Thursday, October 23, 2008

God Save the King

The Emperor's New Clothes: so dreamy reformed attempted delinquent Ivan Basso's new web site is online at last, and holy moly, is this the most smashing sophisticated propaganda campaign in cycling history, I mean, has this boy got me sincerely convinced he's one miracle away from well-earned sainthood, as the page starts off with truly charming pics of the Most Adorable Family On Earth, invites you to sign on to his no-holds-barred-test-my-blood-you-doubting-vulture-meanies Mapei training page, sets up a wholly worthy and touching children's charity link, gives you the Teen Beat dish (he's a simple guy who loves to chill with his friends! His favorite food is pizza!), and writes a long and loving tribute to his wife for standing by him in his journey from heaven to hell and back (and because I trust him, I won't say he must've *seriously* been in the doghouse to put this one together, in addition to being genuinely grateful and all). Best of all, if even this didn't hook you, o vicious doubting cynics, click on "Personale", look to the right of the screen, and yes, you can still revel in a major rotating man-candy GQ photo montage that reminds you just how very, very smokin' this humble family man still is. Oh right, he also rides a bike from time to time. Geez, Ricco', you're really gonna have to step it up if you even remotely want anyone to give a rat's !@# when you come back--a buncha crappy Polaroids of you on your website smirking as you cross the finish line in triumph can't possibly compete with this pedaling Adonis!

The Tour de Contador: and, as everyone now knows and has minutely scrutinized, the 2009 Tour de France is out, with a disappointingly naturally-achievable 3 mountaintop finishes, the return of the beloved team time trial, a we-love-Carlos Sastre-friendly lack of individual miles in the discipline, and, most bitchin', a nail-biter of a penultimate day up Mont Ventoux which, while it won't allow any of the favorites to break away unwatched, will provide the cringe-inducing possibility of a spectacular GC-crushing crack among the most tired, dented, or unsupported among them (hi Cadel!). Sure, Lance won't be riding because he's afraid (1) Contador'll bushwhack him and (2) he'll taint his legacy and is now concentrating on screwing over my beautiful Giro instead--but with Valverde now rejecting his emerging status as a Classics god and proclaiming yet again his intention to disgust everyone by choking at, that is, delight everyone by winning the, Tour, can anyone doubt that finally after years of discord this often-tiresome three-week publicity stunt'll be a show worth watching, and not just for the repulsive National Enquirer scandalfest?

The Rider Formerly Known as Little Prince: okay, at his age he's not *so* very long in the tooth as to have to ditch the nickname, but thinking of the Giro next year I must say I'm almost tempted to root for Damiano Cunego, finally pulling out of his 4-year post-victory slump (shades of we-still-miss-so-bite-me Iban Mayo!) with a gorgeous threepeat in the Giro di Lombardia and, most admirably from my perspective, firmly brushing off suggestions that he's the New Paolo Bettini which, in addition to being blasphemy punishable by eternal immolation in roaring hellfire, it's a goddamn good thing he did 'cause my head's gonna explode if some numbnut journalist even thinks about repeating that stupidity again. Forza Damiano, as long as you remember where you stand in relation to (y'know, below) Il Grillo!

The CSCity of Brotherly Love: finally, so long as we're talking family loyalty here, big points to precocious soon-to-be Grand Tour winner Andy Schleck for waxing poetic on the new Tour route, particularly how he looks forward to sharing team leadership with big brother Frank next year. Say it ain't so one more time, Frank (or at least that that bastard Bjarne made you do it), and I swear, all is forgiven!

1 comment:

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