Sunday, June 10, 2007

While the Cat's Away...

...Quick Step Won't Be Nailed for Systemic Doping, *Again*: well, the hoo-ha over the drug-ensnaring Quick Step raids has already died down, mere moments after the festering scandal erupted, as Patrick "Belgians Good!" Lefevere blasts the shocking assumption that anyone (else) on his team might be doping, the nervous prosecutors rush to reassure the (potentially violent) fans that no riders will ever be held accountable as all they're interested in is the dealers, and the only guy on the team busted so far is a--you guessed it--soigneur-to-the-stars. Who exactly the !@#$ do they think is using this #$%!, the hapless minion who's forced into superhuman feats of strength to scrub the sweat off Tom Boonen's chamois every evening? So anyhoo, with the Spaniards clearly the only boys in the peloton doping--and let's face it, even half of them are off the hook just in time for the start line in July--we can all rest assured that a resurgent Captain Dreamboat will be free to contest the sprint into Paris along with Alessandro, Thor, and Robbie the Ego, and that the TV ratings, ad revenue, "Young Tom Boonen--The Comic Book" (you can't make this stuff up) sales, and, most of all, the sponsors' take will remain resolutely astronomical. Nice work there, Keystone Kops!

Jesus, Manzano: yep, the unemployable camera whore is at it once more, groveling for money, I mean, earnestly pleading for truth and justice in the sport, by accusing an irked Alejandro "I Don't Even Have a Dog, I Swear!" Valverde yet again of snarfing drugs in astonishing quantities not only while at Kelme along with Jesus and the rest of the early-retired crap-results crybabies, but also undoubtedly while at Caisse d'Epargne, and that if we think the "only thing he was racing on is lettuce," he can guarantee that Alejandro is "up to his neck" in the Fuentes affair right now. More, he's happily yapping to the Italian authorities for as long as he can milk this cow, which I'm sure after all is a welcome diversion for CONI from the pressing question of how to score Ivan Basso a get-out-of-jail-free card without looking like swooning starstruck teenage simps and raising the ire and incessant hypocritical press-whining of the completely and sincerely anti-doping German squads like, say, T-Mobile. Y'know, I sympathize with Manzano saying he and everyone else at Kelme had to pop 8 Prozac a day just to get over the fear of jamming a needle in their rears (which still doesn't excuse the fact he just plain sucked, nice try Jesus), but is anyone else wishing he were even more sedated right now? And, in response to this latest round of accusations against the Next Indurain, the Spanish cycling fed has bravely stood forth and...yep, for no reason whatsoever politely asked UCI if it might get back to them soon on the question of whether the Op Puerto riders, none of whom are threats for the Tour GC I'm certain, might arrange for a bit of, well, total unquestioned amnesty, not that anyone even would need it except possibly a couple of nobody domestiques from the late Comunidad Valenciana, preferably again coincidentally before, oh, July 7 2007 or so. Boy, I think we're really on the road to cleaning up the sport here, don't you?

Man on the Run: and, it was a pleasure to see (well, almost, having been sidetracked by an afternoon by the pool) Floyd Landis on his bike again in Colorado, though you wouldn't know that from the local press, which was full of quotes by less-heralded riders on the scene who clearly felt that the presence of an obviously-guilty Floyd's was an embarassment to honest riders everywhere and, wholly tangentially I'm sure, a hindrance to their own infrequent chances for press coverage. Oh Floyd, we still want to believe!

Giro Roundup: finally, if only because I can't take any more of this idiocy tonight, I note the supreme crappiness of Gilberto Simoni's loss of the podium due to his consistently heinous time-trialing, which nonetheless gives a sort of soothing credence to the idea he's the only clean guy in the peloton, not the least because his time-trialing hasn't ever freakishly improved in a few short months like, oh--hell, why set myself up for a lawsuit?--and, most happily, the smashing win on a miserably cold Basque-unfriendly day by we love Iban Mayo, lauded by his own team as a triumph over Euskaltel's brutal psychological pressure machine and, dandily, ensuring Saunier-Duval's service at his command in the upcoming Tour de France. Venga Iban!

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