Wednesday, May 27, 2009

He's Got It/Yeah Baby He's Got It

If the Narcs Don't Get Him First, That Is: Okay, so Franco "Farrah Fawcett" Pellizotti is 2 minutes back, which he's not gonna get, and there's no way in hell Danilo's gonna get the 80 or so seconds he needs on Menchov ahead of Sunday to cover the 20-odd seconds he's behind now, any time bonuses Denis may go for, and the 40-plus he's gonna lose on Sunday's crono. So unless Denis Menchov has some hideous mechanical on the climb or, particularly in light of the high level of interest today in his association with scuzzbucketian ex-teammate Rasmussen, suddenly falls unfortunate victim to that special kind of "stomach virus" riders only get when they're about turn up poz in a doping scandal, this Giro's in the bag. Still, the boy gets points for not complaining when the cheap-shot fans in Abruzzo hissed at him, which, incidentally, sent half the fans into a mortified mea culpa on behalf of a chagrined nation (y'know, the French might try that next time they whine when their boys get smoked on their turf, like every single freakin' day in July), though if he in fact *is* a dope fiend, and if Kohl is right you can't win clean then there's no reason to think he isn't tho' I still hope Jens Voigt was right !@#$-slapping Bernhard as a sore-loser dreams-of-grandeur rock-star wannabe, he can either take Heras' Vuelta win and hand it over nicely, or he can shov--I mean, I would be very, very disappointed. Anyway, nice work hosing over your *entire country*, RCS!

Italy's Next Top Model Roundup: speaking of Franco of the Euromullet, I know the boy tanked on a few earlier climbs, but am I the only one thinkin' that if he weren't half-handholding the newly-reborn St. Ivan of Varese the whole race, and if the team hadn't been so desperate to wring out a return on their obscenely enormous investment from Basso at any cost, we might've had a serious GC contender on our hands?

It's Too Darn Hot: meantime, a disconsolate Team Diquigiovanni is blaming the ludicrous Vueltaesque heat in the mountains for we still love Gilberto Simoni's spectacular failure, in which case I sincerely wish our aging hero a cool restorative shower and a nice tall glass of lemonade, but more interesting, while they're updating the team website with Giro news, they *don't* have Bertagnolli and *do* have Rebellin on the corridori list. So are they just too broke or cheap to fix it, or are they planning to get back their Classics meal ticket for one more year?

Ves, Ves-su-vio/Oh, Oh: so writing tomorrow off entirely as irrelevant, let's look ahead to Friday, shall we? Gibo needs it to reclaim his dignity, though this dinkmaster stage is not, but for a few steep sections, his terrain. Ivan wants it to prove he wasn't a drug-stuffed back-alley addict in '06. Garzelli wants it as icing on the cake of his maglia verde. Di Luca's pissed he didn't get it today and no doubt agrees with the low-class hissing of his fans, and wants to pluck that bloodsucking leech Menchov off his wheel. And as for Levi, well, Lance having worked for another rider for the first ten seconds of his entire career in cycling, I imagine Johan's gonna subject him to an all-squad bike-tool beatdown if he doesn't pony up the goods. And me? I love you Levi, but I still hope Gibo makes you all cry like Ricco' behind his mama's skirts!

I Want a New Drug: in non-cycling news,as UCI and WADA continue their highly effective "we only ban you if we hate you" antidoping campaigneven the NFL and MLB, for heck's sake, are starting to give out research grants to the tune of half a mil for labs to discover new methods of detecting banned steroids in urine. Might we persuade our own governing bods to try the same, since, according to Kohl, the Biological Crap-port is apparently only good for helping the cheaters to calibrate their precise doping needs (and thanks especially, natch, to their giving the boys a good year's notice they needed to amp up their baselines)? Of course, the first million or so UCI & WADA spend might have to be on "Remedial Sample Labeling" or "Testing Protocols for Lower-Order Primates", but it'd get 'em there someday, right?

Finally, Gratuitous Thor Hushovd Rocks Clip o' the Week (be patient!):

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