Sunday, July 15, 2007

What the Hell is Going On Here?

SPOILER--Stop Reading Now If You Ain't Seen It Yet: As both of you may have noticed, I didn't make a prediction for today, which is just as well, 'cause it was naturally wrong as I would've taken Valverde, but anyhow, what the hell is going on in the peloton?! Levi Leipheimer can't shake either Andreas "Ass of Agony" Kloden or Alexander "Bucket o' Gore" Vinokorouv? I know you had an ill-timed mechanical Levi, but that's clearly the least of your problems right now! (It does, however, suddenly make Discovery's repeated and confounding references the last couple of days to protecting both Levi and Alberto Contador make sense, as one doesn't usually refer to cosseting a mere jailbait stage contender.) Levi, I understand you're waiting, like a similarly-disappointed Sastre, for the Pyrenees, but with Valverde actually looking quite strong after an early-morning psych-out, and even Cadel Evans making me consider him for GC contention for once, I think you better hit the gas on Tuesday anyway just to show your rivals you're not simply a written-off overhyped wannabe. Sure, it probably doesn't help the morale that Johan Bruyneel's jammed a knife in your back everytime you've eased off enough to turn around, but Levi, you can time trial, you can climb, you can do this--where is your passion in this race? While we're at it, and speaking of write-offs, allez allez Iban Mayo--I'm so happy!

I Get Knocked Down, But I Get Up Again: and, what craptastic luck for the valiant Michael Rogers, who sure as heck woke me up with his brilliant ride til he took a head-on trip into the guardrail on David Arroyo's wheel, then was forced to drop out, sobbing, as the peloton finally passed him by. I don't know what the hell he hurt (though it looked like his wrist or collarbone from the way he was holding his hand), but it's not yet on any site I could find, but either way, what a shame for a rider who was clearly more of a threat than he seemed to be. Meantime, gazzetta dello sport's reporting that we love CSC's Stewie O'Grady has suffered multiple fractures of his spine and clavicle and suffered a pneumothorax as well, and apparently the ride back to the bus after the race was no better for the boys either, as Patrik Sinkewitz whacked a spectator so hard that the fan's in a coma and Sinkewitz has apparently busted his nose, and the team's reporting he may well not start tomorrow. Man, I know T-Mobile cursed itself with its own stupidity last season, but even they don't deserve any of this!

Say No To Drugs: Well, I'm of two minds as to how well St. David Millar's holier-than-thou reformed-doper wah-wah routine has paid off, because while his racing has certainly been exceedingly fine this Tour, he's reportedly signed a deal with crusading US Team Slipstream, which I gather is upping its international profile but seems quite a strange deal for a fairly young ProTour rider with a rather strong season in the bag. Any ideas on what's going on?

Oscar the Ouch: and, among the flatlanders, it's official that poor delicate Oscar Freire's saddlesore has taken him out yet again, a particular bummer given his near-win of at least two sprints this Tour, while my lame Italian translation skills raise the question of whether Robbie McEwen and Danilo Napolitano really finished outside the time limit and were not allowed by the race organizers to scam their way back in. Well, that pretty much leaves we love Thor Hushovd for Paris--unless Daniele Bennati, you can stop talking smack long enough to actually take a Tour sprint?

History Rock: finally, I've been asked about how and when teams came in to dominate the Tour de France, which I had no idea about, but so far as I can tell, right from the first Tours in the 1900s, some riders started off as pure individuals and some started off sponsored by bike manufacturers and the like, which right off the bat enraged the founder of the Tour, who saw commercialism as destroying the beauty and purity of the struggle of individual athletes against the land and elements. Still, by the 1910s or so, team powerhouses such as Peugeot and Alcyon were the CSCs of their day, which was then brought to a screeching halt around 1930 as the Tour instituted national and regional teams instead and xenophobic fans all over the Continent accepted the change without complaint. Then, after a brief back-and-forth, by 1969 it was all over, and fatcat corporate sponsors have ruled the sport til this day. Hell, you gotta centralize the doping regimens, I mean subsidize the stars' ridiculous salaries, somehow right?

1 comment:

zack said...

where is today's posting. you're smart and you know how to write. no off days! Also, why do you thibk Kloden went ahead for a short while a then came back to help Vino up the last climb?