In keeping with the mood of somber reflection with which one is traditionally supposed to greet the New Year, shortly before the effects of the general debauchery and booze kick in, I humbly offer a few cycling-related resolutions for 2007:
1. I will recognize UCI for the sincere and noble guardian of riderly virtue and true sportsmanship that it is, instead of the impotent obsequious sponsor-sucking ego-driven petty-revenge-mongering den of iniquity I have so unkindly accused it of being. That one oughta last.
2. In a similar vein, I will stop referring to caring antidoping crusader of pure motive Dick Pound as Dick "Dick" Pound in a mean and juvenile way. Instead, I will respectfully refer to him as "Dick" Pound. Pat "Dick" McQuaid, though, is out of luck.
3. I will continue my irrational defense of and bias towards quiet Vuelta king Roberto Heras, in part because he's beautiful to watch on a climb and he's no more guilty than most of the rest of em anyway, but mostly because I still think Manolo Saiz was a complete tool for selling him down the river in an implausible denial of his total control over Liberty Seguros. Free Roberto!
4. I will not, not be happy when Andreas Kloden and Matthias Kessler wipe the floor with the (newly and at least temporarily) emasculated T-Mobile at the 2007 Tour in the wake of its disgusting and relentless campaign to crush them in the wake of the Jan Ullrich situation. I may, however, in the spirit of forgiveness that marks the season despite how annoyed I was when he bushwhacked his own team leader in the '05 Tour, be really, really happy when Vinokorouv kicks their @#$.
5. I'll stop slagging Discovery for signing Ivan Basso in violation of the earnest unwritten "gentlemen's agreement" the other teams were stupid enough to stick to, and for having Ivan Basso submit to a DNA test only when it became patently clear that it wouldn't threaten his participation in the 07 Grand Tours in any way, and instead simply admire Johan Bruyneel's Machiavellian genius and willingness to sell his integrity down the river for a colossal cash cow of a rider instead, in part because I dearly believe in 'innocent until proven guilty,' and in part because Basso's lawyer Massimo Martelli is a god, and may also someday be looking for new faces at his law firm. You hiring Massimo?
6. I'll stop my National Enquirer gossip-driven sleazemongering yellow journalism in favor of kindler, gentler, more objective New York Times-esque dull factual reporting. For today.
Happy New Year to you and yours, and cheer up Floyd and Jan--you'll be back!