Monday, March 03, 2008


Bettini On Ice, Bettini So Nice: well, the Belgian classics are off again, with the body count already rising to impressive levels in the first two biggies of the year as craptasticallly unlucky world road god Paolo Bettini manages to hit the deck both at Omloop Het Volk and, the very next day no less, at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Luckily, our boy, pissed though he appeared at Het Volk and temporarily stunned as he seemed at Kuurne (leading to his precautionary trip to hospital), was merely scraped and bruised up and immediately expressed greater sympathy for the more damaged ragazzi, though on return to the bike this afternoon, suffered continued pain in his shoulder and leg and is going to test it out tomorrow to see if he's still in shape for this weekend's Montepaschi Eroica. Vai Paolo--what a class act all 'round!

I Forgive You, In the "Drop Dead You Cheating Pig" Sense: so after duly serving his time for being a dope-addled supernaturally-powerful freak, and having happily pulled himself out of his truly grim downward mental spiral, Frank Vandenbroucke now finds his team welcome in the peloton--specifically, the ProTour races--so long as he doesn't show up with them. Needless to say, our (mildly) penitent hero is already appealing the decision, though why one ought to complain about having a totally unexpected punishment piled on one without notice or reason is beyond me. What the @##$%, UCI--is a two-year ban a two-year ban, or not? If you want a "one strike and you're out" policy, you disgusting hypocrites, show some stones and institute one openly already! Not that these guys deserve a ticker-tape parade or nuthin' (unless they sob to the press all the time about how bad they feel about getting busted, in which case they apparently deserve not only a parade but also to be bodily gilded and glued to a marble !@#$ing pedestal), but do we mean this !@#$ or not?

Paris-dise Lost: and, lest anyone think that UCI's been humiliated *again* by the wholesale bailing of the ProTour teams for the inconsequential little meander that is Paris-Nice, our fave head honcho has come out snarling that not *all* the teams are truly on board with the race, contrary to the lying disengenuous weasels that comprise the ASO and the teams' association, and are actually somewhat wary of contract provisions that demand their death-by-drawing-and-quartering if there's even a whisper of any sort of any controversy no matter how ludicrous about the squad or its boys anytime anywhere ever. Meantime, Het Volk winner Philippe Gilbert is already being held out of the race by cautious team management, at least until they see who, among all the whining organizational contenders for studly supremacy, comes out on top. Hell, at least ASO gets points for honestly admitting they're just pissed about how they look when a scandal breaks--like UCI really gives a rat's !@# whether a rider has genuinely been proven guilty of anything before they toss him into the flames like a fallen ash-covered marshmallow?

Smackdown o' the Week: finally, I bring you the slap fight we've all been waiting for (courtesy of italiaciclismo) between the fearsome gladiators Pat "Dick" McQuaid and Christian Prudhomme (or just a coupla agitated roadies, whichever)--as the caption says, these boys seem to have mistaken the genteel pasttime of cycling for the base grunting slugfest of boxing. Hey, why worry about some pesky boring road race when you can indulge in the petty selfish ego wars that *really* define this sport?

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