Wednesday, October 04, 2006


Judge Dredd: UCI, deeply annoyed at the Swiss federation's likely grant of a 2007 race license to Jan Ullrich over some whiny technicality like lack of actual evidence against the besmirched babelicious dopester, is loudly proclaiming via impotent avenging angel Pat McQuaid that it'll take Jan to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if the Swiss don't act. For what? A lunch date, you babies? Spit out the evidence if you've got it, otherwise take the defeat like men and quit crying already! In other doping news, Bjarne Riis is apparently overcoming his strong moral objections to even a whiff of scandal near his team and striking a more conciliatory tone towards likely-soon-to-be-exonerated cash cow Ivan Basso. Sure as hell beats a Basso breach-of-contract lawsuit, as his lawyer's so far batting a thousand. And hey, if some feckless opportunist like Fuentes allegedly names a doped-up blood sample after your dog, and your two-year-old categorically states that the dog's name is something else entirely, well, what more do people want? Meantime, Floyd Landis, soon to be back on the stationary bike with his new rollerball hip, insists his innocence will be soon be proven (as I dearly hope it is) and in fact plans to be the first in the peloton to take his arbitration hearing public. Take that, you leak-happy incompetent petty bureaucrats! And, to Landis' credit, he's limited his press-smacking to UCI and WADA for trying his case in the press (ironically), specifically giving the lone-holdouts professionals at USADA credit for following the rules. Good sportmanship there, Floyd!

Astanashing: noble reformer Walter Godefroot says that, at least as long as Ullrich's accused of doping, no way is Jan gonna be on the Astana list of high-end recruits (no surprise given powerhouse team organizer Vino's unfortunate experience at the Tour this year); what's more, T-Mobile is absolutely talking trash in suggesting that Andreas Kloden is coming on to be some lame stunted superdomestique to Vinokorouv--rather, they're gonna aim a triple threat of Vino Kascheckin and Kloden on all cylinders right at the entire Tour Podium. Of course, on a practical note, we've all seen at T-Mobile and by Vino no less what happens when not everyone signs on with the game plan, but anyway, now what're you gonna do about us at the Tour next year, T-Mobile? Well, there', uh...

True Baby-Blue Continental: what is it, beyond merely the Phonak-implosion talent glut, that's leading to the wholesale blowout of the major talents in the ProTour peloton to the (very fine, to be sure) Continental teams this year? Are there really enough wild cards around to justify all these guys not being guaranteed (their teams, anyway) a spot in the Grand Tours? Stefano Garzelli, Jose Acevedo, about 10 others I must've written about already, now Phonak's Alexandre Moos (for Andy Rihs' new USA cyclocross/mtb/road combo team, no less) and Patrick McCarty...what gives? Am I the only one who's gonna miss this guys? Free Stefano!

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