Saturday, January 05, 2008

Rock 'n' Repugnant

Rock (Un)Steady: so as Frankie Andreu bails out of the obnoxious Michael Ball's new team, purportedly because he didn't like the way 'business' was being conducted between the team and sponsors, he also managed to note that he'd totally coincidentally been left out of several 'recent decisions' involving the courtship and signing of certain riders, presumably boys like busted-or-presumed dopers like Hamilton, Santi Botero and Oscar Sevilla, much less the rumored seduction of legendary Mario "the Chest" Cipollini (tho' no wonder there's confusion there, since even his manager can't keep his story straight for two consecutive days in the Italian press on whether his client's been in talks with Rock Racing or not.) What's more, he is "not entirely comfortable" with the way Ball is hoping to meet his team's goals, which, to those of us with sordid minds, raises the not implausible inference that a team whose riders have been publicly told "win your race or I'm firing your worthless !@#" are perhaps just a little less likely than the rest of even the existing scumpacked filthy cheating peloton to be inclined to stay clean--especially, and I'm sure these guys are all perfectly honest when they say they've never taken anything stronger than a cappuccino so this is a total non sequitur, if they've already got some personal expertise in that area. All right, Ball, you've proven you're an @#$hole; now, can you DS?

Beware the Ides of March: interestingly, though, Ball might not actually have to run his own show, as none other than Floyd Landis--who recently learned his date with doom at CAS is set for March 19, absolutely guaranteeing by its exceedingly late arrival to the party that even if he wins (and he should) he's completely screwed out of any real chance at the Tour for all time, much less ever redeeming his rep as to the old one--has been rumored to be talking to Rock Racing about serving as an "unofficial advisor," as he'd need an actual license from the same clowns who've spent the last two years stomping the poor boy into the dust to do so officially. Does this seem utterly idiotic, not to say unfair, to anyone else, given how guys like Bjarne "I Won the Tour with a Needle in My Rump" Riis and Rolf "Hell, I Doped Last Week!" Aldag are faring in the management ranks at the moment?. Landis, sensibly, has met this rumor with a polite "no comment," kindly mentioning, however, that he does believe the, well, less reputable boys on the team do deserve a second chance. Floyd, not to criticize your truly admirable support for other riders who have been punished for things they claim, same as you, not to even have done--but given that you've got a rather crucial hearing coming up in which every relevant blowhard witchhunting cycling organization on the planet is already claiming you're clearly a lying dope-suffused Tour-thieving testosterone-snarfing dirtbag, is it really going to help your already tenuous chances of victory by claiming sympathy for and solidarity with boys they all believe are even grimier? Save yourself first, Floyd--if you can!

Like a Rhinestone Cowboy: and, tiresome antidoping zealot Dr. Werner Franke (now backed up by "anonymous sources") is at it again, claiming that a "Rhine convoy" of at least two cars from T-Mobile took off for an evening of relaxation 'n' blood doping at the Freiburg clinic during the '06 Tour de France, where the goods were apparently labeled--since the whole dog-naming thing hadn't worked so well for Dr. Fuentes--after a merry band of Disney cartoons. Anyone want to guess which rider was hopped up enough to be "Dopey"? Still, Patrik Sinkewitz, who ought to know, continues to dispute this theory, firmly maintaining that he at least rode alone to the team docs' lair, and while we're at it, thanks all you bastards for rewarding him with a big "screw you" for the brave act of coming out and confessing his sins like you all said a cheater should, 'cuz if any of you holier-than-thou hypocrites think any other rider's gonna talk after how he and Jaksche have been jacked for breaking omerta, you're !@#damn nuts. If it's any comfort, Patrik, I'm sure Rock Racing's still got an opening and some cash...

Mambo Italiano: finally, I see the Italians are already gearing up for the Giro and talking the requisite smack, with the surprising (relative) exception of we love Gilberto Simoni, who in his prep for his '08 stage to Pampeago and hopefully more, not only openly admired recent Saunier Duval protege Riccardo Ricco' and baby Schleck as the men of the future, but, in a shocking bout of self-restraint, merely called DiLuca a weakling and Cunego a nonentity before declining to even insult Ivan Basso at all. Gibo, what's gotten into you in your old age? As for Paolo Bettini, his money's on Ricco as well (on Pozzato if he doesn't get 'caught up in watches and clothes,' pretty amusing for a guy who just sold off his extra Ferrari to buy an airplane, but then, he's got a few good results already), but I'm personally too busy swooning over the news he's considering sticking around for the '09 Giro to care. Vai Paolo, and Gilberto, don't take any crap from that pouty-lipped punk Basso just because he's already been anointed Saint of All the Universe by the Italian cycling press and tifosi!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For anyone watching the apparel business, Mr. Ball’s (Rock Racing) behavior in the world of cycling is mild, so far. In 2007 he was sued for sexual harassment, defamation, assault, extortion, breach of contract and other charges at Rock & Republic.

Papers filed in one case refer to Ball’s “criminal activities, acts of violence, court ordered psychiatric treatment, Ball’s own use of a false social security number (which he presented to police upon his arrest and sentencing), and evidence that at least three different social security numbers were used…two examples of are attached hereto as arrest and sentencing report and Solis v. Ford, L.A. Superior Court, Case No. BC 228258.”

Seems that all we know about Ball in the cycling world is what he said about himself in his R&R biography, “In the late ‘80s, Michael was considered one of the fastest, smartest and most aggressive cyclists on the circuit. The avid athlete had discovered he had the stamina to succeed at any task he took on. Michael won the LA Tri-Sprint Series and then went on to the national track rankings where he conquered the Velodrome. However, an unfortunate racing crash forced him to put his racing aspirations on hold.”

Guess he’s back.