Monday, December 27, 2010

The 2011 Year in Preview

Yeah, You Heard Me: well, folks, it's darned near the end of 2010, and while the Spaniards've still got a handful of days left to test positive for something new and dazzling and Johan Bruyneel has plenty of time left this year to jack over Levi Leipheimer, I say let's take a preemptive look ahead to what is sure to be a thrilling, inspiring, and periodically slime-ridden 2011! Ergo, yer Year in Preview:

January: team-camp wrap-up! Team Schleck bags backwoods-survivalist Saxo Bank bull!@#$, heads to luxury beachside spa for facials, hot-rock massages and manscaping; Landis appears at Tour Down Under to accuse Armstrong, kicked senseless by specially-trained kangaroo posse mysteriously let loose in his hotel room; Contador found guilty of doping, Spaniards punish severely as promised by overthrowing parliament, King Juan Carlos, installing Alberto as absolute dictator, and decreeing him winner of next 13 Tours de France. It's good to be the King!

February: Boonen decides this martyr crap isn't working, hits dance clubs with sycophants and pile of blow, takes Tour of Qatar by 23 minutes. Woo-hoo, let's party (again)!; Christian Vande Velde severely injures arm in freak Valentine-making mishap; Jens Voigt attacks on team training ride in Luxembourg, becomes first man to reach lunar orbit on bicycle using Mount Everest as launch ramp.

March: time for the Classics, baby! Alberto Contador wins Paris-Nice again, nearly disqualified after doping poz til cleared when Bjarne Riis comes up with prescription refi--um, receipt for tainted Altoids; Cavendish snags Milano-Sanremo after grabbing entire sprinter field by their jerseys with his teeth and flinging into barriers. Aw, not again!

April: oh, yeah, it's the Hell of the North, honey! Tommeke gets wasted, smashes new Ferrari into stop sign, wins Paris-Roubaix next morning; Vande Velde goes on mellow Sunday-morning ride with fan club, has no mishaps whatsoever, still busts tibia and sustains severe road rash; Cancellara takes Flanders again by 2-year margin, denies that bionic leg exposed by wires sticking out of knee counts as "bike" doping.

May: it's the Giro d'Italia, baby! Organizers round up a handful of neighborhood kids to ride it since everyone else is either riding the Amgen EPO You Suck You Race-Screwing Dirtbags Tour of California or saving selves for Tour; Vande Velde gets up to go to bathroom in middle of the night, whangs into doorway, breaks nose, wins Giro anyway when entire podium bails on last day to go play Legos.

June: time for pre-Tour doping controls! 182 riders fail biological passport, cleared to ride as Pat "Dick" McQuaid totally coincidentally vacationing in Amazon jungle with no cellphone coverage; Vande Velde reaches into fridge for grape jelly, breaks bone in thumb; Vinokourov trains for Tour by whacking own teammates off treacherous Alpine switchbacks, forced to hire remaining Team Pegasus riders as unsuspecting last-minute replacements.

July: what else? it's the Tour de France! Boonen goes to rave, ingests 46 tabs of acid, wins 6 consecutive sprints and green points jersey in Paris; Dave Zabriskie debuts new "ZZ Top" facial hair, brings down entire squad in team time trial just meters from line when beard catches in Hesjedal's derailleur; Andy Schleck smashes Contador's bike into pieces with pedal wrench during nature break, pair arrested by gendarmes for too-lurid post-race make-up.

August: yeah, baby, it's the 2011 Vuelta a Espana! Oh, !@#$ you buddy, you've *gotta*'ve heard of it by now; Robbie McEwen takes all mountain stages in shock triumph over Igor Anton, refused spot on Aussie Worlds squad on grounds he's a "pansy"; Andy Schleck mistakenly kicks self and Stuey O'Grady off squad after late night out, hose Frank over *again.*

September: we love Samuel Sanchez takes the Vuelta dammit; Cadel Evans jailed for assault and battery after obsequious cycling journalist tries to give his dog unapproved chewy toy; Cancellara detained in Swiss airport after nuclear reactor welded into top tube sets off radiation detector in luggage-screening area.

October: it's the World Championships again! Thor Hushovd takes second consecutive win when Cavendish caught up in late-race fist-fight after insulting own lead-out train; Gilbert loses Lombardy to Boonen after Tommeke tricks him into pre-race beer-pong match.

November: yeah, it's transfer season! Bjarne loses 14 members of team after publicly dope-smacking them for winning races all year; Contador purchases entire Spanish peloton with proceeds of new sponsorship by major pharmaceutical manufacturer; Cav signs 5-year, 200-million-euro contract with HTC, cries like baby in Phil & Paul's arms mourning cruel injustice.

December: team camps again! Euskaltel blown across Pacific by mild cross-wind, marooned on uncharted island for season; Garmin eschews new team kit in favor of full-body tats; Belgians relax on cobbles in driving sleet-storm in beach chairs, Ray-Bans, and Speedos; Spanish squads to private wing of top-flight medical center for 4-week regimen of "flu shots."

Well, fellow cycling nuts, them's my predictions for next year--let's hope those clowns don't pull anything else worse!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's A Holiday Gift List For the Peloton!

Yes, fellow fans, as cyclists everywhere get ready to celebrate probably some sort of wintry holiday or 'nother, but most certainly their latest scam escape from that pesky doping ban they so wholly deserve on some bull!@#$ technicality, it's time for us to turn, with all the love, respect, and spirit of giving that this charming season elicits, to our heartfelt wish list for all our fave denizens of the peloton:

The Climbers: yeah, you *wish* it was that crap the Spaniards are snarfing. But since it ain't, I wish you all those wee little motors that Cancellara was accused of hiding in his frame. Heck, they gotta be cheaper than those slimy gyno drug pushers you boys are paying now!

The Sprinters: blinders, like the ones those thoroughbreds wear. No fair that Cav can send 'em all crashing into the barriers just by blinding 'em with the glare off those giant Colgate teeth!

The Domestiques: ever-unheralded, but never forgotten. To you, I bequeath Lance for a day. Coffee gone cold? He'll warm it right in his very own armpit. Constant fan adulation getting you down? That's okay, he'll body-block 'em. Motos spittin' gravel in yer face? No sweat--hey, he don't mind going in front. So damn sore from a hard day in the maillot jaune that you can't reach where that chamois cream ought to go? The man is *limber*, I tell you. Levi, Klodi--it's payback time!

Tom Boonen: just as we all know there's a Santa Claus, Tommeke, we know there's still beyond greatness in you. Paris-Roubaix for our blushing babemuffin!

Robbie McEwen: you *suck*, UCI! And Pegasus. And anyone else who had a hand in ruthlessly driving the baddest man in show biz to the very brink of retirement. Dag nabit, get this man a contract! Just not with RadioSkank. Please, please, not with RadioSkank...

UCI: speaking of these clowns--cojones. Either the lady or the gentleman variety would nicely suffice. I mean, you simps are already promising to slap Contador on the wrist because EPO is so, so much worse than the new !@#$ he's taking? Santa, a real pair for these odious appeasers--stat!

Lance Armstrong: surprised I'm giving him a present? Don't be--'cuz it's really, and I say this with all due nonexistent shame, for the rest of us. Can we get, oh, 200 million or so of Bose noise-cancelling headphones, so we don't have to listen to the inevitable 2011 24/7 freakin' Lanceathon media coverage instead of news about guys who actually, y'know, still ride?

Thor Hushovd: Give our new world champion a minion to strew rose petals in his path wherever he walks. You rock, ya big lug!

Riccardo Ricco': coal in yer stocking. 'Cause if you *ever*, *ever* do anything to sully the legacy of the late, great Aldo Sassi who so faithfully and generously deigned to train you on your way back from your disgusting cheat-ban, you are gonna *need* it to heat whatever miserable damp leech-lurkin' Gollum cave craphole you're gonna have to flee to so the entire world o' cycling don't hunt you down and *beat* your !@#. Alright, ya got yer present--now scram!

Mara Abbott: a pink bike, helmet, wardrobe, and car. Come to think of it, let's just dip-dye her entire house til it glows like a bottle of Pepto. No, not 'cuz she's a girl, or 'cuz Lampre's got so much extra Barbie spandex on hand--'cuz she won the Giro d'Italia, baby, and pink is the official color of whup-!@#!

Floyd Landis: damned when he did, damned when he copped to it, double-damned when he completely jacked his loving fans and triple-damned now that no-one believes a word he says about his repugnant doping teammates even when a good 1% of it is probably true. A cloak of anonymity for this man--at this point, we're all better off!

Jens Voigt: whatever he wants. Seriously. Heredity kingship of some rich-as-sin playboy principality? A passel of subservient slobbering suckups to obey his every whim? A $25 Starbucks card? Andy Schleck, he's your responsibility now--Tour de France my !@#, pony up!

Carlos Sastre: come on, karma gods--just one more little Tour stage. Shut up!

Dave Z: forget this facial hair shtick--what are you, a one-man Burt Reynolds tribute band? So get this man a dreamy Justin Beiber haircut! 'Course, he'll have to get a bigger helmet too, to avoid the dreaded post-race hair-muss...Garmin, get your people on the problem!

Cadel Evans: the Tour. No, he won't get it. But he works like a dog, defends his dog like a dog, and is an all-round stand-up guy. So yes, he darn well ought to. Cadel, we'll see you in Paris!

And Finally, My Faithful Reader(s): no, I can't promise you Contador is innocent, your favorites will win, or that Cav will run off with you into the sunset and marry you. But what I *can* wish for you is another year of scandal, glory, and massive seasonal muckraking. Happy Festivus to all!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Bite Me, UCI! Or, Don't !@#$ With My Giro, You Dirtbags!

*Or* My Vuelta, Thank You Very Much: Oh, great. So Pat "Dick" McQuaid is dedicating all his efforts into starting up the Tour of !@#$ If I Care About Cycling in the sports-fanatic hellhole of !@#endofnowhereica, and on an apparently totally inconsequential side note in his view, to do that we oughta completely destroy the beauty, majesty, and history of the century-old Giro and 65-year-old Vuelta just cuz the Tour de France gives a bunch of greedy Rolls-drivin' caviar-snortin' sponsor-cretins a bigger platform to pimp their cheap-crap products on? You *suck*, McQuaid! Yes, money necessary--even good--but did it ever occur to you that on sheer *sporting* grounds you don't knock 1/3 off an epic 100-year-old tradition just because some gaudy assclown nouveau oligarch thinks he can add an extra jewel to his tacky blood-diamond cufflinks if Lance Armstrong shows up to court the press and blow the race *again*? Perfect, Pat "Dick". Let's eviscerate the Giro d'Italia til Fausto Coppi rises from the grave to go 10 kinds of blood-soaked sore-ridden zombie on your !@# and gut the flawless Vuelta til 10,000 screaming orange-clad Euskaltel fans stomp yer pathetic toadying celebrity-sucking rump-kissing doper-enabling visage into a 150-degree-Fahrenheit marriage with the sun-soaked Basque August tarmac. Me, I'll be selling off my minor organs--like, who the hell needs a "spleen"?--to scrounge up a wheel-well Alitalia ticket to the Dolomites to watch the single freakin' day my beloved Giro is gonna have left, while you, of course, stuff yourself senseless with prissy French pate' for three weeks oiling up to ASO which hates your weasel guts anyway. Stronzo!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the 2010 Racejunkie Awards!

Yes, folks, with only two weeks left for either a brilliant move or, more likely let's face it, an act of egregious late-season stupidity on the part of some sap in the peloton, we here at racejunkie are nonetheless taking a chance and are both pleased and honored to present to you our ultra-prestigious--or, for the doofi among the roadies, ultra-embarrassing--2010 Racejunkie Awards:

Hot 'n' Sexy Scandal of 2010 (and All Eternity): What else? Alberto Contador poz for dope at the Tour de France with just 5 freakin' picograms of Clenbuterol. So was it the tainted meat, garden-variety cheating, or just, as some wags have suggested, a downright stupid re-injection of still-doped blood from this year's Tour de Suisse that sunk you? Only you, behind those big, pretty eyes of yours, know the truth. Aw, rats, say it ain't so--like, honestly!

Comeback Kid of 2010: Ivan Basso, this one's for you. After a brutal fall from grace, and a reassuringly so-so return in 2009, the patriarch of the Cutest Family Ever clawed his way back to a spectacular second win at the Giro--and without any of that 9-minutes crap that so awed and rightly disconcerted us in 2006. Welcome back, GQ man--and you *better* not be fudging it this time!

Stage Win o' the Year: yes, I've said it before. And no, it never, ever, ever gets old. Cadel Evans, Stage 7, Giro d' Italia. Smashing!

Total !@#hole of the 2010: game, set, match. Congrats, Riccardo Ricco', you weenie--way to slither back to the peloton!

Come *On*, Come *On*, Come *On*! Prize: he's big, he's bodacious, he's rehabbed himself beautifully, and let's face it, he's just plain charming. I also hear tell--and indeed, fully believe--he's one of most fearsome classics and sprint men in the business. Tom Boonen, we *know* this year was an injury-plagued aberration--and we're all *so* pulling for you next year!

Absolute Yawn of 2010 Award: sorry, Lance, but you at the Tour. You're the greatest Tour de France rider of all time, and, not coincidentally, one of the greatest riders, period. You're a tireless advocate for those battling cancer, a cause whose nobility none can deny. And even if video of you actually grabbing a syringe from a FedEx package labeled "My Big Box o' Illegal Performance-Enhancing Drugs" and shooting it into your personal butt should surface on YouTube tomorrow, your adoring American public would just completely ignore it anyway. So why, why, why, especially after a middling (by Armstrong standards, anyway) 2009 comeback, would you ever continue in 2010 with mere mediocrity? Forget the horridly-irritating press-whore orgy we had to endure at your every colon blow in every freakin' race you showed up to that was just nails-on-a-blackboard this year--baffling!

Now *There's* An Armstrong Who Don't Piss Me Off Award: yes, to the joy of her fans and the flat-out fears of her competitors, repeat world champ Kristin Armstrong decides to come out of her still-new retirement for another (likely successful) crack at Olympic glory. You *go*, Kristin--and all *she* imbibes for help is chocolate milk!

Punk-!@# Move of 2010 (Race-Day): really? You sent your lead-out hired-goon Renshaw up to head-butt Julian Dean and squeegee fair-play king Tyler Farrar into the barriers? Damn, Cav, sucker-punch a little old lady or somethin', why dontcha?

Punk-!@# Move of 2010 (Non-Competition): okay, it was actually when your book got published, but geez Louise, Floyd, writing a whole book to rip off your most loyal, devoted defenders for $24.95 or some extortionate !@#$ then admitting the whole thing was lying crap is just *no* *class* at all. But hey--after taxes, it shouldn't take you much more'n ten years of hard labor asking surly junk-food addicts if they wanna Supersize it at McDonalds to pay 'em all back, right? Now do it!

Karma, Baby! Prize of 2010: look, ya gotta give Bjarne Riis some credit--with a few little snafus, he was one of the winningest team leaders in the business. More, he had the exquisite sense to hire--and well support--we love Jens. But the minute you started being mean to the faultless Carlos Sastre--the guy who WON YOU THE FREAKIN' TOUR DE FRANCE YOU TOOL--your world started to crumble around you, up to and including the Schlecks bailing to create their very own squad *and* your little cash-cow savior Contatwerp's unfortunate little run-in with some drugged-up cattle. Not that it has anything to do with YOUR BEING MEAN TO SASTRE. Oh, Bjarne--maybe if you take 'im out for a nice lunch or something, it'll all come 'round next year...

Crash of the Year Award (Single): oh, Euskaltel. Oh, Igor. Yep, it's Igor Anton's instantaneous loss of the fabulous Vuelta a Espana that just about crushed my soul. How exactly do you type the noise where you bay like a heart-broken basset hound? Yeah, that!

Crash of the Year Award (Multiple): the little stretch of oil-slick on the downhill of the Col Stockeu that broke the bones of damn near half the Tour de France and killed poor we love Christian Vande Velde for GC. What the !@#$ is this, Paris-Roubaix?

Sissy-Boy Slap-Fight of the Year: If there's anything more enjoyable than watching one guy built like an elf whanging another guy built like a wood sprite upside the head with a $400 wheel with the clear intent of impaling his skull with it, I've yet to see it. Carlos Barredo and Rui Costa, this one's for you!

Everyone Else on the Planet Is a Wuss Award: yep, this one's for ever-winning Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo, stomping her toddler competition for national champ for the umpteenth year in a row. And not only were these women in diapers when she *started* competing, they're gonna all be in adult diapers before she stops. So tell me why the rest of you delicate flowers in the peloton all hit the showers in 30s, again? On second thought, explain it to Longo instead!

Tweet Rant of 2010: Don't !@#$ with Robbie McEwen, man. 'Cause he'll cut you. If you're lucky. And even so, you're still gonna be thankin' him for merely going all Gitmo on your !@#. To the nameless numb-nut who knocked McEwen off his ride after the line, hope livin' off the grid in a filthy hidden cave like some time-traveled Neanderthal is treatin' you well--and for years to come!

Embarrassingly Rah-Rah "USA Rules!" Bud-Drinkin' Beer-Gut Scratchin' Imperialist Moment o' 2010: Mara Abbott, 1st American woman to win the Giro. Forza, you goddess--and did I mention she conquered the Stelvio? So now, can we go back to humiliating the French instead?

And Last But Not Least, Doping Excuse o' the Year: yep, it's a two-fer for Contador--oy! Close second: Chuck Coyle's claim that a dear teammate used his computer, password, and home address to procure a whole bucket o' forbidden dope, but that he admitted to doing it himself because he was just too darned gentlemanly to call his good pal out. Yep, if *my* career depended on it, it'd sure be cool by *me* to have my BFF sell me down the river to protect himself! Darling peloton, can't we all just go back to blaming grandma's EPO habit, and try to retain at least *some* shred of plausible dignity?

Well, that's my year-end wrap-up--to any particularly glorious or disgusting riders whose hijinks I missed, don't worry, honey--there's always next year!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Doper's Song (With Apologies To Nat King Cole)

Lactose burning your legs like fire,
Hot sweat dripping off your nose,
If you don't snag the maillot jaune tonight,
Your career really will be hosed.

Everybody knows, a syringe and some EPO,
Helps to make palmares bright,
Cheating skanks tested just before bed,
Will find it hard to sleep tonight.

They know that UCI is on its way,
They're using high-tech tests, they'll make you pay
And every pin-up cheat is gonna cry,
So you won't care his whole defense is a lie.

So give a hug to your DS,
Who gave the drugs to you to do,
Kiss some kids, and keep omerta',
You'll be right back in a year or two!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

2010: The Year In Review

Can't remember the last time Tom Boonen won a race, an Italian got busted for doping, or Contador pulled that "pistolero" move? Well, we here at racejunkie are primed to help you both impress and bore fellow holiday party-goers to tears with your arcane knowledge of all that's glorious, grotesque, and just plain mundane in the world o' cycling 2010! So, for your edification--and because you know you'd rather read even this than do that damn TPS report your boss is waiting for--here goes:

January: Riccardo Ricco' an early win for coveted !@#hole of the Year Award for running screaming from loyal baby mama Vania Rossi the second she tests poz for dope; Floyd Landis back in action at Tour o' Bahamas; wheel-suck this, buddy!--new world champ Cadel Evans actually attacks at Tour Down Under!; Cav calls Ricco' a 'parasite'; Lance accuses Contador of having an ego. Ah, the sweet taste of hypocrisy!

February: deluded reader begs for more Lance coverage in Velonews; Rock Racing denied Continental license, some silly problem with "every goddamn person on your team's a cheat"; French issue arrest warrant for Landis; Tommeke rocks back at Qatar; Freire dazzles; Petacchi knocked off bike in final seconds o' sprint by camera-wielding tifosi nimrod. Y'know, Ale-Jet's a pretty big guy--run, you fool!

March: Armstrong afraid Contador'll kick his !@# in Jul--I mean, sez cycling no longer top priority; Jens of course back on winning form after devastating Tour 2009 crash-out; Alejandro "Bloodbag" Valverde's ban upheld; RadioSkank dissed by Giro; rumors swirl that Frank'n'Andy Schleck will be starting own team in 2011--yeah, right!

April: BFFs Cav and Greipel trade insults; Samu' whales at Pais Vasco; Lampre takes Gibo back to Giro; RadioSkank's Fuyu Li tests poz *before* he leaves Lance's squad; Boonen's compatriots too lame to chase, Cancellara storms Roubaix. But WTF with that Cavesque-ian double-chest-point?

May: some total !@#$wad schedules Amgen EPO Tour of California during the Giro; Cadel takes epic stage on the strade bianche; Pellizotti busted for bio passport, Ivan Basso again pretty in pink; Floyd Landis confesses to massive fraud; Cancellara accused of bike doping. As if an engine could beat *his* legs!

June: it's the road to the Tour, baby! Contador keeps an eye on Vinokourov; RadioSkank chooses "pure slaves" for Armstrong; UCI doesn't want the French to find any dopers; Jeannie Longo only French rider who doesn't suck for 25th year in a row; we love dear little Sastre in pain, Cervelo' don't give rat's !@#; Ivan Basso's hot sister get deferred sentence for dealing dope to cyclists, women's prison inmates eagerly await probation violation. Keep dreamin', you predators!

July: what else?! Lance blows; Tyler shows his class; moto-crash oil slick takes out 3/4 of peloton, Leipheimer just glad he's alive; Andy Schleck drops chain, Contador takes off, pair later arrested for public indecency after too-lurid make-up on Champs-Elysees; photog whacks Robbie McEwen off bike, seeks asylum from raving one-man pocket hit squad; Jens Voigt is a god. On to the Vuelta!

August: it's the Vuelta a Espana, baby! yeah, it's a !@#damn bike race, it's been on for like 100 years, you clowns!; Alberto Contador flirts with SaxoBank; Cancellara looks elsewhere; totally-innocent-dammit Levi Leipheimer accused of blood doping during 2005 Tour by scum-sucking slime-weasel from Gerolsteiner; UCI ignores uncomfortable bio-passport results. Shocker!

September: Euskaltel's Igor Anton crashes out of Vuelta and near-certain win, racejunkie bawls like toddler; Bjarne kicks Andy and Stuey out of race in bitter snit, screwing Frank; Vincenzo Nibali snags the overall, teammate Ivan Basso plots downfa--um, proclaims total happiness; oh no you didn't--Contatwerp positive for Clenbuterol in 2010 Tour!

October: Holy crap we love Thor Hushovd is the new world road champion!; Jens follows Schlecks to new squad, remains a god; paranoid conspiracy theorists at Liquigas sue Italian prosecutor for generally suggesting dopers, y'know, dope; Cav snivels, *again*; 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar "I Did So Win It, Dagnabit!" Pereiro bids farewell; Contador blames asthmatic cow for poz, sez he'll quit sport if one more freakin' person laughs at him for sayin' that. Did I mention cows heart medical-grade plastic tubing residue?

November: WADA rips UCI for weak controls at Tour; Popovych haunted by narcs; Novitzsky aims at Armstrong; Pope cracks down on doping; Contador finds tainted meat receipt, beaten and left for dead in dark alley by outraged Spanish agriculture federation. Hey, it's *still* not as stupid as Bjorn Leukemanns' "I Was Busy Doing the Nasty" defense!

December: FDJ miss out on ProTour license, like anyone's gonna notice next year; Cancellara finally confirms with Team Schleck; UCI threatens to appeal unsatisfactory ruling on Contador. What, "unsatisfactory" like he's prosecuted, you enabler wussbags?

Sure, December ain't over yet, and we can all imagine there'll be at least one more unbearable tidbit about (1) Contador or (2) Armstrong--but really, who even *wants* to talk about that crap? A fond adieu to 2010, and on to 2011!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Contador Opens the Faucets

Wah, Wah, Wah: yeah, this'll teach you to piss off fast-aging baby savant Alberto Contador: as he's done every time he's sworn absolute silence on his ongoing doping investigation until it's done then immediately pimped himself to another sympathetic press outlet, he's gone and threatened to quit the sport again if he's busted, in case the Spanish cycling fed wasn't sure which way they were supposed to vote, and more, he's also ripped into Team Astana--which he himself bailed out of for next year, though this appears not to have crossed his radar'o'relevance--for not "supporting" him enough at the Tour and in the wake of his doping scandal. Um, not to rewrite history, here, Alberto, but weren't your teammates--like, oh, Lance "!@#$ You You Little Peon Punk!" Armstrong--just the *slightest* bit *less* supportive the year before?! Sure, Vinokourov'd attack his own grandma on a walk to the mailbox--but really, you wanna take on someone who's even *more* likely to run your !@# off a mountainside in July 2011?

Share and Share Alike: meanwhile, another scandal has rocked the Italian cycling world, not the shocking efficiency with which even that odious little weasel Ricco' is snowjobbing the cycling fed into thinking he's actually reformed, but that Italian mountain biker Elena Gaddoni has been busted for high testosterone. Y'know, it seems to me this can have a happy ending: since Danilo DiLuca's been busted for doping up like a chick on masking agents 'til he had the testosterone levels of a Smurf, she and Danilo can do business and simply switch syringes so they each stay believably within their respective genders. Throw off the narcs, you don't waste the drugs you paid for, everyone wins!

And The Oscar Goes To: the Giro d'Italia! Yes indeedy, we love Oscar Freire--having recovered from nether-region-threatening saddlesores, freak back tweaks, and various Tour de France pellet-gun wounds--and decided to bag retirement for another year, is gonna skip the You Suck Amgen EPO Tour of California to ride, before he says goodbye, the perfect Giro. Sure, there aren't actually any "sprint" stages in this year's edition--but hey, what says an Oscar-friendly "slight uphill to the finish" like an hors-category deathmarch to the top of the Dolomites? Woo-hoo Oscar!

It's the Racejunkie Give Thor Hushovd A Raise Campaign!: okay, like I care about the problems of people already earning a cool 1 mil a year, but I gotta say, if Thor Hushovd sez he might've liked a raise if only he hadn't signed with new squad Garmin before his World Champ jersey kicked in and they hadn't already busted their budget, then by golly, someone oughta give our big lug a raise. So buy yer bitchin' Garmin stuff here , I'll post a link to their no-doubt spiffy new team kit as soon as it's out, and Garmin, use the extra dough to pony up a little present in Thor's argyle stocking this year--I mean, let's totally gratuitously look at this guy's win again!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Racejunkie's Things I'm Thankful For This Year

Yes, folks, even I can't be completely pissy for 365 days straight, so as we Americans all get ready to pause to stuff ourselves senseless with turkey, sweet potatoes, and pie in extravagant gratitude for the Native Americans not bushwhacking the Pilgrims while they still had the chance, I ponder the other things--about cycling in particular--for which I am especially thankful this year:

1. Mark Cavendish. The boy is just the gift that keeps on giving. The fastest man on earth? You betcha. Already one of the most prolific sprinters in all of cycling's noble (and ignoble) history? Sure 'nuff. Possessor of the toothiest, flashingest smile this side o' the British Empire? Don't think I didn't notice, Tusher 'n' Co.! But best of all, Cav can always be counted on for a pithy quote on how much his rivals suck, a pithy quote on how much his own team sucks, or a timeless pic of an obscene gesture as he crosses the line that surely makes his family proud. Thanks, Cav!

2. Lance Armstrong's finally freakin' retired once and for all, and we no longer have to listen to everyone yappin' about him 24/7. Wait a minute...hey, I call bull!@#$!

3. Euskaltel-Euskadi. Samu. The squad. The dashing Halloween team kits. The screaming fans. Most of all, the climbs. Winged angels, I say!

4. Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen. Sigh. Can *anything* more be said than "Bow, beeyotches!"?

5. Clenbuterol. Damn, without it, the boys *still* might be climbing the Tourmalet. Someone, get me an IV ba--I mean, a steak, quick!

6. My loyal (or intermittent) readers. Got 18 reasons why I blow in today's post alone? Yeah, you told me. Thanks to all!

7. Holy crap Thor Hushovd is the new World Champion!

8. Holy crap Giorgia Bronzini is the new World Champion!

9. Jens Voigt. I hope he sticks it out 'til he's old as the Alps. In fact, he'll probably just grind them down to sea level with the sheer force of his pedal-strokes. Woo-hoo Jens!

10. UCI. Ha! No, just kidding. But I *am* thankful for all (both of, whatever) those teams, riders, journalists, officials and tifosi who do work so hard to clean up this beautiful sport. Good karma to all of you!

Well, that's most of my Thanksgiving list for this year, if only to give myself recovery time for so much saccharine goodness. I'd give a special honorary nod of appreciation to Alberto Contador for both a dazzling Tour and a supremely disgusting after-circus, but as I Euskaltel fan, I just can't be nice to anyone who so outrageously slanders innocent Basque beef. You're gonna have *earn* it next year, Contatwerp!

Monday, November 15, 2010

God Sez Don't Do It!

What More Do You Need?: if fear of those impotent enabler-weenies at UCI weren't enough to stop you from doping--and I can't imagine why on earth it would be--you better quit now, because the heavenly Big Guy's puttin' the hammer down, baby--yep, none but Pope Benedict himself has placed doping on the celestial no-no list. HEAR THAT CONTADOR--YOU'RE GOING TO HELL, FLAMING SULFUROUS ETERNAL HELL, I TELLS YA! Or that cow is, whatever. But hey, trading one's immortal soul for the chance of extremely pissing Lance Armstrong off when you break his 7-Tour de France-win record--seems like a worthwhile bargain to me!

Pop, Pop Goes the Weasel, the Weasel!: speaking of guys whose names begin with "Pop" (yes, that's lame--what the hell else do they have in common?), we're all waiting on tenterhooks to see how how the search results for the narcs of Lance lieutenant Yaroslav Popovych come out, and I gotta say, I'm feelin' juuuuuuuuust a tiny bit for this guy. Come on, Lance--if he did do it, you *know* he did for you, so man up and take responsibility for the absolute autocracy and total cult of obedience you created in support of your own personal glory. If you don't, and you did do it--!@#$ goin' down for nothin', Popo, let out your voice and *sing*!

Survival of the Fittest: meantime, Team Schleck is ready for its first training camp, and, unlike in the CSC/Saxo Bank years, they won't be set adrift naked'n'soaking-wet on Arctic ice floes with nothing but hex wrenches and twine for fishing equipment while Bjarne laughs his !@# off from his beach cabana in Monaco. Since you clowns *did* stupidly spill the beans to the press on where you *will* be training, though, and with Riis in some danger of losing Contador to scandal, *I'd* sure be on the lookout for stalkers dressed in winter camo settin' out snares near bike routes. I'm just sayin...wait, could that be Bjar...naaaaahhhhhhh!...

You Oughta Know: finally, we all know--especially my faithful readers here at racejunkie--that cycling info on the web runs the gamut from total crap (shut up!) to truly ethereal brilliance. And if you really wanna know where your favorite--and unfavorite--riders of all time rank historically amongst the gods and why, then on the ethereal brilliance end, this man's your source. What's more, I hear tell he can set you up damn sweet on even that impossibly ill-fitting body-wrecking cheap-!@# ride of yours. And best of all, of course, is that Gilberto Simoni's still beating the stuffing out of that backstabbing wannabe punk Cunego. So check it out, and bow to his encyclopedic knowledge and spotless analysis, you (beloved) peons!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

That's It, He's Innocent!

The Documents Don't Lie, Baby: yes indeed, if a virtual barked-out order from the head of Alberto Contador's cycling fed that he doesn't want the child found guilty weren't enough to guarantee he's getting off, now Alberto's even got actual printed proof on his side: the team's miraculously found the receipt for the dirty Basque steak that Contador unwittingly consumed that fateful evening in July. Contador, of course, who swears every two minutes he's done commenting on this bull!@#$ farce that's severely hurting his feelings, has--um--commented to the press he's both delighted and confident he'll come out unscathed. Now, I don't want to be a spoil-sport here, but it seems to me that this receipt proves, at best, two things: (1) someone bought a steak to cook, and (2) because as we all know it's a sin to waste perfectly good food, particularly as two weeks into the Tour you're probably gonna beat the crap out of the next schmo who serves you carbs just from sheer ennui, someone connected with the purchaser probably ate it. O ho, case closed, UCI! Now, show me the rancher's veterinarian's medical records proving Bessie was diagnosed and treated with clenbuterol for her tragic, chronic asthma, and the chain of custody leading from pasture to team bus, and a wacky contemporaneous team-bus cell-phone photo snapping Alberto and domestiques with forkfuls of steak held aloft, and *then* we're talkin'... Wait, folks, I think we got it--take that, UCI, you meanies!

The Chicken Returns (He Hopes): meanwhile, should this whole silly thing nonetheless throw a wrench into Bjarne's increasingly-jeopardized plans not to completely suck eggs for next season, luckily, he's still got options: the narcs aren't gonna challenge aging ballroom dancer/ex-basically-Tour-winner Michael Rasmussen's participation in the Tour next year. Let's just be glad this Tour ain't exactly stuffed with time-trial miles, shall we? Good luck, Bjarne--you guys are gonna need it!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Good Luck With That, Suckers!

The Spaniards Step In: yes, UCI has taken the next step necessary to ensure their post-Armstrong boy king don't get overthrown by scandal: in accordance with the rules, they've turned the whole Alberto Contador investigation over to the Spaniards. BWAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So much for snaggin' the big fish, you cowardly enablers! Y'know, I understand the Spanish system is much improved since the ol' Valverde Operacion Puerto days, namely that they've begrudgingly codified into law the general concept that doping's, seriously folks, not very nice at all. But in the face of humungous national outcry and the total defense by every national sporting official in existence over the cruel and clearly entirely bull!@#$ persecution of their eyelash-batting national hero--even from the sensitive hometown butcher who thought Alberto's dirty-meat defense was dubious--that the Spanish are gonna take *him* down? Let's preview the decision, shall we? (1) there was barely anything there, so there was functionally *nothing* there. (2) Lots of cows take asthma meds anyway--how else are they supposed to breathe while they're chewing all that "cud" crap all day? (3) The whole stupid IV-plasticizer thing is a red herring. And if it's not, the red herring was tainted. (4)*Look* at that cute little face--could this cute little face do anything wrong? No, and we don't want to look for needle holes in his cute little !@#, either. (5) !@#$ you, you !@#$ing !@#$wads--like *your* guys are any cleaner? And if all else fails, (6) it's such complex case we need an extra four years to think it over, in which time, he's free to ride.

Besides, look who this guy hangs out with: how *could* he dope? Now, if you're gonna prosecute him for constantly doing that beyond-annoying "Pistolero" !@#$ every time he crosses the line, *that* I'd back...

Friday, November 05, 2010

Don't Do It, Bjarne!

The Chicken Dance: no, it seems, gyrating suggestively (if scrawnily) in Bedazzlered floral disco outfits *isn't* enough to fulfill a guy who was on the cusp of winning the Tour de France when the same folks who let him ride it for three weeks knowing he'd missing doping controls suddenly got all outraged and pulled 'im out, as Michael Rasmussen not only keeps whining to get back on the bike with a real squad, but he's actually found, though the team director at issue coyly won't confirm it, a high-caliber buyer in--gnurk!--Bjarne Riis. Oh, Bjarne. Between Alberto and, well, damn near every cool rider on the planet, we know you've suffered some terrible blows of late, but to pick up a dope fiend like the Chicken--who the hell do you think you are exactly, Liquigas?

Men In Black: meantime, pity poor Armstrong ever-acolyte/foot washer/darn fine cyclist actually Yaroslav Popovych, who in being subpoenaed to testify at Jeff Novitsky's Lance Crucify-a-thon was apparently hunted down by the federales like Ted Nugent on elk. Geez, mount his bike helmet on the wall in yer living room like a set of antlers and you've really got a prize there! Me, except for that whole petty "justice" thing, I completely fail to see the point. I mean, didja even *think* you were gonna get anything helpful out of this guy?

Blood Simple: and, while we're feeling sympathetic to people making huge sums of money by screwing other riders, Alejandro Valverde's lost his latest appeal to the narcs, and, barring yet another last-ditch appeal, won't be gracing the peloton again til 2012. Which is a shame, come to think of it, as I always did look forward to him imploding and surging erratically before he started gettin' that !@#$ he was taking right, but if I can actually watch a race again and feel fairly confident that the guy winning it hasn't supplanted his entire bloodstream with 8-odd pints of liquid cheatin' dirtball, I'm more than game for that. Oh, Alejandro, if only you'd copped to "attempting" to cheat...or claimed it was your grandma's EPO...or blamed it on hard-core drug-addicted livestock...

Tyler Farrar Kicks !@#: in other news, am I the only one looking forward to watching US sprint king Tyler Farrar, whose admirable Tour de France was barely even sidelined by his suckmaster catastrophic wrist-crunch, whomp certain other sprinters next season? He welcomes his new teammates politely, he looks forward to sittin' down and amiably figuring out the schedule with potential rival Thor...the man is just complete opposite of the tiresome braggarts we're so accustomed to amongst the speedsters. Y'know, Cav, I truly treasure every Vinokourovian wingnut moment your mouth explodes like some foul gaseous volcano at the unsuspecting press. But while you *are* to be fair very good at giving credit to your teammates, if you're lookin' for class, take Tyler's. Or maybe just keep making obscene salutes as you cross the line, and have it out with Tyler on the road!

Woo-Hoo Norway!: finally, congrats to the fine country of Norway for being the bitchinest place on earth according to a new U.N. report, an honor due entirely, no doubt, to the fact that we love Thor Hushovd is the new-crowned world road race champion. Health, schmealth, happiness, schmappiness--really, what does any of that silly crap matter for a populace when you've got Thor?! Here, let's gratuitously review:

Monday, November 01, 2010

UCI See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Heaven Can Wait (And Wait, And Wait, And...): yep, those of us with an actual "doping bad" philosophy can get our collective panties out of their bunch--after those party-poopers at WADA ripped UCI for their Tour de France performance for (1) failing to carry out enough doping controls on certain favor--I mean, suspicious riders and (2) timing the controls so cyclists could flush the drugs out of their systems and (3) stomping through team-hotel lobbies with an oompah band to give the riders plenty o' time to hide their stashes yank the IVs out of their arms and snort a pile o' masking agents, UCI, in an unprecedent attack on the scourge of dangerous, traitorous doping in the peloton, has sworn to--yes, *study* the situation! Geez, you cowardly clowns, why not just give up the pretense and have Pat "Dick" McQuaid walk down the start line every morning with a musette full o' syringes whammin' 'em into each rider's !@#? Sure beats all this cloak-and-dagger fuss--and hey, who *doesn't* want a level playing field clearly guaranteed?

Riis' (In) Pieces: as if losing the Schlecks, Fabian, Jens, and Stuey weren't already crap news enough for one season--not to mention vague rumors about some obscure rider named "Contador" or something--poor Bjarne Riis was apparently kicked in his works yet again when he unsuccessfully tried to salvage next season by signing on reliable Tour de France stage winner/general Classics strongman we love Thor Hushovd. Damn, I know he was a complete tool to Sastre and won his own Tour de France drugged up like Keith Richards and all, but even I'm starting to feel a little twinge of mercy for this guy. I mean, freakin' Johan Bruyneel gets a two-month vacation with a special exception for the Tour Down Armstrong next season and *Bjarne* gets tossed into the deep-fryer for the whole year? Tylenol, take me away!

Live (Dope) Free or Die: finally, erstwhile dopemeister Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca's return to the peloton appears to be a bit on the rocks, as the Giro director expresses reluctance to take our reformed boy back into the race, and the Italian squads seem even to be more squicked out by Danilo than that odious little snakeling Riccardo Ricco'. Geez, it's not like Danilo hasn't done the Ivan Basso pin-up thing--he's posed on a zebra-striped throne in his birthday suit and walked the runway for Dolce & Gabbana, right?--I *told* you to copy the guy's entire playbook and start kissing babies for charity too, DiLuca you blockhead!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mara Abbott: Your Racejunkie Rider Profile o' the Week

Yap, Contatwerp, yap, the 2011 Tour Down Armstrong's Gonna Hijack the Whole !@#$in' Thing, yap: for sheer bad!@#ness, not to mention a clean rap sheet, ya can't beat U.S. climbing goddess Mara Abbott:

The Scoop: the only US woman ever to win the Giro d' Italia Femminile, and even better, she nailed it by attacking and crushing her formidable competition, including the usually-unbeatable Emma Pooley, on the uphill boulevard o' broken dreams, the Stelvio. What does this get her, besides well-deserved eternal glory? That's right, baby, a contract with Italian squad Safi-Pasta Zara for 2011 so at least it can claim some credit for the next time she wins it. Forza ragazza! The replay:

Personal: Born in 1985. Besides being a road warrior, she's also a champion swimmer, studying to be a yoga instructor, and fond of corn on the cob. And while we're at it, a bitchin' website. What's not to like?

Palmares: besides That Which Cannot Be More Fabulous, she also took the queen stage of the Tour l'Aude this year, she's the newly-crowned 2010 US Road Race champ, she was second in the Giro Donne last year, she's won at Redlands, she's the 2007 US Road Race champ, she's...damn, besides the men's Tour de France, what *hasn't* she won?

M.O.: despite the fact that if anyone's earned the right to be a hideously-annoying egomaniacal braggart, she has, well, she ain't. But if you want to hear about every pedal stroke her teammates put in to control the stage, she's happy to tell you. Um, any riders we can think of who might want to take class-act humility lessons from Mara?

Spiffy Photo: fortunately (or unfortunately, for the more salacious among you), the women's pro peloton does *not* tend towards the sort of Tom Boonen come-hitheresque X-rated film clips that can embarrass the hell out of one's own kids 15 years down the line, but the woman *does* look both joyous and smashing in the maglia rosa. You go, Mara--and I can't wait to see you take it again next year!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Jens Voigt Explains It All

Jeeeeeeennnnnnsssss!: look, I feel very, very sorry for Bjarne Riis. After watching 3/4 of his squad bail only to replace it with the hugest, doe-eyed-est cash-cow the cycling world has ever seen, only to have said cow squirming under the thumb of a giganto doping investigation, the poor guy can't be feeling exactly on top of the world right now. And in fact, I feel so sorry for Bjarne I won't even remind him it's clearly planetary-justice karma for him being a wanker to dear little Carlos Sastre after he won him a freakin' Tour de France a ways back. But if Jens Voigt sez he had a good reason for leaving Saxo for baby Schleck's new squad--and even if he sez it's just like being his old team, except with different jerseys and, y'know, a slight change in management--then that's damn well good enough for me. Oh, and if you're *really* worried you're just gonna end up "the boring, established rider who takes a paycheck and says 'Yeah, I'll do whatever you want'--with all due respect, lay off the java for a while, o godly one, we all know *that* ain't gonna happen. Sorry, Bjarne--and bow, peons!

Cowabunga, Dude!: speaking o' Contador, it's good news and bad news for our jailbait (maybe jailbound) dreamboat as Spain arrests 34 evildoers connected with unlawful clenbuterol distribution 'n' use--including, apparently, some nefarious weasel funneling the stuff to innocent cattle. Yeah, Bessie thought that internet !@#$ was a harmless supplement--and look what it did to my damn career! I wonder if one *can* sue a steer (or his estate, anyway) in Spain...

Uh, Oh, Ivan!: man, not only does posterstud Ivan Basso have that up-n-coming Nibali to worry about--with Franco Pellizotti off the hook for his bio-passport prob (at least til UCI appeals it) and, presumably, back at Liquigas, now Ivan's gonna have to convince an insanely pissed-off, entirely season-deprived superclimber teammate to domestique 'im at the Grand Tours between depositions in his monster lost-earnings suit against UCI. Y'know, class, I think we all learned from the Armstrong/Contatwerp Astana debacle that you can only have so many princesses vying for the prince (maillot jaune, whatever) at the ball. Hell, with these two's primping you'll be lucky to get 'em out of the ladies' room in one piece--good luck, and if it comes to fisticuffs, for god's sake Ivan don't mess up Pellizotti's hair!

And You Thought Lampre's Outfits Were Chic: well, they ain't anymore, and neither are those lame, say, ultra-aero time-trial helmets, because according to cicloweb, the hot new protecto-trend for the pro peloton 2011 is: air bags! Yeah, just try to head-butt me in the sprint, pal--when you bounce off this sucker and into the barriers like a rag doll you are gonna *pay*!

"God bedring", Thor!: at least, I *hope* I'm wishing him "get well soon" in Norwegian as opposed to, oh, insulting his mother or committing hell-bound blasphemy, but anyway, holy-crap-he's-the-new-world-champion! we love Thor Hushovd's finally fixed that pesky collarbone and is well on track to humiliate Mark Cavendish and any nit who dares challenge him in the Classics next year. Se deg snart, you big lug--and if that means something I didn't intend, please don't hurt me!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It's the Magical Mystery Tour (de France)!

Higher, Baby!: yep, the Tour route's been announced, and while you can read all about it here, suffice it to say there's 3 stages in the Pyrenees in week 2, 3 Alpine stages in the last week including a mountaintop finish on the Galibier, the intermediate sprint and stage-win bonuses have been scrapped, and, all in all, it's a pretty tough climber's course that oughta suit Contador perfectly--if he gets there. Oops! The rider reaction? Baby Schleck--waxing diplomatic about his hopes Contatwerp is innocent and gets to keep his Tour--pegs Nibali, Cadel and Basso as his other rivals--don't let that faze you little Sastre, a mountain stage is still yours but what the hell is this crap about your killin' yourself with three Grand Tours again?!, Hincapie sees his own opportunities if his bike don't combust, and Van de Velde's already lookin' at the Pyrenees.

Slow'n'Steady Wins the Race: or at least avoids more crap publicity for the doper-enablers at UCI, as it promises spons--I mean, those interested in the careful application of justice that it's in no rush to bust--or even not bust--Contador for anything. And hey, if, as Contador is bankin' on, clenbuterol use is okay for a hard-core endurance athlete like a ping-pong player, why *shouldn't* it be okay for some lazy wussy ProTour cyclist as well?

Employment Wanted: meanwhile, looks like Ivan Basso doesn't have to worry about the annoying 2009 team-leadership rival Franco of the Euromullet--currently in the doghouse over a bio-passport prob but having been vociferously supported by Liquigas--anymore, as Ivan utterly ignores his existence in discussing the 2011 season but does suggest he'll give jailbait upstart Vuelta winner Nibali, with whom he swears there is no rivalry, the Giro Ivan won in 2010 so Ivan can focus on the Tour, on the grounds that riding the Giro first is just too damn exhausting. Funny how that wasn't gonna be an issue when Ivan won the Giro by 9 minutes in 2006 and planned to ride the Tour then, too, no? Though it's probably very *good* news that it *is* an issue for him this time around!

I'm Rich! I'm Filthy Rich!: finally, congrats to Alexander "IV" Vinokourov, who's won his epic battle with UCI and doesn't, after all, have to pony up his entire season's salary for that minor little blood-doping matter back in 2007. Me, I think it's great--hell, now he can afford to print up a whole line of those Vinokourov-faced jerseys so we can *all* enjoy wearing his (formerly!) hopped-up little visage on our chests!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't !@#$ With Liquigas!; and, Don't Do It, Carlos!

Throwin' Gas on the Fire: boy, if you're gonna suggest that--no way, dude!--lots of cyclists dope, and don't even mention a particular team in a particular nation much less any actual names, you sure better hope that the wingnut paranoid conspiracy theorists at Liquigas ain't readin' the newspaper, because the home of ex-attempted doper Ivan Basso (who did rather charm me against my better judgment with this year's please-let-it-be-clean-as-everyone-sez-it-is renaissance Giro d'Italia win so I better *not* be freakin' disappointed *again*) and bio-passport-busted Franco Pellizotti is outraged, outraged dammit! that apparently the whole entire giganto interview was somehow solely and completely directed at them, and are suing the omerta-smashin' Italian narc Ettore Torri for a sweet 5 million euros. Geez, you actually *haven't* had a real doping poz this season, so why the hurt feelings Liquigas? I don't know about you folks, but if *I* were UCI sittin' on a bucket o' Liquigas blood and urine samples from this season, *I* might start suddenly getting interested in what the fuss is all about...

Don't Do It Carlos!: speaking of Italians who never, ever, ever dope, I see Danilo DiLuca is reported to be on the verge of signing with dear little Sastre's new squad, Geox, which makes me rather inclined to remind you, Carlos--totally without the intent of encouraging sabotage or anything similarly illegal or just plain sneaky--that if you can't get out of that contract on a "do I have to ride with this dirtbag" clause, I imagine riders have an awfully hard time riding if, for example, their bikes mysteriously go missing at the start of every race, and eventually they might just quit the team in frustration. Not that I'm suggesting anything--I'm just hypothesizing here!

I'm Lookin' for Pound Notes, Loose Change, Bad Checks, Anything: speaking of euros, (literally) poor speedster Mark Cavendish is horribly oppressed by the Man again this week, as HTC isn't showin' him the love or, more importantly, the humongous additional amounts of money our sweet little victim deserves. I'll give it to him--he's the fastest man on earth, his total lack of self-control makes him a terrific media darling, and goodness knows if anyone in the peloton deserves a first-rate paycheck--besides Jens Voigt of course, who is a god and should be paid in actual diamond mines--it's Cav. But d'ya *think*, dear child, there are more sympathetic poster boys for abject tragic life-wrecking poverty than yours in the world? Nope, didn't think so--but you'll probably still get a healthy raise out of your whi--I mean, noble plea!

Jeannie Longo Rocks, Again: over in racing news, while it was really an incredible Giro di Lombardia--and Belgian bomber Philippe Gilbert's sheer hard-man bad-!@#itude continues to amaze--51-year-old time trial ace Jeannie "Don't I Make Fabian Cancellara Look Like a Wuss-Puppy?" Longo snagged her umpteenth TT masterpiece this weekend against the helpless usual jailbait-in-their-prime at the Chrono des Nations. Oh, and congrats to still-repentant ever-weeper St. David Millar too for his record-breaking win. Hey--stop cryin' there, ya big baby, there's no paparazzi around!

Let's Talk About Saxo: and, in an era of relentlessly simpy sponsor bail-outs, big points and a warm hug to Saxo Bank for announcing they're stickin' with Bjarne Riis no matter how some piddly little Contador matter comes out. The caveat: any clown caught eating Spanish steak or doing any of the !@#$ Bjarne did during *his* career will be summarily whomped upside the head with a lead-filled safe deposit box. Ah, well, you can't get somethin' for nothin' anymore!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We've Got a Plan B, Baby!

Unfortunately, It's Gonna Be Ugly: yes, Saxo-Whatsit boss Bjarne Riis has assured his local newspaper that he's got a "Plan B" in effect in case that little Contador thing blows up on 'im, and, while he won't yet divulge the details, it involves, one imagines, slumping on his living-room couch sobbing amidst a pile of 50-odd empty beer cans and begging the Schlecks to take him on as a bottle-filler on their new squad next year. Sounds like a plan, Bjarne--I'd have a "Plan C" though in case the bottle gig falls through for ya!

Gone In Sixty Seconds: meantime, I see Contatwerp's been whining to El Mundo that he's so disappointed in the whole process that no matter how his case comes out he may well quit cycling entirely, which, apparently, is Spanish for "I can't believe no-one's buying my 'asthmatic cow' defense" and "like the other clowns on that podium were clean, they just weren't stupid enough to transfuse their doped-up blood from the Tour de Suisse." Wah, wah, Alberto--even if you *are* busted unjustly, you're still a Munchkin gazillionaire set for life, go cry over your pina colada on the beach-side lounge-chair of whatever private tropical island you're gonna buy to retire to--and if you *do* get itchy to get back in the saddle, just spruce up a coupla orphanages full o' hungry waifs, bat those pretty eyelashes with the tears wellin' up for the cameras, and you've got yourself a multi-million-euro contract with Liquigas!

I gotta say, though, I really *am* sorry about Contador--not sorry if he did it (though it's terrible his career is wrecked if he didn't), but sorry that (1) anyone who pissed off Lance Armstrong so much should go down and (2) we all can't watch a beautiful performance without smirking that the rider's got a permanent IV port surgically implanted in his butt. Oh, those innocent, halcyon days when the cheats just scarfed plain ol' amphetamines like Pez at the start line...

Your Quote o' the Day (from retired Italian sprinter Pierino Gavazzi): "Today if you don't dope it's like going into battle with a bow and arrow against a bazooka." Geez, I sure hope not--I'd honestly like to think there's *some* potential for the cleansters to win, wouldn't you?

It's the Giro di Lombardia, Tifosi! finally, in actual cycling news--and isn't it nice to have some?--there's one more major road race to go this year at the beautiful Classica delle Foglie Morte, and before we devolve into our usual end-of-season contract hijinks, smack-talkin' rider skirmishes, and doping pozes, let's take a preview of the brutally nasty end of the routeand a moment to mourn (1) Cervelo Test Team's last race (woo-hoo Thor!) and (2) the post-race retirement of tireless domestique/pretty damn good racer for himself too Chechu Rubiera. Now onto the Ghisallo--Gilbert, forget Paris-Tours, this baby is *yours* again!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive, Cycling Fans!

Michael Rasmussen on the Danish Edition of Dancing With the Stars:

I feel *extremely* dirty right now.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Cadel Evans: Your Racejunkie Rider Profile o' the Week

You know him: you've seen him on the second spot of the final podium of the Tour de France a hundred times. But oh, there's *so* much more!

The Man: Okay, Cadel, you got me. For ages, I found you dull as dirt yet dutifully admirable to watch. And then you won the World Championships, and everything changed in an instant. The attacks. The...well, the attacks. And still more attacks. Wheel-suck *this*, you doubters!

The Basics: born in '77. Started as a mountain biker. Fabulous wife and classical musician Chiara. Major charity supporter. He's also darned appreciative of his fans, speaks well of his rivals, and doesn't make excuses when he's tired, injured, or's had a plain crap day. What he *does* do is perservere. Suckitupistan, bow to your king!

The Palmares: besides 2009 World Champ, and a whole 'nother career beating other guys on his mountain bike? The man wore his first maglia rosa in 2002; took a Tour de France time trial; snagged #1 in the UCI rankings; he's worn the maillot jaune enough to wallpaper a room with 'em; and he's taken the Tour de Romandie, Fleche-Wallone, and the points jersey in Dauphine-Libere. Pretty sweet!

The Fatal Weakness: his teams. Year after year after year, what the hell?

Cool Website Feature: In Australia, or Italy, and hungry after a hard day's road ride? Read Cadel's restaurant reviews for where to eat!

Typical Tweet: "Yes, started my ride with mens Norwegian XC (ski) team yest. Never saw guys with hairy legs go uphill so easily!"

Iconic Photo: Stage 7 at the 2010 Giro. Classics, schmlassics--can one get more bad-!@# than this?

Iconic Freak-Out: Let's see, the one where he whacks someone who touches 'im? or where he threatens to cut off someone's head for hurting his dog (buy the Official Incident T-shirt here!)? Or the one where he head-butts a journo? Or where he smacks around Daniele Righi for screwing with the chase? Me, I don't blame him for none of it!

And finally, Iconic Quote: (tossing broken helmet on ground after bloody crash in 2008 Tour) "This is your interview." Any more stupid questions, punk?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Single Best Anti-Doping Interview Ever

Fine, he's being reviled by his own cycling fed, and, best of all, by Team "On the Fast Track to Sainthood" Liquigas, which hired "attempted doper" Ivan Basso about two years before his (apparently aspirational) 4-year ProTour ban was up. But not only is Italian narc emeritus Ettore Torri's interview about doping the funniest damn thing I've ever read on the subject--up to and including mocking that cowardly little weasel Riccardo Ricco' for likely planning to pass off his recent 50-pill doping stash as his grandma's, an excuse which has of course been used before--but *no-one* can honestly say that what he said isn't probably 100% true. These guys are almost all cheats? Horrors! Any couch spud can climb 6 mountains a day at 40 gazillion k an hour for three weeks straight on nothing but Wheaties and Clif Shots! The teams have been involved in systemic doping? Shocker! That ER's-worth of medical waste in the hotel garbage every night was just from, uh, the "IV Heroin-Head Club o' Europe" conventioneers down the hall! Riders keep trying to outwit the system? Hell no--that's got nuthin' to do with the peloton's 800 consecutive CERA pozes the day a reliable test for it came out! Trainers help riders dope? My butt, all those guys busted with buckets o' drugs in their apartments were really just stockpiling 50 pounds of St. Joseph's baby aspirin for the Apocalypse! If everyone's gonna cheat anyway, we oughta just make this !@#% legal if it won't hurt their health? Like *you* never thought it, and God forbid we should be able to trust that a rider either (1) isn't cheating or (2) isn't gonna drop dead from the unregulated untested crap they're taking just for the hope of a posthumous add-on to their palmares!

Unbelievable, you hypocrites. Sure, apologize to the clean one(s) for the general accusation, but kill the freakin' messenger why dontcha?

Monday, October 04, 2010

I Call "Bull!" Alberto!

At least, Bessie's Owner Does: yep, more bad news for Alberto Contador: an outraged Spanish Minister of Agriculture is calling "moo!" on Contador's defense that he bought clenbuterol-tainted steak from his home country on the grounds that it is (1) strictly banned there and (2) even more stringently tested for. Neat, just like Spain treats its cycling dopers! Anyhoo, you sure you want to cast aspersions on an animal that can do this to you, Alberto? Even worse, Astana's own chef claimed in an interview last July that Alberto ate steak from, not Spain as pleaded, but Pau. Oh, so now you're gonna insult *French* cuisine? Forget whether you're even *innocent* of the charges--good luck getting another Tour invite in this lifetime, Contador!

Buck Up, Tommeke!: 2005 World Champion. Three--three!--time winner of Paris- Roubaix. He's worn the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, and the green on the final podium outright. And despite all that, our boy seems to be experiencing a serious crisis of confidence. Sure, he's had a few, well, brushes with infamy, but any boisterous, big-hearted youngster with a smokin' $400,000 auto and a sudden onslaught of fame, fortune, and hangers-on is gonna do *that*. And sure, maybe he's committed a few more soft-core images to film and the internet for all eternity than he'd want his mama to see. But before his 2010 season was wrecked beginning with his idiot crash in the Amgen EPO Tour of California and his thenceforth-recalcitrant knee, he had already begun redeeming himself from his wayward youth (as we had all instructed him to do) with admirable earnestness. You can still do it, Tom--certainly now that the coke haze has long faded, you remember all this? Come to think of it, maybe we *don't* want him listening to anything with club music in it...

He's Baaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaaack (Again): and, just when you thought losing his grip on guaranteed-Tour-winner Alberto Contador might mellow our erratic Kazakh missile, slobbering peloton Cujo Alexander Vinokourovhas announced his own intention to win the race next year, and, better, has also proclaimed that new Astana rider/star-o'-the-future Roman Kreuziger is gonna get to be his point man. Well, don't feel bad, Roman--at least he's not promising to domestique for you *then* pointlessly attacking your !@# on a climb!

And the Oscar Goes To...: retirement, as we bid official farewell to 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro, calling it quits after a race and general partying in his honor which, apparently, old Phonak pal Floyd Landis did not attend. Since he was shorted out on the joys of the final podium in Paris, let's at least remember him (if not only for his incredible leg-and-career-snapping fall off a switchback in 2008) in the maillot jaune and trophy awarded later at the Spanish Sports Ministry: Who knows, maybe they'll have to do this again next year! Of course, I suppose that'd be the *Luxembourg* Sports Ministry...oh, who can even keep track anymore!

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Right *On*, You Big Lug!: yes indeedy, our dear poll-ees who picked "wrong again, nimrod" were right--I hardly dared hope for it, I was frankly still a little peeved over his earlier-season press-smack to Sastre, and I didn't seeing it coming over Gilbert's smashing Vuelta form anyway. So my bad, and Thor's great--here's how it played out!

The Post-Race: and here's our big happy puppy weighing in:

A Cartoon Tribute: heck, even the Saturday morning kids' tv shows saw it coming 'way back in '66 before the Thormeister was even born:

And, In Other, Scuzzbucket Cycling News: aw, who gives a !@#$--let's us cycling fans just enjoy the moment for once!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Forza Italia, Baby!

Right On, Sister!: yes, in a smashing sprint that sure didn't initially look like it was gonna go her way, new maglia iridata Giorgia Bronzini whammoed her way past an incredible field--and a controversial cut-off of a clearly-ticked Emma Johannson by ever-silver-medalist Marianne Vos--to grab the championship. Giorgia, of course, was wildly complimentary to her squad, explaining it was only late in the race after a hard day's work by all that the azzurre decided who really had the legs, and supported her all the way to the line. Forza Giorgia! So d'ya think Vos cut off Johansen unfairly, or not?

The Scrawny Little Doe-Eyed Elephant in the Room: y'know, there's *so* much crap to post about the Contador situation, not least that it's one sick-!@#$ rancher who not only feeds Bessie asthma drugs, but also makes it huff the kind of plastic that one would only totally coincidentally use in medical equipment for a blood-transfusion. But since this stupidity has almost drowned out the hard work, nail-bitin' thrills, and consistent American-men's tweeting about the (1) girl-fitted and (2) ugly US team kit--oh right, and that Cancellara guy and that Pooley chick's smashing wins in the time-whatsit--for today I'm gonna refer you straight to Contatwerp's own words for the true, unbiased story. Tomorrow--the men's road Worlds. Just use the space the womanly US jerseys leave for their racks as, well, extra water bottle holders, and concentrate on the race, guys!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top Doping Excuses of the Rich (or Stupid) and Famous

Look, forget the thoughtful, highly-scientific analysis of the issue at hand like "Bjarne Riis must've run crying like a baby to his momma last night" and "What kind of assclown stuffs an innocent bovine full of asthma meds" and "Calculate the velocity of the cork shooting out of Lance Armstrong's champagne bottle right now." Instead, for the benefit of needy dope-snorting riders and befoozled over-inundated cycling fans alike, what this sport could really use is a concise guide, in no particular order, to What to Expect (Or Say) the Morning After:

1. I drank so much water it flushed all the testosterone out of my system!
The Perp: Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca
The Lowdown: so *that's* why I mistook you for a podium babe after the stage!

2. I was having sex at the *exact moment* the narcs came by so my testosterone level was studly-high.
The Perp: Bjorn "Love Machine" Leukemanns
The Lowdown: Like Burt Reynolds, without the chest (or any, anywhere) hair, gold medallions, or cheap-porno handlebar moustache. Let's get it on!

3. !@#damn Spanish steak!
The Perp: Alberto Contador
The Lowdown: since many extremely expensive scientists seem to believe it's plausible, I say we give little Pistolero the benefit of the doubt. One word of advice for the future, twerp: "organic." What, they don't have a !@#$in' Whole Foods in Madrid?

4. Did not either. Give me your money!
The Perp: Floyd Landis
The Lowdown: yep, we all know how *that* one turned out.

5. My butt looks big in this chamois, so I took a cheap internet weight-loss supplement.
The Perp: Marta Bastianelli
The Lowdown: why be a hard-working athlete and an idol for thousands of schoolchildren when you could win Europe's Next Top Model?

6. I inhaled my fetal twin.
The Perp: Tyler Hamilton
The Lowdown: Can there *be* grosser mental imagery? Just...I'm glad you retired. We understand. We're all human, you know?

7. "Piti" is not even my dog.
The Perp: Alejandro Valverde
The Lowdown: but it *is* your bloodbag. Next time use Basso's dog's name, you idiot!

8. I'm diabetic and need insulin. Y'know, that 24-hour diabetes that's been going around!
The Perp: Bernard Kohl
The Lowdown: man, that's just !@#$in' *scummy.*

9. With all these cool tats, who's even gonna notice I doped?
The Perp: Kayle Leogrande
The Lowdown: well, now you're just another unemployed ex-cyclist sad-sack. Good luck gettin' a job at Wal-Mart with *that* !@#$ on your neck!

10. So what if I *did* do it? So did the rest of you !@#$in' hypocrites!
The Perp: Alexander Vinokourov
The Lowdown: Honey, if all your friends told you they were gonna jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it too? Yes, if it'd get me my damn Tour de France!

11. I just *tried* to dope. Look, I'm kissing babies!
The Perp: Ivan "St. Ivan of Varese" Basso
The Lowdown: with a face like mine and the truly cutest family on earth, who cares *what* I do?

12. Wah. Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah!
The Perp: St. David Millar.
The Lowdown: I forgive you, I forgive you! Now will you shut the hell up already so I don't have to put out my own eyes and jam chopsticks in my eardrums?

13. I'm a hero! How dare you question me!?
The Perp: ummmm.....
The Lowdown: Yes, you are. And nothing will or ever ought to change that. But that don't mean you weren't ever on the juice, pal!

14. Gaaaaaaassssspppp! Wheeeeeeeeezzzzzzeeeee! Gaaaaaaccccckkkk!
The Perp: Alessandro Petacchi.
The Lowdown: exercise-related asthma is a serious thing. Funny how three-quarters of the best athletes on earth seem to get it 100 yards from the finish line!

And finally: 15. Man, that !@#$ was *great*!
The Perp: Jacques Anquetil.
The Lowdown: Hey, no acting like it was fun back in the Wild West days, you hear me? NO FUN, EVER!

Well, that's all I got for now. But another poz, another hoser, another excuse--just wait 'til next week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh No You Didn't, Alberto Contador!

Say it ain't so, you arrogant twerp--yes, multiple Grand Tour champ/2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has tested positive for clenbuterol at this year's Tour de France. His excuse? Food contamination. Aaaaaaayyyyyuuuuuppppp! Clenbuterol, you might recall, is an oxygen-carrying enhancer somewhat along the lines of Alessandro "Wheezy" Petacchi's salbutamol, is frequently abused by scum-sucking weasel-athletes, and is not, so far as I can tell, a typical additive to either such guilty pleasures as Twinkies nor such handy rider standbys as pasta. But you keep trying there, Alberto!

Press conference is tomorrow. Y'know, I *thought* that new domestique he was hangin' with this past July looked funny...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Back to Business As Usual, Baby!

Escapin' the Guillotine: yes, both UCI and the peloton's resident big-name dope-sucking dirt-weasels can gasp an enormous sigh of relief now, as AFLD head honcho Pierre Bordry steps down, and, with no further fear of positive drug tests ever at the Tour de France--because we all know there was nothing problematic about, oh, a MASH unit's worth of arcane medical waste in the team-hotel garbage bags as far as UCI was concerned--everyone can get back to their micro-dosing and macro-post-race-hydration in peace without those whiny French narcs poking around. At least until they hire someone else who hates Lance Armstrong as much! Unshockingly, Lance tweeted a bitchy farewell to his (unsuccessful, so for my money you might as well shut yer yap about it while you're ahead)nemesis, and UCI head Pat "Dick" McQuaid expressed the fond wish that AFLD leave anti-doping efforts to the pro-doper rider-enabling hyp--I mean, the truly vigilant, as well as highly competent and diligent, experts. But we sure are gonna catch a huge number--like, maybe even three!--of those first-year riders you've never heard of again next year--take *that*, you utterly protected superstar cheats!

Spanish (and He's) Fly: meanwhile, over at the home of cycling's other rabid anti-doping zealots--Spain--faithful soldier/Caisse d'Epargne boss Eusebio Unzue is still mourning the egregious injustice that is Alejandro "Bloodbag" Valverde's doping ban on the grounds that cycling can't afford to "sacrifice its stars", but never fear, clean cycling fans: Alejandro's still keeping busy by training hard for the 2010 Cancun Cycling Challenge, which clearly makes the Tour de France and certainly that lame Vuelta look like a leisurely day improving one's tan lounging by the pool. Geez, look at that roster--I understand that Alejandro's desperate for anything short of a damn-hard messenger job to get himself back on the bike, but Basso and the Schleck brothers?

Cry Me A River: finally, Mark "Captain Diplomacy" Cavendish is sensitively sharing his feelings again (that two-week freakin' insult moratorium is over by now, right?), accusing some unnamed former-sprinter current-DS of actively forcing his innocent minion riders to sabotage Cav so the DS can call bull!@#$ and unjustly protest Cav's conduct in the sprints, which one must admit is a wholly sympathetic argument, because any dumb!@# knows jacking over other riders in the hot-n-heavy run to the line is what Cav uses *Mark Renshaw* to do. Sorry for that big ol' mistake, Mark--you may now resume your previously scheduled pity-party whine-a-thon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Me, Myself, and I

Taylor *Who*?: sure, he may be (along with shock new US Champ Ben King) the future of American cycling, but if his name's not Lance Armstrong, Lance "Why the !@#$ Should I Fake Like I Care if I'm Not Even Riding Anymore?" Armstrong's predictably uninterested: hot in the middle of discussing Taylor's contract situation (and the squad's future, which prospects might be improved with the building of an actual, y'know, team of riders) with Team RadioSkank, Lance gets a call from a future Senator subordinate and hocks Taylor Phinney like a stale day-old tobacco-juice lougie square in the middle of the phone call. Classy! Needless to say, the boy's decided to ride for BMC, which just goes to show that George Hincapie has not only managed to be a genuine star in his own right despite being inhaled by the enormous galaxy-sucking black hole that is Lance's ego, but has still maintained enough of an awareness of and interest in the world outside himself to actually mentor a stellar and deserving young talent. So now that imminent-President Lance is apparently already the point-man on US policy with North Korea, anyone else guessing who's the front-runner for the 2010 Racejunkie Wanker of the Year Awa--um, Nobel Peace Prize?

The Man of Steel is a Wussy: ah, "Jens Voigt." Have any two words ever struck such fear into a helpless breakaway, simpering stage-win wannabe, or simply any cyclist who might have the gross misfortune to get insta-burned-to-a-cinder by the blazing rocket fuel blasting from the legs of a passing Jens? Nope, which is why it's so delightful to report that this frustrating, glorious cesspool of a sporting endeavor is being graced--and destroyed--by Jens' holy presence for one more year. Every stomp on his pedals is a gift to cycling's beautiful history; every "!@#$" from his lips is a revelation. Complete, bad-!@# perfection, thy name is Jens Voigt!

The Best Hallowween Costume Ever!: yep, with any luck, disgraced Italian icon Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca will be showing up at your doorstep with a plastic orange pumpkin dressed up like a clean cyclist--ha! clever boy!--as the narcs get ready to decide the appeal of his latest ban ending in summer 2011. For my money, what Danilo could really use more'n even a half-melted mini-Almond Joy-- besides more half-nekkid photos of him reposing on a leopard-skin throne on Google--is a straight-out miracle. Trick or Treat--can Danilo you trade some Sweet-Tarts for an exoneration from the anti-doping authorities?

Less Than Zero: meantime, rumors continue to link Michael Rasmussen to Bjarne Riis's new whatsisface squad, with the interesting possibility that the Chicken's so desperate to get back in the ProTour that he'd be willing to work for nothing. Damn, Bjarne, if you're makin' Fabian Cancellara give you 3 million euro just to buy out the rest of his contract, you can't even spare a few bucks a day to pay Rasmussen in decent espressos?

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnssss!: finally, let's once more reflect on the master that is Jens: Aw, Jens, just *one* more year?--what the heck is wrong with *ten*?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's The 2010 Racejunkie Vuelta a Espana Awards; and, Our Final Contest Winner!

Yes, the Vuelta a Espana has been consigned to the When the !@#$ is This Denis Menchov Insult Moratorium Gonna End dustbin o' history, and as Joaquin Rodriguez sics his agent-goon squad on a gigantic new salary increase, and Cav revels in his well-won green jersey, it's time for our awards show:

Leapin' Off Your Couch Screamin' at the Top o' Your Lungs Moment o' the Race: no contest, Igor Anton's hideous race-ending insta-crash-out that irrevocably changed the outcome of the whole entire race. Sure, your upstairs neighbors maybe thought you were hoarding 45 mangy tomcats in simultaneous heat and called the Humane Society emergency hot line on your !@#--but could any portion of the Vuelta be more worthy of being the neighborhood freak-show curiosity as shrieking sirens pulled up at your house?

Redemption Song o' the Vuelta: yes, only a day after Igor (and Egoi)'s spirit-slappin' abandonment, Mikel Nieve takes it up for the Orange Army with a smashing stomping solo breakaway up the feared Cotobello. Right on Euskaltel--now bow before your masters, you worthless peloton peons!

Class Act Award: Oh, Tyler Farrar. With all the time you spend talkin' up your teammates, who would ever even know you'd won a stage, much less the hotly-desired final sprint into Madrid? Better, you do it without the simultaneous sprinter bragfests or whining fits we've all come to expect from--um, nobody. Like a breath of fresh air, without the traditional Salbutamol after-taste!

The Cue the Hitchcock Psycho Shower Scene Music Award: yep, this one's for Ivan Basso (shower) and Vincenzo Nibali (psycho), as Nibali's DS is already touting him as the Liquigas man for the future Grand Tours, and he and Ivan are apparently getting along famously as mentee and mentor, at least til your faithful Giro superdomestique calls bull!@#$ and drops you like a hot coal on the slopes of an hors category beastmaster at next year's Tour de France. Should've copped to that Op Puerto "attempted doping" earlier, Ivan--you mightn't've lost quite the same primo years as you did when you finally 'fessed up!

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm" Trophy: okay, admit it--you felt an uneasy twinge about 34-year-old Mosquera, too. But for me, I choose total denial, so the winner is 36-year-old Alessandro Petacchi for his, well, highly unusual late-season surge. Of course, there's a very fine history of career-finale power blasts in cycling, so one ought not to cast aspersions--just ask Davide Rebellin! Oh, wait...

The Where the Hell Did That Come From? Prize: while Yauheni Hutarovich's stage 2 sprint snatch was a close second, this is for Slovak stealth star Peter Velits, who not only whacked Fabian Cancellara in the time trial, but is the first of his ilk to win a Grand Tour podium spot and is, if not the showiest of fighters, certainly the most surprising. Give that child a raise next year--and Grand Tour GC contenders, keep your eyes open!

Catastrophic Woof Prize: Oooooooo, this one just plain hurt to watch: nearly-inevitable podium-finisher Joaquin Rodriguez losing not two, not three, but over four agonizing podium-thieving minutes in the time trial. Contador excepted (and no, I'm certainly not suggesting anything), what the hell *is* it with the Spaniards and their time trialling the last few years? I mean, it's not like they can't beautifully improve their performance in other areas, right Valverde?

You Can't Touch This Award: no, not Nibali, or even Rodriguez or Mosquera--dear little Carlos Sastre, who failed to take a stage but did grind himself down into quite a respectable top ten overall in his third Grand Tour of the year. More, with the writing clearly on the wall, he gladly gave his own worker bee Xavi Tondo leeway to ride his own race to sixth. Watch and learn, even though it's way too late, Armstrong--it might've come in handy for your own teammates this past July!

That Ain't Good Trophy: when an entire Grand Tour peloton starts looking like the fish-dinner food-poisoning hurl-a-thon from "Airplane!", and sprinters are announcing their pre-and-post-race yack-ups as casually as they'd brag about their wins, you know it's time to dive for the hotel-room bathroom with 18 rolls of toilet paper and a week-long supply of Pepto and Reader's Digests. Congrats to about 40 of you boys--at least you got something outta this Vuelta besides stomach cramps!

Crash o' the Race: the worst and grossest? Yep, win-stripped bloody Igor's. But the most frightening? Undoubtedly poor Theo Bos', as he scared the !@#$ out of himself and his squad with a terrifying straight-on smack into a roadside race moto but fortunately emerged almost unscathed. Geez, how can their moms and dads bear to watch this stuff?

Punk-!@# Move o' the Vuelta: y'know, it gacks me no end to say this--particularly since I'm already in deep mourning that my adored "JJ & Jens & Fabian & Stuart" tote bag is extremely likely to be out of date within a few weeks--but Fabian, even if Bjarne *is* a wanker, there's no need to take it out on the likeable Brad McGee by bailing on the squad with nary a word when you'd promised to at least finish off the stage before entirely reasonably leaving for the Worlds. Look, you arrogant clowns, amazing as you are, you get paid disgusting amounts of dough to RIDE A BIKE--try that crap on your probable post-cycling career as a Fryolator jockey at McDonald's, and you are *fired*!

Wah, Wah, Wah Award: finally, due to the cold, harsh, and in fact entirely cruel Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium on Mark Cavendish, I can't peep a single darned word about not only a multitude of comments to the press over the last three weeks, but this one either. So all I can say is, sincere congratulations on your exceptionally well-done Green Jersey win, Bi--um, Buddy. Dammit!

Well, that's the prestigious Racejunkie Vuelta Awards for this year--tune in next week when Joan Rivers and a bunch of pretentious rag-trade prisses you've never heard of weigh in on the relative merits of Lampre ballerina-wear, Liquigas' eye-scorching acid-trip green, and Euskaltel's perfect Halloween costumes on the E! What the !@#$ Is a "Vuelta"? Fashion Review! As to our Win Free Stuff Contest, congrats to third-week winner "Thor"--and Cadel Evans, enjoy your Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium while it lasts!