Wednesday, August 08, 2007

At the Dopa/Dopacabana

White Lines/Blow Awaaaay: So with UCI having anointed new golden boy Alberto Contador as the Next Cycling Legend--and even more conveniently, exonerated him of any involvement in Op Puerto by neither tagging him as the mysterious Liberty Seguros "A.C." in the Fuentes files nor asking him to pony up a DNA sample to match to the blood bags they might as well throw out at this point for all the interest they've shown in using 'em--WADA, perhaps made particularly suspicious by Contador's confession that he felt like crap while he was taking everyone else out in the mountains and final time trial, has taken on the noble responsibility of ferreting out dopers instead, enlisting confessed Liberty Seguros drug fiend Jorg Jaksche, who has already helpfully volunteered that they all went to see Fuentes separately so he doesn't actually know if Contador was his client too. Well, that's a smoking gun for you, Dick! Is it me, or would they have been better off pointing to his sheer youthful inability to protest the will of the likes of Manolo Saiz, who for no reason whatsoever sat down for a coffee with Dr. Fuentes with buckets o' blood and a briefcase full o' euros coincidentally in tow, and--even more important, from the perspective of a starstruck ambitious Spanish jailbait--nurturer of more stage winners, repeat Vuelta champs and general cycling gods per capita than almost any other team out there (then again that, combined with the plate in his head and all, might reasonably engender a certain amount of sympathy)? Still, with perpetual Jan Ullrich lawsuit target Dr. Werner Franke turning his sights and his purloined Op Puerto docs on the poor boy, WADA's at least got some help on their slash-and-burn campaign, though as Discovery was quick to point out, Franke is just a paid whore for guys like Danilo Hondo anyway. And hey, if you can't trust the same judgment and integrity of the team that brought you Ivan "Birillo Is Not My Dog" Basso hot off the ProTour's otherwise universal diss, who can you trust?

Team Holy Crap Where Did These Guys Get the Cash to Pay These Boys?: yep, Slipstream scores again, with the mystery Paris-Roubaix sign of we love big Maggy Backstedt, drawn in by their integrity and commitment to clean sport (or at least commitment to sobbing camera-ho dramatics for the eager press corps), the leadership of ex-teammate Jonathan Vaughters, and their shot at some handy wildcards in 2008 and a ProTour license for 2009. Hey, who am I to point out that Liquigas has one already? I gotta give Vaughters credit--with Zabriskie and Millar for the TTs, VandeVelde as a reliable classics man and all-round superdomestique for the mountains, overall if slightly long in the tooth powerhouse Maggy for everything, and Dean for the sprints, he's building one hell of a well-rounded team. Oh CSC. How could you ever put me in a position to have to root for a team with that tiresome baby St. David Millar on it?!

Can You Hear Me Now?: Finally, I note that T-Mobile's sponsorship fate is to be decided tomorrow, because while the entire team snorted lines like 1980s Wall Street big shots for decades on end, half their management's confessed to chomping this crap like candy, and everyone else on their roster past and present is either admittedly or suspected of being dirty, it's really Patrik Sinkewitz's one-shot adventures in testosterone gel that bothers them. Seems reasonable to me boys!

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