Monday, December 28, 2009

2010: The Year In Preview (Yeah, You Heard Me)

Yes, dear readers, as 2009 recedes both nobly and ignominiously into history, and the peloton returns from the sunny beaches of their vacation palaces to their in-season routine of hard work, ascetic living, and CAS doping appeals, it's time to look ahead to what's coming in 2010, if for no other reason than at least this way we ain't all gonna be bushwhacked:

January: Time for team camps! Jens Voigt completely eaten by polar bear at Saxo Bank Artic survival exercise, sews self back together with emergency kit; Team Sky to fittings for new ascots; Contador locked in bare concrete room, kept awake for 823 consecutive hours in "Manchurian Candidate" brainwashing, sits smiling, glassy-eyed, as Vinokourov announces 26-year contract extension at Astana press conference.

February: it's the Amgen EPO Tour of Calif...what the !@#$ do you *mean* it's been moved to May? What kind of !@#$ing stupidity is *that*?; Cav accidentally rockets past border at Tour of Qatar finish line, detained in barbed-wire prison facility in Saudi Arabia.

March: it's the Classics, baby! Contador cries hysterically at sight of cobblestones on TV, soothed by lollipop and juice box; Stuey O'Grady run over by fully-loaded cargo train at crossing, wins Paris-Nice by using two remaining unbroken fingers to claw self over finish line.

April: it's the Hell o' the North, honey! George Hincapie flats record-breaking 234 times in 16 minutes, takes race when steals Tom Boonen's bike while latter distracted flexing muscles for swooning fans during brief stop caused by massive pile-up.

May: time for il grande Giro, baby! Ivan Basso and Franco Pellizotti injured in hotel-bathroom primping altercation, forced to withdraw; returning Riccardo Ricco' takes it, DQd when lab tests show 100% of blood has been replaced with next-generation doping product; back in US, Levi Leipheimer wins 56th consecutive Tour of California, fawning press-hungry race organizers award it to Lance Armstrong anyway.

June: time for pre-Tour doping controls! Spaniards, Samu' and Carlos excepted, banned from race in July; Boonen busted, suspended til B samples show actually *was* just amped up on Pixy Stix as protested; RadioSkank shows off expansive state-of- the-art medical bus to "treat the sniffles," lauded by UCI for service to clean cycling.

July: what else? Contador slips between cracks in 1st pave' stage, disappears; Bruyneel and Armstrong, too busy !@#$%-slapping him in press to notice, excoriate him for failing to domestique for Lance despite actually being team leader at entirely different squad; Cav loses green jersey on Champs-Elysees when, excitedly thumping chest in irritating premature victory celebration, knocks self off bike 2 meters before the line; Cadel second, *again*, til Andy Schleck mysteriously goes "missing" and Evans awarded maillot jaune by default.

August: time for post-Tour doping controls! UCI declares Floyd Landis positive for testosterone, estrogen, EPO, DHEA, coke, marijuana, amphetamines, downers, Ecstasy, LSD and Hershey's kisses even though he didn't race; WADA determines large amounts of CERA found in RadioSkank team bus really just Candy Everyone Really Adores.

September: oh, yeah, time for the Vuelta! Y'know, it's a big bike race. In Spain. That guys ride. For like three weeks. Really. Samuel Sanchez just won it. Y'know, a bike rider. He's with Euskaltel. A bike squad. Really. No, not RadioShack. They dress in orange, they're Basque, they're paid by their sponsor to ride togeth...

October: it's the World Championships, baby! Oscar Freire takes 4th and final Worlds despite crazed fan attack with Nerf darts; Marianne Vos takes road, 'cross, time trial, unicycle, those little trikes ridden by circus clowns, keirin and velocipede.

November: vacation time again! Alejandro Valverde to undisclosed location with crack medical squad he swears are just "good friends"; women's peloton to unregulated Chinese coal mine with no ventilators, bathroom breaks for better wages, working conditions; Klodi, Popo to local beauty school to improve manicure/pedicure skills on orders of Armstrong.

December: team rosters announced! RadioSkank buys every male cyclist on earth, Contador forced to make do with coupla kids he finds riding Huffys down the street from his house; Mark Cavendish forms own team with teeth-bleaching sponsor, whole squad sent to cosmetic dental retreat for redo, accidentally chews up entire team stock of new carbon frames when new caps take on minds of their own.

Well, folks, that's my look ahead for 2010--please, some of you, prove me wrong!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Yes, Peloton, There *Is* A Santa Claus (Or Whoever Schleps You Gifts This Time o' Year)

Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, or (and you know who they are) violent ritualistic devil-worshipping--whatever our boys'n'girls in the peloton celebrate, it's time for plenty of folks' year-end orgy of gift-giving and, even better, receiving (oh, give me a break, like you don't think so, too!), and, in the spirit of love, selflessness, and charity that informs the season, and indeed all our saintly hearts, I hereby beg Santa, la Befana, and any other loot-distributing powers-that-be on behalf all those in cycling we so adore:

Alberto Contador: let's be honest--love 'im or hate 'im, and despite his truly awesome talent, our wee little charmer ain't exactly the sharpest knife in the block. And if he's gonna survive even a season with that wily wingnut Vinokourov, not to mention certain forces outside his own squad, he's gonna need help. To paraphrase the Wizard of Oz, if he only had a brain--Santa, baby, help this boy!

Lampre: Frankly, team kits like this are why blockhead grunting American wunkheads of dubious manhood are too afraid to even consider watching this sport. And as a result, American TV coverage of our beloved cycling, to be blunt, blows. Turquoise--out! Hot pink--out! Studly unmockable red, white, and blue--in! WTF is this, a Disney princess convention?

Tom Boonen: I have noticed of late that our rakish sprint king is...easily distracted, one might say, at the clubs. Particularly by cocktails with pretty paper umbrellas, desperate and obsequious hangers-on, and white powder on pocket mirrors. And we all know what happens when he starts with *that* !@#$. Ergo, a healthy, wholesome, home party kit is in order for our potentially wayward child. Who wouldn't have just as much with pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, a pinata stuffed with candy treats, and a nice game of Pictionary to play with your pals? Fruit punch and cupcakes all 'round for Tommeke! !@#dammit you soulless enabler, put that flask back in your pocket, you think this is freakin' junior prom or something?

Andreas Kloden: now, as a lady I can only posit, but I imagine a gent can only get kicked in the !@#$% by Johan Bruyneel so much before it really, really starts to hurt. A Kevlar codpiece for our underappreciated hero--now go for a race of your own, Klodi!

Alexander Vinokourov: ah, what do you get a guy who has (and has taken) it all? No, not coal in his stocking, tho' for sure he's been more naughty than nice--give him an invite to the Tour! Heck, he can't defile it worse than half the guys already in it, right?

Jeannie Longo: she's been French national champion since most of us were in diapers. Can you *please* just lend her to the men's peloton for a coupla weeks so the French can win *something*? Of course, that's more of a present to the Tour de France organizers than to Jeannie, but even they deserve a little kindness now and then, right?

George Hincapie: 2nd once. Felled by an extraordinary freak mechanical 45k from the line another year. And now, my wish is that our fine elder statesman gets his race. Paris-Roubaix. Come on, hasn't this poor guy suffered enough?

Floyd Landis: this is completely pathetic, but he said he'd read my blog, which means either (1) he's a gentleman for lying; or (2) he's even more of a gentleman for not sucker-punching my teeth out. No matter what the hell you think happened, or didn't, in 2006, bring this boy a ProTour contract--heck, even a Pro-Continental squad with some half-decent invites'll do!

Samuel Sanchez: okay, I'll cop to it: Samu's Tour win, while still inevitable, may--may--take a wee bit longer than anticipated as Lance, Alberto, and baby Schleck slug it out next year. But that oily snake Valverde beating his !@# in Spain simply by not falling over and keeping the hell out of Italy for three weeks? Bring Samu' the Vuelta!

Ivan Basso: all right, he damn near tanked this season--he's clean. Er. So let 'im take some results at the Giro this time--why play that lying "co-captain" !@#$ with Pellizotti all season when you can just whack him into submission right in May, especially when you're just as pretty as he is?

Danilo DiLuca: y'know, it's almost enough to make you miss the sheer tact and elegance of traditional cycling omerta--not to protect especially incompetent weaselry, but there has *got* to be a middle ground nowadays between doping yourself til it pours out of the vent holes in your helmet, and showing up apres-race with the testosterone level of Hello Kitty. If you can't buy that guy a conscience, for the love of Mike, at least give that boy a better doctor!

Thor Hushovd: the green jersey, baby!--like he even *needs* help, but can't hurt to ask. I mean, anyone even seen Cav in the mountains last season?

UCI: you openly coddle sneak-skanks you favor, go for blood against any poor sucker who dares to challenge you, turn a blind eye to wholly inconvenient problems, and crow incessantly over dubious triumphs. UCI, I ask for you the gift of dignity. You need it!

Lance Armstrong: it must get awfully tiring ruling your team with an iron fist, receiving constant unquestioning adulation by the American press, watching race organizers worldwide stampede to obtain your glorious presence, and having the world slavishly agree with you as you wank unrelentingly about the only guy you've ever ridden with who's ever tried to get his own results while on your squad then oinkishly ignore him at the podium. Clearly, a much-needed gift is order--yep, the precious gift of obscurity. Oh, leave this beleaguered boy *alone* next season!

Well folks, I know there's so much more we ought to give, but given time, space, and your generous tolerance limitations, them's my big ones for this year. Merry Whatever to all--and for !@#$'s sake, riders, how about putting a little fair play in *our* loyal stockings this year?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The 2009 Racejunkie Awards

Yes folks, it's awards season, and as everyone else showers manna on such trivial non-entities as actors, musicians, and planet-saving Nobel Prize winners, it's time for us here at racejunkie to bestow our own rump-kissing accolades on the people who really matter in this world, professional cyclists. Peace, schmeace--does any of that really compare to some pig-raised clown jerking a fair-play compatriot off his bike in the last 100 meters of a sprint? No! Ergo, this year's Incredibly Prestigious Racejunkie Awards:

Punk-!@# Play o' the Year: yep, as noted above, it's damn hard imagining anyone being a nastier troll at the line than Robbie "Head-Butt" McEwen, but Theo Bos, this one's for you. Sure, it's awful unpleasant being crowded over towards the barriers--but tell me again why the wholly uninvolved Daryl Impey deserved a dog-leash yank on his collar two cracked vertebrae and a chipped tooth over it?

I Call Bull!@#$ Award of 2009: as UCI joyfully crowed from every rooftop, no-one, *no-one* tested poz for banned substances at this year's Tour de France. Yet, buckets of these superior athletes apparently suffered from such a crippling surfeit of maladies that they required enough medical equipment to stuff half of Europe's emergency rooms in a single, coincidentally contemporaneous three-week period. And wads of weasels tested poz before and after. Heck, I'm buying it--anyone got a bridge in Brooklyn they want to sell?

Pot Calling the Kettle Black Award: yep, you guessed it! Lance Armstrong, who took 7 years to even reward one of his loyal lieutenants with a single lousy stage win and screamed like a nipple-deprived infant the second any one of 'em dared to have any ambitions whatsoever for themselves anytime anywhere ever, righteously lecturing the now-superior Alberto Contador that "there is no "I" in team." Damn, with Lance, the domestiques were lucky there was an "i" in "You're my b!@#h!" No doubt, Contador's an arrogant selfish punk, but at least he's got time to learn--why'd it take you 15 years?

Shameless Tug o' the Heartstrings Prize: to Tom Boonen, once just another big handsome party-boy sprint jerk-doofus, then charmingly redeemed by his fall and subsequent low-key rise from total disgrace. Aw, look at 'im blush in embarassment as he cowers before the press yet again--*so* cute!

Teflon Don Award o' 2009: you gotta hand it to him, or at least his b-b-bad to the bone legal team--no matter what you throw, nothing' sticks. Yep, Alejandro Valverde's still riding. What's more, he even pulled off a Grand Tour before the Spaniards definitely declared they're protecting his !@#. Unbe!@#damnlievable!

Every Breath You Take/Every Move You Make Prize: now, I don't know how the hell you say "stalker" in Kazakh--but I bet you Vino does. I told you to listen to the lyrics Alberto--that ain't no love song he's singin'!

Don't Stand So/Don't Stand So/Don't Stand So Close to Me Award: ergo, this one's for his far weaker (and certainly less, well, brainiac) quarry, Contador. Y'know those horrid scenes in nature shows where some fluffy helpless bunny is being pursued by some starving snarling wolf, and they pull back the camera just as it closes in on its prey to a blur of kicked-up snow or foliage? Yeah, well, welcome to team camp, Alberto!

The Would Someone Pay Attention to the Fabulous Samuel Sanchez? Award: yes, fellow rocket scientists, this one's for Samu' "Holy Crap He's the Olympic Gold Medalist!" Sanchez, leader of climbing lords Euskaltel and, like anyone noticed, a podium finisher at the smashing damn-near-perfect Vuelta. Am I the only one watching cycling this season?

Crash o' the Year: alas, this one's for Pedro Horrillo's incredible plunge down the Rock-Strewn Valley of Imminent Bone-Crushing Death, which, about an hour and 400 rescue workers later, he miraculously survived. Even better, he apparently doesn't remember a thing except the massive injuries he woke up to--and our brave boy *still* intends to get back on the bike. Ride safe next season Pedro--you've earned it!

Oh, Sweet Mystery of Life/At Last I've Found You Award: Klodi. You've podiumed at the Grand Tours again and again. What's more, you are so clearly physically capable of winning one of these suckers in your own right. So *why* are you *so* happy--I'm talkin' milch-cow-chewing-her-cud-in-a-sun-dappled-field happy--being Lance's, Alberto's, and damn near everyone else's freakin' step-stool? Aiiiggggghhhhhhhh!

Sprinter o' the Year: okay, we all know it's Tyler Farrar next season. But this year--much as I'd rather give this to Thor, Tom, or even that back-from-the-doldrums former preener Petacchi--Mark Cavendish was absolutely unbeatable in the last 100 meters from the line. Flash those pearly whites for the cameras, Cav--you actually earned your ego!

Guilty Pleasure of 2009: He's back. And he's winning. And as my filthy hypocrite heart warms, I am so very, very, very ashamed at how deliciously dirty I feel. Oh yeah, baby--Alexander Vinokourov is in the house. Someone retrieve my lost morality, stat!

The Mario "the Chest" Cipollini Memorial Studpuppy Prize: to Pippo Pozzato for his recent Playboy interview and slinky foto spread, which, while not quite featuring him wearing only a come-hither pout and some hairspray, *does* have him posing in a fedora and tux tearing suggestively into some sort of pastry. What's more, he answers only to God. Che bel ragazzo, indeed!

The Jeez Louise, What's *Next* for This Poor Bastid Award: sure, his neck and back tend to freeze in place for half a season, he crashes in crap races before he even gets to the ones he's training for, and the occasional saddle-sore the size of Lake Ontario threatens to devour his--career, but being shot at the Tour by a freakin' pellet gun? Karma, give this boy a break already!

Know When to Hold 'Em, Know When to Fold 'Em Prize: okay, it still extremely sucks--but retiring road warrior Kristin Armstrong sure knows how to go out on top. Yep, she's the World Champion in the time trial, and frankly, she always, always will be. All hail the Queen!

Climber o' the Year: well, it *should* have been we love Gilberto Simoni (shut up!), or Andy Schleck, or heck even Menchov for his sheer tenacity in the Giro, but I gotta say, that wiry little sonofagun has earned it. Just pay a little more attention next year, Contador!

Discretion is the Better Part of Valor Award: jeez, this kid's racking 'em up left and right, but I got to give it to that annoying twerp Contador, he could've gone off on Lance to the press at any time during the Tour, and he didn't. Of course, two days later he was acting like one of those heinous shrieking alpha-bimbos from "Heathers," but who can blame him?

Reality Bites Prize o' 2009: it took him, oh, 5 years, but you gotta give him a shout-out for honesty: yep, Damiano Cunego finally acknowledged what even his tifosi have know for years, he's a Classics man. Now grovel on your knees for Simoni's forgiveness, you backstabber!

And Last But Not Least, the Class-Act Play o' the Year: like Tiger's mistress complaining to the press about him having other mistresses, but even classier: who else but Lance Armstrong openly snubbing 2009 Tour de France winner (did I mention, Lance, that he was the 2009 Tour de France winner?) Alberto Contador on the podium. Damn, Lance, we all know (and quite respect) that you're the best Tour rider in history and inarguably one of the great cyclists of all time, and you *did* just return from a two-year retirement and ride incredibly well to boot--incapable of good sportsmanship, much?

Well, dear reader(s), them's mine for this year--if there's anything I (1) missed or (2) colossally woofed, I'm sure I'll hear it from the "Lance is a Golden God You Ignorant Tasteless Ungrateful Skank" crowd. But awardees, by my measure you've all earned your prize--enjoy, and Boonen, don't celebrate *too* much, you hear?

Monday, December 07, 2009

The 2009 Year in Review

Sure, there's actually 3 weeks left in 2009, but aside from Johan and Lance wanking about Alberto Contador *again* like The Sorest !#@$ing Losers In All of Human History, what's really gonna happen between now and then? Ha, *now* some poor bastard's cursed! Anyhoo, it's time to say a fond farewell to the champions, the unsung, and the flat-out dirtbags that made us cherish this fine sport in 2009, so, without further ado, I bring you:

January: Sprint god Erik Zabel really retires at age 86; Johan sez Lance can win the Tour, sweetly dim Contador stays with squad; Rock Racing broke, dirty, but oh-so-chic; Robbie "Head-Butt" McEwen accuses Graeme Brown of unfair sprint at Tour Down Under, chews off Daniele Bennati's ear 20 meters from line in next day's stage.

February: Tom Boonen hospitalized for sand inhalation after accidentally mistakes desert for huge pile of blow at Tour of Qatar; Dumbest Thieves Ever steal Lance's Extremely Noticeable Ride; we love Levi !@#$ed over for Tour de--um, wins Tour of California as usual; scum-sucking skank-weasels steal we love Dave Zabriskie's action figures. What next, his sippy cup?

March: Time for the Classics, baby! Contador wins stage at Paris-Nice, Johan classily slags in the press; Lance snaps collarbone, world financial markets collapse, Contador pops champagne; Thor 'n' Tom take Omloop and Kuurne. Stuff it, Cavendish!

April: Italians bust Alejandro Valverde, sure beats prosecutin' their own guys; Tyler forced to retire, again; grande dame Rebellin a total damn doping disgrace; Tom takes Roubaix; French narcs bust Lance, testing etiquette violation? Quelle horreur!

May: what else? It's the beautiful Giro, honey! Italians emasculate mountains stages for the One; Danilo rides creepily well; disgraced cheat Bernard Kohl thanks UCI for The Greatest Doping Guidelines Ev--I mean, the Biological Passport; shut up, Klodi is so too innocent!

June: Menchov wraps up Giro; Lance "Pinocchio" Armstrong sez he'll race for Contador "with pleasure" at Tour; Michael Jackson dies (shut up! is so too relevant!); Piti's out and Sniffy's in for July. Allez allez Tommeke, you scalawag!

July: how many bitchy remarks can dance on the head of a pin? Bruyneel, Armstrong excoriate Contador for winning; Klodi and Levi !@#$#ed *again*; Cadel who?; Jens crashes out, vows return; yep, the French *still* suck. Don't worry boys, there's always next year! Well, probably not next year. But maybe the next one. Um... well, 2050's not such a bad goal to set, right?

August: no post-Tour doping pozes, because the race is 100% clean; Paul Sherwen whacked upside head by flying pig; Levi seals doom with RadioSkank; Samuel Sanchez is a god. Woo-hoo Euskaltel!

September: bodies fly at Vuelta; holy crap Cadel Evans is the new world champion!; women's peloton gets podium babes at last in Vegas; we-still-love-so-go-to-hell Iban Mayo officially retires; some punk-!@# Spanish dope fiend barely beats far superior Sanchez. Just wait til next year Valverde!

October: 2010 Tour route announced; crazed-yet-wily Vinokourov stalks his pretty Spanish prey; suspicious medical waste found in Tour team garbage bags, squads protest it was all from last ye--um, their total innocence; French humiliated *again* as BBox & Cofidis are booted from the Pro Tour big time. Geez, they're the gift that keeps on giving this year, ain't they?

November: Shotgun wedding!--Vino snags his one true love, Contador professes happiness at Kazakh-goon gunpoint; nouveau cleanster Basso vows 2010 triumph; Landis coy about new, Euro-friendly home. Oh, come *on*, UCI--look who *else* you hypocrites let ride in the big show!

December: Astana jacks Pereiro; Johan nut-knees Alberto, *again*; Lance concedes past dramatics, but sez he really does hate Contador; Head-Butt dreams of Worlds; Schlecks on track for total world domination. Who doesn't love Schlecks?

Well folks, them's the big stuff as I recall it--and with the exception of whatever disgusting scandal's damn near guaranteed to whack us in the next 20-odd days of 2009, onwards to 2010!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thank You, World o' Cycling!

Yes, folks, as we celebrate this fourth Thursday in November the Native Americans' generous rescue of the Pilgrims from starvation, and the Pilgrims' even more generous thank-you of population-decimating pestilence and racist genocide, by gorging ourselves into L-tryptophan stupors, engaging in internecine warfare with those wingnut relatives we otherwise manage to avoid all year, watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in the fervent if secret hope that the Spongebob Squarepants balloon breaks free of its tethers and squashes half of Fifth Avenue, and lumping on the couch while giant overpaid neckless lunkheads pound each other into Astroturf, it's time we here at racejunkie give sincere and heartfelt thanks for the many wonderful things cycling has brought to us all this year, namely:

1. Alexander Vinokourov. Crazed? Yep. Disreputable? Hell yeah! But one thing you can always count on with Vino, besides his having a permanent IV port installed in his !@#, is--from his total lack of remorse, to his forcible restraint of dimmer child Alberto Contador--entertainment. Come on, was it half so much fun when that wah-wah snivel-baby David Millar came back from *his* doping ban?

2. The Return of Lance Armstrong. No, I'm serious: because what else was there for the media to cover at the Tour de France this year except BEN !@#$ING STILLER SITTING ON LANCE'S BIKE FOR TEN SECONDS? I'm grateful. Truly. Damn, and we wonder why the French are so whiny?

3. Stuey O'Grady and Jens Voigt. Run 'em over with buses, toss 'em off a mountainside, immolate 'em with a blowtorch and stampede 'em with wildebeests--you *know* these boys are gonna bounce right back and, what's more, still finish the stage. Yap, I snapped my collarbone, yap--come back to us when you've *really* hurt yerself, ya weenie!

4. Holy crap we love Samuel Sanchez is still the Olympic gold medalist!

5. Alberto Contador. Those long-lashed, doe-like eyes. That flashing smile. And such a matchless sense of entitlement melded with such an overweening lack of common sense as to make one swoon. Oh, Alberto, make that pistol-shot gesture just one more time, for me!

6. My Faithful Reader(s). Who else would slag me in all-caps all July for being a talentless Lance-ignorant know-nothing moron, generally excoriate me as a humor-impaired dirt-dumb twit, forgive my indefensible indulgence of (wholly innocent and egregiously railroaded) dopers I favor, provoke such lively debate over tactics and team rosters, or gush so eloquently over certain monster-talented and totally coincidentally man-candian sprinters? Haters (and I do treasure you), thy name is Anonymous!

7. The Return of the Disgraced Italians. Because without Di Luca, Ricco', and Sella in the peloton, how else are you gonna get through some boring-ass 6-hour mountain stage in 1.5 hours flat?

8. Tom Boonen. His DS said go to rehab, and he said yes, yes, yes. God love 'im, the boy hasn't drunk himself into a blackout snorted a pound of coke publicly hoed on his girlfriend and wrapped his Lamborghini around a road sign in months. We're all *so* proud of you, Tom!

9. Cav. Oh, those teeth. Those quads. That attitude. And of course, the fact that Thor Hushovd can *still* crush his sorry rump in a sprint. Just keep on braggin', honey!

10. Last but Not Least, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Gods. Just gods. On your knees before them, peon!

Well, them's the big ones for me, folks--I'm sure for all of us this precious holiday season, the list o' gratitude towards this glorious cesspool of a soap-opera-on-wheels goes on and on. Happy Thanksgiving to all--and don't forget the 2010 Tour when you're breakin' that wishbone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Back Away From the 'Skank, Son!

Don't Do It,Floyd!: okay, the thought of you on some half-!@#$% Continental squad that's gonna be clawing desperately at the barriers just outside the sign-in areas at any European race worth watching while the paranoiac race organizers beat your hands off the things with bike pumps makes me feel a little unwell. And prospect of seeing you under the thumb of that poseur clotheshorse publicity slut-weasel Michael Ball at Rock Racing makes me downright queasy. But the possibility of you going to Levi'n'Klodi !@#$%-Slapped Chamois-Washer Bike-Cleat-Licker Purgatory in the service of the One at RadioSkank makes me actively want to yack. Don't do it Floyd--what's the point of going back to Europe if Armstrong's just gonna make you his towel boy? Aw, come on Vaughters, take a chance--I know they hate 'im and they'll be pissed if you hire 'im, but it's not like the French hold a grudge against the *teams*, right--how the hell else would, say, Rabobank, or 90% of the rest of those enabler clowns still be in there year after year?

Don't Do It, Ivan!: okay, I'll cop to it: after a whole season watching St. Ivan of Varese not win, my disgust over his earlier omnipresent smirk-o-superiority and relentless smarmy image rehab blitzkrieg is starting to be replaced with a sneaking, if still highly tenuous, suspicion that he might not actually be on back on the juice. At the moment. In which case, the comely comeback boy is in serious danger of engendering my sympathy--tho' of course, a groveling, weeping prostration of a public apology to the great Gilberto Simoni would go a long way towards helping this. So in the interest of optimism, fairness, and a faith which will surely be viciously nut-kneed out of existence *again*, I humbly plead, don't do it Ivan--stay the hell away from that arrogant jailbait's entreaties to join him at Astana in 2011! Why? First, if you want to win the Tour, as you've only just said you do, and you go with Alberto, that's *over*--the babe's made it perfectly clear that he's only taken the Giro and Vuelta as crap consolation prizes on the path to !@#-snapping Armstrong with his next (6) maillot jaune(s) in Paris. Second, all due respect to the child, but you really think that even if you agree to go for another Giro or Vuelta instead in exchange for your service at the Tour, he won't hesitate to decimate your own domestique firepower for his own princely needs? Ya can't spend that much time with Armstrong and not learn to treat your teammates like serfs, honey! Third, given Franco of the Euromullet's results last year, and his stated ambition to take the Tour himself, if you don't beat down Pellizotti within the first few races this year, you can count yourself out of Liquigas as well, so you might as well scratch both these gigs off your list. don't look like Contador's going to Quick Step...or maybe you can just bide your time and Lance'll order Johan Bruyneel to take you back when the his legs finally give out at RadioSkank?

Do It, Iban!: First, shut the hell up. I'm still in deep denial and I have every intention, no matter how many opiates it takes, of staying that way. But it does bring me great pleasure to note that the beautiful Vuelta may be returning to the Basque country for the first time in many years. What does this have to do with we love Iban Mayo, last reported to be starting a restaurant or something, you don't care enough to ask? Because it's the perfect opportunity for our jacked-over hero (shut up! is too!) to make a body-crushing Hinaultesque flying tackle on to every witch-hunting bottom-suckin' Z-sample-scrounging UCI official there (all two pounds of him, but I digress) and pound their weasel indiscriminate iron-maiden-wielding Inquisition !@#es into the pavement 'til they're unrecognizable blubbering pulp. Go Iban--heck, you're off the bike, a little upper-body bulking-up at the ol' boxing ring between now and next September can't hurt!

Friday, November 06, 2009

My Fantasy Team Astana Press Conference (Part Deux!)

Alberto Contador: Good morning. I'm here today to formally announce that my honor, dignity and integrity do have an actual exact price tag, and it's 12 million bucks, an out clause letting me bail if any of those incompetent Kazakhs !@#$ up their doping regime, and Alexander Vinokourov's personal guarantee that he won't show up in July and hog all the press coverage that rightly, and alone, belongs to me. HEY, WHAT'RE YOU LOOKIN' AT HIM FOR? DIDN'T I JUST TELL YOU ALL THE PRESS COVERAGE BELONGS TO ME? Anyway. First, I'd like to thank my moronothon brother and my other dimwit handlers for getting me into this !@#$ing inescapable nightmare, and, as a token of my affection, hereby put a bounty on their heads of one full season's salary for riding in this miserable gulag. Second, I'd like to note my violent hatred of Vino for all eternity for the egregious crimes of honoring a contract I entered into knowingly and voluntarily with someone else entirely and then modifying it completely in my favor, hiring a bunch of major talents at incredibly monstrous expense for the sole purpose of providing me total unquestioning superior service, and paying me more money than most of Europe's GDP to ride my bike be surrounded by adoring throngs and retire a legend, a god, and a gazillionaire by age 32. Third, I'd like to express my appreciation to Johan Bruyneel not only for refusing to let me out of my contract when he knew perfectly well he intended to hose me, but also for treating me like an unwanted disease of the intimate areas while I freakin' WON HIM ANOTHER TOUR DE FRANCE. Finally, in the spirit of comity and good sportsmanship which we all hold so dear, I'd like to extend an olive branch to my boyhood hero Lance Armstrong, which I plan to present to him in his spokes on a downhill switchback at 80 kph in the queen stage of next year's Tour. Vino?

Alexander Vinokourov: Thank you, Alberto. It's really a joy to learn that your moral objection to some of the most egregious doping violations since the Spaniards' can be swayed by a mere fraction of one of our sponsor's daily budget for armored limousines rotgut vodka black-market weaponry and high-class prostitutes. Nothing could bring me more pleasure than the prospect of catering to your every whining whim every day for the next four years only to be publicly dope-slapped and vilified on an ongoing basis in return. I not only look forward to riding with you as a mentor, but also as the kind of colleague who really, really needs to know precisely how you managed to make it out of Manolo Saiz's mystery-skin-patch-factory at Liberty Seguros and--not that I'm suggesting anything--to this point without getting busted. Last but not least, I too would like to extend an olive branch to my great and dear friends, the hypocrite enabler scumweasels who so randomly target the disfavored and wantonly slobber over their beloveds at UCI. Enjoy watching your golden boy race in a jersey with my face plastered on it in 2010, suckers!

Kazakh Business Consortium: We'll now open it up to questions from the cycling press. What do you mean "is he really happy to be here?" How dare you insult our great nation and its unimpeachable cycling supremacy you ignorant bourgeois dog-pig?! I'M GONNA SINK YOUR FEET INTO CONCRETE BREAK YOUR WEAKLING WESTERNER KNEECAPS AND THROW YOU INTO THE IRTYSH RIVER YOU !@#$ING !@#$! (conference breaks up amid sounds of running and chairs splintering)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don't Cry For Me Team Astana/ And, A Holy Crap Cadel Update!

The Truth Is, I !@#$in' Hate You: so Machiavellian Lance Armstrong Shepherd Supremo Johan Bruyneel has opened up on Lance, Astana, Vino, Kashechkin, and Contador, and guess who he despises?! Yep, you win! Aside from the predictable harrumphs that the Kazakhs are psychos, Vino's a dirty Frankenstein, and Kashechkin his filthy disgusting Igor, comes the acknowledgment that of course Alberto was riding better than The One and deserved to win at the Tour de France--ergo, why *wouldn't* he completely screw Alberto and back Armstrong instead? Seems reasonable to me Johan! The problem: Alberto, apparently, kept trying to think for himself. Now, I gotta admit some sympathy here for Bruyneel, because as we've all seen time and time again, Contador thinking for himself *can* be both wince-inducing and terrifying. However, with Johan and half the team hell-bent on undermining him, can anyone really blame the child for taking the initiative to protect himself at the Tour? Anyhoo, Johan's free, he can take comfort in the fact that he and Lance have, like all rich gourmands, bought up all the best confections and left peasant Contador with the five-second-rule ground-dwelling leftovers, and he'll never, God forbid, have to deal with some loser who's only won a Giro a Vuelta and two Tours when he's barely out of diapers again. Oh Klodi, oh Levi--how can you *stand* it?!

Aaaaaaaahhhhh/Love to Love You Baby/Aaaaaaaahhhhh: while on we're on the topic of Contador, it looks like, despite earlier reports to the contrary, he still can't shed his Fatal Attraction bunny-boiling stalker one-night stand Astana, which sez it's cleaned up its little paperwork snafu and is all set to take Alberto out for a whole nother season on the town. Contador, meantime, remains both desperate and coy, but at least has put a timeline on resolving this freakin' nightmare at a fortnight at most. Honey, didn't your momma ever tell you, you better shop around before you commit like this so young?

And Speaking of Tour Winners: yep, after UCI handed the Chicken's Tour win right over to Contador when word got out that they knew perfectly well he'd missed a whole bunch of pre-Tour doping controls and they still allowed him to ride anyway, everyone's favorite time-trial train-wreck Michael Rasmussen is about to come back to the Grand Tours with a new squad, and boy, has UCI got some explaining to do if they pull that hypocrite enabler pro-doper bullhockey again. Meantime, I'm thinkin' that, assuming those total cleansters Rabobank won't take him back with open arms, an Italian squad might make a nice, if unconventional, choice. Hell, it's not like they don't take folks with little, um, indiscretions, right Basso, Di Luca, Piepoli, Ricco',...?

Bridezilla Alert!: finally, everbridesmaid Cadel "Holy Crap He's the New World Champ!" Evans has once and for all called bull!@#$ on this also-ran bizness, saying he's tired of being stuck in the ugly unflattering poof dress while some other jerk gets to wear the tiara the sparkly white gown and the cinderella shoes in Paris, and from now on, is no longer taking "at least you got the podium" for an answer. Y'know, if Vino can't pull off the domestiques even Alberto occasionally needs to keep him safe from baby Schleck or at least to keep him from being totally blasted out the back in the flats, *and* even Lance's awesomely scumlordly purchasing power can't make up for aging (if, to be fair, still formidable) legs, *and* Whatever-The-!@##$-It-Is-Now-Lotto doesn't lose half its morons to dimwit amateur doping pozes, *and* pigs fly *and* UCI and AFLD make up *and* the Good Witch of the North and unicorns and magic dragons are real, he might just have a shot. Go Aussies!

Smart Boy, Cadel!: my goodness, that dopus little Contador could really take some lessons from his more-experienced if still Grand-Tourless elder, 'cause Cadel's just amicably parted ways with Silence "How Many Crucial Domestiques Can Test Poz In a Single Season?" Lotto and is shopping for a squad that can give him the backing he needs to take the final maillot jaune in Paris. Garmin or Caisse? Still waiting on Contador. Quick Step? Still built around the sprints, but possible. Katusha? Sky? Hmmm...who else has got the dough...any predictions? Ah well--at least we know it ain't RadioSkank!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ding Ding Ding! We Have a Winner!

And By Unanimous TKO, It's Alberto "Freebird!" Contador!: yes folks, thanks to Alexander "Do I Look Like a !@#$ing Accountant?" Vinokourov's spectacular failure to get Team Astana's paperwork in on time, our wee little hero's apparently free under some sweet UCI rules to hit the road for another squad if he signs on the dotted line before Vino gets their balance sheet in, and if it weren't for the fact that I want the wholly underestimated Luis Leon Sanchez to take over for that dirtbag Valverde after his inevitable (1) July meltdown or (2) worldwide ban, I'd be rooting like heck for Caisse d'Epargne to take him, plus no matter what the sporting Tom Boonen sez about how neato it'd be to have Alberto on the team, he can forget about them ponying up for a lead-out next season if his team bags a pinup GC contender, so I suppose Quick Step's not on my hot list either. Which leaves us with Garmin, and that'd be just fine with me. But if you don't like them, Alberto, I'm sure Lance'll take you at RadioSkank if you ask nicely, right?

Very Superstitious/Writing's On the Wall: meantime, there's speculation from the AP that--*gasp*--the French narcs' alleged probe into unusual medical equipment being used by the squads at the 2009 Tour de France is "highly suspicious"--at least when it comes to The One's Team Astana. Why? Because those damn snail-eatin' wine-snortin' foulard-draped wuss-puppies DON'T LIKE LANCE! and worse, they DON'T LIKE UCI, WHO RAN A 100% DRUG-FREE TOUR THIS YEAR! And there are LOTS OF REASONS FOR INCREDIBLY HEALTHY ATHLETES TO USE SYRINGES. And THEY WERE PROBABLY PLANTED ANYWAY. And besides, DID WE MENTION THEY'RE FRENCH? Next up: English antidoping authorities' new efforts to clean up the peloton tossed because WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SISSY 'BERGAMOT' !@#$ THEY PUT IN THAT SISSY 'EARL GREY' TEA and CAN YOU BELIEVE THoSE NAMBY-PAMBIES EAT SOMETHING CALLED 'CRUMPETS'?! Well, at least the Spaniards seem to like ol' Lancypants just fine--does that mean all their jacked-up riders get a pass now?

Victory Is Mine!: and, in giant karmic payback for having the insane whim to schedule the Tour of California at the same time as the perfect Giro d'Italia, thereby guaranteeing it'll be stripped buck-nekkid of anyone worth watching from the European squads, Lance has announced that he'll be skipping the Giro this year to support Levi for his 4th win at the ToC. Woo-hoo, I've got my Giro back, and go Levi--after all, it's not like you-know-who's gonna let you go for the podium at the TdF you so clearly deserve!

Welcome Back, Doper: finally, it's a warm welcome back to the peloton for irritating egomaniac/multiple stage-stealing cheat-scum Riccardo Ricco', who between his (relatively) new bambino and endless calculated, I mean entirely sincere, woe-is-me-(that-I-got-caught) groveling has managed to charm UCI into taking him back into the fold early enough to score him a spot at the Giro with Ceramica. Heck, it's not like, say, Di Luca is any worse!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Oh, Get *On* With It, You Sissies!

Got Spine?: Look, UCI, we *know* you really, really, really don't want to give Alexander Vinokourov, who ranks right up there with your ol' pals Floyd Landis and Jan Ullrich on your Immolate In Flaming Hell for All Eternity podium, a ProTour license. And we *understand* you really, really, really want to set the doe-eyed sigh-inducing ginormous cash-cow of a sylph that is Alberto Contador free to go to a squad you like to continue to grab the incredible results that would bring this sport back to the heights of the Armstrong glory days and justify your increasingly irrelevant and irksome existence. But aside from the understandable conundrum that if I were you schmucks I couldn't look at myself in the mirror if I denied the team a license for the self-loathing and hyperawareness of my own hypocrisy such a decision would engender, would you !@#$ing make up your dithering weenie cowardly minds already and quit screwing with the careers of half-a-dozen decent guys who really deserve to know if they're about to be jacked if they sign(ed) with the squad(and what the hell are you trying to *do* to me Velonews suggesting that they're gonna suck in Giro god Gilberto Simoni? Dang, I'd rather watch this kissy-face crap he's been pulling with that backstabbing snake Damiano Cunego all season and have him sign, as rumored, with Lampre!)? Face it, Vino's corralled the dough and passed his exams this season, and no matter how many formerly, well, ill-associated DSes he employs and what unusual medical equipment his soigneur happens to be carrying for wholly personal reasons completely unrelated to the needs of his boss--and frankly, if he were, I'd be expecting even better comeback results--he's hardly any less deserving than, say, the Valverde-snogging enablers over at Caisse d'Epargne, is he? Gather some guts and pony up a decision, for heck's sake!

It's A Whole New World: meantime, get ready folks--in the wake of Moises Duenas' unfortunate but relatively inconsequential drug poz comes happy news for the peloton: he's apparently cooperating with the narcs and passing on the multiple text messages he's shared with 2 boys from Caisse, another sap from Rock Racing, a guy from an Italian squad and a Russian rider about what were surely harmless and entirely legal do--I mean, health-improvement products. Whew--even I was getting really bored with everyone batting that ol' Op Puerto thing around! Aside from the minor issue that, if actually guilty, you're disgusting amoral cheats ruthlessly kicking in the packages (even worse, the palmares) of every clean innocent rider out there, a bigger principle is in play here so listen and learn, dimbulbs: do not ever, ever, ever, put anything in writing anywhere, anytime, ever that you do not want to end up on the front page of the New York Times or whatever local news outlet is going to turn you into a sports-paparazzi-stalked national symbol of societal decay after your next imbroglio. I don't give if it's about the blow you scored for the old, pre-reform-school Tom Boonen, how hard you'd like to slap Contador every time he pulls that freakin' "pistolero" move at the finish line, or the massive masochistic torch you've got burning for the UCI vampires who take your samples each day. What the !@#$ is so challenging about remembering this? You *pay* your handlers to think for you, they can't be leaving out "Dumb!@# No-Nos 101" from the curriculum, right? Now stop futzing with that needle when I'm talking to you, and *pay attention* already!

Just Say No: finally, in genuinely *good* news for this gorgeous if occasionally errant sport, congrats are in order to the Brits, who are not only gonna bash half the peloton into abject sniveling submission with Team Sky next season, but who've also started their very own anti-doping program, complete with a "drug-cheats hotline" so the accused-n-busted, or merely baselessly grudge-bearing, can inform on those of their compatriots either lucky enough to escape detection, or stupid enough to get on yer bad side. That's the last time you get *my* !@# relegated in a sprint, sucker!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

It's the 2010 Tour de France, Baby! and, Adventures in Kazakh Cycling

Bring Me a Higher Love: so woo-hoo! the 2010 Tour de France route is a pure climbers' hot hot hot fiesta, and if Alberto Contador doesn't manage to bash his fragile tiny body to bits on the cruel pave' of Belgium (take it, Thor!) right outta the gate, it's gonna be a dirty nasty slugfest-o'-the-featherweights in the Pyrenees for supremacy, and Cadel, honey, you better get ready to keep this new attack !@#$ of yours *up*. The reactions, of course, have been rocketing in, with Mark Cavendish, natch, taking the wholly irrelevant opportunity to whine once more that he *should've* gotten the green jersey *this* year. Which you would've, to be sure, if you hadn't (1) been a total punk-!@# and rightly been relegated and (2) we love Thor Hushovd hadn't beaten you senseless in the mountains anyway. Meantime, in actually relevant commentary, Sastre is holding out for the Giro and Vuelta; the other sprinters are wary; and Alberto, instead of using the element of surprise to sissy-boy-slap-fight Armstrong for his piglike behavior on this year's podium at the press conference, glossed over his umpteenth doping accusation and, in a verbal sissy-boy-slap-fight I suppose, tagged baby Schleck as his number 1 rival. Ouch!

Sunday, Bloody Sunday (and Monday, and Tuesday, and...): meanwhile, having stuck their heads out cautiously to attend the Tour announcement, I imagine more than a few DSes are already planning their throw-the-individual-riders-under-the-bus press-conference statements, as the French narcs investigate, as previously reported, somewhat suspicious medical waste from the teams including transfusion equipment and non-banned medications for conditions like diabetes, high-blood pressure, and seizures. The team denials, of course, are out in force, because any idiot knows that it's impossible for a team to detect 12 guys packed 2 to a hotel room on the same floor within 3 feet of their managers wandering around with blood bags sticking out of their arms attached to one of those 5-foot-high hospital wheelie contraptions. Leaving aside that there's a whole squad dedicated to folks combating diabetes and anyone who takes stuff used to control it for performance-enhancing purposes is exhibiting extreme doucheosity, anyone else expecting, like the "asthma" craze a few years back, that there's gonna be a sudden rash of previously-misplaced doctor's notes popping out for insulin imbalances?

Holy Crap I Think I'm Starting to Love Alexander Vinokourov Again: no, not because he's a repulsive IV-sucking spawn-o-Satan--though he does get massive points for not apologizing to UCI about it on the grounds that he's the least of their disgusting problems--or even because he's a smashingly erratic psychopath, but because the newly-flush Team Astana has just announced that it ain't letting we love Andreas Kloden, Haimar "That's What You Get For Betraying Samu' Sanchez You Chump" Zubeldia, or even the harmless amiable Gregory Rast out of their contracts to go to Team RadioSkank next year. So why does this set my black heart all a-flutter? Let's be honest, if this ridiculous plan holds, Klodi is gonna be in the best damn spot of his life, because if there's one nice thing you can say about Vino, it's that he never, ever begrudged his loyal domestiques the right--and more importantly, the support--to pursue their own glory. Romandie my butt, Klodi--even if Contador can't weasel out of his iron maiden of a contract and gets his Tour, how's the Vuelta for ya as a consolation prize? Go Vino, and suck it Armstrong!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Your Bestest Bestest Friend in the Whole Wide World; and, a Tragic Update

Or Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction," Whatever: well, it must be awfully flattering to be so very wanted, Alberto, as now even new Brit superteam Sky has declared itself among your bevy of dashing desirable suitors, but too bad for you your psycho stalker of a Jesus-H-Christ-how-many-times-do-I-have-to-tell-you-it's-over deranged clingmeister you'll-never-be-my-ex Alexander Vinokourov professes his undying love, unreserved domestique support, and absolute unwillingness to let you out of the last year of your contract, *again.* I hate to say this, honey--in part because a huge chunk of the Kazakhs will just test poz again for blood doping next year, though even that's not gonna be the prob with the squad that'll cost you the Tour de France if you even get in--but unless you at least insisted that your gig was contingent on Astana remaining a ProTour squad--and frankly the odds of your having thought that one up seem, well, unimpressive at best, as apparently it didn't occur to half the eggheads over at Cofidis either--you seem increasingly totally !@@#$ed. Damn, is UCI so accustomed to coddling dopers that even hating Vino so much they can't help their prettiest little cash cow think a way out of this?

Hope and Glory (Except for the Italians)!: not only did the Italians manage to lose the prestigious centenary edition of their own Giro d'Emilia--with Cadel coming in fourth no less, could this boy actually reclaim his Tour podium next season?--but Tom Boonen's agonizing miscalculation in the last couple hundred yards of Paris Tours whacked another defeat on the end-of-our-fave-almost-redeemed-frat-boy-in-spandex's-season Tom Boonen. On the other hand, that was one sweet steal by the wily Phillipe Gilbert. Geez, maybe Tommeke's bizarro decision to focus on the time trial next season isn't so without sense after all!

Blood, Sweat, and Crashes With 5-year-olds: meantime, I was highly amused yesterday to see that the uber-amped little tyke in the full-face monster crash helmet that I watched careen all over the expo area all day at the Providence cyclocross festival without so much as a juice-box break was none other than the same lad who ended up in a major accident with 'cross god Tim Johnson about ten seconds after he'd just finished stomping the rest of the elite men's field shortly after Katerina Nash crushed the women's, and not only was Johnson class act enough to call the kid up on the podium and hand over his medal which the little munchkin immediately started hauling aloft like the Holy Grail to anyone who'd look at it, but this kid has a future. Trust me, if this boy remains half this jacked up as an adult as he was for about 5 straight hours Saturday morning before this even happened, he's not gonna even *need* to dope. Plus, he's got the official arms-raised podium salute down pat already. 10 years from now, you cynics, mark my words!

Shut Up Shut Up Shut *Up*!: okay, he's an ex-cheating dirtball, shut the hell up who isn't especially with that disgusting blood-doping dissembler avoidance weasel Valverde still on the road besides which he would've retired by now anyway with a pack of equally scrimy drug skanks still polluting the roads. And I almost wasn't gonna post it, which I haven't for a freakin' week, because it just about broke my heart. But as a lesson to the rest of you two-wheeled disgraces on the declining value of respectable omerta and the increasing currency of some fake whining redemption song, here's what's become of Vuelta a Espana king (go to hell, all he improved in inordinately creepily last time was the time trial) we still love so stuff it Roberto Heras:Aiiiggggghhhhhh!

Take Your Filthy Hands Off Euskaltel-Euskadi, Ya Greedy Grasping Bribing S.O.B.!: and, in a last lament o' the day, I know he and Markel Irizar both have the triumph-over-testicular-cancer connection (and it's a great triumph to have, of course), but can Lance !@#$ing Armstrong get his glommy nasty vulgar Donald-Trumpesque dough-dripping mitts off Samuel "Holy Crap He's the Olympic Gold Medalist!" Sanchez's domestiques already?! It's like watching a decaying pervy Robert Redford money-grab the wifely virtue of Demi Moore in "Indecent Proposal" for heck's sake. Look, you already purchased we love Levi Klodi and damn near everybody else who ought to be running a team of their own to chew up and spit out like greasy gone-stale no-name potato chips--can you !@#$ing leave the broke and wholly helpless Euskaltel with, if not Haimar Zubeldia, some shred of dignity and even a passing, miserable hope for next season? !@#$%!

Condolences: troubled shooting star Frank Vandenbroucke has died in his hotel room in Senegal at age 34, reportedly of a pulmonary embolism. After racking up an impressive palmares including Liege-Bastogne-Liege, followed by a doping ban, struggles with mental health, and drug and alcohol problems, Vandenbroucke had recently declared his plan to post his blood values online in his effort to rehab his image. Whatever any of us think or thought of him, let's let him rest. Condolences to his family friends and squad.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Halloween XXVIII: The Reckoning

"Fear Factor" is Right: yep, as our favorite US holiday of ghouls, candy corn, and pervy, gratuitously-nubile-flesh-infused slasher flicks descends upon us, the season's getting even scarier over in the European peloton: the UCI has announced, to the terror of every wiry little bastard with a Ferrari fund worth protecting, that it's retesting the 2008 Tour de France samples. CERA-snorting poster-boy-of-perfidy Bernhard Kohl, of course, is ecstatic, I mean, sorry for those of his scumly compatriots who evaded the narcs last time, pointing out that 'til that idiot Ricco' got busted, everyone was amped to the gills, and only breathed a great sigh of relief on the Champs-Elysees that the rest of 'em hadn't gone down with him. Oops--guess you schmucks miscalculated! Of course, I'm sure there's some fatal flaw in the latest lab procedures that precludes a usable, legally-sustainable B sample...

Not So Fast, Suckers: meantime, the French allege that at least two new doping products were in use at the 2009 Cleanest Tour Ever, and that the Inspector Closeaus at their anti-doping agency even saw discarded doping equipment in rider-accessible garbage cans, none of which is gonna help UCI fend off the latest charges that Lance's team Astana, and possibly a few others, were given suspiciously friendly treatment by the testing vampires, including buckets of masking-agent-friendly time to meander off on their own after doping controls were announced and a pass on testing for certain substances prohibited while in competition. Not that there's any reason for concern. I mean, aside from the fact that it was all totally accidental on the narcs' part, it's not like The One's gonna let any of his boys get in trouble. So don't worry little Contador--we all know he *loves* you!

Race Roundup: mindbogglingly, there's still actual racing going on amidst the usual late-season annual drug-fiend meltdown, which (speaking of drug fiends) includes the recuperating-and-hopefully-not-too-late-about-it Tom Boonen snagging a stage at Franco Belge, reborn 2008 Giro scalawag Emanuele "I Stole Simoni's Stage Win Like a Scumwad" Sella (now at Camariore) taking his own win, scrawny Danish scrapper Michael "Like I Was Cheating When UCI Knew I Skipped Pre-Tour Doping Controls?" Rasmussen relocating to Mexico to sensibly seek citizenship ride freelance and take his second win of his return, and at last Ivan Basso, of all pretty pretty comeback kids, taking a crit. Nice to see you all back (except for, you know, Sella. And Rasmussen. And....)--now Tom, just keep holding it together for heck's sake!

Question o' the Week: finally, I couldn't help but notice of late, as teams scramble to hire the latest reformed-n-rehabbed talent, that the noble 4-year ProTour ban on rehiring convicted drug felons into the big-league squads has gone gently--*really* gently--into that good night. Reasons, anyone?

Saturday, October 03, 2009

The Dark Knight

King, Whatever: so I see Lance Armstrong's sucked yet another team-leader-in-his-own-right into the hellish pitch-black vortex that is Team RadioSkank: yep, as if losing Levi to it weren't enough, now he's signed the eternally-doomed we-love-so-shut-the-hell-up-he-didn't-take-anything-everyone-else-didn't-take-twice-as-much-of Andreas Kloden. Aaaaaiiiiggggggghhhhh--oh Klodi! Fine, you'll always have Romandie, but yet another Tour being some ungrateful wanker's water-!@#$% instead of climbing the podium in Paris...dammit, how much more of this can we be expected to take?

All Hands On Dek: meantime, Rabobank/Silence-Lotto Dutch hope-o'-the-future Thomas "I Should've Waited Til I Could Afford a Doctor Who Knew How to Microdose" Dekker, who strongly denied doping til he stupidly insisted on having his B sample tested, has now come out with the Official Faux-Repentant Cheat-Weasel Wah-Wah Of The UCI ProTour, tearfully confessing a one-time weakness due to extreme youth and immaturity and vowing his belief in honor, fair play, and his ability to get a lucrative new gig in two years if he plays this B.S. Shawshank Redemption older-'n'-wiser sage-of-the-antidoping-movement maudlin overacting opportunity right. Y'know, as someone who's certainly been young and stupid, I sympathize with young'n'stupid, and it's often a plausible and even genuine explanation for many sins of feckless greedy jailbait. But damn, with all the info about illicit substances available to the peloton, shouldn't we hold these clowns to an even higher standard of at least being able to figure out how to do this right? Ah well--frees up a few bucks for the new sponsor to buy Cadel Evans another crap dope-fiend domestique who'll screw him over next season!

(No) License to Kill: well, venerable (if underperforming) French squads Cofidis and BBox-Bweeguh continue to digest the full extent of their humiliation as they ponder their demotion from the ProTour, and, I'm unsurprised to report, the recriminations, vendettas, and general backstabbing are rolling in apace. UCI's scorning the French teams' unbearably arrogant "France IS Cycling" contradictory monster suckage (despite, to be fair, some quite stellar individual talents, Thomas Voeckler among them); whiny riders like Pierrick "Where Were My Results Before This Season, Exactly?" Fedrigo are screeching to be freed from contracts they were too dense to negotiate an out-clause into in the first place; the squads are telling the riders to stick it since they're still gonna get into the Tour de France next year if (literally) nothing else; and Pro-Continental gigs Cervelo (home of green jersey god Thor Hushovd and dear little Sastre of course) and even Giro overlord Gilberto Simoni's Diquigiovanni get to gloat that they've stomped these delusional out-of-date egomaniacs into the tarmac. Astana's license, meanwhile, is still on the auction block, as UCI frantically searches for a legitimate or at least smell-test-passable way to keep punishing the vexingly forthright Alexander Vinokorouv, and poor sap Alberto Contador continues to face the disconcerting prospect of racing for a team that's only gonna be invited to ride the prestigious "Race Ya To The End of My Driveway for My Nintendo DS." Oh well--since our wee little champion's guaranteed to take that one, at least he'll stay entertained while watching the Tour de France on TV next July!

Can We All Quit Whining About the Worlds Already?: over in excruciating hangover land, the Italians are still angrily microparsing the Worlds road race to figure out exactly who they ought to turn on the most, and while I'm generally in agreement that your boys did blow it, I can't help but feel compelled to remind you (as, to their credit, the tifosi continue to swoon over) that the 2009 *women's* road race champion is none other than your own brilliantly-supported tactically-smashing escape artist Tatiana Guderzo. *That's* how it's done, baby!

California Here I Come--Please, For the Love of God, Please!: finally, as I'm reminded yet again of the organizers' disgusting thoughtlessness in scheduling the Tour of California at the same time as the "There Goes Half the Peloton Worth Watching, You Nits" Giro d' Italia--because we all know what's gonna get all the airplay in the US--The One is pondering which one of them he's gonna ride next year in preparation for dope-slapping his entire team into unquestioning automaton subservience come July, and for my money, I'm hoping--hell, I'll go flat out begging--that (and I truly do sympathize with the Italians' need for the hype-machine tourist dough here) it ain't the beautiful, flawless, fanatically scandal-filled smack-talking joy that is the Giro. Lance, pink's not even your color--you can't get decent Tex-Mex in Italy--they're all gonna EPO right past your struggling carcass in the Pyrenees anyway--your prior mentorship of Ivan Basso morally precludes your taking him on next year--the California press'll kiss your !@# far more than the Italians will--help me people, I'm running out of rationalizations here...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Attack of the Killer Australian

Cadel Call: all right, I'll cop to it. I'm one of them. You know, the ones who've been constantly dope-smacking Cadel Evans for not attacking, downright saying he couldn't, comparing him kindly to such esteemed members of the animal world as "remoras" and "leeches." Well, I'm eatin' it now, because as you well know, Cadel is World Champion. And frankly, it was gorgeous and astonishing to watch, so except for the fact that I was actually rooting for Oscar Freire, all I especially care about is that Samuel Sanchez is fourth over his "team leader" that drug-stuffed punk Valverde, and a significant, disgustingly scumwaddy part of me was sincerely hoping for Valverde or even better Vinokorouv to win just to watch Pat "Dick" McQuaid's face when he was forced at hypocrite gunpoint to hand over the gold medal, I gotta say, it's not so bad a feeling to be that gobsmacked. Congrats to our Aussie posse--and major bonus points to Cadel for not pulling that obnoxious Contadorian "pistolero" grandstanding or Cav-ish wanker chest-thumping over a simple acknowledgement to the crowd. Class act, particularly the way you've been treated (by, um, some of us), Cadel! Today's helpful Hint from Heloise, since we're still unofficially on the Cadel Evans Find Me a Team That Won't Jack Me Over Project: right this very second, before Silence has a chance to remember the first part of your debacle season, is *the* fleeting moment to skyrocket your asking price and demand the domestique firepower you really need for the big shows. Good luck to you and your paycheck! If it all works, can I get a cut?

Et Tu, Fabian?: meantime, the recriminations among the other squads have begun, with the Italians' boss blaming everyone from his own boy Pozzato to lazy-!@# Cancellara to the useless Spaniards to damn near his own grandma for blowing it for Cunego, the squadra azzurra feeling generally screwed, the Spaniards pointing fingers at the Italians, and just about only our perfect Samu Sanchez actually giving Cadel any personal credit for the victory. And the tifosi? Absolutely on the rampage at their unbelievable loss, split between blaming Basso, Cunego, Pozzato, and the team boss, and apparently paying off the Giovanni Visconti Shrieking Teenybopper Fan Club to flood the place with the only kindness to anyone besides Cadel. Looking forward to lots of unprintable words in the Swiss, Spanish and Italian press the next few days, don't you think?

(Anti) Doping for Dummies: so after doped-up riders have been rewarded for years with massive wins, podium accolades, fan adulation and obscene sports car budgets, with only spotty punishment followed by lucrative new gigs for those whose handlers sensibly convince them to shed ostentatious amounts of crocodile tears to any camera within eyeshot, UCI has taken truly decisive action to stop doping in the new generation of eager beavers: yep, despite the merely dubious risk of actual consequences, they're gonna have to take a class on how doping is really, really, really naughty. Heck, if lessons on what is and isn't detectable under current UCI testing protocols ain't useful, I can't imagine what is--and now that you don't even need a Therapeutic Use Exemption for asthma meds, why not teach 'em exactly how many puffs you can take before the finish line without getting busted? Oh, the academic possibilities are too endless...

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: speaking of UCI, our noble overseers, still fresh from their triumph of an entirely plausibly drug-free Tour de France, have been thwapped by the Italians over their claim that they were powerless to take any earlier action against despised cheat-weasel Alejandro Valverde and keep him out of the Worlds because it "didn't have the file in time," as the Italians call bull!@#$ and say they sent a huge wad of ironclad documentary evidence to UCI in plenty of time to keep the boy from riding anything more important than a jaunt to the local 7-Eleven for some cheez-sauced nachos and a Slurpee. Y'know, not to lay odds here, but given that the Italians are still engaged in a rabid anti-Valverdean vendetta-snit over Piti escaping Op Puerto scot-free while half their own boys went down, and the UCI's grotesque history of doper-enabling and scuzz-coddling, I'm bankin' on Italy being in the right on this one. Or am I just underestimating UCI's true commitment to genuine dirtbag-purging over gutter-wallowing rump-covering "NO CHEATS LEFT IN THE PELOTON" PR-mongering?

Leaving Las Vegas: finally, a big shout-out to Team Ouch founder Floyd Landis, who graciously told me at a mob-scene sponsor meet-n-greet he'd actually read this muckraking on-line scandalsheet and, even more graciously, didn't even ball up his fist and deck me for it then 'n' there. Now *that's* good sportsmanship! So, you going to RadioSk--um, Shack next season or what?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How To Dress Like a Rock (Racing) Star; and, Racejunkies for Podium-Babe Equality

Rock Around the Clock: Wanna look like a Rock Racing Team star, without the dubious, um, medical history, perpetual haunting by the narcs, and constant threat of being fired or demoted like some no-name talentless dipwad? Well, now you can, baby:
From Interbike 2009

Sure, you won't ride any faster--but won't you look chic gasping by the side of the road waiting for someone to come pick you up?

We Were Sufferin'/'Til Suffrage/Whoa!: yes, with the brutal schedule, body-stomping road and mountain rides, more limited race opportunities, and squat pay, for my money clearly the most crucial issue facing the women's peloton has been: why the !@#$ do only the guys get podium babes? Well, Interbike's remedied that one, honey, and I fully expect to see the gents in lame' hot pants posing for a kiss on the cheek with the triumphant sweat-soaked champions at all future award ceremonies, just like in the Tour de France:
From Interbike 2009

Way to fight the good fight, sisters!

Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Wear Lampre: want to ride your bike, but afraid of looking like (not that I have any squads in mind, here) some tarty Starburst spandex poseur? Here's some spiffy tweed duds from the incredibly cool folks at Sheila Moon (complete, as you can see, with handsome leather patch to protect those sensitive areas):
From Interbike 2009

From Interbike 2009

Couldn't *someone* have started making these clothes before every sausage-stuffed wannabe Lance Armstrong began assaulting our eyes in oversqueezed neon team kit?

Worlds, Worlds, Worlds: so you can quit cryin' about the Vuelta, Cadel, as formidable speedster Brad Wiggins one-ups you with The Suckiest-Timed Mechanical Ever at the World Time Trial Championships, though whether anyone can beat Fabian Cancellara without actively bashing his bike to bits with a hammer (which I do *not* recommend, you cheating vandals) is doubtful at best. Geez, Cav's down for the count, Brad's hopes are dashed--please, please don't let anything else bad happen across the pond this season, newcomer Team Sky in particular!

Bad News for the Dimmer Bulbs: okay, you can perhaps surmise who I'm thinking of here, but holy freakin' moly are some of our, well, less poindextery boys in trouble two years out, as UCI votes to bag the use of two-way race radios in the peloton. Presumably, of course, the DSes'll still be able to scream their heads off at their doltish charges--and let's face it, doesn't the occasional wayward child perhaps need it? Anyway, enjoy the radios while they last, Pro Tour--you got two years to teach the less Einsteinian to independently strategize and think!

No Sleep/ Til Brooklyn (Well, Mendrisio Anyway): finally, sweet dreams to poor Alejandro "Piti" Valverde, whose paranoid Spanish national squad is keeping him the hell out of the site of his ban in Italy where the rest of the kids are boarding during the Worlds, and stashing him, alone and forlorn, in Switzerland instead, despite the fact that he can technically step into the country so long as he stays the heck off his bike. Silly? Yes. An excess of caution? Certainly--but then again, perhaps it makes sense about now for the Spaniards to start practicing keeping him away from forbidden borders!

A Question for Dave Zabriskie, Christian Vande Velde, and Danny Summerhill; and, So Much More!

Oh Yeah, Baby!: all right, folks, you know the score: we're the fans, and they are the cycling gods. So what do they really think of us? You ask (well, I do anyway), I answer, honey! The Scene: a highly educational technical discussion of the hydration specs of the Garmin-Slipstream squad at the Camelbak booth at Interbike with team physiologist, DZ, CVV, and U23 phenom and all-around nice guy Danny Summerhill. The Opportunity: they opened it up to audience Q&A, including inspiring and intelligent queries like how to get started as a pro. The Racejunkie Question On Behalf of You, the Faithful Reader: so you're at the Tour de France, and the fans are screaming in your face, running alongside you in man-thongs or in funny hats or with their national flags painted on their beer guts--what are you thinking? I'm sure it was just a matter of efficiency that the mic was jerked out of my hand immediately afterwards like Indiana Jones' lasso on icon. The Responses (and I paraphrase a bit; what the hell am I, a tape recorder?): DZ: "nice ass," it "can get annoying," and as for the crowds generally, "you're just trying to get through it." CVV: I "don't get the male nudity" but "am in favor of female nudity," "it's pretty amazing," and you're "glad everyone is out there." Thanks, boys! Does this mean I can run alongside you shrieking in a man-thong at next year's Tour?
From Interbike 2009

An Interview With 2009 World Downhill Champ Steve Peat!: okay, I'm a road freak, but really, is anything quite so cool as someone in full body armor careening down a dirt descent o' death and not only living to tell the tale, but kicking the !@# of every other speed-freak in the genre? So here's the word from the Deacon of Dirt:
--Worst day ever on a bike?: "they're all good days."
--Best day ever on a bike?: "two weeks ago when I won the World Championships."
--Advice for aspiring riders?: "have fun, go out and enjoy it, don't take yourself too seriously."
--How'd you get started?: "X-C."
--Fan question: How many broken bones do you have?: "About 15." Hardware: "Just in my collarbone." Am I the only one who wants to recklessly find a mountaintop with my ancient wholly-unsuitable road bike and pitch myself down it right now?

New Stuff I Liked: wah, wah, the economy's in the tank. Get your priorities straight, you simps!
--Vanderkitten. Bad-!@# riders, bitchin' kit, and advocates for women and girls hitting the road. Right on sisters!
--Pashley Bikes: British, hand-built, meltingly sexy, ineffably dashing. Yap, road racing, yap. Bring these babies *on*!
From Interbike 2009

--Dogs Rule, Cats Drool: naturally, from the smashing Italians, the slinkiest yet most functional dog/cycling gear anywhere anytime ever. Emanuele Bianchi Design. Bike with Fido, and you don't even face-plant entangling her leash with your drivetrain!
--Oooh, Ladies First/Ladies First: tired of hearing about DZ's Nuts and whatever else the guys have to slap on their works? Here's one for the women--Hoo Ha Ride Glide! Even better: their Reflect H2O Swim Shampoo and Conditioner. The problem: my hair turns into the Centurion Helmet of Congealed Hideousity after a dip in the pool. After using this stuff, not only did it smell so deliciously tropical I started singing "The Pina Colada Song" in the shower (shut up! you would too!), but it left me feeling like one of those chicks in the hair-conditioner commercials who look like they're about, tell their friends about it. Nice!

And, the Gratuitous Alberto Contador Dope-Slap o' the Day: first, there's a giant Alberto Contador banner celebrating his 2009 Tour de France triumph. Next, there's a jersey with the beautiful colors of Astana. And all I could think was, you poor bastid. Alberto, what were you *thinking*!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Live, From Vegas, Baby--It's Bike Lust 2009!; and, Good News for Alessandro Petacchi

Yes, folks, we're at fabulous Interbike 2009, and already it's total sensory overload as we engage in a hard-core effort to score schwag, stalk yer fave cyclists, and find what's new and hot for both my faithful gearhead readers. Today's notes:

Schwag o' the Day: okay, castigate me for my endless lameness if you will, but aside my excitement over a single stylin' merino sock that seductively promises you its mate tomorrow morning at its manufacturer's booth, and despite the truly impressive array of power drinks and energy snacks I've snarfed today, my top freebie so far is undoubtedly the bitchin', pretty dice from bebop, makers of exceedingly spiffy pedals (and not, sad to say, even freakin' paying me to pimp 'em):
From Interbike 2009
Thanks, bebop!

Product Test Review o' the Day: this one's for smashing localistas (for me, anyway) Parlee for their dandy new Z-5:
From Interbike 2009

"It's like riding a column of air!"--John Anon., 9/22/09 Want specs? Let me know!

Your Aw, !@#$in' Hell! Bike God Near-Miss o' the Afternoon: The Quarry: Dave Zabriskie. The Place: Bootleg Canyon, 1:25 pm. The Problem: I've been in the desert 4 1/2 sun-pounding hours, I'm High Pasty Irish for Chrissakes, I'm deep into screaming-pain Honeybaked Ham sunburn territory, Dave Z won't be around for another 35 minutes, and I'll be shrieking in my hotel room like Cad...well, why piss anyone in particular off?...if I don't get inside, for good, in the next 15 seconds. !@#$!

Dream Ride o' the Day: no, it's not some $10,000 sell-your-organs-on-the-black-market-to-get-it carbon-fiber pro-or-poseur bike: it's
From Interbike 2009
electra bikes' peace-n-love construction o' today, throwback to idyllic childhood spiffy new ride. Y'know, all this genuine sweetness on my part is making me sick. Would someone pay me to kiss their !@# already?

Air! I Need Air!: finally, back in the real world, it's a fantastic gimme to both legit user Alessandro "How Many Puffs Does It Take To Stun a Rhino" Petacchi and faux wheeze-gaspers everywhere, as WADA, in its endless quest to limit the supply of troublesome and PR-unfriendly doping pozes, I mean, refine its quality-control system and ensure only the truly guilty get caught, takes everyone's go-to crap-malady treatment salbutamol off the Therapeutic Use Exemption list--not so you can't use it at all, you faithless child, but so you *can* use it without even the annoyance of a bull!@#$ gyno-to-the-stars doctor's note. Thanks, WADA--with CERA so easily detectable nowadays, what else was an enterprising skankball supposed to do?

All right folks, that's it for today--check in tomorrow for the Phil 'n' Paul Stalker Report, Gratuitous Alberto Contador Dope-Slap, Humiliatin' Celebrity-Hunt Moment o' the Day, and whatever stuff I like and hate! Note to energy-drink makers: I really, really hope your products don't make me yack. Til then!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Fire Your Handlers, Contador!

Didn't We Go *Over* This Already?: all right, Alberto, we've all just about accustomed ourselves to the fact that you're not quite the brightest candle in the chandelier, but now you officially confirm you didn't even have the sense to negotiate a buyout clause out of your long-term contract with !@#$up-when-you-got-there Astana? Child, who the hell is *handling* you? Okay, I suppose you can't exactly fire your brother Fran, and to be fair, on the blood-is-thicker-than-your-head scale you'd be completely a tool if you did, but who the hell told you moving into Alexander Vinokorouv's burning kerosene-fueled balsa-wood hell-hole of a mansion without a ladder was a good idea in the first place? Get this, twerp: even if your current man-crush Garmin-Slipstream is losing the not-cheap Brad Wiggins to Team Sky (and they're damn well set for next season if they did, incidentally), Jonathan Vaughters likely *still* doesn't have the dough to buy you out of this debacle, so get set to trade in your bitchin' sports-car and luxury vacations for a third-hand lawn-mower-motored dinged-up scooter and a flybitten motel where you don't wanna know what's been on those sheets if you really wanna hang with Dave Z next season. Oh, man. Sure you wouldn't be better off taking a couple years off the bike to take some university classes?--you'd still be in your prime when you got back, right?

Samu, Samu, Samu!: and, right on Samu Sanchez for a spectacular ride without the benefits of the last-climb help Ivan and Alejandro enjoyed from their teammates, and once you'd dropped poor crushed Gesink and couldn't shake Valverde on the final descent (does that make anyone else, well, sorta queasy but me?), you were right to take it conservatively--just *please* don't lose too much to Cadel and Ivan in the time trial! Y'know, not to suggest you won't win entirely on your own next year--but if someone suggested to the race organizers that the Vuelta take a scenic one-day detour into, ooooohhhh, saaaaaay, Italy next year, that'd be totally coincidentally awfully pleasant, wouldn't it?

Mr. Clean, Mr. Clean: meantime, holy moly, maybe St. Ivan of Varese really *is* as reformed as he's thankfully stopped constantly trumpeting he is, as he gamely holds his own but doesn't disconcertingly bash the heck out the competition and still has a shot at (now don't get too ambitious, Ivan) third tomorrow after a season of highly respectable, but not freakishly, oh, Rabobankian, results. Oh my, am I feeling twinges of sympathy after that ridiculous "attempted doping" excuse that's still !@#$ing me off from two years ago, or am I just getting bedazzled by those pretty, pretty eyes and pretty, pretty pout and pretty, pretty tweets to his wife on her birthday? Focus, Racejunkie, focus! The tifosi, of course, are duly proud, but if there seems to be a soupcon of disappointment in their comments that he's not back on the juice, I mean, not quite yet able to beat the undoubtedly doped-up pigs ahead of him in every race, well, perhaps my translation skills are just off. Anyway, forza Ivan--and I doubt you'll have to worry about Alejandro at any rate next season!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eat Scalding Karmic Cycling Eternal Flaming Suffering, You Disgusting Hypocrites!

I Mean, Gee Whiz, UCI!: so we still love and still miss !@#dammit ex-Euskaltel climbing god/sensitive emotional trainwreck Iban Mayo has announced that, his two year ban for a B sample that wasn't even !@#$in' positive 'til the desperate witchhunting skanks at UCI finally found a pack of chimps that'd give his unlawfully-tested Z sample a bull!@#$ poz completed, he's disillusioned and not returning to the sport. What the hell is wrong with you, UCI? Here you are, the most egregious enabling druggie-lover cheat-wank-huggin' hypocrites on the planet, coddling some truly extraordinarily repulsive dirtwads whose dishonesty and utter lack of respect for other athletes has damn-near ruined and certainly irreparably damaged our beautiful cycling, and of all people, including the ones you so relentlessly !@@-kiss, you pick the quiet--and by your own freakin' protocols, not even guilty, which one would think might be mildly relevant to any legitimate tribunal--Iban Mayo to kneecap? No offense, but given who you dissembling weasels have been coddling, and who you choose to pick on like some dim-bulb reasonless child-thug schoolyard bully, you look like a pack of completely stone-stripped wussies. Free Iban I say--not that it matters anymore!

Miracle on Ice (Well, In Pounding Heat, Whatever): meantime, am I absolutely hallucinating here on an astonishing amount of adulterated acid, or is Alejandro "Wannabe" Valverde actually about to take a Grand Tour? 'Cause if you've been watching the same baseless hysterical pre-race hype and inevitable spectacular ignominious cracks I've been watching the last several years, honey, it is *far* likelier that all those tye-dye-colored lizards you've been seeing crawl up the ceiling while you're under the influence are real than what we're seeing happen with the boy this Vuelta. And happy as I rather was for him up to the precise moment I learned Iban was screwed while this clown pedals on, again, and despite his still-rightful place as a one-day Classics man, he'd better enjoy it while it lasts, because on the incredible off-chance those pig doper-sucking narcs at UCI finally get shamed into actino, he ain't gonna be riding the Vuelta, much less the Giro or the Tour, again anytime soon. Anyhoo, good work holding it together so long for once, Alejandro--and how come all that !@#$ you were taking never helped you before this?

Shut Up! He Can Still Too!: in other news, the fabulous Samuel Sanchez of the perfect Euskaltel is currently on the podium in third, and barring the daring last-minute attack I know our stealthy holy-crap-he's-the-reigning-Olympic-champion is cannily holding up his sleeve, I assume how badly he woofs, and how endless pissed-off bad-luck sad-sack Cadel Evans pounds him and where-the-hell-did-he-come-from Gesink in the time trial, is gonna decide it. Venga Samu'! Speaking of Euskaltel--and who doesn't want to--can !@#$ing Lance Armstrong stop poaching the broke-!@# team's best riders with his bottomless dough and swooning unquestioning Saint-o'-the-Peloton media slutmongering? It's like watching a Smurf get into an X-Treme Sports Fatal Kickboxing Match with the monster from Alien for heck's sake--gruesome. Anyway, for my money, the other revelation of the Vuelta has got to be--besides the babelicious Ivan Basso's truly impressive return--fellow-Valverdian-Classics-boy Damiano Cunego, whose Grand Tours have been a miserable two-wheeled deathmarch since his freak (and ungentlemanly) Giro win in his infancy. Sure, he's still incapable of winning another three-week race--but it's nice to see, if all his "Mr. Clean" braggadoccio is true, that he can still hold his own and then some, ain't it?

Come Fly With Me: finally, lest I get dope-slapped again by the Lance Armstrong/ Criticizing Dear Leader Gets You 5 Years Hard Labor In Some Hellish Gulag contingent, I have to admit, this new thing of Lance's where he's having all these open rides with ordinary folks is not only a great crowd-pleaser opening gambit for his future run for Governor of Texas, but just generally, a really cool gesture. I mean, if him using his undeniable star power to encourage more of us cycling-ignorant Americans to ride our bikes, and even better develop an interest in this gorgeous sport of road racing, isn't that genuinely great? In fact, it's *so* great I think he oughta do it more often. Like, full-time. Especially during the 2010 road racing season. And in perpetuity thereafter. Don't you?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

We're Going to Vegas, Baby!

What Happens in Vegas, (Don't) Stay in Vegas: Okay, we're now one short week away from going to the bitchin' Interbike trade show in Vegas, and what's in it for both my faithful readers? Buckets, kids! like:

5 Questions For...: Join me as I ask whatever questions of dubious taste randomly come to mind of whomever I can scam a few minutes with. Sure, it'll probably be the hand-towel gent in the bathroom at the convention center instead of, say, Dave Zabriskie, but who better to know the intimate secrets of the bike world anyway? Inquiring minds want to know!

The Daily Dipwad Shrieking Fan Moment o' the Day: how will my bad-!@# resolve to ask cutting-edge questions dissolve into miserable mortified dorkdom in the face of mano-a-mano combat with the objects of my love-'n'-loathing? Wait and see!

The Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen Periodic Stalker Sighting Update: follow me in my impassioned quest to track down the greatest cycling commentators in human history and bow to their total godliness like dope-smacked-domestique-on-Armstrong. We love you Phil and Paul!

The Salacious Gossip Project: because what good is 4 days of 24/7 cycling immersion if we can't dig up some lurid dirt on our heroes? Bike parts, schmike parts, yaaaaaawwwwwnnnnn....

Schwag Lust: what's the smashingest freebie I can score today? Hell, I'll be drooling just over the advertising flyers, but hand me a sweet cycling cap and I'll pimp your product shamelessly for life. I do take bribes!

The Sex-on-a-Stick Bike Gear o' the Day: yep, for you gearheads, if you thought you wanted to steal Lance Armstrong's crappy bike from the back of his team truck at the Tour of California, wait'll you see this coolio new stuff, so get ready to pilfer from Grandma's handbag or, God forbid, actually work for a living to get it. Oooooo....carbon fiber!

And Finally, Your Special Interactive Racejunkie Reader Feature--Ask a Pro Cyclist a Question (That Won't Get Me Punched)!: yes, opportunities and no-neck ham-handed bone-bustin' bodyguards permitting, I'll be asking a lucky pro cyclist(s) a question of burnin' interest and up to, say, moderate offensiveness from you, our faithful reader. If your question *does* get me punched, well, I'm a peaceful person and all when you come right down to it, but boy, will I ever lecture you severely! So you got questions? Post 'em--and allez allez on to Sin City, honey!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

All Hell's Broken Loose!

No, Not Armstrong: jeez, you take a few days off during a sprint-contaminated Vuelta and all hell breaks loose--Cunego actually wins his first Grand Tour stage since he bushwhacked Gilberto Simoni at the Giro as an infant, both the Schlecks collapse, Alejandro Valverde of all people pulls it together for more than a stage at a time, now even the stolid Cadel Evans is Robbie McEwen-ing the harmless Robert Gesink right in the guts--what's next, Basso taking GC? And yes, you can all just bite me, because despite his current lack of the maglia d'oro the wily Samu Sanchez is clearly just saving his energy for more profitable all-peloton smackdowns in later stages. Venga Samu--and don't get too comfortable in that golden jersey Valverde you punk!

Eat Hot Melted Tire Tracks, Cav!: and, I was going to say something perhaps somewhat south of diplomatic about the Manxman's spectacular defeat at the hands (well, legs) of we love Thor Hushovd, but let's just roll the tape, baby: Woo-hoo Thor!

No Freire!: so speaking of Cavendish (and there's a link here, trust me), I still haven't gotten over master tactician/peloton overlord Paolo Bettini retiring (though happily, he will apparently be co-directing the squadra azzurra at the Worlds) and now freakin' Oscar Freire is calling it quits?! Luckily, it's after the end of next season, as he wants to retire as reigning world champion, plus he did manage to save me from utter despair when he basically went off on certain racers (see, I told you there was a link) for being talentless robot lead-out-suckin' wuss-weenies who can't win a sprint without being forcibly yanked to the line like a dimwitted (if fleet-footed) donkey. Oh, Oscar--could it be *possible* to love you even more? I swear, when we love Jens retires, all we're gonna have left are a pack of whining scrawny prima donna climbers and muscle-bound sprint knuckleheads with no politesse whatsoever. Dag nabit!

Lament of the Big Man on Campus: oh, how hard to be the high-school quarterback pursued by the head cheerleader, the class slut, the homecoming queen *and* the freshman hottie all at once--just ask Alberto Contador, being chased by Caisse d'Epargne, Astana, Quick Step *and* Garmin! Of course, being in the family way with Astana already, he's somewhat hamstrung at the moment--but surely it's nothing his mommy and daddy can't weasel him out of with a big fat payo--I mean contract buyout--to team management, right? Good luck honey--it ain't easy being BMOC!

Faster Than a Speeding Doper: and finally, what gives with this rumor that Rock "I Heart Druggies" Racing's gonna debut a new line of bikes at Interbike later this month? Let's review, shall we? Unbearable egomaniac Michael "Style Over Substance" Ball, purveyor of ungodly-overpriced poseur hipster denim, hires a huge number of instantly-recognizable name-brand cheat-wanks on the wholly noble grounds that anyone who soulfully keeps denying they did what they did surely deserves a second (third, fourth, whateva) chance for their unrepentance. Then, he completely justifies the gracious forgiveness and moral purity of that decision with the inarguable exclamation point of a bitchin' acid-toned flaming-skull team kit. Last, he *really* buttresses his cred by !@#$ing over the great Fast Freddy Rodriguez, abandoning the first guy on his squad who tests poz on his watch and could actually use some redemption, and, icing on the cake, demoting until recently the impressive talent Rahsaan Bahati from full-fledged team player to underemployed amateur sock-washer. So now he's got the time, effort, and obscene amount of cash necessary to shove out a new line of incredibly expensive (and cool-lookin'! really cool-lookin'!) bikes? Give that poor traumatized boy a raise instead, you cheapskate!