Tuesday, July 31, 2007

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Posting

Ahem: having settled down considerably with a nice cup of tea and a nap, and lacking either the inclination or the source for any stronger tranquilizer, we now can turn to Le Tour in Review:

The Body Count: by my estimation, this was easily the bloodiest Tour ever, with bodies careening through the air--and assorted windshields--like acrobats on acid and with poor Stuey O'Grady's spectacular lung-crushing takeout making Joseba Beloki's excruciating career-blowing thigh snap a few years back seem like a harmless schoolyard kickball boo-boo. Forget the usual peloton touch-of-the-wheels and expected early-race twitchiness--road furniture, wandering dogs, slug-paced spectators, and incredibly moronic brake-whacking team cars made this the most casualty-prone race one could fathom short of use of weaponry. Oh wait, ETA did blow up a couple of bombs along the course--sensibly, for Euskaltel's sake I presume, after the peloton had passed. Heal fast boys, we could use at least a few of you at the Vuelta!

The Sprints: Well, Thor Hushovd took one so I can't complain, tho' I was sorry for adrenalin's sake not to see we're-annoyed-by-Robbie "the Ego" McEwen around to head-butt somebody at the line in Paris. While we're at it, yes I know that idiot Al Trautwig always picks him, but that's because he doesn't know any other sprinters besides Petacchi and he thinks his name is really neato, whereas I sincerely believe that, given the right conditions, the grossly underestimated boy can actually blitz a sprint. Allez Thor!

The Breakaways: Oh Jens--almost. Better luck next year!

The Mountains: this jailbait Maurizio Soler was clearly the revelation of the Tour. Sure, he finally bonked at one point, but it's his first freakin' Grand Tour for heck's sake--why would he or Barloworld have even thought in London that they'd need to plan this one out for the long haul? Score of the Tour: Barloworld had the sense and Soler had the lack of it to resign with the team for two more years despite the obscene cash he likely could've commanded from the open market even mid-race--enjoy that inevitable upcoming ProTour license!

The Criminal: well, if Lance Armstrong, some previously-dull ex-mountain-biker, and a painfully diplomatic team-leader-ex-team-leader-team-leader-again-then-ex-again weren't enough to up American interest in the sport, I sure heard a hell of a lot of excitement from coworkers who can't tell Armstrong from armwarmers after first Vino, then Moreni, had teams fleeing willy-nilly in the middle of the night like hopped-up amateur burglars caught in the act. Of course, these pale besides the truly astonishing number of Op Puerto riders (not to even mention the whatever-happened-to-the-QuickStep-ex-rider-takedown) who I'm sure, thanks entirely to UCI's refreshingly open refusal to read the file when they need bodies at the startline, who likely hit the road and doped their way up the cols. And, I see that Jan Ullrich's lawsuit target Dr. Werner Franke has taken aim at Alberto Contador, claiming that he's the mysterious "A.C." mentioned in the Spanish prosecutor's docs that "fell into his briefcase", on the outrageous assumption, one imagines, that anyone nurtured by Manolo Saiz at ONCE and Liberty Seguros would actually dope--as if. But you did get two, I mean three guys, UCI--way to reclaim your legitimacy!

Finally, the Hosed: Forget Petacchi getting knocked out before the start for slightly overusing the asthma meds the UCI hands out like candy. And fine, Contador's young and impressionable so mistakes or no he's still the next Indurain, yap yap. But I really do think that--while I find it highly implausible that Rasmussen couldn't tell the difference between, say, the cuisine terrain and languages spoken in Mexico vs. the Dolomites, or that he wasn't somewhere announced (if indeed he was) without good reason--Michael Rasmussen was completely screwed out of the yellow jersey, and should at least have been allowed to lose it to Contador fair and square in the time trial. You've got half the peloton blitzed on the dope-du-jour, and Rasmussen gets his Tour taken away for *not* doping during the race? What total bull@#$%! And ASO--sorry, but a French guy *still* didn't make the podium anyway. Tell me again what the point of this smarmy hypocritical charade by the teams and governing bodies is?

Well folks, it's on to the Vuelta. Venga Venga!

No comments: