Lots and Lots and Lots of Drinks: yep, as you've all heard by now, it's off to the races for beloved--and now undoubted--Giro king Danilo DiLuca, as Italian appeals panel GUI finds "insufficient evidence" of doping in his childlike hormone levels after intense rehydration after the stage to Zoncolan. Needless to say, the tifosi are delirious with joy and rage, being about equally split between (1)being sure Di Luca's innocent, now go and take another Giro and show them! (2)not given a rat's !@# whether Di Luca is innocent, but wanting prosecutor Ettore Torri's blood anyway and (3) still being pissed that no Spaniards have gone down for Operacion Puerto. Danilo himself, meantime, is happy that justice has been done, and while he's distinctly not pleased that he's "lost a year of his life," he is now thinking only of winning the Giro. Forza Danilo! As for Liquigas, which tossed Di Luca aside like an empty Budweiser can at a teen-jock beerfest at the first sign of trouble? Natch, blaming everyone but themselves for the loss of someone so clearly unfairly persecuted. Um, such sincerity still won't buy out his contract from LPR, boys! Still, depending on how embarrassed the narcs are, they can always appeal to CAS, which, given the lightning speed at which the we love Iban Mayo and Floyd "Either Way, I'm Hosed" Landis proceedings are going, ought to settle the issue just in time for Di Luca to ride off into semicomfortable retirement in his dapper late middle age. Now that's justice in action! So explain to me again why "Thirsty" DiLuca and "Wheezy" Petacchi can ride this year's Giro, and the never-even-remotely-implicated-in-anything Stefano "What the Hell Did I Ever Do To You People" Garzelli cannot?
Paolo's Rib: in actual current race news, meantime, Paolo Bettini's crappily still out of the Ardennes classics nursing his busted rib, but *is* apparently back in what he'd earlier scratched from his season, the perfect Giro d'Italia. Woo-hoo! Meantime, Gibo Simoni is looking forward to the weeklong Giro di Trentino for his d'Italia prep, and is such a good mood about it he got through an entire interview without even dope-slapping anyone. Anyone got cheap tix to Italy?
D'Oh!: in a rare miscalc, Roubaix champ Tom Boonen prematurely celebrates a win at Scheldenpriijs as talented jailbait Brit Mark Cavendish, splashed all over the press of late as the Next Big Thing, tosses forward his bike and takes the victory. Oh well, Tom, at least Roubaix is some small consolation prize! Tom, of course, was both gracious and complimentary in defeat (as Cavendish was in accidental victory), comparing his acceleration to McEwen's. Photo-friendly, a good sport, karaokes Metallica--what more could one want in a cyclist (except that he be Iban Mayo)?
Boonen the Beautiful: finally, apologies to my Aussie posse (of one) for not having a link to our hero's formidably manly Specialized ad, but I couldn't even find one on their website, much less anywhere else. If you really want it, though, and can't get Velonews Down Under, just shoot me an email w/ an address and I'll gladly snail-mail it along (framing it'll cost you.) As to the naturally delicate and reserved local reader I've been alerted was traumatized by the Simoni link, sorry I scarred your retinas. Ya reads this garbage, ya takes your chances!