Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's Yer What-the-Hell-Just-Happened Roundup and Here-Come-the-Mountains Giro Preview! #Giro100

Gavi-what?: So, you *just* figured out how to spell "Postlberger", and now you've got some *new* phenom to memorize? That's right, much as I want Andre Greipel to win every sprint, there's no doubt newborn baby Fernando Gaviria is the new jock-on-the-block, and I gotta say, sucks to be you if you're sprinting against this kid for the next, oh, 8 years or so. So go go Gorilla--but for Chrissakes beef up yer leadout train first!

Gone But Unfortunately Not Forgotten: In other Giro news, an injured Mikel Landa has decided to save Sky's !@# and continue on in the giro, to which team boss Dave Brailsford gratefully responded by kicking Landa right in the nuts, and an injured Geraint Thomas (not so injured he couldn't go full Cancellara in the time trial, but whatevs) *quit* the Giro, to which Dave Brailsford irritatingly responded by overthrowing the house of Windsor, clapping Queen Elizabeth and the rest of the royal family into leg irons and stuffing 'em into an unused utility closet in the Tower of London, and installing G on the Throne of England. Jaysus, Mikel, GET OUT of Team Craphole already, I know the dough is good but yer dignity is worth so much more!

La Vie in Rosa: Meantime, amiable giant Tom Dumoulin is comfortably in pink despite the fact that by sheer genetics he ought to be barely making it up the Dolomites sitting in a freakin' ski lift, but, with another time trial to go and two minutes plus on more natural climbers like Quintana Pinot (yes, he's a GC contender *now*, !@#$ off) & Nibali who can climb Everest without drawing a breath, it's apparently all but certain that big Tom'll not only stay there in the maglia rosa but beat 'em all by 3 or 4 days to Milan. What the !@#$ is *wrong* with the world nowadays, am I the *only* one who thinks it's gone all topsy-turvy?

Up, Up, and...Well, Good Luck Staying Away!: And, forget this Mount Etna/Blockhead !@#$--it's almost time for the full-on total mountains onslaught of the most beautiful race on Earth, so get set and embrace the pain cave, baby! Today: we're only a few short kilometers away from the gentle climb to Oropa, and if these nits just mark each other like spineless lilies and wheelsuck in Valverdean proportions, well, at least they got another chance to reclaim their rightful place in history on Monday's Queen Stage 16, a brutal haul up the Mortirolo with its 16% ramps, followed by the Cima Coppi at the fabled (and feared) Passo Stelvio and its hairy descent, then a quick jaunt for some more suffering over the border in Switzerland up the Giogo di Santa Maria, and a damn near 100% downhill plummet into Bormio. Okay, Mikel, we know you want and of course deserve this one--but it's gonna depend on yer descending, so please, you and the other guys just stay the hell upright, okay?! And don't worry big Tom, you'll get your breath back on Stage 17's comparatively mellow roller with early ups Aprica and Passo del Tonale before a chill middle part then last uphill grind to Canazei--which won't really help you if you cracked on Stage 16 and Nibs (tho down a key domestique) Thibaut and Nairo actually pulled their !@#$ together and attacked!

News It or Lose It: finally, no Giro would be complete without the two Bardiana-CSF nimrods who tested poz and got pulled immediately prior to the first day's start line getting popped for sure on their B-sample and promptly fired by their team, which apparently is totally cool for the race organizers to have the rest of em continue but raises the entertaining prospect of whether the kids are gonna blame (1) just had sex (2) didn't have enough sex or (3) yet *again* ordered an unregulated supplement off the internet like the rest of their similarly dimwitted pro-cyclist miscreant buddies. Ah, well--you guys got nothin' but time now, so choose yer excuses--and start cultivating the right friendships in anticipation of your eventual returns to the peloton--carefully!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Jailbait! Pink Gorillas! Disturbing Analogies! Slap-Fights!: It's Yer Giro d'Italia Week One in Review!

Okay, the first week of this year's monumental 100th Giro d'Italia has been accused, in some circles--as in, say, the legendary Mario "the Lion King" Cipollini's--as being a bit of a snoozer. But whaddaya expect--they gotta throw the few sprinters at the race *some* kind of a bone before they send 'em home crying like Cavendish when he loses, right? And you actually missed, if you weren't paying attention or, frankly, just laid a little too hard into the Aperol, quite a bit. So before we hit the serious mountains with tomorrow's hopefully GC-awakening slog up to Blockhaus, let's review!

Hijinks!: Yes, sincere congrats to the first two twits (Stefano Perazzi and Nicola Ruffoni, both of Bardiani-CSF) to get popped for doping before the race even it made it to the pre-show press conferences. Well, *that* restores the public faith in clean sport! Bonus points to Team Bardiani management for immediately throwing the riders under the bus (they wish literally!) as the usual "rogue elements" with the squad staff "completely unaware of the drugs we personally provided them (wait, did I translate that right?) and, of course, for UCI for immediately clamping down on this disgusting scourge by--uh, yeah, letting the team ride the race anyway. Bets on which Bardiani innocent gets busted next!

Jailbait!: look, if you *remotely* saw anyone from Bora-Hansgrohe coming--which, to be honest, has been primarily known as "Peter Sagan's squad"--much less their actual sprinter's lead out guy who happened to be riding his first stage in his first Grand Tour ever when his sprinter lost his wheel and his whole purpose in riding the Giro vanished in a second, you are a lying lying lying liar, or else the actual and direct hand of God reaching down and propelling an entirely surprised youngster Lukas Postlberger across the line and into the holy maglia rosa on Stage 1. Even better, the kid showed more tactical sense and cool under insta-pressure as some serious GC riders a good decade his senior. Best of all, the RAI commentator's endless delight since that fateful day in yelling "Postlberger!" at completely irrelevant times during the race ever since. A sweet start to an illustrious career, Lukas!

Pink Gorillas!: Meantime, big friendly lug Andre Greipel, who looks like he could kill you merely by thinking in your personal direction but who never misses an opportunity to warmly thank and congratulate his competitors, his teammates, his soigneur, the podium babes, or any rider who manages to stay upright during an on-the-fly nature-break, also took a smashing sprint and spent a lovely day in pink, generously allowing Caleb Ewan to take a stage as well, along with an astonishingly fast Fernando Gaviria. You're just so *nice*, Andre--*please* don't bail, the race organizers *swore* there's another sprint day in there somewhere!

Disturbing Analogies!: Speaking of Gaviria, who's already bagged *two* wins so far this race and donned the newly-returned maglia ciclamino, I gotta say he's an early lead contender for the 2017 Giro d'Italia racejunkie award for quote o' the Giro: "I think getting to Milan will turn Fernando the boy into Fernando the man." Y'know,, there's just *no* commentary on that that *wouldn't* be disconcerting. Anyway, nice to see you riding so well, kid!

Lava Lumps!: naturally, the *biggest* disappointment for the tifosi this week was the vaunted Stage 4 hike up Mount Etna, not only because the volcano didn't explode and bury the Team Sky bus under a cloud of caustic ash and lava, but because the GC riders completely wussed out of *any* kind of move and that little weasel Thomas still managed to grab 4 bonus seconds over his team's rightful GC captain, Mikel Landa. Good little attack on today's stage though, Mikel--you'll have plenty of time on tomorrow's ginormous climb to stomp him tomorrow!

Slap-Fights!: Back in the peloton, an epic slap-fight between key Nibali domestique Javi Moreno and demon-squad Sky's Diego Rosa ensued after Rosa started it by giving Javi a shove and a startled Moreno reasonably responded, leading to the obvious result of the race organizers kicking out Moreno on account of Rosa being a total ass. Stop it, guys. Just--stop it. With most of you, it's like watching a unicorn and Tinkerbell getting into a to-the-death cage-fight in front of a howling bloodthirsty crowd of dew-drunk wood-sprites. It's *embarrassing.* Now hash it out like *real* cyclists, by surreptitiously lowering the other guy's saddle by a millimeter and freaking him out for 200 kilometers! Anyhoo, here's the Thrilla in Manila (Etna, whatever):

Fan Failures!: Finally, endless curses to the dimwit fan with either an overextended arm or a moron freakin' selfie stick who apparently thought it would be a good idea to steal DiData hardworking nice-guy Kristian Sbaragli's liver right off 'im and try to sell it on the black market, 'cause the eejit damn near succeeded, and as the wounded victim helpfully pointed out, it could've caused a hell of a nasty crash in the peloton, as well as the marginally lesser problem of personal disembowelment. !@#dammit, do I *have* to do yet *another* "Etiquette for Tifosi" post *every* Grand Tour--because I can only say "JAYSUS GET YOURSELF AND YOUR APPENDAGES OFF THE COURSE YOU !@#$WITS" so diplomatically!

Well, that--and the fact that an Italian astonishingly hasn't won a single stage yet this Giro, which the Moreno-less Nibali still better pull off tomorrow or he's gonna look vulnerable--was the week that was. Onto Week 2, and the *real* start of some major GC slugfests!

Monday, May 01, 2017

It's Yer 100th Giro d'Italia in Preview, Part Due: the Contenders!

Okay, you got the language down. You know the course. So who--with the obvious and tragic exception of Michele Scarponi, to whom we did an earlier Giro tribute--are we looking at, and what are their chances? Let's preview!

The Real Contenders:

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida): He's the defending champ, tho now on a different team than the last one (Astana) he won with. And *any* Italian, much less someone as cutthroat as two-time Giro winner the Shark of Messina, is gonna want to go down in history as the campeone of the 100th edition. But his team is new, so they haven't done a grand tour together before. The good news: thanks to their big-bucks sponsors, they're bringing a walloping--and Giro-experienced--squadra, including Valerio Agnoli, Giovanni Visconti, Manuele Boaro, and oldie-but-goodie Franco Pellizotti, with the added firepower of Konstantin Svitsov. Wherever you end up, we're pretty sure it'll be at least on the podium, Nibs!

Mikel Landa (Team Sky): Shut up, he can too! Go to hell! Well, the eternal !@#$wits over at Team Sky have disastrously declared that dear Mikel and Geraint Thomas will have "co-captaincy" at the Giro, which means (1) they're going to blow all their !@#damn energy figuring out who deserves sole leadership; (2) tactically, they're going to be !@#$, and (3) no matter what Mikel Landa says--and he's said a lot of contradictory things of late--with non-Tour Grand Tour heir apparent/fawned-over management darling Geraint Thomas on hand, Mikel is absolutely unequivocally !@#$ed. On the plus side, the chance that Mikel will wake up from a troubled sleep with a gigantic revelation about his crap situation leaves open a significant possibility than he's going to go for blood like Froome on Wiggins. But by then, it may well be too late. You *suck*, Sky!

Geraint Thomas (Sky): !@#$ you, you shoulda been backing defending champ Mikel last week at the Giro del Trentino, you little !@#$! On the grounds of extreme annoyance, I decline to analyze this horrible scenario any further.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): Look, I *get* it. He maintains strict radio silence for the 8 months of the year he's at home training in Colombia "at altitude," where he is totally coincidentally completely unreachable by land,sea, air, tunnel, riverboat, or internet. No-one is *ever* gonna give a !@#$ about it, so let's just move *on*, shall we? Aside from Nibali, and of course Mikel to whom all should bow (shut up, he can too, go to hell!), the only other real competition for the top spot, barring ill-fortune, is wee Nairo. Weakness: the time trial, at least theoretically. Strength: this being the 100th Giro, the two of 'em oughtn't to decide it. And while this prior winner is a smashing pure climber and has fine tactical sense despite his relative youth, he *is* idiotically going for the fabled Giro-Tour double, which means he (1) risks holding back too much for July, endangering his Giro or (2) risks blasting too away much energy at the Giro, screwing his chances at the Tour. As for his squad, Movistar, to its credit, isn't !@#$ing around: Amador, Anacona, Izagirre, thankfully *not* Valverde, Rojas, even Bennati--who, despite his sprinter's prowess, wrenched his guts out as an indispensable mountain domestique for Alberto Contador and will no doubt transfer his allegiance here. Now let our little Izagirre go for a stage win after you've locked in the GC, Nairo!

The Outsiders 'n' Top Ten-ners:

Bauke Mollema: 1st of all, how can you *not* love Bauke Mollema? That said, if Trek has *any* brains, they're not gonna burn all their Grand Tour matches for a Top Ten (or even Five) at the Giro if they really want to have a chance of beating that freak Froome and his android army at the Tour de France, particularly since, as the Tour will happily brag to you, there's been no do--uh, positive tests for *anything* at the most prestigious race on Earth (and don't even *get* me started there) since approximately when Landis was popped. But I'd love to see Mollema get a nice high placing all the same!

Tom Dumoulin: let's be honest, by peloton standards, Dumoulin's the approximate size of an overfed wooly mammoth, so his recent-years' spate of climbing success makes about as much sense as Estaban Chaves pounding on Andre Greipel in a sprint (or being able to pound on the Gorilla hard enough to make him think it's anything but a gnat he's swatting, for that matter). But climb he can, except for maybe the nastiest gradients in the Dolomites, so if he doesn't, say, have a 14-minutes-in-one-day spectacular crack, I suppose he can do pretty well. Not as well as Nairo though!

Yates, Kruijswijk: I understand. And I like them. But c'mon--all this top of the podium %^&* I'm reading, really? Though Tejay, with your usual class, I positively expect a good show!

The Climbers: yeah, if you can climb, you're aiming for GC here. Except our darling ex-Euskaltel riders, who seem to have a "Stomp On Me" clause in each of their contracts. Screw you, ProTour!

The Sprinters: Andre Greipel. And, y'know, some other guys, except Elia Viviani, which must've been a kick in the nuts so I'm sorry about that. Forza Gorillaaaaaaaaaa!

The Breakaway Artists: !@#dammit why didn't someone hire Amets so he could light those up? Anyhoo, every single Italian at the Giro is honor-bound to absolutely crush themselves trying to win a 100th Giro stage in their hometown. You wanna do all that research or got it all right off the top of your head, well fill me in! High on my Official List of Things That Ain't Happenin'--the dashing Pippo Pozzato taking one last win, but at least we can count on him flexing his latest tats for the expectant press. Vai Pippoooooooooooo!

Welp, there's your quick guide to who's gonna be who at this year's Giro. Now on to the most beautiful race on Earth--and thank you Astana for riding on in memory of your friend and compatriot!


Saturday, April 29, 2017

It's Yer 100th Giro d'Italia in Preview, Part Uno: La Corsa Rosa!

What: It's the 100th edition of the most beautiful race on earth, baby, so it ain't no place for wussies! And now that you got the lingo down from my previous posts, today, let's preview what the boys on two wheels are in for:

The Overall: Welcome to 3,615.4 kilometers of pain, glory, and general agony! Allegedly, we got six sprint stages, eight "medium mountains" stages, 5 "holy !@#$!" mountain stages, two individual time trials and, mercifully, *not* one of those stupid team time trials that can give some undeserving wanker an insurmountable two-minute gap for the overall win before the last poor sod out the start gate has even tightened his shoes. Thank you, Giro organizers!

The Prologue: Welcome to the beautiful island of Sardegna! We start off with a relatively chill 206 kilometer roller with a handful of Cat-4 climbs to warm up the legs, pave' (!) 2k before the finish, a big wide bend, and a fast finale. Enjoy it while it lasts, sprinters--it don't get much better than this!

The Sprint Stages: Like, who gives a crap, right, it's the *Giro*? Now of course, when we say a Giro stage is "flat," we mean "flat *at the end*, you hapless sap, so good luck to the dumb bastards actually choosing to be a sprinter here that you don't drop out by the 50k mark crying like Cavendish when he's just been beaten fair 'n' square by someone stronger'n him. But our big friendly lug Andre Griepel is riding it, along with, uh, some other fast guys, and you just *can't* not love *him*. Forza Gorillaaaaaaaaaa! Next up after our welcome speedway: an easy 148 k romp to Stage 3, a lumpy start then a sorta nausea-inducing consistent low roller-coaster on the way to Messina. First one in gets the motion-sickness pills! Stage 6 is another kinda-flattie with a leg-nipper of an uphill finish, just enough to discourage the pure sprinters and bamfoozle the gradient-loving boys. Stage 7, relax again til you knock the only categorized climb outta the way at 154 km, then generally down then finally up with a wee uphill to the finish in Alberobello. Enjoy it while it lasts! Your next break comes at Stage 12, with a coupla categorized climbs--wah, wah, what is this? the freakin' Tour?--on the way home to Reggio Emilia, then a ruler-flat ride of a Stage 13 before the really bad !@#$ begins and half o' you giants bail for home. Wait, I'm short on sprint stages--what he !@#$ counts in this race?

The Breakaways: Hot off the presses on stage 2, the "medium mountains" begin! And lest you think we're saving the first summit finish for the high passes, we get right down to business in Stage 4 with a Cat 2 slog up Portella Femmina Morta, before we (literally) heat things up with a Cat-1 finale up the legendary (and potentially, y'know, explosive!) volcanic Mt. Etna. Bad to time crack for the GC even with this far to go! Stage 8: eep! It's tricksy, with a seductively long completely flat stretch, then a coupla climbs and a short sharp uphill finale. Stage 10: it's yer first time trial, folks! Just shy of 40K, and early on, so no, the race ain't getting decided here: a mild start then a wunky uphill to Montefalco. Stage 14: a quick 131k, basically a looooooooong false flat all the way to the Cat 1 finale to Oropa. Fooled ya, today's a baddie! Stage 15: starting at 149 k, we got a Cat 2 and Cat 3, finishing up with a downhill run to Bergamo. Prepare the feel the pain on Stage 16, suckers! Stage 17: Do you know the way to Canazei? The Giro sure does, giving you guys a relative break after yesterday's killer with the 'mere' Aprica and Passo del Tonale before the final slog up to Canazei. All right, where's the "medium" mountain stages again?--'cause I sure ain't seeing 8 of 'em on the website!

The Mountain Stages: Hoooooooly crap, welcome to stage 9--and for my money, the Giro truly begins! Lump, flat, lump, flat, lu--whoa moly, it's the Cat 1 climb to Blockhaus, and underestimate the 14% gradients on this one like a blockhead to your peril! And while you breathe (sorta) on the aforementioned Stage 10, you better save something in the tank for Stage 11, with Cat 2, Cat 3, Cat 3, and (nyeah, nyeah!) Cat 2 again til the descent off Monte Fumaiolo leads to the final up to Bagno di Romagna. Ouch! Stage 16: it's the height o' the Alps, honey, and it's a beastie! The intimidating Mortirolo. The Cima Coppi, the highest point of the race, as we go up the mitico Stelvio on *both* sides. Then, after a final Cat 1 climb, it's a 20 descent down the Giogi di Santa Maria. Speaking of saints, you better be *praying* you don't bonk on this stage, or it's GC game over--and likely GC game over in a good way for the contender who doesn't! Stage 18: Welcome to the fearsome Dolomites--if you dare! In a leg-cramping podium-busting lung-masher, you got Pordoi. You got 2 Cat-2 breathers with Passo Valoparola and Passo Gardena, before the even more relaxing Cat 3 Passo di Panei. Finally, just when you thought it was safe to start crying, you get to ride the Cat 1 climb to Pontives, with a liiiiiiiiiittle tiny flat on the finish. Don't forget to eat now, you hear?! Stage 19--it's Cats 3, then 2, then 1, to the site of a Pantani triumph in Piancavallo. And finally, on Stage 20, it's your last-gasp hope that you can make up the disaster you suffered yesterday, and that the guy who triumphed then loses it completely today--but with Monte Grappa only mid-way through, a Cat-1 climb to Foza at around 175k, and a blessedly wavy final 15k, there's a strong chance for even some rival's tired legs to catch on up to you. Oh, thank God for you (and how devastating for us) that this suffering is almost over!

The finale: Here, it's the time triallist's last chance for glory--and the last barrier to making history as campione of the 100th Giro d'Italia. If you got more than a handful of seconds, with only 29 mostly-downhill k on the way to the--I swear, you're seriously almost done here--finish line in Milano, keep yer head and you'll probably keep yer crown (well, your godly golden spiral, but still). !@#$ the podium--after 3,500 k of this !@#$, I need a massage, pronto!

Well folks, them's yer preview of il percorso for the magnificent 100th Giro d'Italia. And don't take my unreliable word for it: here's the official promo!:

Tomorrow, the Contenders. Til then, forza ragazzi--and to *any* of you who make it to the line in Milan, we're not worthy, we're not worthy!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

It's The 100th Giro d'Italia! A Short Tribute to Michele Scarponi at the Giro

Look, there's no doubt that, with the tragic and untimely death of Michele Scarponi, the 100th edition of the mitico Giro d'Italia will start off, as it will finish, with inestimable grief and loss. And lest there be any tinge of hypocrisy on my end, let me state unequivocally that I stand by every wiseacre thing I ever blogged, tweeted, or said about him in the 11 year history of this wretched screed. But it also can't be denied that Scarponi's ineffable mix of showmanship, grinta, human frailty, and utter ease as either a captain or painfully self-sacrificing superdomestique were quintessially, well, Giro. So with that in mind, a brief tribute to the history of Michele Scarponi at the most beautiful race on earth:

2202: In his maiden Giro, with Acqua e Sapone, Michele bags a fine 18th overall. Not bad for a whippersnapper!

2003: Now with Domina Vacanze (oh! these lovely lost squads!), Scarponi goes two better in the general classification. Steady!

2004: What the hell? Why wasn't he here?

2005: Now with Liberty Seguros, Michele still finishes, this time at a yeoman's 47th. Just you wait though, until...

2006: As Operacion Puerto unfolds, taking half the active peloton and his own squad's now-notorious management with it, Scarponi DNFs. And of course, he misses 2007 and 2008 as well, leading to...

2009: A new gig at Androni, where he superdomestiques the great Gilberto Simoni, wins stage 6 on a solo break, pockets a thrilla of a stage 18, *and* pulls off a wholly respectable 31st, a fine preview of...

2010: His breakout performance as a serious GC contender, taking a smashing Stage 19 mountain sprint over the returning Ivan Basso and a jailbait Vincenzo Nibali on his way to 4th overall, which brings him...

2011: To the Disney sparkle princesses at our beloved Lampre, where he takes the prestigious red points jersey and grabs the second step on the podium, 6 minutes down (and it's !@#damn impressive he did) on the year's winner, Alberto Contador (yeah, I stick by that!), proving it's no fluke when...

2012: Ryder Hesjedal wholly unexpectedly emerges triumphant, but Scarponi still claws his way to just-shy-of-the-final-podium in 4th again, before:

2013: He scrappily holds onto 4th again, until...

2014: Now with Astana and its erratic raging (but wily!) boss Vinokourov, even he finally bails on stage 16, after which...

2015: He takes this one off, until...

2016: When, in what would sadly turn out to be his final Giro appearance, he stops cold on a mountainside on the way to near-certain stage victory to hang back and help his struggling captain Vincenzo Nibali not only on the stage, but to seal the overall victory (and winning a prestigious 2016 Giro d'Italia racejunkie Award in the process). Grande Michele!

May the 2017 Giro d'Italia live up to his impressive legacy. Grazie Michele!

Friday, April 07, 2017

It's Yer Quasi-Literate Guide to Italian Cycling Terms, Part Due!

Ok, so now you know who's doing what where in the gruppo at the fabulous Giro, or any other race you're watching on your smashing Italian pirate feed. But what disastrous mechanical did they just have, what just happened to that poor guy who crashed, and what the *hell* are the tifosi (that's you, cycling fan!) shouting at them from the roadside? This!

Bike parts!

Ruota: Wheel. Example: "I can't believe Carlos Barredo just whanged Rui Costa over the head with his ruota!"

Derailleur (front): Cambio.

Derailleur (wheel): Deragliatore. "Jaysus, you moron, try not to throw your !@#$in musette into my deragliatore!"

Handlebar: Manubrio. As in, "Holy !@#$, Sagan just caught his manubrio in some dipwad's giacca!"

Seat: Sella. "My freakin' *sella* just flew off? My mechanic is *dead*!"

Chain: Catena. !@#dammit, is Contador *cursed* or something, he just dropped his catena at the base of the Fedaia!

Helmet: Casco. Who's got the most hideous casco (well, caschi) in the peloton? Discuss!

Borraccia: Water bottle. I bet that ain't just water that weasel Valverde's takin' in from his borraccia!

Brakes: Freni. Don't touch your freni don't touch your freni don't touch...oh, !@#$, you just took half the gruppo down with you fer crissakes!

Frame: Teliao. Wait, what's that strange little button on your telaio? And how did you just accelerate like that when your face looks like Thomas "the Tongue" Voeckler's out there?

Computer: Computerino. Hey, some !@#$ing tifoso just stole my computerino when I was right here waiting for a wheel change!


Fall: As I mentioned, Caduta.

*Big* !@#$in' fall: Maxicaduta. !@#dammit, *another* maxicaduta for Alberto!

Collarbone: Clavicola. Oh, no, that's like the third time Phinney's busted his clavicola this year!

Leg: Gamba. Contador just finished a Grand Tour stage with a broken gamba again? Che mito!

Wrist: Polso.

Broken: Rotto.

Fracture: Frattura. Jaysus, how many fratture can Mick Rogers get in one career?

Finger: Dito. Hey, is that thing broken, or did Froomey just give the camera the dito?

Scrape: Graffio. No, no, my leg didn't just get ripped off, it's merely un graffio!

Skin: Pelle. Poor Chaves looks like a mummy, he's hardly got any pelle left!

Bandage: Fasciatura. Medico, ho bisogno di piu fasciature!

Syringe: Siringa. That better be decaf espresso in that syringa!

IV: Flebo. What makes Team As--ah, forget it!

Roadside Shout-Outs!

Dai!: No, not a wish for that guy to croak--go!

Forza!: Strength! Basically, go.

Vai!: Come on! Basically, go.

Ale'!: Allez! Basically, go.

As for what *else* they're shouting at those guys--and frankly, what I probably am too--I'm too delicate to use such language, so I'll leave that all to your filthy imaginations, perverts!
Next up--*what* do you want me to tell you how to say to Froome?

Monday, April 03, 2017

It's Yer Quasi-Literate Guide to Italian Cycling Terms, Part Uno!

Yeah, yeah, cobbles. But frankly, I'm so preemptively nauseated at the thought of Tom Boonen not winning his final Paris-Roubaix, and the incredibly anal-retentive obsessing over who caused Sagan's Flanders fall when we all know the important thing is what's the proper term for his current facial-hair configuration that I Just. Can't. Even. So, as we look ahead to the smashing 100th Giro, what do you do when your own country's commentator is a !@#$wit? That's right, scam some virus-laden illegal Italian feed, but for now, you need to know what they're sayin'! Ergo, a crash course in General Bike Racing Stuff:

Squadra: yer team. I.e., "how dare you not respect the fabulous Giro enough to bring your A-squadra, you Tour de France-whoring publicity pigs?"

Testa della corsa: the head of the race. Usage: how the !@#$ can that robot Valverde be alla testa della corsa for the 16th straight stage?

Fuga: the breakaway. Example: look, Amets is in la fuga agai--wait, he's not even *racing* anymore? What the hell is *wrong* with you freaks?

Gruppo: the peloton.

Gruppetto: the autobus (the !@#-end of the peloton, not the team bus).

Gregario: yer domestique. Poor bastard!

Velocista: sprinter. Example: how the !@#$ is that 200-pound velocista suddenly out-climbing Alberto Contador? Ohhhh...

Il doping: doping. No, serious!

Scalatore: climber.

Tappa: the stage.

Cronometro: the time trial. As in, "Are you kidding me? We're allowing a !@#$in' 45k flat cronometro to decide the *Giro*?"

Partenza: the start line.

Arrivo: the finish line.

Podio: the podium.

Ristoro: the feed zone. I think. Such as, "can you *get* through this freakin' ristoro without tossing your musette into my wheel, you !@#clown?"

Discesa: the descent.

Pendenza: the percent gradient of the climb.

Tornante: hairpin turn. Like, "Oh, !@#$, did that guy just fly off that tornante?!"

Vincitore: the winner. Correct usage: "Yay! Mikel Landa e' il vincitore!"

Maglia: yes, the coveted jersey! Leader is maglia rosa; mountains is maglia azzurra; young rider is maglia bianca.

Salita: the climb.

Podio: the podium.

Caduta: a fall. Dottore!

Ammiraglia: the team car. Yeah, this is all *your* fault, you @@#-strategy-spewing nits!

Well, them's the basics. Next up: bike parts, medical crap, and, *what* are they shouting at those guys?