Thursday, March 25, 2010

California, Here I Come!

Dream of Californication: so as Tom Boonen gets ready to blast the cobbled Classics, he's already looking ahead to sunnier climes: yep, everyone's favorite studmuffinly comeback-gladiator is gonna take on the Amgen EPO tour of California along with great American we love Levi Leipheimer. Well, that's *one* good European rider for the ToC--any other takers?

No Schlecks in the Champagne Room: over in Holy Crap What is Happening to Poor Baby Schleck This Season? News, our curiously unsung 2010 maillot jaune threat is reassuring his freaked-out tifosi that despite his stomach problems he's on the mend and ready to hit the road at full force. For those of you who just can't wait to see him ride, check out this almost disturbing homage to Frank'n'Andy by his Italian fan club: Forza Andy--and watch out Contador in July!

My Little Runaway/A-Run-Run-Run-Run-A-Runaway: meantime, what's we still love lord of the climbs Joseba Beloki been up to besides his new DS gig with a smashing Basque youngster squad? Like you even care, which you will if you know what's good for you, but yes, like Whatsisface-With-The-Yellow-Bracelets before him, he's training to run the venerable New York Marathon this fall. Note to TV watchers: the wee woman in the crowd dressed in orange holding an "Americans for Euskaltel" sign and screaming "Aupa Joseba!" would be me. Go Joseba!

Jeeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnnsssssssss!: okay, I'm *still* crushed he's not gonna defend his perma-title at Criterium Internationale, but who won the stage today at the bitchin' Volta a Catalunya? That's right, it's Jens Voigt, baby!:

The Return of the Weasel: and, Riccardo "Don't Let the Door Hit You in the !@# On the Way Out, Sweetheart" Ricco' is officially back in the peloton, so how'd our climbing prodigy do in the hills at Coppi & Bartali the last couple days? Well, not so bad actually, and he had (or was forced into) the public relations sense to fawn over the help of his loving tifosi and team, but still, he couldn't quite pull off the win. To be fair (shut up! I am too), it's taken even the dreamy and far superior Ivan Basso a whole season to get back up to speed (and I bet Franco Pellizotti at least is hoping it'll take him a whole nother one), so perhaps we oughta give this sincerely apologetic wayward son a chance or two before we simply conclude that it's not that he made a "youthful mistake," it's that now that he's no longer on the juice, he simply sucks. Or not!

I'm Gonna Git You Sucka: finally, if anyone thinks that the Italians hunted down Alejandro Valverde in a vengeful bloodlust over their own riders' failure to escape from Op Puerto, you're damn right, honey, as anti-doping icon/cycling guru Ivano Fanini cheerfully opines that Valverde "got what he deserved" and that the once-implicated Alberto Contador, if he had any guts, would put himself at the Italian executioners' mercy as well. Boy, would I be eager to take him up on that one, Alberto--heck, even he thinks you're innocent, what've you got to lose?

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