Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Save the Vuelta!

Go To Hell, UCI!: By friendly letter, the UCI warned the director of the Vuelta that it may be 'downsized' from three weeks, and by the way, the UCI is considering shoving the whole decimated thing to September. Why? Some of the whining ProTour teams want to be free of their obligation to participate in the Vuelta to focus on the Tour of Germany and the Tour of Poland. Even more, German TV doesn't want to be bothered with it. What?! A two-year-old association of greedy self-sucking teams, and two shorter races, much less some soulless sponsor-whored TV station, should be able to destroy the long grand history of the Vuelta to satisfy their crybaby needs?! Bite me, UCI! Restructure the arrogant useless ProTour instead, why dontcha? Fortunately, Vuelta god Victor Cordero seems disinclined to jack his Tour, as it's part of cycling's heritage; all Spain loves it; and they can forget about pulling that crap on the Tour de France and Giro, either. Natch, Pat "Dick" McQuaid was quick to respond and halfassedly backtrack, saying nothing's final yet despite his clear desire to crush the event, and implausibly denying this crap powergrab has anything to do whatsoever with UCI's constant third-grade schoolyard bully match with the Grand Tours. Riiiigggght--because a freakin' TV network's scheduling conflicts and the crying of teams that don't flourish at the Vuelta are soooo much more important than three weeks of competition by the amazing Spanish squads in particular in one of the greatest athletic events on earth. Don't let 'em do it to us Spain!

UCI Really Am Disgusted: continuing their busy day, and faced with the predictable results of their utter impotence including the Discovery/Basso debacle and their complete failure so far to bust anyone for doing anything, UCI has now asked the Spanish sports minister to help crush the riders more quickly, bothersome due process or no, by pressing the courts to speed up the OP investigation by "informing the Spanish judge of the gravity of the situation." What situation is that exactly, UCI? Your total emasculation in the last 3 months? Totally aside from their patronizing attitude towards the judge, which in my experience isn't gonna get them anywhere anyhow, can these trolls please take a day off from their egos and let this sport--and the athletes who haven't tested positive for anything--breathe for ten freakin' minutes?

Multiplication Rock: Now, despite my utmost esteem for Spain, and noting that they have been nothing if not admirably methodical in the Op Puerto investigation so far, it nonetheless seems that they're not even quite clear on how many blood and plasma bags they seized from our pals Fuentes (most of em) and Batres (a few of em). On June 27, it was 116. On October 17, they had it at 106. Now, it's apparently down to 99. (So far, everyone seems pretty sure it's 8 bags of high-EPO blood out of the bunch.) Now, I can't help but wonder, did someone just miscount, as in total good faith could easily happen, or has something accidently gone missing here--and if so, whose?

No comments: