Saturday, October 14, 2006


Dammit!: So it's no Giro di Lombardia for newly-cleared Ivan Basso, per an unfruitful talk with Bjarne Riis, who apparently didn't want any threat to (justly) rising star Frank Schleck on the course or at the line. Well then, that's it--if Riis is throwing his weight behind Schleck instead of jumping to slag the press and antidoping hounds for screwing Basso and CSC and shoving Basso back into the peloton for the last chance he'll have this season, it's over between Basso and Riis entirely. Basso, of course, was gracious in deference to Bjarne's divine right of team leadership, but since I'm not obligated to be either diplomatic or fair, go to hell Bjarne! If Basso really is guilty--and I ain't saying he's not--why don't you have the stones to head to court and try break his contract for it? And if he's innocent, why aren't you kneecapping the overeager slandering bloodhounds who just jacked you Basso and CSC out of a Tour podium (at least) and cast a noxious cloud of drug-fueled doubt over your spanking-new Giro? Not to detract from your unquestioned brilliance, and the fact that CSC is clearly currently the best team on the planet with a truly high-class, not just winning, lineup due entirely to you, but if you won't grow a spine about Ivan Basso you suck Riis!

Dream, Dream, Dree-aaam: I find it almost dear that Andreas Kloden, who presumably really wants a Tour de France win but insists on continued devotion to merely another Tour podium spot, remains confident that he, Vinokorouv and Kashechkin will be "handled equally" by Astana next year at the Tour. Now, I don't know if I'm the only one who's noticed the golden triumvirate of (1) Astana's ruling Kazakh sponsorship; (2) Vinokorouv's total domination of the formation and structuring of the team; and (3) Vino's tendency to bushwhack his actual team leader, much less his equals (though he's fair, to be fair, to others), but...good luck with that in 07, Andreas!

Swiss Family Ullrich: So, the docs are all in (but for a few from Germany and Spain) and properly notarized to warm the hearts of anal-retentive paper-pushers everywhere, and the Swiss are now all set to go Neanderthal on poor Jan Ullrich in a way the Italians never even considered for fellow babe Ivan Basso. Given that neither boy has tested positive in any race test (except for Jan right a hundred years ago?), this seems exceedingly unfair and crappy, but then, one's been implicated primarily by a renegade gyno and a bag with his dog's name on it, and the other is a reckless party boy with a rep for lazy early-season training, 10 years of rumors and non-Lanceness to combat, and a penchant for disco drugs. We're still pulling for you Jan! After all, has anyone been so @#$-slapped in the press and by the fans for the grievous failure of winning the Tour de France and endless time trials and classics?

Except, that is, for poor Tom Boonen this year, who I rather think deserves a moratorium on references to his "troubled" "disappointing" or "lame" season. Sure, he tanked in the Tour, if you're gonna berate the sort of loser who gets to wear the maillot jaune, and like lots of the really big boys, he could've had a better worlds. But he did win a few other races this season that I heard off, so knock it off already everbody!

Man, I *hate* defending guys who win all the time, instead of my underdogs (the overdogs)? Anyway, free Joseba!

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