Monday, May 25, 2009

Giro d'Italia 2009: Stuff I Like and Stuff I Don't

Okay. It's no secret that I think that wanker Lance Armstrong has, with his insatiable ego and supreme publicity-whoredom, utterly wrecked what should have been a near-perfect centenary Giro. And I guess (and it's lucky for the lot of you) that between Captain !@#clown and Simoni's total nonexistence, that it's rather put a damper on what's normally a frantic and incoherent amount of posts during the corsa rosa. That said, today was the first day that got me actually interested in this beautiful race again (spoiler), so I might as well spit out what I'm liking and what I don't:

1. Thank you ever so much, Lance, for completely bamboozling the simp star-blinded race organizers into wussifying every single one of the climbing stages from brutal spikes o' gradient death into long low Italian-hostile yawners just precisely for you. If I want to watch the !@#$in' Tour de France, I'll watch it in July you punk!

2. Nonetheless, Simoni better have ripped an actual entire limb off in a crash or been 24/7 projectile yakking at the roadside to justify this week's craptastic performance. What the hell Gibo, have you no pride?!

3. By contrast, a noble if fruitless attempt today by Damiano Cunego. Honey, I hate to break it to you yet *again*, and I know you are having a tough time exiting the closet on this one, but you're really a Classics man. Embrace it, and your tifosi will understand, and someday, you will even be at peace.

4. Simoni was right, and having cheered the boy in Milan in '06 along with the rest of the swooning champagne-soaked throngs it does still rather sting to say it: Basso was an "extraterrestri" then, and he's just a plain ol' uomo, if indeed still a strong one, now. On the plus side, his gilded crusader-o'-purity wings and pretty, pretty apologetic visage surely remain intact!

5. Woo-hoo dear little Sastre! I thought he was cooked on the second-to-last-climb, and what a fool I was! Mild heartbreaker, if I still weren't in major annoyance mode with all of Lance's little acolytes: Popo just limply shaking his head as Sastre cruised on by.

6. Race commentary without Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen is like an entire night of stone-cold-sober karaoke with a tone-deaf 5-year-old shrieking halfway-memorized Disney tunes at the mic. Except less fun.

7. As both my faithful readers may disgustedly recall, I still have a wholly unjust irrational resentment of the innocent Denis Menchov for a giant bucket o' stuff he never did to Roberto Heras. But if Di Luca can't step up, he's gonna take it, he's gonna deserve it, and the Italians will never, ever, ever live it down. Anyone else see a new Italian-narc witchhunt against a randomly-targeted foreigner on the horizon?

8. Y'know, ex- maglia bianca Thomas Lokvist is really, really underrated. So can we please cut the constant pointless camera-action of Lance meandering along in the gruppo picking his nose or taking a drink for once, and focus on someone who matters in this race already?

9. Sprinters are just unbearable, aren't they? Except Thor of course. I mean, here Cav was, lamming into the riders left and right for disrespecting the Giro, 'til he gets the last stage *he* feels any interest in and heads for home. Ahem!

10. Beyond the full-throttle screaming Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi fanatics at the Vuelta, there are just no better tifosi than the Giro's. Anyone else notice how the riders were angrily smacking away the fans tossing water on their heads, until a nicely-dressed elderly lady was doing it and they all just meekly submitted as they passed?

All right, I suppose I'm feeling better now. Too bad about your lousy mechanical Levi, but at least you've got tomorrow's rest day to plan your attack up Vesuvio!


Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you on the point of Cunego. Though I previously would have agreed with you, I've recently come to the conclusion that Cunego is not doing well in the grand tours because he's racing clean. My two cents...and I was never a fan until this Giro. Always felt like you & the media, "accept it you're a classics man." Which is why doping won't stop...people want the fireworks. Hypocrites, the fans & the media.

Jon said...

As to Cunego, he is casting aspersions by stating that the peloton is "racing at two speeds" in classic Greg LeMond style. Why not rely on accusations of doping by others when your performance wanes?

There have been no positive tests yet in this Giro d' Italia and this implies that the entire peloton is riding "clean" including Cunego.

So perhaps your suggestion is not so far off base, Cunego should stick to the one day Classics.

strbuk said...

You are so wrong about so much my dear, it's not all that funny anymore.....


Anonymous said...

Does a lack of positives mean the whole peloton is riding clean? Really?

PJ said...

1st--"so wrong about so much" --like what?
2nd--I think Leipheimer is overrated. And Lance is, well, aside from being annoying, a bore.
3rd--I love this blog.

Mary said...

OMG - I so very much agree with you on the commentating! This has really shown how hard Phil and Paul work, and how much effort must go into making it sound so natural.

If I hear the Universal guy call Levi "Lenny" or "Levey" one more time (in addition to all his other wild mispronunciations of rider names - which are kinda the POINT TO HIS JOB) I will scream more loudly than I did the last time. And, not to be all rah-rah USA, but come on - he's on an American network, try to occasionally say something positive about the American riders! (Jeeze, he was even picking on the American tourists in Florence "who have no idea a race is going on nearby.") Quit reading the Twitters from riders and pretend to be a real commentator, who has an idea what is going on in the race!!

And Sean Kelley on Eurosport was a great rider, but if this guy is not on some kind of tranquilizers I would be amazed. He mumbles incoherently, drifts off his point several times during a sentence, and seems to be fuzzy on the idea he is being broadcast.

Phil and Paul (with some Bobbke thrown in for color) - I MISS YOU!!

And, I was so very sad for Popo! He has such a great day, and while I'm thrilled for Carlos it was a little heartbreaking so see Popo lose it so close to the finish.

Mary said...


And, I was only slightly amazed to see your Menchov prediction almost coming true already!

Jon said...

Notice the word "clean" is in quotation marks. So, okay, Cunego is doped to the gills and everyone else is "clean." Satisfied?

If you want to cast aspersions on others you better provide some evidence, novice, or rest your case.