Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Gloves Are Off

Bull In a China Shop: Add Jorg Jaksche to the Op Puerto victims--and presumably to the 7-still-unemployed-riders' Liberty Seguros suit, including we love Joseba Beloki and the Osa boys, against maestro of misery Manolo Saiz for refusing to paying off their contracts (you wrecked their careers, now cough up the dough you cheapskate!)--as Volksbank, despite some protestations to the contrary from all parties, bailed out on their deal with Jaksche under apparent pressure from the Deutschland Tour, which told Volksbank to stay home if they had filthy dope fiend Jaksche under contract despite the fact that they said no problem if Jaksche voluntarily took himself off the start line as he allegedly did. Jaksche, then, immediately went on a complete rampage, snarling that Volksbank was "blackmailed" into not taking him by the Deutschland tour, and while we're at it, he offered to give UCI prez Pat "Dick" McQuaid his DNA, despite the fact that it's not even a doping control and that if he had given up blood to Fuentes all it shows is that he gave blood not that he doped, and while we're still at it, Jens Voigt is a complete hypocrite for sucking millions of euros off his association with Ivan Basso then throwing him off the mountainside after the scandal without even having the guts to give the tainted Basso windfall back. Man, tell us how you really feel Jorg!

Duck Season, Landis Season: on a similar note, just after Landis finally gets some good news from the French who agreed to hold off on their witchhunt til after USADA's done with him (which'll give him more time presumably to hike up the sad $150k he's raised so far for his Fairness Fund), he gets whacked in the jaw again, this time by Cofidis' Brad Wiggins, who sez it's up to someone to have the cojones to tell it like it is, and Landis "sickens" him for testing poz and then denying it, taking all the riders for fools in the process. Give me a !@@#$ing break! I am indeed very sorry for everything that happens to the many, or at least several, guys in the peloton who aren't actively trying to evade the doping controls for a damn good reason. And not to imply anything against Brad Wiggins, who I presume is racing clean as a whistle. But don't you want the OK to challenge a positive test under crap lab controls without being smacked as a disgusting cheat if *you* get busted, not that you have any reason to worry? And I may be the only one amused here, but someone from freakin' *Cofidis* is whining all holier-than-thou about doping?

Jan Ullrich Contract Watch: oh, almost! The day after Jan is rumored to be Relax-Gam's next signing/team leader, quite a suitable place I imagine along with Francisco Mancebo and Santi Perez (freshly returned from his 2-year Phonak doping ban), Relax held its Jan-less team presentation, with Mancebo Perez and Sevilla its team heads. It's not they're afraid of tainted goods Jan--you've still got a chance to convince 'em! Is anyone else impressed with how Relax-Gam has had the initiative to come from fruitless no-name breakaway sponsor-appeasors to potentially major players this season (if they can get any of the GTs to let them in after these signings) by the way? Anyhoo, in a rare bit of good news for Ullrich, he's managed to get a new clothing contract as the studly face of X-Bionic performance sportswear, which if nothing else gives him a little bit of cash for his inevitable ongoing legal hijinks. Right on Jan!

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