Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Project Runway: As teams like CSC and T-Mobile hike barefoot through dank forests, get dropped in the desert without water, and totter over high gorges on decaying rope bridges in Fear Factor team-building exercises at their training camps, let's take a moment to admire the relative refinement of Illes Balears, which is sipping Champagne peacefully as the boys from Hugo Boss attend to their bespoke suiting needs and Le Coq Sportif takes measurements for their babe-magnet club-hopping casual wear. Next week: Discovery heads to Canyon Ranch for a week of mani-pedis, herbal wraps, bikini waxes and aromatherapy. Sure, they might not win, but man, will they be pretty!

Relax, Don't Do It: So Francisco Mancebo and AG2R, rather estranged of late by lukewarm management comments like "I'd rather die than have this filthy cheat on my team," have officially parted ways, sadly with no word from the sponsor about the obscene amount of cash they must've had to pay to strip him of his contract without a positive test but enough apparently to allow Mancebo to continue his talks with continental squad/recent Vuelta breakaway upstarts Relax-Gam. Hell, with top ten finisher Luis Perez on board, and a well-earned likely wildcard repeat so long as Mancebo remains off the hook for any prior misdeeds, is anyone doubting they'll shake up the Vuelta a bit next year?!

Gerolsteiner News: So with Levi Leipheimer gone to Discovery (only to be supplanted by Ivan Basso--you suck Discovery!) and Georg Totschnig enjoying a well-earned retirement from the saddle, Gerolsteiner's young team is conceding they haven't really got anyone for Grand Tour contention, though they are quite sensibly optimistic about the future prospects of brilliant '06 Tour youngster Markus Fothen and Stefan Schumacher has been let loose to focus on the '07 Worlds. While I have no doubt we'll see a passel of stage wins from their boys, please, for my sake, re-sign Levi!

No comments: