Saturday, April 04, 2015

Now Win Flanders For Me, Sagan, Or I'll Grind You Into Dog Meat!: It's Your Ronde in Preview! #rvv

No Pressure: let's face it: our little Sagz has lost some of his joie de vivre. Whatever tactical sense he had has disappeared like a dirtbag ahead of a drug test, he's got squat in the tank when he needs it most, and the poor kid's been so down he hasn't even had the heart to pop a wheelie onto Contador's head. So you've got *one* day to get your mojo back before your desperate boss Oleg goes completely crazy-!@# on your overpaid overhyped has-been butt--but no pressure!

Oh Tommeke!: and, it goes without saying that a Flanders without Boonen and Cancellara is a party without a cake, so while I dry my maudlin tears and grab a cold one to scream my head off watching everyone else slug it out, I gotta say, I know furry bad-!@# Luca Paolini's justly working for strongman Alexander Kristoff and all, but if *I'd* just won Gent-Wevelgem in total dominating fashion, I'd be sending that guy back to the team car to get me a refreshing lemonade while the rest of squad carried me on my shoulders on a palanquin all the way to the line up at the front of the race tomorrow, which, among other issues like a complete lack of athletic ability, is why I'm a selfish !@#hole and not an incredible gracious cycling champion. So this leaves us with a wide-open race with a slew of guys who've been absolutely blossoming in the absence of Fabs and Tommeke's long shadows, like just-dented John Degenkolb, Van Avermaet, Stybar, gutsy E3 Harelbeke winner Geraint Thomas, and former shock champ Stijn Devolder, as well as, well, realistically, everybody else in the peloton from Belgium. My dark-horse fave? Niki Terpstra. My guilty-pleasure-no-chance-in-hell-but-I-still-love-to-watch-him-anyway? The all-style GQ king Pippo Pozzato. Still, forza grande Luca!

The Forecast: 48 F and sunny. Like even *that's* gonna help you poor bastards!

Ow, !@#$!: finally, your course map is here, and while it's gonna be a bangin' bucket o' excitement from start to finish for us, it is, as always, a study in total !@#$ing bone-jarring suffering for the peloton, including three trips up the Kwaremont, a spin up the Paterberg, and, of course, the fearsome pave of the Koppenberg. Me, I'm hoping someone smashes apart a potential bunch sprint by a daring far-out attack. And to remind you, like you needed it, here, your tribute to Fabs' decisive 2014 victory, as the big guy (get well soon!) brings it in:

So good luck boys--both winning the race, and just plain staying upright in one (especially your collarbones) piece--let the pain and glory begin!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

My Fantasy Oleg Tinkov/ Team Tinkoff-Saxo Press Conference

OT (takes podium with entire Tinkoff-Saxo squad kneeling before him): Good morning. I've called you all here today to stroke my insatiable need for attention and to address the recent rumors that, despite a couple of minor early-season victories from my chief riders that have done nothing to bring me the glory that is rightfully mine, something is very wrong here at Team Tinkoff-Saxo. First, let me say, nothing is wrong at all. Instead, we have cannily been distracting you and our fiercest rivals from our inevitable immediate sweep of each of the remaining Monuments, every one of the Grand Tours, and all other races by completely sucking so far this season. Hah, I can see we've already psyched you out, you gullible weaklings!

Second, to extent anything *is* wrong over here at Casa Oleg, it is absolutely and utterly everyone else's fault but mine. !@#&, what's the point of throwing more money than God at everyone who looks good on paper in the cycling world if you can't unjustly blame them for the way I'm handling the team? At the same time, until my minions can find a way to completely screw him financially and professionally, I also want to express my complete support for Bjarne Riis. ALRIGHT I'VE SUPPORTED YOU, NOW GET OUT OF MY SIGHT OR I'LL REALLY "SUSPEND" YOU, YOU INCOMPETENT IDIOT!

Finally, I am here today to announce my great and dazzling plan to fix this team. Henceforth, *I*, Oleg Tinkov, will be the *sole* rider in every race. Therefore, I will be my own team captain, superdomestique, sprinter, lead-out train, and bottle-carrying workhorse. I CAN CLIMB THE !@#$ING ALPS BEFORE THAT ALSO-RAN CONTADOR CAN EVEN FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET HIS BIB SHORTS ON IN THE MORNING, I WILL CRUSH YOU AT THE TOUR DE FRANCE FROOME YOU OVERHYPED PIECE OF !@#$!

This of course leaves you wondering what will happen to those team members who are still under contract until they generously agree to rip them up or I break their knees off. Be assured, each team member will be assigned roles fully in keeping with his million-euro superstar status and particular talents. Peter Sagan, being so fast in the sprint, will fetch me my coffee from Starbucks first thing each morning. (Sagan runs up to him with small cup) I SAID *FOURTEEN* SHOTS OF ESPRESSO, YOU IGNORANT WORM! (throws it in Sagan's face) Alberto Contador, with his peerless stamina and climbing ability, will be in charge of carrying my luggage up to and down from the 14th-floor penthouse suite of my hotel each day until he proves to me he's sorry for making me look like a total asshat in front of everybody. And of course Bjarne, with his great tactical expertise, will be in charge of keeping everyone's dirty cycling clothes properly sorted, washed, and returned to their owners in neatly labeled laundry bags by 4 a.m. each race-day morning. DOES THAT EXPENSIVE RAPHA SOCK LOOK LIKE SOMETHING I WOULD DEIGN TO LET THAT BLOCKHEAD PETER WEAR WHILE HE STILL FAILS SO BADLY? HE'LL WEAR UNBEARABLY ITCHY SACKCLOTH KIT UNTIL FLANDERS IS MINE, MINE, MINE!


Monday, March 23, 2015

!#$!, What's the Return Policy on a 6.3 Million Euro Pro Cyclist Again? Oleg Tinkov Freaks Out

Desperado: yeah, it's lookin' desperate over at Rancho Tinkoff all right, as rakish-n-almost-resultsless Peter Sagan blows Oleg's--uh, his own--first big goal of the season at Sanremo with an indifferent 4th and, at the start of his second pre-Tour showdown with Chris Froome at the Volta a Catalunya, Giro-Tour double hope Alberto Contador sez he's got a baaaad cold, so don't expect too much outta him either. Translation: the team is !@#$ed, Oleg's got no idea what to do about it, Bjarne's sacked, and Oleg's now gotta figure out some non-mutilating way to inspire his high-paid starlets but quick. !@#$, Oleg, if Alberto can't handle one cold day at Tirreno this year, what the hell do think a full-on blizzard at the Giro is gonna do to his Tour chances? Dammit, am I the only one thinkin' that if the season gets on this way, we're just gonna have Froomey and Nairo for the final maillot jaune in Paris, and that freak Valverde is gonna nail the 3d spot on the podium *again*? Fix this Oleg--I don't know if we can take this !@#$ much longer!

Degen-Stone-Kolb-Killer: meantime, the glow hasn't quite yet faded off the fine John Degenkolb's Milan-Sanremo triumph, and with this smashing run to the line after half the faves went down on the Poggio, it's easy to see why. Nice job big guy--and Cav, feel better next year!

Electric Avenue: and, after a scathing report excoriating the biopassport as a handy doping baseline (told ya), TUEs as total bull!@#$, and new-gen doping pounding the crap obsolete testing equipment, UCI's taking serious action: testing 36 *bikes* for mechanical doping at Milano-Sanremo. For !@#$'s sake, you oughta be looking for the needle marks on the riders' !@#es, not the wiring in the !@#$ing top tubes! And we *don't* need you clowns giving certain riders who creep the hell outta the whole lot of us any freakin' ideas while we're at it...

Monday, March 16, 2015

When *I* Was a Whippersnapper, Fausto Coppi Got Eaten By a Yeti On the !&#$in' Stelvio, and He *Liked* It!

To the Extreme: alright, screw that masochistic cyclist hard-man crap--not only are notorious softies like Pippo Pozzato tweeting their outrage, even tough-guy Fabian Cancellara's finally had enough, and is calling bull!@#$ on extreme-weather stages like Tirreno-Adriatico's frozen Stage 5 to Terminillo because of some ridiculous wussmeister concern like the riders' "health and safety." What a pack a' whinin' weenies! "My !@# is frozen to the saddle" this, "I'm too numb to grip the handlebars on this icy deadly descent" that! Do you know how much you're getting *paid* to catch a slobbering cold virus for a month for our selfish pervert entertainment while we cheer you on from the comfort of our heated road-side campers, or splosh our hot cocoa right on the tray-table by the TV in gutted sympathy when you're passed within a few meters of the line? We're in *agony* here you crybabies! Oh, the soul's just gone out of the sport if it's gonna be about who's the best at basic ol' "bike riding" from now on....c'mon Pippo, you're just pissed you had to cover up your tats!

Well, I See That Little Pep Talk With the Hired Goons and the Cattle Prod Worked: and, welcome back to the Saganator, outlasting the rest of sprinters on yet another miserably crappy day at Tirreno and taking his first win of the year at last, with the generously-credited help of teammate Alberto Contador. Well well, maybe he *is* gonna pull it together for an all-out slaughterfest at the Classics this year. Amazing what a little "chat" with an unhappy fat-walleted Oleg Tinkov can do--now Contador, don't *make* him have to talk to you about handling the cold weather properly at the Giro!

What? She's Not Bionic?: Finally, best wishes for a speedy recovery to--no, it can't be possible--the indestructible Marianne Vos, who apparently has pulled a mortal human "hamstring", further dashing the last hope of the entire peloton that the whole reason she's able to kick everyone's !@# with such relentless perfection is that she's actually mechanically a military-grade clandestine-project android. Yeah, she can still probably wipe the floor with everybody--just count yerselves lucky someone else besides her gets to win a race or two this year!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Aw, Crap, Chaingate *Again*? I Thought Schleck and Contador Were Through With This !#$!; And, Pony Up Already, Sagan!

The Neverending Story: yep, just when you thought you'd finally heard the last of the whining over evil Alberto Contador attacking innocent Andy Schleck when he dropped his chain in a hapless mechanical and nefariously stealing that Tour de France, the same stupid !@#$ing thing is being yapfested about agai...oh, wait, this is *Cavendish*, today, at Tirreno, wholly accidentally taking out rival Elia Viviani over what Quick Step is now saying is a repeat chain-drop problem that blew Cav's nearly inevitable win at the sprint. Whoa moly, anyone know if Cav's mechanic's okay after Mark no doubt flew at him like some rabid snarling toothy badger to chew his face off? Whoever he is, I'm sure if he's not *too* roughed up, that the problem's been analyzed and damn well fixed--or else! Here, the carnage: Feel better soon, Elia!

There's Buyer's Remorse, And There's 12 million !@#$in' Euros of Buyers' Remorse: meantime, a day after Alberto Contador thanked Oleg Tinkov for his new-signed 2016 contract by bonking at the opening Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, fellow pampered flower Peter Sagan woofed yet *again* by blowing the sprint at Tirreno today, but luckily, Oleg was so charmed by Peto's wacky post-race antics that he only *threatened* to wrap 'im up like a mummy and trebuchet him across the next sprint finish line like some creepy-!@# spandex medieval missile. Just ask Alberto, Peter--batting those eyelashes is only gonna get you so far, honey! Still, panicked Tinkov minion/cycling impresario Bjarne Riis is urging everyone not to panic over Sagan's impending Classics season just yet, which he paradoxically did by pointing out how much better than him everyone else who's in contention already is this year. Jaysus, Oleg, you're already putting Alberto under freakish pressure having him try to be the first sap to win the Giro-Tour double since the allegedly more, well, highly-provisioned era--you're really still gonna screw him by putting one pedal stroke of the Tour squad's effort behind this showoff? Oh, Sagan'll take his first win of the season soon enough, and you'll melt like buttah on hot popcorn--Alberto, you'd better start vying a little harder for Oleg's affection right about now!

Narcs That Go Bump in the Night: and, in the wake of the CIRC report, the debate rages on over UCI's threat to jack up middle-of-the-night dope testing for exhausted random riders during major races, not only leading to a deluge of hotel mini-fridges mysteriously ditched in dumpsters during Grand Tour season, but a web-clogging increase in desperate Google searches asking "who was that guy who got out of a positive by saying he was doing the nasty that time?" Me, I actually very much sympathize with some poor clean schmo whose hopes for a next-day stage win are dashed by rubber-gloved goons wrecking his much-needed sleep in search of some guilty doping assclown. Oh well, that's the unjust price of cycling purity, I guess--and lucky that at least a few 'em of 'em are already taking sedatives according to that CIRC report!

French Press: finally, congrats to the wily French Cycling Federation, using the lame excuse of 'making sure nobody was doping' to screw reigning Tour de France champ Vincenzo Nibali out of a cool half million euros in prize money 'til they're sure he, and the winners of a wunk of other 2014 French races, deserves the money. So, with retroactive testing improvements and all, you're planning on paying the poor guy when, when his senior citizen pension vests? I mean, I get messing around with the small if unimpeachale Nibali's head and bank account, if you're a total jerk and all--but really, bigger guys like Niki Terpstra? On wing span alone that guy could wring the money outta you by force!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

In Which I Read That Damn CIRC Report, So You Don't Have To #circ

1. Alberto Contador--too darn cute to prosecute!

2. Hein Verbruggen & Pat McQuaid: love means never having to say "you're guilty."

3. 20%, 90%, who cares? It couldn't possibly be the guys who are winning now!

4. Dr. Michele Ferrari--good !@#$. Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes--the *really* good !@#$.

5. Mmmm, Mmmm, Omerta!

6. Systemic team doping: out. Individual members comprising entire teams who totally coincidentally use the exact same team doctors, products, and doping regimens: in.

7. Corticosteroids: such total bull!@#$ even *we* can't justify these guys using 'em. Wait, *who's* still taking them?

8. Lab Equipment: so what if it hasn't been updated since 1976?

9. The Biological Passport: I didn't know how much I *could* get away with until you told me. Thanks, guys!

10. Crashes: not just for Tyler Farrar anymore. It's the drugs, too!

11. Lance Armstrong: yep. Still an !@#$^%$!

12. Brian Cookson: he can't be doing any worse than *those* !@#$in' clowns!

Well, I'm humbled and delighted if that's two hours outta your lives I just saved you, my dear readers--now, with Paris-Nice and Tirreno on hand, it's time to get back to the races!

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Fantasy Alexander Vinokourov/Vincenzo Nibali Press Conference #cycling

VN: Good morning. I've called you here today to address the recent news that UCI is seeking to strip Astana of its ProTour license due to alleged severe, systemic doping problems within the team. First, I want to say that I had no idea Alexander Vinokourov ever had anything--*anything*--to do with doping before I joined this squad. In fact, due to the fact that I've stuck my fingers in my ears closed my ears and yelled "LA LA LA LA" whenever Vino came into a room, I haven't even spoken to him or heard anything he's said to me for the last five years. I also haven't read any newspapers, looked at any websites, paid attention to any press conferences, or talked or listed to anyone in the entire pro cycling world, including my own teammates managers soigneurs team-bus drivers medical personnel or espresso guys, at any time from the date of my birth to and through today. So this is, like, a total shock to me.

Second, if Alexander Vinokourov or any of the approximately eighty-six riders and other Astana staff members were in fact involved in doping in any way, I personally had absolutely nothing to do with it, and have been completely clean my entire career. Of course, it doesn't take much to look clean next to the cheating scumbags that make up the rest of this sport! But seriously, in case anyone out there in ProTour land has a few million euros to spend on their rosters this time of year--or, y'know, one of your less-impressive grand tour leaders should have a catastrophic mechanical failure, or come down with the flu, or get a really really gross painful saddlesore--I'm available, so...(makes little ringing-phone gesture next to ear)

Finally, I want to assure you all that as the reigning champion of the Tour de France, I am confident that, even with Astana's current legal woes, we will be granted a Wild Card for the Tour this year and I will be--successfully, I assure you--defending my title. Wait--what? (Puts hand to ear to listen to journalist question) *No*, you mother!@#$er, Froome and Contador crashed out last year, *I'm* the !@#$ing reigning Tour de France champion! Now I'm going to pass things along to this guy next to me I barely even know. Vino?

AV: Good morning. First, I'd like to say that, despite my well-documented and extensive history of sophisticated world-class doping and familiarity with all the cutting-age techniques of any era, I am outraged that any of you think I didn't have my personality totally erased by futuristic robot technology like in that Schwarzenegger movie and replaced with an innocent Disney princess the instant I became a team founder and manager.

Second, I had *no* idea those dumb-!@# Iglinskiy brothers were taking EPO. I mean, there is *so* much better !@#$ out there, what is this, !@#$ing !@#$-squad crap-rider neo-pro amateur hour? Who do you think I am you !@#holes, I would *never* let them take that chump-change !@#$! much less get caught for it! What's more, I have no idea where any of this Padova !@#$ that Brian Cookson is hinting at is coming from. Not only was it geographically inconvenient, that was all Lampre's gig, right, so why are you bitching to me about it, it is so *not* *fair*!

Last but not least, I just want to remind you that if *I* go down, I am taking *all* you !@#$ing hypocrites and your !@#$ing hypocrite families friends associates and family Labrador Retrievers with me, so say goodbye to all your careers you !@#$ing bastards! Yeah, that's right, Vincenzo, you smirking little clean-sport poster-boy, that means you too, keep talking smack you worthless little !@#$! (lunges towards Nibali, press corps hastily clears room as Vino and Nibs start rolling on floor throwing punches)