Sunday, March 14, 2010

Contador's Hosed!

Uh-Oh: yep, it was a smashing (and for riders' bodies, oft-smashed) Paris-Nice all right, as Samuel Sanchez narrowly avoids a disastrous last-minute crash at the wheel of Christophe Le Mevel, Alejandro Valverde continues his creepy new ability to ride more than one day in a row without completely imploding physically and emotionally, Luis Leon Sanchez gets ready to take the Tour two years out, Voeckler violently yacks up defeat from the jaws of victory on the final day at the line, and race revelation/extreme Liquigas youngster Peter Sagan, whose previous palmares apparently consists of being the fastest kid on his 6th-grade paper-route, already ups his asking price for next season. But for my money, the most important thing out of Paris-Nice is this: I don't care what the hell Alexander Vinokorouv's gonna mainline from his musette at the feed zone this year, if he doesn't beat or drug Astana into form toute-suite, between Caisse Saxo Bank and yeah I'll damn well suck it up and admit it Radioskank even if Lance could barely pull of a ninth-place in South Africa this weekend, Alberto Contador is absolutely !@#$ed in July. Or am I the only one who noticed that the Kazakh laundry boy was the only guy in blue-and-yellow anywhere near our pistol-popping aging-ingenue after the first 5 km of the day? Too bad for you, twerp--I *told* you last winter to bail out of that hellhole!

DiLuded: and, just when you thought you'd heard the last of Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca, the disgraced catwalk master drops a bomb on Italian TV telling the interviewer he's just signing a huge honkin' Giro-bound contract with Lampre--like I needed another reason besides their jerking around Gilberto Simoni to be annoyed with 'em--only to immediately back off, one presumes under serious threats from pinstriped legal goons, and say that what he really meant was that he might have a new gig dusting the team bus for Vini Farnese. Nice save, Danilo--now back to Dolce & Gabbana for you!

Schlecks and the Sponsor: meantime, former Astana manager Marc Biver--who herded the squad through the glory days of some of the most voluminous doping pozes since Rock Racing got started--has confirmed that he's in talks to start up a Luxembourg-based gig with Frank'n'Andy. Bjarne, has your admission to winning your own yellow jersey in a dope-soaked haze clouded your mind--you can't find *anyone* to cough up the dough to keep everyone on board with your boys' collective reps?

War and Peace: so I'm lookin' at former Giro d'Italia winner/Tour de France aspirant Ivan Basso's Twitter feed, and thinkin' that, while our pretty principe is cheerfully going on about relaxing dinners with friends and the tranquil beauty of snowfall on branches, the real question here is still how long before a fist-fight--okay, more like a sissy-slap-fight, but I digress--between him and well-coiffed rival/teammate Franco Pellizotti, whose most recent source of irritation seems to be "why does that has-been-never-was Ivan keep getting more press coverage than I do no matter how many times I whomp him each season?" Well, *we* still love you, and your blonde highlights, Franco, so if being King of the Mountains and a truly rising Italian star of, y'know, actual cycling isn't enough for you, here's a little appreciation from your pals at racejunkie:

Did I mention you look just like Betty Grable in that photograph?

It's (Almost) Milano-Sanremo, Baby! last but not least, as Op Puerto refugee Michele Scarponi tears up the tarmac near the end of Tirreno-Adriatico--and I'm sure it's just the Wheaties he's been eating every morning--it's just 8 days and counting to Milano-Sanremo, with a Petacchi-Bennati showdown the big news, and poor achy Cavendish a mere afterthought, if that, for the bookies. Y'know, I wouldn't count Cav out yet, if indeed he's well enough to ride--no offense to Ale-Jet or wholly justified Italian national pride, but you really don't think he's a threat even with that head-as-big-as-his-ego out of whack?


PJ said...

Yup! My thoughts exactly. Vino and Oscar and Inglisky (sp?) better show up at TDF and truly support Alberto. Or else the rest of the team had better shape up fast.

Tusher said...

Poor liddle Cav- nowhere near form and having to wear a brace as well.

Alas, he'll not win MSR this year (although I desperately hope I'm wrong). Still, this is karma for bluffing last year. And with such a late start to his year, he'll be as hot as a very hot thing come the Worlds.