Friday, February 02, 2007


Jan Ullrich Contract Watch: Ha! But he'll either get one or not soon now that, days after telling the Swiss antidoping investigators to buzz off, he amiably gave up a DNA sample to the Germans, who are merely investigating him for contract fraud. Its destiny? Comparison with the frozen blood bags seized from every cyclist's friend Dr. Eufemiano Frankenstein in the Op Puerto affair. Which to me says one of two things: either Jan actually didn't do it (or at least wasn't stupid enough to let Fuentes keep his stash in his fridge), and he's gonna turn around and sue everyone on earth for blowing his rep, his contract, and his endorsement deals; or he did do it, and he's already started writing a monstrously lucrative tell-all that'll bring most of the teams and management and half the peloton down with him. Either way, way to go Jan! (yes, yes, "doping bad," but for me anyway, "selective enforcement worse".)

You Take the High Road: Notwithstanding the skid marks Bjarne Riis left on Ivan Basso's Giro-winning carcass after he threw him off the speeding team bus as he peeled out of the parking lot in July, Basso in a recent interview spoke far more warmly than necessary of his athletic growth and general tenure under his old boss, which perhaps, I imagine, has no small thing to do with the fact that Riis' grievous miscalculation in assuming the teams actually meant all that crap about not signing accused dopers who would increase the bottom line resulted in a ginormous contract as Discovery's latest iron-man pinup boy. Basso did, however, seem to take a bit of a swipe at Gilberto "Basso Non E Uomo" Simoni, noting he doesn't think it's necessary to be 'cattivo' or nasty as a cyclist, which is funny as hell if he actually did break a promise to Simoni to have the latter take the stage win if Gibo wouldn't leave him completely in the dust in the Dolomites, and either way not quite unfair given that he was 'accidentally' accused of offering to pay Simoni tens of thousands of euros to give him the stage. Simoni, meanwhile, professed that the Basso affair in the Giro left him "nauseated" and unmotivated, which love of the bike he fortunately recovered by taking the Italian mountain bike championships, and he'll be back in form and absolutely in motivation for the Giro this year. Hear that Basso? Don't @#$$ with me!

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