Devil With the Blue Kit On: yes, as you've no doubt heard, Alexander "I Heart Homologous Blood Doping" Vinokourov has announced his intention to get back to the peloton next season, specifically with Team Astana and at the Tour de France, which while it might distinctly displease Mr. Clean Lance Armstrong, ought to (1) be pretty much up to the Kazakhs who still treat the boy like a rock star, gave him a wholly wussmeister one-year ban in the first place, and, as Vino modestly pointed out, created the entire team for him, and (2) give Vino and his old Liberty Seguros teammate Alberto Contador a good chance to discuss how the hell Alberto...um, won the Tour de France last year, that's it! UCI, of course, has voiced some opposition to the idea, with Pat "Dick" McQuaid threatening to extend his ban a full additional year, which would get our decaying thirtysomething back on the bike just in time, natch, for the 2009 Vuelta. Can we all *please* just stop !@#$ing with my beautiful Vuelta and let the filth-packed Grand Boucle wallow in its own swill for once?
Let's Talk About Schlecks!: meantime, the freak show that is the I'm-still-in-mourning-so-stuff-it-buddy Frank Schleck debacle continues apace, with Bjarne "Oh, Baby, Is That !@#$ Good!" Riis expressing his surprise and disappointment at Frank's wholly believable excuse that he thought he was wiring 7000 euro to a pack of mystery do-gooder physiotherapists who planned to advise him on nice routes for training rides by telephone, though how you can cram all that plastic tubing an IV port and a bucket o' platelets, I mean a paper map, through even an old-fashioned land line truly eludes me. Um, not to point out that Riis' boys are starting to get busted more often than Tom Boonen gets caught with a straw in his nose, or to suspect that Bjarne is less than sincere about his commitment to anyone but him blowing the sponsor's budget on unauthorized substances, but with first Basso, now Frank, is anyone else starting to getting a distinctly T-Mobilian vibe from this squad?
Nacho Libre: and, with only our beloved dexters over at trustbutverify able to coherently summarize what the hell is actually happening, I see poor Floyd Landis is taking on the forces of evil at the CAS in federal district court this time, and not to be a downer here or anything, but jeez, Floyd, haven't you been reading the news lately?--under the new WADA rules this sort of outrageous protestation of innocence could get you rolled in nacho chips melted cheez-wiz jalapenos and chili, topped with sour cream, smothered in loathesome American lite beer and served to a couch full of ravenous rabid football fans during the Superbowl halftime show! Honor, shmonor--save yourself, man!
I'm Not Dead Yet!: Finally, for those of you who still care about the sport for the actual racing, and as everyone from Aussie badass Oeneone Wood to Erik Zabel crosses their last finish line, we love tenacious trash-talker Gilberto Simoni still stomps onwards, this time riding in not only the Giri d' Emilia, Piemonte and Lombardia in the coming weeks, but also more mountain bike races as well, tho' how he's going to keep up when Team Diquigiovanni's bike budget has been slashed and the boys all have to share one bike per race is beyond me:
And remember, it's only because I love you both that I didn't post that photo of him with his !@# hangin' out wearing nothin' but bike shoes again!
And, a Newsflash: yep, at least two of the doping cheating amped-up CERA-fueled dirt-weasels from the Tour de France negatives retests are busted: Riccardo Ricco's filthy little mentor Pieopoli (no surprise) and none other than winner of this year's two Tour time trials Stefan Schumacher, late of Gerolsteiner, and, since one imagines the team he just signed on with for a grotesque windfall of euros for the next two years is gonna toss him off the nearest precipice, late of Quick Step as well. Schumi, you twit--if you'd just stuck to the party drugs like the charming Boonen, you'd still be employed come January!