Monday, January 21, 2008

Climb Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee

Well, More Like a Raging Nest o' Scorpions: either Floyd Landis' lawyer finally let the boy off the leash (to blunt the impact of CAS' inevitable springtime @!@#-over, perhaps?), or more likely Floyd's gone rabid and chewed his way through it, which I find delightful as a cycling fan, but if he were my client, you'd have to jolt me back from the dead after my massive heart attack with enough juice to power Los Angeles. The cause of such joy and horror? Yep, it's Landis' post-Steve-Johnson-email-smackdown interview with Velonews, which I believe the wiser-than-I folks over trustbutverify may have mentioned ages ago, but which only came to my doofus attention today. Among his tender spots? Well, he sure didn't appreciate USA Cycling and Steve Johnson collecting his dues for years only to completely hose him later by declining to back him in any way--unlike their sister federation over in Spain, he notes, which actually had the stones to decline to prosecute Iban Mayo after his tests were botched--and while we're at it, in addition to Johnson looking like a complete ass (not least a moron) for saying he didn't even pay attention to some trivial '06 post-Tour Landis fiasco he's just now heard of, he outright "lied" by claiming that USA Cycling had no power to help him whatsoever. And while he "respects" Steve (as much as one can respect a spineless cowardly agent o' nefarious backstabbing treachery, I suppose), and his natural interest in preserving his position in the "crock of shit" Olympics, he's paid to look out for freakin' cyclists, at which he has not, Landis opines, lately proven successful. Lest anyone think it's just USA Cycling he's irked at, Floyd's not much impressed with the antidoping trumpeting of "Team High Horse" or Slipstream, either, because to say you don't care about winning and are happy just to finish a race without doping is just a loser's way of "crying like a bitch" by implying that everyone who beats your @#$ only did so by cheating. Would anyone else besides me love to get him and David Millar in a room together? As to Landis' gig with Rock Racing, he would've liked one, but while we're on-topic, lay off Ball because, though perhaps brash, he's only hiring folks who've at least actually paid their dues. Finally, it would be nice if everyone--the narcs, the cycling feds, the broader governing bodies, *and* the cyclists--followed the rules, sucked it up when they failed to prove someone guilty, and at least made some pretense of fairness and integrity. Holy crap Floyd, with this kind of righteous rampage, you could've taken the '06 Tour even with Basso Ullrich and Vino on hand--but please, please, for the love of my profession and the pre-appeal sanity of your innocent advocates, promise you'll call your poor lawyer first next time!

Pagare Le Tasse, You Cheapskate!: speaking of Rock Racing, Lion King Mario Cipollini has, after weeks of dithering and correspondingly breathless minute-by-minute rumormongering in the Italian press, finally signed on as both a manager and rider, with his first goal the Tour of California and, after that, using the pleasing fact that the team's given him "carte blanche" to do what he will with it, ramping up awareness of cycling (and Rock in particular) in the U.S. by endlessly promoting the suave "Mario brand." And the tifosi? According to the clamor over on the comments pages at Gazzetta, delighted to see their beloved icon back for entertainment value, impressed by the Americans' wily score, convinced he can't actually race worth half a neo-pro any longer, and in universal agreement that he's just pimping himself to feed his ego and to collect the money, which, by the way, he ought to pay up to the tax authorities already, since they themselves can't get out of it. Can anyone doubt that, even assuming that Americans continue to focus bizarrely on the Golf Channel and an excess of shows featuring guys sitting in a boat drinking beer and nominally fishing, he'll at least electrify a troubled sport? Vai Mario!

Do You Come From a Tour Down Under?: finally, in welcome relief from the endless run of sleazy doping scandals, booze-fueled off-season car wrecks, and relentless judicial farces, it's back in the saddle, baby, as the Tour Down Under starts with a stellar cast of Aussies including Robbie McEwen, Allan Davis (brought down by Op Puerto at Liberty Seguros, and lately defended by UCI of all people, who hardly came to Beloki's defense, those !@$%^^%$), Graeme Brown, and, best of all, a finally mended Stuart O'Grady, and Team Slipstream--reviled above but having nonetheless a hell of a team including we love stage winner Dave Zabriskie--has successfully scored its first grand-tour invite to the beautiful Giro. Enjoy the ride boys--but I still hope the Italians kick your !@#!


freehub said...

RJ- Setting aside the disappointment of a whole week without any of your posts, I hope everything's OK and you haven't been swept up in Prodi's reversals of fortune.

pj said...

Hope you'll post again soon. Very soon.