Saturday, September 08, 2007

I Piti the Fool

All Around the Worlds: Alejandro "Piti" Valverde, having had enough of being stalked by UCI like teenagers doing the nasty by a masked freak in a slasher flick, has finally sued the sore-loser impotents, presumably (1) for his rightful place in the Worlds and (2) to make 'em shut the hell up about his alleged connection to Eufemiano Fuentes. Damn, UCI, I'm sure he *did* dope, but if you haven't got the goods, then suck it up and try to connect the dots on the 100 other riders in the 6000-page Op Puerto file already! Afraid of looking even more irrelevant by managing to nail only some minor neo-domestique at the now-disbanded Comunidad Valenciana squad?--well, no need to worry--trust me, you clowns've already hit rock bottom! The Spaniards, meantime, cheerfully antagonized UCI on their own initiative, formally putting Valverde on the Worlds start list and apologetically claiming that they can't DNA test the Op Puerto blood bags for a match to Valverde as requested because first, they're unfortunately in possession of the courts which have already forbidden their release, and second, UCI's own idiot purity pledge required the riders to sign away the right to do a DNA test to UCI, so by implication the Spanish cycling fed has no authority to do so instead. Suckers! UCI, today, of course smacked back, affirming that Alejandro still can't start the Worlds, and that, while this doesn't in any way imply that Valverde actually did anything wrong, they are sadly hamstrung by their own rules barring any rider "under investigation" for doping from racing and, totally coincidentally, UCI has decided to investigate him. I can see the Sports Illustrated cover story (and lurid photo) now: a screaming, deranged Pat "Dick" McQuaid dragged off in handcuffs for his own protection from a howling Spanish tifosi mob for kneecapping poor Valverde at the start line a la Tonya Harding's Brutus inbred boyfriend on ice queen Nancy Kerrigan. Can we *please* restore some dignity to this beautiful sport, boys?

Big Wheel Keep On Turnin': and, after a train wreck of a sprint where only the timeless Erik Zabel had the presence of mind to keep racing after all the official sprint leaders were taken down in the usual monster lead-out pile-up, Denis Menchov sure seems to be taking out his rage about the Tour out on the Vuelta time trial, and is now only 30 seconds back on GC and, more importantly, ahead of all his likely GC rivals but Cadel Evans by over two (we love little Sastre) to several (Jose Angel Gomez Marchante) minutes. As for we-still-want-Sammy Sanchez-to-take-it? Hanging in at 4:03 back on GC. Still, for my money, I don't think Menchov can hold even that much spare time if Haimar Zubeldia decides he's got the legs to crush the field for his leader in the remaining mountains, and I don't know that Cadel will be able to go with them. We're still rooting for you too Sastre--venga venga!

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