Friday, December 22, 2006

The Year in Review

AS we wind down what's certainly been a lively 2006 (largely in the sense that a train wreck is lively, unfortunately), I thought that before I devolve back into my wallowing in all things seedy and scandalous, I'd ruminate on a few things that I sincerely enjoyed in 2006:
(1) Landis' stage 17 to Morzine. Oh, come on! I don't give a rat's @#$ what he was on, if anything--nothing everybody else wasn't, anyway. It was a beautiful stage, and whatever he may've been taking was not the reason he won that way. The peloton had written him off, and perhaps extended him the kindness of allowing him to redeem himself from the prior day's spectacular crack, until it was far too late to fix it. Allez Floyd!
(2) Julich's prologue at Paris-Nice. Considering his later Tour, a nice save for the season.
(3) Going to the Giro. If there's anything more entertaining than almost getting run over by a team car, swamped in a sea of screaming tifosi, freezing on a mountaintop for six hours waiting for a two-second glimpse of Gilberto Simoni or fighting off a squadron of huge Germans all vying for the same shot of Basso leading the way in the Dolomites, I've yet to experience it. All that, and prosciutto too!
(4)Thor Hushovd. Sure, Petacchi was knocked out of the Tour and Vuelta for unfortunate and idiotic reasons, respectively. But he's whacked Petacchi before, and his Tour wins were bar-non perfect.
(5) Jean Lockhart, 65 year old women's master's national cross champ. Right on sister!
(6) Valverde at the Vuelta. A class act, all the way, in the face of Vino's unstoppable Kaschechkin-propelled attacks and his post-Tour-deprivation thirst for revenge.
(7) Carlos Sastre, busting his @#$ for Basso at the Giro then gamely killing himself for Riis unexpectedly at the Tour and Vuelta, all without a single whining yap to the press. Give that man a huge bonus!
(8) Paolo Bettini's win at the Worlds. Even more, his poignant win at Giro d'Lombardia right on the heels of the loss of his brother. Vai Paolo!
(9) Dutch jaibait World Champion Marianne Vos. Absolutely a beautiful athlete and a likely threat for years to come.
(10) Last, but not least, my bitchin' copper Ross Apollo three-speed stick shift. Harley-Davidson, eat my dust!

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