Friday, April 04, 2008

Ice Ice Baby

Ronde and Ronde: yep, it's time for the beautiful Ronde van Vlaanderen again, and it's my guess that the Italians and Spaniards are utterly hosed as the hardcore Belgians get to revel in the miserably crappy freezing cold, rain, sleet and possibly snow now forecast for Sunday that's guaranteed to make the already-treacherous cobblestones even more of a crash-prone deathtrap than they are on a typically foul race day. Enjoy the ride Boonen & co.--but natch I'm rooting for always-a-bridesmaid underdog Hoste! Speaking of Boonen, major points to our barely-clad hero for his man-candy cobblestoned Specialized ad on page 11 in the latest Velonews, tho' I note that a few pages later Kristin Armstrong manages to look impressively kick-ass with her team kit actually covering her body. What, Thor Hushovd suavely gliding past a shop window with a panther at his side all winter wasn't enough? Y'know boys, between Petacchi's last-season's satin-draped pinup calendar, Thor's race for slinkiness, and now this latest foray into bike-porn-lite, there really ain't that much farther to go in the manly-man competition without, say, taking a ruler out--and please, we don't want to see that!

Judge Dredd: and, just as you thought prospects couldn't get much worse for Floyd Landis, comes not only the pleasing news that former WADA chief Dick "Dick" Pound has been denied the CAS chairmanship, but also the even better confirmation that really it's utterly moot as he's in fact been a member of CAS anyway for some time(thanks trustbut--I missed that in the cyclingnews article!)--apparently at least since he gave his fair nonjudgmental protocol-ignoring sportsmanlike interview with the New York Times excoriating Floyd as the epitome of all that's dirty wrong shameful and disgusting about the sport (and man, when you think about the competition, that's a pretty harsh thing to say.) Boy, I bet Landis is happy to have Captain Objectivity close 'n' cozy with the members of CAS who'll be deciding his fate!

Just Play It Cool, Boy/Real Cool: in other legal news, I see that Tammy Thomas has been found guilty of perjury for denying drug use in the Balco scandal, showing she wasn't affected by her products of choice at all as she goes all 'roid rage in the courtroom, hurling invectives at the prosecutor and the distinctly shaken jury and sensibly blaming them for all her problems. Hell, I'll agree with her if she won't kill me! The Italian press, meantime, reports breathlessly that American sport is shaken to its core, which would really concern me from a moral perspective if I actually gave a rat's !@# what a pack of too-dumb-for-subtlety baseball insta-no-necks were doing. Oh well Tammy--perhaps there's a future in pro wrestling for you--check out that game face in the tuttobici photo!

He's on the Road to Nowhere: and, it's a smashing and perhaps last-ever win for Danilo Di Luca at Lombarda, and the tifosi are goin' wild, with the exception of a couple of grumblers over petty little IV allegations, who for my money ought to stay out of the way of the disconcertingly-named "Il Killer Fans Club." Di Luca, meantime, remains tranquillo, extravagantly complimenting his teammates for his victory and making it clear he's on form to take the races--like his '07 Liege--that he's barred from. Forza Danilo--I'm sure it was just all Gatorade straight from the water bottle!

Days of Wine and Mozzarella: geez, as if it weren't enough that dioxin threats to the Italian buffalo mozzarella supply induced a national "psicosi" (since resolved--buy buffalo!), now Italy's having to reassure the EU that, after a sugar beet adulteration scare, its freakin' *wine* is ok to ingest. Look, I'm happy--delighted--to blow endless sums hauling my !@# to Italy and doing my bit to support the tourist economy as I gorge my way through the smashing Giro. But can you please, please not physically harm me in the process, beyond the blindness naturally induced by Ivan Basso's dazzling beauty? You have the best food and most of the best races (save the Vuelta, of course) on Earth, Italy--don't !@#$ this up and stick me with going to the Tour de France instead!

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