Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's the Tour de France, Baby!

Yes, another year of two-wheeled thrills, disgusting scandals and sighs-o-relief-by-the-unbusted-guilty has gone by, to the certain relief of a good half the peloton, and another 3 weeks of guts, glory, and homologous blood doping is about to begin--it's time for the Grand Boucle! However, in lieu of the traditional "Tour de France 101" I already subjected both of you to last July (and is being done with far more coherence in other forums anyway, for my money), I've decided in the spirit of sportsmanship this fine event demands to provide you with a public service this preview instead. How, you don't ask? Yep, to help you increase your odds of taking giant cash wads from cycling-unsavvy saps through your undoubtedly grossly illegal gambling activities (and I do take kickbacks), I'm gonna lay out my picks for the various categories, because since I inevitably root for losing causes, you're all but guaranteed to rake in the big bucks if you pick someone else. That said, my Tour de France picks for 2008 are:

General Classification: The Missing: well, duh--free Klodi Levi and that wee little whatsisface! The Present: Cadel's got tendonitis but is working nicely through it, new-minted Spanish champ Alejandro Valverde's on a rampage, Denis Menchov I'll never root for because through no fault of his Roberto Heras lost his Vuelta to him over some dinky overrated EPO infraction, Zubeldia and Cunego just aren't quite there yet (though I dearly hope anyone from Euskaltel Euskadi crushes everyone else in the field), any and all Schlecks. The Pick: We love dear little Carlos Sastre. Allez allez, and who gives a rat's !@# you can't time trial--isn't that what's weak in this parcours this year anyhow?

Green Jersey: The Missing: Tom "White Lines" Boonen is out over a little innocent fun (and if that won't send the poor sweet boy straight to his dealer, I can't imagine what will), Alessandro Petacchi is wheezing sadly at home, Bennati's too sore to ride. The Present: stalwart workhorse Zabel's pushing 100, surging rugrat Cavendish has no experience, Robbie "Road Rage" McEwen has the best record but'll inevitably wuss out before the mountains, plus if he insults France like he recently has Switzerland I wouldn't wonder if a local fan totally accidentally clocks him with a promotional tchotchke and he gets totally accidentally whacked into the barriers and out of the race. The Pick: we love Thor Hushovd!

King of the Mountains: The Missing: the guy who won the Tour last year, Michael Rasmussen. The Present: I can't go for Riccardo Ricco' cuz entertaining though he is, he lacks mentor Gibo Simoni's effortless gift for verbal abuse; Sanchez, who is ready to take the Vuelta but not quite the Tour; any and all Schlecks; last year's wonderboy Mauricio Soler is damn near a given. The Pick: Michael Rasmussen, to thwap arrogant twerp Ricco' off his bike on a climb from the sidelines, steal his Saunier Duval team kit, and take the classification. Short wiry Italian, pasty blond Dane--who'll notice?

The Stage Hunters: The Missing: Paolo Bettini, dreaming of Beijing. The Present: we love Jens; Sandy Casar, last taken out by a dog; Hincapie, to prove he can do it (as he clearly can) without being Armstrong's !@#$%$; any and all Schlecks; Dessel to salvage the French some much-needed dignity; we love Jens. The Pick: the literally indestructible Stuey O'Grady--wham him into the pavement, pile him under a half-dozen jagged cassettes, shove twenty cleats in his face, and run him over with a team car, no matter what major bodily organ he demolishes, the boy just keeps on ticking. Take it Stuey--you've more'n earned it!

And Finally, the Dope Fiends: The Missing: who isn't? The Present: who isn't? Fine, Millar, wah, wah, wah. The Pick: yeah, like I want Valverde suing my !@#!


Anonymous said...

If Rasmussen is the real winner of last year's TdF, then Landis is the real winner of the 2006 race. However, do we know for sure Ras would have taken the yellow? Maybe he would crashed on the TT or whatever else---He didn't finish the race! And--are you saying his amazing TT improvement was not helped by drugs? Or are you suspicious of Contador?

randie said...

i love july with all my heart, i love that you are rooting for any and all schlecks and i love jens and stuey. did i mention i loved this post?

Anonymous said...

The 2008 TDF sucks without the three-way Astana battle (Contador-Kloden-Levi), but I'll peek in from time to time any way.