Monday, September 01, 2008

*Now* What're They Gonna Do With Him?

We Are the Champions: so after a crappy season, Dave Zabriskie's finally back on form and takes the US national time trial championship again, but for my money, with Levi bagging the defense of his title in favor of settling for being Contador's high-end minion, the more interesting win is that of Tyler "I Ate My Twin" (and "I Still Owe Racejunkie 15 Bucks for Her Defacing Her Tyler Hamilton Foundation Hat Pointlessly Defending My Innocence", while we're at it) Hamilton, our new national road race champ. So there he oughta be all next season, enjoying the fruits of his labors and his spiffy red-white-and-blue stripes in the European peloton along with the other lords-o'-their-nations at the Grand Tours and the classics, and what's he got instead? Well, besides the Tour of Great Britain, which miraculously he's being allowed to race, a bunch of race organizers that won't touch him *or* his ex-doper teammates *or* his egomaniacal master Michael Ball for any money, and just a really, really fashionable team kit for a consolation prize. Hope you enjoy wearing your national championship stripes at the Tour of the Ass-end of Nowhere next year, Tyler! So here's my question: do we all really mean this crap about serving your time, or is only when you serve your time admit the irrefutable rub hot peppers into your eyes fake like you feel bad about doping not about getting caught and wah your repentance like a colicky two-month-old for every camera you can find?

Babe in Arms: and, a big congrats to a thoroughly humbled and greatly motivated Ale-Jet Petacchi, whose idiot ban for an extra post-race snort of salbutamol is over and will be returning to the peloton at the Tour of Great Britain with his new gig, fellow (alleged!) dope-head Danilo DiLuca's LPR. I don't know, Shameless St. Millar Defender, if your boy's gonna ride at your home tour maybe he might want to reconsider his position on squeaky-cleanliness given how the start list's shaping up...

He's Like the Wind: well, I see the constitutionally wanky and perhaps-just-slightly-past-his-prime Robbie McEwen's been seduced away from second-class citizenship at Silence-Lotto to Russian oligarch Oleg Tinkov's reincarnated team Katusha, along with the golden-locked Filippo Pozzato, surprise Champs-Elysees winner Gert Steegmans and Vladimir Karpets, which really is starting to make the squad look formidable for next season, though how long Steegmans is going to be content playing leadout monkey for McEwen after finally bringing it on in his own right remains to be seen. Still, Robbie sounds uncharacteristically happy about the change--perhaps that'll pull him out of the doldrums for one last stellar season?

Here I Am!/Rock You Like a Hurricane!: after the dual thrills of Liquigas taking the team time trial and really-quite-an-amazing-one-day-rider-no-matter-how-you-think-he-got-there Alejandro Valverde taking the stage and briefly the maillot d'oro, I'd like to congratulate Tom Boonen on his post-image-rehab return to his Grand Tour-winning ways by nailing today's sprint at the Vuelta over new golden jersey Daniele Bennati by bringing you two reminders of just how babelicious our Tommeke really is:

Sigh. Aren't you glad he's back?

How Not To Ride: finally, in the noble interests of public service and helpful hints from heloise that I hold dear, I bring you a handy 1963 bike-safety video and a wish for safe and happy trails (and if those freakin' monkey masks give you the same shrieking nightmares I'm gonna experience tonight , my bad!):


Shameless St Millar Defender said...

I'd put Tyler and repentance up there with Floyd and repentance. Oh, did I just link the two riders who've solicited public money in their defence and therefore might face just a couple of little lawsuits should they confess? Ooops. Silly me.
Yeah ToB ummm... interesting. Though you've got to be able to do something with the fact that there LPR originally had a Maserati and a Ferrari on the start list... . I'm just impressed they somehow cajoled a team of sun-loving Italians to the UK.
And you get Cav in the US. Not that Brits are pissed off. Oh no. Fair play and all that. Jolly good old chap. He with the most sponsor money wins, what?
First time I've seen Tyler in the flesh since 2004. Do I cheer?
Would you, racejunkie? I'm honstly curious.
But I'll take a wah-wahing Millar (couldn't find Boonen-style oops-is-that-a-tan-line-below-my skirt pix. I did look) than a wide-eyed Tyler or Floyd.
Perhaps in the spirit of forgiveness I'll even wave my inhaler at Petacchi to help him face our soggy climate.
But I don't think I can cheer Tyler.

Annie said...

I'm just not understanding all the Tyler hate on the web. I was not following cycling when he was busted, so maybe missed out on having my heart broken by him. But - he tested positive, was suspended, and is done with it. Why is everyone still mad??? Who cares if he admits to anything? It's not really our business to force him into sharing his personal stories with the world.

This whole culture of "we all know everyone is doping but if you are unlucky enough to have a positive test we will hate you forever" seems...weird. I think you mentioned this in an earlier post, but if the doping police what to just make it one-strike-and-forever-suspended, then they could do that. Maybe they should put it in the rules that "you have to confess or suspended forever" also? Seems kind of dumb, but that would be a rule and people could follow it.

This current silliness of the test being so arbitrary, then people being banned for two years but kind of banned for longer, but only sometimes and only some people - it makes cycling looks incompetent.

Punish rule-breakers. But, then it is over. Done. The end. No more jr high school style "but, but, but...this one time, I really really know he did something, so now me and my friends hate him!"

Here's hoping Tyler gets to race somewhere I can see his jersey! And, until a racer with Rock Racing turns up positive (haven't seen one yet), let's get them out there in the racing world, darn it! I want to see that jersey, and I want to see Fast Freddie zooming his bike around Europe!

racejunkie said...

Shameless, I've been genuinely pondering your question for days now and still I just don't know. Was even the Tyler I so admired for tackling the vicious mountains of the Vuelta years back with the crushing weight of his body on a broken collarbone already then a narcotized fraud? Probably, but whatever else he was stoked on I can't imagine anything he could've taken for that much pain that wouldn't've knocked him out flat, so perhaps that's something. And while it's perfectly nice for dopers to man (or woman) up and all, I still fail to see the nobility of confessing because you've just been caught with an actual needle in your actual visible !@# with flashbulbs popping to immortalize it. What kind of spine does *that* take?
Of course, Tyler *does* look disconcertingly like one of my older brothers--I suppose I could be pissed at him by association for some serious childhood noogie flashbacks...

And right on Annie. Sure, half his teammates have been kicked out of the European peloton for being on the juice, but that's them-- free Fast Freddie!