Sunday, July 22, 2007

You Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello (Spoiler for About Another Hour)

Goodbye: I still think Vino's going to come back to kick Andreas Kloden in the nuts and back into his place as perpetual second banana, but til then, I'm rather inclined to cut him a little bit of slack, both for his total lack of self-control and forward planning, and for his spectacular triumph of mind over of matter of yesterday, however ill-advised vis-a-vis the overall. And is it occurring to anyone else that whatever poor Alejandro Valverde's stopped taking, he might for his GC chances', or at this point even just a stage win's, sake start to reconsider? (Not that he is now nor has ever taken anything. In fact, in case his lawyers are reading this, I'm utterly certain that he is and for all time has been, to paraphrase an Irish Spring commercial, clean as a whistle. I'm just sayin' that an extra pre-race espresso might be in order tomorrow, is all.) Meantime, Iban, if you're going to ask Saunier Duval to blow itself all to pieces setting you up and, worse, chasing down two of your own boys in the breakaway, might you not make sure you at least have the legs first? You can do this Iban--just choose wisely, there's still two more days in the Pyrenees for you to move. And you sickening press vultures jamming your cameras up his nose yet *again* while the poor boy cracks right when he's starting to get his ego back for the first time in three years--buzz off!

Hello: again to baby genius Contador, who not only miraculously escaped the clutches of Liberty Seguros and Op Puerto unscathed after half the team copped to Manolo Saiz slapping mystery medicinal patches on their arms every day, and survived a near-fatal accident as a rising star a few years back to boot, but also managed to wipe the floor with Rasmussen after, it must be noted, making him work to defend his jersey but still taking a reasonable number of pulls himself. And am I the only one thinking that Maurizio Soler is looking at one hell of a monstrous salary increase, and a guaranteed ProTour slot, the coming season? Contract or no, pay up or be prepared to lose him, Barloworld!

What the Hell?: Okay, we get that Levi and Cadel are measured, cautious, "slow and steady wins the race" sorts. But until Rasmussen kills himself in next week's time trial--and remember, he was supposed to do that already in the one just past and didn't--and with Contador looking brilliant and Johan Bruyneel openly discouting you in the press every single day, Levi, I think it's not going to be enough for you to suck off other people's wheels the next two days. Show some initiative and attack, dammit--don't you want to win this race?! Aaaaiiiggghhh!

Tomorrow: come on Sastre. You whacked yourself in three consecutive Tours last year because of the Basso disaster and still managed to play formidably in all of them. Jens is still in attack-dog mode--take it, take it!

Sink, Sank, Sunk: finally, Patrik Sinkewitz' B sample is due back Monday, and with his lawyer already equivocating and setting up the plan-B (no pun intended) legal challenge, I'm guessing it ain't gonna be pretty. Still, with the Official UCI Virginity Pledge such a reliable indicator of truth, and the remaining 6000 pages of Op Puerto files surely containing nothing of interest to anyone, it's nice to know he's the only guy left in the field who's still even possibly dirty. Hey, I'm convinced this is the end of all the doping hoo-ha--aren't you?

1 comment:

Shameless St Millar Defender said...

Hy Racejunkie,
After you threw me some love the other day, I thought I should say congrats on some fab commentary through the Tour. I've just got back from watching the Alps stages and am loving the uncertainty of this race. Who remembered bike racing was this much fun to watch?
But I will admit my boy ain't performing like I'd hoped he would. Go Millar! (I think he might have heard me yell that on one stage, but then, he was so far off the pace that I'm not sure he'd gone by before we had to push on)