Sunday, March 23, 2008

All Quiet on the Eastern Front

Lullaby, and Good Night: so it's a disquietingly, well, quiet, last-ditch CAS appeal for Floyd Landis, in contrast to the constant relentless leak-happy dope-smacking aural assault and foreordained conviction that was the first Landis witch trial, which is both rather a relief from a due-process perspective (at least on the theory that everyone involved in this disaster outside of Floyd's team has so far been a grotesque pandering camera-whore), and maddeningly frustrating from a voyeuristic gossipmonger perspective. Still, news or no, I remain firm that you all ought to head over to the all-knowing oracles over at trustbutverify, who even in the absence of actual day-to-day news can still provide a historical view of everything you need to know but are, like me, too stupid to ask. Allez allez trustbut, and in bocca al lupo Floyd! Meantime, over in more public proceedings, former Olympian Tammy Thomas' perjury trial from the BALCO grand jury investigation gets underway tomorrow, including, one imagines, a distinctly unpleasant line of questioning in which Ms. Thomas gets to explain why she, among all women, was interested in downing enough testosterone and steroids during key periods of her career to guarantee the growth of a virtually razor-proof crop of back thatch. I'm sure it was just for that smoky Lauren Bacall come-hither voice!

Milano-SanReamed: well, crushed as I am that we love Oscar Freire didn't take SanRemo, at least he's damn near the only sprinter who didn't have his head up his !@# at the race, joined only in the brainiac department by team Liquigas, which itself was unfortunately stymied by the stuporous inability of the other sprint squads to muster the timely awareness to chase down the break, which rendered the break itself's head-scratching lack of interest in the rather noticeable attack of the Greatest Time Trialist On Earth (don't worry Dave Z, it'll be you again by season's end, I know it!) 2 km from the finish utterly moot. Major points, though, to Paolo Bettini's brave if futile charge up the Cipressa, Il Falco's perfect flight down to the formidable group of Bettini Rebellin & Lokvist, and the honors of the entire day to we love Phil Liggett, who seemed to imply, at one point in the coverage, that perhaps one reason for the peloton's apparent indifference to the race going on around them was their sheer lack of energy left, thanks to the inconvenient lack of easily-masked doping products and an excess of pesky testing, to pedal with. Right on Phil!

Basso Non E' Uomo: over in Italy, hitherto-quiet Gilberto Simoni (presumably because he isn't yet in form enough per his season plans to have an immediate Italian competitor to insult) has now got his very own mountain bike marathon named after him, which he hopes will become a classic along the lines of Paris-Roubaix or Flanders in thirty years' time. The man can still beat the crap out of everyone in the Giro, call St. Basso on the carpet weeks before he's linked to Op Puerto, slag nearly everyone and every team in cycling only to be proven prescient time and time again, and he can mountain bike too--is there anything *not* to love about this man?

Una Canzone Per Te: finally, in tribute to Il Grillo's smashing effort this weekend, and in sympathy with Tom Boonen's virtual invisibility in the action, I bring you a lovely rendition of a fine Metallica song from our two heroes:

Hell, if cycling doesn't pan out for you boys (though you've both done reasonably well to date), there's always "American Idol"!

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