Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shakespeare in Love

Catfight!: Having left T-Mobile for Astana on the dubious premise of eagerly playing second banana/superdomestique to Alexander Vinokorouv at the Grand Tours, upon which report T-Mobile snarked that they offered Andreas Kloden team leadership but he couldn't take it, the highly talented Kloden and swiftly-imploding T-Mobile squad have now descended into full-scale b!@#$-slapping, trading accusations of management incompetence vs. Kloden & Kessler's selfishness in the mountains as the reasons why Kloden, and hence T-Mobile, lost the Tour.

Enjoyable as this all is to watch, you suck, T-Mobile! Having systematically allowed your team to eat its own in the last couple of Tours, then this year seemingly deliberately jacked over about 80% of your Grand Tour GC and stage win contenders with cheapskate contract dithering then shoving them out the door (okay, he's no spring chicken, but ditching Serguei Honchar-Gonchar? He just handed you two incredible Tour stages, you nits! And letting Kessler go to Astana, which is starting to shape up as the next, well, T-Mobile?) without so much as a "thanks for saving our dignity after the Ullrich-Pevenage fiasco" and thereby preemptively decimating your chances for next year, and making endless wanky comments undercutting your own boys, you're going to ditch the blame on a multi-Tour-podium finisher for your problems?! Physician, heal thyself!

And speaking of poor Ullrich, Jan's cannily corrected his nimrod manager's apparent reports that he told T-Mobile to blow, and in fact the parting was a severance-package-friendly mutual affair. I'm sure the check's in the mail!

Legal Strategy 102: So clearly, students, Ivan Basso's lawyer's got it right, when upon Basso's thorough grilling by Italian authorities the legal rep kept it to a simple "the documents are insufficient and the evidence is indirect", then shut the hell up for posterity to let Ivan briefly say he's done nothing wrong and to thank the fans. Right on Ivan, give that guy a raise! Floyd Landis--watch and learn. Nope--stop right there! don't say anythig!--just *watch* and *learn.*

Can I Get a Witness: In other doping news, the very fine Perdiguero is calling quits on his career after being nipped to death about doping; UCI and Dick Pound are bloodying each other over the issue of the best time of day to test the riders--like anything they're doing is gonna work, as they've only managed to come up with positive tests on about 2 guys this year (though I'm sure the rest of the peloton is genuinely perfectly clean); and Pat McQuaid continues to go on about how Ullrich and now Hamilton are certainly going to fry once the secret news is out, and watch out everybody else too 'cause the Guardia Civil's soon-to-be-released docs are going to let the UCI sic their Dobermans on everbody else's filthy cheating corpses. Gee, we couldn't get a nicer bunch of guys guarding the riders' virtue!

Meantime, I note that ex Olympian/world champ/misogynist perv Gary Neiwand has pleaded guilty to stalking after an admirable prior record of similar offenses. Frankly, I think the sport's got enough problems without this Cro-Magnon crap going on, don't you?

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