Friday, January 16, 2009

License to Ill

But Just Barely: yep, after Michael Ball's all-out hysterical PR assault the other day touting Rock Rocing's incredible stability (We've got the new Cadillac Escalade hybrid--and it's cool! We are so too getting bikes--and they're cool! Yes, I'm screwing the riders out of half the salaries and most of the races I promised 'em--and I'm cool!), the next day's less optimistic news that the boys were pulling out Argentina because they were about to be denied a UCI license, and Francisco Mancebo's glum realization that the only race he's gonna be riding is his paper route, the Boulder Report is well, reporting, that USA Cycling is affirming the squad met the UCI's astonishingly tough definition of solvency by putting down 10% of the riders' salaries today (whether it's the tasty ones promised, or the rancid scraps they've been told to eat'n'like it, remains unclear) and scored a last-second season's license to race after all. Break out the Champagne, boys, we're back on top!

Now, I'm no mathematician--not that it takes much aptitude to count to "broke-ass"--and I don't want to spoil the party, but before you uncork that expensive bubbly just yet, kids, you might want to consider the somewhat disconcerting implication that even having pulled the team back from the brink this time, Rock's still gotta come up with the remaining 90% they're gonna owe their riders before (1) the season ends (2) the managers and lawyers start shrieking and subpoena-ing or (3)a horde of wiry little guys in tight shiny clothing that was jacked out of gigs with anyone else descends on Michael Ball in a yowling mob and beats him down with a painful thumping surfeit of carbon-soled bike shoes. I know it's really truly hunky-dory, now, Michael--but Tyler can still have my Gary Fisher if he needs it!

Operacion Mindcrime: meantime, the Spaniards--perhaps chagrined by the worldwide mocking they received for running the Lowest-Casualty Doping Investigation In All Human History, perhaps tired of beloved icon Valverde's perpetual failure to score a Grand Tour, perhaps having finally found evidence that would implicate and humiliate the French (always a worthy goal)--have decided they've uncovered new evidence of "danger to human health" with regard to Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno to the Male Stars" Fuentes' helpful nutritional supplements and are gonna reopen the impressively impotent and charmingly salacious Operacion Puerto. Now, props to the authorities and all for taking it up again--because frankly it's unbelievable that there was anyone left riding in the Spanish peloton in particular besides a couple of runaway children careening around Daddy's team bus in their Big Wheels after that debacle--but I must wonder, what the hell are you clowns thinking? Okay, Valverde-the-Classics-man you apparently are willing to lose, but your little Grand-Tour-triple-winning princeling/Teen Beat poster boy/Indurain-of-today-and-tomorrow Alberto Contador from frickin' Liberty "More Drugs Than a Tom Boonen Birthday Party" Seguros? I don't care if he was powerless mind-controlled unfulfilled-promise jailbait at the time and everyone's happy to give him a pass for anything that (allegedly!) happened in his infancy--is this what you guys are willing to risk, or are you just going to pin a tiresome boring also-ran perp walk on Mancebo and Sevilla and waste everyone's time? Either way, run for it, Alejandro!

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