Tuesday, May 15, 2007


He's Baaaaa-aaaaaack!: after yet another fruitless, if valiant, breakaway gets caught virtually within sight of the line, viciously-derided bone-broken has-been Alessandro Petacchi firmly smacked around his many naysayers by--finally--taking a sprint stage in a race that really counts for the first time since his agonizing knee-smash in last year's Giro, even with baby-blue train Milram blowing his lead-out for the second straight day in a row, collapsing sobbing over his handlebars and bawling out his gratitude to his supporters for "the most important win of my career." Allez, Jet--well, that settles *that*, you dope-slapping hacks at Gazzetta dello Sport! Even more satisfying from my end, he took the points jersey off endless annoyance Robbie "the Ego" McEwen, while Gasparotto took pink back from a presumptively-ticked Di Luca and we-love-but-think-he's-cursed-in-this-Giro Thor Hushovd got knocked over into the barriers 600 m from the line, while baby GC threat Damiano Cunego emerged fairly unscathed from his tumble and Simoni managed to stop just short of the general carnage. Vai, Gilberto!

Didn't I Already Weasel Out of this One?: Well, nope, as Caisse d'Epargne finally decides it's got the goods on--or can no longer avoid firing--Alejandro Valverde and is forced to "investigate" his links to Op Puerto after the Italian press complained about him last week. Um, wasn't he actually openly linked to the scandal almost a full *year* ago by the wily code names "Valv" and dog "Piti," and you hypocrites happily kept him on so long as it looked like he was going to snake his way out of this? Speaking of which, the repulsive Johan Bruyneel was on the wah-wahing attack against Basso again yesterday, crying "Ivan deceived me" and "Basso lied to me"--of course he did, you ass, you flat-out wanted him to! You "did all we could to ensure we were signing a rider without legal problems"--yeah, without *legal* problems, not without *doping* problems, you guessed wrong Op Puerto was dead now suck up the consequences of knowingly signing a cheat, you oily disingenuous hypocrite!

The Executioner's Song: Yep, Landis' predestined-outcome kangaroo court is in session, with USADA's expert defending the incompetent French lab chimps and contending that Landis snarfed testosterone from an astonishing array of sources, and Landis' team blasting the lab's, and USADA's, tactics, ability, and bias. Meantime, both sides have lined up cycling legends to explain the benefits, and not, of said testosterone, and at this point I'm personally so irritated by the craptastic legal debacle that is this arbitration that I'm rooting for Landis to take it if he'd whacked himself with drug patches over every damn square inch of his Phonak team kit (and elsewhere). Go Floyd!

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