Thursday, January 10, 2008

Celebrity (Cyclist) Deathmatch

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely--And Boy, Do They Want It: as the teams smile for the cameras at their official 2008 roll-outs, one thing seems to be clear: it ain't gonna stay pretty for long. Over at Liquigas, we've got co-captains Pozzato and Bennati utterly delighted to be at each other's humble service at all times despite their unfortunate, and seemingly irreconcilable, desire to win all of the exact same races; for team LPR, the cover of the latest TuttoBici's got Paolo Savoldelli lounging trustingly on the saddle of a bike while Danilo DiLuca maintains a smiling deathgrip on the handlebars; and, over at Astanadiscovery, Johan Bruyneel's already announced his intention to force the completely !@##ed Andreas Kloden to drudge for boy-wonder Contador all season, and while we're at it, Kloden better shut up and like it, because if for example there's even the slightest suggestion that that unwanted Vino-tainted leftover was involved in the late T-Mobile's little 2006 blood-doping roadtrip or presumably anything else not to his liking, Johan looks forward to personally shoving him off the team bus into a crevasse. Anyone want to bet on how long these happy little Bert-and-Ernie pairings are gonna last?

Black Is the New Black: in addition to the rosters, the '08 team kits are also coming out, with High Road mercifully sparing us the sight of George Hincapie dressed like a humongous Barbie with discreet wee red and yellow logos against a black background with white stripes up the sides; CSC cuing us in on their rigorous purity by going mostly white with a big red logo and a bit of black swooping sideways from the bottom; and our frank friends over at Rock Racing perhaps considering either an IV graphic against a dirt-colored jersey or an orange prison jumpsuit ensemble. Hell, it beats the retina-searing Barney outfits over at Lampre!

CONI Island: and, the Italian prosecutors, apparently more than irked that Ivan Basso remains a Teen Beat national icon and DiLuca and Petacchi get to play again at this coming Giro despite some, well, physiological oddities at the last one, have now decided to reopen Op Puerto on their end, announcing their intent to call in DSes, team doctors and even riders to testify in the hope they'll be able to keep *somebody* guilty from riding on Italian soil anytime soon. Sadly, point man Dr. Eufemanio Fuentes may already be otherwise engaged, as the Germans plan to call him on the carpet in the latest round of litigation between Jan "I'm Gone! What the Hell More Do You Want?" Ullrich and Dr. Werner "Fine, You Didn't Pay Fuentes 35,000 Euros, You Paid Him More" Franke, and as the man's already laid claim to next year's Nobel Prize for services to cyclists, if nothing else his testimony oughta be lively in that venue. Fortunately for CONI, wherever Fuentes may ultimately talk, "wingnut" translates just fine into Italian...

This Landis Your Land: finally, it's with awe, admiration, and a total lack of ability to comprehend the charts they're using to illustrate the science they're trying to explain to the dimmer bulbs among us that I bid a happy 1000th post to the impassioned pursuers of Truth, Justice, Beauty, and Floyd Landis' Ultimate Acquittal over at trustbutverify. Are they right that Floyd didn't do it? Who the hell knows, but then again, thanks to the grossly careless and flat-out incompetent self-interested lab chimps who mishandled his samples, and the disgusting preening leakfest by the triumphant goons over at UCI & co. that spawned the press' colossal feeding frenzy before Landis even had time to hit the snooze button the morning it all broke, that's precisely the point. And while I certainly think any rider who dopes his way to the podium ought to go down, and that such tactics are deeply unfair to the clean rider (um, riders) left in the peloton, I do think that before we light a boy up like a flaming ball of pitch and fling him off a trebuchet to his doom we should at least be more than half-assedly able to prove that the cheating skank actually did it. So while I hope the dedicated scribes over at TBV needn't actually write another 1000 posts before the whole repulsive farce is resolved, lest the poor exhausted things have to hit up a good team doc themselves for some sustenance-of-ill-repute just to stay awake, I'm grateful they've stuck it out this far nonetheless. Allez allez trustbut!


strbuk said...

Thanks for the kind words RJ! You are one of the few reasons posting day in and day out is fun. I always look forward to any new posting that comes from your jaded but erudite fingers.

Paula (strbuk)

Anonymous said...

Ditto what Paula said! Your wit is sharp and your words pointed, but you always make me laugh.