Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Just When It Looked Like a Slow News Day...

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization: oily sponsor apologist Pat "Dick" McQuaid of UCI has now expanded his dubious expertise to xenophobic geopolitics, bizarrely claiming a "clash of cultures" between noble, clean-living "Anglo-Saxon" states (the Netherlands, Germany, England, and Denmark), and rogue dope-addled "Mafia" countries Belgium, France, Spain, and Italy. Worse, if the Anglo-Saxons don't win the fight for the heart of cycling, our fair sport is doomed. Ah, the notorious Belgian Mafia. Am I completely looped by the Chianti I've been scarfing, or isn't redeemed weepy golden boy and *convicted doper* St. David Millar a Brit?

Just in Time: Meantime, right as Floyd Landis gears up his on-line legal fundraising via the "Floyd Fairness Fund," his next target comes nicely into range: WADA's "Dick" Pound, who joyously convicted Landis in a neat one-man guillotine routine in the pages of the rather oft-read Sunday New York Times magazine, completely ignoring the tactical contributions of the peloton on Landis' stage to Morzine for a cycling-ignorant public, and further managing to tar him as a presumptively pervy ball o' raging man-stud illicit hormones, claiming that with his testosterone levels, "you'd think he'd be violating every virgin within 100 miles. How does he even get on his bicycle." Floyd, if your !@#$%^ legal team can't get your case tossed over this crap, or at the very least a huge defamatory chunk o' change gouged out of this guy, I swear you'd be better off hiring the last moron to prevail without even a lawyer on "Judge Judy." Landis' camp, of course, has at least managed to smack back that his testosterone level was fine, his epi was low, and that boy does this look biased. A good start, to be sure, but for my money, until you've made him hire a $450 an hour attorney, you haven't made him cry. Pick it up Floyd!

Jan Ullrich Contract Watch: Nope, he's still jacked, but ironically, inevitable Grand Tour winner Alejandro Valverde's apparently--hard to tell, given the flurry of enraged denials, affirmations, and just plain coyness on every side--in talks to join Jan's old hangout T-Mobile, with his Illes Balears contract alone worth a cool 3 million euro buyout. Not so happy sharing team leadership with Oscar Pereiro per the team's just (perhaps poorly-timed)announced '07 Tour roster, are we? Well, Valverde really deserves whatever he gets (so does T-Mobile, in my opinion, but not in the same way), so if that's what he wants, I'm happy. And this would leave Oscar's "I love him/I won't race for him" dithering mercifully moot, which is nice for Oscar as well. And T-Mobile's young squad is in a good position frankly to superdomestique Valverde up the mountains. Either way, ought to be a lively Tour!

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