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...

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