Monday, August 30, 2010

Huuuuuuuuu Are You?/Hu Hu, Hu Hu/I Really Wanna Know!

Bow Your Heads: First, I'd like us all to pause for a moment of silence for poor Mark Cavendish, who, a bit too delicate of constitution for the heat, was forced to barf his way through the stage and *still* managed to come up second, albeit not against anyone he'd have expected as a threat, as everyone else with clearly *no* excuse nonetheless trudged in behind. Splendid, I'm sure you all felt the same reverence just now as I did. Second, holy moly Hutarovich--we can reasonably debate whether the boy is or truly can be a longer-term world-class sprinter, but clearly this stealthy little killer's got brains, so if from now on Cav & co get too comfortable again, watch out: And Thor, I don't care how full yer head is over some stupid thing like 'preserving your livelihood, 'signing a new contract with Garmin' and 'aw, crap, I'm Tyler's doormat next year!'--32nd? *Focus*!

Stop Eating Euskaltel-Euskadi Alive, Dammit!: all right, you carrion-sucking Pro Tour vultures, we all know the Basques (and the squad's occasional Spaniard) climb like winged gods and you should all kneel before them (drop, peons!), but once and for all, can you quit dangling shiny trinkets in front of 'em like some loveless loser traveling salesman trying to buy up a desperate crack ho? Worse than just jackin a bitchin' team, Euskaltel's own star talent inevitably gets doomed instead to craptastic perpetual Grand Tour sub-domestique beeyotchhood. First Zubeldia, now it's Benat Intxausti--right on Samuel Sanchez for sticking with the lords in orange!

The Fall of the Roman Empire : meantime, if Bjarne Riis thinks Fabian Cancellara's stuck with him and Contador next season, he should think again: Fabian's been in contact with several other squads, and he's just waiting for a sweet little chat with his team boss. Geez, Sastre, Basso, the Schlecks--nice work pissing off every rider who's ever worked for you, Bjarne--damn, maybe baby Schleck is right when he suggests you and Alberto are gonna slug it out like cagefighters next year! On the other hand, you *did* cop to taking drugs at *your* Tour de France--might be entertaining to set you up against wee unenhanced Alberto on pay-per-view!

When Life Gives You Clemens, Make Lemonade: now, I don't ordinarily care about stupidity in other sports--largely because there's *so* much to admire in this one--but here's a cautionary tale for those-who-shall-remain-nameless who shamelessly lied to the feds in the course of their doping investigations: yes, baseball hulk Roger "I'm sure my neck's this huge just from eatin' Wheaties" Clemens plead not guilty to perjury charges. Um, not to cast aspersions on anyone who might have the resources to successfully sue me, but am I the only one thinkin' there's a good half-dozen riders whose noses oughta be about 10 feet longer than they look right now? Ow, something poked me!

A Kind Request for Universal Sports: for !@#$'s sake, you're doing it *again*--for those of us who have to pony up for streaming coverage (an opportunity for which I am extremely grateful btw) because we can't get your cable channel in our area and unfortunately have too much integrity to suck up all our employer's time and superior bandwidth during the day, and therefore avoid all daytime news sources til we get home at night, can you please NOT flash the !@#damn stage result RIGHT on the screen we have to use to LOG IN?! Otherwise, what the !@#$ is the point of paying up *and* being in the dark for 9 hours for this !@#$? Many thanks, love, racejunkie. Now fix it!

Yer Win Free Stuff Contest Update

All right, my goof on the question--there's already been a crash-out, so any wisenheimer who enters now'll know the right answer to the question. Ergo, in keeping with my notice of total arbitrary control, the q is now "the first *riders* to crash out of the Vuelta will be...." Anyone cashing in on prior crashes will be declared completely punk-!@#. Now back to the race, and good luck to one and all w/the contest!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's the 2010 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest!

Yes, faithful reader(s), tho' I was (1) too broke-!@# (2) too lazy and (3) too irritated with the screeching Lance Armstrong apologists this year to repeat the 2009 Tour de France contest, I'm happy to announce that, for you truly hardcore cycling nuts, the 2010 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest is on, baby!

The Rules: winners will be picked weekly, with my eyes closed, from correct answers to arbitrary questions from the Holy ONCE/Eroski Cycling Cap o' Destiny; serious Euskaltel-Euskadi fanatics and anyone insulting Denis Menchov may get extra consideration; the boring legal crap is on the contest site; and I reserve the rights to anything and everything 'cause it's my damn contest so kindly quitcher whinin'. The bitchin' prizes: an extremely dashing custom-embroidered racejunkie cycling cap (be, most likely, the only one on your continent to own one!); a two-week insult moratorium on your chosen cyclist; and, I'll toss in some stylin' official racejunkie stickers to boot!

Enter here. Good luck to one and all--thanks for participating, and let the fabulous Vuelta begin!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, Baby!

Tour, Schmore--yep, for agonizing climbs, blood-curdling descents, and general Spanish mayhem, it just don't get better than the glorious Vuelta, baby! Ergo, your Short'n'Sweet Handy-Dandy Clip'n'Save Guide to the Bitchinest Race on Earth:

The Course: no rest for you, viewers--the final podium selection's set up to go down to the penultimate day on the excruciatingly steep new climb of the Bola del Mundo! But first, to get there: a 13k introductory team time trial, 8 mountain stages, 6 summit finishes, 5 sprints--mostly towards the middle and end, so no bailing out after the first few stages for Cav!--one individual time trial for the climbers to tank at the end, and a bunch of inevitable-smackdown attack-happy rollers. Which brings us to...

The GC Contenders: no, Contador and Samu' aren't riding, which blows--but wee little Carlos, Frank Schleck, Denis Menchov, everybody's dark horse menaces Nibali and Arroyo, Euskaltel's Igor Anton (shut up! will too!), I guess I gotta mention Denis Menchov dag nabit, and last but not least, Alejandro Val--oops! Bu-steeeeeeed! Anyway, I'm not counting out big bro Frank, who's lookin' for revenge for his early-out Tour--but everyone else can go to hell and stuff it on the journey down 'cause right or wrong I'm rootin' for Carlos!

The Sprinters: all right, if he don't drop out crying in the first week, or make one of his lead-outs pull a skank move in the last 1000 meters, we all know Cav's gonna take somethin'--but Oscar Freire's latest freak-show medical crisis is behind him, and assuming no one actually tries to take the boy out with a pellet gun like in last year's Tour, there's some nasty little uphills that'll give 'im an edge. Then again, if Petacchi sneaks his way past the narcs, he's been quite the shocker threat this season. And of course, there is--when you don't run him into the barriers like a cheap-shot wuss-baby--Tyler Farrar. Woo-hoo Oscar!

The Stage Winners: Okay, LL Cool Sanchez--who I swear is still underrated for sometime-soon GC contention despite his recent prowess as a Classics man--is a given. And since Van de Velde sez he's in no shape for GC, I'm guessin' he's gonna try to redeem his Grand Tour luck from the Swill-Suckin' Pit o' Tarmac-Slurpin' Doom. But natch, we know the real score--8 times out of 10, Euskaltel's gonna exterminate the rest of 'em like Raid-soaked termites. Go Euskalteeeeeeeeeeeeeel!

The Dope Fiends: thanks to UCI, I mean, to a 100% honest, perfectly clean & genuinely sportsmanlike peloton, there weren't any pozes at the Tour de France this year, but since, in a complete abomination against God, the eyes of the world aren't trained on the Vuelta--in fact, since hardly anyone watches this mindbogglingly smashing race at all--I'm guessing they'll all show up here instead. Enablers much?

Who's Got It:'s got a great list of who's got what coverage where when'n how. English-language coverage in the US: Universal Sports. Outside the US: Eurosport. !@#$dammit Universal, can you please (1) hire Phil and Paul away from Versus if they're just gonna waste 'em on Lance tributes anyway and (2) please sign some kind of last-minute deal with my lame local cable companies?

Well, fellow Vuelta wingnuts, that's my quickie--grab yer orange t-shirts, hit the slopes (or your computer screen), and get ready to scream your head off for the climbing gods of Euskaltel-Euskadi! Next up: the rules for the 2010 Racejunkie Vuelta a Espana Win Free Stuff Contest!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

You *Suck*, Amgen EPO Tour of California!

Not Again!: yep, beloved ex-frat-boy-in-spandex Tom Boonen's knee injury's delaying his late-season return *again*, and for my money, this, combined with all the season-screwing injuries at the stupid race that took out the riders, proves the massively horrible monstrousness of rescheduling the Tour of California during the perfect Giro d'Italia which Tommeke and everyone else would've been riding instead. Wah, wah, rain in February, wah--at least *then* half the peloton's entire *years* weren't wrecked for nothin'! Tom, all best wishes for a speedy, pain-free, and successful return--not least because even with your prolific film palmares, I fear I'm starting to run short on soft-core interim entertainment to tide over your fans, so if you're not gonna make blue movies a formal career, you better get back to sprinting post-haste!

The Eye of the Tiger: okay, I only made a cutting-edge "Rocky" reference to a tiger because I couldn't think of anything involving irksome returning cheat-weenie Riccardo Ricco's nickname "the Cobra," but in any case, seems like UCI's doing *exactly* what this sport needs to clean it up: no, not "actually catching dopers," you endearingly off-base naifs, they're keeping Ricco' from riding the GP Plouay tomorrow because of paperwork problems with processing his new Vacansoleil contract! Whew, I don't know about you, but *I* have just had all my worries about the integrity of cycling, the potentially devastating harm of tempting yet untested performance-enhancing drugs on rider health, and the general nobility of fair play with equally gentlemanly competitors evaporate into the air like sparkling dew kissing the sunrise. *Thanks*, UCI!

Gratuitous We Love Jens Video o' the Week: no, there's no particularly newsworthy reason for this whatsoever--but Jens is a god, so what's your !@#damn problem, punk?!

Check Out the New Luxembourg Squad's Bikes!: finally, speaking of Jens, and not to destroy the Tour de France dreams of Frank and Andy Schleck's new gig, but here's an entirely unauthorized sneak peek at their time trial bikes for 2011. Watch out, Cancellara--and you other ProTour rivals can thank me for the tip-off later!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Free Robbie McEwen!; and, Postal Circles the Wagons

Let "Head-Butt" Ride, Australia!: okay, in cyclist years, Robbie McEwen's an actual, clinical linen-wrapped, dessicated, pyramid-entombed mummy. And thanks to a bunch of crap injuries, and the natural change in form that may accompany eligibility for National Historic Landmark status, our angsty boy hasn't exactly had the best season--until now, when it counts. So why the hell didn't the Aussies pick Robbie for the Worlds !@#dammit? Yes, Australia's got a hell of a field to choose from, and on their home turf no less. But with Robbie coming in to great shape at last, his incredible toughness and tenacity--and, more importantly one would think from your end, his documented propensity for unpredictable physical violence--what the !@#% is wrong with you Australia?! Free Robbie, you twisted ungrateful soulless freaks!

He's Baaa-aaack!: yes, in a blast from the past, ONCE/Liberty Seguros impresario Manolo Saiz, who if I recall correctly was totally coincidentally busted in Op Puerto having an espresso and a suitcase full o' tens of thousands of euros (for the espresso bill, no doubt) with Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno the Male Stars" Fuentes, is indeed, as cyclingnews reports, back in action and lookin' to dru--I mean, start a new squad in Asia, with a particular--and really, just heartbreakingly emotionally touching--focus on "rider development." And while I admit I'm rather baffled as to all the article and reader comment references to 'puff pastry,' I'm sure it's not some kind of pervert code for 'homologous blood doping.' Anyway, watch out for those mystery skin patches, kids--and ya never know when you're gonna have to testify under oath about yer funny-lookin' 'Flintstones vitamins'!

Spin Doctors: meanwhile, you know things are lookin' bad when Lance Armstrong has to hire an even huger PR slut to supplement his existing stable of hired legal, PR, and general damage-control goons, and, with poor knee-whacked George Hincapie doing the same, one must ask this crucial question of Lance--no, not did you dope, like everyone doesn't already assume *that* you silly child, and no, how does it feel to know that your insatiable ego's inability to let go of the spotlight for 10 freakin' minutes completely destroyed your impeccable (and, to be fair, well-earned) rep as the tough-as-naiils noble golden-boy of comebacks 'n' Tour wins as you finally retired in ignominy whining about your hip when half the peloton is finished the Tour in full-body casts this year--but, as everyone who ever rode for you gets called in by the feds with their dreams of trial-of-the-century glory, and has to consider the relative value of tarnishing their own humbler reputations even further, committing perjury, or protecting your sorry ungrateful !@#, aren't you *just* wondering the *tiniest*, least bit in the back of your narcissistic mind whether it mightn't have paid off for you to have treated your submissive spirit-crushed domestiques just the *wee-est* bit better back in the day? I know I am--karma, baby!

Musical Bikes: finally, transfer season continues hot'n'heavy in the peloton, and while I'm deeply grateful to dear Anonymous for clarifying that Thor Hushovd wasn't *quite* the vicious ass-hat about Carlos Sastre's recent performance as it had earlier seemed--in no small part because, had I been forced to challenge Thor to a duel over Carlos' honor, I'm still fairly certain that despite my deadly freshman-year fencing prowess and astonishing valuable back-up ability to scurry beneath the big lug's legs in retreat like a cowardly garbage-thieving rat, he would still have kicked my butt--I remain abjectly horrified that now 2008 TOUR CHAMP FOR HECK's SAKE Sastre is under the thumb of that stealth Samu-Sanchez-screwing and Vuelta-snakin' podium wanker Denis Menchov, which means, I imagine, that Carlos is gonna get the Giro, and Menchov'll get the Tour and, if he wants it, Carlos' hometown Vuelta. Geez, Geox, kick the guy in the package while you're signing him whydon'tcha--Carlos, don't take any crap from that commie punk, only one of ya has worn yellow in Paris and it ain't him!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

No, No, We're Only Protecting *Two* Doping Pigs!

Tricky Dick Steps Up: yes, UCI's Pat "Dick" McQuaid, having so far used the phenomenally expensive and incredibly underwhelming biological passport to nail Franco Pellizotti and such other prominent riders, has in no uncertain terms lashed back at his accusers: UCI's only hypocritically shielding *two* favored doper scumlords by ignoring their bio-passport violations, *not* the five scumlord dopers previously reported. Even better, none other than WADA is proud of their fine performance in assis--that is, eradicating wrongdoing throughout the sport. Well, I'm sure glad these cowardly enabler dirtwad slime-lovers are around to make sure the clean riders never have a chance against just a *coupla* well-stoked, UCI-beloved supertalents--thanks, skanks!

Lay The Hell Off Sastre, Already!: alright, I can't believe I've got to take the great Thor Hushovd to task--but screw you, buddy! Suckage enough that Cervelo's team boss had the total lack of class to announce that our Tour de France champ/new Geox prize wasn't offered even a lousy punk-!@# uncoordinated-neo-pro 10-euro Klodenesque wash-your-team-leader's-shorts contract for next year--*must* Thor of all riders have helpfully told the press that it was because Carlos--not having the best season, I'll concede, but still a force to be reckoned with dammit--really, really, really incredibly blows the last two years? I defended your sorry !@# in the green jersey hunt this year at the Tour this year, Thor--apologize like a man (or woman, maybe that would be better), we'll forget it all happened, don't *make* me say it, boy!

Vacansoleil, For the San Tropez Tan: and, as nimble climber Riccardo Ricco' waxes poetic about the joys of signing with Vacansoleil after his deal with Quick Step fell through (woo-hoo!), his new DS is equally showin' the love, enthusiastically proclaiming that first, they really tried to sign redeemed Op Puerto skeezemeister Michele Scarponi, then that tanked, *then* they wanted Euskaltel god Samu' Sanchez (who of course should have been their first choice, the undeserving goons), then when *that* tanked, he "kept looking and finally came up with Riccò." Damn, it's almost enough to make me feel sorry for the little weasel (cobra, whatever)--nope, that moment's already passed!

He Shoots, He Scores!: meantime, major congrats to Robbie "Head-Butt" McEwen, largely luckless this season, who validates his fabulous decision to ride another year by winning a stage at the Eneco Tour. However, as there's yet no video of him taking the sprint for me to poach, let's completely randomly enjoy our etiquette expert teaching a young fan not to grab !@#$ off his bike without asking:

On the Road Again: finally, it's a warm, warm welcome back to everyone's favorite party boy, the knee-walloped Tom Boonen, back training at last and hoping for one last thwap at Cavendish & Co before the end of the season. Chin up, Tom--we believe in you! 'Til then, we'll just have to content ourselves gratuitously watching Tommeke getting a massage set to a 70's soft-porn soundtrack. Really, does it even matter what they're saying?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sleaze and Glory Is *Right*, Baby! and, Holy Crap, Carlos!

The Sprinters Are *On*!: first, the glory stuff, 'cause heck knows that's often in short supply in this agonizingly engaging sport: Tyler Farrar is kickin' !@#, Robbie McEwen is coming back for one more year (thanks Bikezilla!) to, if not win quite so often (shut up!), certainly throw a classier temper-tantrum than that brilliantly unbeatable two-bit whiner Cav, and damn near everyone worth watching (except Tommeke--dag nabit, get well soon already!) for the Worlds is lining up for the perfect, underrated, wholly ignored and completely smashing (hopefully not in the 2010 Tour de France, total peloton bodily immolation sense) Vuelta a Espana. And because we love dear little Sastre is riding his third Grand Tour this year, and I deeply regret being so broke- and cheap-!@# for the Tour, the 2010 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest is on, thereby improving the odds, one hopes, that some grotesque little Lance-apologist gnome won't take the prizes. Vuelta lovers, this one's for you!

Blast From the Past: yes, enduringly beautiful total train wreck Jan Ullrich, having lost his entirely pointless defamation suit over doping allegations that clearly could've been a !@#$load worse than they even were (tho' as his rollin'-in-dough lawyer in this thankless enterprise, I'd certainly be appreciative), has been diagnosed with "burnout" and is taking a break from his admirable charitable-kids'-rides activities, and while we'll never see the boy on a bike with any seriousness again, and of course he's part of the scourge of scumliness that brought the sport to its knees in 2006, yap, and we should all just hock giant lougies in his general direction, yap yap yap, here's hoping that the Janster (1) recovers his energy and (2) never wears embroidered flowered national costumes again. Get well soon Jan--don't let those demons get you down!

Ah, Young Love: meantime, the deal between fickle fianceesRiccardo Ricco and Quick Step, virtually assured a day or two ago, may yet be on the rocks, with his manager remaining hopeful and his much-desired Vuelta now in doubt. What's more, his current shoe sponsor Vittoria, while congratulating him on his advancing career, is already reminding him he's got a two-year contract and threatening to sue. Hell, he couldn't be more of a cheating doped-up embarrassment than Valverde, I suppose! In other scuzzwad-signing news, Stefan Schumacher is back with small squad Miche; Lampre--well, who knows what those dirtbag-lovin' pervs are thinking signing every jacked-up reject on earth, and Patrik "I Accused a Whole Lot of Other Riders of Doping And All I Got Was This Lousy Continental Jersey" Sinkewitz is riding well--though not as well as he used to, for no particular reason I'm sure--in Portugal. Oh, you silly boys, didn't you learn *any* lessons in redemption from comely cash-cow Basso?

Watch Out, Andy!: speaking of whom, as the Schleck brothers get set to run a 100% perfectly clean team with no suspect riders ever whatsoever (and because I do love Frank against all justice and fair play, I'll conveniently forget his payments for "training" to Dr. Eufemiano "Gyno To the Stars" Fuentes, none other than St. Ivan of Varese has taken a crit in Holland over baby Schleck, making one wonder if Basso's really gonna focus on his beloved hometown fans and beloved hometown race in 2011, or if he's gonna make a serious stealth bid for the win once thought inevitable--over and over again, at that--at the Tour next year. Ivan in yellow? Hmmm, still better chance of that than Menchov...

Lessons from Leadville: last but not least, as a dear reader opined how deeply dope-smacking it is as a matter of relative form that an American Euro roadie should smoke a domestic field of incredibly experienced mountain bikers so badly at their own game this weekend, one cannot help but wonder, despite my fondness for Levi, unless the US riders really do completely lamely tank compared to their European compatriots on pure talent, which certainly seems rather an odd possibility when you see these guys actually in the saddle, doesn't this make RadioSkank look, um...yeah, look like they need a re-do on those dull grey-and-red jerseys to jazz 'em up a bit, that's what I meant to say!

What the Hell--Who Saw This Coming?: okay, really finally, cyclingnews has just broke the word that Carlos Sastre has signed for new squad Geox for 2011, whose announced formation I concede I met with a monstrous yawn and raising the crucial question, what the hell is this gonna mean for we love Thor Hushovd, Carlos?! Of course, Sastre, like, say, Jens, could join Igor's House of IV Equipment Egregious Blood Doping and Human Trafficking and I'd give him a pass, but still--*what*? Who else is coming with him? Oh, the suspense...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alberto Contador: Definitely Getting Smarter

Bjarne Buys 'em All: indeed, after seasons of less-than-stellar decisions, including believing Lance "I Am God" Armstrong when the legend (and legendary wank) said he'd work for him at the Tour de France, Alberto Contador's finally acquiring the brains to match his sheer talent: not only has he freed himself from Vinokourov's psycho clutches, but in the very same year, as Saxo Bank implodes around him, the boy has also gotten his new boss to sign a sweet wad of his fave Spanish superdomestiques, including the man who really did save him in the high passes this year, Daniel "You Better Be Giving Him a !@#damn Raise, Bjarne!" Navarro. Oh, our pretty little little twerp savant is growing up at last--I'm so proud, aren't you?

The Cobra Slithers In: in other team-signing news, tho' Lampre's already managed to hire up a good half of cycling's ex-dopers for 2011, after a bloody season back from his doping ban at the wee Ceramica-Flaminia squad, odious Tour de France scum-weasel wuss-boy Riccardo Ricco' is being seriously courted by teams from Vacansoleil to Quick Step, with QS guru Patrick Lefevere sensibly asking, in response to some equivocation over the boy's potential contract, "what's the difference between hiring him and hiring Ivan Basso?" Well, morally, zip, but in terms of pure bearability, Patrick, one's a loathesome, cowardly crybaby who ran quivering and wailing behind his mama's skirts and cyclocross fiance's bike shorts, then snivelingly admitted his accusers were right, then literally shot up to high altitude to escape from his baby-mama and dropped her like a glass of warm snot when *she* got in hot water for the exact same thing and needed *his* unwavering support, and the other is a teen-dream pinup who at least had the sense to fake humility, hire a truly smashing PR squad, and not win *too* ostentatiously immediately upon his return from his ban. Arrghh, I can't *stand* that Tom Boonen is gonna have to ride with this Eddie Haskel of the peloton! Ugh, can he at *least* not dress for the tryouts in a Devo tribute band...

Pigs Sweat, We Glow: speaking of anti-doping, so I'm taking an evening stroll past the glowing-blue Amgen "EPO Tour of California" corporate HQ on a warm 'n' lovely recent night, when suddenly per the snapshot below, it hits me: no wonder riders keep getting busted for CERA, that !@#$ is *radioactive*! Oh, well, what's a mutant extra limb or, say, testicle compared to a jacked-up, one-for-the-history-books palmares, right boys? IMAG0092

Yard Sale Find o' the Century: and, if this isn't some colossally wise-!@# cosmic joke, look whose bike just went for an impressive $5 at a yard sale: yes, former Tour de France 'winner' Floyd Landis. Oh, the ignominy....

Is That Vultures Circling?: finally, it's on a rather somber note that I remind you fellow bike fans not to look for defending champ Lance Armstrong at Leadville this weekend, as our fine gent (1) is still recovering from his hip injury from the Tour de France and (2) wants to spend more time with his family before the kids head back to school. Of course, since I was raised to be a lady, I won't be so rude as to point out that half the riders from the Tour have been winning crits the last two weeks with excruciatingly unhealed broken bones for heck's sake, nor that it would not have been news to even the most clueless parent months ago as he planned the end of his cycling season that summer vacation tends to wind down towards, y'know, August. But at least we know it's not that Lance is battening down the hatches as more and more of his teammates rat him out to the narcs!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Oh, How the Mighty Have Fallen!

Lance Armstrong, Real American: as Postal/Discovery riders keep ratting out Lance Armstrong left and right for (1) doing drugs and/or (2) encouraging drug use amongst his lab-monkey teammates, it's refreshing to know that Lance is playing clean in response: he's having his legal team denounce the federal investigation into his activities an "un-American" sham. Why? Because the easiest way shut down any sort of reasoned discourse in this great country is to suggest that you're a Che Guevara-lovin' Fidel Castro-uniform-wearin' democracy-dissin' wine-sniffin' beer-hatin' ivory-tower-elitist Prius-drivin' socialist atheist COMMIE! In fact, ya probably eat "FRENCH" FRIES! and HATE YER MAMA AND APPLE PIE! and DON'T WEAR AMERICAN FLAG PINS! and SERVE SOME WUSSY EFFETE "BRIE" CRAP INSTEAD OF KRAFT AMERICAN SINGLES at barbecues! Keep takin' the high road, Lance--I'm so proud!

Look, Up in the Sky--Is That Pigs Flying?: yes folks, the darn-near unthinkable has happened: the scumwadly enabler-hypocrites at UCI, so dedicated to stamping out doping they've never bothered a top rider they liked, turn out to have been--oh my word--*ignoring* five other cyclists whose bio-passport blood levels suggest they've been taking more !@#$ in a single season than Valverde Ricco' Landis Kohl Ullrich and Ar--um, nobody, have collectively imbibed in a lifetime. Names? Not yet, and probably never will be--but as long as we're nailing a couple of first-year Continental domestiques no-one's ever heard of but their mamas, honey, we morally virtuous bad-!@#es are cleaning this sport *up*!

Aw, *Rats*!: in the worst run of luck ever since, say, Cadel Evans's tried to find a team that can actually help 'im, we sorely miss Tom Boonen, kept out of the Tour and still recovering from knee surgery, is now out of the Vuelta and likely the Worlds as well. Am I the only thinking that, despite the admirable efforts of Tyler Thor and Alessandro, the sprints this season have distinctly been lacking a key element of joie d'vivre? Clearly, this is one case where sober, responsible living and humble rededication to training have absolutely not paid off. Here, a frankly disturbing techno tribute to Tom and his wilder days (you'll note such moving lyrics as "Tommeke, Tommeke...don't !@#$ with me...cocaine, cocaine"): Someone, get this boy a Lamborghini, a troupe of ill-intentioned cocktail-pushing hangers-on and a giant bucket of the white stuff, fast!

Transfer News: yep, cheers indeed from Mark Cavendish as teammate/antagonist Andre "Shit-Race" Greipel signs with Omega Pharma-Lotto, and with Cav even more likely to dope-smack a non-teammate in the press than someone he's actually supposed to fake supporting, I predict a long, wanky, and hugely entertaining series of cowardly press-attacks next season. Or, you could just have your own lead-out man shove a stick into his spokes ten yards from the line. Beats Andre yappin' at your heels all the time, right? Meantime, dog-loyal Samuel Sanchez has, despite lucrative offers from other squads, decided to stay with smashing climbers (and nowadays, even pretty creditable sprinters!)o'-the-gods Euskaltel-Euskadi. Woo-hoo Samu'--and Menchov, watch your scrawny little butt next year!

Lance's Sad New Gig: finally, it's with a mix of joy and pity that I report that Lance Armstrong, with his cycling career over, his reputation in disarray, and his charitable works disrupted by dull and irksome meetings with lawyers, more lawyers, PR hacks, and narcs, has in desperation turned to the only gig remaining for him in this cold, cruel world--rapper:You go, Lan--I mean, Vanilla Ice!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

La La La La, I Can't *Hear* You!

No, Levi, No!: all right, you heard it: former Gerolsteiner head honcho Hans-Michael "Rider-Pimping Scum" Holczer has accused Levi Leipheimer of blood manipulation during the 2005 Tour, totally coincidentally doing so in, and to promote the sales of, his spankin' new book on the peloton's evils. First, not that this vindicates Levi in any way (or is anything other than a wholly irrelevant gutless attack, for that matter), it's awfully ironic for a guy who was apparently gobsmacked by Levi's blood values to have a wunk of his guys subsequently busted after he presumably laid down a zero-tolerance don't-humiliate-me-or-this-dying-squad-further mandate. Second, it is clear that if anything remotely happened involving Levi, of which I am and shall remain in complete Herasian irrational denial, he was clearly had to have been more whipped than a hard-core latex-suited writhing handcuffed dominatrix customer to do it. Shockingly, nothing about the accusations has been mentioned on Team RadioSkank's official website, but then again, I imagine the next news they're *gonna* post is that Levi's been discarded faster than one of Lance's freshly-hard-worked chamois. Oh, *why*, despite the obvious pointless of my shaken-but-still-existing faith, do I continue to be taken in by *anyone* in this skankpool of a sport? Say it ain't so, Levi--and any of you mother!@#$&*! try to tell me there's no Easter Bunny, either, and you are going *down*!

Bjarne Vinokourov Wigs Out: yeah, you read right--just as I thought I'd snarfed enough, um, smelling salts to get over Saxo Bank's signing of Alberto Contador for the next two years, Bjarne proves there actually *is* someone in cycling wingnut enough to outdo the spectacularly erratic Alexander Vinokourov, both by declaring that he wants Alberto to be the first man to win the Giro, Tour and Vuelta in one season, and by apparently laying out the welcome mat for beloved Tour King of the Mountains alleged dope-fiend Michael "Feed Me!" Rasmussen. Bjarne, are you *nuts*? First, as treasured reader PJ pointed out, our brilliant and indefatigable Contador had a small and subtle series of ailments and mishaps this spring that damn near cost him the Tour alone--you really think he's gonna get through a whole *season* without even the slightest hit to his performance? And if he does, do you have some burning desire to let your inevitably-legendary monster cash-cow to wreck his body a a la Sastre for months to come? Yes, he's the greatest cyclist of his generation, but (unlike, say, Vino), the boy is not a freakin' cyborg! Second, I stick to my assessment that Michael Rasmussen, loathesome as he may be, was ludicrously screwed out of a Tour win after those hypocrite pigs at UCI and Rabobank let him ride for 2 1/2 weeks and virtually take the thing in Paris while knowing full well the entire time he'd missed doping controls before the Tour even began, but that said, UCI's still got it in for him, and if there isn't anything about that scenario that makes you the slightest bit concerned UCI and the race organizers will go all Astana on your !@# if you even hire that damaged goods, I can't help you. Just let Alberto bring on his trusted domestiques and give the kid some *peace* already!

Don't Judge a Book By It's Cover: finally, not that appearances matter or anything, but I'd just ask both my faithful readers to--solely in the interests of fairly evaluating the new doping allegations, of course--consider whose face they trust more: Hans-Michael's , or Levi's. I'm just sayin'!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Don't Do It, Alberto! And, There's No More Doping in the Peloton

What the Hell Are You Thinking, Contador?: yes, the speculation on where wee starlet Alberto is gonna land continue, and while the child gets enormous bonus points for not stupidly extending with Astana as his bro had suggested, what the !@#$ is he thinking about oozing around with Bjarne Riis next season? Look, I love CSC/Saxo Bank/Whoever Bjarne's Hinting About. And to be sure, with a multiple-Grand-Tour winning leader and a still-solid domestique selection even if the Schleck boys decimate the ranks next season, it's surely a better choice than that crazed puppetmaster Vinokourov. But (1) am I the only one who remembers how relentlessly crappily Bjarne treated poor we love Carlos Sastre after Carlos WON HIM A TOUR DE FRANCE for heck's sake, so what makes Contador think he'll get any slack if he ever has another off-day in his life; and (2) is there a reason Alberto doesn't already have a gigantic "I HEART CAISSE D'EPARGNE" tattoed in day-glo ink on his buttocks? As it happens, I adore the brilliant LL Cool Sanchez, and indeed, still think he can win the Tour de France one day. But at the moment his heart--and legs--seem to be with the noble one-day or shorter stage races, and you already know that if he promises to work for you, he will. Geez, Contador, you want a permanent, talented, endlessly-well-paid supply of nut-busting Spanish backup or not? Sign, you nit--sign!

RadioSkank Hits the Skids: man, if Lance "All the Dopers I Hired Totally Coincidentally Only Started Doping After They Left Me" Armstrong weren't having a crappy enough month, now fine young Chinese protege Fuyu Li's B-sample test for Clenbuterol has come up positive, and somehow, loyalest-pal-to-his-domestiques-ever Lance doesn't seem to be swooping to his defense yet. Y'know, not to suggest Joh--I mean, Fuyu's a *total* blockhead or anything, but isn't this the same asthma crap half the peloton easily gets a Therapeutic Use Exemption for to snarf a gas-tank's worth of every day just for politely breathing in-and-out once for the UCI enabler-tools at their annual physical? Damn, boy, if you're gonna do it, do it like a *pro*, not some junior-high-school dumb!@# trying to hide the 5 beers he just drank from his parents by popping a couple of Altoids!

The Collapse of the Roman Empire: in Italian doping news, meanwhile, as Davide Rebellin gets ready to pony up his Olympic medal in shame, erstwhile 2009 King of the Mountains playboy Franco of the Euromullet Pellizotti, having earlier been dissed by his own national federation, now has to beg the Court of Arbitration for Sport not to dethrone 'im on bio passport irregularity grounds, meaning that, one imagines, not only is this pretty serious !@#$ if the Italians are actually nailing one of their own instead of still shrieking on about Valverde, but somewhere, Ivan Basso is popping champagne. Whoops, there he is already!

Yup, That's Nero Fiddling, Alright: over at Lampre, of course, who never met a dope fiend they didn't like unless he couldn't win 'em a race without getting caught for it, long-term miscreant Michele Scarponi--who has, in what I'm sure is simply a miracle of genetic superiority, gotten exponentially better as he's aged since his most recent bust--is heading for Lampre as its premiere three-week racer, as adorable Classics man Damiano Cunego finally embraces his destiny and slinks off for a team that won't put all that pressure on a boy who, after all, has openly sported a "no doping" tat on his arm for all to see. Apparently already determined: the fate of green jersey champ (shut up!) Alessandro Petacchi, who just won a race this weekend even as he sensibly clams up for the cops in his own investigation for prohibited substances. Lampre's loyalty to its beseiged racers is really quite admirable, don't you think?

And Finally, A Word From The Racejunkie Like Anyone Gives a Rat's !@# Department: Samu Sanchez rode the Tour to 4th place with a fracture, and dear little Carlos Sastre sez he's gonna ride the Vuelta a Espana. Y'know, it's in Spain, it's three weeks long...would it helped if I mentioned Mark Cavendish is gonna ride it?...