Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blood Is Thicker Than Water (Especially With All the !@#$ Valverde Pumps Into It)

Law and Order: so to the delight of UCI--which, having announced as its most recent anti-doping triumph nailing one of Pat McQuaid's grandkids for sneaking that extra Pop-Tart, could use some good news for once--the Court of Arbitration for Sport has upheld Alejandro "Mainline" Valverde's Italian ban for the 2006 Operacion Puerto doping scandal UCI itself was too lame to bag him for, opening the door for a world-wide ban just in time for Alejandro to, according to his website, sic pretty much all of Spain on their hypocrite narco-enabler rumps and, likely, delay his actual worldwide full-stop until sometime after Jens Voigt abandons the peloton for retirement in 2023. No moss growing on that boy, for sure! Me, I actually find Valverde's lately steady, well-measured performances a lot more disconcerting than his 2006-era intermittent brilliance and multiple catastrophic meltdowns, but then, I'm sure that's just the magic of mood-stabilizers over the slickly calibrated daily manipulation of hormone levels, so I'm certain you'll all join me in wishing our Alejandro the very best of luck in the remaining 2 riding days of his career. Luis Leon Sanchez--here's your chance, buddy! 'Til then however, and just in case we really don't see him again, here's an enthusiastic tribute to Alejandro:

Side Effects: meantime, despite how pissed off the Italians are for Ivan Basso hitting the skids while Valverde pedaled away in smug security the last 4 years, am I the only one who's thinking that, if other countries start banning less-than-sparkling foreign riders willy-nilly for stuff with only the most tenuous connection to their own soil, they're gonna start losing all *their* star riders to outside cycling federations' personal vendettas at a truly scorched-earth pace? DiLuca, Petacchi, Basso, Sella, Scarponi, even the great Simoni, unless you accept unquestioningly as I do that he did indeed accidentally snor--I mean eat--those Peruvian candies his grandma sent him--let's face it, there's barely gonna be anyone left in the Italian peloton except Cunego, McEwen and Cavendish, and two of those guys ain't even Italian. Be careful what you wish for--you just may get it after all!

Mint Milano: over in Classics countdowns, the favorites are starting to eye each other quite closely, with McEwen gracefully bowing out as teammate/former champ Pippo Pozzato gets the Katusha nod, Pippo outing himself as a metrosexual and defending the long road to the line as "foreplay", Cav flat-out calling himself a goner on this one, Tommeke modestly assessing his own form and the Italians arguing over whether Lance (1) just there as some crap uncaring publicity stunt and (2)whether any of 'em even ought to care since any idiot knows Petacchi's the only cyclist who matters anyhow. Me, I've been pondering all week over which inevitably-losing underdog I ought to root for, with Petacchi ultimately getting my vote because Boonen's already won his first Italian race this season and he's been largely absent from the studmuffin fanzine headlines anyhow. Allez Ale!

Welcome Back, Wanker: finally, a hearty embrace back for Riccardo Ricco' to racing action, rejoining his compatriots at the fine Coppi e Bartali, one of the few races that weasel's been welcomed into so far this season and notably free of any of the huge list of riders who've indicated they'd rather like to slug him. Ricco', tho', is earnestly following the Official Ghost-Written Pat Apology o' Desperate Money-Grubbing Necessity, complimenting his team, his DSes, his mechanics, and the mother he cowered behind like a smack-talking over-precocious two-year-old when he got busted, and his loyal tifosi (both of 'em) are looking forward to our wee climbing rocket coming back and, drug-free, show the peloton who's who when he drags in on the autobus on the first climb steeper than your local playground speed-bump. Aw, Ricco', I'm sure you'll do just as great riding clean as you did when you were doping--just look at how David Millar has done! Oh, wait....

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