Saturday, June 07, 2008

Napoleon Dynamite

The Spoils of War: as the big boys test their legs for the Tour de France at the Euskal Bizkleta and the Dauphine-Libere this weekend, and Il Piccolo Principe Damiano Cunego finally gets the chance to prove that even if he can't take another Giro he can still take out Alejandro "Did Not Either" Valverde at the Grand Boucle, ASO and UCI continue their vicious competition in the petite-dictator-trying-desperately-to-prove-his-manly-supremacy department by ASO putting their precious race under the auspices of the French Cycling Fed in a jab to the petty tyranny of the ProTour and mandating a 100k euro fine for any team-spawned doping poz and UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid going postal at the obvious prospect that the Tour he's worked so hard to clean up is gonna be a veritable hotbed of open EPO shoot-ups and an utter opium den of languid pre-race IV drips. Right, Pat, your overwhelmingly effective commitment to pure sport has been clearly proven by such zero-tolerance measures as (1) the inability of your incompetent bungling lab chimps to reliably track label and interpret a urine sample to the breathtakingly rigorous standards of a Romper Room science experiment and (2) knowingly allowing Michael Rasmussen to wear the maillot jaune at the Tour for damn near a week despite being perfectly aware the boy'd missed a huge passel of pre-race doping controls by lying about what hemisphere he was training in. You trying for a Man of the Year award from "High Times" magazine or what? Either way, allez allez dear little Sastre, and I call bull!@#$ on Moreau being jacked out of defending his title!

Contract News: and, Alessandro Petacchi's wussed out on his threat to retire if banned, as he's reportedly near to signing a deal with Team Tinkoff, which is interesting if for no other reason that team owner Tinkov is the same guy who bought a boatload of publicity for his new squad by signing half the riders linked to Op Puerto then, in shock at the discovery that they were accused of anything which any dumbass football fan would've known, fired 'em as soon as he'd milked those cows for all the cheap sleazy publicity they'd bring 'em. Anyway, glad to see those classified ads are paying off for you Ale-Jet! Danilo Di Luca, meantime, has offered up quite the shocker (though perhaps not in light of his poor Giro run hardly being a major selling point to the big boys), extending with LPR til 2011, which actually mightn't be that bad a move considering how much his ostensible support staff wiped the floor with him and half the ProTour teams in the Giro. Either way, any bets on Petacchi's late-season performance, after such a glum start to the season and a break-in period for a whole new lead-out train?

I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt, Too Sexy for My Shirt: okay, we all know that Rock Racing, despite its leadership by that intolerable egomaniac camera whore Michael Ball, has indeed some of the most bitchin' team kits to rock the peloton since Lampre's fabulous 80s pink-and-turquoise. And I know the guy's in the fashion biz, dedicated to scamming vulnerable label addicts into paying 8 grand for a pair of pre-shredded jeans. But is that any excuse for this greedy narcissistic blowhard to go around demanding $180 for a simple team jersey that's not even in its recent eye-searing acid green, particularly given their results this season (no, one win by Oscar Sevilla in Reading, despite quite admirable competition, isn't quite the team palmares of, say, Astana)? The hell with that ridiculous ripoff crap--pony up a mere $103 for the fine CSC jersey of we love Bobby Julich or the dandy new Slipstream argyle of big Maggy Backstedt or Dave Zabriskie at a wholly worthwhile 99 bucks instead!

That's Why I Wanna Be a Rock Star: finally, I see that the previously-modest Cadel Evans is ratcheting up the A-list factor, hiring a badass bodyguard for the Tour de France to swat off the swarming babe and press contingents and developing an entourage that would put P. Diddy's to shame. Holy moly, next thing you know the boy'll be unbuttoning his shirts down to his navel like Mario "the Chest" Cipollini and slurping on a little Olsen twin. Watch out Cadel, you don't want all that preteen shrieking along the roads of the Alps to drown out the instructions from your team car!

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