Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Cadel Evans Find Me a Team That Won't Jack Me Over Project

Yes folks, in our continued philanthropical efforts to help those too dense, too doped, or just too plain helpless to help themselves, Part II of our series of completely free (and likely wholly unwelcome) Rider Reinvention Projects is on: multiple Tour de France maid-of-honor Cadel Evans! Today, we get our boy on track to find a new squad and gain the Tour de France maillot jaune he's always dreamed of:

1. Interacting With the Press 101: Cadel, I know you've got a reputation as an internal, naturally reticent kind of guy, which has led to some, well, rather awkward moments with the press corps of late, but if you're gonna be a real Grand Tour contender--and get those guys on board to pimp you as one, because you could use their support and publicity--you've got to find a happy medium between "Going Completely Mute" and "Going Completely Freakin' Wingnut." And in fact, you're quite charming on your Twitter feed, so clearly you can translate this to more personal interactions. Our introductory drill: multiple choice questions. 1. The proper response to "What happened out there today?" is...(a) "!@#$ you, you !@#$ing !@#$!" (b) "Nothing, except my TEAM SUCKS!" (c) "No, I didn't attack, you got a problem with that?" (d) "Andy Schleck is a phenomenal young talent and it will be exciting to see how he develops in the future. But I'm looking forward to showing what I can do tomorrow in the next stage in the Pyrenees." No, it's not (a), you twit!

2. The Entourage: Am I on crack, or have you now got Mr. T guarding your !@#? Cadel, unless you've had some serious threats to your personal physical safety by some psychotic cycling stalker, or have had some gigantic shrieking Jonas Brothers teenybopper flash-mob trying to tear your team kit off (and I'm not saying you haven't, so don't get your ego-bruised chamois in a twist), ditch the musclebound Neanderthals, tell the rest of your fawning hangers-on to blow, and face the world yourself. Who the hell do you think you are, Lance "Kneel, Dammit!" Armstrong or some unbearable arrogant sprinter? Look, a fan's shoving a jersey at you to sign--now stop that mouth-breather goon from breaking his arm, and pony up your autograph!

3. The Season: okay, I *do* hope Samuel Sanchez crushes you like an ant at a picnic in the Vuelta, but there is a Grand Tour champion in there somewhere Cadel, and this is the last real race this season you've got to prove it in. And unlike most of the Spaniards, you can whale on the time trials as well, and make up time there if you must. Which begs the question of...

4. The Strategy: I know this is gonna piss you off, Cadel, so it's a good thing you won't ever read this, but if you want a new gig with an outfit that can afford to give you the domestique firepower you so clearly deserve (and need), you're gonna have to learn to brownnose better. What does this have to do with strategy? Because if you don't ATTACK, Cadel, the sponsors can't see their giant garish logo filling up the screen as the camera zeroes in on your heroic move, particularly if you actually take the freakin' stage and with time enough to zip up your jersey sit up straight and conspicuously point to their name emblazoned across your chest as you cross the line. Sponsors seeing their giant garish logo filling up the screen = money. Money = support riders who won't pass out from exhaustion the second they hit a speed bump, much less leave you alone in the mountains with 8000 Saxo Bank riders kicking you in the works with every pedal stroke. No, I don't care if the team is gonna offer to extend your contract anyway--you want a better paying gig with another squad that's paying attention, or not? Yes, I *know* it's snuggly in the middle of the front group--get the hell *out* of there, I cannot see your team kit!

5. The Sign: Much as it kills me to quote Ace of Base--and someone's gonna pay for that--I saw the sign, Cadel, and it opened up my mind: that sign was Jurgen Van den Broecke saying he's just thrilled to bits at the prospect of sharing GC contention with you on Silence-Lotto at the Tour de France next year. Look, we all know Contador's a bit slow to fire the ol' synapses, Cadel, but you're a lot wiser than he (not that you're exactly aiming at a gold standard there, but I digress), and you are not going to make the same naive, trusting, nimrod mistake that he did: you are going to take that upstart child Jurgen at his word, use your newly-developed publicity and butt-kissing skills, and GEEEEEEEETTTTT OOOOOUUUUUUTTTTT! Which brings us to the question of....

6. The Squad: Let's review our options, shall we? I like Christian Van de Velde even if no-one in Europe thinks he can go higher'n fifth, so Garmin's out. Columbia's gone because they're too sucked up nurturing Mark Cavendish, the very finest sprinter on earth (did I mention that the winner of our Two-Week Rider Insult Moratorium in the Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Part Trois Contest was the entirely worthy Cav?). And really, you need a climber's squad in any case--none of this wishy-washy you're-screwed "we like a well-rounded group who can contest the Classics and the Grand Tours," none of this "we're gonna split the team equally between our sprinter and our GC contender" crap. Now if Zubeldia Klodi and Leipheimer weren't already doomed to dull gray purgatory at the service of The One, I'd have suggested Astana, but without them--and with Euskaltel not having any dough anyway and already having reached its 1-Non-Basque Rider Limit plus you would go straight to eternal flaming hell for getting in Samuel Sanchez' face, this leaves you (assuming the Schlecks'll stay at Saxo Bank), so far as I can tell, with (1) Caisse d'Epargne or (2) Rabobank. Sure, they've got their own Grand Tour gods in Valverde and Menchov, but really, what's the likelihood both those guys won't get busted for years worth of (alleged!) doping by the end of this season? *One* of those suckers is gonna go down--and if not, Valverde's at a minimum gonna choke again next July anyway, so what've you really got to fear, particularly if Contador hooks up with a new Spanish squad and takes Luis Leon Sanchez with him? Sure, you've wasted all that time becoming fluent in Italian--but your new Rosetta Stone CDs are on the way!

Well, honey, you've got a long uphill climb ahead of you, but since we already know you can conquer those, it's merely a question of picking up the pace. Good luck Cadel! Oh, Klodi, if your chances weren't already so far beyond repair, I'd pick you for the next quick-fix in the series...

12 comments:

simon lamb said...

I love the rant, by the way are you on twitter and ive just missed you.

Simon
lagazzettadellobici.blogspot.com

Justin said...

HA! That totally cracked me up. This is my favorite blog. Please don't stop writing.

Sell T-Shirts. I'd buy one.

Tusher said...

Sssssh Simon Lamb- don't mention twitter to racejunkie, just in case.......a blog is a blog is a blog. And this is the finest in cycling cyberspace. It has proper sentences and punctuation and everything.

Twitter is the literary equivalent to laringitis.

And I have 14 days of kind words about that dishy Mr Cavendish to look forward to. Sigh.

'Cos I've finally won something.

Tom said...

I really like Cadel, but fear that he is beyond redemption.

Tom said...

And Twitter makes celebs so damned approachable! Heh heh heh.

Rosemary said...

I see Universal will be showing the Vuelta. I'm sure it will be the 2 hour format like the Giro. I'm looking forward to another 3 weeks of cycling...but not 3 weeks with those announcers...(sigh). I wonder if Antler Man will get his flag swiped this year. That was very funny! And how does he get those things through customs?

@Tusher...is it 14 days of kind words or 14 days of no insults? I didn't hear a peep about Boonen until the 2 weeks were up.

@Justin...my husband thinks I'm a Racejunkie Junkie. I'd buy a T-shirt that said that!

randie said...

I think that somebody should point Cadel here.. via his twitter. Just an idea ;)

A nne said...

Hey, I found your blog last week, and since then, it has entertained me a lot during my long working hours, so thanks for that.

I'll keep on reading, so please keep on posting.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Klodi, if your chances weren't already so far beyond repair, I'd pick you for the next quick-fix in the series...

I know, so sad, sadness

Tusher said...

Hi Rosemary, um, I was really pushing my luck, but I *think* I asked for two weeks of Racejunkie only saying wonderful things about Cav.

Possibly. Maybe. It was late at night.

Actually, I consider myself bluddy lucky that she's mentioned him in such glowing terms already.

And I suspect that, after the 14 days are over, Cav will open his mouth to the Press prior to engaging his brain (again) and , well, you get the picture. Open season again. He's a bit like a grouse who stands in front of a shotgun- so trusting, so honest, so in need of media training.

But then he wouldn't be Cav, would he?

Rosemary said...

@Tusher - At least Cav has a chance of something positive being said about him....Boonen on the other hand...let's just say he needs to take RJ's advice.

Tusher said...

Rosemary, I'm trying r-e-a-l-l-y hard NOT to say 'positive' and 'Boonen' in the same breath, but it's difficult.

He's a poor little sod right now. Well, a very wealthy and actually quite big sod to be accurate, but I agree completely with you and RJ. I felt sooo sorry for him during the Tour- but, hey, here's looking forward. At least he still has a job.

I raise my glass to Tommeke and his future wins! Devoted and loyal as I am to Cav, I would cheer to the rafters if Boonen could sprint past Cav in a Grand Tour stage.

Just the once.