Monday, March 19, 2007

We'll Always Have Paris

Spanish Acquisition: well, it was a rip-roaring end to Paris-Nice, as Manolo Saiz' lost opportunities/kings o' the future Luis Leon Sanchez and Alberto Contador took the last two stages and the latter, after a brutal assault on the peloton and particularly the yellow jersey by Levi Leipheimer and Tommy Danielson and a smashing solo attack by Contador himself, the whole shebang from a valiant, if just plain beat, Davide Rebellin. So is he the new Miguel Indurain, as the press instantly began howling? I don't know (and to his credit he hasn't copped to it), though I'm beyond impressed, but I sure as hell do know that before he takes that hype to heart he oughta look at the cautionary psychological tale of we love Iban "the next Lance Armstrong" Mayo. We still believe in you, Iban!

Joseba Beloki Contract Watch: sorry Jan, but despite Wolfie's optimistic yammering to the contrary, I'm afraid you may be a lost cause at the moment, so speaking of Spaniards we love, the lately glum Joseba Beloki seems to have cheered up a bit, opining he's got two seasons left to ride and is actually in talks with a couple of teams, including perhaps Euskaltel-Euskadi. If there's any squad who could pull him out of his lingering post-Tour-accident, post-wholesale-Saiz-and -UCI-career- destruction funk, I imagine it's the reigning peloton mountain gods. Hire Joseba already!

Ow Italia: yep, briefly-upright world champ Paolo Bettini has crashed yet again in Tirreno, thwacking a pole dodging a skidding Elmiger, though he seems set, along with a back-sore Tom Boonen and a for-once *not* agonizingly injured Oscar Freire, to head out on the attack at Milano-Sanremo, which is more than one can say for poor Ivan Basso, continuing the Crappiest Start to the Season Ever by having banged up his wrist harder than initially thought in his crash in Tirreno and deciding to bail on Milano, his other major warmup for the Giro. Aside from his truly masterful avoidance of Jan Ullrich's fate and resultant Bill Gatesian bank balance (*cough* give your lawyer a raise! *cough*), is there anything that can go right for the boy this season?

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