Andiamo!: So potential Gibo GC threat/star ascendant Ricardo Ricco' has diminished his team-leadership overthrow chances by sending both his DS and Gilberto Simoni into a rage by falling out of the giant (and successful) breakaway including every other team but theirs yesterday, thereby bagging any reason the Liquigas boys might have had to bring it back without the high-placed Ricco' in the mix, and forcing Saunier Duval to bust their own nuts, which they sorely needed to preserve for the critical stage 10 mountains, in the last 20k chasing it down to prevent any serious threats to Simoni's overall aspirations. The Italian press, of course, leapt onto the disaster, claiming (if my abysmal Italian is any guide, and I caution it may well not be), over the horrified protestations of poor Ricco', that he and world champ/apparent muscle Paolo Bettini made a deal that Ricco' would bail and leave the break to the big boys. Hell, with Basso and Simoni no longer available to dope-slap each other for the press each night a la' 2006, why not set up Saunier Duval for morale-destroying fireworks on the team bus?
The Drunken !@#hole Defense, Part Deux: yep, Landis' ex-manager has now hit the Celebrity Slur Trifecta, first aced by guys like Mel Gibson and what's-his-name-from-that-medical-drama-I've-never-watched, having (1) made a repugnant, explicit (and in this case, openly threatening) remark to an innocent party; (2) blaming it all on the booze; and (3) heading straight to rehab. Well, that clearly means you're really a very, very nice guy after all, champ, and not the sort of general !@# who taunts (and extorts) someone about their childhood sex abuse--I can't wait to tell you my deep, dark secrets now that I know you're sober! Meantime, the complex chromatography evidence, as well as USADA's own witnesses, continues to seem to support Floyd Landis, and with Landis' case already in the tank thanks to that idiot and damn near everyone else in cycling hell-bent on nailing him anyway, it's just a low-down shame. Forza Floyd--I'm not optimistic, but perhaps there's still hope!
Apropos of nothing, am I the only one surprised to read that we love Gilberto Simoni tested poz for coke back in the day? Hell, put him, Ullrich, and the speed-and-heroin-scarfing 'Pot Belge 'crowd together in a room, and I imagine you've got quite the party!