Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Let's Go

Relax, They Did It: It's a pretty fine start to 2007 for ex-AG2R alleged dopemeister Francisco Mancebo, who's managed, as rumored (despite some minor obstacles, like massive public "he's guilty" smacking by his prior team manager), to sign a contract with wild-card Vuelta attack dogs Relax-Gam. Given the drive shown by the squad in this year's race, if only to diligently promote their sponsors in fruitless daylong solo breaks, I'm curious to see if they'll be up to giving Mancebo some help when he needs it next year against whatever's left of Valverde after the Tour and against Euskaltel at their peak. Oh, Jan. You've been no more the subject (somehow, I can't quite bring myself to write "victim") of vicious doping accusations than Mancebo, yet you still can't pull off a contract with *anyone*? At the very least you could've been trading amusing (second-hand, I'm sure) pharmaceutical anecdotes with Tyler Hamilton and Danilo Hondo on a Tinkoff training ride right now. See what happens when you treat poor we love Erik Zabel like crap when you're on T-Mobile together and drive him off to Milram? Karma, baby!

Help! I Need Somebody: Not that I need another excuse to park my rear end on the couch, but with actual cycling season drawing nigh, and the "Vs." network sure to continue its manly emphasis on shows about shooting Bambi and bouncing on bulls severely annoyed by the application of tightened ropes to their nuts, I am becoming ever more desperate to find a US station that'll truly spread the gospels of Phil (Liggett) and Paul (Sherwen) and put on more'n a completely insulting two total freakin' hours of hyperconsolidated Grand Tour on TV, much less a classic or anything else not about Lance Armstrong. ESPN2? Anybody? Come ON! Does the world really need more air time devoted to monster trucks?! Aaaaiiiigggghhh!

They Call Me Mellow Yellow: While I'm still snorting smelling salts after seeing we love Iban Mayo in Saunier-Duval team kit, Mayo seemingly confirmed, in his presentation interview officially announcing his riding the Giro in support of and to learn from Gilberto Simoni to prep for the Tour (still not the Vuelta--dammit!), that it was indeed, as the press so constantly snarked, the pressure of team leadership at Euskaltel that was crushing his performance and he's now feeling "liberated" and training with ease. Despite the fact that there's now approximately 2 Spaniards left to race in August and I'm pretty darn cranky he's not one of 'em, I will suck it up as best I can and really hope he kicks @#$ in July. But is bailing on the Dauphine and killing himself for 3 weeks in Italy really gonna make him feel so much better spiritually when Spanish TV jams a camera up his nose the next time he cracks in France? Prove them wrong Iban!

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