Monday, February 12, 2007

Disco is Dead

Ivana New Sponsor: in the wake of a corporate shakeup, Discovery's announced it's gonna bail on sponsoring Lance's home team as of the end of '07, and the rumor mill's already a'turnin' with speculation that years of doping allegations are making the sponsor pull out. Umm...did anyone notice how much doping (and allegations) it took for say, Phonak to implode? More likely, I imagine, is that US cycling currently lacks both a media-friendly money-magnet back-from-tragedy national icon (not even Saul Raisin yet--he's got a miraculous story, but given his extreme youth needs more time to rack up results) and any damn jersey-showing TV coverage--much less enough of a general US cycling public to justify sinking the dough into Ivan Basso's monster (if quite deserved) deep well of a salary. Which, if they can't come up with a new US sponsor, leaves American cycling even more in the tank among sports fans than it already is. Crap! Even if Berry Floor should go in whole hog, we seems to be looking then (at least from the handy corporate website) at a Belgian squad. Not to diss the Belgians, to whom we owe a major proportion of the greatest cyclists and races ever, but you've already got cycling coming out the hoo-ha, unlike us lonely fans in the US, and we need the exposure dammit to free us from the scourge of constant televised wrestling and bull-riding binges. Again, I say, crap!

Ale, Ale!: It's a sweet end to a long drought for Alessandro Petacchi, who took his first win in about 9 months at the GP Etruschi over Daniele Bennati despite some ongoing tweaks to his revised blue train. Now, if he can only stay out of the way of daredevil sprinters and losing battles with hefty inanimate objects, we might again see some truly satisfying sprints knowing that everyone who ought to be there, is there. On a similar note, we love Oscar Friere, still neck-kinked but indomitable, took his first race of the season at the Challenge Mallorca, taking out Erik Zabel and Tom Boonen, reasonably good indicators of early-season form indeed.
Welcome back boys!

A Good Pounding: In an entirely satisfying development, the International Olympic Committee discreetly lammed into WADA king "Dick" Pound, urging him to apologize to Lance Armstrong like a man for his relentless campaign of unsubstantiated filthy-skankball dope-snarfer innuendo and to kindly shut his yap til he's got some backup. Y'know, if, say, dignity, respect, and sportsmanship aren't gonna make you aim at a target you can actually hit, wouldn't at least Lance's fearsome bottomless litigation machine do the trick?

Uniallbets are Off: days after Unibet proves its worth and takes its first two wins of its nascent ProTour career, the Grand Tour organizers continue to punish them for UCI's admittedly despicable existence and ridiculous claims to supremacy over the most beautiful and prestigious races in the world by nonetheless continuing to refuse to allow the team to participate in a damn one, wanky upstart ProTour rules or not. This time, Unibet's out of the Giro, not even a wildcard. Who beats 'em in? Well, Astana for one, who though the subject of ASO contempt and denial of elite status still slips in for some reason as they certainly should on the merits, but even better, Team Tinkoff, home of busted-but-still-innocent Tyler Hamilton and Danilo Hondo for God's sakes. Way to stick to those "no suspected dopers allowed" proclamations, Grand Tours! Now, while I'm almost always going to side with the GT organizers over any organization voluntarily on purpose even tangentially associated with Pat "Dick" McQuaid, is this really fair to poor little Baden Cooke & Co.?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Uniallbets are Off!

I agree, it is not fair.