Saturday, August 04, 2007

Drivin' That Train/High on Cocaine

Casey Jones You Better Watch Your Speed: my, it's hard to break the fine supplement habits learned in the pampered confines of the team bus, isn't it? The latest casualty: lately suspended superstar Aitor Gonzalez, busted for driving drunk and on coke. I'm sure if he explains he meant to simply *ride* under the influence of a little Pot Belge, and does an endless sobbing wah-wah Oprah confessional for the cameras, the authorities would wholly understand and he'll get off fairly easily, or at least score a beyond-sweet deal for next season with his doping ban done and all...right Millar? Although, I suppose he won't be getting his new gig with Team Slipstream...

He Blinded Me With Science: so I see Rasmussen's wily e-mail hacker, hell bent on evidence (besides the dull eyewitness accounts of some ex-rider hack and a Gerolsteiner boy) of the wily Chicken's whereabouts during his fateful trip to "Mexico" (Mexico, Italy--what Dane could tell the difference after all?), has himself landed in the hoosegow, with the contents of his prizes left, thanks to an honorable cop-tipping newspaper, unrevealed. Fine, the Rasmussen story is an interesting one, if only because I'm *still* mystified why UCI cares so much more about pre-Tour training cheating than actual Tour-time dopefests. But in light of the open warfare between the self-interested blame-swapping babies over at UCI WADA and ASO, and recent allegations of nudge-nudge-wink-wink allowed evasions of doping controls for select favorites, anyone else thinking that *that's* an electronic dialogue it'd be fun to read? No, I am absolutely *not* advocating hacking, however the hell that's done by people who absolutely need to crawl out of their parents' basements and up into the sun, for God's sake I'm totally unequivocally against it--I'm just sayin'!

Well I Love That Dirty Water: So Tommy Danielson, lately reviled for failing to live up to everyone else's hype about The Next Lance Armstrong, turns out to have done so for no reason whatsoever of his own: he's been felled for the last three years because he contracted the gross animal-waste-borne bug giardia courtesy the fine drinking water supply at the Tour of Langkawi in 2004. Ew! Fortunately, it's easily enough cured once detected, and the boy promises he's already well on the mend. Anyway, to take a Vuelta stage on that unappealing ailment is particularly impressive in retrospect--so naysayers, back off, and get well soon Tommy!

Get Your Motor Runnin'/Head Out on the Highway: so Ivan Basso, who has to his credit been training quite religiously and even voluntarily submitting to unannounced doping checks while enormous cash-cow Continental team and product-endorsement offers roll in in happy anticipication of the end of his ban while still in his prime Tour-fighting years, is *not* riding a race in Italy but is formally "training" out on the parcours ahead of an actual race this weekend to the sure delight of screaming, swooning multitudes (and why not indeed, he's genuinely great to watch, and also just so, so pretty), while the universally loathed German press target Jan Ullrich takes, instead, to a humbler charity ride for the tots. Meantime, Alessandro "Gasp! Wheeze!" Petacchi is completely back in action and on the payroll pending the CONI appeal of his doping acquittal. Fair or no, am I the only one just flat-out glum at this state of affairs?

Video Killed the Radio Star: not that it had a chance to, with no American TV outlet or even reasonably accessible web one carrying today's Clasica a San Sebastian, with a massive turnout of stars and the opportunity for other people overseas to check out the main Vuelta contenders' incipient form. Sastre, Valverde, Zubeldia, Sanchez--even ruthlessly-screwed-out-of-the-Tour Bobby Julich tossed in for good measure--how the hell is this sport supposed to grow here if you consistently ignore everything but the Tour de France?! You suck, spineless Lanceless US TV!

I Ain't Missing You At All (Since You've Been Gone Away): finally, massive good sportsmanship points (and wisely, earned without any concurrent obligation) to Tour de France substitute yellow jersey Alberto Contador, who graciously, and perhaps feeling the pressure of the Werner Franke Op Puerto document turnover to the WADA gadflies, proclaimed he felt Rasmussen was treated extremely unfairly and he has no desire to have taken the maillot jaune and, one presumes, the podium babes, champagne bath, parties, rabid national adulation, and grossly higher instant market value, this way. Not that he's giving it back. Still, who would? If nothing else, it's sort of a second-hand retro justice for poor fellow Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, at least if you believe even poorer (probably literally, at this point) Floyd Landis wasn't the unfortunate sap victim of a UCI/LNDD lab monkey conspiracy or at least painfully clear disastrous screwup. I'm sure the Chicken appreciates the kind gesture though, Alberto!


Anonymous said...

Oooooo, you write nice!! Love your prose. Love your "about me." Nail on the head, funny musical references, eloquence, yessss.

Janann found you linked at "Trust But Verify" and then mentioned you at
Come visit. Lots of fun and funny race junkies at Sara's! We'd love to hear from you. Hope the links increase your hits! I've got you bookmarked.

all the best, catherine

Shameless St Millar Defender said...

Hey, Millar did his two years, you know. And he's rather more up now for trying to make a difference than most other ex-dopers. Cut my boy some slack! Or rather, cut the new British champion some slack.