feud on someone who rats you out. Armstrong'd be a lot better off--or at least look like way less of an !@#hole--if he hadn't.

5. Motor in your bike frame: pathetic. *Real* cyclists use drugs. Two wires bad, four syringes good!

6. Y'ever see those inbred toothless morons on reality cop shows who get busted with a pile o' meth in their pants and go, "duuuuuuuh, it belongs to my friend"? Yeah, that's how it looks when *you* do it, too.

7. Shut up, Froome. Almost everybody already thinks you're doping anyway. Your righteous indignation ain't helping.

8. Omerta: bad in principle, great in practice. Ask (we still love) Roberto Heras--he'll give you 724,000 euros worth o' reasons why!

9. For the uninitiated, your pedals are supposed to stop moving at some point once you're off the bike. Flip the switch, !@#$head!

10. Yes, we *know* your team/DS/sponsor/mechanic is a lying sack of crap. But they're still gonna throw you under the bus, and win. Enjoy the next 50 years as an embarrassing footnote in the history books, sucker!

Really, you clowns--we're trying to *help* you here. At some point, we're gonna have to start charging for it!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

It's Yer 2016 Peloton Team-Kit-O-Rama Part 3: Ow, My Eyes! Edition

We've got the discreet pinstripes of Trek-Segafredo, and the black-and-sky of, well, Sky down pat--so who's left to spot anew on the 2016 roads so you can root for your fave or snarl at yer sworn enemy? That's right, the retina-searing visages of these guys!

AG2R: they're not bright, but man, they suuuuuuuure are ugly. Someone, *please*, remake this brand!

Lampre: by ditching the Rainbow-Brite turquoise for the less glowing deep blue, they've maybe lost a *little* of their Barbie sparkle-princess mojo, but that hot pink? Ya just can't go wrong, even without Pippo Pozzato to make it even prettier this year. The flash of neon green adds a lively touch. Shine on, boys!

Cannondale: if you can catch it before your eyeballs go numb, there's a stylin' tone-on-tone blast o' the argyle on this perennial trendsetter's team kit. Good luck blending unnoticed into a breakaway though!

Lotto-Jumbo: Bum-bum-bumblebee, Bum-ble-bee Tuna, I Love...aw, hell, no-one else is old enough to remember that jingle!

Tinkoff: Whether they're dressin' up like a herd o' zebras trying to confuse the hell outta a pack of attacking lionesses, or just trying to show UCI en masse that they're not riding quite as disconcertingly as that mono-pack of Team Sky freaks ahead of 'em, you can count on Oleg Tinkov's boys to put on a show. Let's hope they do for the Tour, too, or it'll just be that much easier for Oleg to spot 'em while they're running away!

And, a Coupla Bonus Continental Kits:

Southeast: look, Pippo Pozzato could wear a kitchen-slopped dish-rag--which come to think of it is more than he usually wears in his Instagram pics--and still look good. But this one he's designed--and he already seems buckets more excited to ride than he has in years. Forza Pippooooo!

Direct Energie: wondering how to find Thomas "the Tongue" Voeckler this year when his mouth is shut and you don't see the familiar forest green of Europcar? Yep, in these rather dashing duds from new squad Direct Energie!

All righty folks, that wraps up our 2016 Team-Kit-o-Rama--now no excuses for accidentally screaming for a Kittel over a Greipel, and let the road games begin!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

It's Yer 2016 Peloton Team-Kit-O-Rama: Hurrah for the Red, White and Blue! Edition

Whoa moly, the road season is nigh upon us, and we *still* don't know how the hell to tell who the hell we're rooting for with the ever-confusing roll-out of the New Year's team kits! Can you *imagine* if they pulled this !@#$ with NFL teams, there'd be riots in the streets and beer-and-nachos-fueled total freakin' anarchy, I tells ya! Anyway, since at most all the squads have to fear from cycling fans is, like, some *serious* pouting and Twitter snark, with no threat of immediate bloodshed it at least behooves us to know we're swearing at over a dainty espresso at our local bike cafe':

He Wore Blue...Spandex:

Movistar: In the Navy...with a touch of neon green! In case you're *still* confused, it's the taller one bushwhacking the shorter one. Alejandro and Nairo, lookin' sharp!


Astana: Hey, Vino *was* gonna actually make Nibali and everyone else wear a team jersey with a picture of Fabio Aru on it all season, but even that crazy bastard Vinokourov'll only dope-smack an actual former Tour de France winner so hard--at least 'til Fabio takes it!

Orica-Greenedge: White? Blue? Who cares how you call it, we love 'em anyway! And a *touch* of green for suavite'. Allez boys!


The Gentleman In Red:

BMC: What'll Samuel Sanchez and...uh, a buncha other guys be wearing as Tejay and Porte slug it out for Grand Tour supremacy? Red is for "blood feud", baby!

Katusha: remember all that stupid !@#$ this past Christmas over Starbucks' heathen red-ombre coffee cups without any Christly symbols of coffee addiction? Yeah, like that--Puritoooooooooooo!

Lotto-Soudal: red, white, and bitchin'!


Snow White and the Seven Garish Added Colors:

FDJ: sure, you won't actually see 'em up *front* all that often, but, with no real changes from last year's garb, they'll sure look pretty nice when you do!

IAM: I am blue, I am white...I am apparently inspired by "neo-classicism", whatever that means. Anyway, good luck in 2016!

Dimension Data: Aside from seeing 'im slice someone's line off like a hot knife through butta, how're you gonna tell it's Cavendish? MTN-Qhubeka, we hardly new ye!

All right, we're comin' down to the last of 'em. Good thing, too, since the Tour Down Under and San Luis are already underway, and we wouldn't want you to miss a trick!

Saturday, January 09, 2016

It's Yer Handy 2016 Peloton Team Kit-o-Rama Part One: None More Black Edition!

Yes, after the long, cold, miserable off-season--at least for the tifosi--it's finally that time of year when all the teams assemble in an orgy of training, press conferences, and (with the exception of a few eejit DSes still sticking with the delusional concept of "willing co-captains") brotherhood, and, even better, confuse the whole lot of us for the first two months of the year by screwing with their team kits. So how're you gonna tell a Cavendish from a Kittel from a Contador? Here, it's Yer Handy 2016 Team Kit-o-Rama: None More Black Edition!

Sky: The black is for bad-!@#. The blue is for "sky"--get it? Bonus--a blue stripe down the back with the magical ability to prevent the pasty Froome from immolating into an actual fireball on Mont Ventoux. Now that's protecting your investment, gentlemen!

Trek: It's all business for these pinstripe assassins, complete with exceedingly practical coffee sponsor! Helpful hint: you can tell 'em apart from everyone else by the nice starched white shirt peeking out. And Fabs looks so suave!

Giant-Alpecin: Watch out for this outfit, tiny climbers--'cause this guy, breakout mountain goat Tom Dumoulin, is gonna kick your !@# next season. Best you know who to look for--or aim for, after he blows by you while you're cryin' on a col!

Etixx-Quick Step: It's blue, it's black--aw, who cares how it fits in, Marcel Kittel *still* has better hair than you!

All right, there's yer men in black--on to the rest of the rainbow (and yeeeesssss, I'm getting to Peter Sagan, people)!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

It's Yer 2016 Cycling Year in Preview (Yeah, You Read Right)!

Well, cycling fans, 2015's mercifully done, and it's time to look ahead to the Year in Cycling 2016. So what're you gonna miss if you don't pay attention? This!

January: Team camps wind down! Tinkoff debuts new flashing-strobe-light team kit, wins Tour de France in July by blinding, disorienting teams Sky and Movistar; Sky to undisclosed location for training because "no-one'll be able to see what we're doi--uh, we found some totally new mountains to ride on!"; women's enormous new World Tour budgets allow Vos, Armitstead to quit exhausting Wal-Mart night-shift jobs for exhausting McDonald's night-shift jobs instead. Progress!

February: The road season really kicks off! No winners at Tour of Qatar as sprinters melt into tarmac, sucked under 500 feet of sand; carnage at Kuurne as actual furniture replaces road furniture in race course, riders wipe out on new bedroom set in middle of road; Omloop Het Niewsblad courts controversy with naked photo of Sagan's butt crouched over bicycle, Pippo Pozzato sues demanding it be replaced with picture of him instead. Already on the road to glory, I see!

March: It's hard-man season, baby! Mark Cavendish takes Strade Bianche after personally chewing entire gravel course to head mechanic's specifications; Luca Paolini repeats win at Gent-Wevelgem by--what the !@#$, !@#damn Alejandro Valverde's still in the freakin' sport and you're going after LUCA?!; Jens Voigt wins Criterium International when peloton collectively quits after mistaking Jens' walk to press box for walk to sign-in.

April: Oh, yeah, it's the big shows of the cobblestones! Boonen, Cancellara crash again, this time break pave', pave' begs for mercy; Valverde becomes first centenarian to sweep Ardennes Classics, says "I guess all that !@#$ I was taking in 2006 is still--uh, I get up bright and early, every morning, and have my muesli!"; Pippo Pozzato blows career-reviving Flanders triumph by stretching out on cobbles to work on his tan, again. Dammit Pippo, preen on your own time!

May: It's the Giro d'Italia, baby! Mikel Landa accidentally attacks self without Fabio Aru around to bushwhack, beats self to Milan by 14 days 22 hours 8 minutes; Nibs mistaken for own soigneur by Vinokourov, buried under pile of dirty team kits, soigneur rides/wins podium spot; Amgen EPO Tour of California--oh, who gives a !@#$, how *dare* they run this stupid thing against the beautiful Giro anyway!

June: Pre-Tour tuneups! Marcel Kittel continues season-long sprint-loss streak due to 34 kilos extra weight in hair gel; Andre Greipel wakes dead in Hades with primal scream of victory, doors of underworld opened, living dead take over earth; Tinkov sweeps Contador off to last-minute "training camp" at undisclosed Siberian "black site". Now *that's* motivation, I say!

July: What else--Le Tour! Sagan pops wheelie with Contador on board before Stage 1 sign-in, launches him to Paris for maillot jaune/overall triumph; Vinokourov allows Nibali to ride Tour so long as carries Fabio Aru on shoulders the whole way; Valverde attacks Quintana for 3 consecutive weeks, still loses when Quintana hides his bike shoes on penultimate day, Alejandro forced to finish race on flat kid's pedals and cheap flip-flops; Porte shares BMC team leadership with Van Garderen by dissolving latter's bicycle/spares in giant vat of acid hauled behind team bus, claims he was "just trying to help by lubing the chain"; Froome DQd on final day when race organizers realize he's actually too skinny to be visible to the human eye, determine no-one's even seen the guy for three weeks.

August: Post-Tour recriminations, Olympics, and Vuelta time! Richie Porte demoted from staying in hotel rooms to staying in cat-carrier squished under boss Ochowicz's feet in team car; record-breaking 67 Astana riders, staff popped for doping in single day, UCI punishes by stripping FDJ of its World Tour license and giving it to Vinokourov "in case he needs an extra, plus FDJ sucks anyway"; Tom Dumoulin takes gold medal after climbing Mount Everest on 86-lb. wrought-iron single speed, attributes freak climbing win to "superlight new bike technology."

September: It's the fabulous Vuelta a Espana finale! Race organizers rue last year's neutralized sandy-stage debacle, run 350-km prologue directly through Mediterranean sea instead; Purito takes final podium takes final podium when ASO "forgets" to put on individual time trial, ASO celebrates with 200,000 euros mysteriously simultaneously deposited into offshore bank accounts; Purito doubles, bags "combativity" prize for whanging Valverde upside head with new disc breaks for that nasty crap Alejandro pulled on him last year.

October: It's the end of the road (races), honey! Nibali repeats Lombardia victory after Vinokourov too tired from long season to remember to order Aru to slash his tires; Worlds races moved to overnight hours to avoid incapacitating Qatar heat, entire sport of professional cycling gets irretrievably lost in desert when mechanics forget to pack lights for everyone; Nairo Quintana announces 2017 signing "with anyone who'll get me away from that backstabbing b!@#ard Valverde!"

November: New-contract count-down! Landa, Intxausti pack Sky with remaining peloton ex-Carrots, convert team to reconstituted Euskaltel, Chris Froome announced as baggage-wrangler for 2016; Sagan starts own one-man World Tour team, because it's not like he even needs anyone else; Oleg Tinkov bails on pledge to exit cycling, purchases entire peloton, announces that all 2017 races will be ridden on Big Wheels for his personal amusement. Now *there's* an epic climb on Alpe d'Huez!

December: Team camps begin again! Contador sticks with cycling another year, reasons "there's no way that flailing stork Froome can beat me on a Big Wheel"; FDJ builds core strength by stacking selves into pyramid formation so Bernard Hinault can stand on their shoulders with bullhorn, yell how much French cyclists all blow compared to the Saganator; Van Garderen mistakenly sends Porte plane ticket to Antarctica, Porte misses 2017 season waiting for ice to melt enough to get home. Oopsie!

Alrighty then, there's your 100 percent accurate, completely and utterly inevitable preview for next season--and when it happens, don't say I didn't warn ya!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

It's Yer 2016 New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton!

Look, let's face it: half these folks in the peloton barely know what's best for them. But *we*, their adoring fans, sure do, and, in the continued spirit of love and giving which the holiday season inspires three days before it gives way to our workaday, year-round spirit of venal snark and relentless cynicism, it's time to make our New Year's Resolutions for the Peloton:

Chris Froome: I resolve to release all my unadulterated physiological data to a internationally respected group of neutral experts to prove once and for all I'm doing nothing wrong. Those crack accessories editors at Teen Vogue will *nail* their analysis of my hematocrit!

Alberto Contador: I resolve to win the Tour de France. Of course, I'll have to knock off half those androids over at Team Sky, but that oughta just take a little surreptitious interference with their circuitry when Brailsford's put 'em in their pods into "sleep" mode...

Oleg Tinkov: I RESOLVE NOTHING! I RESOLVE TO KICK ALBERTO CONTADOR'S !@# BACK TO THE STONE AGE IF HE FAILS TO WIN THE TOUR DE FRANCE WITH NO SUPPORT! I RESOLVE TO BEAT DOWN BRIAN COOKSON WITH A SPARE BIKE TUBE AND TAKE OVER THE ENTIRE SPORT AND DECLARE MYSELF LORD OF THE UNIVERSE SO BOW YOU WORTHLESS SCUMBAGS! I RESOLVE TO PHOTOBOMB PETER SAGAN IN THE !@#DAMN BATHROOM IF THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES FOR ME TO GET CREDIT FOR HIS TRIUMPHS! I RESOLVE...

ASO and UCI: We resolve to work together in grace and amity for the greater good of our beloved sport. Holy crap, whaddya *mean* some nefarious dirtbag hacked into your Swiss bank accounts took all your money and dissolved your corporate structure so now you're just an impotent shell of a bad memory in cycling? Sweetheart, that is just *terrible*!

Nairo Quintana: I resolve to ride "more defensively." Against Valverde.

Alejandro Valverde: I resolve to ride "more offensively." Against Qu--uh, Fabio Aru. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Alexander Vinokourov: I resolve to throw former Tour de France Giro and Vuelta champion Vincenzo Nibali a bone this season. No, literally, a bone. Now fetch it, b$tch!

Richie Porte: I resolve to give Tejay Van Garderen all the deference he is due as my deserving captain and team leader. Just like I did for Chris Froome before him!

Peter Sagan: I resolve to--oh, betcha didn't expect me to pop a wheelie/play the violin/juggle a half-dozen flaming waterbottles over my terrified mechanic/win the Worlds again by making a parachute outta my feedbag and skydiving over the finish line/bite the head off a chicken and spit it into the audience!

Marcel Kittel: I will start winning sprints again. If I mousse my hair straight up 5 inches, ditch my helmet, and bend my head down to perpendicular, I'm *bound* to beat Mark Cavendish at the line with my mane!

Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara: I will stay upright. I can fall over into the waiting arms of my soigneur when I've got Roubaix/Flanders in the bag!

Marianne Vos: What's to resolve? I'm back, and everyone else except arguably Pauline Ferrand-Prevot is doomed. See ya when I peek back under my armpit, suckers!

Race Motos and Other Vehicles: I resolve not to nick, knock over, run over, crowd, richocet, or otherwise bodily smush any cyclist in any race. Unless I'm playing for points with my buddies, ha ha!

Race Organizers: I resolve not to actively install slalom-inducing deadly road furniture in the race course within 50 yards of the cyclists. But hey, if it's part of regularly scheduled road maintenance, who are we to interfere with the brilliant timing of the clueless stupid local hacks?

Lance Armstrong: I resolve to truly, sincerely apologize to everyone I ever hurt in the world of cycling. Apologize that I'm still rich, and you're still !@#$ed. Nyeah nyeah!

The French Cycling Federation: we resolve to...oh, hell, our guys'll never win anything the next 30 seasons or so, who are we even kidding?

Brad Wiggins: I will retire. Except I want to do the Classics. And write another book. And do an extensive book-pimping tour with 4-times-daily public appearances. And go for an Oly--hey, where are you guys all going?

US Television: I will cover cycling on TV at least to the same extent we cover the revolting Kardashian clan. Hell, that's 5000 consecutive hours of airtime a season right there!

Tifosi: I resolve not to try to take a selfie with Andre Greipel within the last 10 meters of a sprint. I resolve not to wander into the road while checking my Facebook page, ride my Big Wheel into the peloton in the middle of a stage, run alongside anyone in a (1) clown wig (2) neon banana-hammock or (3) unidentifiable animal suit, allow my untended child or dog to meander into the leaders, throw urine or any other unappealing substance onto riders, push any cyclist on his/her back who doesn't personally make a defeated desperate gasping gesture that s/he wants me to, wave a flag that's not even the right nationality fer chrissakes into someone's crankset, block the line of any climber weaving in agony up a Dolomite, or suspect ex-Euskaltel Mikel Landa of any wrongdoing whatsoever just because he had a wholly innocent breakout 2015 season. I mean it, or I'll sic Hinault on your sorry !@#!

There, whatever stupid thing you clowns were thinking you *oughta* resolve, we've already gone and fixed it for you. Enjoy your 2016 seasons: and remember, anything, except Astana getting nailed for anything, is possible!