Saturday, May 22, 2010

I Hope He's Clean, I Hope He's Clean, I Hope He's Clean; and, Bravo il Grande Simoni!

Please Say It's So, Basso!: First, compliments to Carlos Sastre for gallantly and wholly intentionally allowing Cadel Ivan and Nibali to reclaim their dignity by getting 2:30 on him on the stage to Monte Grappa and Ivan to take Zoncolan and get ahead of him on GC today. Shut up! Second, much as I'm used to being grossly disappointed and deeply disgusted by every scum-snorting drug-sucking dirty-pig cheat-wank I've ever admired in the peloton, and much as I despised in particular St. Ivan of Varese's incredibly smarmy and coldly calculated image rehab from his post-Op Puerto "attempted doping" (and right there that continues to piss me off), I must confess that in today's beautifully agonizing stage I rediscovered, in the Ivan-of-2006's elegant reserve, relentlessly smooth turning of the pedals, and--for the first time--visible effort scratched into his face, and in Cadel's painfully workmanlike drunken-sailor rocking on the bike, the sheer sense of romance and impossibility that drew me into the sport in the first place and made me squiggle precariously under a pride of humungous hulking Germans on Passo Pordoi for a tiny picture of Ivan's head, and found myself absolutely caught between longing and cynicism. Ivan, *please* say you did it clean this time--give us poor bastards who follow cycling *some* hope!

Grazie Gilberto Simoni!: no, he didn't take Zoncolan--by a huge wad of riders ahead--and yes, I'm crushed. But in his dotage he's become a perfect gentleman (okay, sue me, I still hope he rips Basso one more time for old times' sake), and here's our class act and two-time (that's *two*, Cunego!) Giro god on his final trip across the line on the mountain he's already conquered so beautifully twice: Bravo Gibo dei tuoi tifosi americani, sei veramente un mito!

The Loathsome and the Odious: in other news, in the wake of Floyd Landis' oddly sudden crisis of conscience (and, not to be petty, he needn't have given me the Stare of Death last year at Interbike, particularly since I spent half of 2007 *defending* (at least on procedural grounds) his dirty doping !@#), repugnant enablers UCI and WADA have already made it clear what they're willing to do to keep the Armstrong legend going, braying the Lance party line that "he's never tested positive" and "there's no proof." UCI, cut the crap! Since when does that matter to you guys? The entire bio passport, for example, is based on the premise that the rider never tests positive. And you're still going after Giro-barred dreamboat Franco Pellizotti, as well as a half a dozen other minor players, aren't you? So either throw the bio passport out entirely and demand reputable A & B samples before any sanction is issued, or stop punishing riders for !@#$ you can't even show they did. Oh, *I* get it--it's *who* doesn't test positive that counts, now *whether* they test positive. Yep, you've convinced me you really care about eradicating doping by everyone! Credibility much, you dissembling weasels?

Quote o' the Week: finally, in addition to we love Dave Zabriskie's second on GC at the Tour of California today, he gets gigantic points for this masterful quote on learning that Floyd Landis (whose recent accusations about Lance have apparently been corroborated by the One's ex-wife) had slithered briefly into the sidelines at the ToC to apologize to an over-gracious Greg Lemond for his associate's boozy threat to presumptuously out a painful episode in Lemond's life and, one imagines, to take a nice long look at what he lost through his own venality: "He's here, really? Tell him I said hi. How's he doing?" How can you *not* love Dave Z?

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