Sunday, January 11, 2009

Race to the Bottom

Rasmatazz: okay, I still think Michael "Someone, Please Feed Me a Sandwich" Rasmussen's ejection from the '07 Tour is crap even if he did intentionally skip pre-race doping controls like a dark-alley drug-snorting sleazemeister, if only because both rabid antidoping guardians of peloton virtue UCI and don't-ask-don't-tell Rabobank both knew it before they let him start, so if they weren't egregious publicity-whore hypocrite enablers--which they are--they either ought not to have let him ride, or admit they were happy to let him do it so long as those fair-play whiners at ASO didn't find out about it. But anyhoo, his ban is almost up, he's still got a stinkin' cloud over his head, and what's his first goal? To ride the Vuelta. Goddammit, can the world of pro cycling quit using this spectacular race as its sorry !@#$% of last resort? You know you'd choke at the Tour, you ride the Vuelta. You crash out of the Tour, you ride the Vuelta. Your numbnut team captain gets busted and blows your stage win hopes at the Tour, you console yourself at the Vuelta. Free the Vuelta, I say, and ban these undeserving unappreciative wankers--aiiiggghhh!

St. David Millar, Watch Your !@#: okay, he hasn't started actively bawling yet, and it remains to be seen whether he'll start to wail like a tot with a stolen Happy Meal anytime anyone else gets busted, but Ricco' lieutenant/fellow-Tour-skank Leonardo Piepoli has sure got a good start on his own behalf, wah-ing extravagantly about how, after he'd painfully crashed out of his beloved Giro with a torso's worth of broken ribs, and being desperate to honor his leader Ricco's call for aid when called upon at the Tour, he foolishly threw all his years of integrity to the wind by succumbing to the weakness of his own desire to help and, perhaps just the tiniest bit, but honestly just the tiniest, his own personal glory. I'm sure this has nothing, nothing to do with the fact that his day o'judgment with the Italian narcs is coming up on the 26th--but just in case, you might still have time to score a nice little DS gig with Liquigas, Leonardo!

Outback Stakeout: meantime, Lance Armstrong is apparently slipping into Australia incognito separate from his Astana teammates under banana-republic-dictator-level security ahead of his ride at the Tour Down Under (Go Stuey!), one imagines in the desperate if fruitless hope that Greg LeMond won't pop out of nowhere screeching at him, or that the violent French cycling fans he so fears won't hunt him down like pigs on truffle before he even gets a chance to have them cheer admiringly for him, I mean advance on him in a grunting flesh-eating destructo horror-movie zombie mob, on Gallic soil in July. Geez, Lance, I know it's truly terrifying the way everyone tosses rose petals in your path and hangs breathlessly on your every word, but a bit overheated from the glow of your own ego, are we? Tangential Alberto-Contador-Is-Doomed note: Lance now sez he can see an all-Astana podium at the Tour de France. Free commemorative winner's photo if you can guess who gets to be second, Alberto!

You're My Best Friend: and, as Gilberto Simoni magnanimously decides to forgive bushwhacking baby ex-domestique Damiano Cunego for his outrageous kneecapping betrayal of his rightful team captain at the 2004 Giro--which rift was charmingly healed by the intervention of their wives and bambini--Il Piccolo Principe has announced he's going to form an alliance with our smashing smack-talking aging two-time (eat it, Damiano, that's *two* times!) champ against Basso and Armstrong, to boost their chances of victory or at least put some fear--or more realistically, momentary mild discomfort--into a doubtlessly resurgent Ivan (after all, he took it in '06 clean, right?) and race-defiling Lance. Yes, I know it's to no avail dammit, let's just tattoo the freakin' maglia rosa on who's clearly gonna take the thing right now why don't we, I can still dream though, can't I?

Rock of Ages: so I'm stricken with a pang of conscience for being so hard of late on poor noble Michael Ball of Rock Racing by suggesting they're in trouble and all, and in the quarter-second this self-flagellation lasts I abandon my sordid muckraking and decide to get the news straight from the source: yep, ignoring the instinctive chills heading up my spine, I go to the Rock Racing website. The team motto? "Here to Stay." Okay, I admit I almost pass out at that one, but that does sound auspicious (or is that audacious?), so I delve in further and read the up-to-the-minute headline news that--Rudy Pevenage is the new DS? Um, that's dated November, but I'm sure the webmaster's still recovering from that New Year's Eve hangover, so certainly they're fine. And then--sorry folks, it's the Official Team Death Knell: Michael Ball--a guy who routinely charges people $200 a pair for artfully scuzzy pre-distressed jeans (on purpose! and without even a noticeable pang of guilt or nothin'!)--has put their Rock Racing gear on sale. I mean, it's still a rip and all--but that's it, baby, it's over!


Paula Kirsch said...

BWAAAHAHAHA!! You couldn't be too hard on Michael Ball, he's the king fool in a whole nest of idiots. And tanks for the mental image of GL popping up anywhere Lance goes. let's hope he doesn't "pop up" over at the OUCH camp!!


Anonymous said...

Since Rock had something like 200 different kits last year, I'd expect all their stuff is on sale since they'll probably roll out another half-dozen kits for the Tour of California alone.