Saturday, June 23, 2007

Abandon Ship!

Captain My @#$!: boy, could Lance Armstrong, in between bouts of decrying his own innocence yet again now that the same French book from last year's been recycled into English, have bailed on the sinking ship (the day's events at Suisse excepted) that is Discovery any faster? First, he slags their crap performance in the Dauphine (even after Levi's late pre-crash resurgence); then, he says he's only going to show at the Tour for the Prologue, in favor of an immediate US return for a more-exciting celebrity golf tourney, and he'll come back for the rest of it only if it looks like The Team that Lance Built won't totally humiliate him, I mean, itself. Way to motivate the troops there Lance!

Now, my take is that this is just Lance being Lance--bad enough he's not riding himself for the cameras, but if Discovery can't stuff his voracious ego by making him look like a producer of superstars, as usual with anyone who betrays him, like Heras, Hamilton, or Landis, he's got no use whatsoever for their sorry !@#es. Man, no wonder dog-loyal lieutenant Hincapie is rumored to be talking to T-Mobile! But it's been suggested to me that Lance is simply dropping the team because of his personal golden-boy Basso's debacle--that Bruyneel actually might not've ever wanted Basso over Leipheimer due to Op Puerto, though I'm inclined to doubt that simply for the cash-cow factor in Lance's dreamboat poster boy, and he didn't for example have any problem signing tainted baby prodigy Alberto Contador and sprint hope Allan Davis from Liberty Seguros--and, if my notoriously lame Italian is correct, Basso sez he's actually never lost touch with Lance, that they're texting, which, without being privy to the messages of course, seems a lot nicer than Lance usually is to his exes, in that at least he's not openly gesturing to Basso to shove it a la Landis at the Tour de Georgia. Anyhow, is anyone else thinking that Lance's "Doping is the Tool of Pathetic Satan-Slurped Weaklings" routine is the slightest bit undercut by his continued support of an admitted 'attempted' doper?

Rider Revolt: meantime, the snarking over UCI's Virginity Pledge continues, with first the Italian cyclists' fed, and now the entire riders' group, ripping into the meaningless pre-Tour show-pony for the farce that it is, particularly since, as usual, the same fakers who organize races that encourage them to dope are now demanding that they forfeit their salaries if they essentially do what they're told, and more, that the camera-glomming publicity sluts in spandex who coincidentally parked themselves at the press conference with pen, paper and smug grins in hand completely jacked and betrayed their brethren. And the haunted (and hunted) among them? Well, Alejandro Valverde is particularly irked at any suggestion he's been linked to Op Puerto (unsurprisingly, given the lengths the Spaniards have gone to to reassure their top Tour GC contender that he won't be), and even more annoyed by the idea that anyone should have to give up money in the unlikely event they actually test positive for anything. Somehow I wouldn't actually worry too much about that happening, Alejandro--at least not to you! While we're at it, Jorg Jaksche, lately fired along with Hamilton and Hondo by a bizarrely outraged Oleg "How Many Dopers Can You Fit Into a Single Team Bus" Tinkov but still mysteriously continuing to compete and win in Tinkoff team kit (and now under investigation for contract fraud, just like Jan), has no intention of signing on to UCI's idiot invitation-to-perjury purity promise, and I gotta say, guilty as he probably is, I'm with Jorg on this one--why not just lie yourself to WADA directly, and avoid the tiresome middleman entirely?

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