Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Cuervo Gold/ The Fine Colombian/...

Make Tonight a Wonderful Thing: wow, what an amazing first Tour for no-name baby Maurizio Soler and a fine thank you from Barloworld to the Tour organizers to boot (okay, Unibet still got hosed, but at least one of the wildcards've earned their keep)! Am I the only one who never heard of this boy before today--when the hell did he rack up those KOM points? Meantime, I'm glad to see we love little Sastre and Levi Leipheimer still in it, but if wonderboy Valverde keeps this form up and doesn't crash or get sick, I think folks are actually going to have to start thinking of him as more than just a one-week pony. (Bonus points to Levi by the way for uncharacteristically blowing his cool for the press and dope-slapping Saunier Duval for not chasing down the split in the leading group--like they're gonna bust it for your sake when you've got two boys of your own up the road?) And not that I'm not thrilled about Iban Mayo absolutely kicking @#$, but in the face of all the sudden press coverage about his brilliant form and his post-letdown resurgence, and even his own newfound confidence with the press corps, can we please all keep in mind that that's what made the poor boy crack for three straight years after all the Next Lance Armstrong hype and back the hell off so he can hold it together? (Fortunately, I have no power whatsoever, so I can swoon openly as much as I like. Allez Iban!)

Karma, Baby!: so you doped your riders til they oozed, tossed 'em overboard like traitorous sailors when they got finally got busted, and butt-kissed the DSes that totally honestly had nothing to do with any of it til their rumps were raw. Most notoriously, you abandoned your cash-cow meal-ticket Jan Ullrich despite his resolute (if perhaps ill-advised) unwillingness to take you down, no matter how much you deserved it, and threw Andreas Kloden and Matthias Kessler over a cliff for supporting him. I truly wish you well, T-Mobile--or at least the truly fine stable of jailbait hopes-of-tomorrow you've been assembling so diligently. But you're down about five riders now, and poor Marcus Burghardt even had the rotten luck to whack some dopus spectator's dopus meandering Labrador Retriever. And in hot-of-the-presses news (thanks Gazzetta!), your spectator-thwapping Patrik Sinkewitz just learned he tested poz for elevated testosterone levels on a surprise control June 8 (sez the boy predictably, "I know nothing about it." I'm sure it was just his Chinese herbalist, like with Kessler.) Not to suggest any broader cosmic forces at work for this unfortunate series of total coincidences, T-Mobile, but...

If a Vinokorouv Cracks in the Peloton and Nobody Hears Him, Does he Make a Sound?: nope, but it sure looks bad for poor Vino after finishing back in the pack, which is surprising given his typical-cyclist ability to gack through the agony the first couple of days before he dismounted, rather tearful, after this one. Y'know, I *do* deeply want Andreas Kloden to clock him in the GC, but not like this--mano a mano, in good health for both (though after all, it's not like Kloden's not in his own particular agony with his tailbone busted). Feel better soon, Vino!

Hip, Hip, Heras!: yep, I'm rip-roaring delighted to hear quiet Vuelta god Roberto Heras is in talks to return to the pro (continental) peloton when his EPO ban is up on October 27. The catch--he won't return for some lame "30,000 euros"--he has, after all, his "dignity." Wait, I've been extolling your tainted !@# for the last 2 years and you're gonna cry like a baby if you can't get paid 8 gazillion euros to RIDE YOUR BIKE? And apropos of nothing, has anyone else noticed he's stopped protesting his innocence? Anyway, yes I'm against doping, yes it's a disgusting rider-wrecking scourge and an insult to honest sportsmen and women everywhere, but no, I *don't* give a damn about Heras, particularly when Denis Menchov has still shown himself just yesterday that he's utterly unworthy of taking Heras' '05 Vuelta, so yes, perhaps I am a raging hypocrite except that half the peloton currently riding is still stoked, but y'know, I'm at peace with that. And if you *don't* get a decent contract Roberto, I say pull a damn Manzano for a sweet 100k, and take that sellout pimping bastard Saiz down with you!

No comments: