Thursday, September 30, 2010

Top Doping Excuses of the Rich (or Stupid) and Famous

Look, forget the thoughtful, highly-scientific analysis of the issue at hand like "Bjarne Riis must've run crying like a baby to his momma last night" and "What kind of assclown stuffs an innocent bovine full of asthma meds" and "Calculate the velocity of the cork shooting out of Lance Armstrong's champagne bottle right now." Instead, for the benefit of needy dope-snorting riders and befoozled over-inundated cycling fans alike, what this sport could really use is a concise guide, in no particular order, to What to Expect (Or Say) the Morning After:

1. I drank so much water it flushed all the testosterone out of my system!
The Perp: Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca
The Lowdown: so *that's* why I mistook you for a podium babe after the stage!

2. I was having sex at the *exact moment* the narcs came by so my testosterone level was studly-high.
The Perp: Bjorn "Love Machine" Leukemanns
The Lowdown: Like Burt Reynolds, without the chest (or any, anywhere) hair, gold medallions, or cheap-porno handlebar moustache. Let's get it on!

3. !@#damn Spanish steak!
The Perp: Alberto Contador
The Lowdown: since many extremely expensive scientists seem to believe it's plausible, I say we give little Pistolero the benefit of the doubt. One word of advice for the future, twerp: "organic." What, they don't have a !@#$in' Whole Foods in Madrid?

4. Did not either. Give me your money!
The Perp: Floyd Landis
The Lowdown: yep, we all know how *that* one turned out.

5. My butt looks big in this chamois, so I took a cheap internet weight-loss supplement.
The Perp: Marta Bastianelli
The Lowdown: why be a hard-working athlete and an idol for thousands of schoolchildren when you could win Europe's Next Top Model?

6. I inhaled my fetal twin.
The Perp: Tyler Hamilton
The Lowdown: Can there *be* grosser mental imagery? Just...I'm glad you retired. We understand. We're all human, you know?

7. "Piti" is not even my dog.
The Perp: Alejandro Valverde
The Lowdown: but it *is* your bloodbag. Next time use Basso's dog's name, you idiot!

8. I'm diabetic and need insulin. Y'know, that 24-hour diabetes that's been going around!
The Perp: Bernard Kohl
The Lowdown: man, that's just !@#$in' *scummy.*

9. With all these cool tats, who's even gonna notice I doped?
The Perp: Kayle Leogrande
The Lowdown: well, now you're just another unemployed ex-cyclist sad-sack. Good luck gettin' a job at Wal-Mart with *that* !@#$ on your neck!

10. So what if I *did* do it? So did the rest of you !@#$in' hypocrites!
The Perp: Alexander Vinokourov
The Lowdown: Honey, if all your friends told you they were gonna jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, would you do it too? Yes, if it'd get me my damn Tour de France!

11. I just *tried* to dope. Look, I'm kissing babies!
The Perp: Ivan "St. Ivan of Varese" Basso
The Lowdown: with a face like mine and the truly cutest family on earth, who cares *what* I do?

12. Wah. Wah Wah Wah Wah Wah!
The Perp: St. David Millar.
The Lowdown: I forgive you, I forgive you! Now will you shut the hell up already so I don't have to put out my own eyes and jam chopsticks in my eardrums?

13. I'm a hero! How dare you question me!?
The Perp: ummmm.....
The Lowdown: Yes, you are. And nothing will or ever ought to change that. But that don't mean you weren't ever on the juice, pal!

14. Gaaaaaaassssspppp! Wheeeeeeeeezzzzzzeeeee! Gaaaaaaccccckkkk!
The Perp: Alessandro Petacchi.
The Lowdown: exercise-related asthma is a serious thing. Funny how three-quarters of the best athletes on earth seem to get it 100 yards from the finish line!

And finally: 15. Man, that !@#$ was *great*!
The Perp: Jacques Anquetil.
The Lowdown: Hey, no acting like it was fun back in the Wild West days, you hear me? NO FUN, EVER!

Well, that's all I got for now. But another poz, another hoser, another excuse--just wait 'til next week!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Oh No You Didn't, Alberto Contador!

Say it ain't so, you arrogant twerp--yes, multiple Grand Tour champ/2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador has tested positive for clenbuterol at this year's Tour de France. His excuse? Food contamination. Aaaaaaayyyyyuuuuuppppp! Clenbuterol, you might recall, is an oxygen-carrying enhancer somewhat along the lines of Alessandro "Wheezy" Petacchi's salbutamol, is frequently abused by scum-sucking weasel-athletes, and is not, so far as I can tell, a typical additive to either such guilty pleasures as Twinkies nor such handy rider standbys as pasta. But you keep trying there, Alberto!

Press conference is tomorrow. Y'know, I *thought* that new domestique he was hangin' with this past July looked funny...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's Back to Business As Usual, Baby!

Escapin' the Guillotine: yes, both UCI and the peloton's resident big-name dope-sucking dirt-weasels can gasp an enormous sigh of relief now, as AFLD head honcho Pierre Bordry steps down, and, with no further fear of positive drug tests ever at the Tour de France--because we all know there was nothing problematic about, oh, a MASH unit's worth of arcane medical waste in the team-hotel garbage bags as far as UCI was concerned--everyone can get back to their micro-dosing and macro-post-race-hydration in peace without those whiny French narcs poking around. At least until they hire someone else who hates Lance Armstrong as much! Unshockingly, Lance tweeted a bitchy farewell to his (unsuccessful, so for my money you might as well shut yer yap about it while you're ahead)nemesis, and UCI head Pat "Dick" McQuaid expressed the fond wish that AFLD leave anti-doping efforts to the pro-doper rider-enabling hyp--I mean, the truly vigilant, as well as highly competent and diligent, experts. But we sure are gonna catch a huge number--like, maybe even three!--of those first-year riders you've never heard of again next year--take *that*, you utterly protected superstar cheats!

Spanish (and He's) Fly: meanwhile, over at the home of cycling's other rabid anti-doping zealots--Spain--faithful soldier/Caisse d'Epargne boss Eusebio Unzue is still mourning the egregious injustice that is Alejandro "Bloodbag" Valverde's doping ban on the grounds that cycling can't afford to "sacrifice its stars", but never fear, clean cycling fans: Alejandro's still keeping busy by training hard for the 2010 Cancun Cycling Challenge, which clearly makes the Tour de France and certainly that lame Vuelta look like a leisurely day improving one's tan lounging by the pool. Geez, look at that roster--I understand that Alejandro's desperate for anything short of a damn-hard messenger job to get himself back on the bike, but Basso and the Schleck brothers?

Cry Me A River: finally, Mark "Captain Diplomacy" Cavendish is sensitively sharing his feelings again (that two-week freakin' insult moratorium is over by now, right?), accusing some unnamed former-sprinter current-DS of actively forcing his innocent minion riders to sabotage Cav so the DS can call bull!@#$ and unjustly protest Cav's conduct in the sprints, which one must admit is a wholly sympathetic argument, because any dumb!@# knows jacking over other riders in the hot-n-heavy run to the line is what Cav uses *Mark Renshaw* to do. Sorry for that big ol' mistake, Mark--you may now resume your previously scheduled pity-party whine-a-thon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Me, Myself, and I

Taylor *Who*?: sure, he may be (along with shock new US Champ Ben King) the future of American cycling, but if his name's not Lance Armstrong, Lance "Why the !@#$ Should I Fake Like I Care if I'm Not Even Riding Anymore?" Armstrong's predictably uninterested: hot in the middle of discussing Taylor's contract situation (and the squad's future, which prospects might be improved with the building of an actual, y'know, team of riders) with Team RadioSkank, Lance gets a call from a future Senator subordinate and hocks Taylor Phinney like a stale day-old tobacco-juice lougie square in the middle of the phone call. Classy! Needless to say, the boy's decided to ride for BMC, which just goes to show that George Hincapie has not only managed to be a genuine star in his own right despite being inhaled by the enormous galaxy-sucking black hole that is Lance's ego, but has still maintained enough of an awareness of and interest in the world outside himself to actually mentor a stellar and deserving young talent. So now that imminent-President Lance is apparently already the point-man on US policy with North Korea, anyone else guessing who's the front-runner for the 2010 Racejunkie Wanker of the Year Awa--um, Nobel Peace Prize?

The Man of Steel is a Wussy: ah, "Jens Voigt." Have any two words ever struck such fear into a helpless breakaway, simpering stage-win wannabe, or simply any cyclist who might have the gross misfortune to get insta-burned-to-a-cinder by the blazing rocket fuel blasting from the legs of a passing Jens? Nope, which is why it's so delightful to report that this frustrating, glorious cesspool of a sporting endeavor is being graced--and destroyed--by Jens' holy presence for one more year. Every stomp on his pedals is a gift to cycling's beautiful history; every "!@#$" from his lips is a revelation. Complete, bad-!@# perfection, thy name is Jens Voigt!

The Best Hallowween Costume Ever!: yep, with any luck, disgraced Italian icon Danilo "Strawberry Shortcake" DiLuca will be showing up at your doorstep with a plastic orange pumpkin dressed up like a clean cyclist--ha! clever boy!--as the narcs get ready to decide the appeal of his latest ban ending in summer 2011. For my money, what Danilo could really use more'n even a half-melted mini-Almond Joy-- besides more half-nekkid photos of him reposing on a leopard-skin throne on Google--is a straight-out miracle. Trick or Treat--can Danilo you trade some Sweet-Tarts for an exoneration from the anti-doping authorities?

Less Than Zero: meantime, rumors continue to link Michael Rasmussen to Bjarne Riis's new whatsisface squad, with the interesting possibility that the Chicken's so desperate to get back in the ProTour that he'd be willing to work for nothing. Damn, Bjarne, if you're makin' Fabian Cancellara give you 3 million euro just to buy out the rest of his contract, you can't even spare a few bucks a day to pay Rasmussen in decent espressos?

Jeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeennnnnnssss!: finally, let's once more reflect on the master that is Jens: Aw, Jens, just *one* more year?--what the heck is wrong with *ten*?!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

It's The 2010 Racejunkie Vuelta a Espana Awards; and, Our Final Contest Winner!

Yes, the Vuelta a Espana has been consigned to the When the !@#$ is This Denis Menchov Insult Moratorium Gonna End dustbin o' history, and as Joaquin Rodriguez sics his agent-goon squad on a gigantic new salary increase, and Cav revels in his well-won green jersey, it's time for our awards show:

Leapin' Off Your Couch Screamin' at the Top o' Your Lungs Moment o' the Race: no contest, Igor Anton's hideous race-ending insta-crash-out that irrevocably changed the outcome of the whole entire race. Sure, your upstairs neighbors maybe thought you were hoarding 45 mangy tomcats in simultaneous heat and called the Humane Society emergency hot line on your !@#--but could any portion of the Vuelta be more worthy of being the neighborhood freak-show curiosity as shrieking sirens pulled up at your house?

Redemption Song o' the Vuelta: yes, only a day after Igor (and Egoi)'s spirit-slappin' abandonment, Mikel Nieve takes it up for the Orange Army with a smashing stomping solo breakaway up the feared Cotobello. Right on Euskaltel--now bow before your masters, you worthless peloton peons!

Class Act Award: Oh, Tyler Farrar. With all the time you spend talkin' up your teammates, who would ever even know you'd won a stage, much less the hotly-desired final sprint into Madrid? Better, you do it without the simultaneous sprinter bragfests or whining fits we've all come to expect from--um, nobody. Like a breath of fresh air, without the traditional Salbutamol after-taste!

The Cue the Hitchcock Psycho Shower Scene Music Award: yep, this one's for Ivan Basso (shower) and Vincenzo Nibali (psycho), as Nibali's DS is already touting him as the Liquigas man for the future Grand Tours, and he and Ivan are apparently getting along famously as mentee and mentor, at least til your faithful Giro superdomestique calls bull!@#$ and drops you like a hot coal on the slopes of an hors category beastmaster at next year's Tour de France. Should've copped to that Op Puerto "attempted doping" earlier, Ivan--you mightn't've lost quite the same primo years as you did when you finally 'fessed up!

Things That Make You Go "Hmmmm" Trophy: okay, admit it--you felt an uneasy twinge about 34-year-old Mosquera, too. But for me, I choose total denial, so the winner is 36-year-old Alessandro Petacchi for his, well, highly unusual late-season surge. Of course, there's a very fine history of career-finale power blasts in cycling, so one ought not to cast aspersions--just ask Davide Rebellin! Oh, wait...

The Where the Hell Did That Come From? Prize: while Yauheni Hutarovich's stage 2 sprint snatch was a close second, this is for Slovak stealth star Peter Velits, who not only whacked Fabian Cancellara in the time trial, but is the first of his ilk to win a Grand Tour podium spot and is, if not the showiest of fighters, certainly the most surprising. Give that child a raise next year--and Grand Tour GC contenders, keep your eyes open!

Catastrophic Woof Prize: Oooooooo, this one just plain hurt to watch: nearly-inevitable podium-finisher Joaquin Rodriguez losing not two, not three, but over four agonizing podium-thieving minutes in the time trial. Contador excepted (and no, I'm certainly not suggesting anything), what the hell *is* it with the Spaniards and their time trialling the last few years? I mean, it's not like they can't beautifully improve their performance in other areas, right Valverde?

You Can't Touch This Award: no, not Nibali, or even Rodriguez or Mosquera--dear little Carlos Sastre, who failed to take a stage but did grind himself down into quite a respectable top ten overall in his third Grand Tour of the year. More, with the writing clearly on the wall, he gladly gave his own worker bee Xavi Tondo leeway to ride his own race to sixth. Watch and learn, even though it's way too late, Armstrong--it might've come in handy for your own teammates this past July!

That Ain't Good Trophy: when an entire Grand Tour peloton starts looking like the fish-dinner food-poisoning hurl-a-thon from "Airplane!", and sprinters are announcing their pre-and-post-race yack-ups as casually as they'd brag about their wins, you know it's time to dive for the hotel-room bathroom with 18 rolls of toilet paper and a week-long supply of Pepto and Reader's Digests. Congrats to about 40 of you boys--at least you got something outta this Vuelta besides stomach cramps!

Crash o' the Race: the worst and grossest? Yep, win-stripped bloody Igor's. But the most frightening? Undoubtedly poor Theo Bos', as he scared the !@#$ out of himself and his squad with a terrifying straight-on smack into a roadside race moto but fortunately emerged almost unscathed. Geez, how can their moms and dads bear to watch this stuff?

Punk-!@# Move o' the Vuelta: y'know, it gacks me no end to say this--particularly since I'm already in deep mourning that my adored "JJ & Jens & Fabian & Stuart" tote bag is extremely likely to be out of date within a few weeks--but Fabian, even if Bjarne *is* a wanker, there's no need to take it out on the likeable Brad McGee by bailing on the squad with nary a word when you'd promised to at least finish off the stage before entirely reasonably leaving for the Worlds. Look, you arrogant clowns, amazing as you are, you get paid disgusting amounts of dough to RIDE A BIKE--try that crap on your probable post-cycling career as a Fryolator jockey at McDonald's, and you are *fired*!

Wah, Wah, Wah Award: finally, due to the cold, harsh, and in fact entirely cruel Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium on Mark Cavendish, I can't peep a single darned word about not only a multitude of comments to the press over the last three weeks, but this one either. So all I can say is, sincere congratulations on your exceptionally well-done Green Jersey win, Bi--um, Buddy. Dammit!

Well, that's the prestigious Racejunkie Vuelta Awards for this year--tune in next week when Joan Rivers and a bunch of pretentious rag-trade prisses you've never heard of weigh in on the relative merits of Lampre ballerina-wear, Liquigas' eye-scorching acid-trip green, and Euskaltel's perfect Halloween costumes on the E! What the !@#$ Is a "Vuelta"? Fashion Review! As to our Win Free Stuff Contest, congrats to third-week winner "Thor"--and Cadel Evans, enjoy your Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium while it lasts!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

Especially Ivan Basso, I Bet: sure, he just tweeted a lovely "Grande vince!" for Liquigas teammate Vincenzo Nibali on his inevitable Vuelta win tomorrow, but if *I* were Ivan Basso, and *my* younger teammate had snagged a podium spot in the Giro d'Italia I'd just won *and* then grabbed the whole damn Vuelta while *I* struggled from post-Giro fatigue at the Tour, I'd be having paranoiac Ullrichian nightmares that *my* own little Vinokourov was gonna talk sweet all winter and then whack an iron crowbar right into my kneecaps over team leadership next year. But then again, certainly there's nothing to worry about--I'm sure an up-and-coming Giro podium finisher and new Grand Tour champ whose nickname is "the Shark" doesn't have any dreams whatsoever about ever winning the Tour de France, Ivan!

Talk Dirty To Me: meanwhile, as doping prosecutions heat up from the US to Italy to Switzerland, certain guardians of peloton morality are outraged, outraged! over Floyd Landis' little self-invite to an anti-doping conference, and for my money it's not entirely clear whether they're afraid he's gonna (1) give valuable tips to the current riders (2) remind the broader public yet again about the sordid past problems the now-spotless peloton has faced, or (3) make 'em look all like the incompetent oily status-quo-protecting scumwad enablers they actually are. Floyd, however, is sticking to his assertion--which may well, to be fair, be entirely true--that he's trying to use his shameful prior behavior to educate the whippersnappers and clean up the field, which does, of course, tangentially make one wonder why this didn't happen to occur to him until after he solicited and accepted tons of hard-earned cash from his trusting blogosphere-defending fans knowing full well the entire thing was a flat-out lie. Feelin' bad enough about it to give 'em a refund? Just checkin'!

Lookin' Good, Saxo Bank!: yep, things are lookin' better every day for Bjarne Riis' about-to-be-reincarnated Saxo Bank squad, as Fabian Cancellara kicks poor Frank Schleck square in the works and contemptuously bails out of the Vuelta with nary a word to anyone. Needless to say, a crushed and ill-used Bjarne has finally given up and freed our time-trial god's right to court suitors elsewhere. Geez, Alberto, favored-domestique buy-ups on your behalf or not, I might be a little concerned about next year if I were you--Bjarne Riis is starting to make Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel look good!

Mierda!: okay, I admit it: if Igor Anton couldn't do it (dammit!), I was seriously rooting for Ezequiel Mosquera to take the fabulous Vuelta, and watching Nibali claw back to him (aw, rats!) and almost take the stage on Bola del Mundo was a sailor-swear-fest 1 kilometer of couch-slumping misery. But Nibali earned the whole shebang fair and square, and Mosquera, to his everlasting credit, still valiantly took the stage. Congratulations to Nibali, and Mosquera--you still ought to be more than proud!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Robbie McEwen: Your Racejunkie Rider Profile O' the Week

All right, I couldn't stand writing about Armstrong's latest denials, that skankball Oscar Sevilla's latest doping escapades, or those doping-sucking weenies Bjorn "I Did It All For The Nookie" Leukemans' and Riccardo "Mama's Boy" Ricco's latest sissy-boy verbal slap-fight, and I've got an insult moratorium on Cav for heck's sake, so it's on to something more fun: Robbie "Head-Butt" McEwen, yer Racejunkie Rider Profile o' the Week! Why? 'Cause he's !@#damn Robbie McEwen @#$dammit, and he'll crush you faster'n you can say "holy crap, that psycho just used his teeth to rip my ear off!", you cockroach!

Official Nicknames: the Pocket Rocket, and, apparently, "De kangeroe van Brakel." Why "Head-Butt?" That's why!Priceless!

The Man, The Myth, The Legend: born in '72. Married with three darling tots. Fluent in Flemish--he can scream his head off at you perfectly in *two* languages!

Palmares: with over 200 victories since he turned pro in '96 with Rabobank, what *hasn't* this guy won, except maybe Alpe d'Huez? Since his first stage win in the Tour in '99, he's been humiliating fellow sprinters both there and in the Giro--as well as damn near every other race he's ever ridden--and, 3 Tour de France green jerseys later, has never looked back. Why bother, when you're first across the line anyway? Right on Robbie!

Quotes of Note: "Shut your mouth, or I will fill it with my fist." to Lance Armstrong, 2002 Tour de France. Y'know, I was gonna include others, including some of his gentlemanly tweets re: the dopus who whacked him off his bike after the line at the Tour this year, or the impressive list of profanities he unleashed on the poor s.o.b. who dared to interrupt his post-race Tour de Suisse cell phone call, but really, can one even improve on perfection?

Sweet Spots: Uncivilized? Nah, rather, perhaps just a wee bit less polished than your average effete top-hat euro-twerp. Routinely hoists his darling McEwenlets atop his podiums. Tweets his colleagues congrats for their every success. Generously signs autographs for the kiddies. Aside from the fact that he'll take you down if you look at 'im wrong, what's not to love?

Weakness: Robbie, please don't hurt me! Like sprinters twice his size, he can't climb the mountains worth squat. But he can still kick the !@#$ out of you from the autobus!

Special Skills: ex-BMX'er. Can this boy pop a wheelie, or what?

Well, Robblie's got at least one more year at his new Aussie squad, and for my money, that's all the better for the peloton. But remember--approach with caution--or at least keep up with your rabies shots!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

R.I.P. Thomas Casarotto, 1990-2010

Thomas Casarotto, an extremely talented young Italian rider from the Generali UC Arcobaleno Mestre squad who was seriously injured after crashing into a small SUV which was unexpectedly on the side of the road on a descent on the third stage of the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giuli, died today at age 19. He was taken off life support and his organs donated to save the lives of others. He would have been 20 years old in late December.

Here he is in action:

Condolences to his team, family, and the Italian cycling community.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Mikel, My Belle--It's the Queen Stage of the Vuelta, Baby!

The Orange Revolution: yes, after Igor Anton's horrible crash-out, and while I was still ruminating on how heart-breaking it was the other day to see the screaming happy Euskaltel fanatics eagerly--and fruitlessly--awaiting Igor on the final climb, god-in-orange Mikel Nieve takes up the torch for Euskaltel-Euskadi, redeems their fans from misery, and, in smashingly emotional fashion, snags the stage! Even bitchiner', despite well deserving to keep the glory all to himself, he dedicated the win to Anton. Here's the replay: Yeeeeeeeeeeeeee-haaaaaaaaaaaaaaah--*that's* how it's done, you Euskaltel wannabes!

But It Ain't Over Yet: meantime, in GC news, things are lookin' mighty sweet for Vincenzo Nibali ahead of the time trial against his hopeless competition, but it ain't gonna decide it: that's for the penultimate day up the nasty Bola del Mundo. And with Rodriguez having taken back some serious time, and Frank Schleck still vowing to win the whole thing, who knows what'll happen by then? Nibali, you really oughtn't've said such nasty condescending !@#$ about Ezekiel Mosquera the other day--watch yer back (and Mosquera's) up that climb, honey!

Sex, Drugs, and Franco Pellizotti: over in Narcville, Franco "Goldilocks" Pellizotti has his date with the cycling cops sometime at the end of October for heck's sake, which means, *again*, that not only is Ivan Basso breathing yet another sigh of relief that he's got one less threat in his own team to deal with next year, but, as usual, UCI has utterly failed to do anything useful the past year unless you count cement-shoeing a couple of minor domestiques and putting poor Franco on the hot seat for dubious reasons as the rest of the doping scum-weasels get to ride along in the happy--and correct--conviction that no-one else of note is going down soon. Or are they?--because Velonews is sayin' that a whole passel of US-based pros and amateurs at least, ratted out by desperate dealer-jerk Joe Papp, are about to become one with prison time. Well, it ain't gonna be George or Levi--leaving completely aside the issue of their actual innocence, we *know* those ProTour boys can afford the good stuff!

Our Insult Moratorium Continues: and, as I ponder the next Racejunkie Rest Day Rider Profile o' the Week, I must inform my dear readers that, while I *was* gonna choose our fine moratorium winners Cavendish or Menchov, I decided I just can't stomach it. Did I mention they, um, own very nice bicycles? Dammit!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Aaaaaiiiiiiigggggghhhhhhh! The Vuelta's Over

You *Suck*, Fate!: okay, I don't know who's in charge of this entire earthly show, or what the fabulous Euskaltel-Euskadi--and Igor Anton in particular--could possibly've done to offend the powers-that-be in the universe, but WHY must Vuelta race leader and eventual-winner-dammit Anton have hit the deck ripped off 3/4 of his skin til he looked like some gross science experiment busted his elbow and crashed out of the freakin' race on the very cusp of winning the whole show--what'd *he* ever do to anybody? Or, rather than being a giant cosmic catastrophe along the lines of the one-shot die-off of the dinosaurs, and the eternal forces of our world specifically having it in for one harmless bike racer in one harmless bike race over all the other things on the planet that might merit attention, I suppose it could've just been, y'know, a pothole. In which case, I don't know what the deal is with road-maintenance liability in Spain, but *some* jackass in charge of those whatever-the-hell-those-giant-roll-y-things-like-Zambonis-that-you-use-on-the-roads-are-called oughta go down in flames for it. Igor, of course, showed total class, issuing a statement on how wonderful his Vuelta was up to the very last moment and how he "lived a dream" and what a colossal joy and satisfaction it was to perform so well throughout, and, in a similar vein, both Joaquin Rodriguez and Nibali tempered the excitement of their respective victories with highly sporting wishes that it hadn't come about for them that way. Heck, even Rodriguez got stung smack in the eye by a wasp during the stage. No matter who or what is responsible for this craptastic crush-o'-my-soul--aaaaiiiiggghhhhhhhhh! Anyway, here's the miserable footage:Aw, *rats*!

The Next Step: first, if *I* were Ivan Basso, I'd be lookin' over my shoulder just about now and wondering if Nibali's planning a colossal Lance-on-Contadorian bushwhack a year or two down the line for total Liquigas leadership, but then, I'm just paranoid. Which Contador should've been, and look what happened to *that* poor bastid when he was all trusting! Second, though, even though it's likely between Rodriguez and Nibali at this point, in keeping with my grand tradition of losing underdog picks, I'm gonna have to root for Xacobeo's Ezequiel Mosquera or at least Cervelo's Xavier Tondo (in honor of dear little Sastre of course) from now on. How do you yell "allez allez" in Spanish again?

Another Plea to Universal Sports: hey--again--would you shmoes *please* stop posting the massive race news/stage result in ginormous type *right* on the login page for the on-demand video replay? Now instead of enjoying the stage with a wholly tranquillo sense of pleasant anticipation waiting for the favorites to battle it out on the final climb, I had to watch the freakin' thing with a gut-wrenching sense of imminent hurling waiting for Igor Anton to pulverize his body and his GC hopes on the tarmac. CUT IT OUT!

We've got Another Insult Moratorium Winner, and Enter Here to Win Free Stuff!: finally, our latest Insult Moratorium beneficiary is in, and Tusher, even though J. actually won and picked it, this one's for you: it's Mark Cavendish, baby! Who has, y'know, well, very handsome teeth. Jeez, c'mon already, first Menchov, now Cav--you guys are *killin'* me!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Um, Cav...You Know You *Won*, Right?

Exercises in Futility: look, Mark Cavendish is riding beautifully, and entirely deserved--and is lavishly, to his genuine credit, thanking Matt Goss and even his GC guys for--his wins the last couple stages. Here's today's win: So what the hell's the point of crying to the race organizers about how cruelly treated you were in the run-in to the line today? In case *you* hadn't noticed--'cause everyone else sure did--your own boys have played rough to other guys' actual *detriment* this year, so for my money, complaining rings, if not false, downright beeyotchy. You gonna dope-slap Tyler Farrar right in front of the cameras if you beat 'im fair and square for the final green jersey, too?

It's Back to the Mountains, Baby!: right on honey, enough of this wussy flat-stage crap at the Vuelta--but don't be fooled by the low elevation at the end, that is one vicious hors categorie leg-crusher with portions at a screamin' 19 degrees. Come on Euskaltel, it's got you boys written aaaaaaaaall over it (yeah, I know, just click to zoom in on the damn things):
And Sunday? We head towards the heavens with a disarmingly flat day til Lagos del Covadonga:. I know the first part of the race'll whack you, Carlos, but take it away!

TMI o' the week: sure, he's a regular playboy who loves sharp clothes, fast cars, and of course, the ladies. But don't think you're gonna come between Pippo Pozzato and the Worlds, you brazen slut, because, in what is surely the most earth-shattering news of the week, our John Travolta o' the eurodisco is--despite his incipient porn 'stache--swearin' off the nasty til the world champion stripes are his. Y'know, even *I* sometimes feel oily reading this !@#$. Can't our friends in the peloton all just agree to get back to the wholesome fun of hotel-room blood doping, sprint-barrier bushwhacking, and yankin' each other off their bikes by their jerseys? Oh, for those innocent, halcyon days of yore...

Our Rider Insult Moratorium Continues: finally, thank goodness we're already in week two of our inaugural Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest Rider Insult Moratorium, and while--rats, I can't even say *that*!--I do note that Denis Menchov, several minutes ahead of Josep Jufre, Giampaolo Caruso, and Remy di Gregorio on GC. Dammit!

It's the 2010 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest Part Tres!; And, We Have Another Winner!

Yes, it's nigh about the last week of the smashing Vuelta, so it's time for Week Tres of our 2010 Vuelta a Espana Win Free Stuff Contest! The Scoop: I choose one entry from all correct answerers from the Holy Once-Eroski Cap o' Destiny with my eyes squeezed shut I promise; it's my gig and I get to make the rules so please be sporting if you don't win; and anyone setting up a shrine to Euskaltel-Euskadi in their living room for the rest of the Vuelta gets bonus points and serious good karma for life. The Prizes: an exceedingly dashing custom-embroidered "racejunkie" cycling cap (be one of three folks on the planet to own one!); a two-week insult moratorium on your chosen rider (*please* show me some mercy!); and some stylin' racejunkie stickers for your bike, your gear, or, if you're a cold-hearted wisenheimer, your circular file. So enter here, and good luck to one and all!

And, our Week Two Contest Winner is: J. Novitzsky! J., check yer email for details, and thanks again to all for playing!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

The War of the Wankers

All right, you heard it: Saxo Bank boss Bjarne Riis kicked Andy Schleck and Stuey O'Grady out of the Vuelta for going out for a beer after work. So let's cut to the chase: either Bjarne and Andy oughta man up and talk things out over coffee so they can end their relationship on civil terms, or they should grab a !@#damn ruler, head to the men's room, whip 'em out in front of a neutral party and settle their stupid manhood dispute once and for all. Andy--if you're putting yourself in the running as the Next Lance Armstrong in the self-involved suck-my-dirty-bike-socks-you-peons arrogant-jerkface sense, you're the dead-on favorite for the win. Bjarne--if you think you *don't* look like a bitter petty crybaby punk-!@# just trying to punish Andy for leaving you next season, you're an idiot. O'Grady--you're a god and I'm a hypocrite, so you're off the hook entirely on this one. Either way, you've both completely !@#$ed over your OWN LEGITIMATE VUELTA GC CONTENDER--for whom a podium finish was still possible, at least until yesterday--and acted like a couple of overtired spoiled toddlers shrieking it out over a broken freakin' Tonka truck in the sandbox. Classy! Now Bjarne, head back to the team bus and try to salvage your squad's last hurrah with *some* dignity!

Monday, September 06, 2010

Dave Zabriskie: the Racejunkie Rider Profile o' the Week

Okay, it's a rest day at the fabulous Vuelta, and if there's anything less entertaining to cover than Pippo Pozzato whining that he's really not trying to evade Italian taxes by spending weekends crashing in Monaco, I've yet to hear of it. So today, a new and exciting feature at racejunkie: yer Rider Profile o' the Week! Our inaugural victim: Dave Zabriskie. Enjoy!

The Man: He was born in '79. He's got a gorgeous family. He started a cool nonprofit to smooth the ruffled feathers twixt bikes and motorists 'cause he was tired of getting whacked by cars. And best of all, despite a vicious theft of his stuff aways back, he's still got a truly bitchin' collection of action figures. Oh, right, and he's one of the best cyclists of his generation. Sweet!

The Palmares: geez, I could barely count the wins. Suffice it to say that if it's him, you, or damn near anyone else on earth against the clock, the one going down ain't him. 2000 Under-23 time trial national champ. Individual time trials at all three Grand Tours, and, not coincidentally, the first American to win stages in all three of 'em. Hear that, Armstrong? I thought not! Plus, he's busted at Sea Otter, the Dauphine, the Toura Missoura, the Bahamas, and for Postal, CSC, and Garmin. Is there anything this man can't do?

The Pundit: sure, he's been known to ask Alessandro Petacchi about his penchant for Star Wars, query Charly Wegelius as to whether he's ever had Liquigas, inquire of Stuey O'Grady if he's ever done kangaroo boxing, and comment on his bathroom habits on Twitter, but for my money, the man is truly on his game this year--he responded to the news Landis had popped in at the Tour of California with a cheerful "tell him I said hi," and, best of all, quoth in this year's Tour de France that "Jens for sure is one bad ass mofo." Right on, Dave!

The Entrepreneur: cyclist by day, purveyor of nut- and petal-protecting chamois creams by night--the boy is just unstoppable. What's it do? See here--heck, it even makes you sing!

The Moustache: finally, not perhaps since Franco of the Euromullet Pellizotti's golden-highlighted Samsonian tresses has the peloton seen such a sartorial, as well as cycling, dedication to furry perfection. Why should you care? Because somewhere, in this man's wholesome clean-shavenness, Van Dykes, Grizzly Adamses, and flat-out 70s Porn Stars, is the key, you can be sure, to the roadie, the time trialist, and to his sheer Zabriskian genius. Armchair shrinks--get to work!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm Lookin' For Pound Notes, Loose Change, Bad Checks, Anything/Gimme Some Money!

Money(That's What I Want): Okay, I am absolutely certain that Floyd Landis of all righteous moralists filed a federal whistleblower suit--hilariously, of course, complaining that *Lance Armstrong* defrauded the Postal Service--completely unaware that he could, with no other livelihood anywhere in sight, score a cool 30% of the government's possibly enormous take for the (allegedly!) fake-sainthood hero-scam of of his former team captain. That said--and sincerely if doubtfully hoping that the man just truly had a change of heart about his own wrongdoing--can Landis do *anything* lately that doesn't make him look like a greedy bitter wanker just flat-out pissed that Lance's been treated like a god (by the US public, at least) while he's been treated like the slimy neighborhood schoolyard drug dealer handing out free samples of high-grade heroin to 12-year-olds? Me, I think Floyd could have a fighting chance of someday restoring his grossy-toileted reputation if he did something like, say, Tour de France cheat-scum Bernhard Kohl did--open a bike shop. Everybody likes a nice bike shop, right? Shut the hell up about your past, stay out of the public eye for ten or twenty years, fit the kiddies for their first Trek, secure a cute dinosaur-patterned helmet on their heads, toss in a couple of free energy-drink samples for Daddy--presto, by 2030 at the latest, redemption! Oh, if *only* dreams could come true...

Oh, Yeah, Baby--Look Who's In Red Tonight!: yep, that's Igor Anton of Euskaltel-Euskadi. Eat that, you big-budget rider-thieving ProTour bullies! Next up: Shleck and Nibali sob quietly into their muesli as Euskaltel kicks their !@# even at the hotel breakfast buffet. Yeeee-haaaaaah--all we need is Sastre to come storming back (shut up! will too! didn't you see him attack today?) and we've got hot'n'steamy Vuelta a Espana perfection!

Good News for Boonen Fans: and, in addition to filming all the soft-core shower-scenes one could ever want from a cyclist, big Belgian babe-magnet Tom Boonen looks to be getting back to his *actual* job: riding his bike (hey, no complaining!). Best of all, he's ridden 120 k on his comely if damaged knee pain-free, and expects to be back at the end of the month. Ah, well, I suppose it'll have to be pictures of some silly "bike race" from now on--but we'll always have Sea World!

Aw, Man, That's *Cold*!: finally, courtesy of valued reader Tom, the beneficiary of our Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest Two-Week Rider Insult Moratorium is--Denis Menchov! To that, I, Denis looks very pretty in pink and orange. Dammit!

Remember, Week Two of our contest is enter here to Win Free Stuff!

Friday, September 03, 2010

R.I. P. Txema Gonzalez, Team Sky Soigneur

Sad News: Team Sky has unexpectedly lost soigneur Txema Gonzales, who was working at the Vuelta, to a bacterial infection. No, I didn't know his name, and neither did you I would wager, most likely because he did his job exactly as it was supposed to be done. For those of us unfamiliar with the crucial, unheralded, and sometimes downright unpalatable job these folks perform, here's a typical day in the life, and an interview with Saxo Bank's Philippe Jamin. Without them, pro cycling as we know it today simply couldn't exist.

Condolences to family, friends, and the whole Team Sky family.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

It's the 2010 Vuelta a Espana Racejunkie Win Free Stuff Contest Part Dos!; and, We Have A Winner!

Yes folks, the entries are in, the correct answer was "France" (because only Mickael Buffaz actually crashed, and everyone else dropped out from disgusting intestinal problems), I've dipped into the Holy ONCE/Eroski Cap o' Destiny with eyes shut tight, and the winner is: Tom! Congratulations on rightly pegging the French to choke first, I'll announce the lucky beneficiary of our Two Week Rider Insult Moratorium as soon as I hear the grim news, and now everyone, it's on to Week Two of our contest!

The Rules: you read right the first time: winners will be picked weekly, with my eyes closed I promise, from correct answers to random questions from said ONCE/Eroski icon; serious Euskaltel-Euskadi freaks 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 so kindly suck it up. 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!

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Woo-Hoo! and, Aw, Rats!

Give 'Em Hell, Euskaltel!: aw, yeah, baby, those ProTour bullies haven't yet poached everyone from Euskaltel like a pack of toothless crazed meth-mouthed drug-desperate thief-addicts, 'cause remaining team bad-!@# Igor Anton snagged the stage from a hungry (and likely podium finisher, I'm starting to be convinced) Nibali. Woo-hoo--time to dress up in Halloween colors buy a cross-Atlantic ticket pound back the vino (the wine, not the rider you pervs) and scream my head off, for there's more to come, baby! What, *still* no money in my Give Racejunkie Yer Hard-Earned Dough Out of Pity Fund? !@#$! I'll just have to do all that stuff at work, then...

Aw, Rats!: y'know, it's lucky I'm naturally fair and unbiased, as well as a good sport, 'cause otherwise I'd be wrongly accusing wholly innocent Denis Menchov of surreptitiously implanting a discreet tiny motor in his !@# which of course must be the only explanation for why Carlos came in a minute 25 back on him Tuesday. That, or quiet Carlos as usual is planning to whomp him senseless in the third week while Menchov plods along in the happy delusion he won't get unexpectedly nut-kneed on the penultimate day. Allez allez Carlos--and take that Cervelo' for dissing 'im!

What Goes Up, Must Come Down (Well, Actually the Reverse I Suppose): meantime, continued well wishes to sensitive speedster Cav's sadly heat-wrenched guts, if for no other reason that he can be confident next time he gets beaten that he really deserves to get beaten, and here's hoping for a fast return to health for fine Brit team Sky, likewise taken out by its own team-wide gackfest, 'cause a race with half the peloton clutching their roiling stomachs and crying into their pillows in agony, honey, ain't no race at all. Aw, guys, didn't anyone ever *tell* you to skip the ceviche when it's 98 degrees out? Here, let me get you some nice flat ginger ale and a little piece of white toast (no butter) instead...I'll turn on "Jersey Shore" on TV for you, too....

Medic!: finally, don't panic everyone--doe-eyed cutie Alberto Contador is okay--he fell on his *knee* during training, not his "pistolero" finger. Whew, thank heavens--a day without that pistolero gesture is like a day without being eaten alive by rabid foaming wolverines! Wait, I don't think I got that last one quite right...