Sunday, February 15, 2009

California Dreamin'

Love 'Em and Levi'm: okay, Cancellara's an utterly inhuman Bionicle on wheels capable of blasting pavement into high-velocity shrapnel with even one sleepy flex of his C-4 leg muscles, particularly when he was apparently already sick before the start of the prologue, but watching Levi's "Die, poseurs, die!" game face at the start gate, Dave Zabriskie's silky-mooth performance after a couple of really unfortunate seasons, and of course we love Thor "Eat My Green Jersey, Freire!" Hushovd's sturdy ride in his new Cervelo kit (right on, ben, I agree!)--best of all, Phil and Paul's dulcet return after months of sadistic off-season deprivation--I was happy. My question: even giving former Olympic time trial champion Tyler the benefit of the doubt due to distractions and caretaking on the home front, and Basso's declaration his legs felt good at the prologue and his Giro training's going perfectly to plan, is anyone a bit, well, perplexed at their times therein, particularly given the latter's sudden freakish Schumacheresque velocity in the discipline before his little never-doped episode a couple years back? Naw, me neither!

Ouch is Right: and, I hope it was some comfort to Floyd Landis after two straight crap days in a row that new Astana DS Ekimov (I miss Eki!) had pegged him as Levi's biggest threat, tho' I'm still hoping for a stage win. Ivan had a good day, though, didn't he? And, I must say, much as I loathe Rock Racing's philosophy, flashiness, and overall desperate slutty pursuit of constant press coverage (not to mention completely destroying the season and job prospects of buckets of less-recognizable riders and staff) I was almost jumping off my chair with excitement when dope-linked degenerate Francisco Mancebo beat back Nibali after a quite brave ride and almost certain last-minute defeat. After all, he's the least of the peloton's problems at this point, and the squad barely squeaked by with enough dough for a race license--who among them could afford any hijinks even if they were so nastily inclined? Anyway, points to Armstrong for doing his job today, and allez allez Levi!

The Great Escape: and, as the cops begin to conclude that the punk-ass theft of Lance's priceless time trial ride was likely the work of garden-variety morons, not sticky-fingered cycling fanatics desperate to hoard an iconic ride in their stable for the ogling delectation of a few discreet fellow roadies, one can't help but imagine: how exactly *is* the rocket scientist who probably bought the thing for $50 out the trunk of an ancient Chevy Nova so its proud new owners could go get stoked to the gills supposed to return it, exactly, without ending up in prison for their good deed instead of snagging the reward Armstrong has promised? Roll it up the start line in a borrowed pair of bike shorts and some Reeboks and hope to blend in with the peloton long enough to surreptitiously lean it up against a barrier? Apologize, and say they merely mistook it for their own Huffy in the dark as the crowd dispersed? Flee the country and seek asylum in Armstrong-hatin' France? Good luck with that (though the last one might work), o Prince of Thieves!

Pirates of the Mediterranean: finally, it's been a full five year's since the Marco Pantani's tragic death from a cocaine overdose, and, as a theatrical production of his life is given in Italy, his Mamma, still unconvinced, gives an agonizing interview in which she pleads with Marco's girlfriend--an "angel" one day, a "devil" the next--to tell her the truth about what really happened to her son. The tifosi, of course, mourning him just as sharply as they did the day after, and as admiring of his triumphs as they were forgiving of his flaws, blitzed the pages of Gazzetta dello Sport with tributes and "grazies." Riposi in pace, indeed!


strbuk said...

Well, I can't believe I am saying this, but I am GLAD LA is back. Look at the coverage we've gotten of the ToC. I mean sure I feel bad for baby Contador, but frankly it's good for all of cycling. As for poor Floyd, listen I couldn't even MOVE for weeks after I filed for divorce I don't know how is racing at all....


Rosemary said...

We're here in Paso Robles for the ToC and was surprised to learn several teams are at our hotel too. (That explains why we got a call saying they were overbooked and could we change or dates or be moved to another city.) We were told that on our floor we have Quickstep, Cervelo, Garmin and some of OUCH. It's pretty quiet so I'm guessing Boonen is on the far side. Even if we wasn't partying, I'm sure he'd have something to say about his second 2nd place finish to Cavendish.