Saturday, July 04, 2009

This Team Will Self-Destruct in 5 Seconds

The Old Gray Mare, She Ain't What She Used to Be: and no, I don't mind it as a matter of fact, because Lance insulted we love Carlos Sastre like an arrogant low-rent bar-brawling thug-pig and deserves a giant karmic thwap because of it, but let's get down to business: Johan Bruyneel has got to decide which of his two prima donnas he's gonna coddle, and damn well get the loser to do it too, or he's in danger of letting a pack of crotch-grabbing power-plays derail the near-guaranteed victory chances of one of the most talented teams in cycling history. I'm going to leave aside the continuous feeling of mild stomach upset that Contador's stunningly recent improvement in the time trial has given me, and assume that, as is always the case with Armstrong's squads, everyone is truly pure til he leaves. You want to back Lance, Johan? I admire your loyalty, but if you give it to him now, at least before Alberto undergoes some spectacular crack, you are doing a disservice not only to Contador who has today earned the leadership (if, to be entirely fair, by a pretty small tho' notable margin), but to the broader sport as well. And while we're at it--free the course-smokin' Klodi for heck's sake, you can't put one of Lance's old lowly Discovery minions on Cinderella drudge-duty for your chosen one and let Kloden do what he's capable of for once? Keep your eyes open, Carlos--if Astana starts playing cannibal in the mountains, there's your chance!

Arf!: meantime, while these guys were all battling it out, what the hell (besides his winning effort at the Giro) happened to Denis Menchov? This course suited him, and he woofed it--not by so much it's unrecoverable, but he's gonna have to go against his habits and really attack in the mountains if he's hoping (probably fruitlessly) to gain time on Contador there. I'm sure it's got nothing to do with the fact that, post-Dekker, the team's feeling a little, well, conservative about its race prep...

Cav Comes Down to Earth: and, as Mark Cavendish gets ready to tackle his near-inevitable multiple sprint wins this Tour, and near-inevitable obnoxious-sprinter foot-in-mouth episode he's likely to have after at least one of 'em, I have to say, I was surprised that, despite his total incapacitation at the mere mention of a hill much less the actual presence of one, an ill, out of sorts, and severely colon-blown Tom "Sniffy" Boonen still managed to come in ahead of him. It's okay, Cav, you're still the fastest man on earth right now--don't let it psych you out too badly!

Tomorrow's Race: for those of you who have money bet on this year's Tour, you can almost guarantee winning if you pick whoever I don't, so in the interest of enriching you all I'm gonna say Cav's gonna keel over from the hilly parts and hand this one to Thor Hushovd. Sure, you can mock me--but at least I'm making you richer!

And, It's the Giro d'Italia Again, Baby!: finally, as the boys rip it up in France, the women are conquering the Roman Empire at the Giro Donne, and for purely entertainment purposes I note that among an all-star field the great American Kristin Armstrong sure placed a whole lot higher in the opening time trial standings than Lance (no relation) did. Hee hee--and you go Kristin!


Anonymous said...

And, enough of LA! Is all his posturing just media hype or is he really that big of a jerk? Go Contado!

Anonymous said...

If you want to know about Lance, read up on this:

Tusher said...

I hear that Cav has been practising verrry, verrry hard after school on his climbing. And he got 10/10 and a sparkly gold star after Milan-San Remo.

So he may just be able to get over a railway bridge this year.