Give Simoni His Giro Stage Back, Sella You Wank!: and that includes his throngs of cheering fans, masses of media, champagne and podium babes, as in further testament to the fact that doping is a thing of the dust-to-dust-ashes-to-ashes generation, 27 year old 3-fer Giro stage winner/Giro mountain goat Emanuele Sella, who dropped we love Gibo on the vicious heights of Aprica on Stage 20 of the Italian Grand Tour, tests poz for the latest EPO in a July out of competition doping test after Il Trentino, of all people, warmly complimented him on the win. Y'know, I usually deride (but also adore) Simoni for being a smack-talking crybaby, but at least he's too smart to (1) dope or (2) get caught! Man, first Ricco' (who said he "feels for" Sella, by the way), now this--what the !@#$ is this, National Screw Over Gilberto Simoni Month?
The Tifosi React: natch, regardless of the truly impressive rack-up in Italian test pozes the last few days, enraged that it's the goddamn Spaniards who get away with it every time while their poor oppressed Italian brethren hit the skids, though they do have the pride to declare themselves "nauseous," "vomiting," and "disgusted." Why don't yer boys give Valverde a call and get some pointers before they make their next hot date with an IV drip? Oh, bad racejunkie to suggest such treachery!
The Narcs Move In: ironically, the IOC, clearly a pack of cycling fanatics intimately familiar with the scandals of the last few years, has moved in on the only two Spaniards *not* linked to Operacion Puerto or any other scumsuckery: yep, 2008 Tour champ (woo hoo!) Carlos Sastre and green jersey king Oscar Freire. Um, not to suggest there's anyone else you'd be better off going after, but...
Thor-ture: so, as Team Tinkoff/whateverthehellitsgonnabecallednow proceeds to sign some of the biggest and most costly names in cycling (a far better way to "raise the profile of Russian cycling" than, say, UCI's vaunted Tour of the Communist Gulag), and the dissolving Credit Agricole's minor players already start to sign on with such outfits as Cofidis and Bouyges Telecom (big points to the first loyal, or even merely opportunistic, reader who can sincerely tell me how to properly pronounce "Bouyges"), and a certain someone significantly reduces his marketability by bailing on Beijing due to illness, a key question arises: what the hell *is* gonna happen with Thor Hushovd? With Gert Steegmans wrapping up the final day on the Champs Elysees as Boonen blows into his Kleenex at home, Quick Step with its superstar and new back-up boy seems booked; you know Lotto's gonna hose you next year with their last frantic effort to pull off a Tour win with Cadel so they're out; Columbia'd have to be freakin' insane to do anything to irk a present and future cash-cow like Cavendish; but perhaps with Petacchi off to LPR with fellow embarrassment Danilo Di Luca and even Erik Zabel's battered ol' skeleton bound to spontaneously turn to dust sometime, there's room at Milram? Whatever you do, Thor, just don't pull a Robbie McEwen and jack yourself out of the lead-out you deserve next year!
Going to the Chapel and We're/Gonna Get Ma-aa-aaried (Well, Some of Us): finally, as Lance "Hollywood" Armstrong gets ready to ride the Leadville 100 with a completely pimped mountain machine as we sorely miss Floyd Landis sits disconsolately at home, even more important news whacks the cycling world right in the works: our golden 7-time Tour winner has broken up (sob!) with celebrity lovemuffin Kate Hudson. But the real rumor of the day: Tuttobici's reporting (tantalizingly if unsurprisingly) that we still dearly miss Floyd Landis is walking down the aisle with Rock Racing for next season. Don't worry Floyd, I'm sure you can overcome even Michael Ball's boundless demands for constant worship to thrill the fans again at Rock, and Lance, no doubt there's comfort to be found in the food-deprived arms of whatever Olsen twin you've yet to snog, if being the hero of millions ain't enough for you!