Sunday, October 22, 2006


CYA: Despite media reports, Ivan Basso's own optimistic musings, and the feeding frenzy of a thousand over-optimistic tifosi, both Milram and Discovery are now completely denying that they've had any talks whatsoever with the easy-on-the-eyes innocent and certainly aren't going to hire him for their teams given the oily Op Puerto slick o'disgrace. What's more, the UCI is still gonna drag his sorry comely @#$ to arbitration whether he did anything or not. Excuse me, but am I the only who noticed that USPostal/Discovery stuck with Lance "Bucket 'o' (alleged) Drugs" Armstrong through 7 Tours and constant sore-loser French press rumor wanking? Perhaps, after all, "the importance of clean sport" is merely another word for "nice try, you saps!" Luckily, however, Basso pal/CSC vet/'92 gold medalist Giovanni Lombardi is retiring this year and is working diligently with Basso to find him a good team. Hell, maybe Barloworld's not looking so ignoiminious after all!

Get OUT!: Meantime, Tyler Hamilton is poised to join new Italian/Russian continental team Tinkoff (along with TdF stage winner Salvatore Commesso and drug hound Danilo Hondo), though depending on the press reaction I suppose this could all be tanked by the official team roster announcement tomorrow. Of course, UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid still sez it will use the ProTour ethics code to keep him off of the ProTour teams, though he concedes that whether he likes it or not Tyler is free to ride for Continental teams. However, he did take care to bitchily point out that as 35-year-old Tyler is ready for the glue factory in cyclist years, the standardsless continental teams could spend their money better elsewhere, and are surely doomed to failure for betting on the old, the doped, and the dessicated. You still look like a petty crying ass, Pat!

Anyway, in my opinion, this is all just great! If every hoser busted by the UCI can go straight to the Continental teams instead, the ProTour will go from being merely the crack adminstrative annoyance full of hypocritical mamangement windbags that it is, to the talentless backwater it has so much potential to be. Relax-Gam, Barloworld, and maybe the reconstituted Comunidad Valenciana can pack theior teams with the best talent that performance-enhancing drugs can buy. Or we could usher in a whole new era of classy and profitable sponsorships, like Jan Ullrich's Crack Whore squad or Manolo Saiz's Team Bloodwork'n'Briefcase headed by Ivan Basso, or Tyler's Pea in the Pod Team Knockup. Who even needs the bother of masking agents and pregnancy hormones now? Of course, I suppose CSC can still compete with Julich and Voigt for the classics and stage wins and Sastre for the podium spots, and Astana can power on with the invincible Vinokorouv, but as for the rest of the ProTour (and particularly T-Mobile, good luck getting the Devil to even run past your team leaders dragging their butts up the climbs at the back of the autobus!

You Suck, Spanish Federation!: Of course, unlike Italy, which has called it quits on pursuing "Barillo is Not My Dog" Basso, the Spaniards still haven't decided whether to pursue sanctions against the Op Puerto riders still inexplicably nesting in Spain. Unlike Clear 'Em Italy, Spanish cycling is for some reason waiting to see if the investigators can finalize a decision in the upcoming weeks, which makes it increasingly likely that we love Joseba Beloki is likely to see the peloton again only from the side of the road as a hundred-year-old spectator, and as an added bonus is apparently starting to pressure riders on coughing up the goods on the broader blood-doping ring. Free Joseba!

The Hills are Alive, With the Sound of "Ullrich": So Germany abruptly kneecapped Jan's aspirations for a German riding license, but fortunately the Austrians, having an excess of respect for bureaucratic due process and no concern for a rider's actual guilt, swear they will immediately issue Jan a license the second he moves there. Auf weidersehn, Switzerland! Fortunately for Jan, the Association of Professional Cyclists are growing bizarrely weary of the assassination-by-innuendo tactics and arbitrary mood swings of the anti-doping hounds, and are demanding some sort of consistency and fairness to the process. Good luck riders!

Going to the Chapel: Finally, belated congratulations to Andreas Kloden on his wedding, which was apparently attended by filthy liar Ullrich without even the slightest backlash by Astana, and God knows Vinokorouv's got reason enough to pull a T-Mobile on Kloden for his friendship after what happened to his Tour this season. And look T-Mobile--they didn't even have to destroy the whole freakin' team over it! Right on, Astana!

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