Friday, August 14, 2009

Oh, Sweet!; and, an Update

Talk About Lab Chimps: so now Bernhard "Scumlord" Kohl, apparently somewhat more than mildly annoyed that he's gone down in flames while every other weasel within and without the peloton continues to rake in the dough, the accolades, and the podium babes, has seriously gone for the jugular: yep, he's claiming that he, via his manager, successfully bribed the anti-doping labs, for really quite astonishing chump change, to analyze his samples for the sole purposes of helping him microdose--that is, to cheat. Now, I can't speak to ethics--particularly for dirtwads who have none--but if you can't nail these clowns for helping cyclists ('cause it seems awfully unlikely that Kohl's the only one) cheat, for my money they sure as hell oughta be at least nailed for selling themselves out so cheaply when, given the stakes at hand for and the bank balances of the buyers of their services, they could've been raking in truly extortionate amounts of money instead. Not that I approve of it in the first place--they're all very, very naughty, of course. I'm just sayin'. I mean, can't you prosecute someone for sheer stupidity *anywhere* in this world?

Don't Do It, Levi!: oops, too late, as we love Levi Leipheimer has reportedly sealed his eternal doom, I mean signed with, Team RadioSkank, and much as it pains me to see such a brilliant cyclist stiffed out of team leadership *again*, I'm miserably assuming it's only a matter of time before Andreas "Man, I'm *Whipped*" Kloden does the same. The great unknown: competing rumors that Hincapie is, or is not, going to bail on Columbia for BMC (which would apparently have included Levi) or Lance's new squad. Aw, George--sure I prefer the Italians anyway, but give me *something* in US cycling (besides Tyler Farrar's inevitable 2010 Tour de France stage wins and Christian Van de Velde's ongoing total bitchin'-ness) to be happy about next season for heck's sake!

It's a Madhouse! A Madhouse!: speaking (sort of) of Astana, I see the irrepressibly crazed Alexander Vinokourov is looking to start the Vuelta with his ol' team, which I must say fills me with ambivalence because, despite the fact that Vino's an unrepentant amoral drug-sucking demon's-spawn, he's nothing if not entertaining to watch on the attack (though I imagine that, if actually ever forced to ride clean, he'd now be stuck with rather cruder tactics like, I don't know, jamming a water bottle into someone's derailleur at 60kph), he's duly served his time in the big house, and, unlike some team leaders I can think of, he was never one to begrudge his domestiques a stage win when they'd damned well killed themselves for Vino earning it. Plus, Chris Horner sez he wouldn't mind it--so how bad for the sport could his return be? Oops, looks like Vinokourov just got the results from his latest doping control:

Dammit Cadel, I *Told* You To Make Your Move!: meantime, Alberto Contador (and what the hell is with Paulinho bailing on him? Armstrong must've (1) offered him more money than he's ever seen in his life or (2) scared the crap out of him by the career-crushing black hole of his egomaniacal enmity) is basking in the glow of 8 gazillion teams that want to leech off his glorious (if still perhaps somewhat suspect) talent, and, while he's discreetly denying any final decision yet, Caisse d' Epargne has sworn to pimp its collective management's grandmothers to find a loaded new sponsor to afford him if it has to, and, despite the allure of a new Spanish squad and even the reputed interest of Quick Step, Alberto has coyly conceded he's interested. My only concern: Columbian climbing god Mauricio Soler, inexcusably excluded from the Tour this year by the tool organizers, has apparently inked a deal with Caisse already, and much as I like anyone who pisses off Lance Armstrong, Alberto, if you're gonna make Soler domestique for you in the Tour de France next year to get you the overall you better let that boy off the leash for the King of the Mountains he so richly deserves, twerp. Allez allez Mauricio--hell, I've already had to give up on poor Cadel I suppose...

Whoops, Here's Your Chance After All Cadel!: yep, the fine folks at velo- and cyclingnews are reporting that, despite that player-slut Contador's dalliances with other squads, the Kazakhs are delighted to announce they'll be enforcing Alberto Contador's contract through the end of 2010, which I'm sure equally delights Alberto as, with Vinokourov at his back, nothing could possibly go wrong next season. Not to worry Alberto--not only will all the remaining Kazakh riders be coming off their bans by then, but Vino makes one hell of a loyal domestique--just ask Jan Ullrich! Oh, honey, you should've *known* when Vinokourov plastered his own face on his latest jersey that if your lawyer hadn't the sense to draft you a good out clause in the first place that it was all gonna be over anyway...

And, Heading Off to My Happy Place: finally, as contract negotiations for next season alternately enthrall and nauseate me, and the beautiful perfect Vuelta where Samuel Sanchez will swat down Alejandro Valverde like a fly on a picnic lunch remains weeks away, we love the indomitable Jens Voigt is already set to get back on the bike, making me believe, yet again, that there's something sweet and innocent still to love about this gorgeous wreck of a sport. Forza Jens--and watch out for dips in the road from now on!

8 comments:

Fonk said...

I read that Radio Shack didn't pursue Hincapie because he had supposedly already inked a deal with someone else. I don't know if that was Columbia, BMC, or what, but that's the rumor...

Anonymous said...

Um...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2009/aug/14/lance-armstrong-george-hincapie-radioshack

Fonk said...

D'oh! I was actually hoping George would stay at Columbia, as I think he has a good role there. I'm not surprised by this, though...

simon lamb said...

Soler is King long live Soler

simon
www.lagazzettadellobici.blogspot.com

Tusher said...

Racejunkie, thankyou! My elite, luxury racecap has arrived- I shall wear it with pride.

Tusher said...

George NOOOOOOOO-please, please, don't do it. Tear up your contract (if indeed you've just signed it).

Remember who chased and you lost the yellow by 5 measly seconds? Yes, yes, I know there were a couple of other factors, but, but.........The Shack?? The Retirement Home for elderly American riders?


Groan. He must have been offered a helluva lot of money to go.

Rosemary said...

Oh my, Armstrong and Bruyneel are like Jake and Elwood Blues getting the band back together! I can hear Aretha singing R-E-S-P-E-C-T right now!

bill hue said...

That quote from the Guardian about Hincapie/Shack is completely taken out of context.

The original quote is from an Outside Magazine interview and the parentheses mine:

"OUTSIDE: Who are you bringing with you to the RadioShack team? What about George Hincapie?

ARMSTRONG: He’s already committed [to another team? To Radio Shack? To columbia? ]. Has been since before we got our funding....."

So, the answer is less than clear and there was no follow-up, journalism here not being at its best.

Paulino, who was directly in front of Contador when the wind changed on the Stage where Armstrong took the 40 plus seconds from Contador, "sat up" according to Spanish news sources, blocking Contador (so he could not make the break?). So, is it really a surprise that he has signed with the Shack?

Some friend!