Tuesday, June 24, 2008

You Blow, Bjarne!

Jacked of All Trades: okay, CSC-Saxo Bank has an embarrassment of riches with boys like Carlos Sastre, baby and senior Schleck for GC, attack-happy slobbering Labrador Retriever Jens for a breakaway stage victory and general peloton destruction, Fabian Cancellara to take damn near anything he feels like and best of all general god Stuey O'Grady, but Riis, you *still* suck for hosing Bobby Julich out of his second consecutive (and at his creaky age, probably last-ever) Tour de France! Not to diss the very fine backup roster of Gustov Sorensen and Arvesen--when, after all, your very own too-young-for-diplomacy Andy Schleck helpfully pointed out, "we're not going to be the ones going back for water bottles" (obvious, but ouch, you cold little rugrat!)--but doesn't Bobby's smashing palmares, skill and experience qualify him at least for that? Aiiiiggghhhh!

In Like Flynn: As Milram builds its baby-blue leadout around Erik Zabel with Petacchi both kicked off the team and banned (and with party-boy Boonen out at the moment as well, leaving the green jersey, in my estimation, to Thor Hushovd, Thor Hushovd, or Thor Hushovd, but it's a crappy way to win it), the obnoxious yet fairly amusing Riccardo Ricco' has announced he's going to tag along with Saunier Duval for the Grand Boucle, leaving the rabid gazzetta dello sports tifosi variously going nuts with anticipation of a Ricco'-Cunego matchup and doubting that even Ricco' is ready to reach emerging Classics specialists Cunego's one-night stand with a Grand Tour win, and leaving me in a state of total misery that Iban Mayo is not leading, or least being very-gently-asked-so-he-won't-freak-out-and-have-a-major-nervous-breakdown to participate by the squad, since they fired his !@# before that weasel Pat "Dick" McQuaid even had the chance to pimp his 18th "B" sample to Bob's We Swear to Confirm Any Results You Want Us To Lab o' Horrors. Speaking of which, anyone want to hand poor Landis his (likely monstrous) verdict before, say, Contador's zipping along with a glass of champagne on the Champs-Elysees toasting his own 7th Tour win?

Happy Happy Joy Joy: and, as we-still-love-even-if-let's-face-it-it's-highly-doubtful the-boy-escaped-the-T-Mobile-drug-czars-without-an-astonishing-amount-of-illicit-crap- in-his-system Andreas Kloden gets viciously screwed yet *again* despite his dandy performance in the Tour de Suisse, and the versatile Levi Leipheimer isn't even gifted with the late-career opportunity to subsume his own achievable ambitions beneath his jailbait superior for the second year in a row, no-one could seemingly be happier over Astana's idiot ban from the Tour over some petty whining French power grab than last year's second-place finisher (yeah, you heard me) Alberto Contador, looking forward to taking his Grand Tour 3-fer with the Vuelta and "watching the Tour on TV," presumably in the same sense that he was "relaxing at the beach" before winning the Giro on two days' notice, which means anyone left to contest the Vuelta better watch out, as not only is Contador gonna crush 'em on his own merits, but if Klodi is forced to be Contador's !@#$% in 400-degree weather at the Vuelta every day for 3 weeks instead of pursuing his own goals at the rather more temperate Tour, I imagine he's gonna be extra motivated to slap around the field just out of annoyance. More, though the boy thought about bailing for another squad, Contador just couldn't let the team down (or Klodi or Levi up, apparently) when Johan'd built the team all round him. Humble, adorable, a great athlete, and charitable too--watch out Basso, you've got a rival in the teen-dream department, and this one actually seems sincere!

Can We *Please* Shut Off the Faucets Now, For !@#$'s Sake?: finally, if I wasn't happy I don't get HBO before, I sure as hell am now, as St. David Millar predictably hits the airwaves with a special that apparently delves into the irresistible pressure he was under to dope from soulless bottom-dwelling teammates and evil plotting management and how only his strong sense of morality--which totally coincidentally kicked in the second he was busted alone in a hotel room with enough drugs to stun a rampaging ox, but not before--saved him and kept him clean after the good-guy narcs thankfully brought down his career. Y'know, nuthin' against the man's surely genuine transformation from doping cheating scuzzbag to repentant red-handed ex-con, but would anyone else rather jam a !@#damn spoke in their eye than listen to this self-congratulatory !@#$%^%$#@ again? Oh, for the days of implausible (in the sense of grotesquely lying) denials and graceful withdrawal from the peloton!


Anonymous said...

RJ, I love you so don't get me wrong, but your sometimes hyphenated sometimes not nicknames are getting in the way of your often hilarious and always informative commentary. Just my opinion.

Donna said...

Yeah, what anonymous said, but I still liked it. I was so angry at ASO/Prudhomme that I was ready to boycott watching the Tour de France, my last pitiful "take that! you evil powerswollen officials" moment. But what about Slipstream Chipotle?
As for Levi/Kloden not getting their chance because of Contador, well, George, Floyd, a lot of others played second fiddle so Lance could win every year. Quit picking on Contador. You don't seem to like him. He's done a lot for a twenty-five year old, he's a good guy, his teammates like him including Levi, etc., so get over it please. No more snide asides or backhanded compliments about Alberto. Although you do it so well--- maybe one or two.

Annie said...

I was also peeved by Julich's exclusion from the Tour. I saw a sad little interview on Velonews where he said he thought his days of going to races like the Tour are over. (He's just so cute! And, yes, a good rider too; I don't like him just for the cute factor.)

Hee! And, as a big fan of Kloden, I am actually looking forward to him taking out some rage on the Vuelta pelaton. Go Kloden and Levi! I'd love to see them both on the podium at the end. (Okay, that is dreaming beyond any sense of rationality, but...go Kloden and Levi!)

(and, if we're voting, I like the long nicknames! it adds color to the commentary here.)

randie said...

i feel it necessary to put in my two cents on the nickname issue - i like it, i giggle every time there is a good one (frequently), long live the nicknames!