Thursday, May 31, 2007

When the Moon Hits Your Eye...

Like a Big Pizza Pie, That's Simoni!: well, he didn't leave DiLuca or Cunego quite in the dust (for long, anyway), but we love Iban Mayo did blow Liquigas neatly apart at the base of the climb and faithful KOM Piepoli did manage to just barely break the legs of a phenomenally resurgent baby Schleck, and while DiLuca's still got his Giro and his champagne and podium babes in Milan, Gilberto Simoni gorgeously attacked an at-last cracking Il Killer to take his final Giro stage win and even a temporary 3d place on the podium on the fearsome Zoncolan. You can go ahead and hit the mountain bike from now on if you want, you gave up that one last stage for me baby--woo-hoo!

Tour de Petty Bull!@#$: yep, endless sad-sacks Unibet have been formally dissed out of the Tour de France in favor of wildcard freakin' Barloworld, and even Unibet was finally forced to concede that the team had been forced into a "coma." Y'know, could UCI have shown some !@#damn spine and backed them for once instead of pimping them to their PR repair after taking their money and getting the innocent boys on the team into this hideous mess? Meantime, who else is wildcarding into this Tour determined to purge "every" doper from its ranks (except all 107 riders from Op Puerto, Quick Step, T-Mobile, and any and all stoked French riders) ahead of the start line? Why, natch, it's Guardians of Riderly Purity Astana, with Walter "Doping? On Telekom?" Godefroot conveniently being dropped from the pre-Tour prep right as soigneur-from-Satan Jeff d'Hont's book comes out, and Alexander "I'm Not Vino" Vinokorouv and Andreas Kloden (along with pal Jan Ullrich) all now under investigation by the IOC over their threesome of road-race medals at the 2000 Olympics while they were all cavorting on T-Mobile together. Well, CSC's in hot water over Bjarne Riis' presumptive coddling of a doping Basso at least, right? Wrong! Christian "Holy Crap, I Need Riders in This Tour" Prudhomme has backed off his (admittedly stupid) holy vow to kick CSC out of the Tour, merely pulling the rug out from under Bjarne Riis in a shocking reversal of his general policy of coddling doping-ignorant management like the fragile flowers they clearly are. But what of Gerolsteiner and T-Mobile? Well, Christian Henn and Rolf Aldag have everyone's confidence of course, so paradoxically from Riis' perspective his own wah-wah confessional was for naught, while Patrick "Nyah-Nyah!" Lefevere's smug prediction that the Tour can't afford to lose its tainted management (not riderly) talent is coming quite true for everyone but Bjarne. And, Erik Zabel finally won his reprieve from a clearly relieved Milram, at least til he's done leading out Petacchi in the Tour this year, giving them several months to revise Ale-Jet's pale-blue train before they have to make a decision on breaking Zabel's 2008-season contract. Can someone please take a consistent stance on *something* for five minutes, so at least my head doesn't explode?

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