Sunday, September 28, 2014

Whoa Moly That Was Creepily Close For Valverde! Yer Way-Quick Worlds-in-Review #Worlds

The Quick and the Dead: yep, even as we love Purito kept his noble promise and actually worked for Valverde--kiss his butt for that, Alejandro, I mean it after last year, KISS HIS ACTUAL PERSONAL BUTT!--it was still a nail-nipper as new rainbow jersey/games-playing jailbait Michal Kwiatkowski sat up what looked like a mile before the line to meander across celebrating as the hopeful-too-late trio of Gerrans Valverde and Breschel came up behind 'im. Sooooo close to an atmosphere-shattering world-wide howl of agony as Valverde almost took the show! *Geez*, Michal, freak the whole lot of us out whydontcha! So to round up the rest of yer Worlds:

Your Winners: Team Time Trials: Lululemon grabbed the prize as Rabo-Liv hit the deck. Next year, I bet Marianne Vos won't get dropped! For the boys: BMC stomped the unstoppable Quick Step. Women's and Men's U-23: so who should you fear in the years to come? No, it's not Spain, Italy, or Belgium--it's Denmark (Amelie Dideriksen) and Norway (Sven Erik Bystrom). Thor Hushovd (and, uh, Michael Rasmussen?), you already got somebody picking up the torch! U-23 Time Trials: woo-hoo Cadel you've got some serious talent behind you, Aussies Macey Stewart and Campbell Flakemore! Women's Elite Individual Time Trial: Lisa Brennauer, Germany's first big hope (I *know*, I'm not counting sprinters) since we love and still miss (yeah yeah, stuff it, I know this too!) Jan Ullrich. Men's Elite Individual Time Trial: screw you, what the hell is Tony Martin supposed to be, some kinda Transformer Aerobot, the man's human for heck's sake! Oh right, Wiggo. Way to save the season, man! Women's elite: holy crap, what a disaster--unless you're Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, who sure oughta get a bonus stripe for she-nuts! Men's elite: You still suck for leaving Samu off the squad, Spain! Michal Kwiatkowski for the well-earned (and damn near lost) win. Oh, from "up-and-comer" to "marked man every single day of the 2015 season"--sniff, they all grow up so fast! Here, the elite road men's and ladies have us all yelling at our screens and jumping off our couches like crack-stuffed lemurs:

Well, that was exciting, and the smack-talkin' blame-game from the men's and women's road races is already even more so, with Armistead, Gerro and Gilbert laying it out. I love thoughtful, measured, adrenalin-raged post-race analysis! Now, it's onto Il Lombardia--forza azzuri, any of you!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Total Carnage, Tactical Disaster, and a New World Champion at the Women's Worlds Road Race! #worlds

Medic! Uh....Tactician! Uh...Jersey Printer!: holy cow it was total bloody bone-whacking carnage at the women's world champ road race in Ponferrada, with half the peloton going down before the rain even kicked in to slicken the roads--including American star Alison Powers, who despite missing what appeared to be approximately half a buttock after her crash still managed to make a bold attack that completely shook up the field--and a certain podium flushed entirely (and worse, entirely needlessly) down the toilet in the last half k when the four lead riders, Vos, Armitstead, Longo Borghini and Emma Johansson collectively sat up, wouldn't work together or hell even separately, and pulled off the road entirely to call it a day and go out for a beer. Damn, I expect this stupid !@#$ from someone like Valverde, but not these pros! Still, to be fair, Vos just didn't seem to have the legs in any case, and surprise new world champ/22 year old road and mountain biking prodigy Pauline Ferrand-Prevot utterly earned that win. As for the injured, a bunch of folks unfortunately had to go to hospital, and wishing a full and speedy recovery to all. Woot woot to our new rainbow jersey--and whoa moly, watch out for double-threat road-race 2nd place Lisa Brennauer this coming year, she completely smoked the elite women's time trial already too!

Puritoooooooooooooooooo!: bite me, he can so either! But if not I'm rooting for Boonen or Gilbert. Or Cancellara would be nice too I suppose. Puritoooooooooooooooooooooo!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oleg Tinkov Throws It Down (In Case Alberto Contador Can't In July) #procycling

Pony Up or Shut Up, People!: Yes, having rashly committed 2014 Tour de France crashout/Vuelta a Espana champ Alberto Contador to the 2015 Giro as Alberto's first big goal of the season--and you know the boy don't go into *any* Grand Tour unless he plans to win it--Tinkoff-Saxo team emperor Oleg Tinkov appears to be having second thoughts about how his could affect his star rider's performance in July, and has now challenged all of Alberto's Tour de France competition--Froomey, Nibali, and Quintana--to do the Giro/Tour double with him as well. Because if you can't do 'em both and win 'em both, YOU'RE A PATHETIC PANSY WEAKLING! And thanks to a new dietary training regimen, ALBERTO LITERALLY EATS CHUNKS OF THE PYRENEES FOR BREAKFAST YOU SNIVELING IMPOTENT WUSSBAGS! And until Roman Kreuziger gets popped again, we will WEAR DOWN YOUR SUPERDOMESTIQUES TO WHIMPERING NUBS OF JELLY! Already begging off: Astana's Vinokourov, realizing that for the first time he's actually met a team boss more bat!@#$ crazy than he is, and Chris Froome's Team Sky, apologizing that Froome's already tied up for May with his official role as team toothpick. Game on: Team Movistar, whose directeur sportif reportedly opined: "!@#$, at least if we exhaust Valverde, we won't have to worry about him bushwhacking Quintana at the Tour de France!" Wise move, my friends--uh-huh, pass the nachos, honey, the 2015 cycling Superbowl is gonna be one hell of a fight!

You Suck, Spanish Worlds Team Honchos!: meantime, as the World Championships rolls along (sometimes catastrophically) in Ponferrada this week, the Spanish Worlds team bosses can officially suck it, because you hurt we love Samuel Sanchez' feelings by not calling him ahead of the official announcement to everybody that, despite a very fine 6th in the Vuelta and some bitchin' legs, he wasn't going to be on the squad. Screw you asshats--good luck again this year when we love Purito and that sneaky bastard Valverde eat their young again! Oh, Samu, they don't deserve you anyway...by the way, guys, does *this* podium look familiar? Yeah, thought you mighta blocked that out!

The China Syndrome: finally, a fond farewell to the young-but-beloved UCI Tour of Beijing after this season, as cycling fed UCI pulls the plug on the grounds that, according to an anonymous and fictional spokesperson, "the team directors were really pissed that their guys kept getting busted here but not at any of our other races." Well, at least there you could blame the food supply--maybe you all shoulda kept the one gig that got yer accidental miscreants off the hook and kept the UCI looking dead-on effective!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Oh No We Love Thor Hushovd's Really Retiring! #thankyouthor

Yep, I've been in deep denial, both over the actual end to his career and his damn-well-looked-like-the-end-of-his-career-for-all-the-luck-he's-had-at-BMC for former holy crap he's the World Champion we love Thor Hushovd, but our big lug's turn in the peloton is officially over, so I thought I'd list just a few of his accomplishments here:

1978: Thor Hushovd is born in Grimstad, Norway. At age two, receives 52-cm road bike for birthday, but it's 2 cm too small for him.

1998: New pro Thor wins baby Paris-Roubaix. Watch out already, future Classics wannabes. After winning U-23 time trial championships, though, career in discipline derailed as he squashes every ultra-light time trial bike his sponsors try to make for him.

2001: And he's off! Thor takes first major win in Tour de Normandie and shares team time trial stage-winning victory in Tour de France.

2002: Stage wins ain't just for group rides, honey: Thor grabs first individual Tour de France win ever. Way to go big guy!

2004: Thor takes first of 4 Norwegian national road champ victories, another stage win at the Tour, and his second stage at the Dauphine.

2006: At Tour de France, some dipwad waving a lethal machete of a stupid plastic promotional item at the barriers hits Thor with a slasher-movie gore-gash to the arm; Thor still finishes 9th on the day and later takes his second stage win of the Tour. For next year, races with heavy protective "Popemobile" plexiglass shield around bicycle. And how many stages at the Dauphine has he grabbed now?

2007: Thor gets a stage in the Giro, wrapping up the Grand-Tour trifecta.

2009: The Thunder God takes the green jersey at the Tour de France. Eat that, Cavendish!

2010: Yeah, he's the World Road Champion! How do you like *them* stripes, beeyotches?

2011: Third time's the charm: three stage wins *and* a half-dozen days in the Tour de France maillot jaune. Boy looks good in gold, dontcha think?

2012: unidentified virus and BMC contract-o-doom take out his entire season. Oh go to hell, he's still better'n 99% of the riders on earth!

2013: Shut up! He's still sick but he wins the Norwegian national champs for the 4th time and takes overall in the bitchin' new Artic Tour of Norway, and a whole buncha 'nother stuff. You rock Thor!

2014: Thor announces retirement; Norway better be planning a giant bangin' sculpture for this guy somewhere. You got quite a palmares there, Thor--and who else in the peloton is ever gonna have such a bitchin' name again?


Next up for our hero: as you can see here, a pro contract with Team Godzilla in the controversial new sport of gila monster racing.

Thanks for many exciting years of racing, and good luck with your new gig ya big lug!

Monday, September 15, 2014

It's the 2014 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Awards! #LaVuelta

Do you find yourself standing on an empty mountainside for 6 hours at a time waving your national flag at nothing? Running along right next to unsuspecting cyclists in your community screaming "Venga! Venga!" at the top of your lungs? Standing on a box, shaking a big green bottle, and spraying champagne on the people around you? Then you, like me, are suffering from Severe Vuelta a Espana Withdrawal Syndrome! The cure: we're gonna celebrate the good, the bad, and the just plain disgusting with the highly coveted and sometimes shameful 2014 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Awards!

Fake-Out of 2014: I'm not riding it. Gee, I wish I could ride it. Okay, I'm riding it, but just to recover, not to win. Well, maybe I'll ride it for a stage victory. Oh yeah, I'm riding to win the whole damn shebang, baby! Alberto Contador on his post-Tour tibia-busted best form in years. Geez, if snappin' a *leg* can't keep this guy down, what can?

Woot Woot of the Time Trial: holy crap did you see that, we love Samuel Sanchez moved up to 7th in the overall! Woot woot!

Punk-!@# Move of the Race: Alejandro Valverde, being all "I'm here just to help little Nairo," then leaving his poor tired wee butt down the mountain and attacking for the stage win. Well, any further backstabbing was neutralized by the cruel hand of fate, anyway!

How Much Am I Paying This Yawner Next Year? Award: Aw, Peter Sagan. Mustered *just* enough motivation for a single third place, then bailed in drowsy ignominy. But that's okay, because he was just "helping out his teammates" and "training for the Worlds." Oleg, you better get this high-priced bauble of yours a hell of a tactical mentor for next year!

Crash o' the Race (Oh, !@#$! Oh !@#$ Oh !@#$ GC Edition): 2014 Giro champion Nairo Quintana, futzing with his shoe on a treacherous downhill curve and doing a terrifying endo over his handlebars and right into the roadside barrier. Thank goodness he wasn't more seriously hurt--but that was the race for him. Now rest and heal up that shoulder, Nairo, and I'm sure you'll be ready to take on the Tour de France GC next year!

Crash o' the Race (Oh !@#$ Oh !@#$ Oh !@#$ Domestique Edition): poor Dario Cataldo's horrible skid into the pavement and also a tree. Amazingly, he was able to get up and continue on the day, whether he perhaps should've been allowed to, or not--and again, thank goodness he was ultimately okay, stay safe out there you guys!

Revelation of Vuelta 21014: sure, Astana baby Fabio Aru bagged two stages and fifth place after coming in a surprising 3rd in the Giro--but some "Pim Ligthart" in the breakaway every damn day? Who the hell *is* this guy?

Sissy-Boy Slap Fight Prize (Dumb!@# Edition): Rovny and Brambilla, flailing at each other on a descent like a coupla whiny windmills--in front of the race organizers, no less! Forget lack of sportsmanship--they oughta've been expelled just for stupidity. Do you *really* think it *helped* Contador to have one of his domestiques get kicked outta the race?

Sissy-Boy Slap Fight Prize (George Foreman Edition): Damn, Purito--who knew that someone so tiny could pack such a powerful left hook? Boys, *this* is a how a *real* pro does it--in the pack, and away from the cameras!

Corollary Tweet o' the Vuelta Award: Sky diplomat Peter Kennaugh, defending his teammate Philip Deignan's honor (and insulting Purito's weak "I touched him accidentally" excuse) with an emphatic "What a lying prick, take responsibility for your actions coward!" Now *that*'s the kind of honesty you want to hear at the boring rest-day press conferences...

Cry-Baby Hissy-Fit Prize: Nacer Bouhanni, you picked the wrong line, & John Degenkolb beat your !@# fair and square. Gesticulate all you want, but suck it *up*, honey!

Good Thing Cav Stayed Home Award: no, Kittel and Cav weren't there this year, and for some, there'll always be a bit of "what if" about the sprints. But John Degenkolb was one on-form hell of a competitor no matter who else was around him--so maybe watch out for this more'n you think!

Dyfunctional Family Award: Valverde, Purito, and Alberto bitching about none of the others collaborating to drop Froomey instead of, y'know, collaborating to drop Froomey, all the while Chris was chugging up the climbs away from them in week two. Valverde, I hope you're content with third place this year!

Memorial Carrot Statuette: no, they weren't there as a team anymore (waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!)--but from Nieve to Samu, the huge pile of former Euskies in this year's Vuelta certainly did their old team proud. Bring back Euskaltel! Bring back Euskaltel! Bring back--no, I mean it, really people!

Fade Into You Prize: Cadel Evans' loooooong, slooooow slide into this Grand Tour good night. But you're still the 2011 and forever a Tour de France champion, and you're even sticking around for your home tour next year--thank you for a smashing career to the most dogged foul-weather hardman of the peloton!

Watch and Learn Award: the great Guardia Civil, which liberally applied guys the approximate size of a box truck to toss back the eejits crowding the riders on the mountain finishes like empty chip bags into a garbage bin. Tour de France--you might want to consult with these guys for next year!

And Finally, the Fan !@#$head Award: yeah, yeah, there were the usual screaming miscreants touching the riders like talismans and shoving cameras in their faces, but, for the win, it's that total numbnuts--and the innocent minor with whom he appeared to act in tandem--running next to Chris Froome waving little pine branches in their hands on the final mountain stage of the Vuelta. For !@#$'s *sake*, stupidity like that could bring the guy down on the tarmac like a ton (okay, an ounce, but still!) of bricks and crash out his whole career, much less just the freakin' race. Insta-penalty of a year of the affected rider's salary for such clowns, I say--so you jack!@#es *better* hope you don't take out one of Oleg "Moneybags" Tinkov's guys next time!

Well, them's my prizes--winners, you can take a bow (or hang your head in shame) as the reigning champs til next year!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Smack! Even With a Broken Leg, Beeyotches! Contador (Surely Unintentionally) Rubs It In #LaVuelta

*Such* a Great Effort, Purito!: okay, it perhaps wasn't the most gentlemanly gesture after Froome's textbook-perfect tactics and repeated attacks, but I'll chalk up to relatively youthful enthusiasm, adrenaline rush, and judgment-impairing pain meds that Alberto Contador appeared to make a gently bite-me-doubters gesture towards his trainwrecked knee and leg as he hit the line. Must've just been motioning to the nice tape job his physio did this morning! Anyway, Contador is one tough little beast, chapeau to Froome (and how dear are cyclist's little sunglass reverse raccoon eyes?), and Purito, that was a wise and bangin' move to try to shake Valverde while he was distracted hoping to pop Froome even if you couldn't sustain it. But 4th at the Vuelta is nothing to be gloomy at--and I guarantee you Sky 'n' Tinkoff're gonna glue Alberto & Froomey's wheels to the French freakin' tarmac to keep 'em upright and in contention at next year's Tour, so a little off-season training tweaks, and the 2015 Vuelta will still be yours!

Next up: the last-day grab-for-glory time trial, the incredibly prestigious 2014 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Awards recapping the all the disgrace and thrills o' the race--then it's on to the Worlds, honey, and let's hope Fabs didn't blow it entirely bailing out of the time trial for the road race!

Here, your hot-off-the-presses recap--and great job by the Guardia Civil pounding back the overenthusiastic if sincere miscreants endangering Alberto 'n' Froomey at the top of the climb!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Three Is a Magic Number (Unless You're at No. 4) #LaVuelta

He's Got Leeeeeeeeeegs/He Knows How to Use Them: Okay, more like the power meter he's always glommed onto like that disgusting gooey face-sucker from "Alien", but still Chris Froome's legs are a considerable part of it too, and dang, Alberto, even if you *were* right sticking it on Valverde to do the work chasing Froomey down (instead of just marking each other and choking), 13 seconds still counts and if he can distance you again on Saturday that *does* leave you like one extremely crap day or mechanical away from at least a damn close call at the final time trial short as it is! Don't give up dear Purito, these two may just eat their own young yet!

My Bloody Valentine: and, another great win by jailbait Italian talent Fabio Aru, particularly as its exquisite timing distracts the cycling press and unnervingly erratic mastermind Alexander Vinokourov from the sleazy unpleasantness of Valentin Iglinsky's just-affirmed synthetic EPO test bust. @#$%, Iglinsky, you're on !@#$in' *Astana*, if you're gonna dope at least take advantage of the in-house expertise from someone who knows how to use that !@#$ right! Damn kids today, *no* respect for their elders *whatsoever*...

Auguri Pippo!: finally, a belated "Buon Compleanno" to 33-year-old stud-pup birthday boy Pippo Pozzato, who's now officially at the age when Lampre's team boss is gonna give him a serious beat-down if he doesn't get his head back in the game and start coughing up some serious results by next Classics. May all your wishes come true Pippo--especially the ones about, y'know, continued gainful employment!