Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Crankin' Up the Turkey Fryer

Free Iban!: yes, just in time for Thanksgiving, the pathetic repugnant desperate-for-dignity results-shopping tools over at UCI, having fruitlessly scrounged all the way up the alphabet for a reputable laboratory that would confirm we love Iban Mayo's initial EPO-poz A sample, are sure to be particularly thankful this year for the disgusting incompetent self-laudatory desperate-for-dignity lab chimps over at Chatenay-Malabry, who woofed the tests in the first place (sound familiar to anyone?) and now are due to release their inevitably self-confirmatory results celebrating their initial round of career-destroying crap methodology on Wednesday. Why don't we just consult a defective early-model liquid-leaking !F@#$%^& 8-Ball, for all the accuracy we're likely to get from these nits? Fortunately, the ever-dirty Spaniards--already in the doghouse with the frustrated babies at UCI for protecting that one-man opium den, Alejandro Valverde (shrugging, as to his own case's latest developments, that UCI was already dope-slapped by CAS once, so it's certainly no trouble to do it again)--have rightly taken issue with the idea that the dimmest bulbs in the lamp ought to be able to measure their own brightness, and are threatening to sue UCI and the talentless lab monkeys til they sob like lollipop-deprived toddlers if Mayo is in any way defamed or damaged by tomorrow's revelations. Sure, they've perhaps had a tendency of late to be a mite protectionist of their tainted own--but in this case, right on Spain!

Wait'll Ullrich Sees Us! He Loves Us!: in totally innocent German peloton news, too-smug-to-shut-up Ullrich mentor Rudy Pevenage was apparently secretly audio-recorded by righteous ex-soigneur/book-pimping-ho Jeff D'Hont saying that not only was Jan Ullrich happy to dope in his Tour-snagging time at Telekom, but so was everyone else on the team, whose timid and wholly temporary objections Pevenage was proud to say he'd swiftly overcome to the fine effect on the palmares of all concerned. Meantime, I see Patrik Sinkewitz, who seemingly expected to be utterly feted for his post-bust 'fess-up despite his righteous if unhelpful refusal to name names, is now crying over his monstrous one-year doping sentence, made even more obscene, apparently, by the fact that he's been forced to donate a significant percentage of his monthly Starbucks espresso budget to, of all abominations, charity. Oh, the humanity! Between this season's embarrassing admissions and the long, fine national history of doping now coming to light, can someone explain to me again why Ullrich's the only boy the Germans are pissed at?

Free Paolo!: and, one-time Giro king Danilo DiLuca has officially found a home at LPR with two-time Giro god/inexplicable Johan Bruyneel reject Paolo Savoldelli, leading to a charming interview on Gazzetta dello Sport in which, responding to Savoldelli's earlier gracious welcome, DiLuca warmly complimented Savoldelli as a stellar champion and a fine, intelligent, wholly reasonable rider with whom he is certain to come to an accord on various matters, presumably meaning that, though Savoldelli's taken the Giro twice, DiLuca snagged it in '07 unlike his old-news compatriot, so he sure hopes Paolo's gonna be satisfied with the one thank-you stage win Danilo's likely to give him for shepherding him up and down the Dolomites next year. Get out of there Paolo--bad enough you're stuck in a Continental squad in the twilight of your beautiful career, but you deserve better than this! While we're talking about people Alexander Vinokorouv completely !@$@ed, can someone worthy please give Andreas Kloden a job before my head explodes?

Desperado: incidentally, Gazzetta's also got a bitchin' chat with peerless smack-talkin' lord of the climbs Gilberto Simoni, who not only beautifully expresses true passion for both the mountain and road bikes and his deep and abiding love for the Giro, and notes that whatever his physical age, such things are all just how one feels after all, and there are thus plenty of young riders essentially older than he, but also manages to weigh in on the current state of Italian cycling, admiring the power and potential of ingenue-no-more Damiano Cunego, singing the praises of Next Great Cyclist/protege Riccardo Ricco', humbly claiming his growing yet still woefully uninformed admiration of some other young talents, and, of course, pronouncing yet again that Ivan Basso has disappointed him both as a man and as a rider. Still a little irked over the 'extraterrestri's' weaselling out of a gentleman's agreement (and you out of a stage win) in '06, are we? I love Simoni!

Dream Job: finally, I see the Tour of California is looking for volunteers, specifically Athlete Escorts willing to shepherd the riders off the bike to their immediate rendezvous with the fine officials at the medical tent--a gig for true believers in clean sport, if not, perhaps, for squeamish ones. D'Hont, given your history of hawklike observation and raging sense of vigilante justice, you might actually be able to get a new job in cycling at last!

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